SIGNPOSTS ON THE WORLD’S PATHWAYS
Just as we use signposts to figure out where we are when drive down a highway, we can use prophetic “signposts” to determine where we are relative to God’s plan for the ages.
While many other pathways intersect it, the Israeli Pathway is Bible prophecy’s Main Street; all of God’s Signposts lie all along it. If we look back over our shoulder, we can see the many prophetic signposts we have passed. If we look forward, we can see those that lay ahead:
- The Rapture
- The Middle East Peace Covenant
- The Russo-Israeli War
- The Prince and His Kingdom
- Armageddon and the Advent of Messiah
- The Messianic Kingdom
- The Eternal Kingdom
SIGNPOST: THE RAPTURE
The Bible often uses the simile of a Bridegroom and Bride to describe the relationship between Messiah and the group of those who faithfully follow him.5 “The Rapture” is a term used to describe the moment when Jesus will gather together and carry away His Bride. The ‘rapture’ or ‘catching away’ has strong parallels in ancient Jewish wedding customs.
Zola Levitt has produced a wonderful booklet called Christian Love Story which addresses this simile in detail. In it he says,
“When the young man of Israel in Jesus’ time saw the girl he wanted (or the girl his father said he wanted), he would approach her with a marriage contract. … The bridegroom would present himself to the bride with this agreement, offering to pay a suitable price for her, and she and her father would consider his contract. If the terms were suitable, the bride and groom would drink a cup of wine together and this would seal the bargain. This cup was most significant. It signified the bridegroom’s willingness to sacrifice in order to have this bride. It was offered as a toast to the bride, and of course, it showed the bride’s willingness to enter into this marriage. Then the groom would pay the price. It should be said that this price was no modest token but was set so that the new bride would be a costly item — that was the idea. … When that matter was settled the groom would depart. He would make a little speech to his bride, saying, “I go to prepare a place for you,” and he would return to his father’s house. Back at his father’s house, he would build her a bridal chamber, a little mansion, in which they would have their future honeymoon. … The bride, for her part, was obliged to do a lot of waiting. … Finally, the chamber would be ready and the bridegroom would assemble his young friends to accompany him on the exciting trip to claim his bride. The big moment had arrived and the bridegroom was more than ready, we can be sure. He and his young men would set out in the night, making ever attempt to completely surprise the bride. And that’s the romantic part — all the Jewish brides were “stolen”. … Actually, as the excited party of young men would get close to her house, they were obliged to give her a warning. Someone in the wedding party would shout. When the bride heard that shout, she knew her young man would be there momentarily. She had only time to light her lamp, grab her honeymoon clothing and go. Her sisters and bridesmaids who wanted to attend also had to have their lamps trimmed and ready, of course. … And so the groom and his men would charge in, grab the girls and make off with them! … When the wedding party reached the house of the groom’s father, the bride and groom would go into their chamber and shut the door. No one else would enter.”6
An examination of the Gospels shows us rich parallels between these wedding customs and Jesus’ words and deeds. For example, when Jesus offered his disciples the cup at the Passover Feast, just before his death, he was symbolically proposing marriage to all of his followers. By their partaking of that same cup, they entered into contract with him — they became his Bride. If you partake of the Lord’s Supper, think about this rich symbolism in your next worship service.
Jesus’ Bride, because she had broken God’s law was under the divine penalty of death. The agreed upon bride price was Jesus’ substitutionary death. He gave his life that his beloved might live. After he paid his Bride’s debt, he arose and went to his Father’s house to begin construction of their dwelling place. Prior to his death, he sought to console his Bride by reminding her of his return by saying,
“Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN, AND RECEIVE YOU TO MYSELF; that were I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3
There is great theological dispute whether Messiah will return to ‘catch away’ his Bride before, during or after Daniel’s 70th Week (more on this later!). Although I am not be dogmatic about it, I personally believe that he will come for his Bride, before the Covenant is signed for these reasons
- The seven year term of the Covenant will be coincident with divine judgements being poured out upon the earth. Much of the book of Revelation describes these judgements.
- If the bridegroom’s family is about to devastate the Bride’s ‘home town’, does it not make sense that they would get her out of there first
- If the intent of those judgements is to punish the rebellious, would the bridegroom choose to allow his faithful bride to suffer the same end he has reserved for his enemies?
The similes which Jesus used to describe that seven year period of judgement compared those times to the days of Noah7 and Lot8. In the case of Noah, the faithful were sealed away in an ark while the rest of the world was judged and destroyed. In the case of Lot, divine messengers were sent to remove Lot and his loved ones from “ground zero” immediately prior to the blast. Given these two dramatic rescues as comparisons, does it make sense that God would allow his faithful ones to remain on earth during an unprecedented period of distress and judgement?
I don’t think so! I think that Jesus love, concern and desire for his Bride is too great. I believe that prior to the signing of the Covenant, and prior to divine judgement, Jesus will catch his Bride away.
Are you Jesus Bride? Do you expect to be taken with him when He comes? We have all been judged guilty by God’s for breaking His law. We have all been sentence to eternal death. Have you sought out Messiah Jesus? Have you entered into contract with him and allowed him to pay a bride price for you? He died for you! Just as the men of Israel would approach God’s Temple and present a substitutionarysacrifice, have you presented God with His Messiah’s substitutionarydeath to void your own penalty?
Beloved one, there is no greater love than this. Jesus has already paid the price, all you have to do is enter into contract with him and authorize payment. And once you have, you will be part of that messianic Bride. You will be part of that great company of believers who faithfully watch for his coming to catch them away. You will be spared the horrific judgements that are about to be meted out upon this rebellious world.
If you haven’t already, why don’t you take a few moments to enter into contract with Messiah Jesus now?
If the Rapture has not yet occurred, and you love Messiah and will soon be His Bride…
Are you expectantly awaiting the arrival of your Bridegroom? Although it may seem hard to believe, soon you will be looking deeply into the eyes of your Beloved.
At the Rapture, Messiah will physically transform you — alive or dead, you will be resurrected. In an instant, your aging, achy, disease-prone body will be overhauled, and given an eternal warranty. Your “new” body will be immortal.9
Then we will each appear before his “judgement seat”. Unfortunately, this is where many Christians get panicky. However, this “judgement” is better likened to the judgement of a sporting event rather than the judgement of a criminal case. Our success in leading a faithful life will be evaluated. Our Bridegroom will reward each act of faithfulness to him and his purposes.10 He will purge away our selfish and sinful acts.11 The preparation for the wedding will then be complete. For seven years we will attend a “reception” in our new home, the “New Jerusalem!”
While this world is witnessing the signing of the Middle East Peace Covenant and enduring the less than tender ministrations of the “prince who is to come,” we will be off honeymooning with our Beloved Messiah.
If the Rapture has occurred, and you have just found your love Messiah …
God still loves you, as He has from the beginning of the world. Jesus has not abandoned you, but the times ahead will be extremely difficult. As a mark of your faith, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES agree to receive any ‘mark’ or identifying bio-implant on your right hand or forehead. This will be a symbol of citizenship in the kingdom of ‘prince who is to come’ and will exclude you from citizenship in Jesus’ Kingdom. Refusing to receive this mark will make daily living a challenge. You will not be able to transact business on your own – – like not having a credit card or cash. You will be fully dependent on the provision of God and the kindness of others.
Study your Bible well to help your new faith and knowledge of God to grow and flourish. Your deprivation and persecution will be great but your ultimate heavenly reward will be greater. The Apostle Paul, while imprisoned by the first incarnation of the Prince’s Kingdom – Imperial Roman, provided some advice for you, STAND FIRM!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness; and having shod your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints; and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6: 10-20
While the Prince may deprive you of your breath and the pains of this life, he will not he able to steal your immortal life, if you are suited with the full armor of God,. Though martyrdom may lie ahead, God will be your comforter and your ultimate avenger:
“And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the alter the souls of those who had been slain because of the testimony which they had maintained: and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also.” Revelation 6:9-11
Grow in the Lord, stand firm, and your patience will be rewarded.
SIGNPOST: THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE COVENANT
The Pathways of Europe and Israel cross at a signpost labeled Middle East Peace Covenant. This treaty will involve “many” nations, but at a bare minimum, Europe will become the guarantor of Israel’s peace. The principal architect of this treaty will be The Prince — a man often referred to as the Antichrist1.
Daniel’s 70 Weeks of Years Prophecy
This Covenant and its Architect are described by the prophet Daniel.2 He foresaw events from the restoration of Jerusalem after Israel’s Babylonian captivity until the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom — all occurring during a period of only 70 ‘weeks of years’ or 490 years (e.g. 70 * 7). He prophesied that this 490 year period would
1. begin when Israel was given a decree allowing them to rebuild Jerusalem,
Historically, we know that the seventy years began to tick on the Daniel’s Divine Stopwatch when King Artaxerxes of Persia issued a decree allowing the Nehemiah and his fellow Israeli’s to return to their land and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in 445 B.C.3
2. stop after 483 years (69 “sevens” or weeks) when Messiah would be killed or “cut off” and Jerusalem would again be destroyed, this time by the people of the coming ‘prince,’ and
Exactly four hundred and eighty three years ticked away 4, when a young itinerant Rabbi, named Yeshua Ben Yosef(Jesus, son of Joseph), who made messianic claims was condemned by the Israeli courts and executed by the Roman government — and Daniel’s watch stopped. In keeping with Daniel’s prophecy, Jesus’ death was followed approximately 40 years later by the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the armies of Europe lead by the city-state of Rome.
3. restart for the final seven years, when that prince makes a covenant with “the many.”
We are now waiting for the stopwatch to resume and tick off the remaining seven years. What wisdom does Daniel share with us about that time?
Daniel’s 70th Week
During Daniel’s final seven years, a prominent, satanically empowered leader will arise. This “prince who is to come” will be European. We know this because Daniel tells us that the prince is from the people who destroyed “the city and the sanctuary.” That dubious honor was claimed by the armies of Europe lead by Rome. That “prince who is to come” will author a treaty or covenant with “the many.” Some people believe that “the many” refers strictly to the people of Israel. However, it is possible that it may mean ‘many nations’. If this interpretation is accurate, it would be in keeping with the frantic international search for a comprehensive Middle East Peace Agreement.
Potential Covenant Terms
Daniel does not describe the details of this covenant. Consider this…we know that Satan is a great imitator. He frequently offers men cheap substitutes that resemble God’s original promises. Given this understanding, perhaps we can reasonably anticipate the terms of the coming Middle East Peace Covenant.
In Ezekiel 37:26-28 we find the “original” covenant.. the one containing God’s original promises:
“And I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. And the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever.”
If this is the bona fide original, what can we expect the Prince’s knock-off to look like?
Firstly, we can expect it to be a peace covenant. The term of God’s peace covenant with Israel is “everlasting”. From Daniel, we know that the Prince will break the terms of his agreement after only three and one half years.
Article I: God’s covenant states “I will place them”, which refers to even more ancient covenants in which God has deeded the territory from the Nile to the Euphrates to Israel (Ezekiel 37:25; Genesis 35:12, 15:18-21). We can expect the Knock-Off Covenant to be much less generous. Current thinking would suggest that this covenant may guarantee the security of Israel in exchange for surrender of territory and other concessions. (When local thugs do this, isn’t it called a “protection racket”?)
Article II: God’s covenant states “And I will…multiply them.” One of the ways we are told that God will multiply them is by regathering the sons and daughters of Israel from amongst the nations (Ezekiel 37:21). Perhaps the Knock-Off Covenant will provide modest guarantees of immigration rights. Using the little known principle of “backwards thinking”, maybe the covenant will guarantee the return of Palestinian refugees and instead multiply the enemy within Israel’s boarders.
Article III: God promises “… I will set My sanctuary in their midst forever.” This refers to the Third Temple being built on Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Although Israel has had sovereignty over Jerusalem from 1967, the Temple Mount is still under the control of the Waqf, the Muslim Supreme Religious Council. Perhaps using pseudo-Solomonicwisdom, the Prince will divide the territory and administration of Temple Mount between the Arabs and the Israelis. There are two reasons that support this:
1. We know from Daniel 9:27 that the Prince will stop Temple sacrifice after the first three and a half years of the covenant. Therefore, Israel will have to feel secure enough with their ownership of Temple Mount to begin services.
2. Revelation 11:1-2 leads us to believe that Temple Mount ownership is shared with “the nations”:
“And there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it. And leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.'”
The court just south of the ancient location of the Temple currently contains the Dome of the Rock and the El Aqsa Mosque. Perhaps they will remain.
By facilitating the reinstitution of Temple service, the Prince’s will assert his false messianic credentials.
Finally, God promises that “My dwelling place will be with them, and I will be their God.” This would suggest that the Shekinah glory — the Presence of God — will return to the Holy of Holies and Israel will worship their God in spirit and in truth. Although not a term of the agreement, we will see this Presence and role imitated as well. In Second Thessalonians 2:4 we read that the Prince — the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction “…takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” He not only imitates the Divine Presence, but he also attempts to assume the role as Israel’s God.
Whatever the actual terms of the coming Middle East Peace Covenant, when the Prince enters into this treaty with Israel, the Divine stopwatch will begin its final countdown of Daniel’s 70th Week of Years.
SIGNPOST: THE RUSSO-ISRAELI WAR
A massive attack on Israel has been described by the Prophet Ezekiel. The Russian, Arab/Moslem and Israeli Pathways will violently intersect at a Signpost labeled Russo-Israeli War. In Ezekiel 38 and 39, the prophet describes a lightning fast attack on the small Jewish state. These chapters describe the planning, execution and outcome of a war lead by Russia, and her radical Moslem allies. Were it not for the protection of her God, this would be the point at which Modern Israel would cease to exist.
Before we discuss the nature of this attack in detail, lets look at how it fits into the overall prophetic timeline. Unfortunately, the scripture is unclear as to the exact timing of this event relative to other prophetic events. Although it is hard to say definitively, I believe that this invasion will occur during the first half of the seven year Covenant. My reasons are these:
PREREQUISITE: Massive Immigration to Israel
The thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel describes the rebirth of the nation of Israel. The very next chapters describe this attack. Ezekiel tells us that this attack occurs in “the latter years”, after Israel is regathered from the nations of her dispersion:
“After many days you will be summoned; IN THE LATTER YEARS you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, WHOSE INHABITANTS HAVE BEEN GATHERED FROM MANY NATIONS to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations and they are living securely, all of them.” Ezekiel 38:8
That “ingathering”, specifically from Russia, is occurring in our day. Therefore, I expect the invasion will occur sooner rather than later. In fact, it could occur at any time.
PREREQUISITE(?): The Rapture
The Bible indicates that the return of Messiah for his bride, in keeping with Jewish marital custom, will be a surprise.12 When this judgement takes place, it will send off theological sky-rockets. If the invasion of Israel were to occur before the Rapture and the Covenant, it seems the element of surprise would be compromised. Therefore, it is probable that the invasion will come after the Rapture and signing of the Covenant.
PREREQUISITE: Middle East Peace Covenant
At the time of the attack, Ezekiel describes Israel as dwelling in peace (38:8,11). I do not believe that this will be true prior to the Middle East Peace Covenant, in that guaranteeing Israel’s peace will be its primary purpose. Nor do I believe that Israel could be considered at peace during the second half of the seven years, for the Prince will be very busy oppressing and attempting to personally annihilate Israel.
Who are the participants in this attack?
“”Son of man, set your face toward God of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him. … Persia, Ethiopia [Cush], and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer with all its troops; Bethtogarmahfrom the remote parts of the north with all its troops — many peoples with you.”” Ezekiel 38:2,5-6
The Prophet Ezekiel did not have a Rand McNally atlas available to him to provide us with the modern place names. Rather, he identified the invaders by their ancient “tribal” names. Our challenge is to correlate those “tribal” names to modern nations. Hammond’s Atlas of the Bible Lands, contains a map entitled “The Nations According to Genesis 10.” This map shows the early settlements of these tribes. The following list correlates tribal placement on that map with a modern map of nations::
CROSS REFERENCE OF TRIBAL LOCATIONS AND MODERN NATIONS
EZEKIEL 38:2-6 EARLY TRIBAL LOCATION13 MODERN NATION (per Hammond’s map)
Rosh (not shown) Russia
Magog North of the Caspian Sea Kazakhstan
Meshech East of the Black Sea Republic of Georgia and North-east Turkey
Tubal South-east of the Black Sea Northern Turkey
Persia North of the Persian Gulf Iran
Cush Southern Nile valley Ethiopia, Sudan
Put West of Egypt Libya
Gomer North and south of Ukrainia
the Black Sea Southern tip of the Russian and Central Turkey
Togarmah * South-east of the Black Sea Eastern Turkey
Ezekiel identifies the leader of this invasion as “Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal”. This appears to describe a leader of Russia, for some historians and interpreters place each of the asterisked (*) tribes in the above chart in the former Soviet Union. In ancient Hebrew, “Gog” is pronounced “Jawj” or George.14 (This caused a bit of a stir in Israel in the wake of the Persian Gulf War.)
However, it would appear that the “George” of the US White House would be a little misplaced to fulfill this prophecy. Ezekiel tells us that Gog is the prince of “Rosh”. In the Late Great Planet Earth, Hal Lindsey explains the derivation of “Rosh”:
“The word literally means in Hebrew the “top” or “head” of something. According to most scholars, this word is used in the sense of a proper name, not as a descriptive noun qualifying the word “prince.” The German scholar, Dr. Keil, says after a careful grammatical analysis that it should be translated as a proper name, i.e., Rosh. He says, “The Byzantine and Arabic writers frequently mention a people called Ros and Rus, dwelling in the country of Taurus, and reckoned among the Scythian tribes.” Dr. Gesenius in his Hebrew Lexicon says, “…Rosh was a designation for the tribes then north of the Taurus Mountains, dwelling in the neighborhood of the Volga.” He concluded that in this name and tribe we have the first historical trace of the Russ or Russian nation.”15
Another of the invaders is “Gomer.” Many fine expositors interpret Gomer to be modern Germany. This is in keeping with Jewish tradition. Until the late 1980’s, it was very easy to stand by this interpretation. East Germany was the largest Russian satellite in Eastern Europe. This relationship was seen as a prophetic fulfillment between “Rosh” and “Gomer”. But, when East Germany broke away from the Soviet Union and was reunited with West Germany, many interpreters were left speechless.
Perhaps Germany is not the tribe of Gomer mentioned in Ezekiel. On our cross reference table, you can see that at least some maps indicate that “Gomer” originally settled in what is today the southern Russia and Turkey before migrating westward. Therefore, “Gomer” may not be Germany at all, but the Ukraine and her immediate neighbors. It should be noted that this southern area of Russia is heavily Moslem. These tribes would be religiously predisposed to joining a ‘holy war’ against Israel.
We have established that the invasion will lead by Russian, and will involve her Moslem southern republics. Also joining in the fray will be a number of Russian allies — her radical Moslem clients — Iran, Libya, the Sudan and Ethiopia. In addition, the maps would indicate that parts of modern Turkey may be involved as well. Today, that may seem a little far fetched, because Turkey is a member of NATO, and was part of the coalition against Iraq. However, President Ozal’s involvement in the coalition was not popularly supported in Turkey. He has also faced a dilemma when handling the Kurds. These forces which have been placed in motion, could lead to the weakening or ultimate overthrow of the Turkish government by radical Moslem factions.
What is the motive for this war? Ezekiel tells us that this invasion is inspired by two sources. Firstly, Russian masterminds develop an “evil plan” (38:10) all on their own. Secondly, God hardens their hearts for judgement. Russia and her allies have been mistreating and persecuting God’s People for centuries. For seventy years, under communism, Russia refused to even confess the existence of God. Ezekiel tells us that God Himself is ‘setting a hook’ in Russia’s jaw (38:4) to draw her down to her judgement.
In the light of current events, can we imagine how this “evil plan” will come about? It becomes easier with each passing day. As the democratic government of Russia draws closer to the West and comes under attack from hard-line communists, plans to restore the glory that was the USSR become more and more possible.
Consider this Russian communist logic:
· Russia’s relationship with our radical Moslem allies have been damaged by the Gulf War and the War on Terror. The misguided reformers have not only denied our friends support, but they unleashed Western imperialism in the Middle East, and they have also allowed thousands upon thousands of Jews to immigrate to ‘Palestine’.
· Russia is facing crises at home and abroad. Our standard of living has been decimated. The emigrating Jews took our resources; both their labor and our goods. Our Arab friends are angry that we have released the Jews, for they are now settling on Arab soil in Palestine.
· Let us formulate a “Plan” to kill two birds with one stone — we can rekindle our friendship with our radical Moslem friends and at the same time restore the wealth of our nation. It’s very simple: we invade Israel. It will take care of the Jewish immigration problem, it will throw the West into a state of confusion, we’ll bring back ‘our’ goods and it will be popular with our citizenry. It will be a cakewalk, and we’ll all be heroes!
Pharaoh himself couldn’t have said it better! It was only some 3500 years ago that the king of Egypt decided to let God’s people go, only to go after them to retrieve them. It is interesting that the mass immigration of Soviet Jewry is called “Operation Exodus”. Just as Pharaoh lost his army pursuing people of the original Exodus — so Russia will lose her army pursuing Soviet Jewry. Ezekiel 38:21 describes some of the early fighting as brother against brother. This may allude to Jewish Soviet immigrants fighting against their Russian brothers in uniform.
The defender of Israel will not be the Israeli Defence Force, this time it will be God, Himself. The God of Israel will miraculously and utterly destroy the invaders!
We are told in Ezekiel 39:12 that it will take Israel seven months to find and bury the Russian dead in order to “cleanse” the land. Perhaps this seven month period gives us a clue as to the time of year that this invasion will occur! Continuing with the “Exodus” parallel, if the invasion were to occur just before Passover — the time of the original “Exodus”, then there would be exactly seven months until Yom Kippur. In that Israel will undergo a spiritual awakening due to this divine deliverance, that may motivate her to “cleanse” the land prior to this spiritually meaningful Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur. Another hint that this may be a spring invasion is that God invites the birds to feast on the dead. The large, European birds of prey — the raptors, migrate through Israel only in the spring and fall.
This Signpost, in addition to be an treacherous Russian act, is also a judgement of God. It is God Himself who is setting the hook in the Russian jaw. Russia and her radical Moslem allies will meet their doom on the mountains of Israel. As a result of that judgement, God will reveal Himself to both the nations and to Israel.
“”And with pestilence and with blood I shall enter into judgement with him; and I shall rain on him, and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire, and brimstone. And I shall magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and MAKE MYSELF KNOWN IN THE SIGHT OF MANY NATIONS; AND THEY WILL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD.”” Ezekiel 38:22-23
“”And I shall SET MY GLORY among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgement which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. And the house of ISRAEL WILL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD THEIR GOD FORM THAT DAY ONWARD.”” Ezekiel 39:21-22
As the result of God’s destruction of the invading force, the world will know that the God of Israel is the one and only true God. But it also allows room for us to ponder some interesting questions:
· How will this effect the faith of Israel’s Moslem neighbors? Is this the time of Egypt’s conversion from Islam to Judaism? (Isaiah 19:21)
· Is the “glory” which is set among the nations here referring to the return of the Shekinah glory? Is this the time when the visible sign of God’s presence returns to the Holy of Holies?
· How will the Prince take the news that he was not called to defend Israel (as per the terms of the Middle East Peace Covenant), but her God was? Will he be brazen enough to claim credit for himself? Will he use Israel’s divine deliverance as a messianic credential?
To summarize, the Russo-Israeli war will be initiated by a coalition of forces lead by Russia borne of hatred and envy of Israel, and will be used by God to reveal Himself as the Protector of His People.
Similarly, at the end of the Millennium, there will be a war against another Israeli government — Messiah’s government. The mastermind behind this plot will be none other than Satan himself. Those who he deceives into joining in the war with him are symbolically called Gog and Magog, in order to draw a parallel to the invasion we have just discussed. And just as God will utterly destroy the Russian led armies, so God will likewise destroy the Satanically led rebels.
SIGNPOST: THE PRINCE AND HIS KINGDOM
A great body of the prophetic word is devoted to describing the seven years after the signing of the Middle East Peace Covenant. That time is often called the “tribulation”. The second half of the seven years is referred to as “the Great Tribulation” and “the time of Jacob’s trouble.”16 During this three and a half year period, people will not only be faced with God’s judgement in the form of natural catastrophes, but they will be ruled by the most hateful and oppressive dictatorship this world has ever seen.
The prophets have described the dictatorship of the “prince who is to come” — at great length. Let’s look at some of the general characteristics of his kingdom:
Daniel tells us that this kingdom will grow out of Europe.17 This is implied when he tells us that the Prince, will be from the people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary.18 We know from history that Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the armies of Europe, led by Rome, in 70 A.D.. In addition, prophetic visions of this beastly kingdom described it arising from the sea.19 This may be descriptive of Europe’s relative geographic position to Israel, that is, across the Mediterranean Sea.
This kingdom is not content to restrict its rule to its own geographic borders. Rather, Daniel tells us that this kingdom “will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.”20 This kingdom will have planetary dominion.
CONQUEST THROUGH ECONOMIC DOMINATION
Other kingdoms have conquered their known worlds by military might, but not this European kingdom, it will be “different.” This kingdom and her Prince will conquer with peace.21 And how does one peacefully conquer to the world, you may be asking — by economic might! In Revelation 13 we are told that the entire world stands in awe of this government — “Who can compete with these people,” they will say. That same chapter also describes a tightly controlled economic and financial system.22
It will be a global ‘cashless’ society – – anyone who wants to participate in the marketplace and buy or sell anything, will have to be a member in good standing of the Prince’s credit system. Security will be very tight. No more of these credit cards which can be lost or stolen. Each person will receive a number and it may very well be bio-implanted either on the forehead or the right hand. No bio-implant and you will not be able to buy; no implant reader at the point of sale and you are out of business.
This system may be introduced to put the black marketeers, the drug lord, tax evaders, the mob, terrorists, and the money launderers out of business. Without cash or access to the master system, they would have no monetary exchange mechanism. But, the same system would give the government absolute and total control of every monetary transaction. Life apart from this system will be near impossible. People, nations and regional economic clubs will admire the success of the system, and will clamor to be part of it. But just as motivating will be the fear of being “excommunicated” from this global financial system, for it will consume or ‘devour the whole earth.’ Failure to participate in the Prince’s economic and spiritual system will spell certain death…but also certain resurrection:
“…and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6
THE PRINCE WHO IS TO COME
The ruler of this kingdom will be the “prince who is to come” (a.k.a “the Beast”; “the Antichrist”). He will appear on the world scene as a man of peace with great spiritual and diplomatic insight. He will be a charismatic European leader who is successfully able to pull off negotiation of the Middle East Peace Covenant. In the subsequent three and a half years, his government will be “coalescing”. Revelation 13:5 tells us that it is at this point that the Prince is given “authority.” His kingdom will then rise to its full strength.
This man will not only have pretensions of godhood, but a master Plan as well. He will discard the “national-saurus” leaders from the bygone age. He will place the administration of his government in the hands of a cabinet of ten ministers.23 They will each be given a portfolio of significant issues or a global region to administrate, for John tells us that they shall “receive authority as kings.”24 This effective team will enable the Prince to grow to become an autocratic monster.
I believe we can see this transformation from benign to malignant power in the language of Revelation 13. This passage pulls no punches — the Prince’s kingdom is here referred to as a beast, and his satanic mentor is referred to as a dragon. In the beginning of the chapter we read that
“the whole world was amazed and followed after the beast; and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”” (v.3,4)
It appears that early in the Prince’s reign this worship is volitional and genuine. But then there is an abrupt change. Later, in the same chapter, we are introduced to a second beast, perhaps a Cabinet Chief. We are told that the second beast “…exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast…” (v.12) We have a sudden transformation from awe-struck, volitional worship to compulsion!
This Cabinet Chief will set up a tightly controlled economic system. He will compel every person to have a ‘mark’ on their right hand or forehead in order to buy or sell. Want to buy bread, milk and some Friskies for the cat? – – Run your right hand with the bio-implanted microchip over the scanner at the super market. Perhaps this system will be ‘sold’ to the public as both a secure credit card replacement, and a patriotic move to make everyone’s finances transparent in order to rout out terrorists and fraudulent white collar criminals. While it will sound good and be near impossible to turn down, those who receive this mark become ‘citizens’ of the Prince’s kingdom which will mean automatic exclusion from citizenship in God’s Kingdom for all eternity. Even though it is the better choice, failure to receive the mark will mean the inability to shop, pay bills, sell goods or services, and will frequently result in martyrdom – – enemies of the state will be hunted down and eliminated.
How will the Prince’s megalomania manifest itself? Three and a half years after the signing of the Middle East Peace Covenant he will turn on Israel. No longer will he be the guarantor of Israel’s peace, but of her persecution. Perhaps he will be in a blind rage because Israel turned to God to save her from the Russian invasion instead of relying on their Covenant with him.
What motivation could precipitate such a swing in behavior from being a champion of peace to being a champion of death? Perhaps his new satanic “authority” will go to his head. Let’s imagine what thoughts may buzz through his head:
“Three and a half years ago, I made a Covenant with the Israelis. For three and a half years, I have made it possible for them and the rest of the world to live in peace. When the Russians and Moslems invaded recently, did they turn to me for help? No! They turned back to their mysticism, and called on their God. Did he give them peace in the last 2000 years? No, I did. Now their attackers have been defeated through some “miracle”. Not only is Israel attributing their salvation to their God, but so is the whole world.
For three and a half years, the world has looked to me for leadership and hope. I am trying to save mankind and usher in my golden age of civilization. We are so close! Now, my authority is being called into question, and I could soon lose control and my vision will be lost. I’ve got to do something, and fast. … Yes! I’ve got it! Number One, pack your “miracle bag”, we’re off to Jerusalem for the performance of our lives!”
Perhaps as a pure act of megalomania, perhaps as a “face-saving” gesture, by which he will claim credit for Israel’s supernatural salvation, the Prince will commit an abominable act. He will fly to Jerusalem, and enter the newly constructed Holy of Holies. There, in the Temple of God, he will sit down — enthroning himself — and declare himself to be god.25 In Revelation 11:8, Jerusalem is “mystically” called Sodom and Egypt perhaps denoting its desecrated state. When this desecration occurs, Jesus offered some advice to those who are in Israel at that time: Run!
“Therefore when you see the Abomination of Desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak. But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days! But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on the Sabbath; for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.” Matthew 24:15-21
In Jerusalem, the Prince and his Cabinet Chief will perform some “miracles” to authenticate his messianic credentials. The Israelis will not be an easy audience. Then, as has been the case for the last 2500 years, Israel will once again be pursued. She will flee into the mountainous wilderness and as Daniel has prophesied, sacrifice to the God of Israel will be stopped.
While the Prince gathers his initial power, God will station “two witnesses” in the streets of Jerusalem. They will prophesy, call down God’s judgements, and consume their enemies with fire. They will make the Prince’s life miserable for those initial three and a half years.26 When they have finished their 42-month testimony, the Prince, having set up his throne in Jerusalem, will have them executed. Their bodies will be left in the street for worldwide public viewing. Perhaps FOX, CNN and MSNBC will provide live coverage. After three and a half days, they will be resurrected and Jerusalem will be hit by a devastating earthquake — the murders committed by the Prince will be immediately avenged.
The next half of the seven years of tribulation, will be filled with divine, cataclysmic judgements. As God’s people are oppressed, hunted down and martyred, Divine records will be kept and judgements will be rained down.
And when humanity is at its lowest point, the rumors start. There is going to be a coup! Hush! Hush! The inspirational word is secretly passed, “Cheer up; hold fast! There’s good news! Messiah’s coming!”
SIGNPOST: ARMAGEDDON AND THE ADVENT OF MESSIAH
While some of these Signposts may only be vaguely familiar to some, the one that undoubtedly has the highest ‘recognition factor’ is Armageddon. However, this is also the event that is the most widely misunderstood. For most people, the word Armageddon connotes “the end of the world.” But this is not the biblical view.
Armageddon is not the “end of the world”, it is only the end of our current pernicious world order. Armageddon is the final struggle between the armies of the world and Israel defended by the armies of Messiah. While all mankind will be focused on death and destruction, God will be focused on re-establish His creation as He originally intended it — a holy kingdom of peace and divine fellowship.
For seven years prior to Armageddon, Israel’s God and his angelic agents will be the source of untold grief on a world scale. God’s judgements will
· result in war, famine, pestilence, animal attacks, and earthquakes,
· burn one-third of the earth including trees and grass,
· destroy one-third of sea life and ships,
· reduce sun and moon light by one-third,
· kill one-third of all mankind.
This is not to say that the peoples of the world will not have deserved the judgement to which they have been subject. Men will continue to commit crimes against God and their fellow man without remorse.
“And the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and THEY DID NOT REPENT of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immortality nor of their thefts.” Revelation 9:20-21
Rather than change their ways, they will strike out at the source of their affliction. To paraphrase Paddy Chayevsky, they’ll be mad, and they’re not going to take it any more. Leading this angry and vindictive global mob will be the Prince. The judgements which will beset the earth and their Author will not escape the notice of our prince. He will have laid out a nice, peaceful, world dictatorship for himself, and then this God of Israel will dare to challenge his power. The Prince will ready for a fight to the finish, for he will know what lies ahead.
Then the word will spread. That which was only whispered in secret will then be proclaimed in the streets — Messiah’s coming! Although there has been talk of Messiah’s coming for millennia, there will be unmistakable signs in the sky. These signs will herald the ultimate challenge to the Prince’s power.
The Prince will try to focus the world’s pain and anger on a common “enemy” – – Israel. He will prepare a “welcoming party” for their Messiah in Jerusalem, sending invitations to the armies of the world. The nations will eagerly respond to the call. They will assemble on the plain of Meggido and at the appointed time, the armies will encircle Jerusalem. In addition to striking out at Israel and her God, they may also want to get some licks in at the Prince as well. Hopes will be high.
Just as God will set the “hook” in Russia jaw and drag her down to Israel for judgement, now the world will be “reeled in”. God tells us three primary reasons for this cataclysmic judgement,
· the world’s treatment of His People, particularly the captivity of the Jews (Joel 3:2-3)
· the world’s division of Eretz Yisrael (The Land of Israel) (Joel 3:2-3), and
· mankind’s destruction of the earth (Revelation 11:18).
The battle will begin before Messiah arrives. The Prince’s coalition forces will have initial success. Jerusalem will be captured and its occupants brutalized.
“For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the CITY WILL BE CAPTURED, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. THEN the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.” Zechariah 14:2-3
Then reinforcements join the battle — Messiah arrives with his “holy ones”!27 Strengthened by God, the “clans of Judah” will first defeat the surrounding armies on the “left” and “right”, then the residents of Jerusalem retake the city showcasing great acts of personal heroism. Then God will focus His attention on the remaining armies. At the end of the day, Israel will stand alone, her enemies Divinely defeated once again.
“”In that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem. The LORD also will save the tents of Judah first in order that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be magnified above Judah. In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the ONE WHO IS FEEBLE AMONG THEM IN THAT DAY WILL BE LIKE DAVID, AND THE HOUSE OF DAVID WILL BE LIKE GOD, like the angel of the LORD before them. And it will come about in that day that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” Zechariah 12:6-9
And when God turns to destroy the nations who dared rise up against His People and His Land. The gruesome description that Zechariah provides almost sounds like a nuclear blast.
“Now this will be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth. So also like this plague, will be the plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey, and all the cattle that will be in those camps.” Zechariah 14:12,15
After God deals with the nations’ armies, the Prince, himself, and his Cabinet Chief will be seized, summarily judged and thrown alive into the Lake of Fire.28
Then, Messiah Jesus will become King Yeshua. As one of his first royal acts, He will sit upon His throne and judge “the nations”.29 He separates the rag-tag survivors into three groups:
· His brothers — those who have faithfully followed Him during the seven years of judgement, both Jew and Gentile. This group, King Yeshua will welcome into His kingdom.
· Those who have given comfort to his brothers — While His brothers are being economically strangled by the Prince’s Economic Management System, these people shared food, drink, clothing, shelter, and compassion with them. This group too, King Yeshua will welcome into His kingdom.
· Those who have NOT given comfort to his brothers — This group contains people who either through cowardice or malevolence committed sins of omission and commission against His brothers. When they saw His Brothers in need, they either turned away or turned them in to the authorities. This group, King Yeshua will condemn; they will face the same punishment as the Prince with whom they conspired.
Israel and her God have triumphed! Her Messiah and King has come and now reigns! And when the people of Israel see Him, there will be a flash of recognition. It is Yeshua Ben Yosef, the rejected One, the crucified One. The One whose Greek name, ‘Jesus’, was used by the blasphemous Gentiles as an excuse to kill Jews for millennia. The words of the Psalmist are recalled:
“My God, my God, why has Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. … But I am a worm, and not a man, a reproach of men, and despised by the people. All who see me sneer at me; they separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying, “Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.” … A band of evildoers has encompassed me; THEY PIERCED MY HANDS AND MY FEET.” Psalm 24:1,6-8, 16
The nation laments!
“And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on ME WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.” Zechariah 12:10
Great will be the lament of Israel! For two millenia they will have been separated from this, their beloved Son. Two thousand years ago their fathers rejected this man, Yeshua, and his messianic credentials. Then, this separation was made near irrevocable by faithless Gentiles – – first they obscured his identity with pagan traditions then they murdered Jews in “Jesus’ name”. But all this will become ancient history for Messiah will transform their mourning through forgiveness:
“Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away His judgements against you, He has cleared away you enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you will fear disaster no more.” Zephaniah 3:14-15
Israel will rejoice! After 6,000 years of promise, her Messiah has come to rule and to reign. Having defeated his enemies and judged his captives, he will turn to the business of establishing his Kingdom. Thus, we see that Armageddon is not the end of the world, but a new beginning!
SIGNPOST: THE MESSIANIC KINGDOM
Beyond Armageddon is the Messianic Kingdom. Yeshua Ha Melech, Jesus the King, will ascend his throne to rule and reign as King of kings. His reign will be characterized by universal peace, holiness and justice and it will last for a thousand years.30 This will be an age of true peace, not the “genuine, simulated” variety promised by the Prince.
In those days, the House of the Lord will be rebuilt and rededicated on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. God has provided the detailed plans for that Temple in Ezekiel 40-43. It will be a beautiful sight! A new order of sacrifice will be instituted as prescribed by God in Ezekiel 45.
Jerusalem’s new Temple will be not only Israel’s center of worship, but the center of worship for the whole world. People from all over the world will go to the House of the Lord to learn how to lead righteous lives. The nations will seek out the company of the Jewish people because of their special relationship with God. Jerusalem will also become the center of international law, and justice. International conflict will forever cease as King Yeshua arbitrates the differences between peoples.31
And who are the subjects and administrators of this Kingdom? They will be the faithful followers of Messiah throughout the ages – the resurrected, the raptured, the martyred , and the “surviving” brethren.
The Resurrected and Raptured:
This group includes God’s faithful who died from Adam until the Rapture and those of us who are faithful and living at the time of the Rapture. All will be resurrected and transformed to immortality at the Rapture. This group is part of Messiah’s Bride, who will live in the New Jerusalem.32 These faithful ones will have spent the seven years of the Covenant with Messiah, shielded from the storms of judgement. They will reign and rule34 with Yeshua Ha Melech from the regal city — the heavenly New Jerusalem35 And a beautiful and great city she shall be:
· she is a holy city that exists in the heavens, until she descends to the “new earth” in the Eternal Kingdom,
· she is brilliant due to the physical presence of the glory of God; and her brilliance illuminates the new earth,
· the city has a high wall which contains twelve gates named after the twelve tribes of Israel and each made of a single pearl,
· the wall is built upon twelve foundation stones named after Messiah’s twelve apostles and each adorned with semi-precious stones,
· the city is cubical, measuring 1500 miles on each side, and
· the city and its streets are made of pure gold.
This group includes those who find faith in Messiah after the Rapture and who die before the establishment of the Kingdom. Some may have been murdered because of their faith and their refusal to be “marked” by the evil prince.33 The spirits of these faithful ones will join the Messiah in the New Jerusalem until the Kingdom comes. When the Kingdom is established, they will be resurrected and transformed to immortality.
The Surviving Brethren
This group includes the countless numbers of men and women who will make it through the seven years alive and find faith in Messiah or support those who do. They will not worship the prince and receive his mark. This group is comprised of both Jews and righteous Gentiles and those who had compassion upon “Messiah’s brothers” during the oppressive reign of the Prince. When Messiah judges the nations, these men and women will be found worthy to enter his Kingdom. They are not immediately resurrected but are physically and spiritually just as we are today. They, too, are ultimately resurrected at the beginning of the Eternal Kingdom.
Jesus will be the King of kings. Reporting directly to him will be a subordinate group of rulers. Some interpreters believe that Israel itself will be administered by the resurrected King David himself.36
Contrary to popular belief, we will not be sitting idly playing harps and lining up to get fitted for “angelic wings”. We shall be a separated kingdom of priests and kings.37 A parable found in Luke 19:12-28 indicates that we may be given areas to administrate and judge. The Apostle Paul encourages us to exercise the gift of discernment and wisdom in our daily walk in preparation for our coming duties. I Corinthians 6:1-3 indicates that these administrative portfolios will include sitting in judgement of angels:
“Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints [Messiah’s followers] ? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, the matters of this life?” I Corinthians 6:1-3
Therefore, it seems we will be kept very busy reviewing cases, judging our citizenry and making wise administrative decisions.
After almost three millennia of persecution at Gentile hands, Messiah’s surviving Jewish subjects will be elevated to the position of the premier citizens of the Kingdom.
“But you will be called the priests of the Lord; you will be spoken of as ministers of our God. You will eat the wealth of nations, an in their riches you will boast. Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion, Therefore, they will possess a double portion in their land, everlasting joy will be theirs.” Isaiah 61:6-7
Jews will still be sought after, but this time with humility and to act as advocates for the Gentiles with the LORD:
“‘So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of host in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the LORD.’ Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”‘” Zechariah 8:22-21
The Kingdom will be the perfect environment:
· Satan will be removed, so there will be no supernatural temptation.
· The curse will be lifted from the earth, and it will bear fruit and animals will dwell in peace.
· The rulers and judgements will be just and fair.
· Mortal subjects will continue to tend their crops and flocks, build their houses, bake their bread and reproduce; they will live to a minimum of 100 years old.38
All in all, it will be a ‘back to Eden’ experience, with one small difference. These mortal subjects will still have a sin-prone nature. Even though they are living in the ‘perfect environment’, they will still sin and rebel. This is why we are told that Jesus will rule with a rod of iron39. Their compliance with Kingdom rules will not always be volitional. As administrators, we will have our work cut out for us.
After the thousand years are complete, Satan will be loosed. He will again deceive mortal man and organize a rebellion.40 Man’s sin-prone nature will be put to the test one final time, and again many will fail. This rebellion will be very similar to the Russo-Israeli War. This is why these gathering rebels are called Gog and Magog.41 Needless to say, this war will end as the other, with the Lord’s enemies totally destroyed.42
SIGNPOST: THE ETERNAL KINGDOM
Beyond Armageddon, beyond the Messianic Kingdom is the Eternal Kingdom of God43. The faithful mortals of the Messianic Kingdom will be resurrected to eternal life. Then, prior to the establishment of the Eternal Kingdom, two judgements will take place. First, the dead who have rejected Messiah and his substitutionary death, will be judged according to their works. Those who are judged guilty of breaking God’s Law — and all have — will be condemned and separated from God for all eternity.
Secondly, the heavens and earth will be purged with fire. Our worn and tattered heaven and earth will pass away.
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” II Peter 3:10
Then there will be a new creation — a new heaven and a new earth. Mankind will have a new beginning with his Creator. God and man will be physically reunited. The New Jerusalem, the habitation of God and Messiah’s Bride-Queen, will descend from heaven to the earth. There, God will dwell with His people throughout all eternity.
“…” Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them,”” Revelation 21: 3
The Millennial Temple and its new order of sacrifice will pass away with the old earth. This new creation will not have or need a Temple, because God will dwell among His people. His Glory, the ShekinahGlory, will be their light — there will be no more sun or moon, day or night.
All men of faith will have been resurrected and spiritually perfected. There will be no more cowardice, faithlessness, wickedness or hatred. All sources of sorrow and misery will also pass away. There will be no more death or grieving, no more crying or pain. God and Man will be united and dwell forever in perfect peace. All creation shall be recast according to the Creator’s original plan.
Beloved friend, there are joyous adventures ahead for those whose trust is in the Lord! Before we embark on or discussion of the Pathways that will lead the world to these Mile Markers, take a moment and assess your account with God. Have you allowed Messiah Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, to make payment for your sin? If you haven’t, why not talk to him about it now? If you have, are you being faithful to him; living ‘in peace, spotless and blameless’? Are you desiring his coming as a bride desires her groom and her wedding day?
Let us each pray that we might be found worthy of our Beloved Lord, Bridegroom and coming King, Jesus! Let us each pray that He finds us to be faithful when we meet Him face to face.
1 The English word ‘Antichrist’ is itself deceiving, for the prefix “anti-” gives us the sense of ‘against.’ Actually, the literal translation means ‘instead of Christ’. I prefer to think of him as the ‘Almostchrist’. Apart from the true Messiah Himself, this man will appear to be the best hope the world has to offer. Rather than being totally opposite or against Messiah, he will be a great counterfeit.
2 Daniel 9:24:27
3 J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come, Zondervan Publishing House, 1958, p.244
4 Ibid p 245
5 John 3:29, Revelation 19:7-9
6 Zola Levitt, A Christian Love Story, Zola Levitt Ministries, 1978 p. 1-6
7 Matthew 24:37-39, Luke 17:26-27
8 Luke 17:28-33
9 I Corinthians 15:50-58
10 I Corinthians 9:24-27, II Timothy 4:7-8, II Corinthians 4:10, I Corinthians 3:12-15
11 I Corinthians 3:12-15
12 I Thessalonians 5:2
13 Atlas of the Bible Lands, Hammond Incorporated, 1959, “The Nations According to Genesis 10” p.B-4
14 The Jerusalem Post International Edition, 3/9/91 (“Footsteps of Messiah”)
15 Lindsey, Hal, The Late Great Planet Earth, Zondervan Publishing House, 1970 p.65
16 Jeremiah 30:7
17 Daniel 9:26
18 Daniel 9:26
19 Daniel 7:3, Revelation 13:1
20 Daniel 7:23
21 Daniel 8:25
22 Revelation 13:3-4, 16-17
23 Revelation 17:12-13
24 Revelation 17:12
25 II Thessalonians 2:4
26 Revelation 11:3-13, Zechariah 4
27 Zechariah 14:4,5,9
28 Revelation 19:20, Daniel 11:45
29 Matthew 25:31-36
30 Revelation 20:4
31 Isaiah 2:2-4
32 Revelation 21:9-10
33 Revelation 20:4
34 2 Timothy 2:11-13, Revelation 5:10, 20:4-6
35 Revelation 21:9-10
36 Jeremiah 30:9, Ezekiel 34:23-24, 37:24-25, Hosea 3:5
37 Revelation 5:9-10
38 Isaiah 65:17-25
39 Revelation 19:15
40 Revelation 20:7
41 Revelation 20:8
42 Revelation 20:19-20
43 Revelation 21 and 22