Current Events (16)

Sunday, 24 August 2014 21:54

Hhamas = 'Violence'

Written by
Once again, the world is lining up against Israel in their ongoing conflict with Hamas in the Gaza strip. It’s a one-way street of world opinion that is difficult to watch. The violence that Hamas commits against Israel is always excused as the result of Israel's 'occupation' of their land. Meanwhile, Israel’s efforts to defend themselves against the incessant attacks by Hamas are always condemned as heavy handed. And the media makes sure that the world sees it that way by tirelessly and dutifully demonizing Israel at every turn. Given all this, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn recently pointed out a 'millennial age' passage in Isaiah chapter 60 that I find very interesting, since He gives us an astounding word play that may speak to this particular Arab-Israeli conflict;

"No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise." (Isaiah 60:18)

Hamas 2While most of us have probably breezed though this verse in the past without giving it much thought, it’s fascinating that the word we translate in English as 'violence' is in Hebrew 'Hhamas', the very name of Israel's antagonist in the Gaza Strip. In other words, the English Hamas is actually 'Hhamas' in Hebrew, and the text can literally read this way;

"No longer will Hhamas be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise." (Isaiah 60:18)

Now, some will argue that this word 'Hhamas' generally means 'zeal' in Arabic, so we shouldn’t jump to this conclusion. However, God has demonstrated time and again His love for word plays, puns, and poetry while transmitting His word, and the irony of this passage suggests that this may be one of those instances. So while we’re at it, let’s examine the ancient pictographic Hebrew meaning for 'Hhamas' to see if any additional relevant information can be gleaned form this Hebrew word, which as always, reads from right-to-left;

Hhamas





Sin Mah Chets
THORN WAVES WALL
Grab Chaos Outside
Hate Mighty Divide
Protect Blood Half

From these letters you can see how the pronunciation unfolds. The ‘chets’ actually requires the speaker to make a harsh ‘Hh’ sound from the back of their throat, followed by a ‘mah’ and then an ‘s’ sound. Altogether, it would roll off the tongue as ‘Hha-mah-s’. And each of these pictographs contained a small family of potential meanings (in a column under each picture) whose combined meanings would form the thoughts that would represent a particular word. So in this case when we combine the individual pictographs into a cohesive unit, some of the potential meanings would be the following;

'Wall of Chaos and Hate'
'Dividing through Chaos and Hate'
'Outside the Blood of Protection'
'Outside of Mighty Protection'
'Dividing through Chaos and Grabbing'
'Dividing through Waves of Hate'
'Wall of Blood and Hate'
'A Wall of Waves and Thorns'
'A Wall of Blood and Thorns'

Is it any wonder why Hhamas means ‘violence’ in Hebrew. Virtually everything suggested by the pictographs suggests violence, separation, and destruction. This is profound when we weigh these meanings against the prophecies contained in the Bible that speak to the complete destruction of the 'Philistines' in the last days, because the Philistines historically occupied what is today the Gaza Strip. And of course, the Gaza is governed by the terrorist group Hhamas, who one day will "no longer be heard" in the land.
Tuesday, 10 July 2012 15:37

Martyrs in the Millions?

Written by
Hitler told us what he would do to the Jews.  He even wrote a book about it.  But we didn't take him seriously until he actually did what he promised. Then we watched in horror as millions of innocent men, women and children were exterminated in the Nazi death camps.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has also told us what he intends to do to the Jews. He intends to "wipe them from the face of the earth". But it seems we also don't take HIM seriously, even though he too intends to follow through on those promises in order to bring forth his messiah figure, the 12th Imam.

Now, we have Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi's own cleric telling the world what the Muslim Brotherhood is about to do to the Jews. They intend to march to Jerusalem en masse in order to exterminate the Jewish people and take Jerusalem as their capitol.  And still, nobody in the West seems to be taking them seriously.  Even to our own State Department in the United States, this Arab Spring is merely the Muslim people in North Africa making their bid for democracy. 

*sigh*

Democracy and Islam are antithetical. Where there is Islam, there can be no democracy. As I've mentioned in so many other posts on this website, Islam is intent on ruling the world, period. Their law is Sharia, and democracy will never be allowed. Please keep this in mind as you view the following video, which clearly shows President Mursi's intent, as expressed by his cleric, while he himself sits on the stage nodding in agreement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvlRfnOQpus

So I'm wondering.......will our government continue to ignore and/or encourage these threats until the Jewish people are once again savaged?  I think the answer is 'yes', and if America stands down and allows it to occur.......we'd better buckle up for our own judgment. There will be no peace for America if Israel falls again on our watch.
Monday, 12 March 2012 22:23

Trip to Israel

Written by
Although this is clearly not an end times topic, I thought it might be interesting to post the photos of our latest excursion, this time to the nation of Israel.  We went about a month before the prime touring season begins, so it was still a little cold and damp during our visit, but very rewarding just the same.


Bet_Shean_Amphitheater
This is the amphitheater at Bet She'an, which got its notoriety in the Bible as the place where King Saul was killed in battle.

Bet She'an was a rather wealthy city located in a beautiful valley, but it was destroyed during a massive earthquake when the soil in the valley above the city was liquified, completely burying the city in a mudslide.  It has since been entirely excavated, which has revealed a city that was undoubtedly very wealthy.








Jordan_Valley_-_Bet_Shean
This is the view of the Jordan Valley from atop the hill at Bet She'an, which was the location of the Egyptian Governor's residence.  You can still see Egyptian hieroglyphics on many of the stone monuments at this site.














Dan_City_Gate
This is the gate of the ancient city of Dan in the Golan Heights, and it was interesting to see how these city walls and gates were constructed, and how the approaches to the gates were always uphill in order to make it more difficult for siege works and battering rams to succeed.  All of the ancient cities were built with security as top priority.












Synagogue_at_Capernaum
These are the ruins of the synagogue at Capernaum where Jesus attended and taught. Simon Peter's home is not far from this location, which is on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.















Pans_Grotto
This is Pan's Grotto located at the base of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, and this is where the Temple to Pan existed, along with other false deity worship.  It's also where Jesus taught that the 'Gates of Hell' (Pan's Grotto) would not overcome His church.

If you refer to the prior post on 'Azazel' in this section, you will note that this cave is located in the mouth of the goat on Mount Hermon.










Masada
Here we are, about to take the tram up to the peak at Masada. Several of the younger people in our group chose to walk up to the top on foot paths, but that was way too much of a workout for yours truly.  Maybe 20 years ago?....

For some of the older people in this audience, these trams reminded me of those in the WWII movie "Where Eagles Dare."










Dead_Sea_from_Masada
The view of the Dead Sea from atop Masada is nothing short of spectacular.  Sitting a quarter mile in the air provides incredible vantage points, and one can see why Herod commissioned this as his desert fortress.















Dead_Sea_from_Hotel
This is the view of the southern end of the Dead Sea, taken from the 7th floor of the Meridian Hotel.  This is where Israel mines minerals to the tune of 60 billion dollars per year, and it's also where tourists routinely go to 'float' in the water.














Temple_Mount
Here we are on the Mount of Olives listening to our tour guide Eitan describe the history of the Temple Mount.
















Southern_Steps
These are the Southern steps of the Temple Mount, which have had quite a history during their thousands of years of battle and conquest.  The original entry arches on the southern side have been covered by a Crusader fortress or otherwise blocked in to limit access to the Al Aqua Mosque complex.

Some of the steps you see in this photo are the original steps that would have been used to access the Temple during the first century A.D., so it's quite possible that we walked on some of the very steps that Christ walked on.







The_Garden_Tomb
Here we are at the entrance to the Garden Tomb.  We'll probably never know if this was Christ's actual tomb, but it certainly fits the criteria - including the correct strata - better than the alternatives.















There are numerous other photos I could include here, but this provides a good sampling from our tour in February.  When you actually visit the sites that are described in the Bible, it's much easier to imagine how things transpired in their proper context.  As it has been said, it takes the black and white stories of the Bible and turns them to color.



Saturday, 14 January 2012 22:46

Azazel the 'Scapegoat'

Written by
Rob Skiba's recent topographical discovery on Mount Hermon has provided such an astounding piece of biblical evidence to those of us living in the ‘space age’ that I can still hardly believe it. And yet, there it is, staring us in the face, etched into the surface of the earth for over 4,300 years now. The image was not visible to man until the advent of the down-looking satellite, but now at this point in history, God seems to be speaking to us again.

So, what is the image? It’s the clear outline of a goat’s head that covers the entire mountain range of Mount Hermon, and it has a very particular meaning that has been lost to the church for many centuries.  But we’re going to re-discover it right here in this post, because this image is so incredible and so far beyond coincidence that it demands our attention.

In this first image, we can see a satellite photo of the Middle East that is centered on Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights. This mountain range is located between Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel, and highlighted by the little green mountain-shaped icon that is just left of center in this image;

Scapegoat_1
























In order to see the intended image more clearly, the boundary and location overlays will now be removed, which leaves us with the same image of Mount Hermon and the surrounding region. So let’s see if you can spot the goat in the image;

Scapegoat_2
























If you look closely in this image, you can see the clear outline of what may look like the head of a horse or goat. However, when you look a little closer you can even see a curled horn on the top of it’s head.  If you can’t see it, here is another image where the head is outlined;

Scapegoat_3

Now when you look back at the preceding image, you should be able to see it loud and clear.  The image is undeniable. The only questions we have to ask are how and why it is there. Was it a freak accident of nature in the most remarkable coincidence that one could imagine? Or was God trying to alert us to a reality described in the Bible that is about to take place? Well, I think I can answer that, based on years of prior research that dovetails perfectly with the image and also it’s location.

The Scapegoat ‘Azazel’

Scapegoat-TempleIf you are familiar with the seven Festivals of God that were celebrated in Israel during the Temple Period, then perhaps you are also familiar with the ‘scapegoat’ tradition described in chapter 16 of the book of Leviticus.  This was a somewhat bizarre tradition observed on the Day of Atonement, and in that tradition, two goats would be presented to the High Priest; one that was dedicated to the Lord, and one that was assigned to banishment (the Scapegoat-Desert‘scapegoat’).  Lots would be cast between these two goats, and the goat dedicated to the Lord would be sacrificed, while the goat assigned to banishment would have the sins of Israel symbolically placed upon it. Then a priest would lead this scapegoat (‘azazel’ in Hebrew) far away into the desert so that Israel would never see it again. It was a ritualistic way of communicating how God will remove our sins and and send them as far from us as the east is from the west. But there is more to this symbolism than meets the eye. 

While this is a strange observance to the uninitiated, it has a direct application to a fallen angel that roamed the earth in pre-flood times during the days of the patriarch Jared. This is explained in detail in the book of Enoch, which is an extra-biblical book that was considered authentic to the early church. Enoch explains that in those days a fallen angel named ‘Azazel’ came down on Mount Hermon with a company of 200 angels, and in disobedience to God he taught mankind the arts of warfare and inappropriate sensuality;

“And Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and taught them about metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of eyelids, and all kinds of precious stones, and all coloring and dyes”  (Enoch 8:1)

We can see from this that Azazel introduced battle implements to man that led to warfare, and he also introduced the improper sexualization of women which led to immorality. At the same time, he and his fellow ‘sons of God’ took wives from the ‘daughters of Adam’ and spawned the giants that the Bible called the Nephilim. The details of these events are described in chapter 6 of Genesis and also chapter 6 of Enoch.

Azazel_PrisonOnce this giant human/angel hybrid began to increase on the earth, Azazel’s teaching began to corrupt all mankind. But the angels didn’t stop there, because they also corrupted animals and vegetation, leading to God’s decision to destroy the entire earth. And because of his wicked leadership in all of these things, God ascribed all of man’s sin to the fallen angel Azazel, who was then banished to the desert within the bowels of the earth where he remains to this day;

And again the Lord said to Raphael, “Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness and split open the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him in.”  (Enoch 10:4)

In essence, THIS is the precedent for the ‘scapegoat’ tradition held on the Day of Atonement, because the same thing occurs in that ritual that occurred before the flood.  In the first instance, the fallen angel Azazel had all of man’s sin ascribed to him, after which he was banished to the desert within the earth.  In the latter instance, the scapegoat (azazel) had all of Israel’s sin ascribed to him, after which he also was banished to the desert.

Azazel the ‘Watcher’ Angel

It’s amazing how often the names of biblical characters tell us something additional about them, particularly when their names are examined in the original paleo-Hebrew letters. The name Azazel is no exception. Azazel was called a ‘Watcher’ angel in the book of Enoch, and the book of Daniel confirms that Watchers existed, since it uses that term in reference to angels.  So it should not surprise us to find a reference to ‘watching’ in his name.   

In Hebrew, Azazel is spelled Ayin-Zayin-Aleph-Zayin-Lamed, and when you take the first letter of each word, you have the phoenetic equivalent of ’A-Z-A-Z-L’, from which ’Azazel’ comes. But the important thing is what each of these letters suggest when we examine them in their original pictographic form.

In the original paleo-Hebrew pictographs, these letters are respectively an eye, mattock, ox head, another mattock, and then a shepherds staff. When we line up the meanings of each one of these pictures, they suggest the following;

“Watching and nourishing leaders to cut the yoke”

And indeed, this is precisely what Azazel did in the days before the flood.  He was a Watcher angel that came down to earth and taught the leaders of men to cut their yoke with God. 

Mount Hermon

The fact that this geological shape of a scapegoat is contoured into the earth in this location is no coincidence, because the book of Enoch clearly states that Mount Hermon was the place where these fallen angels descended to earth;

“And they were in all two hundred who descended in the days of Jared on Mount Hermon…”  (Enoch 6:6)

Mount_Hermon_2













They descended during the “days of Jared” according to the book of Enoch, and in Hebrew the name Jared actually means 'shall come down'. This seems to confirm what Enoch says about these angels, that they came down during Jared's life time. So this name was quite revealing for this precise point in history. And the idea that Azazel and his company descended on Mount Hermon seems to be the only logical reason why God would emblazon that image there. It’s a symbolic pitch that God knocked out of the park. 

While we don’t know what this mountain range may have looked like before the great flood, it would appear that God created this image using the massive erosion that resulted from that event. And what better way to create the image of the scapegoat then to use the very floodwaters that his actions led to.

The Fortress of Nimrod

The scapegoat on Mount Hermon has one more feature that is significant, and it’s the ‘The Fortress of Nimrod’ that comprises it’s eye. While Azazel was the scapegoat noted before the flood, Nimrod was a ‘type’ of a scapegoat after the flood, with both being responsible for spreading sin throughout the world.

Fortress_of_NimrodIt was Nimrod and his wife Semiramis that founded the false religions of Mesopotamia, and these false religions eventually spread and corrupted world society. Elements of this false religion have subsequently made their way into every religion on earth from Islam to Judaism, and even Christianity. But the fact that this fortress of Nimrod comprises the ‘eye’ of this scapegoat is what I’d like to focus on here, since this is very revealing in light of one of the potential meanings of the name of Yeshua, or Jesus. 

If you’ve read my post on the name of Yeshua in the ‘Hebrew Studies’ category, then you read how the Lord’s name in Hebrew is spelled ‘Yud-Shin-Vav-Ayin’, which carries the phonetic sound of ’Y-Sh-U-A’, or 'Yeshua'.  In that post I demonstrated how His name can mean “He who creates, destroys, saves and reveals”.  However, based on the pictographs, His name can also mean “the Arm that destroys the establishment of the eye”.

This was the interpretation of the name 'Yeshua' given by Rob Skiba in his recent interview on Prophecy in The News, and I'd highly recommend that particular episode to anyone that is reading this post. It provides additional insight into the nature of the fallen angels that men war with every day, whether they are aware of it or not. And when we stop to think that the Fortress of Nimrod is located in the eye of the scapegoat, we seem to have a confirmation of what the Bible says Jesus will do to “the establishment of the eye” during the end times. This is the 'all-seeing eye' of occultic lore, and if you've ever seen Tolkien's 'Lord of The Rings', then you get the idea who the eye represents. And it's not God.

The Warning

I firmly believe that God has used this image on Mount Hermon to confirm to our generation what the Bible and the book of Enoch have said about fallen angels and their role in corrupting mankind. I also believe He is using this as a warning that there are supernatural events on the horizon, and that these events will once again be driven by fallen angels in the days ahead. As Jesus himself stated, "As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man."

Very soon, man will again be forced to endure these same angels when they are released from thousands of years of imprisonment in the Abyss.  This will happen at the sounding of the fifth trumpet, which is shortly ahead in our study of the Revelation. And when that event occurs, we had better have the protection of the only 'Ark' that can save us in those days, and that is Yeshua, the one who creates, destroys, saves, and reveals.

Friday, 13 January 2012 00:28

New Holocaust

Written by
In February of 2011 my post called “Egyptian Revolution - Israel’s Concern” featured a video of two million demonstrators in Tahrir Square chanting “We go to Jerusalem, martyrs in the millions!”  This was an ugly demonstration that served as an echo of Hitler’s Holocaust, and it would have been unthinkable only two years ago under the rule of president Hosni Mubarak. But now it appears that these same Egyptians intend to make good on that promise with a holocaust of their own making, as illustrated by the following video;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzWkEK9CRsE

For some unexplained reason, videos of this nature are never aired by our western media because they are still intent on portraying the Arab Spring as a bid for freedom and democracy.  But as I’ve warned before, nothing could be further from the truth. The Egyptian agenda has nothing to do with freedom and democracy, and everything to do with the militant Islamism of the Muslim Brotherhood, the subsequent installation of Sharia Law, and the ultimate destruction of the nation of Israel.

How long will the western world remain blind to the reality taking shape in the Middle East?

*sigh*


Monday, 07 November 2011 13:44

Four Horns & Four Craftsmen 2

Written by
In Part 1 we explored the possibility that the ’Four Horns’ of Zechariah could indicate ‘The Quartet’ that consists of the United States, United Nations, the European Union, and Russia. In the natural world that seems like a logical possibility, but of course there is no way of knowing whether this is the correct interpretation. As with all prophecy, it can only be confirmed when viewed through the rear view mirror.

With that in mind, in Part 2 I’d like to explore a different option…..a supernatural option that could be used to scatter Israel in the last days. And if this option proves to be the correct one, it may explain the identity of the four craftsmen as well.

The Four Supernatural Horns

Then I looked up—and there before me were four horns! I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?” He answered me, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.”  (Zechariah 1:18-19)

Naturally, the first qualification for this dubious honor is that these horns must “scatter” Judah, Israel and Jerusalem. Presumably this means that they must scatter them from the land of Israel, and plenty of candidates have done that in the past. But there is only one remaining ‘scattering’ that will take place in Israel’s future, and it has been reserved for the great tribulation. And it may also be reserved for the four horns.

The books of Daniel and Revelation tell us that ‘ten horns’ will serve the antichrist and trample the earth in the coming end times, and the Bible provides plenty of evidence that these ten horns will be spiritual as well as geo-political entities. So is there also a spiritual quartet that would qualify as Zechariah's four horns? There is only one stated answer in the Bible, and it’s the four angels that are currently bound at the Euphrates;

Four_Angels_EuphratesThe sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.  (Revelation 9:13-15)

It’s interesting that a voice from the "four horns" of the golden altar announces the release of these four horns of Satan. While the four horns on the altar symbolized sanctuary, it’s quite possible that they are also symbolic of the four archangels and the power that they wield to protect man and destroy God's enemies. But more on that in a moment. 

Revelation 9 makes it quite clear that these four angels could qualify as the four horns of Zechariah because they will obviously scatter, terrify and kill a large percentage of mankind when they are released. And in fact, it would appear that they will do this deed at the precise time necessary to qualify them in this role. The release of these four angels will occur immediately after Satan and his angels are thrown down from heaven, at which time the fallen angels from millennia past will be released from their imprisonment in the earth. And Revelation 12 tells us that the woman (Israel) will be scattered from the land one last time when the dragon (Satan) is hurled down;

DragonWhen the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.  (Revelation 12:13-14)

While it is the dragon that will pursue the woman, the remaining portion of chapter 12 makes it clear that he will use his proxies to do this, and these four angels from the Euphrates would very likely be part of that group.

In his effort to become “like the Most High”, Satan has always sought to counterfeit everything God does. And since God has four Archangels that do his will, then it makes sense that Satan would direct four powerful fallen angels to serve him in that same way. And for 3½ years they will trample and scatter the nation of Israel for Satan. But when their appointed time is over, the tables will be turned on these ‘four horns’ when God sends his ‘four craftsmen’ to respond in kind.

The Four Craftsmen

Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen. I asked, “What are these coming to do?” He answered, “These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise his head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people.” (Zechariah 1:20-21)

If the ‘four horns’ are the four angels from the sixth trumpet, then it makes perfect sense that the “four craftsmen” would also be four angels. But they would have to be more powerful than the four horns because they will have to subdue them. So the question becomes, ‘what group of four angels would be powerful enough to “terrify” and “throw down” these horns’? For that answer, I believe we only need to point to the following scripture where one of these craftsmen is named;

Satan_cast_down“And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.”  (Revelation 12:7-9)

In this passage we obviously learn that “Michael and his angels” are superior to Satan and his angels, because they defeat them in battle and throw them from heaven. So if Michael and his angels have power that is superior to that of Satan, then they are superior to his ‘four horns’ as well, and are probably the four craftsmen we are looking for. And history suggests that they are.

The Four Archangels in History

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Solomon reminds us that the things that will occur in the future have already occurred in the past, and nowhere is this notion more pronounced than with the four archangels. In our biblical canon we find Michael and Gabriel mentioned as two of these angels, but in the lost book of Enoch (now found) we also find Uriel and Raphael in this role. Together, these powerful angels are identified as the four Archangels that stand in the presence of the Lord. 

So, if these angels are the four craftsmen that will “terrify” and “throw down” the four horns of Satan, then according to Solomon we should have seen them in this role before. And when we read the book of Enoch, we do. 

The Four Archangels in Enoch

EnochFor those that are not familiar with the importance of the book of Enoch, it’s worth mentioning that Enoch is quoted in the New Testament book of Jude, where Jude called him a prophet. Also, there are literally over a hundred direct or indirect references in both testaments that come from this book, such as the origin of evil spirits, the reason that fallen angels are currently imprisoned in the earth, the role of angels in the pre-flood world, and much more.

So while Enoch is not canon, it was a very well known and revered book of prophecy that most Jews at the time of Jesus considered to be relevant. This is why more copies of Enoch were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls than any other book. Some early church fathers even considered it to be scripture, but all considered it to be an important addition to our understanding of biblical prophecy.

With that being said, Enoch has a lot to say about the four Archangels and the roles that they played in the past. In that day each of these four powerful angels had a role to play in the destruction of evil and the rebuilding of the post-flood world. So in our first example, we find God instructing the Archangel Uriel to guide Noah while the ark was built;

“Then said the Most High, the Great and Holy One, “Uriel, go to the son of Lamech. Say to him: “Go to Noah and tell him in my name ‘hide yourself!’, and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed….….now instruct him as to what he must do to escape that his offspring may be preserved for all the generations of the world.”  (Enoch 10:1-2)

In this role, Uriel was a craftsman since he was charged with preserving mankind for future generations. His efforts in this role would make him a driving force in re-building a post-flood world. However, one of the roles of the craftsmen will be to “terrify” and “throw down” Satan’s four horns in the last days, so let’s look again to Enoch for an example of how the Archangel Raphael did that very thing in the days of Noah;

AzazelAnd again the Lord said to Raphael: “Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness and split open the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him in………..on the day of the great judgment, he shall be hurled into the fire. And heal the earth which the angels have ruined, and proclaim the healing of the earth, for I will restore the earth and heal the plague….”,  (Enoch 10:4-7)

Raphael bound Azazel (the ‘scapegoat’) under the earth during the days of Noah, and he will do it again in the last days when Satan’s 3½ year appointed time has run it’s course. And notice how Raphael is also appointed to “heal the earth” from the damage that the fallen angels had done. Once again, this is something the four craftsmen will do.

The final two craftsmen of Zechariah we already know from the Bible, and they are the Archangels Gabriel and Michael. So let’s see what Enoch has to say about their roles in the days of Noah;

To Gabriel said the Lord: “Proceed against the bastards and the reprobates, and against the children of fornication and destroy the children of fornication and the children of the Watchers. Cause them to go against one another that they may destroy each other in battle: Shorten their days.”  (Enoch 10:9)

Here we find the Lord instructing Gabriel to destroy the children of the Watchers, otherwise known as the Nephilim in the Bible. In this role, Gabriel would certainly “terrify” and “thrown down” Satan’s horns by causing them to kill each other. And at the same time, Michael would be busy binding the leader of these fallen angels and his team;

ArchangelAnd the Lord said to Michael: “Go, bind Semjaza and his team who have associated with women and have defiled themselves in all their uncleanness…….bind them fast for seventy generation under the hills of the earth, until the day of the consummation of their judgment……….In those days they shall be led off to the abyss of fire and to the torment and the prison in which they shall be confined forever…….Destroy all the wrong from the face of the earth and let every evil work come to an end and let the plant of righteousness and truth appear”  (Enoch 10: 11-16)

Along with binding these fallen angels under the earth, which is referenced several times in the New Testament, Michael would ensure the conditions necessary for righteousness to appear. So once again, the role of a craftsman is implied. And isn't it interesting that God chose the term 'craftsmen' to describe the work of these four archangels, since He himself came as a carpenter to "thrown down" sin and rebuild the world through the blood of the cross.

The Days of Noah

As Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun, and that which has been done will be done again. The lesson we can take from that statement is that while these Archangels did all these things in the days of Noah, they will do them again in the future, just as Christ prophesied; 

"As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." (Matthew 24:37)



Wednesday, 05 October 2011 01:00

Tel Aviv vs. Damascus

Written by
So, who still believes that the ‘Arab Spring’ has brought hope and democracy to the Middle East? With the Muslim Brotherhood consolidating their power in the South and threatening Israel, Iran consolidating her power in the North and threatening Israel, and Hamas and Fatah preparing to declare a Palestinian state from land that God gave to Israel, it’s seems like it's only a matter of time before we have full scale war in the Middle East. And based on today’s news, this could come sooner than we thought.

Missile_-_SyrianToday Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria, announced that if NATO attempts to force him from power the way they forced Gaddafi from power in Libya, he will lob his considerable arsenal of missiles at Tel Aviv. According to World Net Daily, the precise quote went like this;

"If a crazy measure is taken against Damascus, I will need not more than six hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv."

Of course, all military action taken by Syria will be directed by Iran, since Syria is their puppet and Shiite proxy amid a Sunni population. They desparately need the Shiite leadership of Assad to survive in order to implement their plan of action against the Sunni dominated South. Naturally then, Assad included this additional statement that confirms Iran’s participation and intended reaction to any potential NATO mission;

"All these events will happen in three hours, but in the second three hours, Iran will attack the U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf and the U.S., and European interests will be targeted simultaneously."

Undaunted, Israel countered with their own threat to Assad, stating through Turkish mediators that if Tel Aviv receives any incoming missiles from Syria, then Israel will retaliate immediately against Assad personally. Of course, this means that the Syrian capital of Damascus would likely be targeted. So essentially we have a battle line being drawn (again) between Tel Aviv and Damascus. And given Israel's incredible arsenal, a certain end times prophecy against Damascus comes to mind;

An oracle concerning Damascus:
“See, Damascus will no longer be a city
but will become a heap of ruins.
The cities of Aroer will be deserted
and left to flocks, which will lie down,
with no one to make them afraid.
The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,
and royal power from Damascus;
the remnant of Aram will be
like the glory of the Israelites,”
declares the LORD Almighty.

“In that day the glory of Jacob will fade;
the fat of his body will waste away.
It will be as when a reaper gathers the standing grain
and harvests the grain with his arm—
as when a man gleans heads of grain
in the Valley of Rephaim.
Yet some gleanings will remain,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches,
four or five on the fruitful boughs,”
declares the LORD, the God of Israel.
(Isaiah 17:1-6)

Kassam_RocketWill Damascus become “a heap of ruins” because of an ill-advised attack on Tel Aviv that triggers an all-out Israeli response? Perhaps. It was bad enough that Israel had to endure over 35,000 Kassam rockets fired from the Gaza into southern Israel towns since their 2005 pullout, but they simply cannot afford to endure the assault against their capital city that Assad speaks of. Their retaliation would have to be swift and decisive in order to eliminate this very real threat, and it is possible, and even probable, that Damascus could be destroyed or heavily damaged during such a mission. 

We can surmise that this prophesied destruction of Damascus will be an end times event because it is stated that Israel will "fade" and "waste away" in that day. This suggests the time of war and invasion that the Bible calls 'the time of Jacob’s trouble', or 'the great tribulation’. And there is little doubt that such an attack against Damascus, even in retaliation, would galvanize the surrounding Muslim nations for war, which could fulfill a host of other biblical prophecies. 

With this in mind, we need to pray for the safety of Israel. These are dangerous times for the world, and it would seemingly take only one irresponsible or provocative action for all of these things to unfold.
Tuesday, 02 August 2011 23:22

Jim Carlson Retires

Written by
Jim_CarlsonWell, we all knew it was coming, but that didn't make it any easier.

On Sunday, July 31st, Jim Carlson preached his last sermon as the head pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church. After 24 years of faithful service to our Ludington community, Jim and Marilyn have retired and moved on to the next chapter of their lives in Kentucky. May God be with both of them in all they do.

With everything Pastor Jim and Marilyn have meant to me and our entire family, I would like to personally thank them. It's not that often in life that one encounters a truly decent and genuine person, but from the first time Jim greeted us in the lobby at the old Washington Avenue location, we knew he was the real deal. Our search for a new church ended that same day.

Looking back at that first year, it seems ironic that Pastor Carlson was teaching from the book of Revelation in our Bible study. That class is what hooked me on prophecy in general, and on the Revelation in particular. That's where the irony lies, because now that he is retiring, I'm the one teaching from the book of Revelation at Cornerstone.

But that would never have happened without his input and encouragement.  He is the one that encouraged me and so many others to get involved and develop our own personal ministry within the church. Everywhere he has gone, Jim Carlson has developed a trail of pastors, evangelists, teachers and servants in his wake. I can't imagine a better legacy for a pastor.

So here's to you Pastor Jim! You'll be dearly missed, and that is the result of a job well done.

Monday, 23 May 2011 14:26

Four Horns & Four Craftsmen

Written by
Then I looked up—and there before me were four horns! I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?” He answered me, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.”

Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen. I asked, “What are these coming to do?” He answered, “These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise his head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people.”  (Zechariah 1:18-21)

The Four Horns

Four_HornsIn ancient times as well as in the Bible, a horn was a symbol of power and control. Male animals had horns that they used to scatter other competing males, and to dominate their entire herd. So the Lord used  this imagery to describe how four political horns would combine to scatter Israel at some point in the future.

While many commentators feel these horns are empires from our ancient past that will once again return to power, some now believe that these four horns have already raised up their heads in our day.
 
To begin this analysis, if these four horns are historical powers as many surmise, then perhaps they can be identified as the four empires identified in Daniel’s visions, generally thought of us as the following four entities;

1) Babylon
2) Media & Persia
3) Macedonia & Greece
4) Rome 

On the surface these ‘four horns’ seem to make sense since each of them had historically dominated Israel, and each are referenced in multiple prophecies in the Bible. But I don’t think they would qualify as Zechariah‘s four horns since not all of these nations "scattered" Israel, as required by the prophecy. Consider the following points;

First, while Babylon definitely did scatter Israel in ancient times, Medo-Persia did not. In fact, the Persian King Cyrus was responsible for the release of the Jews who were being held captive in Babylon, so instead of scattering Israel from their land, Medo-Persia actually gathered them.

Then there is the matter of Greece, which neither scattered nor gathered Israel in any significant sense. Alexander the Great was destined for much greater conquests than tiny Israel, and he allowed the Jews to live and worship as they saw fit after he ‘liberated’ them from Persian influence. Israel would not be scattered again until Rome replaced Greece as the dominant force of antiquity, sacking Jerusalem and scattering the Jews in 70 A.D. 

In short, of the four nations mentioned, only two of them appear to have “scattered” Israel in the past. So it seems inappropriate to assume that Zechariah’s four horns are these four historical empires that ruled Israel in succession. Instead, this prophecy seems to suggest that the four horns will work together to scatter Israel at one moment in time, which the context of the prophecy suggests is still future. So I would ask, is there a modern-day quartet that would better qualify?  


The Quartet

In 2002 in Madrid, international leaders formed the “Quartet on the Middle East” for the specific purpose of imposing a lasting peace in the Middle East. This group of four consisted of the following political powers;

1) United States
2) United Nations
3) European Union
4) Russia

Since it’s formation, the Quartet has been pursuing ‘peace’ in the land of Israel through the heavy hand of political intimidation, attempting to force Israel to give up land designated for a new Palestinian state. In fact, just this past week Barak Obama declared that Israel must return to it’s pre-1967 borders, as though it was the Quartet’s right to determine political boundaries for other sovereign nations. But thank goodness Benjamin Netanyahu rejected this demand outright, because those borders would be akin to national suicide for Israel.

Israel_Border_ChangesIn the adjacent map we can see how the borders of Israel have changed since their return to the land, and why today’s borders are so important. The areas shown in tan were the areas designated to Israel in 1947 by the United Nations, and Jews world-wide were given the right to return to those territories after the Holocaust and WWII.

But upon doing so, fledgling Israel was immediately attacked by the surrounding Muslim countries, whose sole intent was to destroy them before they could organize adequate defenses. Through a series of amazing and improbable (read ‘appointed’) victories, the tiny nation was able to not only defeat it’s Muslim enemies, but to expand it’s territory as well, reclaiming some of the additional lands that God had already granted them by covenant. These expanded borders are represented in green on this map.

Unhappy with their loss of ground to Israel in 1948/49, these Muslim neighbors would attack again in 1967, and Israel would once again defeat them in the 6-Day War. This allowed Israel to take control of the additional areas of Gaza, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights, shown in the illustration in yellow. This expansion finally allowed Israel to maintain defensible borders with adequate buffer zones, and Israel was determined to hold on to them so that history would not repeat itself yet again.

The road was long and hard, but today Israel finally has defensible geography. And this is the geography that the Quartet wishes to take from them, which in effect would return Israel to a less defensible “target” for the surrounding Muslim nations. And make no mistake, there will be no peace if Israel relinquishes this land. There will only be more war.


Remember Gaza?

RocketsFor anyone who believes this ‘land for peace’ ruse will bear fruit, consider what happened in 2005 when Israel gave in to the Quartet and gave up the Gaza strip to the Palestinians. Over the next several years they were rewarded with over 35,000 Hamas rockets fired from the Gaza into the towns of southern Israel. Israel paid a dear price for this concession and had to eventually re-enter the Gaza in order to put down these daily attacks. 

But they were not alone in the price they paid for the ceding of Gaza. The United States led this land grab against Israel and paid an equal and corresponding price that most people don’t recognize even today. So let’s return to 2005 for a moment for some perspective. 

Gaza and Katrina

hurricane_KatrinaIn response to ultimatums given by the United States over three decades, Israel finally decided to cede the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority, and began removing their own people from their own homes in Gaza on August 17th of 2005. Despite massive opposition by the residents and by Rabbis who warned of God‘s wrath for dividing his land, an Israeli military and police force had cleaned out most of the settlements by August 22nd.

On the following day, Hurricane Katrina began forming in the Atlantic, clipping the coast of Florida on August 25th. And as the remaining residents were evicted from Gaza later that week, Katrina immediately became a city-killer, devastating New Orleans on August 29th and becoming the most expensive natural disaster in history. The warnings given by Rabbis in Israel seemed to come to fruition; America had been severely judged for being a curse to Israel (Genesis 12:3).

Gaza_RooftopThe parallels between the evacuation of Gaza and the destruction of New Orleans don’t end with these corresponding dates however. It’s also true that the same amount of people died in bothNew_Orleans_Rooftop instances, and the same amount of people were displaced from their homes in both instances. Also, Israel lost their largest oil port that had been in Gaza, and the United States lost it’s largest oil port that had been in New Orleans.

Even the images on the news were the same, with people in Gaza climbing on their rooftops to avoid the flood of police, and people in New Orleans climbing on their rooftops to avoid the flood of water. It seems that God indeed has a sense of irony.

In almost every sense there was a parallel between Gaza and Katrina, strongly implying the hand of God in this judgment. The lesson?; NO ONE is allowed to divide his land without terrible cost.  


The West Bank

With all that said, now Barak Obama wants divide the land on a grander scale by forcing Israel to cede the entire West Bank to the Palestinians.  This would make Israel only 9 miles wide at several points, making it possible for a coordinated attack to quickly divide the north from the south. And biblical prophecy seems to suggest that this division of Israel will take place, probably sooner than later if the Quartet indeed represents the ‘four horns’ of Zechariah. And while Israel will likely suffer through the time of Jacob’s trouble in those days, the nations involved in this coercion will suffer far worse, just as the United States did with Katrina.  Consider the judgment against these nations as outlined by God through the prophet Joel;

"In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine that they might drink. Now what have you against me, O Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done."  (Joel 3:1-4)

Here, the nations are brought down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat to be judged because they “scattered” Israel and “divided up” God’s land, just as the four horns will do in Zechariah’s prophecy. So these prophecies seem to be connected, and both may point to the Quartet. And while the Quartet is not specifically attempting to scatter Israel amongst the nations, they indeed ARE attempting to divide the land.  And this division will clearly leave Israel’s border indefensible, which in turn will result in Israel becoming scattered one final time (Revelation 12).

HizbollahI would also point out the nations listed in Joel’s prophHamasecy would today implicate Hizbollah in Tyre and Sidon (Modern Lebanon), and Hamas in Philistia (the Gaza Strip). How coincidental that these are the two Islamic terrorist groups that are today bent on Israel’s destruction. In the end, the essence of these two prophecies suggest that we could be much closer to the end times than we thought.


NEXT TIME:

In Part 2 of 'Four Horns & Four Craftsmen' we'll examine the potential candidates for the 'four craftsmen' that will "terrify" and "throw down" the four horns.


Saturday, 26 February 2011 18:02

Egyptian Revolution - Israel's Concern

Written by
If you’ve followed the recent news in the Middle East, then you’ve noticed Israel’s concern about the forced resignation of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. While this has been seen as a positive development by most western commentators, Israel would disagree. For several decades Mubarak had maintained Egypt’s peace covenant with Israel by keeping the more radical elements of Egypt’s Islamic society in check. Israel knew that as long as his regime was in power, they had little to fear from their southern neighbor. But all that may have changed.

The following video was recorded in Tahir Square in Cairo, just after the crowd of approximately one million Egyptians had been incited by Sheik Al Qaradhawi.  Al Qaradhawi urged them to turn their attention to Israel and pray for the liberation of Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa mosque, to which the crowd responded with the chant “We go to Jerusalem, martyrs in the millions!”;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du5emnvGgvg

Now, I’d like to think that this attitude does NOT represent the prevailing attitude of most Egyptians, who were quite friendly to us as Americans when we were visiting in 2005.  But even the Muslim Brotherhood’s own website apparently verified the accuracy of this video, and the inciting from Al Qaradhawi.  And internal polls in Egypt indicate that the vast majority of the population believes that Israel is illegally occupying ‘Palestine’. Sadly, this majority also believes that they should be forcibly removed, if necessary. None of this bodes well for Israel. 

How quickly things are changing in the Middle East.
Page 1 of 2