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PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 110

March 7, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 8

In Parts 1 through 7, and exposition was given that covered Mark 13:1-8, Matthew 24:1-8, and Luke 21:5-19. Part 7 completed Luke 21:12-21 as an answer to the first of three questions the disciples asked Jesus, which are found in Matthew 24:3, the first question being, “when shall these things be?” They wanted to know what signs would be occurring from that time until the temple was leveled.

Matthew 24:3 – And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Part 7 ended with Jerusalem compassed about and placed under siege by the armies of Titus, son of the Emperor Vespasian, and a Prince of Rome.

Since I have already fully exposited on Luke 21:21, we will begin Part 8 with an exposition of 21:22.

Luke 21:22

(22) For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

Luke is not referring to all things concerning all written prophecy up to the final heaven age. He is referring to all the things the prophets wrote concerning the context of what he had just written in Luke 21:12-22, which consisted of the events leading up to, and the actual desolation of, the old city of Jerusalem itself. Israel and Jerusalem would not listen to what the prophets said or wrote. The Olivet Discourse in Matthew 23:30-32 states that were indeed the children of their Fathers who killed the prophets, and in 23:36-38 boldly says the punishment of Israel and the city of Jerusalem would come on that present generation. And in the latter years of that generation it came precisely as Jesus had stated.

Matthew 23:30-32 – And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. [31] Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. [32] Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

Matthew 23:36-38 – Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. [37] O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! [38] Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

These were indeed the days of vengeance from 66 A.D. to 73 A.D.! What went on during the siege of Jerusalem is well documented by the great Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, but Jesus stated it very plainly in two different sections of Luke.

Luke 21:23 – But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

Luke 23:27-30 – And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. [28] But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. [29] For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. [30] Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.

The information following was taken from the writings of Josephus, and describes the distress brought upon them, especially upon the elderly, and those women carrying or raising small children.

“Thus it was that wives robbed their husbands, children their fathers, and – most horrible of all – mother’s their babies, snatching the food out of their very mouths; and when their dearest ones were dying in their arms, they did not hesitate to deprive them of the morsels that might have kept them alive.” “They showed not pity for gray hairs or helpless babyhood, but picked up the children as they clung to their precious bits and dashed them upon the floor.” “If they had flesh on their bones they were deemed to have plenty of stores; if they were already reduced to skeletons they were passed over, since they were certain to die of famine in a short while.” “With dry eyes and grinning mouths those who were slow to die watched those whose end came sooner.” Starvation and acts of cannibalism went hand in hand within the city.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 111

March 14, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 9

Luke 21:24 – And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Part 8 ended with the city of Jerusalem under siege in a horrible state of butchery, pestilence, and starvation, and on the verge of being overrun by the army of the Roman Prince Titus. The siege had lasted some seven months. It began in March of 70 A.D., the first two walls were captured in May, the Fortress Antonia in July, the temple was fired in August, and the city was desolated in September. The generation of the cross did not pass before it happened, exactly as Jesus had stated earlier in the Olive Discourse, in Matthew 23:36-38. The temple Jesus rendered spiritually desolate on the cross, was made physically desolate by Titus in 70 A.D.

Matthew 23:36-38 – Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. [37] O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! [38] Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Josephus describes the final onslaught of the Romans, when they came into the city like a flood, as a great wave of sheer horror: “They poured into the streets sword in hand, cut down without mercy all within reach, and burnt the houses of any who took refuge indoors, occupants and all. Many they raided, and as they entered in search of plunder they found whole families dead and rooms full of the victims of starvation. Horrified by the sight, they immerged empty handed. They ran every man through whom they met and blocked the narrow streets with corpses, deluging the whole city with gore, with some of the fires being quenched by the blood of the slain. At dusk the slaughter ceased as the fire gained the mastery, and when the sun rose over Jerusalem it was all in flames.” And it was all because they did not know Christ’s time of visitation as their Messiah.

Luke 19:41-44 – And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, [42] Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. [43] For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, [44] And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

During the siege, 1,100,000 Jews perished by the sword, pestilence, and famine. Some 97,000 were taken captive, most of which were sold off as slaves across the world of the Roman Empire. Jerusalem was trodden down under the control of many different Gentile (non-Jewish) nations continuously until June of 1967. In 1967 the Israeli army took it back from the Jordanians, and for the first time in almost 1900 years it was militarily in the hands of Israel. It will remain under control of the Israeli military until the Gentiles retake it to begin the fulfillment of Revelation 11:2, after which it will once again be under the control of Gentiles for 42 months (1260 days), but “the fullness” of the Gentile Age of Romans 11:25 will then come in to close out the 42nd month.

Revelation 11:2 – But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

Romans 11:25 – I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

The “times of the Gentiles” for Old Jerusalem, and its Temple Mount, were fulfilled in June of 1967. But the “fullness of the Gentiles” is still to come in, and refers to the absolute end of the Gentile Age, at which time all of Israel is grafted back into God’s Olive tree for Christ’s reign.

I believe the following events represent the pattern that began in 1967, which will end at the end of the tribulation period.

1. Jerusalem and its Temple Mount were captured in June of 1967.

2. Jerusalem and its Temple Mount will fall to the Gentiles. I believe this “may” happen between 2004 and 2008.

3. Forty-two months after it falls to the Gentiles, the Israelis will take it back as the fullness of the Gentile Age comes in to end the period of tribulation, and Israel is restored to power.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 111E

March 20, 2003

Kurds in the Whey Making Cheese

In Prophecy Updates Numbers 62,63,64,65,66,67,68, and 69, I made my case to prove that the man we identify as the antichrist is the “Assyrian” of Micah and, as such, he will be an Assyrian. Since the Assyrian empire, at the time of Micah’s writings, stretched across all of what is known today as Syria, I have always said the antichrist would come out of Syria. But at the same time I have always kept a close eye on Kurdistan, which was the original space occupied by Assyria before it began its great conquests. I have been acutely aware that the place of Assyria’s origin would make the “best fit” for the place of the antichrist’s rise. I still keep a very close eye on developments in that area, and the post war selection of a ruler in the country of Kurdistan. The Turks, Allied forces, and Kurds are all going to be involved in this situation during, and after, the conflict.

Most Kurds today are settled Muslim farmers. Kurds have struggled against various rulers for an independent Kurdistan ever since the fall of the Assyrian empire. The last struggle was against Iraqi troops in the 1970’s. With the defeat of Iraq in the Gulf War (1991) the Kurds again took up arms against Iraqi authority. But lacking adequate military equipment, they were subdued, and then massacred by the Iraqi military. Fearing annihilation, they fled their homes for the borders of Turkey and Iran. This mass migration caused incredible suffering and thousands of deaths, and forced the U.S. to establish refugee camps in northern Iraq.

Saddam Hussein compared himself with the great Nebuchadnezzer of the Babylonian empire, and with Saladin the Kurdish warrior who fought against the Crusaders. Saladin united the Shiite and Sunnite Muslims in 1171 and thus became the Sultan of Egypt and Syria. In 1187 he led the capture of Jerusalem from the Christian Crusaders. This is precisely what Saddam Hussein had wanted, and planned, to do. The interplay between Turkey, who hates the Kurds and does not want them to be an independent state, and the United States, will be very interesting to watch in the next government of Iraq. Saladin is the great hero of the Kurds. The home of the Kurdish Democratic Party is Sala-aha-din in Kurdistan.

Ahmad Chalaba, the head of the Iraqi National Congress (the umbrella organization of Iraqi opposition groups in exile) could become the first Iraqi Prime Minister in the post Saddam era. If so, it will be interesting to watch his ability to unite the Sunnite and Shiite factions across Iraq. I have always believed a lightning Jihad attack by 10 nations, made up primarily of Sunnite and Shiite Muslims, would end the false peace that eventually must come between Israel and the Palestinians. And I have also constantly maintained that the person leading them must be of an Assyrian background. That is why I will be watching developments in a post Saddam land division in northern Iraq, where Asshur, in Genesis 10:11, came up out of the land of Nimrod (Today’s Iraq), to establish what became known as Assyria, with its capital of Ninevah.

Genesis 10:11 – Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,

Micah 5:5,6 – And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men. [6] And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.

For a full exposition of my claim that the Assyrian of Micah is without question the antichrist of the last days, please click on the prophecy archive arrow at the top of this Update, and then individually review the whole numbered Prophecy Updates 62 through 69.

Saladin the Kurd was able to unite the Sunnites and Shiites into a Holy War (Jihad) against the accursed Christian Crusaders, and eventually drive them out of Jerusalem. The cry of Osama Bin Laden & Saddam, along with the Muslim clerics and other Islamic leaders, has been one of comparing us with the crusaders, while crying out for a uniting of all its religious Islamic factions to join and defeat the crusader big devil (U.S.) by driving the little devil (Israel) out of Jerusalem. On the surface the post war Islamic nations may put forth a false face of gratitude for the end of the Saddam era, but the subsurface hate of the general Arabic public will only increase and, sooner or later, a man will arise who can unite them by that hate behind closed doors – to formulate a false peace plan of deceit that will lull Israel and the western world into a false sense of security. The Bible indicates that man will be “the Assyrian.” He will arise within the bounds of the land occupied by Assyria at the time of Micah’s writings. I am watching all the land occupied by Assyria at its maximum extension. This means the antichrist could arise in northern Iraq, extreme southeastern Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, or Kurdistan, which is in northern Iraq. My guess is Syria or Kurdistan. Leaders that arise in these countries in the post Saddam era will be worth watching. Watch for a leader who can both please, and appease, the Sunnites, Shiites, and Kurds.

The willful king of Daniel 11:36 is considered by many to be the person known as antichrist and, if so, the last phrase in verse 39 could prove to be very interesting in the post Saddam era.

Daniel 11:36 – And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.

Daniel 11:39 – Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, AND SHALL DIVIDE THE LAND FOR GAIN.

Saladin reigned as the Sultan from Syria to Egypt. It appears the man we call antichrist will do the same.

Daniel 11:42,43 – He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. [43] But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 112

March 22, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 10

In Parts 2 and 3 it was established that Luke 21:10,11 is the answer Jesus gave his disciples to their second question in Matthew 24:3, the question being “and what shall be the sign of thy coming?”

Matthew 24:3 – And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Matthew also provides the answer in Matthew 24:7,8, and calls the events in it “the beginning of sorrows,” but Luke does not? Why?

Matthew 24:7,8 – For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. [8] All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Luke 21:10,11 – Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: [11] And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Luke does not call it “the beginning of sorrows” because he adds “fearful sights and great signs,” and they are not to occur in this time period, but rather in the time of the answer to the third question. And the third question was what shall be the sign “of the end of the world (age)?” You can see this by linking these two signs from Luke 21:11 with 21:25.

Luke 21:11 – And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Luke 21:25 – And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

In Luke 21:8,9 and 12-24 Christ answers the first question, “when shall these things be,” or what signs will occur before the temple’s leveling? In the last part of verse 24 he tells the disciples what will happen to the Jews after the temple is leveled until the times of the Gentiles for Jerusalem are fulfilled. This period was from 70 A.D. to 1967. We are now waiting for the “fullness” of the Gentiles to come in (Romans 11:25) at the 2nd Advent of Christ. Luke 21:12-24 has already been fulfilled. We are now waiting for Luke 21:25-27 to be fulfilled.

Luke 21:8,9 – And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. [9] But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Luke 21:12-24 – But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. [13] And it shall turn to you for a testimony. [14] Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: [15] For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. [16] And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. [17] And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. [18] But there shall not an hair of your head perish. [19] In your patience possess ye your souls. [20] And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. [21] Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. [22] For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. [23] But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. [24] And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

In Luke 21:10,11 Christ answers the second question, “and what shall be the sign of thy coming?”

Luke 21:10,11 – Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: [11] And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

In Luke 21:25-27 Christ answers the third question, and what shall be the sign “of the end of the world (age)?”

Luke 21:25-27 – And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; [26] Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. [27] And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

SUPPLEMENT TO PROPHECY UPDATE 112

March 23, 2003

Jerusalem Falls in Antichrist’s Jihad

In June of 1967, when Israel took back the old city of Jerusalem, I was a “first of the weeker,” meaning that I believed Jesus would come shortly before the tribulation period began. I changed to the “mid-trib” position in the early 1970’s, meaning I believed Jesus would come about 1260 days before the end of the tribulation period. But in 1982 I turned back to what was taught by many Biblical expositors in my youth. They had learned it from what was taught by most preachers before 1827, that is, the 7th trumpet rapture. This position holds that the rapture is going to occur on the blowing of the 7th trumpet in the book of Revelation. Some have said that a fellow who keeps changing his mind is wishy-washy, but I contend that any person who never changes his mind (about last day prophecies) is unaware that God is the only one who never has a need to change his mind about prophecy. As a “first of the weeker” in 1967, I often stated I believed Jesus would come before the year 2008. Why? Because about 40 years passed between the time Jesus said the old city would fall and the time it actually happened. Jerusalem fell to Titus in 70 A.D. In 1967, I began to surmise that this could indicate the same length of time would occur between Jerusalem’s recapture by the Jews and when it would again be recaptured by the Gentiles, some 1260 days before the end of the tribulation period. So, from 1967 to 1982, I constantly stated that I expected Jesus to return before 2008. After 1982, believing Jesus would return AFTER Jerusalem falls, I eventually had to start saying that I believed the city of Jerusalem would fall before 2008, rather than I believed Jesus would come before 2008. And this is what I am still saying today – THE CITY OF JERUSALEM WILL FALL TO THE ANTICHRIST BEFORE 2008 – And I believe the most likely time for that fall is between 2005 and 2008. The following chart pictorially represents the sequence I have believed since 1982, knowing that the old city of Jerusalem fell in June of 1967.

You will find the scriptures on this chart used repeatedly throughout all the Prophecy Updates in our archives. There are many things on it that I “know” to be true because the Scriptures definitely state them to be so. And there are other things that I am “certain” are true because they have already been fulfilled. However, there are speculative things on it that I place in the category of “very confident,” or “somewhat confident,” or “might occur,” or “my guess is,” or “this is my best estimate.”

Luke 21:5,6,24 – And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, [6] As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. [24] And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES BE FULFILLED.

Revelation 11:2 – But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the GENTILES: and THE HOLY CITY shall THEY tread under foot FORTY AND TWO MONTHS.

Revelation 12:6 – And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there A THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND THREESCORE DAYS.

Revelation 10:7 – But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

Revelation 11:15,18 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. [18] And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

A complete exposition of the old seventh trumpet rapture position may be found in Prophecy Update 73D in our web page archives, and a lengthy discourse on when all rapture teachings historically came into being is found in Prophecy Update 74A.

Romans 11:25 – For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, UNTIL THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILE BE COME IN.

Luke 21:25-28 – And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; [26] Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. [27] And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. [28] And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

I find that a few do not take into consideration the vast difference in prophetic statements such as “certain,” or “very confident,” or “somewhat confident,” or “might occur,” “my guess is,” etc. I am certain that Jesus is coming. I am very confident he will catch out the saved when the seventh trumpet is blown. I am certain the temple mount will be recaptured by the Gentiles, and that they will hold it for 42 months. I do not know exactly when that will occur, but I am very confident Jerusalem will fall to the Antichrist at some point in time between 2005 and 2008.

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 113

March 28, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 11

Luke 21:24 – And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

The prophecy, concerning “the times of the Gentiles” in Luke 24:21, applies specifically to the city of Jerusalem, and its Temple. And, indeed, the city and temple were “trodden down of the Gentiles” until June of 1967. However, the prophecy in Romans 11:25, concerning the “fullness of the Gentiles” coming in, refers to the absolute end of the Gentile age, at which time the entire nation of Israel will be grafted back into God’s olive tree. This will not be accomplished until Jesus returns with the saints to end the tribulation period, and begins his millennial reign.

Romans 11:23-25 – And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. [24] For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? [25] For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

This is the time of Christ’s coming to end the battle of Armageddon, and to bring in his kingdom, which is promised to be the place of inheritance for the saints in Daniel 7:14,15,18.

Daniel 7:13,14,18 – I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. [14] And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. [18] But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

Jesus finished the answer to the first two questions of Matthew 24:3 in his discourse in Luke 21:8-24.

Matthew 24:3 – And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

In Luke 21:25,26 Jesus answers the third question, what signs will mark the time when the kingdom comes to end this world (age) and bring in your reign over all nations?

Luke 21:25,26 – And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; [26] Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

This answer is tied to the beginning of the last 1260 days of tribulation, which I believe is found in Revelation 6:12-15, and gives an overview of all that will happen during the last three and one-half before Jesus comes to end the tribulation period.

Revelation 6:12-17 – And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; [13] And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. [14] And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. [15] And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

Then, in Luke 21:27,28 Jesus comes with the saints to end the age and bring in his Kingdom. And he closes with advice to all believers.

Luke 21:27,28 – And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. [28] And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Ephesians 4:30 – And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 113D

April 2, 2003

Gog and Magog in the Koran Prophecies

Since we, as a nation, have become so politically and economically pushed onto the world stage in an entanglement with the culture of Islam, what they think of us, and how they see our prophetic future in the Koran, is worth considering. What the Old Testament Bible teaches, concerning our prophetic future with Gog and Magog, is vividly outlined above in our Prophecy Update Archives in Numbers 27 and 28. The Koran shows a different picture in the following direct quote:

The Prophets 21:92-97 – Your religion is but one religion, and I am your only Lord. Therefore serve only me. Men have divided themselves into schisms, but to Us they shall all return. He that does good works in the fullness of his faith, his endeavors shall not be lost: We record them all. It is ordained that no nation We have destroyed shall ever rise again. But when Gog and Magog are let loose and rush headlong down every hill; when the true promise nears its fulfillment; the unbelievers shall stare in amazement crying: ‘Woe to us! Of this we have been heedless. We have done wrong.’

What happens, according to the Jewish Old Testament, when “Gog and Magog are let loose and rush down every hill” is graphically covered in Prophecy Updates 29 to 36 in our Archives. I am persuaded that Gog and Magog are most likely to let loose and rush down every hill at some point in time between 2006 and 2008.

Ezekiel 38:1-6 – And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, [2] Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, [3] And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: [4] And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: [5] Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: [6] Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

Before they do let loose and run southward down the hills, eventually to come up on Israel, the land of unwalled villages, they will devise an evil plan to lull it into a false sense of security.

Ezekiel 38:8-11 – After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. [9] Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. [10] Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: [11] And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

Ezekiel 38:14-16 – Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? [15] And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: [16] And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

In Prophecy Update 113B, I discussed what effect the current war in Iraq would have on peace negotiations in Israel. In the Update I discussed the things being stated by Silvan Shalom, the new Israeli Foreign Minister, concerning President Bush’s peace plan. He has since made his first visit to Washington, and spent time with President Bush this week. He stated that Israel has adopted the President’s June 24th speech version of the creation of a new Palestinian state. However, he emphasized that Israel would not accept a compromise on security – the terrorist activity must cease before any peace settlement.

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 114

April 4, 2003

The Two Witnesses

Part 1

In my presentation of prophecy lectures in 20 seminaries and some 700 churches since 1978, I have frequently had the question put to me – who are the two witnesses? This is one question in which you will find a wide diversity of opinion in the answers received. But, for whatever it is worth, I will present my opinion in this series. We know that they are to prophesy primarily during the last 1260 days of the tribulation period. I will begin the exposition with this verse, but it will be a while before I return to it and the rest of Chapter 11 in Revelation.

Revelation 11:3 – And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

John the Baptist was a unique biblical personality. He was a transitional prophet between the Old and the New Testaments. He came speaking with the style and spirit of the great Old Testament prophet Elijah (Elias). Luke, in referring to John going before Jesus to prepare His way, said of John in Luke 1:17 – “And he shall go before him, in the spirit and power of Elias.” And yet, this man, who certainly fits the characteristics of Old Testament prophets much more so than those of the early church age, is the one who baptized the 12 disciples called out by Jesus to be the first New Testament church. The Book of Acts attests to their having all been baptized by John.

Acts 1:21,22 – Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, [22] Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

So God sent John as an instrument to prepare the men that Jesus called out for the first New Testament church, and to baptize its head, Jesus Christ.

John 1:6-8,33,34 – There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. [7] The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. [8] He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. [33] And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. [34] And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

John was not Elijah reincarnated, but he did preach in the spirit of Elijah, who preached by the Spirit of God, and he did preach the same sort of message preached by Elijah, a message of repentance. He was asked in John 1:21 by priests and Levites if he was Elijah – “Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not?” And yet Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 17:11 that John was Elijah. John was the Elijah of believers. He was not the Elijah of unbelieving priests and Levites.

Matthew 17:11-13 – And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. [12] But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. [13] Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

The Pharisees did not know him as the forerunner of the Messiah because they were spiritually desolate, having no spiritual ears to hear. The disciples did have spiritual ears, and they knew him as the Elijah who was to come.

Matthew 11:13-15 – For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. [14] And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. [15] He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

John is the spiritual Elijah for all believers of the New Testament. Jesus is their promised Messiah. Israel is still waiting for its Messiah and its Elijah.

Malachi 4:5 – Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

I warned you, it will be awhile before I get back to the two witnesses, but I must lay the groundwork to identify who and what they represent – More in Part 2.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 114A

April 6, 2003

Revelation’s Seventh Trumpet Associated Events

I have been asked to give a brief, compact version of the seventh trumpet rapture position, so here it is – For a more thorough dissertation consult Prophecy Update 85C listings in our Prophecy Archives.

The Rapture Mystery is Finished at the 7th Trumpet!

I Corinthians 15:51 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

Revelation 10:7 – But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

The 7th Trump is the Last in a Series of Seven!

I Corinthians 15:52 – In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

It is the Last Day in the Flesh for the Saved of this Age!

John 6:39 – And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

It is Their First Day in Glorified Bodies in a Heaven Kingdom!

Revelation 11:15 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

The 7th Trump Sounds Before God’s Vials of Wrath Occur!

Revelation 16:1 – And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

The Saved Will Not Experience God’s Wrath!

I Thessalonians 5:9 – For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

The Saved in Heaven Are Judged for Rewards During the Vials!

Revelation 11:18 – And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

After the Vials They Return to Earth With Christ!

Jude 14 – And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

And Reign With Him in Proportion to Degree of Rewards!

Revelation 1:5-7 – And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, [6] And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. [7] Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Revelation 2:25-29 – But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. [26] And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: [27] And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. [28] And I will give him the morning star. [29] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Revelation 3:21,22 – To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. [22] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 114C

April 7, 2003

Iraq – A Biblical Land of Conquerors and Confusion

The post Saddam government’s character and temperament cannot be expected to maintain a personality that manifests a long-term gratitude for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Its history dictates that initial expressions of thanksgiving must slowly, but surely, return to the standard Islamic attitude toward the big devil United States, and the little devil Israel. It will never degenerate to the Saddam regime madness, but Iraq will be among the 10 nations that attacks Israel some three and on-half years before the final battle of Armageddon.

The new civilian government, which will eventually be installed, will have a violent mixture of the intermingled blood of the 12 sons of Ishmael (the first son of Abraham), the six sons of Keturah by Abraham, and the two sons of Lot (Abraham’s nephew). The first post flood population in the Iraq area was ruled by Noah’s great grandson, Nimrod, who the son of Cush, the son of Ham. Asshur, the grandson of Shem, the son of Noah, peopled the northern part. So, in this area you have the intermingled blood of the descendants of all the aforementioned ancestors. As a matter of fact, the word translated as “mingled” in Daniel 2:43 is “Arab.” The seed of all these ancestors has certainly been “mingled” in the production of offspring, but they have not been able to cleave together continuously except under the control of a very strong leader, and then only for a relatively short period of time. The great Assyrian warrior kings of 800 to 600 B.C., followed by the great Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, and the famous Kurd Saladin from northern Iraq, who united the mingled tribes to drive the crusaders out of Jerusalem in 1187, have shown that only a strong-willed ruler can unite them, and then only for a specific purpose of conquest, which is invariably followed by a period of empire decay as the cleavage of many different bloodlines crumbles. The coming antichrist will be able to unite them for a while, but in the end they will break apart. He will be like Nimrod in character.

Daniel 11:36 – And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.

Daniel 2:42,43 – And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. [43] And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

I have always taught that I believed the antichrist would come out of Syria (See Prophecy Updates 62,63,64,65,66,67,68, and 69), but I have repeatedly stated that I am only certain he will come out of the old Assyrian empire, which would include Lebanon, extreme southeastern Turkey, and northern Iraq. So I will be watching very carefully to see if someone from northern Iraq becomes the President of Iraq. It will take a really strong, and extremely clever, ruler to unite the Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish factions across Iraq.

The 10 toes and 10 horns of Daniel are the same 10 horns of John’s first and second beasts. They are not European nations, and the antichrist is not a European. He is the Assyrian of Micah’s fifth chapter, and the 10 toes and 10 horns are basically mingled (Arab) descendants of Abraham, who practice the Islamic faith – a faith that would be the worship of a strange god unknown to Abraham. The division of the vast riches of the Iraqi oil fields among the different ethnic groups within Iraq would most certainly gain him a loyal following among all the Islamic clerics.

Daniel 11:37,38 – Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. [38] But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. [39] Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.

Daniel 7:24 – And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

Revelation 17:12,13 – And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. [13] These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

So, Lord willing, I will be paying very close attention to the interplay between the new Iraqi government, Syria, and Iran. This is going to be a very interesting scenario.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 114D

April 9, 2003

The Hebrew Question that Demands an Answer

The Hebrews were notorious for first drawing a conclusion, and then asking a question concerning the conclusion that demanded an answer on the hearers or readers part. This type of question in the culture of today is one “that begs an answer.” Before one is able to answer the query that satisfies the writer, he must consider what has been written prior to the conclusion being drawn prior to it. Ezekiel begins 38:14 with the word “therefore,” which is the classic word, routinely used throughout the Bible, when the writer has just stated the material from which he made his conclusion.

Ezekiel 38:14 – Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?

Now, Let’s look at the material presented prior to the question that led to the conclusion of “therefore.” First, Ezekiel tells us the antichrist will make his attack when all of Israel is dwelling safely.

Ezekiel 38:8 – After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

“Thou shalt be visited” means a collective call to arms will be issued. The “land bought back from the sword” is the land of Israel. And all of Israel is dwelling safely. Israel has not dwelt safely in the land since it became a nation in 1948. They have had three wars, with interim times of terrorist activity, but a time MUST come when all Israel will finally believe they are dwelling safely. It is at this time that the antichrist will launch a vicious, lightning, Pearl Harbor type of Jihad with his collectively called Islamic nations. Ezekiel describes this attack in the next verse.

Ezekiel 38:9 – Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.

The armies of antichrist will catch Israel completely by surprise, and will travel from Dan to Beersheba like a fast moving severe thunderstorm moves across an area, leaving havoc in its wake. The Islamic nations are well aware that they cannot possibly do this unless Israel is convinced they actually have a genuine peace. Finally, after trying for years to get Israel to the peace table by terrorist activities, they are going to realize it simply does not work. They are going to have to call off their terrorist groups in Israel, and let Israel have what appears to be a genuine peace for a brief period of time – Then it will be possible to launch a successful military campaign from Dan to Beersheba. It will require an evil plan, devised by a thought process of a cunning man, who can unite the Arab nations to implement it. Ezekiel discusses this in verse 10.

Ezekiel 38:10 – Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:

The consequences of this evil thought, which leads Israel into a false sense of security, are outlined in verses 11 and 12.

Ezekiel 38:11,12 – And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, [12] To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

By the time the false peace comes in, Israel will have completely walled in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with the security fence it began last year. This will be one of the reasons Israel will be lulled into a false sense of security. She will have faith in the fence’s ability to keep the terrorists walled in. The Palestinians will be walled in their new state, but Israeli cities will have no walls around them. When Ezekiel wrote, “cattle and goods” were the things that represented the prosperity of a people at peace. Since the population of Israel has been “gathered out of the nations,” it has turned the desolate zones of Israel into inhabited areas of lush botanical growth. In verse 13 Ezekiel lists some Arab, and possibly European and western nations, that will be as surprised as Israel when the surprise attack occurs.

Ezekiel 38:13 – Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

There will be three Islamic nations, bordering on Israel, which will be taken completely by surprise by this attack. They are Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. For a complete dissertation of why I believe this to be the case, please consult Prophecy Updates 32, 70, 71, and 72. You will also find much information on the Israel wall by consulting our menu listing on Prophecy Update 85C. Therefore, having considered verses 8 through 13, we return to Ezekiel’s question of verse 14 to answer it.

Ezekiel 38:14 – Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?

The answer is a resounding YES! Why? Because Gog is the one who had the evil thought that devised the cunning ruse that led Israel into a false sense of security in order to gain victory over them.

There is one thing, first and foremost, that I am trying to surmise – WHEN WILL THE TERRORISTS BE CALLED OFF BY SYRIA AND IRAN? THERE CAN BE NO FINAL PEACE SETTLEMENT UNTIL THEY DO, AND I EMPHASIZE THE WORD “FINAL.” THERE WILL BE NO ATTACK BY THE ANTICHRIST UNTIL HE IS ABLE TO BE CERTAIN IT WILL CATCH ISRAEL BY SURPRISE. AND SO, UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, I WILL JUST KEEP GUESSING. I HAD HOPED THEY WOULD CALL THEM OFF LATE LAST YEAR.

NOW I AM HOPING THEY WILL CALL THEM OFF THIS YEAR! ISRAEL CANNOT “SAY” THEY HAVE “PEACE AND SAFETY” UNTIL THEY ACTUALLY BELIEVE IT – AND THEY WILL NOT BELIEVE IT UNLESS THE TERRORIST ACTIVITY CEASES!

I Thessalonians 5:3,4 – For when THEY shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon THEM, as travail upon a woman with child; and THEY shall not escape. [4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

           
 

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PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 115

April 11, 2003

The Two Witnesses

Part 2

Revelation 11:3 – And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

The following things were established in Part 1: (1) John the Baptist was a transitional prophet between the Old and New Testaments, (2) He is connected with, but not a part of, the New Testament church, in that he baptized its head, and the first 12 members the head called out to begin it, (3) He was sent by God for this purpose, (4) He was not Elijah reincarnated, but he spoke in the spirit of Elijah, who proclaimed by God’s Spirit the message of repentance, as did John, (5) He is the Elijah of all who believe his message of the Messiah, as did 11 of the first 12 members of the first church, (6) He is not the Elijah of those who failed to believe John’s message concerning the Messiah, a category into which the Pharisees placed themselves, and (7) Israel is still waiting for its Messiah, and the Elijah of Malachi 4:5.

Malachi 4:5 – Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

It is interesting that Malachi should list Moses in verse 4.

Malachi 4:4 – Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

Moses immediately pops into the Israeli mind whenever the “Law” is mentioned. Elijah’s wine glass is present at every Passover. Elijah immediately enters their minds when the word “Prophet” is heard. The two primary ways that God used to transmit his word into the minds of Israel were: (1) The Law – the first Five books of the Old Testament written by Moses, and (2) The Words God spoke through the prophets. I do not think it by chance these two great men represented the Law and the Prophets that carried the testimony of God. And I am convinced this is one of the reasons they appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration with the Messiah of both Jew and Gentile.

Matthew 17:1-3 – And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, [2] And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. [3] And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

I do not believe the two witnesses are Elijah and Moses reincarnated, but I do believe they preach in the spirit of Moses and Elijah. Just as John witnessed in the spirit of Elijah, who witnessed by the Spirit of God, so will both of the two witnesses proclaim in the spirits of Moses and Elijah. And their message will also be one of repentance to Israel. Israel is currently more distant from God than at any time in its history

While I do believe the two witnesses are flesh and blood men, as were Elijah and Moses, I am persuaded they do represent two institutions given the responsibility to give God’s witness to the world, and Lord willing, I will deal with this in Part 3.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 115A

April 13, 2003

Modern Assyrian Land Claims & the Assyrian Antichrist

In whole numbered Prophecy Updates 62 to 69, I made a case to prove that Micah 5:1-3 was fulfilled by Christ and that Micah 5:4-9 has yet to be fulfilled. Please browse through these Updates, found above in our Prophecy Archives, before considering what follows.

Micah 5:4-6 – And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. [5] And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men. [6] And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.

I have no doubt that the “he” of verse 4, “this man” of verse 5, and the first “he” in verse 6, all refer to Christ. And I have no doubt that the “Assyrian” of verses 5 and 6 is of Assyrian descent, and that he is the antichrist. He will be an Assyrian by bloodline. There has not been a nation known as Assyria for more than 2600 years, but on the surface of this planet there are more than four million who consider themselves Assyrians, and more than two million of them live in northwestern Syria and northern Iraq. There are some 50,000 living in Iran, about 20,000 in Turkey, and approximately 40,000 in Lebanon.

Assyrians have no official country today, but if you were to ask their leaders what they consider to be their rightful territory in today’s world, they would tell you it extends into four countries – Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey. It takes in all of northern Iraq down to about 100 miles south of Kirkuk, the northwestern tip of Iran west of Lake Urmi, all of northern Syria between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, and a narrow strip of southeastern Turkey containing Harran, Edessa, Diyarbakir, and Lake Van. I have always believed the antichrist would be an Assyrian. And it seemed most likely he would be the leader of Syria, and I still believe it, but he could arise in northern Iraq – There are 700,000 Assyrians living in Syria, and 1,500,000 in Iraq. Assyrians consider themselves to be a Semitic people indigenous to Mesopotamia, and to be ethnically distinct from both Arabs and Jews. However, the Arabs and Islam swept across Assyria in 630 A.D., and since that time countless mixed marriages have spread the blood of Abraham via his six sons by Keturah, and his twelve grandsons by Ishmael, into some of the Assyrian bloodlines. About one third of Assyrians live outside the Middle East, the largest number being about 400,000 in the United States, and some 120,000 in Sweden, but two-thirds continue to live in the land they still believe is rightfully theirs. All in all there are more than four million scattered among 40 nations. As to their religious preference, 4 percent are Syriac Catholic, 26 percent are Syriac Orthodox, 19 percent are Church of the East, 45 percent are Chaldean, and the rest are Islamic or diverse beliefs.

The formation of a new Iraqi government, and what role the Assyrians might be allowed to play in it, along with the Kurds, Shiites, Sunni, and other ethnic groups will certainly be worth watching. They were led to believe the League of Nations was going to give them a homeland after World War I, but somehow the promise was shoved aside. I am hoping they will be given sufficient seats in the new Iraqi government to have a representative voice. The Saddam regime killed them by the thousands, and they certainly deserve a voice in the new regime. Because they sided with the victorious allies of World War I, Great Britain promised them autonomy, independence, and a homeland. However, when the conflict ended, and the British Mandate was eventually terminated, they were relinquished to the Iraqi government for resolution of their statehood. Of course, this was like relinquishing the chicken over to the fox for a resolution of its final deposition. I am now hoping that Great Britain will finally keep at least part of its promise by giving them seats in the new government of Iraq.

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 116

April 18, 2003

The Two Witnesses

Part 3

Revelation 11:3 – And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

In Part 2, I listed seven things we had established in Part 1. In Part 2 we established: (1) The link between the local church with Elijah through John the Baptist, (2) The two witnesses as preaching a message of repentance in the spirit of Moses and Elijah, as they preached by the same Spirit of God, and (3) That they represent the two institutions given the responsibility of presenting God’s word to the world in the past and in the present, the local church and the assembly of Israel.

Although I am not one who is fond of using “types,” because it is very easy to apply them to things they may not represent, I suspect that Elijah, who was transported directly into heaven, without ever having his body placed in a grave, is a “type” of the living who are transformed suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye, at what is called the first resurrection. While Moses, whom God buried, but who later appeared in a glorified body on the Mount of Transfiguration, may represent the physically dead in Christ who come out of their graves to be glorified at the first resurrection. Some identify Enoch as being one of the two witnesses, but I have found more connections for a combination of Moses and Elijah, than any other combination of the three men.

I established the connection of Elijah through John the Baptist with the local church, and Moses’ connection via the Law with the assembly of Israel. And this is one of the reasons I believe the two witnesses represent the local church and the assembly of Israel, who were the two bodies God chose to be the witnesses of Messiah in their times of empowerment by His Spirit.

Revelation 11:4 – These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

The two witnesses are flesh and blood men representing the two olive trees, through which God’s Spirit operated to carry His witness to the world. His first natural olive tree was Israel, and the wild olive tree, that came out of the natural tree by a graft, is a remnant of the covenant with Abraham, the first church organized by Jesus in his earthly ministry.

Romans 11:5,17,23-25 – Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. [17] And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; [23] And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. [24] For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? [25] For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

The two witnesses will testify during the last 1260 days of the tribulation period, then the fullness of the Gentiles will come in at the close of the battle of Armageddon, at the Second Advent. At that time Israel will be grafted back into the natural olive tree.

I also believe that the two witnesses of Revelation and Zechariah are the same personages.

Zechariah 4:11-14 – Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? [12] And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? [13] And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. [14] Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 116A

April 20, 2003

God’s Word, the Lamb, Becomes His Lion of Judah!

Today we celebrate the resurrection of our Messiah, the Lamb of God. I believe that soon we will celebrate his return to rule and reign as the Lion of Judah.

John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

It has been said: “As a man speaks, so is he.” When Jesus, the Lamb of God, speaks to mankind, it is God speaking directly to his creation. And it is the Lamb, returning as the Lion of Judah, by which all the things he has spoken will be fulfilled. The Lamb has earned the right to claim the title deed to all creation found in the book where it is recorded. He comes at the end of the tribulation period to claim his earth and to establish his kingdom on it for a thousand years.

Revelation 19:13,14 – And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. [14] And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Revelation 5:5 – And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

John the Baptist identified Jesus as the Lamb of God to the Apostle John, who later identified him to us as the Lamb who is the Lion of Judah.

John 1:35 – Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; [36] And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Revelation 5:6 – And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Zechariah identified the Lamb as the Branch out of David, who also had the same seven eyes engraved on a stone with complete authority marked by seven horns. The seven eyes present the Lamb as possessing the full omniscience of the Spirit and the ten horns represent the Lamb as having the full omnipotence of the Father. And the Stone will crush the 10 toes of Daniel’s great statue of man’s historical kingdoms.

Zechariah 3:8,9 – Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. [9] For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

Colossians 2:9 –For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Matthew 28:18 – And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Daniel indicated that the Lamb would return as a Lion and topple the great statue of Nebuchadnezzar, which symbolized all the kingdoms man has established since the flood up to the coming of the Lion of Judah. The Stone of Daniel is the same Stone of Zechariah.

Daniel 2:32-35 – This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, [33] His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. [34] Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. [35] Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

The head of gold represents the Babylonian empire of Daniel’s day, the breast and arms of silver the Medo-Persian empire which followed, the the brass belly and thighs the Grecian empire, the two iron legs the great Roman empire of John’s day, and the 10 toes the coming Islamic empire of the antichrist. The return of the Stone will mark the establishment of God’s government (a great mountain), which will cover the whole earth.

Daniel 7:7 – After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

The fourth beast is the old Roman Empire, and out of the southern flank of its ashes will arise 10 Arab nation horns, which will compose the final empire of the one we call antichrist.

The 10 toes of the great statue represent the same 10 horns of Daniel’s fourth beast, and I believe the ingredients for the assembling of these 10 nations are now beginning to gel in the Middle East. The Arabs of Iraq are delighted to be free of Saddam Hussein, but they hate us. To them we will be the big devil, and Israel will be the little devil, until Jesus comes. We, according to the Koran, are infidels, and are hell bound. There is no way under heaven this will change until the Lion returns. They are free from Saddam and now, being set free by us for the first time since the tyrant came to power, they can demonstrate openly and violently to get rid of us. Make no mistake, when the 10 toes come against Israel, Iraq will be one of them. We will never be able to establish a democratic government in Iraq that has any possibility of lasting. Only when the Stone of Daniel returns, to end the battle of Armageddon, will a genuine, lasting peace come to this earth with the Stone reigning over it. He will be given a kingdom that fills the whole earth.

Daniel 7:13,14 – I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. [14] And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

WATCH THE TERRORIST GROUPS IN ISRAEL!!! When Syria and Iran temporarily call them off long enough for Israel to be lulled into a false sense of security, then a brief false peace will come to Israel. It will be followed by a surprise, Pearl Harbor like, Jihad from the north by 10 Arab nations. I believe it likely that this attack will occur prior to 2008, and will be followed by 3 and ½ years of tribulation, which will end with the 2nd Advent of Christ to close the battle of Armageddon.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 116C

April 22, 2003

An Oft Asked Question!

When Israel is Attacked, What Will the U.S. Do?

I have received this question many times during the last 29 years, and each time I have answered it individually. It requires a great deal of my time to answer the countless questions I receive weekly by e-mail. I have answered this question in several of my Prophecy Updates, but it takes much longer to go back and find them for forwarding to the questioner, than to answer it directly. Since the question has increased in frequency over the last couple of months, I have decided to answer the question in a single Update, namely this one, and then to stick 116C on a board over my computer, so that I can simply forwarded it to all future queries on the subject. I first answered this question in Special Prophecy Update Number 71A, dated June 8, 2002, which may be found in our Prophecy Archives. In Update 116C I will attempt to give a fuller discourse and explanation, but you might be well advised to go back and read 71A.

Point 1 – Both Israel and the United States will be taken completely by surprise through a well-coordinated, lightning, blitzkrieg like, Jihad by 10 Arab nations. This initial attack begins the last 1260 days before the battle of Armageddon. The land Biblically designated as Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, will be taken in a matter of days, except for the coastal strip from Tel Aviv, where 70 percent of the Israeli population resides. The U.S. maintains an attack carrier group in the Mediterranean between Turkey and Egypt 365 days a year. But the suddenness of this attack is going to be accompanied by a brief period of indecision at the command level and, during that period of time, the Arabs and Israeli forces will be so intertwined in actual combat formations that air strikes would likely take out as many Israeli Defense Forces as Islamic military units. The loss of lives by friendly fire would be enormous. Remember, this is going to be an Israeli-Arab conflict. The European Union, Russia, and China do not become involved in the initial attack. They all join in the final battle of Armageddon some three and one-half years later. This is the attack of Revelation 12:6.

Revelation 12:6 – And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

Point 2 – It took the U.S. eight months to get all its forces in place before they felt confident in launching Operation Desert Storm, and five months to get them in place for Operation Iraqi Freedom. We cannot stop such a well-coordinated Jihad on short notice. We know that the Israelis have the most secure war contingency evacuation area in the world. We watched them turn the Negev wilderness into the best camouflaged, and more heavily fortified piece of real estate on this planet, from our many spy satellites launched out of southern California. The awareness that they have a place of safety into which to evacuate, and that the Islamic forces would not dare penetrate south of Beersheba, will cause us to hold off any large scale attack against their enemies, and Israel will remain in the Negev for 1260 days.

Point 3 – At the same time we watched Israel turn the Negev, which is more than one-third of the total land mass of Israel, into a mighty zone of unbelievable military power, the Soviets were doing the same with their spy satellites launched out of their sites south of the White Sea and east of the Aral Sea. By electronic intercept we know they transmitted all this information to the Syrians, who in turn shared it with the more militant Arab nations. There will not be, I repeat, there will not be a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack against Israel. The Arab nations know that Israel has more than 200 Jericho missile silos in the Negev, and more than 300 nuclear, chemical, and biological warheads. They are capable of wiping out most of the Arab population in the Middle East, and all the Islamic leaders are well aware of it. But they also know that Israel will never launch a weapon of mass destruction against them unless they first launch against it. That is the policy of the political and military leaders of Israel, and as a government they will not violate it, even if driven into the Negev. This next war will be a war similar to the war we witnessed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In all three previous wars in 1948, 1967, and 1973, they ended abruptly in a truce. This one will end the same, and the truce will hold for 1260 days. The U.S. will agree because Israel will be safe in the Negev. Israel will agree because they will be stunned, and will want to regroup for future actions. The Arabs will agree because they will have what they want, the land from Dan to Beersheba – They have no real interest in the Negev. In fact, as a humanitarian gesture to gain world favor, they will allow Israeli, U.S., British, Canadian, and other western nations to use their transport aircraft to carry the 70 percent of the Israeli population, boxed in the coastal strip from Tel Aviv to Haifa, to a place of safety in the Negev.

Revelation 12:14 – And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent (time = 1 year, times = 2 years, half a time = ½ year)

The western nations will be allowed to airlift supplies to Israel in the Negev as an effort to show what a great humanitarian the Arab leader is, in order to influence world opinion. The word “NATIONS” in verse 5 is the precedent to the word “THEY” in verse 6, and refers to the nations friendly to the woman Israel.

Revelation 12:5,6 – And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all NATIONS with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. [6] And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that THEY should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

Point 4 – I don’t believe the U.S. is going to desire to be involved in another expensive Middle East war when Israel is attacked. I believe our economy will pick up as the dust of the current conflict settles, but at some point in time before 2004 expires, we are headed for a crash. This will cause us to accept the truce offered by the Arabs. In fact, at the time of the attack, all I expect out of us and the European Union is a loud diplomatic protest, and I strongly suspect it is the one found in Ezekiel 38:13. This diplomatic protest is made in response to the antichrist’s initial attack.

Ezekiel 38:13 – Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

Historically, the merchants of Tarshish, established a colony named Tartessus in southern Spain, placed trading sites along the coastlines of Europe around the Mediterranean Sea, and eventually had trading posts along the coastlines of most of northern Europe. It is possible that the “merchants of Tarshish” represent Europe. If so, then all of the western world, in particular the United States, may represent “all the young lions thereof,” because we are the offspring, and melting post, of Europe. All of the reference sources I have consulted make Sheba and Dedan the occupants of the land we identify as the Saudi Arabian peninsula today. I have detailed in numerous previous Birth Pangs and Prophecy Updates why I believe Saudi Arabia, the numerous small countries around it, Jordan, and Egypt will be kept in the dark about this Jihad. All that the United States, the Western World, Europe, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia will do is issue a “naughty, naughty” diplomatic protest at the time of the attack. You will find all of this in 71A. As to why Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia will not be among the 10 Arab nation attacking Israel, please consult Prophecy Updates 71 and 72.

Point 5 – I correlate the opening of the sixth sea in revelation, which lists the first earthquake in the book of Revelation, as occurring simultaneous with the antichrist’s attack, and the beginning of the last 1260 days prior to the battle of Armageddon. I believe this correlates with the time that Satan is cast our of heaven, and a large part of the antichrist’s army is swallowed up north of Beersheba in pursuit of Israel fleeing into the Negev. The sudden increase in worldwide earthquake activity will cause such confusion that the antichrist will be able to drive Israel into the Negev with a minimum of outside interference. Please take a look at Birth Pang Number 42, March 29, 2002 in our Birth Pang Archives.

Revelation 6:12 – And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

Revelation 12:15,16 – And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. [16] And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

Another question that I have been asked over and over again is this: What are you doing to get ready for this? Are you storing up food and survival supplies? That’s a lot easier to answer!

Matthew 6:31-34 – Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? [32] (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. [33] But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. [34] Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Mark 6:50-52 – For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. [51] And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. [52] For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

If he could feed about five thousand men with five loaves and two fish, surely he can provide for his churches in the tribulation. I say with Esther, “and if I perish, I perish.” There’s something a lot better on the other side of perishing in Christ’s service.

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PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 117

April 25, 2003

The Two Witnesses

Part 4

In Parts 1 through 3, I attempted to make a case that the two witnesses of Revelation and Zechariah were actually two flesh and blood men who preached in the spirit of Moses and Elijah, and also that they represented God’s Old Testament witness, the Assembly of Israel, and His New Testament witness, the local churches of Christ. I finished Part 4 by saying I would elaborate on the figures listed in the two scriptures that follow.

Revelation 11:3,4 – And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. [4] These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

Zechariah 4:2,3,11-14 – And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: [3] And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. [11] Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? [12] And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? [13] And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. [14] Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

Since the two witnesses represent the two olive trees, the church and Israel, as their representatives they appear in Revelation as two lamps on a Menorah, fed by the oil from the bowl on top of it. The candlestick is a Menorah with seven pipes that feed seven interconnected oil lamps with light producing fuel. The Menorah itself, with its seven lamps, the number meaning “completeness” or “fullness,” represents the fullness of the Godhead. The oil that gives the light to the world represents the Holy Spirit that presents the Word to enlighten the world in truth. The two olive trees are Israel, the natural olive tree, and the Church, the engrafted wild olive tree, and the two witnesses represent them both. The two olive branches, through which the oil of the Spirit passes from the two Menorah bulb pipes to empty out into the world, are the two witnesses, as attested by verse 14.

Zechariah 4:14 – Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

The Menorah of Zechariah 4:2 = The Lord of the whole earth = The God of the earth in Revelation 11:4 = The Fullness of the Godhead that indwells Christ

The oil represents the light of truth by the Spirit through the Word from the Godhead.

The Two Olive Trees = The Old Testament Assembly of Israel and the New Testament local called out Assemblies of Christ, called churches, which are represented by the two witnesses.

The Two witnesses = The two candlesticks or two lamps (two individual lamp bulbs) = The two anointed ones = The two olive branches out of the olive trees.

Lord willing, in Part 5, I will begin to answer a question as to whether there will be an Elijah who preaches in the same spirit of Elijah as John, that comes to prepare the way for Christ’s Second Advent.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 117B

April 28, 2003

A Laodicean Messenger’s Warning of Three Woes

The Greek word translated as “angel” in the book of Revelation can be translated with equal validity as “messenger,” depending on context. In fact, it is translated as “messenger” in the two following Scriptures.

II Corinthians 8:23 – Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the MESSENGERS of the CHURCHES, and the glory of Christ.

Philippians 2:25 – Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellow soldier, but YOUR MESSENGER, and he that ministered to my wants.

In both cases, the local church or local churches sent them out, and they are identified as “messengers.”

I have long believed that the “angel” of each of the seven churches in the second and third chapters of Revelation is not a heavenly angel, but a church messenger associated with the message proclaimed to, or by, the church. Believing this, I suspect there are two last day warnings issued by the last day churches in associated with what is known as the rapture. The word “ouranos” is translated as “heaven” throughout the entire New Testament. However, there are three heavens, and the same word is used for all three. The first heaven is our atmosphere, the second is the vast realm of space where the constellations exist, and the third is the dwelling place of God. The first “messenger” is sending a message from the first heaven through atmospheric airwaves of earth’s communication media, and it is a warning from God’s churches to all earth’s inhabitants that three terrible woes are about to come on the planet. The warning details that the blowing of the fifth, sixth, and seven trumpets will soon occur, and then the description of the horrible events associated with the three woes are expounded. The fifth trumpet is the first woe, the sixth is the second, and the seventh is the third.

Revelation 8:13 – And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

The first messenger carries the message of the last churches of this age in the form of a final warning before the rapture when the seventh angel sounds to begin the third woe. The three angels are heavenly angels, but I believe the first angel is the messenger of the last day churches. The first woe is the next verse following Revelation 8:13.

Woe Number One – Revelation 9:1 – And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

Woe Number Two – Revelation 9:12,13 – One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. [13] And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

Woe Number Three – Revelation 11:14,15 – The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. [15] And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

The third woe finishes the mystery that Paul announced in I Corinthians.

I Corinthians 15:51,52 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Revelation 10:7 – But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

I Thessalonians 4:16,17– For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

I Thessalonians 5:3,4 – For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. [4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

It is true that we cannot know, as an absolute certainty, when the seventh trumpet will sound, but we are not the children of darkness, and should at least know what will soon follow the first four trumpets. I believe local churches will finally get off their duff when the tribulation events begin to occur in an unmistakable manner, and will start to present to people the gospel of our coming Lord. We are not appointed to the seven vials of God’s wrath, which follow the rapture on the seventh trump, but we are going to get a taste of tribulation before we are whisked off this den of worldly sin.

I Thessalonians 5:9 – For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

I look for a lot of witnessing by virtually all church members when they see the Lord is not coming until the seventh trump. They should be doing it now, but they will most assuredly be jolted into doing it then. I believe a vast number of men and women will obtain salvation before the sounding of the seventh trump.

It is not by accident that the second church messenger’s proclamation also comes from heaven, and it also precedes the rapture. Lord willing, I will cover this messenger in the next Prophecy Update.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 117C

April 30, 2003

The Second Messenger’s Warning of Judgment

Please consult Special Prophecy Update Number 117B in our Archives before reading this Update. It outlines why I believe the “angel” in the following verse is a “messenger” of the churches in the last days, rather than a heavenly angel. The First Messenger is in Update 117B.

Revelation 14:6,7 – And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, [7] Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

The 12th and 14th Chapters of Revelation are parenthetical to the general chronology of the book. This warning, like the warning in Revelation 8:13, is issued before the rapture on the seventh trumpet.

Revelation 8:13 – And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

Revelation 14:6,7 is followed by a description of the rapture in verses 14 to 16, which in turn is followed by the wrath of God in verses 17 to 20.

Revelation 14:14-16 – And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. [15] And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. [16] And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

Jesus, the Son of man and the Son of God, pictured sitting on a cloud, is not visible on the earth, just as he was not visible to the first church after he passed through a cloud on his ascent.

Acts 1:9 – And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

He is probably referred to as “the Son of man” to picture his humility as the man who came to restore man’s position that we all lost in Adam. We no longer “see” the defeat and humiliation we inherited from the first Adam, “But we see Jesus,” who won the victory for us, and is crowned as King of Kings.

Hebrews 2:6-9 – But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? [7] Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: [8] Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. [9] But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Revelation 14:16 – And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle ON the earth; and the earth was reaped.

His sickle sweeps across the earth ON the earth, as one would hold wheat in one hand while sweeping across it near the ground to collect it in small bundles. This is the rapture of the saved that occurs on the blowing of the seventh trumpet. Following the reaping by Jesus, there occurs what I call a “rupture” of the earth in verses 17 to 20. For a full exposition of these verses, please look at Birth Pang Numbers 16 and 15 by clicking backwards on our Birth Pangs Archive Listings. This is a reaping where the sickle goes INTO the earth, and the resultant reaction of the earth is his judgment on those who failed to heed the final message by the church messenger in Revelation 14:6,7. They would not believe the “everlasting gospel” message, and “the hour of his judgment is come” upon them.

Revelation 14:6,7 – And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, [7] Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 118

May 2, 2003

The Two Witnesses

Part 5

In Parts 1 through 4, I presented a case to show that: (1) The two witnesses of Revelation 11:3 are two flesh and blood men who preach in the Spirit by which Moses and Elijah proclaimed God’s word, (2) They represent the Assembly of Israel, who dispensed the Word by the Spirit in the Old Testament Law of Moses, and the local called out Assemblies of Christ known as churches, who dispense the Word by the Spirit in the New Testament Law of Liberty in Jesus, and (3) John was, and is, the spiritual Elijah for all who believe his message that Jesus was, and is, the Messiah.

Revelation 11:3 – And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

There is no question that John the Baptist was the one sent as God’s messenger to prepare the way before the messenger of the covenant, who was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

Malachi 3:1 – Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

Nor is there any doubt that Malachi 4:5,6 clearly paints John the Baptist with its prediction of a coming Elijah, because Malachi is quoted as such by the Father of John in Luke 1:16,17.

Malachi 4:5,6 – Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: [6] And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Luke 1:16,17 – And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. [17] And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Please note that Luke interprets “and the heart of the children to their fathers” to mean “and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.” Since Luke’s interpretation is inspired, I am persuaded that Malachi is referring to the need of the disobedient children to turn to the faith their ancestors exhibited in the promise of a seed, a Messiah, who would one day deliver them. John the Baptist, who came preaching in the spirit of Elijah, proclaimed the message that their forefather Abraham believed.

Genesis 22:18 – And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Galatians 3:6-9 – Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. [7] Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. [8] And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. [9] So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Matthew 3:1,2 – In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, [2] And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Both John, the messenger of the Lord, who was sent to prepare the way before the messenger of the covenant, and Jesus, who came to confirm the covenant, gave the same message to Israel. It was a message that the seed of Abraham had arrived to bring in the kingdom.

Mark 1:14,15 – Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, [15] And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

But Israel rejected the gospel message of both John and Jesus. They have paid a terrible price since they rejected their Messiah and His message.

But what about the “curse” of Malachi 4:6, and will the Lord send another Elijah to announce the soon coming of the Second Advent? Lord willing, I will address these issues in Part 6.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 118A

May 3, 2003

To “Watch” for His Coming

Part 1

Mark 13:32 – But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

This verse is often quoted when someone wants to make the point that we cannot have the faintest notion when the coming of the Lord is near. It is certainly true that we cannot know specifically the hour, the day, the month, the season of the year (Summer, Fall, Winter, or Spring) when Jesus is coming. And, even though it does not state it, I doubt if anyone can tell the year. This has led to the assumption that speculation of any kind, which states that a prophetic event is likely to occur within a period of time, is terribly wrong. But Paul indicated, immediately after his discourse on the rapture in I Thessalonians 4:16-18, that God’s children were supposed to have a general awareness when Christ’s coming was near.

I Thessalonians 5:3-5 – For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. [4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. [5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Romans 11:32 - For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

When we, the children of light, see Israel, who God has concluded to be in the darkness of unbelief along with all unbelievers, saying it finally has a condition of “Peace and safety” in the Middle East, then we can know we only have a few years left before the final battle of Armageddon. The nation of Israel has known no “Peace and safety” since 70 A.D., but soon it will believe it has security in its own land. Then the countdown to the battle of Armageddon can begin in earnest.

I speculate that this peace is likely to come at some point in time within the next 18 months, and I speculate that the initial attack of the antichrist against Israel will occur at some point in time prior to 2008. Could I be wrong? Certainly? It is not wrong to speculate! It is very wrong to fix a definite hour, day, month, season, or year as the time of his coming. This is what a genuine time setter does, and I have never been guilty of this. I have speculated, and will continue to do so, as to the probable occurrence of an event with a span of years, but speculating is not setting a specific time – It is speculation, no more and no less, and, as such, is not setting a time.

I am convinced that the rapture will occur on the sounding of the seventh trumpet, but I do not know exactly “when” it will sound. I know it blows at some point in time during the last three and one-half years before the final battle of Armageddon, but I do not know the hour, day, month, season, or year it will sound. I speculate the last three and one-half years before Armageddon will begin before 2008, but that is speculation, and I freely admit it. But even after the antichrist attacks Israel, I still will not know the hour, day, month, season, or year that the seventh trumpet will sound. So, for the last 29 years, I have attempted to practice the verse that follows Mark 13:32.

Mark 13:33 – Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

And I see no reason to fail to continue this practice. Even if I am alive in this physical body when the antichrist attacks Israel, I still will not know exactly when the seventh trumpet will sound. However, when the events of the first 6 trumpets begin to unfurl, then I will know that it’s sounding is drawing closer and closer, and will most assuredly be in a heightened state of watching and praying.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 118B

May 5, 2003

To “Watch” for His Coming

Part 2

Mark 13:37 – And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

The word translated as “Watch” in the context of this discourse, means to be spiritually awake, such that your soul will not be surprised at the time of Christ’s coming. In context, it means to be in fellowship with him when he comes for you, regardless of when it occurs. The only way a saved man or woman can be sure of being found in this state is to stay continually in fellowship by practicing I John 1:8,9 on an hour to hour basis. To “Watch” is to stay in fellowship daily.

I John 1:8,9 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [9] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Salvation, once obtained by the soul through the new birth, will never be lost – We cannot lose our salvation position in Christ – it is eternal and secure in the works of Christ, but we can lose our fellowship with Christ through willful disobedience without repentance.

John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Mark 13:37 is a call to believers to stay in fellowship by “watching,” by staying in spiritual fellowship in a daily walk for Christ. Children of God, even though they are not, and can never again become children of darkness, can be found spiritually asleep when Jesus returns for them at the rapture or, for that matter, when he comes for them at the time of a fatal heart attack – a point made by the verse preceding Mark 13:37.

Mark 13:36 – Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

Paul makes it very clear that children of God, even though they are not children of darkness, can be caught spiritually asleep when Jesus comes at the rapture.

I Thessalonians 5:4-6 – But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. [5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. [6] Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

Paul would not warn them of being found sleeping if they were incapable of being found in that state. A state of being found spiritually awake is described following his rapture discourse in I Corinthians. Jesus had already given them the spiritual resurrection of the new birth, but they needed to be spiritual awake in his labor at his coming.

I Corinthians 15:52,57,58 – In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [57] But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. [58] Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

We, as God’s children, will reap for rewards what we have spiritually sown in this life at the judgment seat of Christ – immediately after the sounding of the seventh trumpet.

Galatians 6:7 – Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Revelation 11:15,18 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. [18] And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

Galatians 6:9 – And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 118C

May 6, 2003

Watching Until He Comes

Part 3

In Update 118A we covered Mark 13:32,33. In Update 118B we covered Mark 13:36,37. Now, in this Update, we will cover Mark 13:34.

Mark 13:34 – For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

He tells them in verses 33, 35, and 37 to “watch.” He is of course making reference to the time we refer to as the “rapture,” the first resurrection, the time of which no man knows the day and hour, as testified by verse 32. The Feast of Passover occurred two days after his statement, the time when the priests and scribes would seek how they might put him to death. He, knowing that they would, but that he would thereafter rise from the dead, advised his first church of their coming responsibility in the teaching of a parable in verse 34.

He, the Son of God and the Son of man, was about to take a far journey through death and eternal resurrection. He was preparing to leave his church, which was his local earthly body and called out assembly, which he had organized into a local, visible body after they had received John’s baptism of repentance in the Jordan River. They had followed him as a completed local church, an ekklesia, for more than three years, and his presence among them had been the source of their power as his first local church. He knew his Holy Spirit would return some 50 days after his resurrection, during the Feast of Pentecost, and empower them. And the baptism in his Spirit at Pentecost has been extended to include all his local churches that have followed up to the present, and it has been for the purpose of accomplishing their assignment as his churches.

“His house” was the church he had called out, led, and organized, during his earthly ministry. And all churches, that are pillars and grounds for the truths he taught in the New Testament, are his churches of today.

I Timothy 3:14,15 – These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: [15] But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

“And gave authority to his servants” was stated directly to his servants that made up the first church to whom he spoke these words. Each local church that Jesus looks upon as the pillar and ground of the truth once delivered to his church, has the same authority he gave to the first body he had taught for more than three years.

The word “man” in the phrase, “And to every man his own work,” uses the word “anthropos, which can be used for male or female and, even though the context here portrays an all male audience of his disciples, he probably used this word to insure our understanding that the authority did not rest in the sex, but in the service. Every member of each of his New Testament churches has a work to perform in that body as a part of the body. The same Spirit of Christ wrote the following to a local, visible body at Corinth, likening them to a human body. There is a work for each member of one of the Lord’s churches.

I Corinthians 12:14-27 – For the body is not one member, but many. [15] If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? [16] And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? [17] If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? [18] But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. [19] And if they were all one member, where were the body? [20] But now are they many members, yet but one body. [21] And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. [22] Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: [23] And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. [24] For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: [25] That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. [26] And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. [27] Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

The word used for “porter” in the phrase, “And commanded the porter to watch,” is “thouroros,” which means a doorkeeper, male or female. It is also found in John 18:16,17.

John 18:16,17 – But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. [17] Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not.

Each member of one of his local churches, male or female, is supposed to guard the door of their heart against complacency in his service as a part of that body. Each one is the porter of his or her own daily relationship with Christ. The main contextual thrust of Mark 13:32 to 37 is found in a single word – WATCH! A porter’s assignment is to watch for anything that would close the doors of his or her heart from daily, close, personal, fellowship with Christ. This is what had happened to the hearts of the church members of the ekklesia, the church at Laodicea. They became so materialistically inclined in their paying others to do all the work, that they stopped “watching,” and closed the doors of their hearts to a warm, close, personal, intimate, service relationship with Christ. The “door” upon which Jesus is knocking is the door an individual heart, and each church member, as the porter of his or her own heart, is asked to open it by an act of repentance for not “watching.” The overcomer is a church member who, when convicted by God’s word, sees his or her own need to daily repent, and maintain a service relationship with Jesus. Revelation 3:17 shows the condition of a church out of fellowship, while verses 19 to 22 show the heart condition of it’s individual members, and what needs to be done to restore fellowship with Christ. Individual repentance opens the door for him to restore fellowship. It is impossible for a saved man or woman to lose their salvation, but they will lose their fellowship with Christ through a non-obedient or complacent attitude, and only an act of repentance will restore it.

Revelation 3:17 – Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Revelation 3:19-22 – As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. [20] Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. [21] To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. [22] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 118D

May 7, 2003

“Watching” for His Coming

Part 4

Mark 13:32-37 – But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. [33] Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. [34] For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. [35] Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: [36] Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. [37] And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

In Update Number 118A we covered Mark 13:32,33. In Update 118B we covered Mark 13:36,37. In Update 118C we covered Mark 13:34. And now, in Update 118D we will finish this four part series with Mark 13:35.

Jesus used something his disciples were very familiar with concerning the house of God, the temple of his day in Jerusalem. Each one of his local churches of today represents a local temple in which his Spirit dwells, just as in the tabernacle, and then in the temple of Solomon.

Ephesians 2:22 – In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

I Timothy 3:13,14 – These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: [15] But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

The first church, to whom he was speaking in Mark 13:35, knew that the temple priests did not know the time the High Priest would come to the temple during the period from sunset to sunrise. Sometimes he would come between sunset and mid-night, sometimes at midnight, sometimes at first light when the roosters commonly crowed, and sometimes when the sun itself was visible or shortly thereafter. Because they never knew precisely when he would come, if they desired to be ready when he came, then it was necessary for them to stay awake, and to have performed all the personal rituals of the law prior to his arrival that would allow them to be in a state of ritual cleanliness at his arrival. One of those rituals that had to be performed before his arrival was not pleasant to the flesh. The priests were required to go down a flight of stairs under the temple each night and completely immerse themselves in cold spring water prior to his coming. But the real problem was this – Any time a priest urinated or had a bowel movement, he was required to exit the temple mound by way of the dung gate behind the temple. And, upon his return, he was required to go back under the temple and again completely immerse in the cold spring water. So it is easy to understand why many would play the odds of when he would appear. Only the most diligent would proceed down the stairs before midnight, and some would even dare to wait until first light. Most of the time they got away with it, but occasionally he would come and catch those who had waited until midnight or after to be ready for his coming. The penalty for getting caught unclean upon his arrival was very embarrassing. They would be stripped of their outer garment and, clothed only in their undergarment, which the Jews called “naked,” made to stand at the Susa Gate in full view of all who passed through this eastern gate.

All those found in a “clean” state on his arrival would participate in the sacrifice-connected events of that day. And, from among them, three would be chosen by lots to sit with the High Priest in his officiating chair at the three main sacrifices of the day. They believed that God oversaw the lots in such a way that the ones he considered the most worthy would be chosen. And I believe God did!

When Jesus, the High Priest of each local church comes, he will judge the individual members of each church based on how well they kept his commandments he left it, and on what state of cleanliness in which they are found at the time of his rapture arrival. The manner of “quickness” exhibited in the split second of an eye blink, will catch us in our existing state, with no time left to change. The following scriptures were written to church members.

Revelation 22:11-14 – He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. [12] And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. [13] I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. [14] Blessed are they that do his command-ments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Revelation 22:16 – I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Revelation 16:15,16 – Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. [16] And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Revelation 3:4,5 – Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

A born again believer cannot lose salvation, but can lose the rewards that exist in heaven for those who obey the commandments of Christ after the experience of salvation.

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 119

May 9, 2003

The Two Witnesses

Part 6

In Parts 1 through 5, I presented a case to show that: (1) The two witnesses of Revelation 11:3 are two flesh and blood men who preach in the Spirit by which Moses and Elijah proclaimed God’s word, (2) They represent the Assembly of Israel, who dispensed the Old Testament Word and its Law by the Spirit, and the local called out Assemblies of Christ known as churches, who dispense the Word by the Spirit in the New Testament Law of Liberty in Jesus, (3) John the Baptist was, and is, the spiritual Elijah for all who believe his message that Jesus was, and is, the Messiah, and (4) Israel rejected the gospel message of both John and Jesus, for which they have paid a terrible price. The price that they have paid has been under a curse associated with them as the fig tree of God. Luke quotes Malachi 4:5,6 in Luke 1:16,17, and gives us an inspired interpretation of the “heart of the children to the fathers,” in order that we will not be led to understand it as our immediate families. Malachi is referring to the need for the children of Israel to turn back to the faith of their forefathers, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joseph, David, etc.

Malachi 4:5,6 – Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: [6] And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and THE HEART OF THE CHILDREN TO THE FATHERS, lest I come and SMITE the earth (erets – land) with a CURSE.

Luke 1:16,17 – And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. [17] And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and THE DISOBEDIENT TO THE WISDOM OF THE JUST to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Luke interprets “the heart of the children to the fathers” to mean a turning of repenting hearts of “the disobedient to the wisdom of the just” that justified their forefathers. John came to turn the disobedient children of Israel in his lifetime to repent of their ways and turn back to the faith of their fathers in Messiah. It was a cry to be made “just” by repentance, and thereafter live by faith. It is this sort of faith that is to be passed down from generation to generation.

Romans 1:17 – For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The JUST shall live by faith.

The souls of the generation of John’s day had lifted up their own works to justify themselves, and would not live by faith in God’s promise of a seed, for the righteousness they possessed was self-righteousness.

Habakkuk 2:4 – Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the JUST shall live by his faith.

Their faith was not in the promised seed of Genesis 3:15, which was reaffirmed through Abraham in 22:18.

Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Genesis 22:18 – And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Galatians 3:16,6,7,26 – Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [6] Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. [7] Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. [26] For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

John came preaching repentance, because the seed had come, and the kingdom was at hand.

Matthew 3:1,2 – In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, [2] And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The Seed came preaching repentance in reaction to the gospel, because the kingdom was at hand.

Matthew 4:17 – From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The nation of Israel rejected the message of the Seed and of John, and God smote the land of Israel with the curse of Malachi 4:6.

Lord willing, I will cover the curse in Part 7.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 119A

May 11, 2003

The Soon Coming Shaking of Creation

The voice of the Lord has shaken the earth in the past, and will soon shake it again. He gave the Law to Moses to draw men and women to trust in his promise of the coming Messiah by their realization it was impossible to perfectly keep God’s righteous standard with an inherited sinful nature from Adam. The Law was given by God to teach us how really sinful we are, thereby leaving the Messianic Seed promise of Genesis 3:15 as our only hope for salvation. The earth shook when God spoke the Law to Moses.

Exodus 19:18,19 – And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. [19] And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

Galatians 3:24 –Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

But now that Messiah has come and finished his work on the cross, we have a better covenant, because he spoke it plainly as God in sinless flesh, and made all the promises of God in him clear to us. We have not come to the fear of his voice at Mount Sinai, we have come directly to his marvelous promises through his wonderful Son.

Hebrews 12:18,19,26,27 – For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, [19] And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: [26] Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. [27] And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

This is the final shaking of the earth in the seven vials of his wrath poured out at the end of the tribulation period, which is followed by his reign from the millennial temple in Jerusalem. It is the same one spoken of by Haggai.

Haggai 2:6-9 – For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; [7] And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. [8] The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. [9] The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.

So what should God’s children be doing while they wait for him and his soon coming kingdom?

Hebrews 12:28 – Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear

At what time, during the tribulation period, will all the living saved be caught up to heaven such that, for the first time, the kingdom will be in heaven, and all of the kingdoms left on the earth, even though they are going through the judgment of his seven vials, are then called his kingdoms? While the members of his kingdom found in heaven are being judged for rewards, the kingdoms of the earth, that have become his, are being judged for sin by the vials of his wrath.

Revelation 11:15,18 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. [18] And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

This is the completion of the mystery announced by Paul in I Corinthians, which will soon be finished exactly as prophesied by John in Revelation 10:7.

I Corinthians 15:51,52 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Revelation 10:7 – But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

I Thessalonians 4:16 – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

So why serve the Lord in one of his local churches if you are one of his children by faith in his Son? He has given you the victory by faith in him – you are going to heaven by grace through faith as the gift of God. Why bother?

I Corinthians 15:51,57,58 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [57] But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. [58] Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

II Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Galatians 6:7 – Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

II Corinthians 5:11 – Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

Once received, you cannot lose your salvation, but you can lose your reward in heaven. His children that live close to him here will live close to him there. How close you live to him in heaven, and what sort of work you are given to perform for him there, is the reward.

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