Last night I attended the one night showing the Tim Mahoney film Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus. I love biblical archaeology and I love documentaries so it is not surprising that I enjoyed this film. The basic the question the film tries to answer is: Is there physical evidence that the historic Exodus happened as described in the Bible?
The term “The Religion of Peace” is a political neologism, a newly coined term created for political purposes. It is not a historic phrase. Islam has never considered itself a peaceful religion. Historically it has acknowledged Islamic scriptures’ violent prescriptions for family discipline, capital punishment, and jihad, or armed conquest.
You have seen the headlines. Islamic terrorists gun down satirical cartoonists, and 4 million hit the streets of Paris in protest. Factory worker beheads co-worker, and the nation is outraged. Jesus’ words in the Olivet Discourse are beginning to ring true:
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold (Matt. 24: 12 NASB)
But this post is not about what you think it will be. I used to believe this verse referred to unbelievers. Now I’m beginning to believe it’s my love that is growing cold. Maybe it’s your love as well.
Declaring The End From The Beginning
We are made in God’s image, but he is different than we are. His ways are higher than ours. I think that is one of the major factors why scripture is sometimes hard for us to understand. God said he was declaring the end from the beginning but what did this mean?
The Book of Daniel contains many key prophecies about the time before the Return of Jesus. Interspersed between these prophetic visions are stories about the life of Daniel and his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. If you look at these stories closely it becomes apparent that they act like parables to teach spiritual life lessons. Looking at them even closer, one notices that each one of the stories are an Old Testament type or foreshadow of what is to come during the Great Tribulation, the last three and a half years prior to Jesus’ return. I find it immensely interesting that the the prophet who gave us some of the most detailed information about the time before Jesus’ return lived a life that foreshadowed some of the very events he prophesied about.
Because the original Hanukkah most likely foreshadows events of the Great Tribulation, it is a great extra-biblical study. Although the story is found in 1 and 2 Maccabees, which are found in the apocrypha and aren’t in the canon of scripture, Jesus celebrated the holiday in Jerusalem (John 10:22 ) and the book of Daniel foretells some of its events. For these reasons although we cannot call the story “scripture”, it is a study of great interest. Those aspects of the story that related to the foreshadows of the Great Tribulation are of most interest to me and there are hints within the story as to a link between Hanukkah and the future Abomination of Desolation. These hints are further evidence that the Antichrist will be Islamic. Before we look at the links between Hanukkah and the Tribulation , let’s discuss the entire story.
I’m sure you are thinking what a strange post title. “What could Christmas and the End Times possibly have in common?” In our stylized Western way of thinking about Christ’s first coming, not much. But if you carefully read the Bible, God has woven pictures of what is to occur during his second coming into the nativity story.
A Revelation Christmas
Revelation 12 gives us just such a picture of the relationship between Jesus’ first coming and his second coming. The Chapter begins:
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. (Rev. 12: 1-2 NASB)
Every school child in the USA knows how the Magi brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to the newborn Christ. How did the Magi come to understand that the messiah had been born and how did they know that these would be the perfect gifts to symbolize the career of the messiah? Did the prophet Daniel provide the gold, frankincense and myrrh for the Magi or did he at least influence their choice of gifts?
Last month a Jihadist fired four shots at point blank range into the chest of Jerusalem Rabbi Yehuda Glick as he left the Temple Mount area. This assignation attempt was barely a blip on the radar of secular news sources. Those who did report labeled him a “right wing activist.” None of the secular sources reported on Glick’s miraculous healing. His recovery beyond all human reason and the unique role he plays makes me wonder: is the “miracle” Rabbi part of God’s plan to rebuild the Temple?
This morning I read that Iran is threatening direct action against ISIS if the radical state damages any “holy” Shia Muslim shrines in Baghdad. According to the article, it is not clear whether that direct action will involve ground forces. By means of this invasion will Iran fulfill Daniel 8?
To the secular world this is just another mideast headline. Many in the USA, including the current administration, are probably looking forward to Iran playing the role of policeman keeping the “bad boy” ISIS in check. Many are probably relieved to see the USA not having to get involved. What the secular world is clueless about however, is the Biblical significance of an Iranian invasion of the Middle East.