Archive for August, 2014

Trend Update: Missiles Behaving Badly, August 2014

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2014 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 54:16-17 “Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and brings out a weapon for its work; and I have created the destroyer to ruin. No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.

It would appear the context of the verses above is in a time of peace when the Holy One of Israel (Jesus, the Messiah) is leading. There will come a time when the wealth of God’s people will be in great abundance. Knowledge of God’s word will flow from Jerusalem. Protection from war will be without question. Security and peace will rule the day.

The Bible says Israel will go through difficult times before peace comes. It is referred to as a time of Jacob’s trouble. Jeremiah 30:6-7 Ask now, and see if a male can give birth. Why do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in childbirth? And why have all faces turned pale? Alas! For that day is great, there is none like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s distress, but he will be saved from it.

Today (August 2014), God is still watching and protecting His people. Israel has returned to the land as promised. They will not be uprooted again. Amos 9:14-15 “Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, and they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; they will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit. I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them,” Says the LORD your God.

Stories are emerging from both sides of the current conflict between Israel and Hamas that suggest there are other forces at work. Here are samples from both sides. It is not one side making these claims. Make what you want of it…

Watch Iron Dome in action as it intercepts incoming missiles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=_e9UhLt_J0g&app=desktop

http://www.wnd.com/2014/08/israeli-soldier-testifies-to-miracle-in-gaza

http://www.wnd.com/2014/07/their-god-changes-path-of-rockets-in-mid-air

No weapon that is formed against you (Israel) will prosper. – LORD your God

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Elul…40 Days and 40 Nights, Teshuvah

Posted in Fall Feasts, Prophecy, Teshuvah/Repent with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2014 by paulthepoke

Elul is the last month of the civic calendar in Judaism. Elul is the sixth month of the religious calendar. Jewish tradition points to the name of the month to be an acronym of “Ani l’dodi v’dodi li” a quote from Song of Songs 6:3 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine… In Aramaic, the vernacular of the Jewish people at the time that the month names were adopted), the word Elul means “search”. Per Strong’s Concordance, Elul means “nothingness” in the Hebrew. The month is mentioned one time in the Bible. Nehemiah 6:15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. Cultural customs per http://www.jewfaq.org, http://www.myjewishlearning.com .

The month of Elul initiates a 40 day period called Teshuvah. The point of the season is to prepare for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah and the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. It is a time to turn toward God. People are called to turn away from their sin, repent, and change course. It is a time of inward reflection and sincere self-assessment. The goal is a change in lifestyle away from sin to obedience in God’s word. The 40 day period starts on Elul 1 and ends on Tishri 10, Yom Kippur.

There are many examples of the significance of the number 40 in the Bible. Notice, the examples ultimately demonstrate a turning away from sin and a return to God’s word. The result is a changed mind, a lifestyle consistent with obedience to God.

On three occasions, Moses went up to Mount Sinai for 40 days and met with the LORD. Israel had worshipped a golden calf and committed idolatry against God (Exodus 32). Moses pleaded with God for mercy against His chosen people. He turned to God and instructed the people of Israel to turn from their sin. The golden calf was destroyed (Exodus 32:20). After the destruction of the golden calf, Jewish tradition has Moses ascending Mount Sinai on Elul 1 to Tishri 10 (Yom Kippur) to receive a second set of tablets. Moses came down from Mount Sinai when the people had repented (http://www.chabad.org, http://www.hebrew4christians.com).

With a lack of faith in God, Israel was left to wander in the desert for 40 years. God told them He would help them take the Promised Land. Only two men believed, Caleb and Joshua (Numbers 32:12). The others did not turn and trust God. Numbers 32:13 So the LORD’S anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the LORD was destroyed. It was considered “evil” to not believe God. When this came to pass and the last one died. God brought His people back to the land for the taking. 40 years later, the Jewish people returned to God and His word. Course of nation Israel had changed. The Law, God’s word, was reintroduced to the people before they entered the Promised Land (Deuteronomy).

Noah and his family were in the ark for 40 days and 40 nights during the rain and flood. The world was being judged for sin. The corruption of mankind is described in Genesis 6. Noah and his family had 40 days and nights to contemplate their watery environment as a consequence. They turned and responded to God. Their lives were spared in the ark. They had nowhere to go and plenty of personal time for self-reflection.

Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11). Every time Jesus was tempted by Satan, He turned to God the Father and quoted Deuteronomy. Jesus’ responses to temptation were to turn to the word of God (Matthew 4:4), to not put the Lord your God to the test (Matthew 4:7), and to worship and serve the Lord you God only (Matthew 4:10). Jesus resisted the tempter and was obedient to His Father.

Trend Update: Sabbatical/Shemitah Year, August 2014

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2014 by paulthepoke

Exodus 23:10-11 You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

The government of Israel has set aside approximately $29 million for farmers who are choosing to honor this law of God. Obedience to the law will result in loss of income to farmers. This upcoming Jewish civil year is a Sabbatical or Shemitah year. It runs from roughly September 24, 2014 through September 13, 2015 on the Gregorian calendar. On a Hebrew calendar, the year runs from Tishri 1 through Elul 29.

Why now? What has possessed the Israeli government to set aside money for farmers to honor this commandment from God? Israel has not paid attention to this law since they returned to the land and were reborn in 1948. The Sabbatical year has not been followed since 70 AD. There is increased interest and concern for this law by farmers and citizens of Israel.

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24661/Default.aspx?archive=article_title

http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/israel-rediscovers-shemitah-in-time-for-blood-moons/

http://www.charismanews.com/world/44452-blood-moons-the-shemitah-and-prophetic-implications-we-can-t-ignore

For more details of the Sabbatical Year law see Leviticus 25:1-7 and Deuteronomy 15.

Money has also been set aside in light of Deuteronomy 31:10-11 Then Moses commanded them, saying, “At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of remission of debts, at the Feast of Booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing…” This ceremony is scheduled to take place on the Jewish Holiday of Tabernacles or Sukkot. Christians call it the Feast of Booths. The ceremony will be celebrated at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on September 28, 2015. That evening, there will be a big red lunar eclipse that is a Super Moon. Traditionally, lunar eclipses on holidays are a bad omen for Israel.

So what is the big deal? Why should Israel honor this statute in the 21st century? Is this relevant today?

God warned continually of consequences and judgment if His commandments were not followed. Eventually, judgment came at the hands of the Babylonians. Jerusalem was destroyed. People were killed. Those who survived were taken into captivity by Babylon. See 2 Chronicles 36:15-20 for more detail. God was keeping track. The land will have its rest. 2 Chronicles 36:21 …to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until seventy years were complete.

Is God still counting??? If so…??? Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill…” –Jesus

Got Jesus…???

Resurrection/Rapture…No one knows the day or hour…Maybe

Posted in Fall Feasts, Prophecy, Rapture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2014 by paulthepoke

Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. –Jesus

Jesus is talking to His disciples about the end of the age and His second coming. In western culture, we take this passage literally. “Nobody knows, not even Jesus, Jesus said!” Okay, we are done here, moving forward.

Wait a minute, Jesus is a Jew. Matthew, the author, is a Jew. This verse is also quoted by Mark, who is a Jew. Mark 13:32 But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Culturally, the Bible is a Jewish book. It is not to be viewed from a western culture perspective.

There is one Jewish Holiday by definition, of that day or hour no one knows. Because, this day is a new moon holiday. Of all the God appointed holidays, this is the only holiday occurring on a new moon. It is the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Jews call it Yom Teruah (literally means “day of blowing” in Hebrew). It is referred to as the “Hidden Day” in Jewish culture. It is called the Day of Judgment. Christians call it the Feast of Trumpets.

According to Jewish tradition the purpose of the trumpet blasts is to awaken the dead, resurrection.

The Apostle Paul, the ultimate academic Jew, tells us in 1 Corinthians 15, the resurrection of the dead in Christ is associated with the rapture of believers in Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. These verses also point to the Feast of Trumpets (see previous blog posts).

How is a new moon or a new month determined? God operates on a lunar calendar. Jews have utilized the following procedure every month for thousands of years. It is called Rosh Chodesh which means “head of the month”. At the end of a lunar cycle, the moon is dark and is not seen for 2-3 days. So, the new moon could be identified during this 2-3 day period …of that day or hour no one knows…By definition, a new moon is proclaimed when the first little sliver emerges from a darkened moon. It is a tiny crescent that is noted briefly at sunset on the western horizon. The month begins at the sighting of the new moon. Two witnesses have to confirm the sighting. Upon agreement, the two witnesses report to the high priest. When the new moon is confirmed, the trumpet (shofar/ram’s horn) is blown.

Who is our high priest? Jesus (Hebrews 2:17, 3:1, 4:14). What is the role of the high priest? The role of the high priest is to intercede to God on behalf of the people. Only the Father knows the day or the hour to confirm the new moon. Notice, this language is also consistent with ancient Jewish wedding customs. The father sends the son or groom to get his bride. Only the father knows the day or the hour of the wedding.

Jewish cultural customs provided by: www.torahcalendar.com, Festivals of the Jewish Year by Theodore Gaster, The High Holy Days by Herman Kieval, El Shaddai Ministries, The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times, God’s Final Jubilee by Dan Goodwin, Our Father Abraham Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith by Marvin R. Wilson.

Yom Teruah is the new moon holiday. Rosh Hashanah is the only Jewish holiday that falls on the first day of a month. The Feast of Trumpets is the only new moon holiday. But of that day and hour no one knows…It is a “Hidden Day”. Investigate, think about it.

Trend Update: Assyrian Empire/Violence, August 2014

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , on August 13, 2014 by paulthepoke

Revelation 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Believers in Christ are beheaded for their faith during the Tribulation. Beheading is a disturbing trend that is emerging in Middle East at the hands of ISIS (August 2014). The choice presented to people is convert to Islam, move from the region, or be killed. ISIS is producing videos to intimidate people. They are tutorials on violent behavior and how to complete a suicide bomb mission. See the following New York Times link for details.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/11/world/middleeast/suicide-bomb-instructor-accidentally-kills-iraqi-pupils.html?_r=0

Revelation 6:9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained…

The scene is in the throne room of Heaven. The Greek word for “slain” is sphazo. Per Strong’s Concordance it means: to slay, slaughter, butcher, to put to death by violence, or mortally wounded. This word is used multiple times in Revelation. See 6:4, 13:3, and 18:24. Brutal, deadly violence is a hallmark of the Tribulation. This is also the same word used on multiple occasions to describe how Jesus was killed.

We are not in the Tribulation. The Antichrist has not been revealed and there is no Temple for him to desecrate. This is little consolation for those individuals who have been violently killed. But it is a developing trend that is consistent with what Scripture has to say about a seven year period of chaos leading up to the return of Christ.

Resurrection/Rapture…at the last trumpet…

Posted in Fall Feasts, Prophecy, Rapture, Resurrection with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2014 by paulthepoke

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

… at the last trumpet… There is a lot of discussion and debate regarding this phrase. What is the reference? Let’s go back to Moses and the book of Leviticus.

Leviticus 23:23-25 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. ‘You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD.’”

This holiday is also referenced in Numbers 29:1 On the first day of the seventh month, you are to hold a holy assembly. You must not do your ordinary work, for it is a day of blowing trumpets for you.

This holiday is known as the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. It has many other names including: Yom Teruah (day of blowing), Day of Judgment, or the Hidden Day. Christians refer to this as the Feast of Trumpets.

Jews have rehearsed and celebrated this holiday every year for thousands of years. The Hebrew grammar suggests this is a dress rehearsal for an appointed date and time. The holiday consists of a pattern of shofar (ram’s horn) blasts. There are three different sounds. Each is blown three times for a total of 9 blasts. This pattern is completed 11 times for a total of 99 blasts. The last blast is set aside. It is the longest and loudest. It is known as the “Last Trump”. References provided by (El Shaddai Ministries, http://www.jewfaq.org, http://www.chabad.org, http://www.myjewishlearning.com).

Is the Apostle Paul communicating a time point?

Colossians 2:16-17 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

This new moon festival is set aside as mere shadow of what is to come. God has appointed this holiday as a day of prophetic significance. The substance belongs to Christ. I take it Jesus has BIG PLANS for this holiday at some point in the future. There is only one new moon festival in God’s appointed Jewish Holidays. It is the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Teruah, the Hidden Day, the Day of Judgment…

Trend Update: Pestilence/Famine, August 2014

Posted in Pestilence, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2014 by paulthepoke

Revelation 6:8 I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.

This is the fourth seal. This is the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse. There is a growing fear of the Ebola Virus that is spreading through western Africa. Outbreaks of various diseases are reported on the U.S. and Mexican border with the issue of immigrants. SARS, AIDS, Bird flu, Swine flu…

People are asking the question, “Is this what Revelation is talking about?” The answer is…No. The seals of Revelation have not been broken and initiated by the Lamb as of August 2014.

For starters, the antichrist has not been revealed. He is the first of the four horsemen. As of August 2014, there is no international man on the scene who is a peace broker (Revelation 6:2), far from it.

Second, the scale of death will be ridiculous. Currently, the death toll is approaching 1,000 with the Ebola Virus. The verse above states a fourth, one quarter, 25% of the population will be affected. Estimates are currently around 7.2 billion people on the planet. The math says 1.8 billion (1,800,000,000) people will perish at the events related to the fourth horseman.

Granted, there are four sources of death in the verse above: 1) sword or war, 2) famine, 3) pestilence, and 4) animals. Food is going to be scarce. People are in famine. The lack of food is consistent with the “Day of the Lord” conditions in Joel 1. The cost of food will sky rocket. It will cost one day’s wage to eat (Revelation 6:6). Animals are in famine and will turn to people as a source of nutrition. Animals will no longer be in fear of humans. This reverses the trend and proclamation of God to Noah after the flood in Genesis 9:2 The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given.

See also Zechariah 1 and Zechariah 6 if interested in these colored horses.

I don’t think the question, “Is this the Tribulation?”, will need to be asked. Remember, this event is near the beginning of the Tribulation. This is the fourth seal of seven. Then there are seven trumpets. Then there are seven bowls…

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