Published 10 times annually
All Bible references are from the KJV
(Examining Current Events in the Light of Bible Prophecy)
P.O. Box 13006, Roanoke, VA 24030-3006
Israel Tells Iran- Get out of Syria, fast!
by Mike Wingfield
On Tuesday, January 15, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the occasion of the swearing in of the new Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi (on the right in the photo), to send a very powerful message to Iran. For several years now, Iran has been building up its military forces in Syria, which border Israel to the north. Israel knows Iran’s goal is to develop a powerful Iranian military force on the northern border. Iran has openly bragged to the world that it will soon destroy Israel. The former out-going IDF Chief of Staff, Gadi Eisenkot (on the left in the photo), revealed that Israel has destroyed Iranian military instillations in Syria with thousands of missiles and bombs in recent years. According to Israel Today, Netanyahu is sending a very stern warning to Iran. He said, “I’m telling you, get out of there fast. We won’t stop attacking.”
As students of Bible prophecy, we know Iran, Russia, and Turkey will attack Israel, probably immediately before the Tribulation begins. (Read Ezekiel 38-39.) Three times in Ezekiel 38 we are told this attack on Israel will take place when Israel is dwelling “safely” in the land. The Hebrew word used here speaks of the military self-reliance Israel will exhibit at the time of Iran’s attempted attack. Netanyahu’s bold words certainly illustrate Israel is very confident in its own ability to defend itself, even in the presence of Russian and Turkish forces in Syria as well.
Israel may not fully recognize it yet, but their greatest defense is from above. The Holy One of Israel has promised to defend His people when they return to their land in the last days. Read Psalm 121. In Isaiah 54:17, God promised Israel, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.”
Israel Going to the Moon
Israel is set to join the prestigious list of nations who have sent spacecraft to the moon. Following eight years of extensive planning and preparation, the unmanned spacecraft was recently shipped from Tel Aviv to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida for a launch during the middle of February.
The space craft is called “Beresheet,” which is Hebrew for the first word in the Book of Genesis, meaning, “in the beginning.” On board the space craft will be a Jewish prayer shawl, the Israeli flag, the Israeli national anthem, the Bible, and pictures drawn by Israeli children. One of their main goals is “to inspire other kids to reach aspirations such as these.” (The International Jerusalem Post, January 4-11, p. 24) The spokesperson for this mission told The Jerusalem Post, “It’s quite symbolic the People of the Book are going to take this ‘virtual’ library and put it on the surface of the moon. … Today we are putting those dreams on the spaceship, like you would take a note and put it in the Western Wall [Wailing Wall], wishing for a brighter future.” (The International Jerusalem Post, January 4-11, p. 24)
Israel continues to demonstrate it is one of the leading nations in the world with scientific and high-tech innovations and creations. As one would expect, this is creating a lot of excitement in Israel. It is also sending a very strong signal to other nations in the Middle East concerning the advanced high-tech expertise of the nation of Israel.
Israel Is Safe
I have been going to Israel for 34 years and have always experienced the calm assurance that I am in a safe place. Contrary to world opinion and the biased American news media coverage, Israel is much safer than many areas within the United States. In a recent article in The Jerusalem Report, the Israeli author expressed how safe it is to live in Israel. “Israel is safe now. I live here with my children and I would not do so unless it was a safe place. … Since 1948, Israel has succeeded in building a thriving and stable economy, impressive health and educational system, and world class academia. It is also one of the most innovative countries in the world. With a strong and sophisticated army, effective security organizations and a young but deeply rooted democratic tradition – all these make Israel a safe, comfortable, prosperous and interesting country in which to live. …
“I live in Jerusalem, a city safer than the majority of American and European cities. Even at the height of the last knife intifada three years ago, Jerusalem was safer than New York, London, Paris or even Portland. I would not have raised my children in a war zone, nor in a country whose future is uncertain. I encourage you to believe this Israeli, who decided to live in this country, and raise his children in its capital – because, really, Israel is safe.” (Amir A Segal, The Jerusalem Report, “Israel is Safe,” January 28, 2019, p. 6, 7)
Over 100,000 Jewish Christians Prior to the Holocaust
According to a recent news article in Israel Today, during the years prior to the Holocaust, the Lord raised up a born-again Lithuanian Jewish evangelist, Jakob Jocz, to preach the gospel to the Jewish people. “It is estimated that, through outreach efforts like his, there were as many as 100,000 Jewish believers in Yeshua by the time war broke out in 1939, many of whom would no doubt have shared the fate of their brethren in the concentration camps but who would also no doubt have shared the life-giving gospel of their Savior.” When we get to heaven we will hear the testimonies of our Jewish brothers and sisters in Christ who came to know our Savior only days or hours before their death in the Holocaust, like the thief on the cross. (www.israeltoday.co.il)
Why I Love Biblical Prophecy – Part Two
(This article is a continuation of the featured article in the January newsletter. In the previous newsletter I gave four reasons why I love Biblical prophecy.)
- Biblical prophecy helps us develop a proper worldview.
I love to study the prophetic Word of God because it is the will of God and it opens my eyes to the reality of the world around me and gives me wisdom and understanding.
Perhaps one of the greatest verses in the Bible that helps us develop a true biblical worldview is Genesis 12:3. God said to Abraham concerning the nation of Israel, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” This single verse, if ignored, leaves people in hopeless darkness without the ability to understand the developments among the nations. God has chosen a people group, the Jews, to demonstrate to the world that He, and He alone, is in control of the affairs of the world. Both biblical history and prophecy demonstrate this principle. John McTernan, in his excellent book, As America Has Done to Israel, gives us an entire volume with impeccable documentation to show how America has suffered many massive natural disasters when its government policies refused to bless Israel and recognize the promises God has given His chosen people.
God has chosen to bless the Jewish people with a great ability to be a rich blessing to the nations. Through them, we have been blessed with the Bible, a written revelation that has almost in its entirety been recorded by godly Jewish men. Obviously, we have been greatly blessed because Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world! Even in modern times, the Jewish people have made incredible contributions to our world. George Gilder, in his excellent book, The Israel Test, writes, “The Jewish three-tenths of 1 percent of world population have contributed some 25 percent of recent notable human-intellectual accomplishment in the modern period” (George Gilder, The Israel Test, p. 34). Isn’t it amazing that Satan has so blinded our world, including the majority of those who claim to be Christians, that they are anti-Semitic in their outlook and attitudes? Furthermore, many of them side with the radical Islamic enemies of Israel against the Jewish occupation of the land of Israel. Obviously, these people do not have a true biblical worldview.
We need more men like the godly prophet Daniel. Daniel walked with God. In the prophetic book that bears Daniel’s name, God revealed to him the grand summary of all human history, from the days of Daniel to the end of this age. Daniel knew his God was the One who “changeth the times and the seasons: he removed kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding” (Daniel 2:21). Daniel’s heart and mind were in the hands of God. He wanted to know everything he could about God and His plans for Israel and the nations surrounding his people. As a result, Daniel was informed by an angel, “Thou art greatly beloved” (Daniel 9:23).
God promised Daniel that when the end of this age would come the Holy Spirit would illumine the minds of believers so they might be wise and understand what God had revealed to Daniel about world events in the closing hours of this age leading up to the Kingdom of God (Daniel 12:9-10). Wisdom and understanding comes when we see things as God sees them. God sees everything! He is orchestrating all things for His glory and to His perfect ending. Surely, the child of God should want to know what His Lord is doing! This is only accomplished by knowing the prophetic Word of God.
God has given His people incredible details about our world at the end of this age in His revelation. He has graciously pulled back the curtain and given us a glimpse of what will transpire in the world in which we are living. Certainly, the believer should want to be wise and to develop a true biblical worldview. We should hunger to see the hand of God and to discover His will so we might know how to pray, work, evangelize, and live.
We should all desire to be like the children of Issachar, “which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). This means these men were wise because they had great discernment and were aware of the world in which Israel lived. I want to belong to the people group of our world that has an understanding of the times.
Unfortunately, too many professing Christians have fallen into the sinful trap of love for self that characterizes the dangerous climate of the last days. The Bible warns us that “in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves” (2 Timothy 3:1-2). It is evident we live in a world that is not concerned about current events that do not influence their own personal agenda. People in general, including most Christians, are ignorant of the world around them. It seems they could care less about having a biblical worldview. They are too involved in their own little world. It seems as if they really do not care what God has said about the world we live in. They are walking in darkness because they do not know the God who is directing the affairs of all the nations. And yet, they claim that God is their Lord!
- Biblical prophecy was the focus of many godly men in the Scriptures.
When I say I love Biblical prophecy I know that I am standing with the spiritual giants that God used in biblical days. Consider the life and ministry of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel, Zechariah, and all of the other prophets of Israel. This would include the writers of the psalms. [The psalms are filled with prophecy.] In the New Testament, the apostles continued the ministry of the prophets. This was demonstrated by their intense focus on biblical prophecy. When you examine the writings of Peter, John, and Paul, you will discover they continued with a focus upon the prophetic themes mentioned by the prophets of the Old Testament. Please notice Paul was only in Thessalonica three weeks (Acts 17:1-4), and yet when he wrote back to them to answer their questions, almost one-third of the content of his epistles was about the Second Coming of Messiah. While writing about the Tribulation and the Antichrist in his second epistle, he wrote, “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things” (2 Thessalonians 2:5)? This certainly indicates the apostle Paul considered biblical prophecy to be a core doctrine that needed to be taught to new converts. As this great apostle faced the last few hours of his life before he would become a martyr for Jesus, he proclaimed he was one “that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). Paul loved biblical prophecy. That is good enough for me.
When you examine the teachings of Jesus in the gospels, they are filled with prophecy. Jesus’ ministry was primarily a ministry that focused upon the gospel of the kingdom. The core of His teaching was upon the earthly kingdom that God has promised to Israel. The Bible says, “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 9:35) Jesus was filled with a great zeal for this coming earthly kingdom. He taught His disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) Isn’t it odd that very little is proclaimed from the pulpits of the American churches about the Millennial Kingdom of God? If our Lord had a zeal for this, should we not also have a passion for His coming kingdom on earth?
In His Olivet Discourse, as recorded in Matthew 24, Jesus answered His disciples’ prophetic questions with a very lengthy reply (Matthew 24:4-25:46) In Matthew 24:15, Jesus pointed to the incredibly significant prophecy given by Daniel in Daniel 9:14-27. When Matthew wrote his gospel 35 years later, and recorded the words of Jesus, the Holy Spirit inserted the words “whoso readeth, let him understand” (Matthew 24:15). I am not going to disagree with the Holy Spirit. He said we need to understand the incredible prophecy of Daniel’s seventy weeks in Daniel 9:24-25. Unfortunately, the majority of pastors in America consider these prophecies to be insignificant. Before Jesus died on the cross, He told His apostles the Holy Spirit would come upon them and guide them “into all truth … and he will show you things to come” (John 16:13).
It is not an accident that God chose men who had a heart for Him and His eternal purposes to be His prophets and apostles. While writing his book on the prophets of Israel, Leon J. Wood comments, “prophets had to be people of outstanding character, great minds, and courageous souls. They had to be this by nature and then, being dedicated to God, they became still greater because of the tasks and special provisions assigned them. Thus, they became towering giants of Israel, the formers of public opinion, the leaders through days of darkness, people distinguished from all those about them either in Israel or other nations of the day. … They were fearless men, those who were willing to stand for the word they believed God had given them, … true prophets were not professionals in the sense of king-pleasers. They were committed men, men who were ready to do what God wanted them to do no matter the task and no matter the danger” (Leon J. Wood, The Prophets of Israel, pp. 16, 20, 21) It is obvious the New Testament apostles were men of the same caliber.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are exhorted to be like these great men of God in their godly character and teaching. As the apostle Peter dealt with the scoffers of the prophetic message of the early church, he wrote, “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming” (2 Peter 3:1-4)?
As a minister of the gospel, I am not commanded by God to model my ministry to follow the techniques, programs, and styles of the pastors of the large churches of our day. However, the Holy Spirit has commanded me to mimic the lives and message of the men of God in the Word of God. I am not to hold in high esteem those who are preaching to scratch people where they spiritually itch (2 Timothy 4:1-4). They are preaching to please people who have “a form of godliness … ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:5, 7). We are not to accommodate people in their sin. If our preaching is directed by the Holy Spirit, then we will follow the Spirit’s leading to “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8).
- Biblical prophecy trains our minds to focus upon eternity.
I love biblical prophecy because it keeps me focused on eternity and God’s eternal plans. When I read what the Bible has to say about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the coming Millennial Kingdom, I am forced to look beyond the moment and the events that are happening now.
It helps me to remember my true earthly status as an earthly pilgrim who is just passing through this time and living for the future, not just for the moment. This is the real stuff that faith is made of. Notice Hebrews 11:13, “These [Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob] all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Real faith looks at what God has said about eternity and lives in that daily hope, while longing for these promises to become a reality.
One of the great marks of the Christian life is that we have a hope that is bound up in our future. Real believers constantly focus upon their future in Christ, not on the temporary passing fads and fancies of this present world. We live for the future, not for the momentary gratifications of this culture. Remember 1 Corinthians 15:19, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
Biblical prophecy gives us a hope for the future. We know how everything is going to end because we know the One who is orchestrating it all to His end for His purposes, and for His glory. The apostle Peter declared, “hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13)
In the world of science fiction and fake science we are made to believe our creation is following a hopeless, fatalistic path toward some cataclysmic destruction, such as a horrific ending due to global warming or an asteroid collision with earth. However, we know just how it will all end. It has been prerecorded in the Word of God.
Life here on this planet is not just a random order of events without someone in the driver’s seat. The events in history and prophecy are all being controlled by an infinite God. When the end comes, God wins. God will triumph over wickedness, death, wars, deception, disease, and disappointments. The kingdoms of this world and the evil kingdom of darkness will be defeated by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
- Biblical prophecy informs us of the big picture—the war in the spiritual realm.
Far too many Christians live their lives without thinking about the reality of the ongoing power struggle in the spiritual domain. Since the beginning of time, Satan and his angels (demons) have been engaged in a powerful and deadly war with God and His angels. The Bible depicts this war from the Garden of Eden until Satan’s last rebellion against God at the end of the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20:7-10).
The reader of the Book of Revelation cannot understand this final book of the Bible unless it is understood as the final phase of the war in the spiritual realm. This is why this book contains so many references to the good and the evil angels.
We are exhorted to realize all of us are involved in this war. As children of the Lord we, and the Jewish people, are the focus of Satan’s attack upon God. The apostle Peter understood this well. On the night of his denial of his Lord, Jesus told him, “Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” (Luke 22:31). After several decades of imprisonment, persecution, and hardship, Peter wrote to his Jewish brethren thirty-seven years later and reminded them, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, he reminded them that it was Satan who was working “in the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2) He exhorted the believers at Ephesus to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11) Finally, at the end of his letter to them, he reminded them that if they were to be strong in the Lord they needed to “put on the whole armor of God that [they] may be able to stand against the [schemes] of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). Obviously, a very important part of living the Christian life is recognizing we are constantly wrestling against the powers of darkness. We need God’s wisdom and God’s might to fight this battle. I love biblical prophecy because it is a constant reminder to me that I am at war and I have an enemy who wants to destroy me and my family to bring shame and reproach upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Biblical prophecy has been designed by God to have a profound spiritual impact in the daily life of the believer.
Someone has said, “Bible prophecy has not been created by God to scare us, but to prepare us.” After speaking about the signs of His coming, Jesus said to His disciples, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44). Prophecy has been designed by the Holy Spirit to change us and prepare us for that holy moment when we stand before our Lord.
So often I hear people tell me that biblical prophecy scares them. What concerns me is some of these same people like to watch movies and television programs that are filled with graphic violence, destruction, and death. It seems odd to me they can enjoy being entertained by the world’s scary stuff, but they do not want to hear about the real and awesome righteous wrath of God and His judgment upon the wicked at the end of this age. I personally believe these people do not really know God and do not want to consider He is sovereign and controls our world. Much of biblical prophecy pulls back the curtain of this world and shows us the holiness of God and His hatred for sin and wickedness. Some of these people do not like this. They might not like to admit it, but they are in love with this world system and are not ready for God’s judgment to fall upon this world.
The constant daily reality of the coming of our Lord has been designed by the Holy Spirit to create a spirit of expectancy, urgency, and accountability in the life of the believer to his holy Lord. Bible prophecy continually reminds us we are all going to be judged by the Lord in the not too far distant future. This is very healthy. We will all give an account to the Lord on Judgment Day. At the end of the first century, the apostle John wrote, “It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). The real consideration of biblical prophecy as directed by the Holy Spirit will create within us a desire to be pure and ready for that moment when we shall fall at the feet of our blessed holy Lord Jesus in total humility, submission, and worship.
In reality, if we are in love with Jesus Christ, we should be living for the moment when we shall see Him. Bible prophecy is used by the Holy Spirit in my life to constantly change me and prepare me for that moment. I want that. I need that. That is why I love biblical prophecy.
- Biblical prophecy is a spiritual tool for evangelism.
People are not saved by the convincing arguments of a Christian. The seeds that are sown in the human heart that eventually germinate and create eternal life are the seeds of the Word of God. The Bible declares, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the world of God” (Romans 10:17). The Word of God is the divine tool of the Holy Spirit that regenerates the soul of a sinner.
No one can be saved without the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). Eternal life comes from God. It is His gift to us through the salvation work of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.
At the heart of the work of the Spirit in evangelism is the creation of a fear of God in the heart of the sinner. This is the foundation of all wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 9:10). In the process of teaching the sinner to have a fear of God, the Holy Spirit convicts the sinner of the holiness of God and the sinner’s own personal sinfulness. He reminds the sinner of the choice he must make between eternal damnation and eternal salvation. He will spend eternity either in heaven or hell. The Spirit of God points the sinner to the future day when he will stand before God and be judged. Jesus told His disciples that when the Holy Spirit would come after He ascended back to heaven, “he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). This is the way the Holy Spirit works in the process of evangelism.
To be effective in winning souls to Christ we must be filled by the Holy Spirit. This means we need to cooperate with Him. He is the one who saves, we are just His mouthpiece. If we are to allow the Holy Spirit to use us as His mouthpiece, we must be sure to use Scripture, including the passages that speak of the future judgment, the hope of heaven, and the warning about hell. These are the subjects that biblical prophecy addresses to produce the fear of God and to convict sinners to bring them to Christ. I am not suggesting that biblical prophecy is the only biblical doctrine that the Holy Spirit uses to produce salvation, but it is one of them.
In my travels across America in the last twenty-one years, I have had numerous people tell me they received Christ as the result of a prophetic conference or hearing a prophetic message. When pastors or believers avoid speaking about biblical prophecy they are hindering the powerful work of the Holy Spirit. Unsaved people not only need to hear that God loves them, and that He is their savior. They also need to hear that God is holy, and that one day He will be their judge.
Finally, I love biblical prophecy because I want to be blessed by God. Revelation 1:3 gives the following promise, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” The word “blessed” means “happy.” A person is happy when he is focused upon and is in submission to the prophetic plan of God. He is our Lord. We are to love Him, worship Him, and want to be like Him. It should be our hearts desire to be with Him in His heaven.
So, when the believer pours over the prophetic Scripture his soul is being filled with the longing and hope that soon he will be with his Lord. He is gratified to think about the future moment when His Lord will finally fulfill His great eternal mission upon this earth. He is thrilled to know that God will triumph over Satan. He rejoices to know and be reminded that good will win over evil. It is a pleasure to know that the devil, the Antichrist, death, and hell will be finally cast into the Lake of Fire. It will be a pure delight to live in the new heaven on the new earth. Finally, we will be forever in our Lord’s presence. All sin, sinners, and the effects of sin will be no more. Friends, that is true bliss! That is our blessed hope!