Wednesday, March 9, 2016


 Psalm 60:4-5  You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow. Selah.  That your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer us! 

      As I have previously written - God is not finished with Israel.   Contrary to the beliefs of my brothers, in more mainstream denominations, the church has not replaced Israel, the church joins Israel as God's elect.  To understand this, one needs only look at the Bible prophecies concerning Israel and the preservation of the Jewish people throughout history, including today.  Even at this moment, the enemies of Israel surround her, breathing constant threats of attack and genocide.  As I have also previously blogged, I believe Israel will not only cry out to God in the last days, but will actually call out for Jesus to rescue them from annihilation. click here for more   Psalm 60:4-5 makes this point and is pregnant with meaning concerning Israel in the last days.  

    To understand this prophecy, one must accept that the book of Psalms is more than a collection of poems and songs.  Psalms is the national hymn book of Israel.  This book deals with numerous events in the history of Israel and these events have been memorialized in song.  The book of Psalms is also heavy with prophecy.  No one can deny the prophetic nature of Psalm 22.  Psalm 22 is a graphic description of the crucifixion of Christ.  History never records David, the author of Psalm 22, being pierced or having his garments divided by his enemies or having lots cast for his clothes, as he writes in this passage.  History does record these events taking place in the life of a direct descendant of David, Jesus Christ, Yeshua ha Meshiach, Jesus - King of the Jews.  Psalm 22 is not even close to being the only prophecy recorded in Israel's song book.  When one learns to read through the Psalms with an eye for prophecy, the wonders of God's future plans for Israel and mankind will jump off the pages.  to read more on the prophetic nature of the book of Psalms CLICK HERE  

As we look forward on the prophetic calendar, signs seem to indicate that we are in the last days.  For the Church, the rapture is our next event.  There does not seem to be any further prophecies directed toward the church.  We know that Peter had to die before Christ returned and that there would be a great falling away.  Both of these have happened, Peter was martyred by Rome and the mainstream Church has apostated itself beyond repair.  For more on the rapture CLICK HERE  Israel, however, has about 25% of all Bible prophecy to look forward to!  The prophecies already fulfilled only lend credence to prophecies which are yet to be fulfilled.  The Old Testament prophets and Jesus, Himself, promised the destruction of Israel, the scattering of the Jews, the persecution of the Jews, the regathering of the Jews, and the rebirth of the nation of Israel.  Everyone of these things has happened, just as God promised.  It has been postulated that the best evidence for the inspiration of scripture is the Jew.  No other people has endured  persecution or attempts of eradication like the Jew.  No other nation has ever been reestablished after 2000 years.  God's hand is on the Jewish people because He loves them and all His promises for mankind rest on the future of Israel and the Jews.  
     For Israel, the next major prophetic event may very well be the period of time prophesied  by Daniel and Jeremiah.  Daniel called it the 70th week and Jeremiah referred to it as The Time of Jacob's Trouble.  This will be a 7 year period in which God's focus and attention will be primarily on Israel to test, purify and redeem her.  We refer to this period of time as the Seven Year Tribulation.

PSALMS AND REVELATION FIT TOGETHER HAND IN GLOVE  The book of Revelation, by definition reveals things to us.  Revelation reveals Jesus Christ, and it reveals the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy in history future.  When we take the above verse in Psalm 60 and match it up with the events of Revelation, we see an amazing correlation.  You have set up a banner for those who fear you that they may flee to it.  In revelation 12:6 we read  and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. A few verses later, we read Revelation 12:14  But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. Without going into a lengthy explanation, the woman spoken of here is the nation of Israel.  She will be attacked by the Anti-Christ, but led away into the wilderness by God to be protected.  For more on this CLICK HERE and check out chapter 12  There is little doubt that the serpent in Revelation refers to the Anti-Christ.  In Psalm 60:4, we are given a key word that lets us know from whom Israel is fleeing.  You have set up a banner for those who fear you that they may flee to it from the bow.  Only the church could recognize this reference as it directly corresponds to Revelation 6.  Revelation 6:2  And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer. Not one word of scripture is wasted, the Psalmist made a clear reference to a time when Israel would flee from the bow, Revelation 12 reveals this event in history future and Revelation 6 reveals to us who the bow belongs to from which Israel shall flee. 

     On the testimony of two or more witnesses, a matter is established.  We have testimony from both the Old and New Testament concerning Israel being God's beloved. First, we seen in
Jeremiah 31:3  Jehovah appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. In Romans 11:28  As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers; we see this as well. Israel is obviously God's beloved and according to Psalm 60, she will be delivered.  The number of passages promising and describing this deliverance is staggering and far too great to list in this forum.  I will, however list two Ezekiel 36:33-34  "Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt.  And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. And Zechariah 12:7-9  "And the LORD will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. On that day the LORD will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the LORD, going before them.  And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.  The of the Tribulation will be unprecedented, according to Jesus.  God's beloved will suffer greater persecution and greater fear and greater pain than in other time in history.  These events are meant to turn Israel back to God.  Israel will, indeed turn back to God during this time and the name Israel invokes in that turning may come as a surprise to many.

     The last part of verse 5 is an amazing prophecy concerning Israel's calling out to Jesus for salvation!  The first clue we have that this is true is Psalm 110:1-2 - A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. We know that verse one refers to Jesus as He referenced it to Himself when dealing with the Pharisees in Matthew 22.  Verse two refers to the second coming, when Christ comes to reign and rule.  Psalm 60:5 shows Israel calling to God's "right Hand" to save them and Psalm 110:1 identifies the "right Hand" and Psalm 110:2 shows the "right Hand" being sent forth to rule.  The Apostle Paul emphatically identifies Jesus as the "right Hand" of the Father: Ephesians 1:19-21  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,   Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: As stated earlier, the purpose of the Tribulation, the time referred to as "the Time of Jacob's Trouble" is to cause Israel to turn back to God.  Jesus' own words necessitate that Israel must cry out to Jesus in order to be saved, "No man comes to the Father but by me."  God promises to forgive Israel, yet forgiveness is found only in Christ, again, necessitating Israel repent in the name of Christ.  The prophet Zechariah even records for us the future event in which Israel sees Jesus return to rescue them: Zechariah 12:10  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. This passage is astounding when one realizes the implications.  God, speaking, says "they will look upon Me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for Him..."  We see here the dual nature of the Messiah depicted, God assigning, not only deity to a "Him", but identifying Himself as a separate "Him".  The one they have pierced will be God Himself, and a man, mourned for as an "only son".  There is no doubt that this passage refers to the God/man Jesus Christ, Yashua Ha Meshiach!  

     Charlie Daniels said it best in his song Tribulation - "I believe that we are living in the days John wrote about, the end times are upon us and of that there is no doubt, get your mind out of the world and take your Bible off your shelf and read the book of Revelations for yourself." 

Saturday, March 5, 2016


     I went to see the movie Risen last night, having high expectations.  I was not disappointed!  Risen is the retelling of the events of the resurrection of Christ, as seen through the eyes of a Roman soldier.  I tend to watch films that depict Biblical events with a very critical eye for accuracy.  The two or three inaccuracies I caught were so minor, they are not even worth mentioning.  The fact that the integrity of the events surrounding Christ's resurrection were protected by the plot and script is truly refreshing, especially after having wasted good money to sit through 2014's Son of God.  CLICK HERE for review of Son of God  

     Risen tells the story of an up and coming Roman soldier, Clavius(Joseph Fiennes), who, under the direct command of Pontius Pilate, is charged with bringing order back to Jerusalem after the death and resurrection of Christ.  Clavius witnesses the already crucified Christ, moments after His death and unwittingly participates in key elements of the Gospel narrative.  Pilate then entrusts the guarding of Jesus' tomb to Clavius, to ensure Christ's followers do not steal His body and claim a resurrection.  Once Christ does rise, Clavius is given the duty to locate the stolen body of Christ and enforce peace in Jerusalem which is on the brink of utter chaos.  While searching for the body of Christ, and the disciples believed to have stolen it, Clavius must confront issues he cannot reconcile in his mind concerning "the Nazarene".  

     Risen is a high quality production with fine acting, script and plot.  Fiennes is utterly believable in the role of Clavius and gives an award worthy performance.  While Clavius is obviously not part of any gospel narrative, his presence in the story changes none of the key elements of history, nor does it affect the overall message of Christ's sacrifice.  I almost had the feeling that Clavius was reading the Gospel accounts and imagining himself there and participating to a certain extant. Inserting a fictional character into an historical account is often disastrous in terms of maintaining the integrity of the historical event.  The makers of Risen do a fantastic job of telling a fictional tale within the confines of true history, without losing the accuracy of the history itself.  Kudos to the writers, directors and producers for finding a way to entertain and educate.  

     Risen is an inspiring tale that is suitable for all but the youngest of viewers as there is some graphic violence and disturbing scenes of dead bodies in various stages of decay.  The film is PG-13 and is suitable for ages 13 and up, in my opinion. 

    I highly endorse and recommend this film and plan on owning it when it comes out on DVD.  Go see Risen this Resurrection Day season, you will not be disappointed.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


My good friend John Isenhower shared his thoughts on obedience and I felt compelled to share those thoughts here.


    Obedience might be a thing we don't understand.  We have been brought up in a world where there is no accountability.  We are raised by our grandparents or a school system or babysitter, so our parents can both work 60 hours per week to maintain worldly standards.  Eventually, that causes unfaithfulness, and/or stress on the marriage, which ends in divorce.  Then we are down to a broken home, being bounced back and forth like a ping pong ball.  At that point, we are counting down the days until we are 18, and life will be so much better.  We reach this dream age and we realize, we haven't been taught one thing, except, it's all about us.  We don't know how to love, we don't know how to share, we don't know how to take care of ourselves, much less the child we are having with the girl we are not married to.  We move right to the government, who will continue to teach us to take, take, take.  This seems to be ok with people because they have not been taught anything different.  There is no model of right and wrong in the world.  God and His word has become so diluted that we, as Christians, are confused on what our lives are supposed look like.  We do not realize that we are supposed to be modeling obedience and accountability.  We are called to stand up and be different than the world, so those who don't know Christ can be directed to Him.
    Through our obedience, we need to be careful to realize that God has put us in His spotlight or others to see.  Not to see us, but Christ in us.  God created us for His purpose, not our own.  He should live in the driver seat of our lives, not the passenger seat. God should most definitely not live in the back seat, which is where He ends up most of the time.  This is the reason we spend so much time trying to justify sin, instead of guiding others in the direction of repenting of theirs.  I am thankful that God gave His Son to be a perfect example of the live we should be living.  There is no if, ands, or buts, about it.  If we truly look at the words of Jesus Christ for what they are, we either choose to obey or disobey.  There is clearly no in between.

John Isenhower is the director of the Knoxville chapter of Relevant ministries, a homeless outreach.  His passion for sharing the Gospel with the homeless has motivated me step outside my comfort zone, for which I am very grateful. John's true passion is evangelism and discipleship and I am proud to call him my friend.