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By Dr. Michael J. Vlach
Daniel’s ministry took place in the context of Israel’s captivity to Babylon. Daniel 2 tells of a coming kingdom of God that will suddenly and decisively crush and replace the reigning Gentile kingdoms. As such it is an important section of Scripture for understanding the timing and nature of God’s kingdom.
Not long after King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon ascended the throne, he had a recurring dream that disturbed him greatly (2:1). Sensing the magnitude of his dream, the king summoned his wise men with an incredible demand. They were to relate the king’s dream without being told of its contents and then interpret its meaning. Failure to do these things meant execution. They pleaded their case to the king, claiming the unfairness of such a request, but to no avail. On the verge of execution Daniel, who was also under the sentence of death, asked for time to beseech the Lord for the dream and its contents (2:18). “The mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision” (2:19) and after giving thanks to God Daniel gained access to the king to relate the dream and interpret its contents.
Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that his dream concerned “what will take place in the latter days” (2:28) and “what would take place in the future” (2:29). In the king’s dream he saw “a single great statue…which was large and of extraordinary splendor” (2:31). This single statue was made of various parts:
- Head of fine gold (2:32)
- Breast and arms of silver (2:32)
- Belly and thighs of bronze (2:32)
- Legs of iron (2:33)
- Feet partly of iron and partly of clay (2:33)
The king also saw a “stone” that “was cut out without hands” that struck the statue on its feet (2:34). The entire statue including the head of gold, the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of bronze, the legs of iron and the feet of iron and clay “were crushed all at the same time” and became like “chaff” that was swept to the winds “so that not a trace of them was found” (2:35). The “stone” that struck the statue, however, “became a great mountain and filled the whole earth” (2:35).
Daniel then offered the interpretation of the great statue and the stone that destroyed the statue and grew into a great mountain. Concerning the head of gold Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar, “You are the head of gold” (2:38). Thus, the golden head represented Nebuchadnezzar and the kingdom of Babylon. Daniel does not explicitly say what the remaining three kingdoms of the statue represent but many scholars from the early church onward believed that the breast and arms of silver represented the kingdom of Medo-Persia which followed the Babylonian kingdom. It is also believed that the belly and thighs of bronze represented the kingdom of Greece and that the legs of iron referred to the kingdom of Rome (2:39–40). Rome was the most powerful and dominating kingdom of ancient times and is well described by iron. The feet of iron and clay indicate a kingdom related to the fourth iron kingdom of Rome, but this form of the kingdom in a latter state is not as stable since it has the element of “clay” associated with it. Daniel says this kingdom is “divided” and while strong also has a “brittle” element to it (2:41–42). Thus, this fourth kingdom begins as a very strong iron kingdom but then becomes less strong.
The “stone” that “was cut out without hands” is undoubtedly God’s kingdom that is without human origin. The stone that strikes the feet of the statue then becomes “a great mountain that fills the whole earth.” “Mountain” in this context is a symbol of a kingdom. Verses 44–45 state what this kingdom will do to the previous kingdoms:
In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.
“In the days of those kings” is probably a reference back to the ten “toes” of the feet mentioned in verse 42. Thus, during the days of the final form of the fourth kingdom (Rome), the kingdom of God will “crush and put an end to all these kingdoms” and “will itself endure forever.”
Daniel 2, therefore, teaches five kingdoms with the fifth and final kingdom crushing the others:
- Babylon (head of Gold)
- Medo-Persia (breast and arms of silver)
- Greece (belly and thighs of bronze)
- Rome (legs of iron) and later form of Roman empire (feet mixed with iron and clay)
- God’s kingdom (a stone cut out without hands that becomes a great mountain)
The main point of Daniel 2 is that starting with Babylon there would be four major Gentile powers that would rule over the world and Israel, but a day is coming when God’s kingdom will suddenly crush these kingdoms and itself will be established as a geo-political entity over the entire earth forever.
Note that when God’s kingdom comes it dramatically and decisively destroys and replaces the existing four Gentile powers that preceded it. It does not co-exist as a spiritual kingdom alongside these literal kingdoms. As McClain states,
At one moment a stone from heaven shatters the Gentile kingdoms leading to the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth. There is no gradual development of God’s kingdom. It comes suddenly and decisively.
Debate has occurred as to whether this kingdom of God is a spiritual or earthly kingdom. This kingdom of God is spiritual in that it comes from heaven. But when this kingdom of God comes, it invades earth and takes over the realm in which the other four kingdoms ruled. Thus, it is an earthly kingdom as well in that it presides on the earth. The kingdom of God will be spiritual in origin but earthly in regard to the sphere of its existence and domain.
This earthly aspect of God’s kingdom is evident in a connecting point between the fourth kingdom (Rome) and the fifth kingdom (God’s kingdom). The fourth kingdom (Rome) “shatters all things” and “breaks in pieces” its enemies (2:40). Likewise, the fifth kingdom, God’s kingdom, “will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms” (2:44). There is a parallel here—just as the fourth kingdom of Rome crushed all rival political kingdoms on earth, so too the kingdom of God will crush the earthly political kingdoms on the scene when it comes. The coming of God’s kingdom is not progressively taking place over time; it is sudden. This is a stone that violently brings an end to the kingdoms that preceded it. The kingdoms that use to exist are like “chaff” that is swept away by strong winds.
Like the previous four kingdoms, God’s coming kingdom is a real geographical and political kingdom that will exist over the entire earth. It radically replaces the Gentile kingdoms that came before it. In reference to Daniel 2, Blaising states,
“This kingdom is not simply a higher order of spiritual reality that coexists with the present course of affairs, but it is a complete replacement of present conditions on earth with a new worldwide and multinational world order” 
Some have argued that God’s kingdom is the church, but this understanding is unlikely. According to Daniel 2:44–45, when God’s kingdom is established it crushes and puts an end to the prevailing Gentile powers of the day who are swept away like chaff with no remnants remaining. This did not happen when the church began. The Roman Empire continued for centuries after the church started. There is no evidence that the leaders of the Roman Empire or anyone else believed their kingdom had been replaced by the Christian church. That would have been news to them. Instead, the kingdom of God of Daniel 2 replaces the fourth kingdom when it comes; it does not exist alongside in a spiritual sense. Plus, just as the four previous kingdoms were tangible geo-political entities, so too will God’s kingdom be a geo-political entity. While the church has a mission to the nations, it is not a geo-political group like Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, or Rome. The coming Christian church simply is not the fifth kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream statue.
The concept of reigning over the earth is an important one in Scripture. In the creation account God created man to rule and subdue the earth (Gen 1:26–28). While God had established a kingdom on earth with Israel (see 1 and 2 Samuel), a nation that was supposed to show God’s glory to the other kingdoms of the world, Israel failed its mission and was judged and dispersed to the Gentile nations who would now rule over Israel. God’s kingly authority over the earth would be given to Babylon and then to the kingdoms of Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and then a weaker but revived Roman Empire. But after this time period of Gentile domination or what Jesus called “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) God’s kingdom will be established over the entire earth and Israel will be restored. In sum, King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream involved the broad panorama of human history from his day through the kingdom of Israel’s Messiah.
by Bill Perkins
Compass International, Inc.
The “repentance in salvation”question is hotly debated between the dispensationalists and covenant theologians. The idea of “salvation without repentance” understandably sends many into fits of rage. But is salvation without repentence even possible?
Lewis Chafer wrote:
Roy B. Zuck writes:
Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead
the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness
of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the
Dr. Charles Ryrie says of this verse,“Clearly, repentance for the forgiveness of sins is connected to the death and resurrection of Christ.”(Charles C. Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Victor Books, p. 98).
that your good works will save you, but they won’t. The only thing that can save you is your faith and belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Neither did Jesus tell the woman at the well in Samaria to repent. When she recounted her story, the other Samaritians didn’t “repent,” rather they “believed.”
Christians do sin and when we are convicted about that sin, we need to repent, or change directions, away from the sin toward God’s way. But this repentance has nothing to do with salvation. It’s simply a Believer maturing in his/her faith.
The Second Coming — In Two Part Harmony
By Jack Kinsella
The Omega Letter
The Bible often appears to address the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as if it were one event, but upon closer examination, it is obvious that it takes place in two separate parts with an interval of time between them.
The Lord returns once for His Church as its Redeemer and then again at the end of the Tribulation Period as its Avenger. The first coming is in secret. It is signless – that is to say – there is nothing that must occur first.
That first, secret coming for His Church could have taken place at any time in history from the 1st century until now, something known to theology as the “doctrine of immanency.”
This secret coming is called the Rapture of the Church.
There will be some who will argue that the Rapture is a made up doctrine and point to the fact the word rapture does not appear in the Bible as ‘evidence’. (It is worth noting at this point that the word ‘Bible’ isn’t in the Bible either.)
The word ‘Rapture’ comes from the Latin word rapios which is itself a translation of the Greek word ‘harpazo’ which means, “to snatch away, grab, or carry off.”
So it’s not a very compelling argument, and its rebuttal is devastating:
The word ‘Rapture’ doesn’t appear in the English Bible for the same reason that there IS an English Bible. Because the Greeks and Romans used different words for everything than we do. Duh.
Whether the word Rapture is in the Bible or not, the picture of the Second Coming taking place in two-part harmony is unmistakable.
- In the first part, He comes as a thief. (Revelation 16:15)
- In the second part, He comes as lightning. (Luke 17:24)
- In the first part, as the Morning Star. (Revelation 22:16)
- In the second part, the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:1-2)
- In the first part, as a bridegroom. (Matthew 25:1-6)
- In the second part, as a King. (Matthew 25:31-34)
- In the first, to the marriage. (Matthew 25:10)
- In the Second, to the Throne of His Glory. (Matthew 25:31)
- In the first, to the virgins. (Matthew 25:1)
- In the second, to the nations. (Matthew 25:32)
- In the first, before the marriage. (Matthew 25:1)
- In the second, after the marriage. (Luke 12:36)
- In the first, for His Bride. (John 14:3)
- In the second, with His Bride. (Colossians 3:4)
- In the first, He meets His Bride in the air. (1st Thessalonians 4:17)
- In the second, He puts His foot down on the Mount of Olives. (Zechariah 14:3-4)
- In the first, He comes to receive His Bride unto Himself. (John 14:3)
- In the second, He comes to be received by repentant Israel. (Zechariah 11:10)
- In the first, He comes to take His bride to the heavenly city. (John 14:1-5, Song of Solomon 4, Ephesians 5:27)
- In the second, He comes to the earthly city of Jerusalem to take up His Throne as King.
- The first part is called, “our gathering together unto Him” (2nd Thessalonians 2:1)
- The second part is called, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ from heaven.” (2nd Thessalonians 1:7)
The Rapture of the Church is clearly not a new doctrine invented by a Scottish schoolgirl, or by C.I. Scofield or by J.N. Darby. For fourteen hundred years, it was a lost doctrine, along with the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith.
Martin Luther didn’t discover a new doctrine when he read Ephesians 2:8-9, he rediscovered what the Vatican had buried during the Dark Ages. (That’s why they were called “the Dark Ages” in the first place).
Luther rediscovered the truth that salvation comes through grace and by faith, not by paying money to a priest for absolution from purgatory.
To the degree one can credit Scofield or Darby or anybody else, it can only be for the rediscovery of a doctrine long buried by the Vatican for the same reason. If the Lord is to come for the living saints, then the Vatican dogma that requires additional purification in Purgatory collapses.
It is beyond question that the Bible presents the Second Coming in two-part harmony – to argue otherwise is to argue that the Bible contradicts itself, rather than harmonizes.
Having established the clear Biblical timeline that proves the Second Coming is in two parts, the next question is whether or not the Rapture takes place before, during or after the Tribulation.
I could fill the page with similar references that confirm that the date of the Rapture will be incalculable, whereas the length of the Tribulation period is precisely outlined and concludes with His visible return, and can therefore be calculated. (Daniel 9:24-27, Daniel 12:7,11-13)
This is the same problem with the Pre-Wrath, Mid-Trib and Post-Trib views – each conflicts with the doctrine of immanency, a doctrine Jesus hammered home many times.
The Rapture of the Church could have happened at any time in history without being early and the Tribulation could still be future without being late. That has always been the spiritual status quo – until this generation.
For this generation, that equation is turned on its head. Instead, the Rapture is like a floodgate on a dam. During the Church age, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit within believers serves to hold back the onset of unrestricted evil.
When that floodgate is removed, then evil is allowed to flow unrestricted. We are that floodgate – once the Church has been removed, there will be nobody left to stand in the way.
In the meantime, we are all that stands in the enemy’s way.
Dave Hunt’s new book, Cosmos, Creator and Human Destiny, has been the topic of the Berean Call’s last two newsletters. Dave tells us that his newest book,
“…begins with a brief look at the vastness of the universe. Even if we could build space vehicles that might travel at the speed of light, it would take 100,000 years to cross The Milky Way, our relatively small galaxy, and billions of years to reach the trillions of galaxies beyond. These facts show how foolish is man’s dream of ‘space exploration.'”
In the January newsletter, he shares this poignant story of a man,
“…preaching on Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park in London, England, who in his sermon said that anyone who didn’t believe in God was a fool. A man in the crowd of listeners shouted out, “I’m an atheist. If you can’t prove that I’m a fool, I’ll publish it in the papers and we’ll run you out of town!”
“You really don’t believe in God?”
“You bet I don’t! I’ve been fighting against God all my life!”
“Tell me,” replied the preacher, “if a man who spends his life fighting against someone who doesn’t exist isn’t a fool, then who is?”
You can read part 1 here.
In the February newsletter, Hunt continues his preview by turning
“…to the equal folly of man’s efforts to find an evolutionary link between himself and lower creatures. Evolutionists have been digging desperately to find a physical link but to no avail.”
He continues by positing,
“Atheism and its corollary, materialism, are speechless when asked to account for the human qualities that we all value so highly and that distinguish us from all other creatures: the appreciation of music and poetry, the enjoyment of beauty in nature (in which even Dawkins exults), the ability to form conceptual ideas and express them in words, to understand mathematics in relation to the universe to use the imagination as do architects and engineers, or to feel and express a love that is so clearly unique to humans. We all know that animals do not share these qualities and capabilities with us. lesser creatures possess none of these purely human characteristics that we value so highly, nor can these capabilities be explained by natural selection or evolution. We owe nothing to these allegedly scientifically proven processes for our moral, ethical, and spiritual qualities.”
By quoting noted professors and scientists, Hunt offers significant questions to evolutionist such as the problem of origins and the ‘complexity and acuity’ of the eyes of ‘later anthropods’ compared to humans’. Fascinating stuff, indeed!
You can read part 2 here.
Cosmos, Creator and Human Destiny is due to be released later this year. Sounds like it will be an interesting read!
Christopher Columbus and the Flat-Earth Myth
Even the Encyclopedia Britannica perpetuated the myth of a round-earth solution for Columbus’s voyages as late as 1961: “Before Columbus proved the world was round, people thought the horizon marked its edge. Today we know better.” The people knew better in Columbus’s day. A 1983 textbook for fifth-graders reported that Columbus “felt he would eventually reach the Indies in the East. Many Europeans still believed that the world was flat. Columbus, they thought, would fall off the earth.” A 1982 text for eighth-graders said that Europeans “believed . . . that a ship could sail out to sea just so far before it fell off the edge of the sea. . . . The people of Europe a thousand years ago knew little about the world.”
Prominent scholars like John D. Bernal (1901-1971), in his four-volume Science in History (1954), and Daniel J. Boorstin (1914-2004), prize-winning author and Librarian of Congress from 1975 to 1987, propagated the myth without any historical substantiation. Boorstin spills a great deal of ink inventing a history of flat-earth beliefs that he traces to an obscure sixth-century monk, Cosmas Indicopleustes, who, according to medieval scholar Jeffrey Russell, “had no followers whatever: his works were ignored or dismissed with derision throughout the Middle Ages.”
Earlier attempts to present Columbus as a scientific iconoclast can be found in two standard nineteenth-century anti-Christian works pitting science against religion. John William Draper claims that Christians had no concern for scientific discovery. Instead, “they originated in commercial rivalries, and the question of the shape of the earth was finally settled by three sailors, Columbus, De Gama, and, above all, by Ferdinand Magellan.” While Columbus and other informed sailors who regularly sailed beyond the horizon believed in “the globular figure of the earth,” such an idea was, “as might be expected . . . received with disfavor by theologians.” A similar argument appears in Andrew D. White’s A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom. The “shape of the earth” was not in question in Columbus’s day. “Columbus, like all educated people of his time, knew that the world was round. . . .”
Irving’s fictionalized account of Columbus describes him as being “assailed with citations from the Bible and the Testament: the book of Genesis, the psalms of David, the orations of the Prophets, the epistles of the apostles, and the gospels of the Evangelists. To these were added expositions of various saints and reverend Commentators. . . . Such are specimens of the errors and prejudices, the mingled ignorance and erudition, and the pedantic bigotry, with which Columbus had to contend.” There is only one problem with Irving’s account: “It is fabrication, and it is largely upon this fabric that the idea of a medieval flat earth was established.”
Attacking the Church
Scientific demonstration of the earth’s rotundity was enforced by religion; God made the earth a sphere because that was the most perfect form. In the Old Testament there is a reference to this in Isaiah l.22: “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth”-“circle” being the translation of the Hebrew khug, sphere.
Deep and Wide
The debate in Columbus’s day was not over whether the earth was flat or round. “The issue was the width of the ocean; and therein the opposition was right.” Columbus had underestimated the circumference of the earth and the width of the ocean by a significant number of miles. “In fact, the distance Columbus was planning to cover [based on accurate maps] was 10,600 miles by air.” Providentially for Columbus and his edgy crew, the Americas stood in his way.
Even considering his mistaken conclusions about measurements, “Columbus always rates the highest accolades from scholars when it comes to seamanship. He was, without question, the finest sailor of his time.” Virtually every student of Columbus accepts the opinion of Bartolome de Las Casas (1484-1566), who wrote in his Historia de las Indias, that “Christopher Columbus surpassed all of his contemporaries in the art of navigation.”
The Columbus myth is another example of historical revisionism, the attempt by secularists to cast the Church in a negative light. Liberal historians relish the fact that schoolchildren all over the country are being taught that Christians are ignorant, flat-earth kooks who will not listen to reason and science. When the facts of history are accurately surveyed, however, we discover true science never conflicts with the Bible. Scientific misinformation is never promoted through an accurate understanding of the Bible. Instead, the manipulation of truth always occurs outside the biblical worldview.
Gary DeMar is the author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles. He also hosts The Gary DeMar Show and History Unwrapped-both broadcasted and podcasted. Gary has lived in the Atlanta area since 1979 with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and are enjoying being grandparents to their grandson. Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).
It’s an awesome responsibility for a man to take on the role of husband. Let’s consider some ways that a wife can help her husband to be a good one. In Genesis 2:18 we read that God provided Adam with a helper suited to his needs. Today’s “suitable helper” will desire to do her husband “good and not evil all the days of her life.” That’s Proverbs 31:12.
One: The suitable helper will make home a place of shelter and refuge. When the door is closed, the world’s turmoil is left outside. I like to think of the Christian home as a temporary abode where husband and children are sheltered and cared for on the way to their heavenly home.
Two: She will communicate wisely. I believe a wife should be her husband’s chief counselor, but in dispensing wisdom, “Let your speech always be with grace,” we’re told in Colossians 4:6. An alternative to discussing an issue verbally is to write it down. You’ll have no interruptions. You won’t get off track. Your emotions won’t spill over, and you can think as you write and revise. Your husband can then read, re-read, ponder, and respond by whatever means he chooses.
Three: She will have a genuine interest in her husband’s problems and concerns. Six PM is the danger hour of the day in many homes. Our husband comes through the door, and we can be so hung up on our horrible day that we can hardly wait to unload. The solution has something to do with Philippians 2:3: “Let each esteem others better [more important] than themselves.” Then there’s Galatians 6:2, where we’re told to “Bear one another’s burdens.” Best of all, we’d be following Christ’s example. He gave His very life for us, and He gives us His full attention when we pour out our hearts to Him in prayer.
Four: She will be trustworthy when he shares confidences. They are for her ears only. He doesn’t want his poorer moments advertised with the girls over coffee, or his confidences given away, even to her best friend, or her mother.
Five: She will be courteous. The sweet, gracious ways that won his heart during courtship are sometimes left behind at the altar. Consistent courtesy smooths the path in every situation.
Six: She is submissive to her husband. In God’s wisdom, it’s a command: “Wives, be in subjection to your own husbands,” we’re told in 1 Peter 3:1. Way back there, Satan wanted to be “like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). But how many “most Highs” can there be in any relationship? Satan was cast out of heaven for demanding equal rights with God. God commands wives to obey their husbands (in the Lord). He commands husbands to love their wives “even as Christ loved the church [His bride].” That’s Ephesians 5:25. It shouldn’t be difficult to decide which is the greater challenge.
Seven: She is a good manager, a good executive over her little kingdom. “She looketh well to the ways of her household,” says Proverbs 31:27. The whole chapter is a recital of all that this amazing woman accomplishes. She had to be organized. And the result? Her husband could relax and do his job more efficiently because she was doing hers.
Eight: She will be contented with her lot. “Godliness with contentment is great gain,” says 1 Timothy 6:6. How can we be godly and not contented, when our Lord “daily loadeth us with benefits,” as Psalm 68:19 reminds us. Try thanking God for things you never dreamed of being thankful for before: the wildflowers growing among the weeds in your yard, the sun that’s drying your clothes because you don’t have an electric dryer, the coupons that have come just in time to buy the groceries you need. Practice being thankful for all those little things, which aren’t really little because they’re also God’s gifts.
Nine: A gracious wife accepts his love, however offered. Husbands are not all poets and romantics. They may work hard, be loyal, faithful, helpful, but have a problem saying the words she longs to hear. Love can be unspoken and just as real. Accept it.
Ten: Most important of all, the wise woman attends to her inner beauty because “Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who feareth the Lord will be praised,” Proverbs 31:30 tells us. Those many virtues listed throughout chapter 31 add up to a zero if her relationship with the Lord is not the priority. So–number ten is really number one.
A final thought from an unknown author: “Who are better suited to wedlock than men and women who have already died to self? Already they have learned to serve and please Another [our Lord Jesus Christ].”.
Happily, in this way, our relationship with our Heavenly Bridegroom can be the pattern for our earthly marriages.
–from September 2009 Berean Call newsletter
from K-House eNews:
The Hebrew day of great tragedies, Tisha b’Av, falls at sundown this Wednesday, July 29. In remembrance, the Knesset has turned its focus to the Temple Mount, dominated by the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. While the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site, Jews are not permitted to worship on the mount itself for fear of inciting a riot by Muslims.
Tisha b’Av is simply Hebrew for the 9th day of the month of Av. Many disasters have befallen the Jews on this day throughout history. According to Jewish tradition, this was the day that God told the Children of Israel they were prohibited from entering the Promised Land because of disbelief. They were forced to wander in the desert forty more years until that adult generation had died out. That tragic day was just the beginning…
On the 9th of Av in:
586 BC, Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, and the Babylonian captivity began;
AD 70, the Second Temple, which stood during Christ’s ministry, was destroyed by the Romans precisely as Jesus predicted in Luke 19;
AD 135, the famous Bar Kokhba revolt was squelched when Bethar, the last Jewish stronghold, fell to the Romans;
AD 136, the Roman Emperor Hadrian established a heathen temple to Jupiter on the site of the Jewish Temple. Hadrian rebuilt Jerusalem as a pagan city, and renamed the land as Palestina, to distance its Jewish heritage. The date when the Temple area was plowed under by the Romans was the 9th of Av.
The day has continued to be associated with grief for the Jewish people throughout history. For example, Pope Urban II declared the Crusades on the 9th of Av in 1242. The Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492 on this day, and in 1942, the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were mass deported to the Treblinka extermination camp in Poland. Thus the 9th of Av, Tisha B’Av, has become a symbol of all the persecutions and misfortunes of the Jewish people, for the loss of their national independence and their sufferings in exile. Above all, it is a day of intense mourning for the destruction of the Temple.
This week, Israel’s Knesset has taken a longing look once again toward the Temple Mount. Israel has technically controlled the site since the Six-Day War in 1967, but the Waqf, a Muslim council, manages the site. Israeli law is supposed to protect free access to the site, but the Israeli government enforces a ban on any non-Muslim prayer on the Temple Mount in order to avoid Muslim riots. The Knesset members took time this week to discuss the Temple Mount and the approach Israel should take on this holy site in today’s world.
In the first session, Dr. Mordechai Keidar commented on the lack of a Palestinian connection to the Temple Mount, saying:
“Jerusalem does not appear in the Koran, not even once, not even in any one of the four different names the city has in Arabic. The struggle for Jerusalem is not territorial, it’s theological. Is Judaism still a relevant religion, or do we give in to the Muslim claim that Judaism is no longer relevant? And that’s why we heard from PA official Saeb Erekat not long ago that they will not recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state even in 1000 years. Why is this? Because Judaism in their eyes is irrelevant, so how could a Jewish state be founded?”
Keidar also noted that the Palestinians are not moderate on the issue of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, but claim it as their own. He held up a PLO traditional garment, which bore the words, “Jerusalem is ours.”
A Chabad rabbi who spoke argued that Israel would do well to lay a firm claim to sovereignty on the Temple Mount, believing that doing so would not harm Israel but would in fact win friends.”When you tell the nations of the world the truth, not only will they stop fighting against you, but they’ll even join forces with you,” he explained.
East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount have been points of major contention in past efforts to negotiate a two-state agreement. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, and the Jews do not want to give up this location that is so precious to Judaism. The world would never expect the Muslims to hand over control of the Kaaba in Mecca in order to keep peace, but the Jews are not free to worship on their holiest site because they fear Muslim violence. Knesset members spoke out in favor of educating people about the importance of the Temple Mount to Judaism.
Tisha b’Av is indeed a day of mourning. It is marked with sadness and fasting from food and drink. Observant Jews avoid bathing or washing clothes or enjoying entertainment like music or movies, and the Book of Lamentations is traditionally read both in the evening and during the day. On this day the Jews are reminded of their tragic history.
Yet, this day is also expressly linked with Israel’s glorious destiny. The Jews also look forward to the ultimate rebuilding of the Temple, to a time when Tisha b’Av will become a day of joy and gladness (as it was foretold in Zechariah 8:19).
We do know that the Temple will be rebuilt because Jesus, John, and Paul all make reference to it. But we also know that this Temple will be desecrated by the Coming World Leader when he sets himself up to be worshiped. It is possible this prophetic event will also take place on Tisha b’Av – and may happen in the not-too-distant future
T.A. McMahon, of The Berean Call, has written a hard-hitting article titled, ‘The Battle over Truth for Our Youth’. McMahon rightly asserts that Satan, from the beginning, has employed a subversive strategy of questioning God’s Word in his effort to draw sinners away from Truth. Today, we find,
The “Yea, hath God said…?” strategy has been very successful in undermining the critical belief in the sufficiency of the Word of God. Although the Bible claims to be sufficient for “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3), many Christians who profess to believe the Bible no longer regard it as sufficient.
‘Sola scriptura’, or scripture alone, was a battle cry of the Reformation. Today, however, our youth are being seduced by churches and parachurch ministries that offer,
the “new” experiences, … religious art (primarily impressionistic images of “Jesus”), “biblical” films, rituals based upon Catholic/Orthodox liturgy, “community,” personal relationships, contemplative spirituality and mysticism (some include yoga), Bible “dialogues,” ecumenical interaction with “people of faith,” a social gospel, plans to save the planet, restore the kingdom, and so forth.
McMahon concludes that the only preventative measure for such enticements is to ground our children in God’s Word; to discipline and teach them sound doctrine. I would add that parents must be the primary providers of this teaching and discipleship. Sunday School teachers, youth pastors and private schools will NOT be held accountable for what YOUR child is taught. YOU WILL BE!
Sadly, the following is so true:
The Bible is the most exciting book there is, yet for years here in the U.S. our children have been fed a “let me entertain you” diet with only a hint of scriptural nutrition. That’s part of Satan’s “Yea, hath God said…?” strategy. The consequence is an upcoming generation that is, for the most part, spiritually anemic and ripe for the various schemes of apostasy. Deprived of the objective truths of Scripture, they are easy prey for those who would entice them through the subjective and experiential, that is, their “feelings.” Nevertheless, our marching orders involve a rescue operation as found in 2 Timothy 2:24-25: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” (emphasis mine)
I encourage you to read the entire artice which can be found at this link: http://www.thebereancall.org/node/7636.
The Power of His Resurrection
By Dave Hunt
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers is very specific. He asks God to bestow upon them a deeper knowledge and understanding of Christ that we do well to seek for ourselves. This is not something that one can learn in a seminary or even in a Bible study or from reading devotional books. Paul’s desire for them was that they would willingly receive from God “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ” (Eph 1:17-23).
Specifically, Paul prays that they would know the “exceeding greatness” of the power that God wanted to demonstrate in their lives. His explanation of this power is most instructive. Paul tells us about it in Philippians 3. It was, in fact, what he desired so much for himself. He called it the “power of his resurrection” and declared: “[Oh] that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
Was Paul uncertain of his salvation, concerned that he might not qualify for the resurrection of believers at the Rapture? Hardly! He is telling us that the Resurrection of Christ is not only a historical event that we look back to with satisfaction and joy. It is the greatest event in the history (past, present, or future) of the entire cosmos!
The greatest event that the universe will ever see is also one of the most difficult to understand. We mention it so casually, but here is the hinge upon which all history hangs and is forever divided. The division of time ought to be not only BC (Before Christ) and AD (meaning After Christ); it ought to be BR (Before the Resurrection) and AR (After the Resurrection). (emphasis mine) Read the rest here.