Oct 16 2019

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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Oct 15 2019

The destruction of Damascus is still future!

The destruction of Damascus is still future!

Jeremiah prophesied long after Isaiah

By Craig C. White

Please allow me to defend the future fulfillment of the destruction of Damascus. Many Bible scholars claim that the destruction of Damascus has already taken place. They say that the Assyrian conquest of Damascus in 734 BC fulfills the Damascus prophecy. Well Damascus was conquered by Assyria in 734 BC and several cities around Damascus were burned with fire but Damascus has never been completely destroyed. These Bible teachers argue that the Assyrian conquest of Damascus happened shortly after Isaiah gave his prophecy about the destruction of Damascus.

Isaiah 17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

It is true that the Assyrians conquered Damascus and wreaked havoc on surrounding towns shortly after Isaiah predicted the event. I am certain that much of Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled in 734 BC, BUT long after Isaiah gave his prophecy the Prophet Jeremiah also predicted the destruction of Damascus.

Jeremiah 49:23-25 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet. 24 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail. 25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!

Jeremiah was a prophet of Israel around 600 BC. Jeremiah gave his prophecy one hundred years after Assyria conquered Damascus in 734 BC. So the Assyrian conquest of Damascus cannot possibly fulfill Jeremiah’s prophecy. The destruction of Damascus is still future.

I think that Jeremiah is prophesying about an invasion of Damascus that is forming now. Turkey will destroy Damascus!

The destruction of Damascus is still future

Read my verse by verse Bible commentary through Jeremiah 49:23-27 titled The nations are disquieted over Syria

Read my book The complete guide to Syria in end time Bible Prophecy

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Oct 15 2019

Isaiah 17 predicts the destruction of Damascus

Isaiah 17 predicts the destruction of Damascus

Ruin, Respect, Rush, Rebuke

By Craig C. White

Isaiah 17 predicts the destruction of Damascus. There is a rule in Bible prophecy that some predictions apply to two separate events usually separated by a long span of time. I guess you could say that God instructs us to learn about future events by observing past events. Much of the prophecy in Isaiah 17 was fulfilled during the Assyrian invasion of Damascus in 734 BC. However, Damascus was not destroyed at that time. As a matter of fact it continued as an important city of the Assyrian Empire. So Isaiah’s dire predictions may also apply to future events.

Please allow me to defend the future fulfillment of the destruction of Damascus. Many Bible scholars claim that the destruction of Damascus has already taken place. They say that the Assyrian conquest of Damascus in 734 BC fulfills the Damascus prophecy. Well Damascus was conquered by Assyria in 734 BC and several cities around Damascus were burned with fire but Damascus has never been completely destroyed. These Bible teachers argue that the Assyrian conquest of Damascus happened shortly after Isaiah gave his prophecy about the destruction of Damascus.

Isaiah 17:1-2 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

It is true that the Assyrians conquered Damascus and wreaked havoc on surrounding towns shortly after Isaiah predicted the event. I am certain that much of Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled in 734 BC, BUT long after Isaiah gave his prophecy the Prophet Jeremiah also predicted the destruction of Damascus.

Jeremiah 49:23-25 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet. 24 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail. 25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!

Jeremiah was a prophet of Israel around 600 BC. Jeremiah gave his prophecy one hundred years after Assyria conquered Damascus in 734 BC. So the Assyrian conquest of Damascus can not possibly fulfill Jeremiah’s prophecy. The destruction of Damascus is yet future.

Damascus is under siege today. A lot of Bible buffs say that Damascus will be destroyed suddenly. They say that Damascus will probably be obliterated by a nuclear bomb. I don’t see that scenario communicated in scripture. Instead Jeremiah 49:27 says, “I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus”. This terminology is used several times in the Old Testament. To kindle a fire means that God will send an invading army against Damascus; just as God sent the Assyrian Army to invade Damascus in 734 BC.

God has certainly sent an army against Damascus today. The “Free Syrian Army” is fighting in Damascus against the Syrian Army. By the way, after Assyria invaded Damascus they turned south into Israel. It is possible that the armies invading Damascus today may also turn south to come against Israel. We are allowed to learn from past events!

Isaiah 17:1-2 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. 2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.

There are several Middle Eastern cities called Aroer, but this Aroer most probably refers to the southern region of Syria. The cities of Aroer refer to Damascus and its nearby cities. The destruction described here may even spill over into nearby Lebanon.

Remember that these verses directly apply to the past Assyrian invasion of Damascus. After Assyria conquered Syria they then invaded northern Israel and carried away captives. In verse 3 below Ephraim refers to the northern kingdom of Israel. God is saying that Syria as well as northern Israel will be conquered and carried away captive so that not many people are left in their land. This is exactly what happened long ago. Assyria took Syrians captive into north western Jordan and Israel was carried away into today’s Iraq! The following verses definitely describe what happened long ago, but they also seem to describe a future ruin of Syria and northern Israel. During Israel’s future seven year “Tribulation” period only a few Jews will remain in the entire land of Israel (Zechariah 13-14). Perhaps Isaiah is telling us that Israel’s Time of trouble follows closely after the future Destruction of Damascus.

Isaiah 17:3-6 The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts. 4 And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean. 5 And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim. 6 Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the LORD God of Israel.

Verse 6 above tells us that a few Jews will be left living in Israel. This is God’s way of telling us that a future restoration of the people and land of Israel is possible!

Guess what? Isaiah is finished talking about Damascus. In verse 7 below, God is describing the Jewish people’s response during a time of national distress. Perhaps this describes Israel’s behavior during the Tribulation period. Isaiah is saying that Israel will act respectfully toward God but will still suffer judgment. They will honor God outwardly and not look to false Gods. However, verse 10 explains that the Jews have not truly remembered their God. These verses may be explaining a period of national recognition of Old Testament laws and practices, such as renewed temple sacrifices during the Tribulation period (Dan 9:27).

Isaiah 17:7-11 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. 8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images. 9 In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation. 10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips: 11 In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.

Israel will suffer for their past and present neglect of God. Isaiah explains this in the verse below. Jesus quoted Isaiah in Matthew 15:8.

Isa 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

Now for something completely different! Isaiah 17:12-14 below describes a multi-nation invasion into Israel. These verses refer to an event that happened around 701 BC. Assyria’s king Sennacherib was in position to attack the city of Jerusalem. Overnight, God wiped out his army while they slept. Isaiah describes God’s intervention below.

Isa 37:36 Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

The following verses may also describe a future intervention. As a matter of fact I think they may describe two future interventions by God to save Israel!

The terminology of rushing waters and floods are often used in Bible prophecy to describe a large scale overwhelming military invasion.

Isaiah 17:12-14 Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! 13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. 14 And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.

Ezekiel 38 describes a multi-national invasion into Israel led by Turkey. God fights against these armies with rain, fire, and confusion. Every nation listed in Ezekiel chapter 38 is currently fighting in Syria. Isaiah may be telling us about a Turkish led invasion into Israel that soon follows the near time destruction of Damascus. Turkey will be joined by the Free Syrian Army made up mostly of Libyan soldiers, and Hezbollah militia from Iran and Sudan.

Isaiah 17:12-14 may also describe the judgment of the nations by Jesus Christ after his second coming at the end of the Tribulation period. However, let me say this. The judgment of the nations by Jesus is described in much more horrid terms, and on a much broader scale elsewhere in the Bible. I think that Isaiah chapter 17’s rebuke by God may be a more localized event. In other words, it may describe a battle and not the entire war.

Let’s remember that these events were all preceded by the destruction of Damascus, Syria. It is High Time to Awake to the Damascus alarm. Israel will soon suffer its seven year period of indignation. Jesus Christ will soon save Israel from peril. Before all that, Jesus Christ will come in the clouds to gather every Christian who has trusted him since his resurrection, body and soul!

Read my book The complete guide to Syria in end time Bible Prophecy

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Oct 14 2019

Kurds make deal with Syrian government for protection

Kurds make deal with Syrian government for protection

By Craig C. White

The Kurds in northeastern Syria have agreed to hand over control of the border towns of Manbij and Kobane in exchange for military protection. The Syrian Army is on their way to fight military aggression by Turkey in northeastern Syria.

I am not a political analyst. I am a Bible prophecy teacher. So I don’t like giving political analysis but I am going to allow myself this one exception.

The Syrian Army is worn thin because of eight years of war. They can barely hold back the Turkish supported Al-Qaeda forces in Idlib province. Can you imagine if the Syrian Army attacks the Turkish Army in northeastern Syria? The Turkish Army will push them all the way back to Damascus!

The Prophet Jeremiah says that first the northwestern Syria towns of Hamah and Tell Rifaat will hear evil reports and then the residents of Damascus will flee and Damascus will be destroyed. Tell Rifaat is called Arpad in Jeremiah 49:23 below.

Jeremiah 49:23 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet.

The Syrian Army is in Hamah fighting against the Turkish supported rebels in nearby Idlib. Tell Rifaat is the last Kurdish controlled town in northwest Syria. The Turkish Army is already arrayed against both Hamah and Tell Rifaat. Watch Hamah and Tell Rifaat. Turkey’s march towards Damascus begins there.

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Kurds make deal with Syrian government for protection

Read my commentary titled The nations are disquieted over Syria

Read this article on The Guardian: Kurds reach deal with Damascus in face of Turkish offensive

Read my book The complete guide to Syria in end time Bible prophecy

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Oct 13 2019

Understanding Idlib

Understanding Idlib

Bible prophecy at our doorstep

By Craig C. White

Understanding Idlib

The Turkish Army is supporting multiple Al-Qaeda rebel groups in the Idlib province of northwestern Syria. These rebels are the last remaining opposition to the Assad regime. These Turkish supported forces are fighting against the Syrian Army in the adjoining Hamah province. Russia is supporting the Syrian Army and the US is politically supporting Turkey’s role in northwestern Syria. The battle for northwestern Syria has become an international hot potato.

Fighting between the Syrian Army and the Al-Qaeda rebels on the Hamah and Idlib border has intensified over the past few months. The Turkish Army has set up twelve military outposts in Idlib and has continually reinforced its positions over the past year and a half. Recently the Turkish Army has been drawn into direct conflict with the Syrian Army. It looks like things are going to get worse.

Now it’s time for the Biblical perspective. The Prophet Jeremiah says that when Hamah hears evil reports then the residents of Damascus will flee and Damascus will be destroyed. It’s High Time to Awake and study Bible prophecy!

Understanding Idlib

Read my commentary titled The nations are disquieted over Syria

This article on Al-Monitor does a good job explaining the situation in northwestern Syria: Escalation in Idlib may force Turkey to review its position

For the BIG Bible perspective read my book The complete guide to Syria in end time Bible prophecy

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