Jan 05

Temple Template


Temple Template


The temple represents Jesus Christ’s everlasting Kingdom on earth.

verse by verse through Zechariah chapter 4

By Craig C. White

Zechariah chapter 4 is filled with symbolism. It describes the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem after it was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The rebuilding of the temple began in 535 BC, and was completed nineteen years later in 516 BC. The Jews rebuilt the temple under the direction of the Persian Empire. While the Persian King Cyrus commanded the temple to be rebuilt, many stood in opposition. God told Zechariah the prophet that the temple symbolized Jesus Christ’s everlasting kingdom on earth.

Two people were in charge of managing the rebuilding of the temple; Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua the high priest. Ezra the scribe wrote a history of its building.

Zerubbabel laid the stones of the foundation. He also finished the temple some years later by placing the head-stone. The head-stone or corner-stone was the last stone that was placed on the very top of the temple. It was somewhat decorated and was the crowning completion of the temple.

The rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem was a big deal. The temple was the conduit of Israel’s right relationship with their God. In Ezra 3 below the Jewish people praised God and were moved when the foundation was laid.

Ezr 3:8 Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD.

Ezr 3:10-13 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: 13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

God told the prophet Zechariah about the significance of the rebuilding of the temple. God explained that the temple represented God’s everlasting kingdom on earth.

In the verses below the “BRANCH” refers to a descendant of King David who will sit on the throne in Jerusalem forever (Jer 23:5, Isa 11:1). In other words the “BRANCH” refers to Jesus Christ. The stone that God laid before Joshua in verse 9 is the actual head-stone of the rebuilt temple. As we will see, the head-stone also represents Jesus.

Zechariah 3:8-10 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. 9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.

God is saying that he will bring forth Jesus Christ. God will bring forth Jesus on two occasions. First Jesus will come to earth and be killed for the payment of man’s sin; a human life for human sin. That is God’s life as the payment for all sin of every person for all time. Jesus’ death can be seen as the foundation of the temple, and also as the foundation of God’s everlasting kingdom on earth. The second time that Jesus comes to earth, God will place Jesus on his everlasting throne in Jerusalem to rule the world forever. The placement of the temple’s head-stone symbolizes the coronation of Jesus in Jerusalem at his second coming. This is the completion of the temple as well as the completion of God’s kingdom. At Christ’s second coming, Israel will live in peace.

The seven eyes on the head-stone (Zechariah 3:9), and the seven lamps Zechariah 4:2 & 20) are seven special angels of God who travel about the earth doing God’s work (Zechariah 4:10). I think that they are the same seven angels who are mentioned throughout Revelation as the angels of the churches. These angels represent God’s heavenly throne and authority.

Rev 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Rev 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Zechariah 4:1-2 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, 2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:

OK now it’s time to explain some symbolism. The temple represents Jesus Christ’s everlasting Kingdom on earth. The laying of the temple head-stone is symbolic of God’s authority. That is to say that by the Spirit, will, and power of God his earthly kingdom will be founded and then established; not by the might of men. The candlestick of Gold is Jesus Christ the Messiah. He supplies the olive oil which represents the Holy Spirit of God.

Zechariah 4:3-5 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. 4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? 5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

We will discover that the two olive trees and two branches represent two men who are employed by God in the preparation of his temple and again later in establishing his everlasting kingdom headquartered in Jerusalem.

These two olive branches are God’s two servants on earth. Zerubbabel was the head of the tribe of Judah which represents Israel’s royal line of King David, and Joshua the high priest was from the tribe of Levi. The building of this temple is a foretelling of the establishment of Jesus Christ’s everlasting kingdom on earth. Just as Zerubbabel and Joshua were employed by God in the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, two other servants will fulfill these roles when Jesus returns and finally takes his place on his throne in Jerusalem. Revelation 11 explains.

Rev 11:3-4 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

We know that one of these witnesses will be the prophet Elijah. Elijah never died, but was taken up into heaven by God (2Kings 2:11). Elijah will return to earth to prepare the way before Jesus Christ at his second coming.

Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

The prophet Elijah is one of the witnesses. Most people suppose that the other witness may be Moses. Revelation 11:16 below describes several miracles that these two witness will perform.

Rev 11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

Most people think that Moses will be the second witness because he performed several of these miracles when the Jews were exiting Egypt. Moses and Elijah also appeared together during the Transfiguration of Jesus (Mat 17:1-4).

Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. 7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the head-stone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

Mountains in Bible prophecy represent world empires. In verse 7 above the great mountain represents two world empires. First it represents the Persian Empire that stood against the rebuilding of the temple in Zerubbabel’s day. Second, the great mountain represents the final gentile world empire that will be in place at Jesus’ second coming. In both cases God is showing his higher authority over world powers. In both cases God will establish his earthly kingdom! The great mountain, or empire of men will become a plain. In other words, the Empires of men will be leveled flat!

In Zechariah 4:7 God is declaring that his temple and his earthly kingdom will be completed! Zerubbabel will finish the building by placing the head-stone on the pinnacle of the temple. At the end of verse 7 God declares that there will be praise at the placing of the head-stone. The Jews will shout Grace, grace unto it. The placing of the head-stone represents the coronation of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem at his second coming.

The Jews had some support for rebuilding the temple from the Persian Empire. Cyrus the king of the Persian Empire decreed that the Jews should rebuild the temple.

Ezra 1:2-4 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. 4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.

The rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem was a long hard process. The Jews had an order from Cyrus to rebuild the temple but they also had a lot of resistance.

Ezra 4:1-5 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; 2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. 3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us. 4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, 5 And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Zechariah 4:8-10a Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. 10 For who hath despised the day of small things?

Small things are the same as humble beginnings. The temple ground lay bare. Things looked bad for the Jews and for their God. Even though things looked bad, God declared that the temple would be finished by Zerubbabel.

Remember that the foundation of God’s everlasting kingdom on earth is the crucifixion of Jesus. Things also looked bad on that day. But because Christ died and rose again, all people have hope for reconciliation with God and life everlasting! Do not despise the day of small things!

Zechariah 4:10b for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

The verse above describes Zerubbabel with a plummet in his hand. A plummet is a stone mason’s tool. Zerubbabel is seen rebuilding the temple. The seven eyes are carved into the head-stone. This verse describes God’s servant Zerrubbabel as he completes the building of the temple by placing the head-stone on its pinnacle!

Zechariah 4:11 Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? 12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? 13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. 14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

Remember that the two anointed ones are two men who assist in the building of the temple; namely Joshua the high priest and Zerrubbabel the governor. They are also two witnesses who usher in Jesus Christ’s everlasting earthly kingdom in Jerusalem at Jesus’ second coming (Rev 11:3-4). In verse 14 above the words “stand by” doesn’t mean that these two are standing in heaven, but that they are servants or employed by God on earth.

The laying of the temple foundation and Jesus’ crucifixion represent the beginning of God’s everlasting kingdom on earth. The placing of the head-stone and Jesus’ coronation represents the completion of God’s kingdom. Just as Zerubbabel began and finished the building of the temple in Jerusalem, God by his own power will begin and finish building his kingdom on earth. Jesus Christ will be King of kings and Lord of lords on earth!

Psa 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

Very interesting to read and hard to stop. – Alexandria

Zechariah 4

Read about Israel during the Tribulation period and the second coming of Jesus in my book Israel’s Beacon of Hope

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Jan 04

Residue of a Remnant


Residue of a Remnant

Zechariah 14:2

By Craig C. White

The English bible uses the word “remnant”. A remnant most interestingly refers to a small part that is left of the whole nation of Israel after God judges them.

One Hebrew word for “remnant” is:

a remainder or residual (surviving, final) portion: – that had escaped, be left, posterity, remain (-der), remnant, residue, rest.

Here is the word “remnant” used in a verse.

2Ch 30:6  So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.

In the verse above the Kings of Assyria invaded Israel and carried away most of the Jews as captives. They were taken to what we know as northern Iraq today. So the King of Israel sent letters to the remaining Jews in Israel saying “Turn to God”! The remnant are those Jews who were left to rebuild the nation of Israel after God judged them by the hands of the Kings of Assyria.

There is an even more interesting word used in the English bible, “Residue”! Residue can mean an even smaller group of people!

Properly an overhanging, that is, (by implication) an excess, superiority, remainder; also a small rope (as hanging free): –  + abundant, cord, exceeding, excellency (-ent), what they leave, that hath left, plentifully, remnant, residue, rest, string, with.

Zec 14:2  For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

In the verse above “residue” refers to the few inhabitants of Jerusalem who do not flee but stay behind in the city and are hunkered on Mt. Zion until the end of the Tribulation.

Here are the two words residue and remnant used together in the same verse.

Zep 2:9  Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them.

In the verse above “the residue of my people” are the people of Judea who have fled into the Jordanian wilderness during the Tribulation. When Jesus returns they will plunder Jordan.

Also in the verse above “the remnant of my people” includes every Jew who has survived the Tribulation!

The residue is only part of the remnant.

Several Hebrew words are translated as “remnant” and “residue”. Sometimes the English word for remnant and residue are the same Hebrew word.

Very interesting to read and hard to stop. – Alexandria

residue of a remnant

To learn more about the residue of Jerusalem read The Last Jews in Jerusalem in my book Israel’s Beacon of Hope

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Jan 03

What shall be the sign of thy coming?

What shall be the sign of thy coming?Earthquake, Canterbury, NZ. Photo credit: Martin Luff

What shall be the sign of thy coming?

Earthquakes or the Antichrist?

Matthew 24

By Craig C. White

Many bible teachers say that there will be earthquakes and wars before Jesus Christ returns for his Church. They say that these signs are the beginning of sorrows mentioned in Matthew 24:8. Well hold on just a minute. Are these signs meant for the Church or do these signs precede Israel’s terrible time of trouble?

In Matthew 24 Jesus is asked the question “what shall be the sign of thy coming?” Which coming is he describing? Is he describing his coming to gather Church age believers, or is he describing the period before he comes to rescue the nation of Israel and set up his throne in Jerusalem?

Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

First it is important to understand who Jesus is talking to. He is talking to his disciples. It is important to note that they are all Jewish. They are all looking forward to God establishing his kingdom on earth. It is also important to note when the message was given. It was given by Jesus before his death, and before the gospel was preached to the gentile nations. This message was given before the Church was established.

Then it is important to carefully examine the message itself. Are there clues to which group of people Jesus is prophesying about? Yes, there are very clear indications that Jesus is prophesying about the trails of the Jewish people during the Tribulation period. So Matthew 24 should not be used to illustrate the signs of the rapture of the Church. Also Matthew 24 should not be used to prove that the Church will participate in the Tribulation period.

The gospels are very important since they record Jesus Christ’s genealogy, standards of righteousness, forgiveness of sin, miracles, fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy regarding the Messiah, and Christ’s death as payment for the worlds’ sin. The message of the four gospels is to be understood by Church age believers. We should also understand that most of Jesus’ teaching, parables, and prophecy are specifically directed to the nation of Israel. Jesus was sent especially to seek and to save the lost sheep of Israel.

Mat 10:5-6 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

It is sometimes difficult to know who is being addressed in the New Testament. Is Jesus talking about the nation of Israel or is he talking about the Church? A rule of thumb is that Jesus was sent to the Jews first and primarily. The gospel of the coming kingdom of God was preached first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. Jesus primarily taught the nation of Israel. The four gospels were written about Jesus’ life and ministry. They primarily address the nation of Israel. Of course, there is plenty of teaching to be absorbed by Church age believers. The disciples taught the Jews first and then went out to the other nations. The epistles to the churches were written specifically to Church age believers!

Act 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Let’s take a quick look at Matthew 24. I know that preachers and prophecy buffs like to identify natural disasters as signs of Jesus’ return for his Church, but these signs were written about the nation of Israel during the Great Tribulation. They are signs of Jesus’ second coming to defeat Israel’s enemies and set his throne in Jerusalem forever.

Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

So who is Jesus talking about? As we will see, “the beginning of sorrowsin verse 8 above are not signs that Church age believers should be on the lookout for. Instead, they are events that will happen during the first part of the Tribulation period. Jesus is talking to and about the nation of Israel here. In verse 9 below Jesus tells his Jewish disciples that “ye shall be hated of all nations”. The word translated as “nations” is the Greek word “ethnos”. It is often translated as “gentile”. Ethnos refers to non-Jewish nations. It doesn’t refer to all countries in the world. It refers to all families or people groups. In practical terms it refers to old world nations that came from specific families; like the Greeks, Turks, Egyptians, Syrians, Iranians, Saudis, Jordanians, and many more. So in verse 9 Jesus isn’t saying that Church members will be hated, but that the nation of Israel will be hated by all their surrounding nations.

Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

In the verses below Jesus isn’t addressing the Church, but he is warning Jews during the 7 year Tribulation period. Many Jews will disregard God and his promises to Israel. Many Jews will be killed. But those who trust God to the end will be saved. Please read my commentary titled “The Last Jews in Jerusalem” in my book “Israel’s Beacon of Hope”.

Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

In Matthew 24:14 below we can see that Jesus is talking about the Tribulation period. The Tribulation period is a seven year span designated for God to show his displeasure for Israel’s rejection of him. In Matthew 24:14 the gospel is preached in all the world. This happens during the Tribulation period as described in Revelation. So we can see that Jesus is addressing people that live during the Tribulation period.

Rev 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

The following verses are obviously addressed to Jews living around Jerusalem. The inhabitants of Judea (region around Jerusalem) are called by name in verse 16. So it is very clear that Jesus is describing the coming trials of the nation of Israel, and not the signs of the rapture of his Church.

Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

If that isn’t enough evidence that Jesus is describing Israel’s Great Tribulation, then look at Matthew 24:21 below. This is the verse that we get the term “Great Tribulation” from.

Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Today the Church is suffering at the hands of the nations, but the nation of Israel is scheduled to suffer 7 years of tribulation. In Matthew 24 Jesus is explaining the trials that Israel will suffer during the Tribulation period. The beginning of sorrows in Matthew 24:8 are the events of the first part of the Tribulation. After the abomination of desolation in Mat 24:15 the worst part of the Tribulation begins (Dan 9:27). It is called “great tribulation” in Matthew 24:21. The second part of the Tribulation lasts 3 ½ years or 42 months or 1260 days (Dan 7:25, Dan 12:7, Rev 11:2-3, Rev 12:6, Rev 12:14, Rev 13:5).

The Tribulation Period is designated to exercise God’s indignation towards the nation of Israel, not for the trying of the Church. The 7 year Tribulation period is the same as the seventieth week prophesied by Daniel (Dan 9:24). It is a 7 year period of trouble for the nation of Israel, not a time for trying the Church. Jeremiah calls the Tribulation “the time of Jacob’s trouble” not the time of the Church’s trouble. The Tribulation period is primarily designed for Israel’s chastisement.

Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

In 1 Thessalonians below the dead in Christ are raised from the grave. Those “in Christ” are Church age believers. They are “caught up” or taken by force up into the sky. The gathering of Jews will happen differently as we will see. Please read my commentary titled “The Rapture Day!” in my book “God’s Great Expectations”.

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Below, the elect are God’s chosen people (Deu 7:6). They are the people of Israel. The people of Israel will be raised from the dead at the end of the Tribulation period. They won’t be taken into the sky. They will walk back to the land of Israel on foot.

Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Isa 11:11-12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

God will make a roadway for the Hebrews to return to Israel. God will dry up the Red Sea, and the Euphrates, and Tigris Rivers to make roadways for the resurrected Jewish believers to cross over. In Isaiah 11:15-16 below Jesus dries up the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea (that is the tongue of the Egyptian sea)! He will also dry up the Nile, Euphrates, and Tigris rivers in order to make a way for the resurrected Hebrews to cross over them! Please read my commentary titled “Aliyah Israel Arise Return” in my book “Israel’s Beacon of Hope”.

Isa 11:15-16 And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. 16 And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.

We have looked at the signs of Jesus’ coming to gather Israel. So what is the sign of Jesus’ coming to gather his Church? Well there isn’t one specific event that triggers the Rapture but we are instructed to understand Old Testament prophecy in order to recognize the Tribulation as it approaches! The Rapture will happen before the Tribulation.

In 2 Thessalonians below, Paul is addressing the Church in Greece which was comprised largely of Gentiles, not of Jews. Paul calls them brethren in Christ. So Paul is describing the Rapture of the Church in verse 1. The believers in Thessalonica were worried that the Tribulation was beginning. They were worried that the Rapture had not yet happened! Paul told them that two Old Testament prophecies must take place before Jerusalem’s great tribulation began. Those two events were the falling of Satan from heaven to earth and the revealing of the Antichrist as he sits in the temple in Jerusalem. I think that these two events actually happen during the first half of the seven year Tribulation period. Paul was assuring the Thessalonians that the Tribulation had not yet begun. Paul was assuring the Thessalonians that they would escape the terrible time of trouble on earth. Please read my commentary titled “The Fall of Satan and Rise of the Antichrist” in my book of the same title.

2Th 2:1-3 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

In 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 below Paul says that the Church members in Thessalonica will be saved from the coming tribulation. The word “salvation” in verse 13 isn’t describing deliverance from sin, but it is describing physical rescue from God’s wrath on earth during the Tribulation.

2Th 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Here are two other verses that indicate that Church age believers will escape from the wrath of the Tribulation period. These people have already been saved from sin. Salvation here is the rescue from physical harm during the Tribulation on Earth.

Rom 5:7-10 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Rom 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

Again physical rescue or “salvation” comes to people who already believe!

If you are still on earth when you see most of the old world nations at full scale war with each other and also hear of famines, and disease outbreaks, and earthquakes happening all over the world, then you are in trouble. You have entered the beginning stages of the Tribulation period. It is High Time to Awake!

God's Great Expectations - eBookRead “What shall be the sign of thy coming?” in my book God’s Great Expectations

Read The Fall of Satan and Rise of the Antichrist in my book The Fall of Satan and Rise of the Antichrist

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Jan 02

One shall be taken and the other left


One shall be taken and the other left

The mid-Tribulation invasion of Judea and Jerusalem

Luke 17:36

By Craig C. White

In Luke 17:36 Jesus gave a prophecy that one day two men will be standing in a field. Then one man will be taken away and the other man will remain.

Luke 17:36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

This passage might sound like it is describing the Rapture but it isn’t. Instead it is describing the invasion of Judea and Jerusalem by the Antichrist during the Tribulation period. First of all this prophecy was given to the Jews before the Church existed. Jesus gave this prophecy to his Disciples. Secondly this prophecy was given in the city of Jerusalem. It concerns the nation of Israel and more specifically it concerns the city of Jerusalem. Jesus also told us when this event will happen. It will happen on “the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:30). I know that the term the Son of man can refer to the Messiah but on this day the Antichrist will stand in the temple in Jerusalem showing himself that he is God.

2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The day when the Son of man is revealed is not a good day. It is the time period when God will allow Israel’s enemies to oppress them. God will first use Israel’s enemies to judge Israel. Jesus will then judge Israel’s enemies at the end of the seven year long Tribulation period.

Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.

The second half of the Tribulation period is called Jerusalem’s “Great Tribulation” (Mat 24:21). The man in the field will be taken away at the beginning of Jerusalem’s Great Tribulation on the day that the Antichrist sits in the temple.

One man will be taken away and the other man will remain. Where did Jesus give this Prophecy? Luke tells us. In Luke 17:11 Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. Along the way Jesus met a group of lepers. He healed them and told them to show themselves to the priests at the temple in Jerusalem.

Luke 17:11-14 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

This is off of the subject of being taken or left but I cannot pass by these verses without saying something about them. Jesus sent the lepers to the priests at the temple. It was the priest’s duty to declare that the lepers were now clean (Lev 14:2). Jesus knew that sending the lepers would upset the priests. You see, no person had ever been healed from leprosy and then presented themselves before the priests. The health of the lepers proved that Jesus had the power to heal. The priests knew that the Prophet Isaiah said that the messiah would heal the sick.

Isa 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

Jesus used healing as a sign to prove that he was the Messiah. This was his message to John the Baptist.

Mat 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

After the lepers showed themselves to the priests Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees in Jerusalem. The Pharisees were a sect of religious leaders. So Jesus was in Jerusalem when the Pharisees challenged his authority. They asked him “when would the kingdom of God come?”

Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

Jesus answered the Pharisees in Luke 17:21-25 and then went on to tell his disciples what would happen during the days of the Son of man. That is the day of God’s judgment of Israel and wrath on earth.

Jesus, his disciples, and the Pharisees were in Jerusalem at the time this was said.

Luke 17:26-29 And as it was in the days of Noe (Noah), so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

There is a day coming that will bring a terrible time of judgment for Israel. Things will be the worst in the city of Jerusalem. It is called Jerusalem’s Great Tribulation (Mat 24:21). Folks in Jerusalem will be going about their lives as usual. But then all of a sudden something terrible will happen. Jerusalem will be attacked by the Antichrist and his army. Half the people will be taken captive. One person will be taken and another will remain.

Jesus warns the people in Jerusalem not to return to their homes! Obviously they will be alerted to some sort of eminent threat. They have been warned by the presence of the Antichrist in the temple and by his plundering army. They will be tempted to return to their homes in order to retrieve their personal belongings. Jesus warns them to not go home!

Luke 17:30-31 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.

This is the same day that is described in Matthew 24 below.

Mat 24:15-18 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

Jesus warns the citizens of Jerusalem and Judea not to go home because danger awaits them there. If they return to their houses they will be killed, abused, or taken captive. Does the Bible tell us about a day when the homes in Jerusalem will be in jeopardy, a day also when one out of two people will be taken away? Yes it does.

Zechariah 14:1-3 tells us that before the day of the Lord, Jerusalem will be attacked. The homes will be robbed, and the women will be raped. One out of two people will be taken away as slaves!

Zechariah 14:1-3 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

This invasion of Jerusalem will happen halfway through the seven year long Tribulation period. It will begin on the day that the Antichrist sits in the temple (2Th 2:4). It marks the beginning of Jerusalem’s Great Tribulation. Three and a half years after this invasion Jesus will return to defend Jerusalem.

In Daniel 11:44 this future invasion is likened to the invasion of Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanies in 167 BC. Antiochus ordered his soldiers to kill people in their homes. Half of the people who survived were taken away as slaves. The future Antichrist will attack Jerusalem in much the same way.

Here is an historical account of Antiochus Epiphanies’ attack on Jerusalem in 167 BC.

2 Maccabees 5:11–14 When these happenings were reported to the king, he thought that Judea was in revolt. Raging like a wild animal, he set out from Egypt and took Jerusalem by storm. He ordered his soldiers to cut down without mercy those whom they met and to slay those who took refuge in their houses. There was a massacre of young and old, a killing of women and children, a slaughter of virgins and infants. In the space of three days, eighty thousand were lost, forty thousand meeting a violent death, and the same number being sold into slavery.

Like Lot’s wife who wanted to return home; anybody returning to their house on this day will be killed or taken as prisoner. Meanwhile away from home, two men will be standing in the field. One will be taken away as a slave and the other man will be left in the field. In this way one half of the people in Jerusalem will be taken away as slaves just as Zechariah 14:2 (above) tells us.

Luke 17:32-36 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

At the start of the Great Tribulation the Antichrist will invade Jerusalem and his army will go from home to home taking every other person prisoner. In that way one half of all Jews found in Jerusalem will be taken away as slaves. The other half will suffer through the Great Tribulation inside of the city (see the end of Zechariah 14:2).

Luke 17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

Everywhere there is a Jew in Jerusalem their enemies will find them.

One shall be taken and the other left

Read more about Jerusalem’s Great Tribulation and also about the day when the Son of man is revealed in my book Israel’s Beacon of Hope

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Dec 30

Presenting the Antichrist and False Prophet


Presenting the Antichrist and False Prophet

By Craig C. White

The man called Magog in Ezekiel chapter 38 is a Turkish Prime Minister. Turkish ex-Prime Minister Erdogan is Magog of Ezekiel chapter 38. He will invade Syria and then invade Israel soon. The Antichrist will be revealed with blasphemy, false wonders, and a seven year peace agreement concerning Israel. Turkish President Erdogan has recently claimed that he is god, and has also performed false miracles. Erdogan has also fulfilled several other Bible prophecies that identify him as the Antichrist. So I am convinced that Erdogan is in fact the Antichrist.

There remains a serious threat to Erdogan’s power. His name is Fethullah Gulen. Fethullah Gulen is an unconventional Muslim cleric who heads a wealthy religious/educational/business/political organization all about Islamic indoctrination and world supremacy. His Hizmet (meaning service) movement has been working subversively in Turkey for years to infiltrate the courts, police, and Turkish politicians.

Fethullah Gulen is above all a Muslim cleric. He teaches a brand of Islam that is inclusive of other religions. He is a smooth talker but he is an Islamist at heart. Gulen is a billionaire business man. Fethullah Gulen also operates over 1000 schools around the world. There are 300 Gulen sponsored schools in Turkey. The Turkish court just stopped Erdogan from closing them. Gulen runs the largest charter school organization in the US with over 140 grade schools and prep schools. Fethullah Gulen has millions of followers all over the world.

Even though Gulen and Erdogan were once allies, over the past fifteen years they have become arch rivals. Erdogan chased Fethullah Gulen out of Turkey in 1999. These two will reconcile their differences and Imam Fethullah Gulen will return to Turkey.

Erdogan is the Antichrist and Fethullah Gulen is the False Prophet.

Presenting the Antichrist and False Prophet - bookRead my brand new book Presenting the Antichrist and False Prophet

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