As this shocking Supreme Court decision on Gay marriage settles into the nation, I’m reminded of the passage in Luke where Yeshua (Jesus) told us one of the final signs of His return. He said it would be like the days of Lot. While many of us are grieving over this decision, it should be a reminder to those of us who know the Lord, that His words are being fulfilled to the detail, every jot and tittle! And THAT is exciting news.
Luke 17:28-30 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
Read on to verse 32. Remember Lot’s wife.
Remember Lot’s wife? Why would He mention her? Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt because she disobeyed the order not to look back at her burning city. Yes, our hearts are broken but for those of us who are children of God, we have a Kingdom ahead which can never be destroyed! This world is not our home! We are simply strangers and exiles on the earth. [Hebrews 11:13]
Remember Yeshua’s warning, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” [Luke 9:62]
Let’s look up and ahead, for truly our redemption draweth nigh!
In Matthew 24, Yeshua (Jesus) makes an interesting correlation between the end of the age and a woman giving birth. [Matthew 24:8]. As the birth of a baby draws near, the birth pangs intensify, and the timing between pangs becomes shorter and shorter, eventually leading to the climatic moment of birth. The world is now in the middle of a prophetic birthing cycle. No one can deny that the birth pangs have been intensifying , but the key to knowing that birth is near is that moments before a baby is born, the WATER BREAKS. I believe we are about to embark on that pivotal moment in history.
We could very well be experiencing a monumental, prophetic, water breaking event in our very near future, a gushing outbreak of the outpouring of God’s Spirit and a harvest of multitudes.
When the church age began, every believer was Jewish. However, when non-jewish Cornelius came to faith – the Apostles realized the message of the gospel was not only for the Jewish people, but also for the Gentiles. In the first century, the Jewish apostles gathered in Jerusalem to determine what to do about the issue of Gentiles coming to faith (ironically, today the church is trying to figure out what to do with all these Jewish people coming to faith). But it is in the midst of this meeting, James stands up and quotes Amos 9. We read in Acts 15,
Acts 15:13-18 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, “‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.‘
When James quotes this passage of Amos 9, it was only PARTIALLY FULFILLED!
If we read this passage in its entirety, we discover these events are now being fulfilled before our eyes.
Amos 9:11-12 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the Gentiles, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.
Amos 9:14-15 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.
Along with the Gentiles coming into the Kingdom is the promise that God will restore the Jewish people back to their land and rebuild the waste cities and inhabit them. This prophecy could not be fulfilled unless the Jewish people were first expelled from the land, only to return many years later. This passage in Amos is being fulfilled in our generation.
If we look closely, the central theme of this passage is the HARVEST. In verse 13, Amos says,
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
The Keil – Delitzsch commentary on this particular verse explains it this way.
The ploughman will reach to the reaper.” Even while the one is engaged in ploughing the land for the sowing, the other will already be able to cut ripe corn; so quickly will the corn grow and ripen. And the treading of the grapes will last to the sowing-time, so abundant will the vintage be.
Prophetically, Amos declares that the harvest will be so ABUNDANT, that reaping and sowing will take place simultaneously!
Yeshua (Jesus) describes the world as His great harvest field, and in the parable given in Matthew 13, He says,
Mat 13:24-30 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.‘”
The Lord declared that the wheat and the tares were to grow side by side together. As we see the tares, that is, the evils of this world manifesting, we also need to be mindful the wheat is also ripening right along with it!
Below is a chart of the population of the world since the birth of the Messiah.
As you can see, the population of the world in the above graph was essentially flat for 1900 years. It took nearly 1900 years to get to the first billion. From the 1930’s to now, the population grew exponentially to seven and a half billion.
For those first 1900 years, there were an estimated 4-5 billion people that lived on the earth. Let us suppose for a moment, that only ten percent of those 4-5 billion people came to a saving knowledge of the Lord. This would mean for the first 1900 years, an estimated 400,000,000 to 500,000,000 million people in the world came to faith.
Today, before our very eyes, we are seeing the world’s population grow to over 7 billion people! And if we suppose the same scenario of ten percent, then in our generation alone, there will be 700,000,000 or so people come to faith! This season, we may see nearly double the number of people entering the Kingdom then all 1900 or so years combined! That’s HUGE!
I urge you, brothers and sisters, we are alive for the greatest opportunity that any generation has ever had! Now is not the time to cower in fear — now is the day of salvation!
One key development that has not been reported is the fact that the Palestinians demand a “territorial link” connecting the West Bank and Gaza.
What does this mean? It would literally divide Israel into two parts.
The PLO released a statement through its news agency Wafa and stated a “territorial link connecting the West Bank and Gaza is crucial to the integrity of the Palestinian state”, and was a prerequisite for peace.
The Bible says in Joel in 3:2:
I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.
Notice one of the reasons for the gathering of the nations for judgment is dividing My land. As I said in an earlier blog piece,
This land was given to the Jews as an eternal homeland. As nations try to divide this land, remember what God says in Deuteronomy 32:8-9:
When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, When He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance.
According to this passage, it is the nations’ borders that are based on Israel, and not vice versa. From a Biblical perspective, altering Israel’s borders is an expression of rebellion against God who established the borders of Israel.
As the passage continues in verses 13-18 of Joel 3, it says, “Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, The vats overflow — For their wickedness is great.” Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness. The Lord also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel. “So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens shall ever pass through her again.” And it will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with new wine, The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; A fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord and water the Valley of Acacias.
As the nations continue to pressure Israel into trading land for peace, unknowingly they are fulfilling this prophecy of dividing the land – and thereby sealing their fate.
dear george,i was reading my bible this morning and jesus talked of DESTROYING TERROR,and i do not know what that means,and daniel talked of it too.oh well,please respond if you can,thanks and god bless…
It took me a little bit to figure out what you were referring to, but I did an online parallel Bible search on the word “terror” and I believe I found what you were referencing in Matthew 24:15.
Matthew 24:15 “Daniel the prophet spoke about ‘the destroying terror.’ You will see this standing in the holy place.” (You who read this should understand what it means.) — New Century Version
In this particular passage, Yeshua (Jesus) is referring to the events prior to His return as referenced in Matthew 24:3 —
Matthew 24:3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
The verse you are referring to is a picture of an event that already took place, yet a double fulfillment is in store since Yeshua mentioned it specifically in Matthew 24. So in order to understand this particular passage, you have to study a little bit of history. This is a brief description of what happened roughly 2,150 years ago.
Over 150 years before Jesus’ birth, a group of Jewish warriors led by Judah Maccabee, defeated Anticochus IV. Though terribly outnumbered by their foes, the Maccabees triumphed over the Grecian Syrian Empire. This led to the establishment of Chanukah — the feast of dedication.
Judah entered into Jerusalem only to find the Temple desecrated by a sacrificed pig and an idol of Zeus. Upon seeing this, he immediately began to cleanse the Temple. — read more at Worthy Devotions
So the “abomination of desolation” was the worship of a pig in the midst of the Temple. We know that Paul talks about the rising of the man of sin (anti-christ) and how he sits as God in the Temple of God, a picture of a coming “abomination of desolation”. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, it says:
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
So ‘the destroying terror’ is a picture of the anti-christ rising to power in the future, becoming a type of the “abomination of desolation”, and the means by which he deceives the entire world. Obviously, I could go into greater detail, but I’m limited in time today. May the Lord richly bless you as you continue to study His Word!
George, Do you think that the Church is adequately prepared for hard times – or do you feel the Church has any need to be concerned about it? … If we should be concerned about it, what kind of preparations would you suggest?
First of all, let me say that I don’t believe anyone is truly prepared for the hardest times — however I believe those who are truly walking with the Lord will be given the power to overcome even the toughest times.
Personally, I believe there’s too much credence given to an escapism mentality that doesn’t perfectly align with Scripture.
For example it says in 1 Peter 4:17-18 (NKJV) For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
If you truly want to be prepared for tough times, I believe the Lord answers this question Himself in Joel 2.
Joel 2:11 (NKJV) The Lord gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?
Joel 2:12-13 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.
So the first step of any type of preparation is a “spiritual one”!
One of Israel’s most prominent rabbis, Yitzhak Kaduri, shortly before he died wrote the name of the Messiah on a small note which he requested would remain sealed. When the note was opened, it revealed the name: Yehoshua or Yeshua!
Below is a fascinating 5-minute video detailing the story! Take a few minutes and watch it.
I recently received an email in which someone was wondering why I believed so strongly that a strike against Iran is inevitable? I thought I would take the time to answer this Biblically.
There is a unique passage of Scripture in Jeremiah that I believe really points to the current events of our day in relation to Israel and Iran.
Jeremiah 49:34-39 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might. And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come. For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the LORD; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them: And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD. But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.
The first question you must ask here is — “Who is Elam?” This is a brief description of Elam from Wikipedia.
Elam is the name of an ancient civilization located in what is now southwest Iran. Archaeological evidence associated with Elam has been dated to before 5000 BCE. According to available written records, it is known to have existed beginning from around 3200 BC — making it among the world’s oldest historical civilizations — and to have endured up until 539 BC. Elam was centered in the far west and southwest of modern-day Iran, stretching from the lowlands of Khuzestan and Ilam Province (which takes its name from Elam), as far as Jiroft in Kerman province and Burned City in Zabol, as well as a small part of southern Iraq. — Source – Wikipedia
So Elam is the modern state of Iran!
Another question one might ask is — what is the timing of this prophecy? If you look at verse 39, you’ll see the phrase “shall come to pass in the latter days”. The phrase “latter days” in Hebrew is “acha-reet-ha-ya-meem” which can be literally translated, “in the end of days”.
As we read this passage, the first act of God is to break the bow of Iran. What’s interesting to me about this phrase, is that no arrows are mentioned, just the bow. Could this be the breaking of the “threat” of weapons? Of course this interpretation is totally up for debate.
Then we read about the scattering of the people of Elam. Most people don’t realize that in 1979 when the Shah was overthrown and an Islamic constitution was instituted, that nearly 4 million Iranians fled Iran and settled around the globe.
Later we read that the sword of the Lord will be sent, and then the establishment of the throne of God in Iran. Right now, we’re seeing an explosion of the gospel in Iran! There’s nearly a million believers in Iran meeting in underground churches — and when these events take place there will be more than enough believers in Iran to bring a full blown revival.
Right now, there’s an Islamic barrier to the gospel, but God says He will remove these barriers by “destroying from thence the king and the princes”. It appears to me that the fall of the Iranian government, the mullahs and the Ayatollah Khomeini are predicted!
While this prophecy may be connected to the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel 38, I’m leaning toward it’s connection with Psalm 83. The purpose of war in both passages is to bring forth revival. For example, Psalm 83:16 says, “Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.”
I believe we are closer to the fulfillment of these prophecies than most people realize, and by no means am I dogmatic about the timing — but I would have to completely ignore the news and the current events of our day not to see the possible connection!