Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

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Golda Meir, the fourth prime minister of Israel, is famously quoted as saying, “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” We see the truth of this statement playing out in real life, time and time again here in Israel.

For instance, a couple of days ago, Gaza fired 460 rockets into southern Israel over a 24-hour period—I had to silence my phone for nearly a full day because of the sheer number of Red Alert notifications. The Iron Dome system was activated to intercept approximately 100 of those incoming missiles. You might be asking why the Iron Dome system was only used on 25% of the rockets when 460 were launched. The reason is that the Iron Dome system is designed to shoot down only those missiles which are calculated to hit populated areas, meaning those that will hit “open ground” are allowed to get through the “dome.”

As good as the Iron Dome system is (the best in the world), it does not have a 100% success rate, so a number of Gazan rockets were able to penetrate the shield and landed on Israeli homes and apartment buildings. Amazingly, only one person was killed by the incoming missiles; ironically, this victim was a West Bank Palestinian man who was working in Ashkelon at the time.

Although hundreds-of-thousands of Israelis were huddled in their bomb shelters for a good bit of that 24-hour period (including friends of ours who live in that area), the flare-ups and wars with Gaza do not present an existential threat to Israel. This is not to minimize the tremendous stress and shock that one experiences when sirens sound, alerting you that rockets are being shot into your neighborhood—we can personally attest to that stress. Gaza just doesn’t have the power or resources to destroy Israel. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other true threats.

Whenever you see a major flare-up like the one we just saw in Gaza, you can be certain that a bigger problem is building from some other direction. Sun Tzu, writing in The Art of War says, “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

So if deception is a basic truth of warfare, then you can be certain that what we see in the physical world is just a mirror of the things happening in the spiritual world, and that the noise that we hear happening in one place is really just a distraction to make us unaware of the bigger problem. The same thing is happening in Gaza. They aren’t able to destroy the Jewish state, but they still are a constant thorn in Israel’s side. This type of back-and-forth low-level warfare and national stress—and most certainly some rather substantial wars, as well, with Iran/Hezbollah/etc—will eventually set the stage for an agreement that appears to give this Land some long-deserved peace.

But that “peace” will be a deception. Some individual or entity will appear to give Israel a guarantee of peace and safety for a period, but is instead setting it up for destruction. The Hamas charter states that Gaza’s basic goal is to destroy the State of Israel. Of course, Israel would rather have peace, but how does one make permanent peace with an entity bent on its annihilation? Golda Meir makes a great point in her quote, and there is much truth in her statement. However, the agreement that will eventually be signed will enforce a type of peace and stability—without any real changes in the hearts of those who surround them—such as the Gazans.

Just as Sun Tzu warned, however, this reinforced covenant that Israel willingly makes will actually be another deception. So although there are wars and rumors of wars happening all the time here in the Land, keep your eyes focused on what is happening in other realms, both spiritual and physical. The enemy of our souls, Satan, is the father of lies. It is his natural language, and so we must all stay alert to his schemes, both in our personal lives as well as the world around us. We cannot allow the latest political scandal or our favorite sports team’s win/loss record to draw our attention away from more important eternal things. Because it won’t matter who won the last game—or who is elected president—when these things happen.

Reverse Engineering God’s Will

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There is a common misconception among the many Christians who make a pilgrimage to Israel. It’s easy to understand why this happens, since Israel is the place where the majority of the events in the Bible occurred (and where many will occur in the future). The erroneous thinking goes something like this: “Israel is the land of the Bible; Israel as a nation rose from the dead (miraculously), and Jews from around the diaspora are returning; many Jews believe in the God of the Bible; therefore, they must know the Bible very well.”

This seems like a reasonable set of assumptions, and the first ones are true. But the last two—well, let’s just say “some” Jews believe in the God of the Bible, but most don’t really know the Bible very well at all, at least in the way that Christians think. Let me explain.

There was a story this morning in Ha’aretz, one of a number of news outlets here in Israel, about what exactly religious Jewish Israelis study in “yeshiva,” which is sort of like the Jewish equivalent of the Christian seminary. Except yeshiva students often begin their studies at a much younger age (think young teens). And they are MUCH more serious about their studies than the average Christian seminary student.

The sub-headline of the article reads, “Ultra-orthodox yeshiva study isn’t about parsing the bible or even studying Oral Law, but an attempt to peer into God’s mind.

Now, the first thing that might come into your mind is, “Huh? They don’t study the Bible?” You read the whole headline, but that was probably what stuck out. “But how can that be,” you’re asking yourself? “Don’t they live in Israel, and speak Hebrew, and know all of the places where the Old Testament happened?” The answer is “Yes” to all of these questions, but for reasons I won’t get into here, “Studying the Bible” as Christians understand the concept, is not really a thing here—unless one is a “Messianic Jew,” i.e. a Jew who believes that Jesus (Yeshua) is the promised Messiah—but that’s a different subject.

Yes, yeshiva students can read the Old Testament—what Jews call the Tanach—in the original Hebrew. And they’ve likely memorized by rote the whole Torah—what Christians call the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). But, if you ask Jewish yeshiva students what they think about Isaiah 53, they will tell you what the Jewish commentaries say about the passage, but they won’t talk directly about the passage. They might say something like this, “Rabbi so-and-so says such-and-such in XYZ-commentary.” It would be highly unusual (near 0% probability) for a yeshiva student to give their own opinion. They are taught only to study others’ opinions, not to come up with their own.

Now, I’m not putting down yeshiva students or the rabbis who put together the Talmud from the Mishnah (the oral Torah) and the Gemara (rabbinical commentary on the Mishnah). These texts have been carefully put together for the past two-thousand years by very smart and learned rabbis, who spent their whole lives trying to figure out how to obey what God said in the Old Testament/Tanach. But studying the Bible, as we understand it, is not really the point of the yeshiva. Instead, it’s about understanding what others say about the Bible. As Meg says, “It’s 2,000 years of playing the ‘telephone game’ with the Bible, with unfortunate results.”

Interestingly, I think that Christians have their own versions of this type of thinking. “Surely not!” you say. Yet, answer this question for me: “How many hours do you spend reading books ABOUT the Bible versus actually reading the Bible?” Do you see what I’m getting at? I’m just as guilty.

We love to read the latest books by the hottest Christian authors, but we labor over reading through the Bible once a year. Basically, we want for others to reverse engineer God’s will for our lives, and then write it out in simple language. “Please, someone just tell me what God wants, and I’ll try to do it.” We want a quick fix to life’s problems, without doing the real work ourselves. These books are many times ironically called, “self-help,” when in reality we—ourselves—rarely are the ones who are helping.

If God’s Word is “living and active” then why do we prefer to read what someone else says about His Word? What they write might be true—and even helpful and insightful—but I doubt that it’s “living and active.” Maybe the reason we do this is because God’s Word is, as the verse continues, “sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Sometimes I think that we read what other people say about the Bible because those books rarely convict us like the Bible does.

Next time you go to church, try this: 1) Listen to the sermon; then 2) Like a good Berean, go home and read the passages (and the surrounding verses) from the lesson. Do you see what I’m talking about? Your minister did a lot of work putting that sermon together. But the Holy Spirit within you might speak to you through those same verses in ways that the lesson might not have.

I’m sure that your pastor will love the fact that you went home and actually studied further what he presented. And in doing so, you might even hear that “still, small voice” of God answer a question or two that you have had.

The wheels on the bus go round and round…

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Just about 10 minutes from our home, there is a national park with a beautiful (if steep) hike down to waterfalls and rapids, which originate from fresh springs bubbling out of the ground just about half a mile away at ancient Caesarea Philippi. We try to do an early morning hike (to avoid the heat) once a week just to get in some exercise, but also to enjoy the beauty.

The refreshing spring water reminds me of something that happened on the final day of Sukkot—the Feast of Booths—about 2,000 years ago. Since the final day of this year’s Sukkot occurred earlier this week, it seems like an appropriate time to discuss something that happened on that long-ago day.

But first, we need to set the stage.

During this weeklong feast, the priests would set up four huge menorahs in the courtyard of the temple, with each branch of the menorah being the size of a large torch. It must have been an amazing thing to see, with the courtyard full of people from around the known world, as this was one of the three annual feasts during which the Israelites were required to go up to Jerusalem to celebrate.

At the beginning of the celebration, the priests walked from the temple in Jerusalem down to the pool of Siloam in order to fill up a golden container with water from the natural spring which filled it. As they returned, ascending the long path from the pool up to the temple (which is probably the same road that one walks up today after hiking through Hezekiah’s tunnel), the shofar was blown, and the people waved their palm fronds along the route reciting portions of the Psalms of Ascent (chapters 120-134). After returning to the temple, the priest on duty would pour out a bit of the collected water each day as a libation to the LORD. It was a way of beseeching God for abundant rain in the upcoming rainy (winter) season.

On the last great day of the feast, the priests would circle the altar seven times and then pour out the remaining water from the golden pitcher onto the base of the altar. This was called the Hoshana Rabbah, which is translated, “the great save us now.” Water in this region was—and still is—scarce. So this was a great plea from the people for God to send plenty of rain in the upcoming winter season, because without water to replenish the rivers and the natural underground springs, the people could not survive.

The apostle John tells us that on the last day of the Feast of Booths, Jesus, who initially told his family that he wasn’t going up to Jerusalem for this feast, did indeed go to Jerusalem, where he stood up–and with a very loud voice–said to everyone there in the temple area, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” One can easily imagine that he made this pronouncement immediately followed the pouring of the Hoshana Rabbah water libation.

Imagine the controversy this would have started! The priests had just poured out the final water libation to the God of the universe asking for water, and Jesus was the one who immediately answered them. It was as if God spoke in a loud voice saying, “I hear you!” In fact, it actually was the Creator speaking to them.

From this point, we see the argument among the people and the priests and Pharisees. They wanted to arrest him. After all, Jesus was proclaiming himself to be the one who could quench their spiritual thirst.

Interestingly—especially considering the controversies in our country right now—one of the Pharisees, a man named Nicodemus, asked those who wanted to arrest Jesus, “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?

And then, the other leaders threw Nicodemus under the bus for upholding the law, saying, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.The contempt bleeds through the text.

It seems as though the more things change, the more they stay the same. The wheels on the bus go…

Something to Celebrate

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“Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths.” Zechariah 14:16

While Israel is joyfully celebrating the fall festivals, there doesn’t seem to be much to celebrate in the States these days. Even from halfway around the world, it feels like America is tearing itself apart, with no end in sight.

Speaking of the “end,” we’re in the final portion of our Hebrew scripture reading schedule.¹ And as we approach these remaining chapters in the yearly rotation, we have been going through passages that speak about the Day of the LORD. And because we are nearing the end of our yearly reading, we are also now in the final chapters of Revelation.

“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” Revelation 21:3

Here in Israel, almost no one is reading from the New Testament, but those who do read their scriptures are focusing on the OT passages that detail the seven-day celebration of the Feast of Booths, “Sukkot” in Hebrew. It is the last of seven feasts which God commanded the Israelites to celebrate each year; if you aren’t familiar with them, you can find a fairly concise outline in Leviticus 23. Our reading schedule is essentially the same as every synagogue around the world. What that means is that we always are in sync with what our Jewish neighbors are reading. Today’s reading from the OT prophets was Zechariah 14.

I personally love this chapter of the Bible. Among other things, it reminds me of John 1:14 which reads in part, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” This verse can be translated as “the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us…” In other words, when Jesus arrived 2,000 years ago, it was actually God himself who was dwelling with us, not just a man. We are all familiar with the content of the Gospels, and so we know that Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father 40 days after his resurrection. Acts 1:11 tells us that angels told the disciples that Jesus—the one who tabernacled with us—would return in the same way he ascended, i.e. with the clouds and back to the Mt of Olives.

So, what’s the connection? It’s actually quite incredible! In today’s portion in Zechariah, we read some interesting things: It says that the LORD himself will return to the Mt of Olives, and that when his feet touch the mountain, it will split in two, from east to west, and that the halves will move north and south. If you’ve ever been on the Mt of Olives, you can imagine what this might look like, with the resulting wide valley heading down through the wilderness toward the Dead Sea. This is interesting in and of itself, but not nearly so much as what’s coming up.

Shortly after Jesus’ return, as Zechariah’s description continues, the LORD makes war against the nations that come up against Jerusalem; many are slaughtered, but not everyone is killed. Instead, there are survivors of all the nations. That’s not the end of it. Zechariah tells us that the survivors and their progeny must celebrate the Feast of Booths every year in Jerusalem. In other words, the nations (or what is left of them) will celebrate the LORD’s physical presence here on earth—Immanuel.

That means representation from around the worldnot just Jews who are in Israel.

I’m curious. Have you ever heard your minister preach/teach on this subject? The passage seems rather simple to understand. I.e. in the future—after Jesus physically returns to begin his reign on earth—Gentiles from every nation will be required to come up to Jerusalem every September/October to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles with Jews. Isn’t this part of the Good News?

At Christmas, nearly everyone in America will hear a sermon where Matthew quotes Isaiah, “‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).” And they’ll most likely tie that to John 1 as well. So, why not continue the thought, and discuss how God himself will tabernacle physically with us once again—here on earth—in the future?

Most of us have been taught about the future as some sort of ethereal existence in a non-specific place called “heaven.” However, the Bible tells us that we will dwell forever on earth. Not the current fallen world which “has been groaning” together with us for redemption. But an earth that has all of the corruption burned away—a perfect world like God originally created for mankind. Hallelujah!

Interestingly, if we keep reading in Zechariah 14, it seems as though not everyone is glad to have Jesus himself ruling the world from Zion. There are warnings and actual penalties for those nations who don’t celebrate Sukkot/Feast of Booths each year in Jerusalem with the rest of the world. I never hear about that either.

Whether or not your church or adult Bible class addresses this subject, this much is certain: People from around the world will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, here in the Land of Israel, sometime in the future after Jesus physically returns to rule the world.

With all that’s going on in our present world, we know that something much better is coming. And that is something that we can all celebrate.

“…will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people…” Ezekiel 37:27

¹Daily Bread 5778/2017-2018 – One-Year Bible Reading Journal, Ariel Media

 

 

 

Exercising

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A few nights ago we had a special set of emergency exercises in the moshav (neighborhood) where we live. For about 4 hours or so, first responders from the Golan went through four or five possible scenarios, two of which were a severe earthquake and a terrorist intrusion. SMS messages to residents’ phones were included in the exercise to reflect the kind of texts that would be sent in case of the real event. One message I received on my phone read in part, “…report of infiltration of terrorists…must remain in your homes with doors locked…” while an explosion—for greater realism—rocked the neighborhood. How did we prepare for the exercise? Meg went to Katzrin for an hour of exercise of the physical (and painful, sweaty) sort, and I decided to watch a movie on Netflix. All in all, a typical evening.

But all the action reminded me of the bigger picture and some questions. Why are we even having these exercises? The earthquake part I can understand since we had about a dozen small earthquakes in a two-week period earlier in the summer. But the terrorists? How would they even get to where we are? The fact that I’m even asking the question shows that there’s a lot more going on around us than we’re told in the news.

Conversations that we’ve had over the past week or so indicate that many believe a war is coming—and coming sooner rather than later. This includes conversations with both Israeli Jews and Golani Druze. What fascinates me about this is that each group is coming from very different political situations and news sources, yet they are all arriving at the same conclusions. Of course, the “next” war is always being discussed here, but people really seem concerned. And these are all people who have lived through numerous wars.

All of this talk about war contradicts what I currently see and hear around us. For instance, today is Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Hebrew calendar. As of this writing, the country has literally been shut down for 24 hours already, with another few hours to go. Flights in and out of Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) stopped yesterday at about 1:30pm and won’t restart until about 9:30pm tonight. All public transportation stopped more than 24 hours ago. The roads are empty. The gates to our moshav (which sit on, and therefore closed, a main road) closed yesterday at 6:00pm and won’t reopen until 7:00pm this evening. All television channels are off the air. I cannot personally imagine such a scenario anywhere in the States outside of a catastrophe.

Other than the birds and our windchime, I can hear NO sounds outside. It’s exactly what Yom Kippur is supposed to feel like: a super-sized Shabbat, allowing the Jewish population an entire day to contemplate repentance and atonement. It was also exactly this kind of day 45 years ago when Israel was surprised by a multi-pronged attack by Syria and Egypt. Iraq soon joined in, and Jordan supported Syria in various ways. People here in our moshav told me about how they knew that a new war had just started when Syrian fighter jets flew over our moshav on that Day of Atonement in 1973.

It would be very surprising if a sudden war like that broke out today. There have been no real indications of anything happening soon, and that’s counting the nearly weekly Israeli bombings in Syria of weapons caches belonging to Iran and Hezbollah. They euphemistically call this kind of action, “mowing the grass,” which is a bit funny considering the fact that there are virtually no yards with real grass in Israel. Even with the unfortunate and somewhat ironic downing of a Russian plane by Russian anti-aircraft missiles—shot wildly by the Syrian army a couple of nights ago—everything is calm, at least on the surface.

Maybe that’s why we had the emergency exercises earlier this week. Although no one is expecting anything, they want everyone to be ready in case something does happen. How do you prepare for an earthquake that you can’t predict? You practice what to do in case it happens, so that your responses come automatically. It’s like a tornado or fire drill when we were in school. And here, they’re simply readiness exercises performed during times of quiet, and the reminders to make sure your bomb shelter is ready to go. You probably already know how we fared on that matter, but if you don’t know, you can find out here.

I wonder, are there areas in our lives that we should be “exercising,” things we need to be “practicing?” If the Lord came back suddenly, would we be ready? Are we sleepwalking through our lives—acting as if we are ready, but in reality, ill-prepared for things to come? What regrets would we have if the Lord took us home today? Where would that “home” be?

“But understand this: If the owner of the house had known in which watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. For this reason, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” Matthew 24:43-44

 

Freekeh

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The fields are “green” for the harvest.

A couple of days ago, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), we had our first rainfall of the season, and both of us were giddy with excitement as the rain came down. It wasn’t a whole lot of precipitation, but enough to give the air that wonderful “it just started raining” smell. Summers are long here, so we weren’t the only ones celebrating the earliest taste of what we hope will be a very wet winter, one which might bring an end to the drought which Israel has endured for the past five years.

In Israel, there are three types of rain: early rains, regular winter rains and latter rains. The first early-rain normally happens near the time of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), which follows two weeks after Rosh Hashanah; the latter rains usually end by April. So typically from the month of April until the month of October, we don’t see a drop of rain. Everyone we know here was surprised at how early the first downpours happened, especially because this year the High Holy Days (Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement and Feast of Tabernacles) are occurring very early, starting in early September and finishing even before the month of October begins. So, we’re nearly four weeks early! It’s like an invited guest appearing at your front door four hours early—you’re glad to see them, but a good bit surprised that they are already at your door.

The early rain—and the surprise which everyone expressed at the unexpected showers—reminds me of a superfood called “freekeh.” This is green, not-quite-ripe wheat that is harvested before the fields turn “white for harvest.” Of course, only in places like America is it considered a “superfood,” which is just a marketing ploy that suppliers use to charge you a small fortune to include this grain in your diet. Here in Israel and throughout the Levant—where freekeh has been harvested and eaten for about 2,500 years—it’s just considered “food.” It is surprisingly tasty—as long as it’s prepared properly.

(Actually, it makes me wonder if that wasn’t what Luke was describing when the disciples got called out by the Pharisees for walking through a wheat field on Shabbat, picking heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands and eating the kernels. The word “freekeh” does come from the verb “to rub together…”)

We are all familiar with Jesus’ famous quote, ”Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” I’ve always had the notion that he was saying that all of the crop was already ripe, i.e. that all peoples and nations are ready to receive the gospel of the kingdom. But recently, I wonder if that understanding might not be correct. Maybe Jesus was telling his disciples that there were portions of the crop that were already ready to be harvested, if they only had eyes to see. It was as if Jesus was telling his future church-leaders-in-training to go ahead and harvest the part of the crop that was ready—the “freekeh,” so to speak.

Since that time, the church has been laboring in plots of land around the world. Some of those fields have had good soil, and so they have been producing bumper crops year after year. Other fields have been sown over the centuries, but the ground has been mostly paths, rocks and thorns. Many fields have been so remote that they couldn’t be sown easily. These last two examples are the places where—in the past—the workers have been few. But now most of the Christian missions world is focusing its attention in these areas.

We’ve been harvesting the freekeh, because we’ve only experienced the early rains so far. But the drought will soon be coming to a close and the latter rains will soon come—if in fact they are not already “appearing at our front door.”

Are we ready to gather in a harvest when the latter rains begin?

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…” Revelation 7:9

It’s all about the Timing – part 3

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Let’s take a look at where we left off in our previous installment, comparing what Peter said at Caesarea Philippi and the inscriptions which are inside the Dome of the Rock:

Peter: “You are the (long awaited) Messiah, the Son of the living God,” circa AD 30.

Dome: “You are just a messenger, the son of Mary, NOT the son of God,” circa AD 660.

These two diametrically opposed statements—one by an over eager Jewish fisherman, the other by the (now) powerful Islamic umma representing 1 1/2 billion souls—are nothing less than the fundamental maxims representing the two sides of a cosmic war, a war that is currently more spiritual in nature than physical. However, the time is coming soon—and already is happening on a limited basis—when the spiritual battles will overflow into the physical realm. And it won’t be pretty when it happens.

With the veil torn around AD 30 and the Temple’s destruction in AD 70, Satan wasted no time in moving in to set up his own kingdom on Mount Moriah and continued his efforts to eliminate the nation of Israel—the apple of God’s eye. He still has no intention of giving up that physical and spiritual real-estate without a fight. “No Trespassing” signs have been put up all over the place, as we have seen in the inscriptions inside the Dome of the Rock. From the beginning, he has overestimated his ability to thwart YHWH’s plans, believing that he can keep the Most High from reclaiming rightful ownership and moving back in.

Think about it this way: the Son himself will soon dwell in the same physical space where the words are written, “Allah has no son.” Not only will “the LORD…reign over them in Mount Zion from now on and forever (Micah 4:7),” he will live there. Of course, the Dome will have been destroyed by then.

You might be asking, “But how will all of this happen?” The simple answer that scripture gives us: with the use of extreme force. If that’s not the answer you expected, then read on.

The prophet Zechariah tells us that “the LORD will appear over them, and His arrow will go forth like lightning and “on that day…will set out to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. Isaiah tells us that it will be a literal bloodbath: “Who is this coming…with crimson-stained garments? Who is this robed in splendor, marching in the greatness of His strength? ‘It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.'”

In other words, Jesus the Son is going to use violence to get back his turf and save Israel. That is exactly what his disciples expected the Messiah to do when Peter said that Jesus was the promised Messiah of God in Caesarea Philippi. They had the right idea; they were just wrong about the timing. By at least a couple of millennia.

Much will happen between now and Satan’s eviction and complete destruction. Diplomatic crises and wars will come and go. Agreements will be made and will be broken. Covenants will be reinforced and sacrifices stopped. Some of these things are already in motion, but it’s all about God’s timing as to when they will occur.

However, we do know this for certain: the outcome of the war between Caesarea Philippi and the Dome of the Rock is already decided. Future history is already set into motion. And already determined.

Stay tuned, and we’ll find out how it all unfolds from our front row seats.