Nov 1, 2010
The Promised Land: An Unbroken Promise
God’s declaration in the Bible that the Promised Land belongs to the Jewish people is no longer valid--so says a council of Catholic bishops. The Vatican synod on the Middle East said that Jews cannot use the Bible to justify new settlements in Jerusalem or territorial claims.
U.S. Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros heads the commission that issued the statement. He told reporters, "For Christians, one can no longer talk of the land promised to the Jewish people… There is no longer a favored people, a chosen people; all men and women of every country have become the chosen people.” He also said that the promise of the Creator was "abolished by the presence of Christ."
The synod's concluding message repeated a Vatican call for Jerusalem to have a special status "which respects its particular character" as a city sacred to the three great monotheistic religions--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The Vatican is dead wrong on this issue. Those with even the most basic understanding of Scripture should know how boneheaded it is for any group to make such an outrageous statement. The Word of God is very clear that God has an everlasting covenant with Israel:
And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojourning, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. (Genesis 17:7-8)
Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God. But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 26:44-45)
"Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel , and they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit. I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them," says the Lord your God. (Amos 9:14-15)
Anyone trying to argue that the Jews have no exclusive right to the Promised Land has a huge problem with reality. God's chosen people are back in the land that was promised them. If God has had a change of heart regarding their status, one would think that He would have prevented them from regathering in Israel to avoid any confusion.
I don't understand how these Catholic bishops can have a knowledge of the miracle called modern-day Israel and not see God’s divine hand at work. It’s not like a group of Jews was searching the real estate want ads, happened to notice that the land of Judea was on the market, and decided to buy it. Israel was reborn as a result of unbelievable odds.
Most troubling here is the lack of outrage over the statement made by this Vatican synod. Apart from postings on a few prophecy sites, there was no negative reaction from fellow Christian groups. The Catholic Church has blood on its hands from centuries of anti-Semitism. It defies common sense for any Vatican organization to go down this path.
The people of the Koran almost have a monopoly on international terrorism. Just a few days ago, Arabs in Yemen tried to send bombs to two Jewish centers in the U.S.
The devil is working overtime to turn public support away from the Jews and towards the Muslim world. I defy anyone to come up with a logical explanation for this bizarre alignment taking place.
If world leaders had a basic understanding of prophecy, there would be no debate over Israel’s right to the Promised Land. Because we have lost sight of key Bible passages, our nation is doomed to side with the forces that will attack Israel and incur God’s wrath.
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. (Zechariah 12:3)
Antichrist’s Warm-Up Act
Top entertainers, no matter how personally charismatic and mesmerizing, often prepare their audiences with warm-up acts in order to work their magic more effectively when they finally burst into the spotlight. Many of these started out as warm-up acts themselves before they made the top billing.
Bible prophecy foretells this most charismatic personality of human history basking in the end-times spotlight:
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
This supremely arrogant “Beast,” as he is called by God’s Word in Revelation 13, will serve as his own sort of warm-up act immediately following the Rapture of the church. The “prince that shall come,” as Daniel terms him, steps onto the stage of geopolitical diplomacy as a purveyor of peace.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)
The Antichrist, empowered by Satan, will pave his own road for reaching his destiny as the object of forced worship by earth’s inhabitants. This warm-up act–a roadmap for peace, of sort--that he will perform himself, with the assistance of another “beast” (the false prophet)—will consist of impressive, if nefarious, accomplishments.
And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many. (Daniel 8:24-25a)
Actually, the Man of Sin, as Antichrist is also called, has already had a number of warm-up acts. These have been put upon the world humanistic stage by Lucifer, the master orchestrator of evil. Theologians and even philosophers and soothsayers through the ages have thought some of these warm-up acts to be Antichrist fulfilling his prophesied role.
Perhaps even Satan himself has believed some of these evil characters that seemed like the predicted first Beast of Revelation to be the foretold man whose number equals 666. Such lesser beasts as Nero, Hitler, Stalin, and others come to mind. Even U.S. presidents like Kennedy, Reagan, and Franklin D. Roosevelt before them have been thought as possible candidates for earth’s final and most terrible tyrant.
Concerning Antichrist’s eventual emergence, most all of today’s end-times stage props form the setting for the final act of human history: The Gog-Magog forces are coming together in a swiftly coalescing cabal determined to move against Israel when the time is right. The kings of the East, which will trouble the Beast as they will be a threat to his plans from the North and East, already can produce a two-hundred-million-troop military force. The European Union is almost certainly the reviving Roman Empire, out of which the dark “prince” will come.
Antichrist’s geopolitical “warm-up act” has been preparing the way for his prime-time prophetic performance for decades. The past several years have brought dynamic rearrangements in preparation for his appearance.
One thing within the eschatological mix is often overlooked when thinking about how near Antichrist’s appearance might be. Again, this ingredient is found in the apostle Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians. The ingredient itself is difficult to identify because it involves deception from the father of all lies, which Satan will perpetrate upon those who reject God’s righteousness.
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)
Satan’s present-day warm-up act, designed to mesmerize people of planet earth, has at its heart great deception that will delude most who are left behind following the Rapture. The Holy Spirit resident within the church (each Church-Age saint) will remove from acting on the consciences of mankind as He has been doing during this present Age of Grace.
Following the removal of the church, it will apparently be impossible for those who deliberately rejected the Holy Spirit’s call to salvation before the Rapture to have any chance for redemption. The Lord will not let those people escape the delusion Satan’s man, Antichrist, will produce. They will be doomed to believe a specific lie, Paul’s prophecy indicates.
Some prophecy watchers observe Satan’s preparations for bringing to the world’s attention the man who will be his most infamous protégé. These–and I include myself--consider decades of fascination with extraterrestrial sightings to possibly be key to the old serpent’s concocting the “lie” of 2 Thessalonians 2:11.
Documentaries continue to fill cable TV networks, raising questions about whether we are alone in the cosmos. Reports of UFO sightings titillate the imaginations of brains already prepped by fictional accounts of invaders from far-flung places in space, such as in the current TV show titled V.
The latest such silver-screen fiction about intruders from space is the film Skyline. Its story line is most fascinating, as the Star Trek Enterprise’s first officer, Mr. Spock, might say.
One official synopsis of this latest movie about visitors from space states the following.
After a late-night party, a group of friends are awoken in the dead of the night by an eerie light beaming through the window. Like moths to a flame, the light source is drawing people outside before they suddenly vanish into the air. They soon discover an otherworldly force is swallowing the entire human population off the face of the earth. Now our band of survivors must fight for their lives as the world unravels around them. (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/skyline_2010/).
Sounds eerily familiar to something from the Bible we address frequently on Rapture Ready, doesn’t it? But God’s Word is nonfiction–absolute truth. Such a scenario is prophetically scheduled to actually happen.
Revelation 12 foretells that Satan and his fallen angelic horde will be cast to earth for the final time. John was told to write “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth” when that happens.
The second Beast–the False Prophet—will call fire down from heaven (Revelation 13:13) in the sight of men. Many students of Bible prophecy who observe these strange times in which we live think these things will likely be part of the lie of 2 Thessalonians 2:11, which earth dwellers will believe--i.e., the major part of the lie will be that those who have disappeared from earth have been taken for reasons held by the “extraterrestrial” entities.
Today, we are being “entertained” by Antichrist’s warm-up act. But, it will be the Lord of Heaven –Jesus Christ—who will bring down the final curtain on Satan’s great imposter.
And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. (2 Thessalonians 2:8)