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Saturday, October 14th, 2023

Ezekiel 38

Last Saturday, October 7, 2023, the atrocities of evil were unveiled and unleashed in southern Israel.  By now, you are acutely aware of its many activities and demonstrations.  Those will not be enumerated.  Instead, please pray for those who are grieving and those who do not know the condition or location of their loved ones who were abducted.

Early last Saturday I received a call from a dear friend who is a brother in Christ who asked, “Is this it?”  As we talked of what had happened, based on what we had heard and read, we considered the following:

1.   Although this attack was not from the North, as prophesied in Ezekiel 38, there must have been external influences involved as Hamas was somehow able to bypass Israel security at the border wall.  This bypassing security, which allowed for the destruction of part of the border fence, had not yet been exercised.

2.   Also, from the prophecy of Ezekiel 38, Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, is from the land of Magog (Ezek. 38:2) which corresponds to the region of northeast Turkey. 

Here are a couple of thoughts of things to consider. 

1.   The attack by Hamas may be a precursor to the attack from the North.

2.   Israel will need to continue her retaliation against Hamas and, as of today, October 14, 2023, against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.  At the same, attacks against the Aleppo and Damascus airports will need to continue.  These are necessary exercises for Israel to reestablish her sense of security or safety.  According to Ezekiel 38:14, Gog will know that Israel is dwelling securely, or safely, before he leads his horde army down from the north.

3.   If the Ezekiel 38 attack introduces the antichrist, then according to Revelation 13:5, he will continue for 42 months.  The time of his reign will conclude when he is destroyed by the brightness of the coming of Jesus – 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

All this brings us to the one thing we simply cannot determine – time.  When will this happen?  I have no idea, but, like you, by faith I know Jesus is coming and I pray His return is soon. 

So, until He arrives, we must be watching and praying – Luke 21:36.  Perhaps the more imminent we believe His arrival, the more diligently we will be in preparing to meet Him. 


Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

“Greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:15 (KJV)

On this first day past Memorial Day 2023, let us continue to express and exhibit our thankfulness for the sacrifices of ‘saints’ and ‘patriots’ who have delivered to us our heritage of ‘truth’ and ‘freedom’.  Let us pray for those who continue to maintain our freedom as we anticipate the arrival of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ.


Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”  2 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)

The context of this church letter reminds and assures us there is more to come and that the gift of salvation and the expression of obedience through the water of baptism is not the conclusion of faith and faithfulness but only the beginning.  

With respect to the “very great and precious promises” (4) which God  has, both, authored and offered, there is at least one that should consume our attention.  The anticipated fulfillment of this same promise should also cause us to invest, both, our attention and energy in preparation for the time of its arrival.  When Jesus told the first church to “watch” (Matthew 24:42; 25:13), both times the focus was upon the time of His return:  “… since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming” (24:42, HCSB); “… because you don’t know either they day of the hour.” (Matt. 25:13, HCSB).  Both times the word “watch” is a command and, as such, obedience to the command is expected and should not be considered optional.  Since Jesus commanded the first church to “watch” or be watching, and, since, the command applies to the Lord’s churches today as He has not yet returned, then, we should be watching for the day of His appearing. 

There are a plethora of events, affecting the Lord’s churches and the nation of Israel, taking place at an ever increasing frequency.  There are signs which Jesus said would identify “the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:8, HCSB).  At the same time, Jesus taught these signs would not be evidence of the arrival of the end:  “but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6, HCSB).  Although there is no way to know, with absolute certainty, if “the beginning of birth pains (sorrows)” has begun, and, if it has already begun how long, for what length of time, its events have been occurring.  Ultimately, the signs that clearly identify “the beginning of birth pains” will last right up until delivery – delivery of the great time of trouble known as the tribulation. 

This quickly approaching time of trouble is the fulfillment of the word of God through the prophet Daniel and is identified as Daniel’s 70th Week:

Daniel 9:24-27 (HCSB)

“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city – to bring the rebellion to an end, to put a stop to sin, to wipe away iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place. 25 Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince will be seven weeks and 62 weeks. It will be rebuilt with a plaza and a moat, but in difficult times. 26 After those 62 weeks the Messiah will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the coming prince will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come with a flood, and until the end there will be war; desolations are decreed. 27He will make a firm covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator.”

Although there are numerous interpretations of this passage, the reality is that “seven weeks and 62 weeks”, or 69 weeks of 7 years each, have been fulfilled.  Regardless of your preferred interpretation concerning the remaining 1 week of 7 years, the point is that we need to be watching and preparing for the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Matthew 24:42-44 (HCSB)

Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 43  But know this: If the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he would have stayed alert and not let his house be broken into. 44 This is why you also must be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Back to the “very great and precious promises” to which Peter referred, here is what is at stake if we fail to watch and prepare:

2 Peter 1:10-11 (HCSB)

Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.


Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

Although not a competition, some are going to be correct while others will be wrong.  Another, less popular, consideration is that everyone will be wrong.  So, what is the context for the conclusions?  Biblical prophecy – specifically the second coming of Jesus.  There is no doubt He is coming again!  Perhaps the most pressing question concerning His coming is, “When, exactly, will He return?”  Like you, I will quickly refer to the teaching of Jesus recorded in Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (KJV).  At the same time, the entire context surrounding Jesus’ statement addresses looking, or watching, to see signs and events that will clearly identify specific times, i.e. “… the beginning of birth pains” (24:8, HCSB), also, “… great tribulation, the kind that hasn’t taken place from the beginning of the world until now and never will again!” (24:21, HCSB).  Hopefully, we all agree that watching and continuing to study the Scriptures is of great, eternal, importance.

One of the coming events we are told about in the Scriptures, as was originally written “to the seven churches which are in Asia” (Rev. 1:4, KJV) is the arrival of “a beast rising out of the sea” (Rev. 13:1, ESV).  One of the details of this “beast” is that it has “seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns” (13:1, KJV).  John writes (13:3) that “One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal would was healed, …” (ESV).  This “mortal wound” which A.T. Robertson defines as “The stroke of death” (Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament) is also applied to “the beast” in 13:12.  There are numerous details to be learned in, and by, the unveiling of the events shown and shared with John.  Since the “mortal wound” is applied to both “one” of the seven heads of the beast (13:3) and, also, to “the beast” itself (13:12), should we, or could we, conclude there may be a dual application to both a man – as an identifiable personality – and a kingdom?  Also, will “the stroke of death” (Robertson) be physical, or, perhaps, political?

No doubt you are familiar with the basic circumstances that have engulfed the country of Syria since 2011 with what is essentially a civil war.  The point of the following article by the Associated Press is not to suggest that Bashar al-Assad may be the Anti-Christ, but to chronicle the deliberate actions that will re-admit him and the country of Syria into the fold of the Arab League:

The following article in the Jerusalem Post addresses an additional invitation to Assad to attend a regional climate conference.  Please read past the speculation that climate change may be, in part, responsible for the civil war in Syria.  After reading the article several times you will probably conclude that world politics are as fickle as politics right here at home:

There was an election in Turkey this past Sunday, May 14 and the current President, Tayyip Erdogan, was not immediately re-elected.  There will be a runoff election later this month.  This brings about the questions, “What if Erdogan is not re-elected?” and,  “What if Erdogan loses but somehow returns to power?

Whoever the Anti Christ may be and whatever his kingdom may look like, the Scriptures teach us he/it will be empowered by Satan – “the dragon” (Rev. 13:2, 4) and the world will adore him (Rev. 13:4)

Let us be vigilant to watch to see, with the understanding of/by/from the Scriptures, the events that are prophesied to occur.  Let us be diligent to prepare for their arrival by studying and learning the Scriptures. 


Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

Jesus is coming back!  This is the truth because Jesus said it.  As recorded in John 14:3, Jesus said, “If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.” (HCSB).  Since Jesus did “go away” to the presence of the Father, He will be coming back, again, because He said He will.  Acts 1:9 is a record of His “going away” into heaven, After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.” (HCSB).  So, based upon His own declaration, since He went away He will come back.  The truth of His return is also declared by the “two men …in white apparel” Acts 1:10 (KJV),“Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”  Acts 1:11 (KJV).  Therefore, Jesus is coming again.  By faith we believe what Jesus said because Jesus said it.  Based on the Scriptures, “… without faith it is impossible to please God,…” Hebrews 11:6 (HCSB)

As a student of the Scriptures you are, no doubt, familiar with Hebrews 11 and the frequently used phrase “By faith” which appears more than 15 times.  The testimony of their “faith” is described by their actions, deeds, or works.  Clearly, their “faith” in what God said directly and consistently influenced and impacted how they chose to live their lives.  The logical conclusion is that their “faith” in what God said produced an outward demonstration, or obedience, that conformed to and agreed with, their unwavering trust in, reliance upon, and adherence to the word of/from God. 

Here is the reality check:  should our faith and faithfulness be any different than theirs? 

Of those listed in Hebrews 11, the Scriptures declare “These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth.” (13, HCSB)

Obviously, we have not witnessed the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus to “come again” John 14:3.  But, we believe He is coming.  It is quite possible we are quickly approaching the arrival of the “last days” which will introduce the fulfillment of many of the prophecies of the Scriptures.  So, what will we do with our “faith” in the promise of Jesus to “come again”?  To use an illustration of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:15, will we hide it under a bushel?  Or, perhaps we will put in on a candlestick?  Clearly, hiding it under a bushel will not allow us to “Let your light so shine before men, …” Matthew 5:16 (KJV).  No one will ever know of the existence of our “faith” if we never do anything in response to it. 

There is no doubt our world is continuing to change.  We are witnessing an escalation of the events which Jesus described as “the beginning of birth pains” Matt. 24:8 (HCSB).  Within that same context, Jesus plainly declared, “but the end is not yet.” Matt. 24:6

So, while there is still time, opportunity, and need, what will we do in the midst of the quagmire of our first world problems?  Will we simply have “faith” in the promise of Jesus to “come again”.  Or, will do something with it, or by it?  Will we “by faith” share the truth of the message concerning the promise of Jesus to “come again”?  Will we stand, as did Paul – in the midst of the shipwreck experience – and say, “I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.” Acts 27:25?