A Temple Coming, Part II: Preparations

Now we look at those ticks on the last hour clock that are happening in real time!

In this post, we’ll focus on the practical, tangible side of things – what people have been doing in Israel and at the Temple Institute to prepare for the next temple: things like the temple vessels and priestly garments, the priests themselves, and the vexed issue of the Temple Mount.

This is one of the most exciting things going on, if you’re looking at coming Bible prophecy! They’re things you can actually see with your own eyes and touch with your own hands – things that, as we looked at in my last post, are integral to Bible prophecy.

The Temple Institute: Should we be watching it?

Absolutely! (Of course I would say that, but read on to see why…)

Let’s start with their primary statement of principle:

The Temple Institute is dedicated to all aspects of the Divine commandment for Israel to build a house for G-d’s presence, the Holy Temple, on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem.

The Temple Institute Statement of Principles

And they’ve done more that just talk about it.

Right now you can go to the Jewish quarter in the old city of Jerusalem and visit the Holy Temple Museum, run by the Temple Institute. And you won’t just find the usual information and relics and miniature models in this museum.

It’s the opposite of what a museum usually is: it has objects that will be used in the future (in the temple). There are over sixty vessels in the museum alone, made and ready to be used in the next temple, all according to years of research in their Research Department into what Moses described in the Scriptures. Let me list a few:

  • Silver trumpets and harps for the Levitical priests to use.
  • The priestly garments. (Exodus 39:27-314)
  • The High priest’s garments, including the breastplate! (Exodus 39:1-31)
  • The lamp for the Holy Place, and it’s vessels (pitchers, etc.) – what we now recognize as a menorah. (Exodus 25:31-40)
  • The golden Incense Altar. (Exodus 30:1-6)
  • The golden Table of the Showbread. (Exodus 25:23-30)

Here’s a video put out by the Institute, showing some of them:

As I dig into their website, I consistently come across more and more parts of the temple that they’ve meticulously reproduced:

  • They have re-created the crimson dye for the curtains and the high priest’s garments, weaving together the commanded blue, purple and scarlet threads.
  • There is a bronze altar, ready to be assembled.
  • There is even a herd of red cattle in order to produce the red heifer needed to purify the temple when it’s rebuilt – I’ll go into more detail on that in my next post.
  • There are even working architectural plans for the rebuilding of the temple:

The descendents of Aaron: Are there any priests to wear the priestly garments?

All that they need are some descendants of Aaron (yes, the Aaron who was Moses’s brother), who are of course from the tribe of Levi, and known as Kohanim. Here’s how they know who those people are, from Jewish Virtual Library:

“The only valid method of being a Levite (or Kohen) is to have an unbroken tradition, passed from generation to generation, stretching back to the time of Moses. In many Jewish communities, meticulous records were kept throughout the generations to ensure that ancestral lines remained clear.

And more from My Jewish Learning:

Levitical families often have names that indicate this lineage, such as Levy, Levi, Halevy or Levine (also, less obviously, Horowitz and Epstein). However, having one of these names does not guarantee a person is a levite. Likewise, priestly families sometimes have names that indicate their heritage: Cohen, Kohen, Kahn, etc.

Today, Levites and kohanim comprise about 8% of the worldwide Jewish population. A genetic study in 1997 determined that large numbers of people who believe they are kohanim, whether they are Ashkenazi or Sephardic, share a group of markers on the Y chromosome. To find out how to be tested for this gene, contact the Center for Kohanim in Jerusalem.

So, they’ve found priests, but this doesn’t mean that these people know how to be a priest. They need to be trained as priests. How, you ask? It’s not as if they can go to their local Kohanim school for priests, can they?

Actually, yes they can!

The Temple Institute has actually set up priestly training at their Nezer HaKodesh Institute for Kohanic Studies. This opened about 8 years ago, and they’ve already performed some of the Biblical sacrifices. Here’s a video from the Temple Institute about their Kohanic Studies institute:

What about the “lost” ark?

This might blow your mind. I was quite dumbfounded when I read this, and I’m not 100% convinced, but I can’t help but be a little excited. Here’s what I read about the Ark of the Covenant on the Temple Institute’s website:

Tradition records that even as King Solomon built the First Temple, he already knew, through Divine inspiration, that eventually it would be destroyed. Thus Solomon, the wisest of all men, oversaw the construction of a vast system of labyrinths, mazes, chambers and corridors underneath the Temple Mount complex. He commanded that a special place be built in the bowels of the earth, where the sacred vessels of the Temple could be hidden in case of approaching danger. Midrashic tradition teaches that King Josiah of Israel, who lived about forty years before the destruction of the First Temple, commanded the Levites to hide the Ark…in this secret hiding place which Solomon had prepared… This location is recorded in our sources, and today, there are those who know exactly where this chamber is. And we know that the ark is still there, undisturbed, and waiting for the day when it will be revealed.” [Emphasis mine.]

They sound quite dogmatic about the fact that the ark is still there, and I don’t doubt that they’re convinced. The reason I can’t state categorically that the ark is there is simply because it hasn’t actually been seen, yet, and the Scriptures don’t mention anything about it being hidden under the temple in Solomon’s tunnels.

The only possible connection in the Scriptures is in 2 Chronicles 35:20, about King Josiah, who their tradition says hid the Ark:

After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. [Emphasis mine]

Is the Ark hidden there? Possibly. If it isn’t found, I don’t see what would keep them from building another, just as they’ve constructed all of the other temple vessels, according to what Moses wrote. Once the Jews have full access to the temple mount and can excavate the tunnels, we’ll find out.

Now would be the time to say: they are ready. The people at the Temple Institute have all of the elements of the temple ready to be put into service – as soon as the Temple Mount is put back in their hands (remember Daniel 9:27 and the treaty?).

And what about that small issue of there already being something built on the temple mount?

No Vacancy on the Temple Mount

We already know what the Muslim world thinks about the issue of Israel building a temple on the temple mount: it’s not gonna happen.

And for this reason, most of the world wants Israel to leave well enough alone, because who wants world war three?

And Israel?

Many Jews are of the world’s opinion. They just want peace, and they say that Israel has been getting on just fine without a physical temple on the temple mount. And who can blame them for having such a strong desire for peace, especially considering their history?

But there is definitely a group that believes a temple on the temple mount will bring peace – because it will bring the promised Messiah. Therefore, it is a solemn responsibility, and even a practical solution to bring about peace for their people (and they would say for the world, also). This is the view of those at the Temple Institute.

So, how’s it looking for a temple in the near future?

As you might imagine, it’s rather a complex issue. (I’ve employed a bit of understatement there – it’s maybe the world’s most complex issue.)

I’m no expert on the geopolitical goings-on in the Middle East, but a quick search reveals surprisingly contradictory views on the situation, and from surprising sources.

  • Not surprising: The U.N. is pushing for the old, ineffective 2-state solution, based on their resolution UNSCR 2334, in which nothing changes regarding Israel’s relationship to the temple mount.
  • Very surprising: A movement amongst Saudis to give the temple mount back to Israel so they can build a temple there. The hashtag is #قبلة_اليهود_لاتعني_لن and translates to “The Jewish aspirations has nothing to do with us.” But don’t take my word for it, check Twitter! (I should note that this particular hashtag hasn’t been used since 2021, but I believe it’s still worth paying attention to.)
(This is a screenshot taken from Israel365News.com)
  • Now here’s something I hadn’t heard of before, which could be a very surprising development: The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine. One of it’s chief proponents, David Singer, sums it up: “The Saudi Solution [a.k.a. the Hashemite Kingdom of Palistine] calls for the merger of Jordan, Gaza and part of Judea and Samaria (aka ‘West Bank’) into one territorial entity to be called The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine – having its capital in Amman – not Jerusalem.”
    • It might sound like wishful thinking – I’m not saying that there’s none of that involved, here – but, as recently as the end of January, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who has not outright rejected this solution put forth by the Saudis in June of 2022.
      • King Abdullah also made some comments on a new solution for the Palestinian/Israel problem at the recent National Day of Prayer in Washington: “Today, the Palestinian problem can only be solved by redefining it. The issue in this day and age should not only be about reclaiming ancestral land as much as it is about the urgent need to have a legal identity and a universally respected citizenship that allows one to lead a normal life in the modern world.”
    • In light of these remarks, the meeting between Netanyahu and King Abdullah could be read as significant as regards their country’s relationship and moving toward a solution like the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine.

There’s no one thing that says, “That’s it! That will make it possible for the Jews to build a temple on the temple mount!” But the trends and rumblings are interesting, if admittedly faint, and moving in a surprisingly progressive direction in regard to the next temple being built.

So, what does it all mean?

Let’s take a step back from all of the exciting developments. It’s possible to be excited for different reasons. For instance, if you’re an orthodox Jew then the temple being built means you will be able to practice your religion as you believe God has commanded. Some Jews believe it could bring world peace by providing a place for all people to worship.

But to me, based on what God’s revealed in the Bible, this temple and it’s preparations are ticks on the last hour clock, edging closer to midnight and the end of God’s plan for the world as we know it.

It’s proof that God’s Word is reliable.

Daniel 9 and Matthew 24 speak of sacrifices – in their Jewish contexts, these are temple sacrifices – so there there must be a temple. Then that temple will be desecrated by the prince who is to come; the prince who first confirms a treaty with Israel which allows a temple to be built.

If these prophetic threads are being woven together – along with so many others (one-world government and currency, church apostasy, and more) – pay attention.

Now is not the time to say, “Oh, these things always blow over,” or “The Bible’s prophecies that line up with world events are just coincidental,” or, “I’ve got time.” No. All of the Bible’s prophecies about a suffering Messiah happened to the letter – history proves that. But people weren’t ready. Israel was not ready and they rejected the most glorious opportunity to have Jesus reign on earth as their King.

We have an equally glorious opportunity. Don’t do the same thing.

Another temple is coming. Tribulation is coming. Jesus Christ is coming!

Trust Him as your Savior now, and, instead of tribulation, it’ll be glory that awaits you.

I always like to end with 2 Peter 3:8:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

And I’ll add verse 10, too:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

In Bible prophecy, God both warns us and promises us hope – you’re warned if you don’t believe what He says, or hopeful if you do. And I write this blog about Bible prophecy so that you will know that you can believe Him and have hope.

Next time I’ll be looking at a very loud tick on the last hour clock: the spiritual condition of Israel today.

Until then, thank you for reading!

There is a Temple Coming, Part 1: The Bible Says

(Well, two, actually. I’ll expand on that later.)

Welcome back, readers!

One of the loudest ticks on the last hour clock is Israel preparing to re-build the temple.

After looking into it myself, I think this will be at least a two-post subject, because there are a few aspects of it that make it exciting and relevant to Bible prophecy:

  • The Bible strongly alludes to a temple physically being there while Israel is gathered in unbelief.
  • The Temple Institute: In Israel they are making all of the preparations to re-build the temple.
  • The spiritual condition of national Israel: both at this moment and when a third temple is alluded to in Bible prophecy.

Let’s start with what the Bible says (makes sense in a blog about Bible prophecy, right?), because what’s more relevant than what God Himself tells us?

What does the Bible say about the next Jewish temple in Jerusalem?

The most exciting passage is in Daniel 9.

But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.

Now keep in mind the “sacrifice and offering” bit while we look at the context.

Verses 24 through 27 of Daniel chapter 9 are the 30,000-foot overview of Israel’s future from Daniel’s time until the rule of the Messiah on earth. There are two aspects we need to look at before it becomes clear that verse 27b is talking about a rebuilt temple in unbelieving Israel: time and events.

The Time in Daniel 9: 70 Weeks

Gabriel, God’s messenger (a.k.a. angel), comes to Daniel during his service in the Persian empire, while Israel and Judah are exiled from their land. The first temple built by King Solomon had been destroyed by Babylon in 587 B.C. This was not long after the official, God-promised 70-year exile of Judah from the land of Israel had begun (that being 589 B.C.).

Now jump ahead 51 years, which brings us to Daniel 9 (“In the first year of Darius,” vs. 1). The prophesied 70 years of Israel’s captivity, spoken of in Jeremiah, is nearing its end, so God tells Daniel what is coming next for “your people and your holy city” (vs. 24):

24 “Seventy weeks are determined…
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.

25 “Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.

26 “And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.

27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”

  • Verse 24 tells us the purpose of these 70 weeks (actually, “sevens” would be a more precise translation): to deal with the sins of Israel and reconcile them to God, and to bring in the righteous kingdom of God.
  • Verse 25 tells us when those 70 sevens begin: the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. This is recorded in Nehemiah 2: on the 1st of the Jewish month of Nisan (our 14th of March), 445 B.C., Artaxerxes sends Nehemiah to Jerusalem with letters of permission to use the forests to rebuild the gates and the walls.
  • Verse 25 also tells us when the first part of the 70 sevens ends: when Messiah the Prince comes. 490 360-day Jewish years after the command to rebuild Jerusalem, Jesus of Nazareth rides into Jerusalem, hailed as the coming King – the 10th of Nisan, 32 A.D. (our 6th of April). (This would be what is referred to as “the triumphal entry,” which is recorded in Matthew and Luke.)
    • The Lord Jesus even points out that this is a significant day that the Jews should have recognized: “‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace!'” Luke 19:42 (emphasis added by me).

[I deliberately said “the first part of the 70 sevens,” because there is obviously a gap between the seven and sixty-two sevens of verse 25 and the one seven in verse 27.]

In that gap certain things happen: Messiah the Prince is cut off, and the people of the prince who is to come destroy the city and sanctuary. Now the Bible tells us all about Messiah being cut off (the crucifixion accounts, plus Isaiah 53), and history recorded outside the Bible is very vivid in it’s account of how Jerusalem and the second temple were destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans. But we must remember that these two things are not a part of the 70 sevens.

{Book recommendation alert: Daniel’s Prophecy of the 70 Weeks by Dr. Alva McClain – check it out for a shorter, digestible, and enlightening study of the 70 weeks!}

Look closely at verse 27: “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
[h]e shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.

Then… a very important word when you’re working with timing.

So far, Daniel’s only been told about sixty two plus seven sevens, but God originally said (in verse 24) that there would be 70 of them. What’s happened to that last week?


Then what?: he (the prince that shall come, verse 26) shall confirm a covenant with many (of your people, verse 24) for one seven.

There it is!

This week, which is coming after Messiah is cut off and the city and sanctuary are destroyed, is still coming. Why do I emphasize ‘sanctuary’? Because this verse is talking about the second temple, built in Nehemiah’s time and destroyed by Rome.

So where are the sacrifices and offerings of verse 27 happening?

In the third temple.

The Events in Daniel’s 70 Weeks

I’ve already covered a lot of the events side, because the time is marked by the events, but there are still some things to look at.

What happens in those 70 sevens?

  1. There is a command to restore and rebuild the street and wall of Jerusalem.
    • The remnant in Israel builds up the city under Nehemiah (this, plus the building of a second temple, are recorded in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah)
  2. Messiah the Prince comes at the end of 69 sevens.
  3. After the 69 sevens:
    • Messiah is cut off.
    • The people of the prince who is to come destroy the city and sanctuary.
  4. Then the 70th seven begins with the confirmation of a covenant made by “the prince who is to come” and “the many” of Daniel’s people. In the middle of the seven the prince will bring an end to sacrifice and offering and make desolate with abominations.
  5. Then the determined consummation will come from God, being poured out on the prince who caused desolation.
  6. When it is all over and the 70 sevens end:
    • Transgressions and sins will be ended.
    • Reconciliation will be made for iniquity.
    • Everlasting righteousness will be brought in with the anointing of the articles of the temple, sealing up vision and prophecy.

What about the third temple?

Now that we’ve looked at the context, can you see a third temple in this passage? Do you see why there has to be one?

It has to be a third temple – as opposed to the last temple – in Daniel 9:27, because the second one was (and still is) destroyed, and, until the world sees Jesus Christ riding a white horse in the clouds, we won’t get the temple promised by God to be built in His kingdom on earth.

Okay, I’ve realized that I now need to mention another coming temple here. To avoid confusion, particularly when you’re reading Ezekiel, there will be a temple in the millennial kingdom after Jesus Christ returns to earth as King in the second coming. It’s hard to miss the description of a new temple in chapters 40-48.

This is often referred to as the fourth temple or millennial temple by Bible prophecy teachers.

It is fair to ask: How do we know that this isn’t the one referred to in Daniel 9? Because the one in Ezekiel squares with everything the Old Testament tells us about the kingdom of God on earth: that Israel will possess all of the land God’s promised her (Eze. 48), Israel will be where God’s throne is and where the soles of His feet will be (Eze. 43:7), God will be in the midst of His people, there will be peace for Israel and peace in the world – God will be ruling when this temple is built. This happens once the 70 sevens are fulfilled, and the “everlasting righteousness” has been brought in.

Does bringing an end to sacrifices and offerings in the temple, and someone committing abominations and desolations in the temple sound like a time when God is ruling the earth from His throne in Jerusalem?

Daniel 9:27 is a different time. And a different temple.

Jesus Talks About a Third Temple

Now would be a good time to look at Matthew 24, because Jesus Christ actually speaks about Daniel 9:27.

“‘Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.'” {Matthew 24:15-16}

The reference to Daniel is hard to miss, but did you catch a reference to a temple, there? Where, exactly, is “the holy place”?

Look no further than Exodus 28-29, Leviticus 16, 1 Kings 8… for references to “the holy place.” It’s a clear reference to the temple (or tabernacle), where God is worshiped by Israel.

And it’s helpful to note that it is the same temple that Daniel is referencing, which is the third temple. Which is why an “abomination of desolation” is in this temple. Remember the one causing desolations in Daniel 9:27, the prince? Jesus is actually speaking about that very event when he brings an end to sacrifice and offerings in the middle of the last seven.

Then He brings to light another important part of the prophecy, previously unknown, which adds to the identity and character of “the prince”: when the Jews see this happen, run – because the prince has betrayed them, declaring himself to be God.

What’s the big deal about a third temple?

Well, I’ll leave the long answer for the next post, but the short answer is: it is an integral part of future Bible prophecy, and the possibility that it will be built soon is becoming more and more, well, possible. Which means we should be ever the more expectant of the Lord’s return for His church – at any moment!

So, in the next post I will look more in depth at the exciting (from a prophetic point of view) developments in Israel, mostly connected to The Temple Institute.

Thanks for reading! And remember you can find me at Generation 23:00 on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor, Rumble, YouTube and Telegram, and Anna.gen2300 on Instagram to keep up with me and the truly amazing promises I’m always finding in God’s word!

I’ll catch you next time – unless the Rapture comes first.

Christmas = 109 Prophecies

In a blog about the Bible calls the ‘last hour’ of history and prophecies concerning what is yet to come, why are we looking at the past?

It’s pretty simple: if there are prophecies that were made and have already come to pass, then any prophecies that haven’t come to pass will come to pass!

There are 333 prophecies in the Bible about God’s promised Messiah – people who are experts in statistics and Bible prophecy calculate that 109 have been fulfilled, leaving (pause while I attempt some math…) 224 that need to be fulfilled.

Some are about Him being a suffering and lowly man, others are about Him ruling the earth forever as the almighty God.

Now, it’s evident, from the mixed reception Jesus received in Israel back in the 1st century, that these two descriptions were mixed up by many people who had read them over the centuries.

[A similar thing happens today – a confusion usually caused by not having a consistent literal interpretation of the whole Bible.]

Jesus came the first time proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at the door, ready to be set up in all of it’s Old Testament splendor all over the earth, and that He was the One God had sent to rule over it – the Messiah! But many of the Jews, particularly the rulers, were expecting someone who looked and acted totally differently than He did: judging Israel’s enemies like a devouring fire, followed by peace and prosperity all over the earth, with Israel glorious at it’s center – not belonging to the family of a nobody-carpenter, with no place to even lay His head, preaching repentance and then dying.

But there were some who understood the times. Because they knew what God’s word said about the arrival of His chosen Savior. People like Simeon and Anna.

Who had read and understood prophecies like Daniel 9:25-26:

Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks

(This one relates to the timing, beginning with the decree to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s day, up to the arrival of the Messiah to become king, which was when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey. The ‘weeks’ are groups of seven years – so the prophesied time span was 463 years between the two events; Jewish 360-day years.)

And Micah 5:2:

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel

And Isaiah 7:14:

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Each of these gave details of the timing, location and circumstance of the Messiah’s arrival. And there are nearly 100 more which predicted things about Jesus Christ’s time on earth as the only God-man – His first time on earth!

Now in our day it’s a similar situation: we’re either confused about the Bible’s remaining prophecies regarding God’s Messiah – the second time He comes to earth – or we understand the prophecies God has given about that second coming.

And there are 224 of those! I’d say those are worth paying more attention to.

Remember the 333 prophecies in the Bible about the Messiah that I mentioned earlier? Well, those 224 are part of that group.

These are all about the return, the rule, the judgment, the kingdom and total redemption of the heavens and the earth that the Messiah will bring to pass.

Importantly, these are prophecies that we can know, just like Anna and Simeon did when Jesus came the first time. (And not only can we know what they are, we can also see the signs once they’re looming on the horizon.)

So, if the prophecies about His first coming came to pass, then we can absolutely sure that the prophecies about His return will come to pass – just as literally, and as in precise of detail.

And now, as it is Christmastime, let’s look at and rejoice in the prophecies that have since become history – such as when:

  • The Messiah came to earth as a child
    • Prophesied: “For unto us a Child is born,
      Unto us a Son is given” Isaiah 9:6
    • Fulfilled: “‘And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.'” Luke 1:30
  • The Messiah would descend from King David:
    • Prophesied: “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord,
      ‘That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness'” Jeremiah 23:5
    • Fulfilled: “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.” Matthew 1:17
  • The Messiah would be the Son of God:
    • Prophesied: “The Lord has said to Me,
      ‘You are My Son,
      Today I have begotten You.'” Psalm 2:7
    • Fulfilled: “And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.'” Luke 1:35

And there are also the prophecies of Daniel 9, Isaiah 7 and Micah 5 that I’ve already mentioned!

So if Jesus Christ was descended from David, born as a human being, born in Bethlehem, and fulfilled so many other prophecies concerning, not only His birth, but His ministry, death and resurrection as well, when the Bible says things like:

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory,

then we can be sure that it will happen. (That’s from Matthew 24:30, by the way.)

So rejoice! Not only did God keep His promise to send a Savior to bless the all mankind with redemption and reconciliation with Him, but He’s going to keep His promise to redeem the entire creation and bring perfection and peace – and perfect judgment to the earth!

There is so much joy in being able to rely on God’s promises that He gives us in the Bible. There is nothing more sure – nothing.

Now may I wish you the happiest of Christmases!

And may the words of that grand old English carol sink in:

‘God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay / Remember Christ our Savior was born upon this day / To save us all from Satan’s power when we had gone astray. / Oh tidings of comfort and joy!’

Happy Hanukkah-is-Fulfilled-Prophecy!

There is a Temple Coming, Part 1: The Bible Says Generation 23:00

Another temple in Jerusalem? A lot of things are coming together for it to be possible, so it's necessary that we ask: does the God tell us about the next temple? You may find it surprising – and definitely exciting! • You can find me at Generation 23:00 on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor, Rumble, YouTube and Telegram, and Anna.gen2300 on Instagram. Or visit gen2300.com for the blog post: gen2300.com/2023/01/27/there-is-a-temple-coming
  1. There is a Temple Coming, Part 1: The Bible Says
  2. Happy Hanukkah-is-Fulfilled-Prophecy!
  3. We are asleep: A book review of 'Wake the Bride' by Jeff Kinley
  4. The Blessed Hope
  5. Bible Prophecy: To Study or Not to Study?

I’m back! I’ve missed looking at Bible prophecy with you guys. 

So, this year we’re celebrating Hanukkah (very much like total gentile newbies), with a menorah, challah bread and latkes (this holiday has scrumptious food). I also love the other name of this holiday: “The Festival of Lights” – because I already love the idea of the extra lights we put up  at Christmas, to illuminate the deepest dark of winter. But I was definitely a bit fuzzy on the details of this Jewish winter holiday…

What and why is Hanukkah?

A brief bit of ‘the what‘:

In the 160s BC, a particularly ruthless Greek ruler, and the villain of this history, Antiochus IV, set out to Hellenize (otherwise described as Greek-culture-ize) the Jews in Israel (already under Greek control). The culture part went without much of a hitch, but the attempt to add Greek gods to the one God of Israel was a step too far – especially when they utilized force to achieve it. Ransacking the temple and sacrificing a pig on the altar didn’t help, either (to use the art of the understatement). This is where the Maccabees come in: a father and five sons who led a series of battles that successfully threw off the tightened grip of their Greek conquerors, and allowed them to continue to worship in the temple. And this is why the word Chanukah was (and is) used: in Hebrew it means “dedication”, and there was only enough sanctified oil – which was needed to rededicate the temple after being defiled by an animal which was unclean according to Jewish law – to burn for 1 day, when it needed to be burned for 8 days. Well, it burned for 8 days – hence the 8-day celebration of lights and a menorah.

And now a bit of the why:

It seems that much of the significance of Hanukkah has been lost.

There were a couple of things that are more well known (enough to be known even by myself):

  • There’s the victory of the Maccabees
  • There’s the miracle of the oil and thus the celebration of lights

But there’s also the fact that Jesus celebrated Hanukkah! In John 9 and 10, it’s clear that Jesus Christ is the eternal, perfect light in the spiritual darkness – He proclaims Himself to be the light of the world while He was in Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication – for Hanukkah.

“‘As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’

When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing…

Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.” – John 9

His reference to Himself as the light of the world – pictured in His giving sight to a blind man – gives the greatest significance of all to the celebration of light in the midst of darkness at Hanukkah: the spiritual darkness of both Israel and the world which Christ dispels with the light of truth and life.

Remember that John also said: “ In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness…” (1:4-5).

Then, perhaps the most pertinent aspect of Hanukkah to a blog of this sort, is that Hanukkah was clearly fulfilled Bible prophecy!

In the often overlooked eighth chapter of Daniel, God told him rather a lot about a little horn that grew to be a very large one, who took away sacrifices and cast down God’s sanctuary, before he was broken and the sanctuary cleansed. 

Not only does this prophecy describe the events of and actors in Hanukkah – some four hundred or so years beforehand – but tells us that the little horn would be Greek… before there was even a Greece.

Here’s a quick look at what the Bible tells us about the people and events of Hanukkah: 

  • 8:21 – “And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece”
  • 8:21b – “The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king” (Alexander the Great)
  • 8:22 – “As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation” (the four generals who took over four parts of Alexander’s divided empire: Ptolemy, Lysimachus, Assander, and Seleucus)
  • 8:9 – “And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land” (Antiochus IV of the Seleucid kingdom, who launched campaigns of conquest in Egypt, parts of Medo-Persia and Israel (“south…east…the Beautiful Land”)
  • 8:23-25 – “And in the latter time of their kingdom… a king shall arise, having fierce features… he shall exalt himself in his heart” and 8:11, “and by him daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down,” which he “trampled underfoot” (When Antiochus IV plundered the temple)
  • 8:25a – “He shall destroy many” (Antiochus IV’s attempt to annihilate the Jews altogether)
  • 8:25b – “He shall even rise against the Prince of princes” (His name Antiochus Epiphanes – the latter is a Greek word usually used in reference to glorious appearances of deity; coins from his rule even depict him as Zeus and have the inscription, “Of King Antiochus, God Manifest, Victory-bearer”)
  • 8:14 – “… then the sanctuary will be cleansed” (The re-dedication of the temple by the Maccabees.)

So we see that Hanukkah is one long string of fulfilled prophecies.

It may seem like a minor chapter in the catalog of Bible prophecies, perhaps because the events themselves are not recorded in Scripture (they’re in the extra-biblical writings of the four books of Maccabees). But, like all prophecies in the Bible, it’s the character of God that’s on the line.

If these things did not happen as Daniel was told that they would, then:

  1. God would be wrong or mistaken
  2. All other prophecies He’s made would be in doubt

But we know that is not the case.

1) Because God Himself told us these things would happen.

Which should be enough, but for those who need extra confirmation…

2) These things are documented in extra-Biblical sources (e.g. books of 1-4 Maccabees, and the historian Josephus) and archeology (e.g. the coin of Antiochus IV). In fact, they are so confirmed, that people try to say that Daniel didn’t actually write the book of Daniel – that it had to have been written after the events and historical circumstances he describes.

So, what are the implications of these prophecies being fulfilled and reliable? Why does it matter if we know why Hanukkah is celebrated?

Because it means that God keeps His promises – not only the geo-political ones concerning empires and kings, but the ones that reach every human soul in history.

The Biblical account of Christmas is also one long string of fulfilled prophecies. It is about God providing and being the Savior of the world – it’s Redeemer and Restorer, Cleanser and Perfector.

If Daniel 8 and Hanukkah are fiction or incorrectly fulfilled prophecies, then how could we trust that God will save those who trust in Jesus Christ?

To finish, here’s a quote from Jesus’ Celebration of Hanukkah in John 10 by Jerry R. Lancaster and R. Larry Overstreet (featured in Bibliotheca Sacra 152 (July-September 1995): 318-33:

“… the feast has deeper significance than a mere reminder of a historical event. Christ’s testimony at Hanukkah, and its place in the Gospel of John, which stresses the theme of light, is a testimony to Christians that Hanukkah emphasizes His great work of providing salvation to a spiritually blind world. … 

Satan, through Antiochus Epiphanes, had planned to destroy God’s word and His people through assimilation and annihilation. Had he been successful, there would have been no more Jewish people, no Messiah to come, no Christmas, and most tragically of all, no Calvary. Men and women would forever be lost in sin, without hope. And so a great miracle did happen there. It is not a cruse of oil but God’s preservation of His people and His faithfulness to the messianic promise that continues to give true significance to Hanukkah today.”

(I highly, highly recommend this article for more a detailed and documented background on the celebration of Hanukkah and it’s history! You can read the PDF here: https://www.academia.edu/41239362/Jesus_Celebration_of_Hanukkah_in_John)

And so, happy feast of dedication, happy festival of lights, Happiest of Hanukkahs!

These prophecies are past, but we look forward to the ones to come – which are just as sure: as true as if they’d already happened. Daniel was told that the prophecies connected to Hanukkah were concerning the time of the end, and that time was in the 2nd century BC! Just think how close we are now…


“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” (2 Peter 3)

Thanks for reading! And remember you can find me at Generation 23:00 on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor, Rumble, YouTube and Telegram, and Anna.gen2300 on Instagram to keep up with me and the truly amazing promises I’m always finding in God’s word!

I’ll catch you next time – unless the Rapture comes first.

We Are Asleep

| A review of Wake the Bride by Jeff Kinley |

  • 216 pages (including notes)
  • Published by Harvest House in 2015
  • A book everyone should read – whether you believe in God or not.
  • Especially encouraging for the church!
Who is the bride? The Theme and an Explanation of the Title

The love story between Christ and His church is structured just like a traditional Jewish marriage. There’s a betrothal, then the groom goes back to his father’s house to add on a home for himself and his bride (John 14, anyone?), then at an undisclosed time he comes back for his bride and there’s a ceremony, making the marriage official. In the church’s relationship to Christ, we’re at the point where He’s back at His Father’s house building a home for us, and when He’s done, He’ll come back for us – at any time. (Check out chapter 5 in this book for more amazing detail about that!)

The church – the Bride – (those who trust in Christ alone for salvation) is falling asleep, forgetting Who it is we love and that we need to be looking for Him to return. And this book points us to God’s call in His word to wake up because our Bridegroom is coming!

Jeff Kinley writes this book for those who want to know what’s going on these days and how they can live their lives when it looks like the world is nearing its end: “Chances are you’re one of those curious souls not satisfied with being left in the dark, imagining, guessing, hoping. You’re hungry for some concrete confidence concerning the last days of planet Earth and the return of Jesus Christ. [P] This book will help satisfy that hunger. It fills that void where your voyeuristic curiosity dwells, replacing it with knowledge and truth” (pp. 10).

My general {short} opinion: Like his book The Prophecy Pros Illustrated Guide to Tough Questions about the End Times written with Todd Hampson, it’s written with unique clarity and a laser focus on the truth of God’s word. There’s no padding out with “nifty illustrations” or flippant funny stories. It’s to the point, going through the book of Revelation, promise by promise, warning by warning, exhortation by exhortation for the church – from Christ to His bride – all with the same purpose: to be ready and looking for Him to come back for her. He points this out in the introduction: “Revelation was written to the church and for the church.”

The Long(er) Review

{If you want more quotes and details on structure and content, read on.}

Jeff Kinley structures (and introduces) the book as a mountain climb up the peak of Revelation: it won’t be a breeze, it will require preparation and research, and the top is attainable if you just take it step by step. End times prophecy can be intimidating, but this book proves that understanding it isn’t out of reach. “You think if you try, you might not make it to the top and comprehend God’s prophetic plan. [P] But others have been there and know the way. You won’t walk alone on this journey. Together, we’ll make the climb, and Scripture will be our personal guide…” (pp. 22).

Like in his book with Todd Hampson, he makes the subject accessible – acknowledging that there are hurdles and complications to make it through, but that it’s God’s purpose to reveal truth: “Yes, Revelation can be a foreboding mountain… But you can understand it. This book will be somewhat of a hike, one that involves exploring the clues God has scattered throughout Scripture and history” (pp. 23).

And, beginning in chapter two, we really dive into the book and start climbing the mountain!

The first leg of the climb (chapter two) introduces us to the Bridegroom, described in Revelation one: “…in the midst of the seven lampstands [was] One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire: His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” Each description in these verses is unpacked and cross-referenced in this chapter. When we look at this, we realize that He’s not the baby in the manger anymore, and we need to wake up and remember! Jeff reminds us that our Bridegroom is God – even John, who knew Him in person on earth, falls at His feet “as dead” when he sees Him – so I think we probably will, too… “our first reaction upon seeing the glorified Christ in heaven will be to fall on our faces in profound wonder and worship” (pp 35).

This is our Bridegroom – our Savior and God – the most glorious and only perfect being in all of time and space (and outside of them)! It’s hard to believe we have such wonder awaiting us – such love and glory.

In chapter three of the book we pass by and examine the letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3, especially Laodicea – the lukewarm church, who was definitely drowsy – and why this problem begins with individual Christians falling out of love with their Bridegroom. “Travel to Laodicea today and all you’ll find are rubble and ruins. But far worse than their landscape is their legacy. Jesus didn’t care about their banks, wool, or medical school. He cared about her–– the apple of His eye. The love of His heart. The church. His bride. [P] As we prepare ourselves for the return of the bridegroom, we must guard ourselves from living like lukewarm Laodiceans. Instead, let’s clothe ourselves with the Wedding Dress of pure love for Him” (pp. 55).

Then we lift our eyes to The Blessed Hope: the Rapture, and climb a bit further in chapters 4 and 5 of the book. What’s coming next for the church, and why does it matter? “‘Is what we have come to know as the Rapture legit or not?’… [P] The answer to this question is of monumental importance. If the events depicted in Revelation 6-`19 are still future, and if there is no rapture, then believers are destined to endure the horrible judgments and plagues God sends upon the earth during the… Great Tribulation. So it is not a belief to be easily dismissed” (pp. 57). We take a close look at what the Bible says about Christ coming back for His church, just why He’s doing it, and what it will be like – defying gravity!

Here’s a quote from 1 Thessalonians 4 – the classic Rapture passage: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

Jeff writes, “You can mock or dismiss the Rapture, but you cannot deny that when it occurs, it will send the world into mass panic… [P] However, for believers, it will be just the opposite experience. There will be peace instead of panic. Transformation instead of terror. Celebration, not confusion. Those Christians who are caught up will meet Jesus face-to-face, the mere thought of which brings us rapturous joy” (pp. 80).


Examining the Rapture matters, because: we need to know it’s the next thing coming for the church, and, because of that, the judgments of the Great Tribulation in Revelation 6-18 are more briefly examined in Wake the Bride in chapters 8-9. Jeff’s focus is on what awaits the Bride.

The next stop on the mountain brings us to the glorious future of the Bride in chapter 6: rewards at the Bema seat. But the book focuses on the important, central theme of even our rewards, and that is Jesus Christ – those rewards are for His glory – and it inspired me as a reader, rather than dragging me down with regret. It’s a chapter of correcting perspective: “When considering how great our God is, and Revelation’s vision of His regal glory and infinite worth, we are naturally captivated with awe. As a result, bringing honor to this God becomes our greatest passion and pursuit. Seeing who Jesus really is produces wonder, admiration, respect, amazement, astonishment, reverence, esteem, and worship. And the practical ‘so what’ of that filters down into our everyday lives in tangible ways” (pp. 96).

Then in chapter 7 it’s back to Revelation chapters 4 and 5, and the Throne! That’s the most jolting call to wake up, realizing that this glory of God is real, and that one day the Bride will be there singing, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” I get goosebumps thinking about it!

In chapter 10 we continue to look into our glorious future as we gaze in wonder at Revelation 19, the Return of Christ to earth in power and glory at Armageddon. “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns,” is how He’s described in verses 11-12. This is when the earth is cleansed in judgment by the Son of God – and His Bride will be with Him: “Mere words and human emotion are insufficient to describe what we will be feeling on that day. But this we do know. Unlike past military heroes who have… ridden furiously into the face of the enemy, there will be no apprehension or fear for us. Descending from the sky that day, our fright will have long been replaced by confidence and holy zeal” (pp. 159).

We won’t be disturbed by the unrelenting justice He portions out to the condemned, as we’ll be glorified ourselves and understand His perfection, even in His judgments. But if the instant death and damnation of millions of souls at Armageddon doesn’t motivate us to share the gospel now, then we’re definitely asleep.

Then we reach the top in my favorite two chapters: heaven and hope. Chapter 11 in the book examines our eternal future, being in the presence of God, and how it could never compare to anyone’s personal idea of heaven. People try to make heaven a place filled with their greatest desires – golf courses or ice cream or cats – but how can we improve on the actual promise of God that we’ll be in His perfect unveiled presence? “Even Heaven itself is described this way: ‘the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.’ [P] But imagine for a moment that this was the only thing we knew about heaven––that God is there and that we’ll be with Him. [P] Would that be enough for you?” (pp. 175).

Jeff finds (and quotes) many references from Scripture which describe heaven, and the reality is mind-blowing.

All of these truths are here to WAKE US UP! Chapter 12, ‘The Beauty Awakes,’ is about Christ’s Bride remembering who she is, and living like it – now. We’ve made it to the mountain top and see what God’s plan is for the church, and it’s a truly glorious plan, filled with victory, peace, joy, and the love and presence of God! The time we spend on this fading planet is short – so short in light of the eternal joy that awaits us – we need to spend it being alert and active… not asleep.

“You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.'” Revelation 22:20

“Jesus’s voice today trumpets reveille to a drowsy bride… The voice is a familiar one. We’ve heard it thousands of times before… It’s that same voice calling to us right now, awakening us to a new day in our life with Him. Wake up. Rise up. Look up! And it’s a voice we will hear again, maybe soon. A voice calling us skyward. Beloved, behold, your bridegroom comes. Wake up bride! Make yourself ready!” (pp. 197).

My Takeaway

Reading this book did help wake me up. But not in the unpleasant sort of way, like when your alarm goes off in the morning and you have to drag yourself out of a warm, soft bed. It’s more like this: you’re having a dream – an okay dream, where you get to do a lot of fun things, but it’s hard sometimes, and you feel like something’s missing, like there should be more to your life, more meaning – then you suddenly jolt awake and realize that Jesus could literally be coming any second! Your brain whirls with joy, excitement, thankfulness, and feeling of, “I don’t have enough time to do what God has me here to do!”

Waking up to the reality of what Jesus Christ has promised for His Bride, for the church, and of the eternal joy that awaits us, is the greatest comfort and motivation possible. It gives me courage, hope and joy, no matter what life brings.

This book is for “those curious souls not satisfied with being left in the dark” – for us members of the body of Christ, and for anyone who wants their days on this earth to count (just put your faith in Jesus Christ alone and join us in waiting for Him)! And I hope you’ll pick it up, and be amazed and jolted awake by the promises of God examined inside it’s pages.

You can find Jeff’s book anywhere books are sold – I recommend Harvest House Publishers or ThriftBooks. And you can find him on Instagram @jeff.kinley and @prophecyprospodcast, or on his website jeffkinley.com.

Thanks for reading! And remember you can find me at Generation 23:00 on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor, Rumble, YouTube and Telegram, and Anna.gen2300 on Instagram to keep up with me and the truly amazing promises I find every day in God’s word!

I’ll catch you next time – unless the Rapture comes first.

The Blessed Hope

It’s been on my heart to share why the Rapture is such a deep source of hope – for me and for everyone who believes Jesus Christ, who trusts in His death and resurrection to be made right with God.

I’ll start with the clearest teaching on the rapture found in God’s word, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18:

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Not only are these words comforting, but exciting! Even in the darkest hours, this promise gives hope.

Because I could not carry on without hope. Who can? How can we face the reality of suffering, from the everyday unkindness we encounter, to the heavy sorrow of death, unless there’s a purpose and an ending to it all?

Also, who would choose to experience the wrath of God which He promises will be poured out on this earth, when there’s a way to escape it? Yet so many choose to.

This post is about the one thing that offers hope and escape for all of us: The Rapture.

When my life gets stormy, I need an anchor – don’t we all? An anchor of hope that the storm will pass and I’ll make it through. And the waves have been pretty choppy lately. Sometimes I don’t know which is harder to bear: the personal struggles that touch every part of me on a daily basis or the need and strife of the entire world and every person that I feel so powerless to alleviate.

But not just any anchor will keep me secure. Only one which cannot be moved by anything will do that – one which no force can budge, no time erode, no person change. The only power like this, which has no power greater than itself, is God – and to make it personal, His promises concerning His church.

When boat-toppling waves seem to keep coming over my boat, I never quite despair because I know God will never let my anchor be shaken loose – His promise to take me home will always stand. I can never be lost in the sea of life, and I know will still be there when all the storms stop and He sails me home.

And He will bring me home: that’s the blessed hope.

That term comes from this passage in Titus:

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14

Jesus Christ, my Savior, is coming back for me and for all of His church!

Why must the Rapture happen?

Jesus said He would come back, and for definite, specific reasons:

  1. To receive us to Himself:
    1. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14
  2. To deliver His own from His and the Father’s wrath coming in the tribulation described in Revelation:
    1. “…even Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come” 1 Thessalonians 1:10
  3. To complete our salvation and redeem our physical bodies:
    1. “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-53
  4. Because He is the Bridegroom, and He has a wedding to bring His bride to! (It’s Jewish tradition for the groom to come get his bride for the wedding ceremony at an unspecified time):
    1. “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7

These are reasons why the rapture is happening – because of the promises God made.

Why does the rapture give me hope?

Because it’s a sign-less event – a prophecy which could come to pass at any time… any time.

  • Any time… I will be leaving the difficulties of this world.
  • Any time… I will be in the perfect presence of God.
  • Any time… my Savior and Bridegroom will be keeping His promise to come for me!

You see, a sign-less prophetic event means that there is nothing that God’s word tells us must happen before the specific event can happen. It’s always been that way with the Rapture. That’s why Paul, in that letter to the Thessalonians refers to “we” – he was expecting Jesus Christ to return in his lifetime.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The fact that Christ hasn’t come back yet, doesn’t mean the Bible has been proved wrong. Peter tells us that He’s waiting. He’s waiting for more people to be saved. Peter wrote: “The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (Amplified translation).

Why the word rapture? | In 1 Thessalonians 4:18, the original Greek word is: harpazo, then translated to Latin: rapturo, then to English as caught up – hence calling this teaching “rapture”; and it means ‘to snatch away.’ The extended definition in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon is: “used of divine power transferring a person marvellously and swiftly from one place to another, to snatch or catch away.” (In case you’re wondering where the term ‘rapture’ comes from)

So, the fact that this is a sign-less event gives me hope in knowing I could be taken out of here at any time.

Because it’s a rescuing event – Jesus is coming for His bride before the Father pours out His judgments on the earth.

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Revelation 3:10

Some people object to the rapture because it seems like wishful thinking, like an escape made up by some Christians who want to find a way out of God’s judgments during the Tribulation.

But if you look at the Bible literally no one needs to make up a miraculous escape! It’s right there! Is it so far-fetched to believe that God would spare His children and Christ’s bride from His own wrath? There is no greater wrath than this. And it’s totally different from the tribulations the church has gone through for the past 2,000 years – i.e. much worse.

Then on the flip side of wrath, there is the anticipation of Christ’s return. There are two parts to the future coming of Jesus that Paul talks about, part one is for the church, and part two is with the church (both are a part of the teaching which people term “The Second Coming”):

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 {Part one}

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war… He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Revelation 19:11, 13-14 {Part two}

Then the Lord will go forth
And fight against those nations,

As He fights in the day of battle.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two
… Zechariah 14:3-4 {Part two}

There must be two parts, because in the first, Jesus stays in the air, and in the second He comes to stand on the earth. Also, if the saints are behind Him on white horses when He stands on the earth, how can they be caught up at the same time?

I’m counting on this rescue because 1) Jesus tells us that He’s returning to bring believers back with Him to His Father’s house, (not to judge the world, but rescue believers) and 2) He also told us that He’ll keep the church from the hour of trial that’s coming on the whole world (in John 14 and Revelation 3, respectively). He’s taking the church off-world, that’s clear from these passages. 1 Thessalonians 4 makes that especially clear: there’s a meeting in the air coming!

When I read all of these passages together, and take them literally, there’s only one point in the future when a rapture could happen: before the tribulation coming upon the whole world.

I won’t go on, as this isn’t a dissertation on a pre-tribulation rapture. But I couldn’t keep from touching on the subject, because it’s part of the greatness of the hope to be found in the promise of the Rapture.

It’s a personal event – The greatest hope for me is that it’s an act of love by my Savior – it’s personal. Jesus promised He would come back for the church and bring her back home to be with Him.

At any moment I could be face to face with the One who loves me perfectly. I’ll be away from struggle, illness, decay, and evil, and surrounded by love, justice, peace, joy, wholeness, and life!

But the greatest part is that I’ll be with Him, and there is no one like Him, my Yeshua, the Messiah. No person, no experience can compare to Him. He is the very definition of perfection, and He loves me! It’s humbling – and what joy! Just imagining it gives me the deepest, most satisfying joy I’ve ever known.

Knowing this, being absolutely sure that it could happen to me, lifts my heart and gives me joy no matter how dark life becomes. It’s amazing how nothing has ever stamped out that joy.

So, why even talk about the Rapture?

Well, who doesn’t want to think about the greatest joy possible? That’s why I talk about it! I love to think about it, and when it gives such joy, how can I keep it to myself? This hope, this joy, is available to everyone – yet so often people throw it away, or don’t even want to look at it. They reject Christ before even listening to what He has to say in His word (a.k.a. the Bible). Why?

What else have you – has any one ever – found which offers such hope and that’s based on what the actual God of the universe has revealed to us in written form?

Read it, I implore you! I implore all of us, those who know Jesus and those who don’t, to examine (or re-examine) His beautiful, unchanging words. Ask God the hard questions and listen to what He has to say through the promises already given to us in that best-selling book, the Bible. The answers are all right there, and He wants to reveal Himself to you!

That’s the best part about studying all the end times prophecies: they reveal so much about God.

Oh, the depth and the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! He did not leave His church as orphans in the 1st century, and He is still the same – He promised the Helper (the Holy Spirit) then, as He redeemed them and us spiritually, and now He promises to bring us to Him. They counted on Him then and He came through. We can count on Him with equal certainty now to do what He said.

“‘I will come again and receive you to myself…’ For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout… Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” John 14 and 1 Thessalonians 4.

I hope these words bring you comfort and hope.

And I’ll say it again: read His words. Mine have no power – His are power. They’re just amazing, so read them!

Thanks for reading! And as always, you can find this post in audio/video format on Spotify, Anchor, Rumble and YouTube, and find me on Instagram and Telegram.

A Resource Everyone Should Use!

A review of The Prophecy Pros’ Illustrated Guide to Tough Questions About the End Times by Jeff Kinley and Todd Hampson.

(These two gentlemen are also hosts of the Prophecy Pros Podcast!)

God orchestrated this timing, because, after making a post about why studying Bible prophecy is important, I’m reviewing this book, which the perfect place to start if you want to get a better grip on the subject!

This book is:

  • Clear
  • Organized
  • Absolutely packed with Bible references
  • Easy to understand

This book is written to help you.

It makes getting a grip on Bible prophecy accessible. Even if you know nothing about what Bible prophecy is, what it talks about, where in the Bible to find it, or even you have no idea what the “End Times” are, this book takes you to the Bible, and lays out what God says about those things to come – the end of the earth as we know it.

It’s a pretty exciting read!

It’s like a roadmap, letting you know where to start, the places to go, and how it all looks from a birds-eye view, including the end of ends. Because that’s what the Bible is doing through prophecy: giving us the big picture of history. It’s a map that is there to be understood – it just takes a bit of examination to thoroughly make sense of it all and see how it weaves through all of history.

Here’s how it’s organized:

  • The book is organized in a way that makes it easy to read chapters out of order. Each chapter focuses on one subject, and are basically in {the Biblical} chronological order.
  • Each chapter is divided up into digestible sections and paragraphs, each of which is a question. This is because the book is organized around those “tough questions” about the end times.
  • For example, chapter three, ‘The Rapture/Appearing’ is organized like this:
  1. Are We Supposed to Watch for Signs?
  2. What Did Jesus Teach About Signs?
  3. What is the Super Sign?
  4. What Are the Geopolitical Signs?
  5. What Are the Signs of Nature?
  6. What Are the Spiritual Signs?
  7. What Are the Cultural Signs?
  8. What Are the Technological Signs?
  9. What Are the Signs of Convergence?
  10. How Close Are We?
  • Each question is answered within a page or two, and in straightforward English. Every answer is given using words meant to be clear and easily understood, and if there’s a theological or complex word, it’s defined.

Here’s how it’s clear and easy to understand:

  • There are a lot of terms and interpretation techniques swirling around Bible prophecy, which this book also defines, clearing away much of the fog of confusion.
  • The authors take the literal, common-sense approach to reading the Bible, which adds to the un-complicating of end times prophecies that this book is aiming to accomplish. That’s really a key to being able to understand Bible prophecy, because then it’s not open to imaginative or subjective interpretation. Where one prophecy is confusing, a place can be found for it on the timeline by looking at the clearly defined prophecies, and there are often multiple references to the same prophetic event scattered throughout the Bible which can shed light on the more confusing verse.
  • One of the most exciting things is the presence of lots of stats and charts. This helps make the information easy to remember.

But maybe the best part is how many Bible references there are!

  • Nothing is said unless they can reference it in God’s word. There are book, chapter and verse references scattered throughout every paragraph. That is what gives this study of the end times such power: it’s based totally on the word of God. If this wasn’t the case, it wouldn’t be worth the paper it’s printed on. But it’s apparent, even from a casual flip-through, that Jeff Kinley and Todd Hampson have taken care to study and unpack these end-times prophecies so that we can understand as clearly as possible what God is communicating.

So if you’re looking to study Bible Prophecy, and don’t know where to start, check out The Prophecy Pros’ Illustrated Guide to Tough Questions About the End Times! (Available on their website.)

If you prefer audio, check out The Prophecy Pros’ Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify for digestible bites about end times prophecy by Jeff and Todd. The episodes are under 30 minutes, and in the same clear, understandable style as the book.

You can also find the Prophecy Pros’ on their website prophecyprospodcast.com and on Instagram @prophecyprospodcast.

Thank you so much for reading! Remember that God wants us to understand the words that He’s given us, including end times prophecy!

Bible Prophecy: To study or not to study…

Why do I – or does anyone – study Bible prophecy?

I was talking about this with a close friend the other day, and I appreciate the fact that she doesn’t consider me too eccentric because I’ve started focusing so much on Bible prophecy. Still, I wish the church at large taught us more about Bible prophecy, because I feel like I’m in a shrinking minority within an already shrinking minority – studying prophecy and being a Bible-believing Christian, respectively. We’re missing out on the joy, assurance and motivation to live for Christ that a thorough knowledge of prophecy can bring!

For the last 25 years of my Christian life (which is all of it), up until a few months ago, I knew prophecy in the Bible was important, but it seemed a heavy subject, and, though generally decipherable, honestly, a bit confusing. It was something to study once in a while, and to instead just focus on the reality of Christ here and now in my daily study. (Although Bible prophecy is actually focused on Christ, too – more on that later.)

So what’s changed? What switch flipped in my brain?

It was the hope I found in Bible prophecy – a hope like nothing else. It is the promise of a future that is literally the best imaginable (not just by me, but by any human brain), which is so certain, that, for all intents and purposes, it’s happened already (because in a way it has, since God’s the one who’s making it happen)! I’ll be with Him, and every other believer, separated from death, sorrow and suffering forever. God’s put down His own Holy Spirit as a guarantee of that!

Specifically, what got me started, was that I was dwelling on heaven because my grandpa went up there back in March, and, boy, does the hope of heaven get real when someone who’s lived in the same house with you goes to be in the physical presence of Christ! That’s one aspect of that hope I was talking about, and another one that got me really excited is that I’ll be there, too, one day – and it might be closer than I’d thought.

So I started digging deeper, and I didn’t realize how out of the loop I’d been! The Middle East has been simmering away very nicely, as well as the decaying state of the church and the world, just like I’d been hearing for years that they would be but didn’t expect to see for a while yet.

It was like I’d been working on a puzzle, looked down at the ground for a second, then when I looked up, someone had put all the pieces together! Well, almost all.

It was 2020 that seems to have put every timeline into warp speed. I think we can all agree it was an unusually chaotic year – and in ways that lead straight down the road to Bible prophecy.

I watched one video, then another, then a lot more, and everyone kept pointing out the ways that events in the world are lining up unusually closely to what the Bible says will happen in the last days. It was so exciting – and a bit alarming – that I wanted to really study the Bible for myself to see if these teachers were right and to have the prophecies at my fingertips so that I could observe events to see if things were as far along as they seemed.

**A word about teachers: If they consistently line up with what the Bible says – what all of the Bible says – and interpret Bible prophecy literally, keeping God’s character and person in mind (and keeping Him as the plumb line), then they’re teaching is reasonable, powerful, and consistent. (They don’t set dates or contrive complicated calculations for the day of the rapture, either.)

So I started digging into Revelation, Daniel, Matthew 24, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and reading Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah and all the old testament prophets, looking up words and writing timelines – and my perspective grew more hopeful and more excited…

In fact, I had a major shift in my perspective.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4

Now, this no longer seems like a distant promise. I’m not saying with 100% certainty that the rapture will occur in my lifetime, but if we put this promise in the context of all the other prophecies yet to happen, I’m ready for the rapture to happen any time!

You see, there are no signs or prophecies that must precede the rapture, but after some study and learning I realized that there are prophecies that must precede the tribulation and Christ’s return to earth, and those can be observed. I’d never thought about that before. I assumed that the world would become more God-less before the rapture came, but that there was nothing that could give us any hint that it’s getting close. But, like I said, there are observable signs that the events after the rapture are getting close – which also means that the rapture is getting close!

I also didn’t realize just how many prophecies there are in the Bible. Lots of Christians (including me up until a few months ago) think of prophecy as a peripheral subject in the Bible, but 27% of all of God’s word is prophetic! I’ve mentioned this before, but it still strikes me quite forcibly. Now, this does include prophecies from Christ’s first coming, but, out of the 300+ prophecies about Christ Himself, only 100-something have happened, which leaves over 200 left that will happen!

Which means, that if we don’t study Bible prophecy, there will be significant gaps in our understanding of God through His word. The Bible is God revealing Himself to us – He wants us to understand Him, or He wouldn’t have bothered to give it to us – so prophecy is included in that. He wouldn’t have put prophecy in there if He didn’t expect us to be able to understand it (especially in these days, when we have completed Bibles). Prophecy is in there for very important reasons.

One of these reasons is in 1 Thessalonians 5:

For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5

People say that we shouldn’t spend too much time studying Bible prophecy because we can’t know when Christ will rapture His church – this passage is even misinterpreted to say we can’t see the signs of the last days before they’ve started. But it’s those “who shall not escape” who will be taken by surprise – not those who’ve been reading the words God gave us. He doesn’t want us to be taken by surprise! Why? Because knowing what will happen – especially knowing it’s getting close – is purifying (like John says in 1 John 3:3): we’re driven to share Christ’s salvation to the world and we don’t lose heart because we know we’ll be seeing our beloved Savior soon (literally at any moment).

For those who have trusted in Christ, our joy, our finish line, our rest is coming! We know for certain that it is – we don’t know when, but we know God keeps His promises, because He always has. And He gives us the signs of prophecy to give us hope.

One of the greatest, most precious effects of studying Bible prophecy is seeing just how faithful and able God is to keep His promises. He kept them so precisely and definitely in the past that I know I can 100% rely on Him to keep every promise for the future.

This is why studying Bible prophecy is hopeful and exciting! God promises that the hope of seeing Christ face-to-face is purifying – yet how can we be changed by this hope if we don’t see the great ways that God has kept, is keeping and will keep His promises?

For anyone who hasn’t trusted in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life, Bible prophecy is literally the most terrifying thing possible.

But if you are in Christ, literally the most wonderful promises are what Bible prophecy is talking about as far as you’re concerned!

1 Thessalonians 4 says it best: comfort one another with these words.

Thanks for reading! I pray that God will use this humble effort to help reveal the precious truths of Him and His promises to all who read this!

Maranatha! Until next time, unless the rapture comes first…

Why does Bible Prophecy matter?

This really struck me!

Because that’s a fundamental reason why Bible prophecy matters.

When over 100 events foretold in the Bible have happened just as it says they would, a person either has to deny history or believe that the Bible is true.

Because the prophecies in the Bible that have come to pass are so easily verifiable. Biblical texts can be dated, and any events they prophesy can be dated, so it’s easy to check if the prophecies have happened just as the Bible said they would.

So, have any happened that we can verify?

Off the top of my head, I can think of three that could easily be disproved by history – yet, importantly, have not been disproved, and are, in fact, easy to verify:

  • The birth, life and death of Jesus Christ, and when He would come.
    • Micah 5:2/Matthew 2:5-6; Zech 9:9/Matthew 21:4-5; Isaiah 53/Matthew 27:38
    • Daniel 9:25

  • The four Gentile kingdoms that would rule the known world: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.
    • Daniel 2:31-43, 7:2-7, 17

  • The return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel after being dispersed among the nations.
    • Ezekiel 36, Jeremiah 16:14-15

All of these can be verified – locations, people, nationalities, scale, even the dates in the case of when Christ would come the first time – by contemporary historians and accounts, by visiting the cities and countries these prophecies reference even today (think: Jerusalem, Israel, Babylon, Iran, Greece, Rome…), by visits to museums, even by quick searches on the internet for historic maps and timelines and travel blogs! These all corroborate, or literally testify to prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled.

And the evidence that prophecy has come to pass just as God’s prophets wrote down is rather overwhelming when one sits down and actually considers what’s there to see.

  • Micah 5 mentions Bethlehem by name, and…

It’s actually there!

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel.
..” Micah 5:2

  • Daniel 9:25 gives us the exact information for calculating when Israel’s Messiah would appear to His people the first time:

Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks

The command to restore the city of Jerusalem came to pass and is recorded in Nehemiah, and of course the Messiah coming to His people is recorded in Luke 19. (The “weeks” are referring to 7 year periods; 7 years = 1 week.)

Here’s a precise calculation of the days in between:

If you want to study this for yourself, I can’t recommend The Coming Prince by Sir Robert Anderson highly enough! It’s all about the 70 weeks of Daniel, and gives you all the necessary components for calculating the dates.

  • The succession of world empires prophesied in Daniel is even easier to verify. Just visit the British Museum in London, and you can see artifacts from every single one! (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.) King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a statue, with a gold head, sliver chest and arms, bronze belly and thighs, iron legs, and feet made of mixed iron and clay, and if we study history, we see that Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome were all world empires that succeeded each other.1

(Somehow I didn’t manage to get any pictures of their prolific collection of Greek artifacts…)

Here’s a summary of what Daniel wrote concerning those kingdoms in 504 BC, during the reign of the first kingdom of the prophecy, Babylon, and it’s king, Nebuchadnezzar:

This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay…. This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory… But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything… {Daniel 2}

Actually, some skeptics think the book of Daniel must have been written after the fall of the Roman empire because this passage describes history so exactly!

  • My last example is Israel becoming a nation again after the Jews had been scattered in over 100 nations all over the world for nearly 2,000 years. And this is pretty easy to verify. You can hop on a plane to go see it.

Here’s a clip about Israelis celebrating their 73rd independence day back in April:

I love this quote from The Prophecy Pros Illustrated Guide to Tough Questions About the End Times concerning Israel becoming a nation:

“Experts also call it the super-sign because of the sheer magnitude (and statistical impossibility) of this sign coming to pass… Jeremiah’s prophecy reminds us that Israel becoming a nation again was a greater miracle than Moses parting the Red Sea.”

And here’s that Jeremiah prophecy:

“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.” {Jeremiah 16:15-16}

I could go on, but the point of the quote (from the top of this post) is clear.

…prophecy admits of no half-faith.

Either the Bible is wrong or it’s right, and if so many prophecies have come to pass exactly as God said they would, now we’re just waiting for the remaining prophecies to play out in real space, time and history.

There are 333 prophecies about Christ alone. 109 were fulfilled when He came the first time – so there are 224 left to go! Including:

  • His coming to gather the church in the clouds
  • His coming again to stand on the Mount of Olives (just outside Jerusalem)
  • His defeating the Antichrist and the armies gathered against Him when He returns to earth

So, if you have a half-faith in what you’ve heard about the Bible (or even no faith), how do its verified prophecies impact you? What are they saying about God and His ability to bring to pass whatever He says?

Either there are prophecies that have come to pass or there aren’t. And the precision and accuracy of the Bible’s prophecies that have occurred so far are realities we can either accept or deny. But they have happened and we can see that.

Because God promised they would.

Prophecy in the Bible is all about God. That’s it.

If they didn’t come to pass as He said, then they would prove Him a liar, weak and incapable of keeping His promises – His word would mean nothing, and in-correctly fulfilled prophecies would invalidate everything else He’s ever said. It’s His name that’s at stake.

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel…
Besides Me there is no God.
And who can proclaim as I do?
Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,
Since I appointed the ancient people.

And the things that are coming and shall come,
Let them show these to them.
Do not fear, nor be afraid;
Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
You are My witnesses.

Is there a God besides Me?
Indeed there is no other Rock;
I know not one.’ ”
Isaiah 44:6-8

But fulfilled prophecy shows Him to be the all-powerful, all-knowing, self-existing, faithful, loving, one true God that He proclaims Himself to be.

And remember, there are hundreds of prophecies yet to happen.

So let’s believe God and be looking for them, because they could be happening soon!

Breaking Middle East News!

It’s rather alarming (and exciting in a roundabout way) to see the alliance of the war of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 coming closer together. Aligning is the word I would use.

There was a short but jam-packed Middle East update from Amir Tsarfati of Behold Israel this morning, and I wanted to share it!

I’ve talked a little about the Ezekiel 38 war, but if you’d like a more comprehensive look at the Biblical and historic context, here’s another video from Amir on the subject:

If you know Christ, you’re living in exciting times!

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