Sunday, February 4, 2018

U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

The vote to condemn the plan to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem on December 21, 2017 met much resistance at the United Nations. The vote was 128 against, 9 in favor, and 35 abstentions.

It is strangely interesting that this vote came just after Hanukkah, historically when the Jewish people had to fight the Greeks for control of their land. This time, instead of the Greeks, Israel is fighting the United Nations over almost the same issue.


The vote verifies the tensions about Jerusalem that Zechariah wrote about 2,500 years ago. The tensions will eventually lead to a great battle over Jerusalem. Zechariah 14:2 states, "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle...". That battle will end with the return of Jesus to the Mt. of Olives (in East Jerusalem). The battle will be an unfortunate event, but the return of Jesus is WELCOME! Zechariah 14:9 states that immediately following, Jesus will become King over the whole earth.

Meanwhile, it would be wise for the nations to be careful how they deal with God's chosen city, Jerusalem. Zechariah states, "Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around..."It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it..."In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem..."And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem". (quoted from Zechariah 12:2-9).

As we await the soon return of the Lord to be King on earth, may He rule in our hearts as King today!

Gary M Fisher

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Jerusalem in Recent Bible Prophecy

The Significance of the USA Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's Capital


Recently on December 6, 2017 President Donald Trump of the United States of America recognized the city of Jerusalem as the capital of the nation of Israel. The significance of this cannot be underestimated. Jerusalem is mentioned more than any other city in Scripture: more than 800 times. It is named in 660 verses in the Old Testament, and in 142 verses in the New Testament.  Jerusalem appears in some two-thirds of the books of the Old Testament, and almost one-half of the books of the New Testament. While Jerusalem is its most common title, it also occurs under other names such as Zion, Salem, The City of David, and Ariel. It is symbolically named in allegory as “Hagar and Mount Sinai in Arabia” (Galatians 4:25) and in prophecy as “Sodom and Egypt” (Revelation 11:8). Of the over 800 biblical references, 465 in the Old Testament and 24 in the New Testament refer to prophecies of Jerusalem yet future to the time they were stated.

First Mention of Jerusalem in The Bible

Genesis 14:18-20
18And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High. 19And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 and blessed be God Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him a tenth of all (ASV, 1901).

Jerusalem, formerly known as “Salem” first appears in the book of Genesis in the Bible where “Melchizedek, the king of Salem” blessed Abraham, the first Hebrew. “Melchizedek” is one of the most interesting characters in the Bible. Here he is said to be “priest of the God Most High”, and this is the first mention of a “priest” in the Bible. The title “God Most High” in Hebrew is El Elyon. This Hebrew title of God is found three times in these verses. It is only found elsewhere in once in Psalm 78: 35. Frequently we find the phrase “Most High” in other Bible passages, but only here and in Psalm 78 do we see the phrase “God Most High.” This designation has special significance, and verse 19 specifically states that God is the “possessor of heaven and earth”. It also means that Jehovah God had a relationship with “Melchizedek”, for “Melchizedek” was a follower and minister of the Lord of Heaven and Earth. Here “Melchizedek” is said to be both a priest and a king. Abram acknowledged Melchizedek as his superior, and seemed to recognize that God had revealed Himself to this man. In the New Testament and Psalm 110, “Melchizedek” is treated as a type of Jesus. He is never seen as the Lord Jesus. A type is an example or model of something else. The book of Hebrews says he was like the Son of God (Hebrews 5,6,7). What is important to realize is that Melchizedek is a representative of God as the text says “priest of the God Most High.” Abraham recognized this and gives Melchizedek a tithe of one-tenth of all he owned.

God Says Jerusalem is His Dwelling Place.

Here the psalmist declares that Jerusalem is God’s earthly dwelling place:

Psalm 76:1-3
1In Judah is God known: His name is great in Israel. 2In Salem also is his tabernacle, And his dwelling-place in Zion. 3There he brake the arrows of the bow; The shield, and the sword, and the battle, Selah (ASV, 1901). 

Jerusalem is a very special place in God’s plan for this earth, and He can do with it as He pleases:
Psalm 87:2

2Jehovah loveth the gates of Zion More than all the dwellings of Jacob. 3Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God (ASV, 1901).

Moreover, it is this city alone to which God took up His residence in the Tabernacle, resided in the Temple, and sacrificed Himself in the Lord Jesus. The Psalmist again states:

Psalm 132:13-14
13For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. 14This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it(ASV, 1901).
As a result, Jerusalem is both the Holy City, and the city at the center of the world (Ezekiel 5:5).

God Gave the Land of Israel to The Jews

Joshua 1:2-4
2Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, to you have I given it, as I spake unto Moses. 4From the wilderness, and this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your border” (ASV, 1901). 

After the death of Moses, God made Joshua the key figure to fulfill His program. His instructions were very explicit. Joshua was to lead the people across the Jordan River into the land that God was about to give to them. It is entirely God’s right to give Canaan to the Israelites for He owns all the earth. The psalmist affirmed this:

Psalm 24:1
1The earth is Jehovah’s, and the fulness thereof; The world, and they that dwell therein,(ASV, 1901). 

God Gives Jerusalem to The Nation Israel

II Samuel 5:6-10
6And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither; thinking, David cannot come in hither. 7Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion; the same is the city of David. 8And David said on that day, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites, let him get up to the watercourse, and smite the lame and the blind, that are hated of David’s soul. Wherefore they say, There are the blind and the lame; he cannot come into the house. 9And David dwelt in the stronghold, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward. 10And David waxed greater and greater; for Jehovah, the God of hosts, was with him” (ASV, 1901). 

The Jews were now given the city of Jerusalem for their capital because God was with King David, and caused him to grow ever more powerful in terms of enlarging his dominions for Israel. The Jews were subject to the conditional Mosaic Covenant, and they were apt to lose their occupation of the land if they were disobedience to God’s Law. But they would never the title to it (Leviticus 26:3-45). Furthermore, He promised to always love them regardless of whether they sinned or not. Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Babylonians because of their disobedience. Jeremiah 31:38 tells us the city will be rebuilt later, and God described two characteristics of this new city of Jerusalem. First, it will be “holy to the Lord” (Zechariah 14:20–21). The city and its inhabitants will be set apart to God, who will dwell in her midst (Ezekiel 48:35). Second, the city will no more be uprooted or demolished. The ravages of war will not be experienced in this new city. However, these verses were not fulfilled after the Babylonian Captivity ended because the Jews did not cease from sin, or recognize God when He appeared in the Lord Jesus. As a result, the city that was rebuilt by Ezra and the returning Jews from Babylon, and was expanded upon until the time of Jesus was destroyed again in A.D. 70 by the Romans. The new city of Jerusalem spoken of by the prophets Jeremiah, Zechariah and Ezekiel will be fully restored as Bible says, but not until the Messianic Kingdom (Ezekiel 40-48). From the time after the Roman destruction until the Zionist movement of the late 1800’s the land was not again occupied by the Jews. God told the Jews through the prophet Ezekiel that He would lead them back to the land in stages starting with the Zionist movement (Ezekiel 37:1-14). Those stages are:
  • The Zionist Movement
  • The end of World War I and the establishment of the Mandate
  • End of World War II and the creation of the sovereign State of Israel
  • The National Regeneration of Israel and beginning of the Messianic Kingdom
In the prophecy of Ezekiel 37:1-14 the valley is covered with bones. Ezekiel also makes the observation that there was a large volume of the bones, and they “were very dry”. These bones were scattered about and not in piles. This is an indication that they were not produced in a single event, but over a great length of time, and no vivid life had been in them for an extended period. For example, from the time of the last invasion of Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. to the rebirth of the nation Israel in 1948, Israel had been without life for 2,534 years. This is quite in keeping with the Lord statement of “the Times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24).
The Times of the Gentiles
Jerusalem occupies a strategic position with respect to two major prophetic periods: “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) and the Allied Invasion led by the Russians (Ezekiel 38-39). “The times of the Gentiles” are that long period of time from the Babylonian captivity (586 B.C.) until the Second Coming of Jesus. In “the times of the Gentiles” the Lord Jesus said that Jerusalem would be trodden down by the Gentiles until that time period ended, and during this time the Gentiles have control over the city of Jerusalem. There have been times of temporary Jewish control over the city. For example:
  • Maccabean Period (164-63 B.C.)
  • First Jewish Revolt against Rome (A.D. 66-70)
  • The second Jewish Revolt (the Bar-Kochba Revolt) against Rome (A.D. 132-135)
  • As part of the end of 1967 Six-Day War
Any Jewish takeover of the city before the Second Coming is temporary, because Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles for at least another 3 ½ years during the Great Tribulation (Revelation 11:1-2). Thus, the current situation of Jerusalem as of 2017 does not mean that “the times of the Gentiles” have ended. “The times of the Gentiles” can only end when Gentiles cannot “tread down” Jerusalem any more.

The times of the Gentiles” is also the period of time when Gentile empires will follow one another in sequence, with the Fourth Empire of imperialism going through several different stages. But eventually this will give way to God’s setting up His Own Kingdom. So even though the Jews won through battle in 1967 for the control of Jerusalem, their presence there has been disputed by the eastern block of nations, including Russia and the Islamic nations. The affirmation of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital city by the United States is one link in the sequence of events in “the times of the Gentiles”. It is important to realize that the United States, through President Harry Truman, was the first nation to recognize the modern state of Israel in 1948 after they declared their independence. Now President Donald Trump is officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol. These affirmation of Israel, and Jerusalem’s sovereignty, are much in keeping with the blessings promised in the Abrahamic Covenant.

The Abrahamic Covenant is the first unconditional covenant that God made with Israel.  The Abrahamic Covenant promised a seed, land, and blessings. As such, these three major promises of this Covenant were personal promises to Abraham, national promises to Israel, and universal promises to all the people of the earth. God promised that He would bless Abraham and make him a blessing to others, to make his name great, to give him many descendants, to make him the father of a multitude of nations, to give him the land of Canaan for always and to “bless them that blessed Abraham and to curse them that cursed him” (Genesis 12; 13; 15 & 17). God also made national promises concerning Israel. They are to make a great nation of his descendants, to give land from the eastern most branch of the Nile delta (called the river of Egypt) to the Euphrates to his descendants forever, and to give the Abrahamic covenant to his descendants forever (Genesis 17:19; 21; 26:2-4; Genesis 28:12-15). As a result of these promises, we can see the period after the Second World War as having unprecedented prosperity to the United States of America, thus fulfilling God’s promise to bless those who bless Israel. We can look forward to addition prosperity following President Trump’s affirmation of Israel’s capitol as Jerusalem.

However, as expected, the Muslim Arab nations are violently reacting to President Trump’s declaration. This may trigger the allied invasion as described in Ezekiel 38 & 39. It will at the very least cause the allies of Russia to desire the invasion in a stronger manner.

The world is setting the stage for this prophecy to be fulfilled by various peace negotiations, demanding that Israel give up land, and most importantly, constantly threatening their security. The biblical text as stated in Ezekiel 38:1-39:16 describe an invasion of Israel from the north, and the subsequent total destruction of the coalition of invading forces once they reach the area of “the mountains of Israel”. It appears that there is a preemptive attack by the Israelites with a nuclear weapons exchange that results in a seven-year clean-up period. The unidentified person who will be leading this alliance is named in Ezekiel 38:2 as “Gog”. Some have referred to Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the notorious Russian Jew hater, as the one who would be “Gog”. It could also be Vladimir Putin, the present Russian president.

The various nations that will invade Israel have their origin in Genesis. In the two charts below, notice that the names of the Genealogy of Noah/Japheth colored in blue in the first chart are the same names, among others, listed in the second chart naming those who invade Israel:

Chart by The Author

Invading Nation of Israel from Gog and Magog War Ezek. 38 & 39 Art by Daniel Woodhead

God’s love for Israel underlies His promises to protect them and His Land by decimating the invaders of His land. God Almighty has had enough, and His fury is unleashed. This invasion of Israel is equilivant to the cup of iniquity being full, the apple of God’s eye being touched, and the Wife of Jehovah being violated, thus arousing God’s anger so that He moves out in judgment to destroy the invading army. Several causes of destruction are listed, and these include an earthquake civil war breaking out among the invading soldiers, pestilence, blood, flood, hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Since these things totally destroy the invading army without the aid of other nations, God’s purpose is seen as succeeding in its objective. God is indeed sanctified in the eyes of many people.

Prelude to the Messianic Kingdom

This invasion is immanent and could occur at any time. With the recent announcement of moving the United States embassy to Jerusalem, the Muslins have been rioting, and shooting rockets into Israel. Russia has been relatively quiet, only making slight affirmation of disagreement with the United States’ announcement, and thus affirming their allegiance to their Muslin allies. Once this invasion occurs it will trigger a major step in “the times of the Gentiles”. It will remove all the eastern bloc Islamic nations as well as Russia from political prowess on the world stage. This will pave the way for super dominance by the western democracies, and usher in the one world government. Later following this, the Antichrist will emerge as the sole leader.

It is necessary to have some basic realization of power in human relationships. This power over the world shifts from person to person and empire to empire. All the while though, God remains in control at least 2 ways. He creates, or makes things happen (His Creative Will), and He allows things to happen (His Permissive Will). All the events that lead up to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom are affected by both God’s Creative Will and His Permissive Will. It is important to direct our attention to the Fourth Gentile Empire, described in Daniel Chapter 2 and 7, which is included in the chart below:

Chart drawn by Cathy Bateson

Both Daniel passages in Chapters 2 & 7 make it clear that the Fourth Gentile Empire begins with the end of the Third Gentile Empire, which was Greece, and continues until Messiah comes to set up His Kingdom. The Fourth Empire is an Imperialistic Empire. Imperialism is simply a policy of extending a country’s influence through diplomacy or military force.

This Fourth Empire is diverse from all the rest. It goes through five distinct stages. Rome is only the first of the stages. Rome is not the name of the successive stages. I realize that some Bible teachers believe that there will be a revival of the old Roman Empire, but the text never says this. It is man’s speculation that leads to that idea. What Rome did that was different than all the other empires was to establish the imperialist form of government. It is this form that the Bible speaks of as the Fourth Gentile Empire, not just Rome. There is no break or gap in the imperialist form of government on the earth from the initiation of the Roman Empire until Christ returns. Nowhere in Scripture is this stated. This form will go through five successive stages. We need to study those to see where history fits in this exposition.

  1. The United Stage-Rome is the first stage of the imperialist form of government. The first stage, or the United Stage, started about 43 B.C and lasted until A.D. 364. However, there were five types of government that Rome went through from its origin and subsequent development, which is referenced in Daniel chapter seven.
  2. The second stage or the Empire of Imperialism was the Two Division Stage. This stage was foreseen by Daniel 2 (Legs of Iron), but not by Daniel 7. It began in A.D. 364 when Emperor Valentinian divided the Roman Empire into an east and west division. There was an earlier division in A.D. 285 that was of short duration. The Emperor Constantine in A.D. 312-313 reunited the empire. The A.D. 364 division was permanent. The Western Headquarters was in Rome and the Eastern Headquarters was in Constantinople. This lasted until A.D.1453 when it collapsed in the Turkish invasion. When Constantinople fell the political rulers, scribes, and scholars fled north into Russia, infiltrated the government there, and set up an imperialist form of government. The rulers called themselves Czars, which is Russian for “Caesar.” Later Russia began calling itself the Third Roman Empire. Eventually the eastern balance of power was centered in the Soviet Union and included the Communist block of nations. When European communism collapsed, the eastern balance of power shifted to Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Presently power transfers are still occurring, with Islam becoming a major eastern power. More settling is sure to occur in the future until this Two-Division Stage gives way to the as of yet future One-World Government Stage (The Allied Invasion).   The western division of power remained in Rome from A.D. 364 until A.D. 476 when Rome fell. From there it shifted to France, especially the power gained by Charlemagne in A.D. 800. He called his domain the Holy Roman Empire of the Frankish Nation. In A.D. 962 Otto I of Germany defeated the Franks and set up the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The leaders called themselves Kaiser, which is German for “Caesar.” Since then, especially after World War I, the western balance of power has been centered in the democratic nations of the west. So, the Two-Division Stage, which began in A. D. 364, continues to this day and there may be some shifting yet to come before the east-west balance becomes the third stage.
  3. All the remaining 3 stages of the Empire of Imperialism are yet future to us today in 2017.  Daniel 7:23 clearly states that at some time the Fourth Empire will “devour the whole earth”. Rome never did this. Rome did not even extend to the borders conquered by the Greeks under Alexander the Great. The Imperialist form of government will at some time exercise control over the whole earth.   Rome must not be seen as the total of the Fourth Empire, but as only one stage of the Empire of Imperialism.  The Allied invasion of Israel, which will occur prior to the Great Tribulation, will cause the Russian and Muslim nations to lose their authority. (Ezekiel 38:1-39:16) This event will give way to the One-World Government Stage. 
  4. The Ten-Division Stage is seen in both Daniel 2 with the ten toes, and in Daniel 7 with the ten horns. This stage is clearly stated to come out of the One World Government Stage. The Bible is silent as to why the division occurs. These ten kingdoms will cover the entire earth and not be limited to some specific continent such as Europe. They will begin sometime before the Great Tribulation, and continue into the middle of the Tribulation.  To be consistent with Daniel’s prophecy, perhaps one could consider the Club of Rome’s recommendation that the world be divided up into ten administrative districts to avoid economic collapse. The Club of Rome is a global think tank, and center of worldly innovation and initiative. As a non-profit, non-governmental futurist organization, it brings together scientists, economists, businessmen, international high civil servants, heads of state and former heads of state from all five continents who are convinced that the future of humankind is not pre-ordained, and that each human being can contribute to the improvement of our societies.
  5. The Antichrist Stage follows the Ten-Kingdom Stage. The Antichrist rises to power during the Ten-Kingdom stage, uproots three of the ten kings, and the other seven submit to his authority. This then becomes the Stage of Absolute Imperialism. Once this submission occurs the Antichrist Stage officially begins. This stage is the fifth and final stage of Gentile World Imperialism.

It is very valuable to understand the course of “the times of the Gentiles” so we can get an understanding of biblical eschatology itself, and see that various world events clearly fall into line with God’s overall Plan.

Daniel E. Woodhead

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Christ is Superior to All Celestial Beings



Hebrews 1:10-2:8
10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11 they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. 13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit, on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation (KJV)?

The Creator Has Laid the Foundation of the Earth

Hebrews 1:10
10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands (KJV):
The text now continues to describe the creator and His handiwork expressed in Psalm 102:25-27. The Jewish person to whom our text was written would know the Psalms. The Psalms though affirm the creation account in Genesis. Only God can create. Mankind is not able to do this. He can manage, rearrange and form. He cannot create matter out of nothing ex nihlo. This is the Latin meaning for “out of nothing.” In the beginning is a direct reference to the creation of the physical property of time. When we ponder the concept of time we find it impossible to arrive at a suitable definition. Time is not uniform: It is a physical property that varies with mass, acceleration and gravity, among other things. Particle physicists insist that we exist in more dimensions than we are aware of. These are all products of the time domain.  What is important to understand is that time had a beginning is in existence now, is changing its properties, and will have an end. These are concepts the human cannot fully understand. Consider our awareness spectrum while we are in these bodies. We are aware of events transpiring at the present. We can remember the past. We cannot predict the future because we cannot see it. Now God who lives outside of time (not where there is a lot of time) knows the future. In fact, one might say “God Remembers Tomorrow!” Such is the unique characteristic of time and the limitation of knowing it that God has placed upon us.
The unity of the three components of our existence, time, matter and space are all independent and coterminous with the whole. The universe is not part time, matter and space. It is rather all space, time and matter.
Clearly God has given us multiple characteristics of what we cannot see. Nachmonides a Jewish rabbi from Spain in the 13th century taught that there are ten dimensions. Four are knowable such as the three spatial (height, width & depth) as well as time. The other six are “curled” into the four we are able to detect while in our bodies. We will see them all when we are released from these bodies at death when the angels come for us (Luke 16:22) or if the Lord comes for us first (I Thessalonians 4:14-17).
The use of the Hebrew word to create, Bara in Genesis 1:1 means that at some point God spoke the creation into being. God alone is infinite and omnipotent. God is the Creator who came to earth in the person of Jesus of Nazareth who the Bible says created all things (John 1). God also created the heavens. The heavens here refer to space. So, the beginning of time was then followed by the space of the universe. Our entire universe only consists of three components. They are space, time and matter. The Hebrew word shamayin is that used of the space component of the basic space-time-mass universe. This is followed by the Hebrew word erets, which is translated as earth but primarily refers to matter. Matter of course is anything that has weight and takes up space. At the time that matter was created there were no bodies in the heavens. They were created on the fourth day of the creation account in Genesis one. On the fourth day of creation God made the stars in the heavens.

Genesis 1: 14-18
14And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years: 15and let them be for lights in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16And God made the two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17And God set them in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth, 18and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good (ASV, 1901).



One of the reasons for making the stars in the heavens was for a sign. A sign signifies or represents something. One dictionary defines a sign as:
An object, quality, or event whose presence or occurrence indicates the presence or occurrence of something else
Signs therefore, are meant to lead one to something else. The sign itself is not the end meaning. It is the method employed to direct our attention to something else. In the stars God is the direct object the signs point to. We should realize that His entire creation which theologians call “general revelation,” speak to Him and coming from Him. In fact, God charges all mankind to know Him through the ‘signs” He has provided.
Romans 1: 20
20 For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse (KJV):
The heavenly bodies are the handiwork of God. God is trying to tell us things about Himself through the stars in the heavens. The heavens declare His creative output.
Psalm 19: 1-6
1The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament showeth his handiwork.2Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night showeth knowledge. 3There is no speech nor language; Their voice is not heard. 4Their line is gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And, rejoiceth as a strong man to run his course. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heavens, And, his circuit unto the ends of it; And there is nothing hid from the heat thereof (ASV, 1901). 
This psalm of David announces that the heavens declare the glory (splendor) of God’s handiwork. Verse one is a summary statement: the majestic Creation is evidence of the even more majestic Creator-God. The heavens continually (every day and every night) display the fact that there is a Creator. Even though Creation does not speak audibly as humans do its message goes out for all the earth to witness. The message from nature about the glory of God reaches all nations, and is equally intelligible to them all. It is a universal language.

The Creation is Temporary While God is Eternal

Hebrews 1:11-12
 11 they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail (KJV).

The Son is exalted above all.

Here Paul again quotes Psalm 102:25–27. He states six concepts from the Psalm.
  1. Jesus is superior in His basic existence.
  2. He is the Creator of the universe.
  3. The Son is sovereign over the changes in the universe.
  4. The Son is the unchangeable Lord in the midst of a changing universe.
  5. The Son is eternal.
  6. Jesus the Creator is eternal, the universe will someday be discarded like an old piece of cloth. In the words of Revelation 6:14: You will roll them up. In 2 Peter 3:10, the universe is destined to be dissolved. So, while He is eternal, the universe is temporary and a large portion of the matter will be destroyed (dissolved) in the Great Tribulation.


Our universe is comprised of only three components. They are matter, space and time. Since the Fall each of these are gradually dissolving due to entropy (gradual decay) that entered the creation. Peter is teaching that God is not bound by the time domain like we are.
The day of the Lord will hit the unbeliever with the suddenness and unexpectedness of a thief in the night. During the Great Tribulation, the heavens shall pass away with a great noise. The Old Testament passages to this statement are from Isaiah 3:13 and 34:4. Each of these Isaiah passages mention the same occurrence. Jesus spoke of these same things in His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:29). While the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, the earth will be burned up by the judgments of the Great Tribulation. Many of these are fiery judgments. For example, in the Trumpet Judgments of Revelation 8–9, the first, second, third, and sixth Trumpet Judgments are judgments of fire. In the Bowl Judgments of Revelation 16, the fourth Bowl Judgment is a judgment of fire. During the Great Tribulation, there will be a burning of the earth. In fact, somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of the earth’s surface will be destroyed during the Great Tribulation. In this case, Peter is not dealing with the total destruction of the globe by fire; he is referring to the surface of the earth. Contrary to the evolutionists claims, the earth is not eternal. This is the destruction of the matter spoken of by the Hebrews 11:11 passage.
Time has been decaying since the Fall after creation. Einstein came close in his quest to understand the basic fundamentals of energy in the universe. His general theory affirmed that there is no distinction between time and space. He saw time as bending, having a velocity and decaying. Time is not uniform: It is a physical property that varies with mass, acceleration, gravity, and light among other things. The speed of light similarly has been slowing down over the centuries since the Fall.



The velocity of light has been measured 164 times by 16 different methodologies over the last several hundred years. The net result of all these measurements is that light is slowing down over time. So, we can infer that if light has been slowing down for the last several centuries, then it must have been slowing down since the origin of time. For example, using the same regression as observed by the physicists we can surmise that light was 10-30% faster during the time Christ was on the earth (Cir. A.D. 33). We can then believe that light was 2 times faster during the time of Solomon (Cir. 900 B.C.)  If we go back further with the same regression to the time of Abraham (Cir. 2350 B.C.) light could have been 4 times faster than now. Using the same regression and understanding the decay caused by the “Fall” light could well have been 10 Million times as fast at the time of the creation and therefore light was able to be so fast as to travel almost instantaneous at creation so as to be at the origin (stars) and the earth almost at once.
Space also has properties which God controls. This Hebrew word rakeeah means to spread out or stretch. Some other places in Scripture where this same expression is used are
  1. Job 9:8 He alone stretches out the heavens.
  2. Psalm 104:2 The heavens are stretched out like a tent curtain.
  3. Isaiah 40: 22 God stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
  4. Jeremiah 10: 12 The Lord has stretched out the heavens.
  5. Zechariah 12:1 God stretched out the heavens.
These usages of the Hebrew word for stretch (rakeeah) are not quaint poetic hyperbole or exaggerations. They mean to express the properties of the heavens that we cannot see or fully understand. Space is not an empty vacuum. We have difficulty defining space and understanding the concept of the property of space. Scripture gives us some insight as to some of its properties.
  1. Space can be torn (Isaiah 64: 1);
  2. It can be worn out like a garment (Psalm 102: 25),
  3. It can be shaken (Hebrews 12:26; Haggai 2:6; Isaiah 13:13).
  4. It can be burnt up (II Peter 3:12).
  5. It can be split apart like a scroll (Revelation 6:14);
  6. It can be rolled up like a mantle (Hebrews 1:12) or scroll (Isaiah 34: 4).
So just like a garment space can be rolled up, folded and put away. But, God exists outside of time. We have a tendency to call this eternity. In the first verse in the Bible we are told that God existed before the beginning or to say it another way before the beginning of time began. In fact, the apostle Paul writing to Timothy stated the same thing in:
II Timothy 1: 9a
9For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time (NLT)
We need to realize that the New Testament affirms one component of Genesis 1: 1 by stating that God acted before time began. God was in existence before any creation efforts were put forth. It has often been pointed out that coming to an understanding of the early chapters of Genesis and believing them makes the rest of the Bible easy to understand and believe. These early verses demonstrate the degree of control over all things that God has and exercises. Paul is affirming these things with verse 12 when he says, “but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” All things are in a state of decay until the Lord returns and establishes His Kingdom on this earth. At that time, the earth will receive a renovation. The speed of light will increase seven-fold (Isaiah 30:26), which will be a major factor in the renovation of the earth. In fact, with the light speeding up time will also change. One observation the Scripture gives us to affirm that is the longevity of the human during the Messianic Kingdom.

Peace By William Sttrutt Cir 1896 depicting Isaiah 11:6-7

The Land will be well watered, produce abundant food and have a major (Seven-fold) increase in light. All physical infirmities will be healed. The speed of light has been significantly faster closer to the creation than it is now. This will be the reason for an increase in life longevity in the Millennium. Again, God says:
Isaiah 65: 20
20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed (ASV, 1901).

The Angels are Servants

Hebrews 1:13-14
13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit, on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation (KJV)?
This is a quote from Psalm 110:1 which the Jewish people of the first century considering the claims of Christ and those who being born again entered the Church knew well. Essentially, angels function as priestly messengers especially for them who shall be heirs of salvation.
Their activities can be summarized as that of:
  1. The worship of God (Isaiah 6:3; Rev. 4:8)
  2. As messengers of God (Daniel 9:22; Luke 1:11, 26; 2:9; Revelation 1:1)
  3. As soldiers in spiritual combat (Daniel 10:13f; Revelation 12:7)
  4. As ministers to God’s people (Hebrews 1:14)
In their service to God, they are seen as attendants around His throne, waiting to serve Him and do His bidding (Psalm 103:20; Isaiah 6:1f; Job 1:6; 2:1; Revelation. 5:11; 8:1f), as worshippers in praise of Him (Isaiah 6:3; Psalm 148:1-2; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 5:12), as observers who rejoice over what He does (Job 38:6-7; Luke 2:12-13; 15:10), as soldiers in battle with Satan (Revelation 12:7), and as instruments of His judgments (Revelation 7:1; 8:2). In relation to the nation of Israel, Michael, the archangel, functions as their guardian (Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9). In relation to other nations, they watch over rulers and nations (Daniel 4:17) and seek to influence their human leaders (Daniel 10:21; 11:1). In the Tribulation, they will be the agents God uses to pour out His judgments (Revelation 8-9 and 16).
With the plan of God centering in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, they naturally perform many services for the Savior.
They predicted His birth (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:26-28), and then announced his birth (Luke 2:8-15). An angel warned Joseph to take Mary and the baby Jesus and flee into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15), and an angel directed the family to return to Israel after Herod died (Matthew 2:19-21).
In relation to His suffering, angels ministered to Him after His temptation (Matthew 4:11), in His stress in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:43), and Jesus said He could have called a legion of angels who stood ready to come to His defense if He so desired (Matthew 26:53).



In relation to His resurrection, an angel rolled away the stone from the tomb (Matthew 28:1-2), angels announced His resurrection to the women on that Resurrection morning (Matthew 5-6; Luke 24:5-7), and angels were present at His ascension and gave instruction to the disciples (Acts 1:10-11).
In relation to His coming again, the voice of the archangel will be heard at the translation of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:16), they will accompany Him in His glorious return to earth (Matthew 25:31; 2 Thessalonians 1:7) and they will separate the wheat from the tares at Christ’s second coming (Matthew 13:39-40).
In Relation to the Church: Hebrews 1:14 describes their ministry as “ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation.” In this, however, Scripture points to a number of specific ministries: they bring answers to prayer (Acts 12:5-10), they help in bringing people to the Savior (Acts 8:26; 10:3), they may encourage in times of danger (Acts 27:23-24), and they care for God’s people at the time of death (Luke 16:22).
In all of these activities in which the celestial beings engage, Jesus the Creator is Superior……

Daniel E. Woodhead

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Rapture and the Resurrection

Dr. Daniel E. Woodhead has a new video series titled, "The Rapture and the Resurrection". In this video Dr. Woodhead, Dr. Gary Fisher along with Dr. Todd Baker discuss the Rapture and Resurrection of the Church.


The Rapture and The Resurrection

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six

Thursday, May 25, 2017

2017 A.D - Anniversary of Two Major Historical Developments - by Gary M Fisher


We celebrate two major developments in world history this year. They both have major spiritual importance and both have huge prophetic significance!

One - Protestant Reformation in 1517. The Reformation is 500 years old now and is still on. The historic ramifications of the Reformation are huge!  The Reformation was responsible for the correction of many church corruptions. In addition, the birth of many different denominational expressions of Christianity were birthed. Missionaries have been sent all over the world and millions have been saved from these resulting denominations.

Two - Balfour Declaration of 1917 - The second, and perhaps more sobering and prophetically impacting, was the Balfour Declaration. This was the document in which the British Government recognized the need to establish a Jewish homeland.

    The Jewish people had been scattered all over the world beginning in 70A.D. by the Romans, who renamed the Jewish homeland  "Palestine". Subsequently, the empires of the old world absorbed the area into their boundaries. The latest of these, the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), controlled "Palestine" for 400 years. Turkey had sided with Germany in WW1 and shared in Germany's defeat. This left the British Government to decide the fate of the Middle East and the territory now known as Israel. As a result of Balfour, Britain declared "Palestine", later named Israel in 1948, as a homeland for the Jewish people.

    Officially, there was no Israel for Jewish people to return to until the twentieth century Balfour Declaration. Those who were students of Bible prophecy were greatly enthused by this development! Why? Scripture calls for a restoring of Israel from all over the world in the last days (Jer. 23:8, Eze.36:24). The Messiah, Jesus, promised to return to a restored Israel (Zech, 14). We are the first generation in almost 2,000 years that has seen one develop. Now that one is developing, the return of Jesus is more in view than ever! Today would be good! Are you ready? If not, follow the words recorded in Romans 10:9, "...if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved". Do it today!
--
Gary M. Fisher is the founder and director of Lion of Judah Ministry. The Ministry was founded in 1994. Since then, Gary has spoken in many churches, served as radio host, teacher, conference speaker, and television guest.  Gary is also on the Board of Theology in Perspective, a parent corporation in Michigan which hosts Scofield Bible Institute and Theological Seminary. He holds an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Scofield Seminary, and serves as adjunct faculty member at the Seminary. He is the writer of the Ministry's newsletter, The Trumpeter, a newsletter that features commentary on current events and how they relate to the soon return of Jesus. Gary writes and manages the articles and information on the ministry website (www.lionofjudahministry.org - his website is temporarily down). He also serves as tour host and leader of the Ministry's sponsored tours of Israel.  Find him at his Facebook page - Gary M Fisher  as well as his ministry's Facebook page: Lion of Judah Ministry. Videos from his last Israel trip along with many articles and comments are available.
 



Friday, May 19, 2017

Seven Reasons Every Christian Should Study Jewish History

By Brad W Maston

7 Reasons Why Every Christian Should Study Jewish History…
With so many Biblically illiterate Christians in the world today it could be argued that a knowledge of Jewish History should take a back seat to Christians learning more about the Bible.   To this point, I happily concede.  It ought never to be the case that a believer should pursue any extra-biblical scholarly endeavor over their study and application of the Bible.  It is Bible study that brings growth and equipment for the Spiritual Life.  This is beyond question, biblically speaking.
With the above point written, it must also be admitted that there are other disciplines of knowledge and understanding which have monumental benefit to every believer.  I have known many believers who would have benefitted immensely from a good course in simple logic, or even in basic reading!  Rather than list each of these disciplines which may bless a believer I would submit to the reader 7 reasons why Christians ought to be literate in Jewish History:

1 – Jewish History is primarily found in the Bible

The bulk of the account of the Hebrew people is found in the Bible.  Starting with Abraham who lived around 2000 BC and continuing through the Gospel accounts to the end of the epistles there is no way to understand the Bible without a working understanding of Jewish History and Culture.  For a believer to have even a functional understanding of the Bible they must know more about Jewish History than most American’s know about American History.  Having had such a solid start it is very natural for a Christian to want to learn more about the history of this people group on into the present day.
2 – The Jews are God’s beloved earthly people

God tells the Jews repeatedly how He feels about her.  In fact, this language is so tender and warm that the Church frequently tries to hijack these terms and apply them to ourselves.  However, the statements made to ethnic Israel are striking.  Deuteronomy 4:37-38 gives us much of this language:

Deuteronomy 4:37-38

37"And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, 38driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day (NKJV).
God tells them that He has an attitude toward the ethnic Israel: Love.  He acted upon that attitude and chose them and their descendants forever.  That choice resulted in God delivering them by a special exercise of His divine power, and provided for them by giving them the Land of Israel as a permanent possession.
Zechariah records God’s attitude towards Israel:

Zechariah 2:8
“For thus says the LORD of hosts: "He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye (NKJV).

If you have ever felt the scrape of any foreign object upon your eyeball, you know the power of this metaphor.  The way that a person will flinch, seize up, draw back, and throw their hands over their face to protect their eyes is a picture for God’s loving association with Israel.  The God who loved and saved the believer in Christ by grace through faith feels this way about the Jewish people.  does it not make great sense that the believer would have a similar interest and love for those whom God takes such special care?

3 – The Survival and the success of the Jewish people is a sign of the trustworthy nature of the Bible and the God revealed therein.

God made earthly promises to the people of Israel.  The Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12, 15, 17), The Land Covenant (Deuteronomy 30), the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7) and the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31) are all filled with permanent and eternal language of God’s faithful and forever promises to the Hebrew people in their promised ancestral homeland.  This means that if the Jewish people were wiped out then it would be clear that the Bible would be false and the God revealed in the Bible a sham. 
This, however, is not the case.  The uncanny survival of the Jewish people isn’t only the remarkable tale of a courageous and innovative ethnic group: it is the story of the  faithfulness  of Almighty God who has staked His very word and character upon His ability to preserve and protect a particular ethnic group. While Edomites, Amalakites, and the whole host of other ancient peoples are long since forgotten the Jews persist on – because God, Himself, wills it to be so.  The story of the Jewish people is a story that God is still telling now – and it is wonderful in our sight.

4 – Jewish History and Culture still speak of, and give powerful illustration of, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

While the destruction of the temple has changed all of the great Jewish Holy Days to one degree or another there is no question that the modern celebrations still attest to the accuracy of the Bible – and point to the Messiah.  Steven Ger and Zola Levitt, among many others, have done amazing work in looking at the messianic foreshadowing and meaning to each of the Jewish feasts.  I will not attempt to summarize those volumes of study here.  This article will content itself to say that the entire Jewish calendar still speaks of Jesus Christ – each observance cries out with more information about the Savior.  While many of the modern observations have changed over the last two thousand there is no question about the original purpose of those feasts (to point to Messiah) has been substantially preserved and is still of amazing value to the one seeking to know Jesus fully.

5 – Knowing more about the Jewish History will give confidence, compassion and grace when sharing the Gospel with Jewish people who have not yet trusted Christ.

By God’s grace, the Jews are plentiful today.  Throughout the world they live and move and continue to bless the societies in which they have part.  Yet for many Christians it can be very difficult to understand why the Jewish people don’t come to Christ more easily.  On the other end of the spectrum we find that Christians will often avoid sharing the Gospel with Jewish people at all, assuming that they are somehow not candidates for salvation by faith through grace in Jesus Christ.  The mix of confusion and trepidation come, in many cases, from a lack of understanding.
Until a person knows what a great amount of persecution the Jewish people have received at the hands of so-called Christians we cannot see clearly why the gospel message is so disturbing. Throughout History various “churches” caused unspeakable damage to the collective psyche of the Jewish people.  Not only that, but the unsubtle Anti-Semitism of the common Christian error that the Church has replaced Israel and assumed her blessings is not missed by the Jewish People at large.  If we don’t understand the Bible and Jewish History correctly we become another set of people who stole the greatest legacy of the Jewish people, appropriated it to ourselves and then declared that they are no longer allowed unless they become “like us”.  Even a cursory understanding of the Jewish people gives the Christian a sensitivity and understanding to share the good news of the Messiah with sensitivity and love – and show that Jesus came to be the Jewish Messiah – not to end Judaism but to be its consummating leader and representative.

6 – Jesus IS Jewish.

Without question, Jesus Christ’s life and earthly ministry is the centerpiece of the Biblical record – and Jesus was ethnically Jewish, He was raised in a Jewish household and lived His entire earthly life in the predominately Jewish world of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria.
  Every moment of Jesus earthly life was dominated by things that we would now say are Jewish in every way.  His diet was dictated by Kosher laws.  His schedule was rooted in the rhythm of the observation of Sabbath and the Jewish calendar.  Those who were considered wise would have been the teachers of the Law, and Jesus himself would have learned to read Hebrew at their feet as a young child. 
The New Testament provides clear proof that Jesus observed all of the Jewish feasts and Holidays and, while He challenged MANY Jewish Rabbinic traditions of His day He never broke the Law of Moses.  When Jesus argued with people, he did so in the Jewish style, using the Hebrew Scriptures.  When He returns it will be as the Jewish Messiah reigning over the Jewish Nation from the throne of Israel. 

7 – The Jewish People still have a large part to play in the Conclusion of God’s Redemption of Planet Earth

Finally, the story of the Jewish people is not even nearly over.  The History of the Jewish people is amazing, and striking, miraculous and hopeful – but it many ways it is just getting started.  The next major period of prophecy that lay ahead for the planet earth is known popularly as the Great Tribulation.  God will remove the Church from the earth and return His focus to the fulfillment of all of His covenant promises to Israel.  This is what beguiles the non-literal interpreter so greatly about Revelation.   The central story is that of the Jewish people once again, and the non-literal interpreter must try and imagine a way to remove or replace every single time a reference is made to what is clearly ethnic Israel and the Jewish people.  While the schemes of these various well-meaning theologians are very clever at times the biggest weakness is this:  They are unnecessary.  The plain sense of God’s faithfulness to the Jewish people makes sense.  There is no need to allegorize or re-interpret their simple meaning – it is absurdly clear.  No matter how clever the scheme, or how convincing the argument, it always crumbles in the face of the reality that there was never any need for the devised explanation.  The Study of Jewish History is the study of what the Lord is doing to prepare for the next major step in human History.  To be sure, no one knows the day or the hour, but by watching Israel we can appreciate the majestic and powerful plan of God – whether Jesus returns tomorrow, or yet a thousand years hence.
This is a wonderful time to live on planet earth for many reasons.  The greatest reason is the amazing amount of information that is now available.  For many people learning more about the story of God’s people is only a click away.  So many wonderful resources are available to this end.  While every resource used must be read with discernment there are more good resources available than ever before.  Oh believer, take advantage of this opportunity – of this wealth of information with which God has made clear His character, His plan and His will.  To learn about the Chosen People is to learn about the Faithful and Almighty God who Chose them. 


Author Bio

Bradley W. Maston is a Pastor at Fort Collins Bible Church in Fort Collins, Colorado (www.fortcollinsbiblechurch.com).  He holds a BA in Music from Colorado State University, an MA in Biblical Studies from Channel Islands Bible College and Seminary and is currently studying and teaching at Scofield Biblical Institute and Theological Seminary in pursuit of a Ph. D. in Jewish Studies.  He is the author of several books and commentaries which are available in print and electronic format at Amazon.com the most recent of which is  A Brief History of the Jewish People.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Resurrection Day, 2017 - Bobby Hayes

Bobby Hayes taught at Scofield Bible Study on Good Friday and the Resurrection (2 parts).  CLICK HERE TO LISTEN