Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Preparing for Service in the Rebuilt Temple
Jews in the town of Mitzpe Yericho are taking practical steps to prepare for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, by preparing descendents of Cohanim (priests) and Levites for service. At the Mitzpe Yericho school, Temple priest hopefuls learn exactly how to conduct the daily Temple service and offer the required sacrifices.
"Today is really a historical event for the Jewish people,” organizer Levi Chazan said as another part of the school was completed. “It is the beginning of the work for the Third Temple.”
The school will include an exact replica of the Temple. The latest addition to the replica was the area in which priests offered wine and water libations. The water offering was traditionally given on the Sukkot holiday, which was celebrated last week.
Festivities accompanied the completion of another step in the school's construction. Among those present was Baruch Marzel, long-time Land of Israel activist and parliamentary aide to MK Michael Ben-Ari. The timing of the work on the school is particularly appropriate due to recent Muslim riots against Jewish visits to the Temple Mount, Marzel said.
Friday, October 9, 2009
By Dr. David R. Reagan
The fig tree is one of the symbols of Israel in the Hebrew Scriptures (Hos. 9:10, Jer. 24:1-10, and Joel 1:7).
Jesus used a real fig tree to point out the future of Israel. His prophecy is contained in the Fig Tree Lesson in Matthew 24:32-35, which He presented in His Olivet Discourse. The day before He delivered this speech, He had put a curse on a barren fig tree, causing it to wither (Matt. 21:18-22). This was a symbolic prophecy that God would soon pour out His wrath upon the Jewish people because of their spiritual barrenness in rejecting His Son.
The next day Jesus reminded His disciples of the fig tree. He said to watch for it to bloom again. In other words, He said watch for the rebirth of Israel. He indicated that when the fig tree blooms again, He would be at the gates of Heaven, ready to return (Matt. 24:33).
Equally significant, He added an interesting observation: "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place" (Matt. 24:34). What generation? The generation that sees the fig tree blossom.
Jesus singled out this event as the one that would signal His soon return. Well, the re-establishment of the state of Israel occurred on May 14, 1948, so we are that generation!
The fig tree has blossomed. Jesus is at the gates.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
A comparison between the rapture (PRE-TRIBULATIONAL COMING) and the second advent (POST-TRIBULATIONAL COMING)
RAPTURE - BEFORE the tribulation (Revelation 3:10). The church will be kept out of that hour or time of testing which will come upon the whole world.
SECOND ADVENT - AFTER the tribulation (Matthew 24:29-30; Revelation 19:11-16).
RAPTURE - In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52). It is very sudden. It will happen before people will realize it is happening (even as it was with Enoch, see Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5). An example of a man being raptured away suddenly so as to be seen no more is found in Acts 8:39
SECOND ADVENT - Slow enough for people to realize and see what is happening (Matthew 24:27; Revelation 1:7; Psalm 2:2; Revelation 19:19). The second coming of Christ to the earth will be visible and obvious to all. No one will miss it
DATE (The day on which it will take place)
RAPTURE - UNKNOWN DAY. The Lord Jesus will surely come for His Church but we do not know when (while the fact of His coming is sure, the time of His coming is unsure). The rapture is imminent which means that He may come at any time.
SECOND ADVENT - KNOWN DAY. The date of the second coming can be calculated to the very day. It will occur 2520 days (7 years, or 84 months, each month made up of 30 days) from the time that Antichrist makes a treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27) and it will occur 1260 days (3-1/2 years) from the time of the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15). See Revelation 11:2,3; 12:6,14; 13:5 and 2 Thessalonians 2:8 (Antichrist is destroyed at the 2nd coming).
RAPTURE - NONE. He may come for His Church at any time and nothing needs to be fulfilled before He comes. The only thing we are waiting for is the completion of the church (Matthew 16:18; Romans 11:25), and only God knows when this will be.
SECOND ADVENT - MANY (Matthew 24:3-28). There is much that must be fulfilled before Christ returns to the earth (such as all the events in Revelation 6-18).
ILLUSTRATION: The rapture can be likened to Thanksgiving (a holiday without signs) and the second advent can be likened to Christmas (which is preceded by all kinds of signs). When you see the signs of Christmas (decorations, lights, trees, etc.) then you can be sure that Thanksgiving will take place at any time. If Christmas is near then Thanksgiving must be even nearer!
RAPTURE - Christ seen only by the church (1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 John 3:2).
SECOND ADVENT - Christ seen by every eye (Revelation 1:7; Matthew 24:24-27).
RAPTURE-In the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
SECOND ADVENT - On the earth (Zech. 14:4)
RAPTURE - The judgment seat of Christ (2 Timothy 4:1,8; 1 Peter 1:7).
SECOND ADVENT - Destruction of the wicked armies (Revelation 19:17-19) and the judgment of living nations (Matthew 25:31-46).
IDENTITY (Of those removed from the earth and those remaining on the earth)
RAPTURE - Believers are removed; unbelievers remain (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; John 14:3).
SECOND ADVENT - Unbelievers are removed; believers remain (Matthew 24:37-41 and Luke 17:34-37). See Matthew 24:38 where the unbelieving world in Noah's day was taken away in judgment.
PURPOSE OF CHRIST'S COMING
RAPTURE - To receive His bride (John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17).
SECOND ADVENT - To receive His kingdom (Luke 19:22; Revelation chapters 19-20)
THE BODIES OF LIVING BELIEVERS
RAPTURE - Church age believers are raised (those who have died) and are translated and changed (those who are living) with the result that they have immortal, resurrection bodies (1 Corinthians 15:52-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:17).
SECOND ADVENT - Believers who survive the tribulation enter the kingdom in natural bodies (Matthew 25:23), and these believers will eventually bear children and re-populate the earth.