“We have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place…” (2 Peter 1:19).
What does Tisha B’Av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, have to do with the new leader of Greece, who has just burst onto the world stage? What does Yom Kippur, the most solemn of the seven appointed Feast Days of the Lord, have to do with the pope? And what two things about the final blood moon of the tetrad on the Feast of Tabernacles (coming in September) make it different from the rest?
Of all the things I could have accidentally deleted that didn’t get into my recent article (Alexis the Great, Hope of Europe and the World?), was a section going into more detail concerning Tsipras and his Syriza party’s relationship with Israel, the most important nation in Bible prophecy. However, there have been some interesting developments in that regard since then.
“HOPE,” YOU SAY? NOT ON THAT DAY!
From Jewish News Service, Jewish Leaders Express Mixed Feelings on New Greek Government:
“Jewish leaders have expressed both hope and concern over the outcome of the Greek election …in which the radical left-wing Syriza party won… B’nai Brith International told JNS.org in a statement that the group is concerned by some past statements about Israel made by [Syriza] party leaders, but hopes that the relationship with Israel, which had been building over the past decade in many fields, will be unaffected by the outcome…Yet Rabbi Andrew Baker, AJC’s director of international Jewish affairs, told JNS.org that there are ‘troubling signs’ from the election.’” – JNS.org
Alexis Tsipras, the new prime minister of Greece, was born on Tisha B’Av. I might have picked up on this fact that one of my readers pointed out to me had I realized that this day doesn’t always occur in August, but can fall in late July. Many calamities have befallen the Jews on this day throughout history, but the reason Jews began acknowledging this as a day of mourning is because it was the day their first temple (Solomon’s Temple) was destroyed. Also on Tisha B’Av (656 years later), the second temple was destroyed. For thousands of years this has been the day the Jews mourn for their lost temple.
Tsipras’ birth on Tisha B’Av may not be a coincidence given how he and his radical, far-left Syriza party feels about Israel and the Jews. No matter what their relationship turns into now that he’s in power, should we trust it?
Also, because both temples were destroyed on this calamitous day in history, it makes one wonder if Tisha B’Av has significance concerning the third temple, when the Antichrist breaks his peace “covenant with many” and defiles the third temple halfway into the seven-year Tribulation. The Jews will then recognize him for who he truly is.
For more astonishing information on the many tragic event that have occurred on Tisha B’Av, read that section of my Rapture Ready article at: www.raptureready.com/soap/nuara12.html
From The Guardian, Alexis Tsipras: The Syriza Leader About To Take Charge In Greece:
“As Greece descended into economic crisis, there were almost no signs that the young ideologue, an ardent admirer of…Che Guevara, the Argentinean Marxist revolutionary [and Castro’s chief executioner], would emerge as the wild card to challenge Europe or Athens’ own dynastic politics and vested interests. For his critics, who are legion, he is a dangerous narcissist…Last week, the deputy premier and socialist leader, Evangelos Venizelos, likened him to Harry Potter for making promises that could only exist in the realm of fantasy” — TheGuardian.com
The world would indeed be amazed if Tsipras miraculously turned this fantasy into reality.
News of late tells us that something does appear to be changing regarding the new leadership in Greece and its relationship with Israel. But “Can a leopard take away its spots…?” (Jeremiah 13:23). Interestingly, Greece is represented by a leopard in Daniel’s vision. The following is from RaptureReady.com, What are the four beasts of Daniel’s visions?
“After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it” (Daniel 7:6).
The third beast is like a leopard with four wings and four heads, representing the Greek Empire, which was divided into four parts after the death of Alexander of Macedonia. The Greek army was the most efficient army up to that time. Alexander the Great conquered all of Asia Minor (Turkey) in less than two years… He defeated Darius III… taking control of the Persian Empire. That is why it was symbolized as a leopard with wings.”
A CHANGE IN TACTICS
Tsipras’ Syriza Party supports the Palestinian cause and, during last summer’s Gaza conflict, he accused Israel of being the “brutal aggressor.” The Jewish community in Greece has experienced rising anti-Semitic sentiment due to the country’s economic crisis and the Gaza conflict. However, the incoming Greek ambassador to Israel said that Greece could possibly mediate between Israel, Palestinians, and Iran.
From The Times of Israel, New Greek PM Is Pro-Palestinian, But Envoy to Israel Predicts Only Positive Things:
“…The new Greek government…might have some problems with some of [Israel’s] policies. But that will not change the overall target, which is the stability of the region…beneficial to both countries. It is true that some voices in Syriza (acronym for Coalition of the Radical Left) are leaning toward the Palestinian narrative. But there are several indications that Jerusalem has no need to worry. For one, politicians act differently once they are in charge of running a country…much more responsible and careful in the policies they are about to advocate.” — TimesofIsrael.com
Well, it looks like Tsipras and his new government is indeed wasting no time in implementing a change in its relationship with Israel. Greek defense minister, Kammenos, said that Greece, Cyprus, Israel and possibly Egypt would begin joint exercises within the coming months aimed at improving regional security.
From The Times of Israel, Greece Plans Military Exercises with Israel, Egypt: “Kammenos criticized as a clear provocation Turkey’s sending of a survey ship to the waters where (oil) drilling is taking place. ‘We want peace,’ Kammenos told reporters, ‘but we are also ready to respond to any attempt against the national sovereignty or territorial integrity of the broader defense area of Greece and Cyprus, if necessary.’”
AND THE POPE? NO WAY! AND ON WHAT DAY?
Francis is coming to the US on September 23rd. He will be the first leader of the Catholic Church in history to address both houses of Congress. “It will be a historic visit, and we are truly grateful that His Holiness has accepted our invitation,” House speaker John Boehner said in a statement. President Obama said he is looking forward to welcoming him to the US.
Do you know what day that happens to be? It’s The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the most solemn holy day of all the Jewish feasts and festivals. On that day the Jews mourn and ask God for forgiveness of their sins. In the Book of Leviticus, on this day the High Priest would perform sacred rites in order to make amends for the people’s sins.
Don’t be deceived into receiving the wrong sign from the pope’s visit on Yom Kippur. Jesus is our High Priest, the only one who can forgive sins ((Hebrews 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-5:10; 6:20; 7:11-8:2; 10:12).
It is only through Jesus that we can come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:14-16).
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6).
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
A SEPTEMBER TO REMEMBER
God put lights in the heavens “for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (Genesis 1:14).
Some discount or downplay any significance of the rare blood moon tetrads, but they’re even more rare when they all fall on feast days. Historically there is evidence that such occurrences have taken place during a year where there are world-impacting events surrounding Israel.
An article at WND.com, Blood Moons Expert: Watch 2014 and 2015, explains the significant events surrounding the blood moon tetrads in history, as they relate to Israel. Here is the link:
The blood moon tetrad began last year on the Feast of Passover and will culminate on the final feast day of this year, The Feast of Tabernacles. Given the events of last year and ones that appear to loom large for the near future, it could be said that they have and will show prophetic significance. However, this shouldn’t be confused with the sixth seal judgment (Revelation 6:12), since the rapture hasn’t occurred, nor are we in the Tribulation yet.
It is said that, according to Jewish rabbis, total lunar eclipses are bad omens for Israel, since they go by the lunar calendar, and total solar eclipses are bad omens for the Gentile nations, who go by the solar calendar.
Just before the pope’s US visit, there will be a “partial” solar eclipse on The Feast of Trumpets (Sept. 13). Following his speech on the day of Yom Kippur (Sept. 23), there will be a total lunar eclipse on The Feast of Tabernacles (Sept. 28). The blood moon on this feast day is the last of the tetrad and will be the only one seen in Israel. It just so happens that it will also be a Super Moon. The Jews in Israel who observe this feast eat and sleep (the males do) in hastily-constructed dwellings (succahs), with roofs that don’t completely obstruct their view of the sky.
If you’ve never watched the late Grant Jeffrey’s program on The Phenomenon of Biblical Anniversaries, you’ve really missed a fascinating study. Or, perhaps you’d like to view it again. Here is the link to part two, which discusses events that have occurred on the fall feast days.
Since I cannot find part one of the televised program, this link describes events that have occurred on all the feast days/special observances, as discussed by Grant Jeffrey, for those who would prefer to have this in writing:
ABOUT THE RAPTURE AND THE DAY OF THE LORD
We shouldn’t pin all our hopes on the rapture occurring during the Feast of Trumpets. What we do know is that we are not destined for wrath and are to comfort one another with that knowledge (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:18; 5:11; Revelation 3:10). We’re to keep ourselves ready as we await our Blessed Hope, Jesus Christ, to come for us.
We know about the New Testament rapture scriptures, but the rapture is even hinted at in the Book of Isaiah. Some say it’s talking about the middle of the Tribulation period, when the Jews go into hiding while God unleashes His wrath. This cannot be the case, because this passage speaks of a resurrection:
“Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain” (Isa. 26:19-21).
The Day of the Lord” prophesied for the future refers to The Tribulation and not the rapture.
“Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on My holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand” (Joel 2:1; see also Zephaniah 1:14, 16).
PEOPLE, GET READY
“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:1-2).
“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13: 11-14).
All the signs given by Jesus and His prophets are converging—coming together at the same time. Never before has this been the case. As prophesied for the end days, the players are all lined up to fulfill the prophecy in Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83, and they’re lining up for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. Jews in Europe are fleeing to Israel due to rampant anti-Semitism. False prophets are deceiving their flocks in an amazing number of churches.
A false unity of religions is coming together at a breathtaking pace and is headed down the road to Rome. This is the end-time apostasy of which the Bible speaks, preparing the way for the False Prophet, who comes onto the scene like a lamb with an attractive manner and convincing words, deceiving many. But he speaks like a dragon; his message is not from God (Revelation 13:11).
We see that the Mother of Harlots Mystery Babylon church is a one-world false religious system in this passage: “Where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages” (Revelation 17:15).
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities’” (Revelation 18:4-5).
A LAMP SHINING IN A DARK PLACE
I want to conclude with reasons why it’s urgent that you study Bible prophecy and keep up with what is going on around you, even more now than ever.
We all have friends and family members who will refuse to accept Christ and will be left behind after the rapture. The False Prophet (the second beast) will cause all to worship the Antichrist (the first beast) and to receive his mark. If they take this mark, they will be lost for eternity. If you know end-times Bible prophecy, you will at least be able to warn them about what’s coming. When they see these things happening, hopefully they’ll turn to Christ before it’s too late.
From Don Hooser at UCG Bible Study: “Jesus and the apostles exhort us to actively ‘watch’!
Peter warns us, ‘Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour’ (1 Peter:5:8). Staying aware of the powerful behind-the-scenes role of Satan and his demons enables us to understand the atrocious evil and madness of this world. It also enables us to resist them (James:4:7).
In light of the above, we see that in addition to concern we should have in personally drawing close to God and over what is happening in God’s Church, we are clearly also to watch, listen and read to keep up with world news, events, conditions and trends.”
Jesus’ Warning to “Watch” – Just What Did He Mean?
From Britt Gillette of RaptureReady.com: “Bible prophecy is the most powerful witness to the divinity of Christ. So don’t listen to those who claim that Bible prophecy distracts us from the true Christian mission. Quite the contrary, all Bible prophecy points to Jesus Christ Himself.”
“For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus” (Revelation 19:10, NLT).
Why Study Bible Prophecy? http://www.raptureready.com/featured/gillette/study.html
In the Book of Revelation, God gives a special blessing to those who read and heed the prophecy:
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” (Revelation 1:1-3).
“We have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place…” (2 Peter 1:19).