PROPHECY BEFORE OUR EYES… KINGDOM AGAINST KINGDOM…. South Korea warns North against conducting nuclear tests….

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se attends a press conference in Seoul on April 12, 2013.
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se attends a press conference in Seoul on April 12, 2013.
Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:10PM 

Speaking at an international forum in Seoul, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se accused Pyongyang of preparing to test another nuclear device.

"If North Korea goes ahead with another nuclear test as it has publicly warned, it will be a game changer," the foreign minister said on Tuesday.

"The international community will not tolerate North Korea’s nuclear weapons," the top official added.

The remarks come as speculation is growing that authorities in Pyongyang are planning to conduct new nuclear test to coincide with US President Barack Obama’s visit to the peninsula this week.

The developments come as Pyongyang fired short-range missiles in a show of force against the recently held military drills between Seoul and Washington.

Tensions have recently been on the rise between the two Koreas as Pyongyang accuses its southern neighbor and Washington of “rehearsing for an invasion.”

Last year’s drill fuelled tensions, with Pyongyang threatening a pre-emptive nuclear strike and US stealth bombers flying over the peninsula.

Pyongyang recently announced that it would strengthen its nuclear deterrence for self-defense in the face of US threats.

Pyongyang also said that it will take additional measures to demonstrate its might as long as threats from the US persist.

Thousands of US troops are stationed in South Korea and neighboring Japan.

Tensions have been escalating between the two Koreas over the past few months.

Rail lines and other contacts between the two sides were first severed during the 1950-53 Korean War. No peace deal has been signed since then, meaning that Pyongyang and Seoul remain technically at war.

JR/PR

PROPHECY BEFORE OUR EYES… UNITED NATIONS ON THE MOVE… UNESCO Director-General to attend Isfahan Cultural Week

UNESCO Director-General to attend Isfahan Cultural Week

UNESCO Director-General Irina Georgieva Bokova

UNESCO Director-General Irina Georgieva Bokova
Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:54PM GMT

Director-General of UNESCO Irina Georgieva Bokova has been invited to attend Persian cultural programs in the Iranian historical city of Isfahan.

Bokova along with a number of foreign ambassadors and diplomats in Iran are slated to be acquainted with the Iranian traditions, ethnics and cultural heritage.

The participants will also enjoy visiting tourist attractions and historical monuments in Isfahan as well as traditional Iranian music programs.

Ancient Iranian scholar and astronomer Baha ad-Din Muhammad ibn Husayn al-Amili, known as Sheikh Bahai, will be paid tribute during the event on his National Day, April 23.

Organized by the Isfahan Municipality, the event is scheduled to take place from April 23 to 30.

FGP/FGP 

PROPHECY BEFORE OUR EYES… Scientists Confirm Biblical Account of the ‘Fountains of The Deep’….

April 7, 2014 By 

Did noah's flood really happen? | Bible confirmed by science

Science is finally catching up to Scripture.

In yet another confirmation of the Bible’s accuracy, scientists have now confirmed what Scripture refers to as “the fountains of the deep.” In the days of Noah and the Ark, these large pools of water beneath the Earth’s crust burst forth onto the surface providing the massive amounts of water needed for the global flood judgment. What has once been a source of skepticism and mockery for those who doubt the Bible, has now been confirmed by secular scientists, again showing that although written over 3,000 years ago, the Bible’s description of the Earth and its natural properties are indeed accurate.

According to reports:

An international team of scientists led by Graham Pearson, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Arctic Resources at the U of A, has discovered the first-ever sample of a mineral called ringwoodite. Analysis of the mineral shows it contains a significant amount of water — 1.5 per cent of its weight — a finding that confirms scientific theories about vast volumes of water trapped 410 to 660 kilometres beneath Earth’s surface, between the upper and lower mantle.
“This sample really provides extremely strong confirmation that there are local wet spots deep in the Earth in this area,” said Pearson, a professor in the Faculty of Science, whose findings were published March 13 in Nature. “That particular zone in the Earth, the transition zone, might have as much water as all the world’s oceans put together.”
Ringwoodite is a form of the mineral peridot, believed to exist in large quantities under high pressures in the transition zone. Ringwoodite has been found in meteorites but, until now, no terrestrial sample has ever been unearthed because scientists haven’t been able to conduct fieldwork at extreme depths. (source).

 

Ringwoodite diamons found | Scientific support and evidence for Noah's Ark Flood

The chart above shows where the water beneath the Earth’s crust is located.

The vast oceans of water beneath the Earth’s crust is precisely what the Bible describes in the first book of Genesis. In fact, prior to the flood of Noah’s day, it had never rained. The waters from the fountains of the deep, the water reservoirs beneath the Earth’s crust: provided water:

And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. (Genesis 2:5-6).

This was the state of the Earth until the days of the flood judgment. And it would be two-fold: water came from the sky in torrential rain, and from the ground, as The Lord caused the huge oceans of subterranean water to burst forth and shoot onto the surface.

And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. (Genesis 7:10-11).

 

Evidence for Biblical flood from science | How did the Bible flood water cover the mountains?

A sample of the Ringwoodite diamond.

Gaines Johnson, a Christian geologist and author of “The Bible, Genesis and Geology” explains this occurrence from a scientific standpoint:

“Geysers occur when waters in underground chambers are heated by the surrounding host rock until the pressure and temperature cause them to flash to steam and erupt upwards. When the chamber is emptied, replacement water flows back into the chamber, the replacement water is heated, and the cycle repeats. An excellent example of this is seen in Yellowstone National Park’s “Old Faithful” geyser.
According to what is written in the Scriptures, the fountains of Noah’s flood may have been a similar form of geyser activity on a massive, world-wide scale, concentrated along the mid-oceanic ridge system. A careful reading of Genesis 7:6-10 seems to indicate that the flood waters were already rising for about seven days before the fountains “were broken up” (verse: 11)….
Careful parsing of the above passage indicates that great amounts of water were already being added to the Earth’s seas at least seven days before the rains even began. This means that sea level was already rapidly rising, flooding low lying coastal areas and sending panicked low-land inhabitants inland from the rising seas. Meanwhile, presumably up on much higher ground, Noah and his family took shelter on the Ark and waited, while the massive gopher wood vessel remained firmly nested in its construction frame, unmovable and secure until the rising waters lifted it from its resting place.
The great volume of water this early in the flood event could only come from massive undersea “fountains” beginning to breech the crust all along the mid-oceanic ridge system. But this preliminary out-flow was still insufficient to breech the ocean’s surface. The volume of underwater displacement would, however, be sufficient enough to generate global tsunami (tidal waves) activity, quickly drowning inhabitants who lived near the seas.


Seven days into the flood the undersea fountains broke through the crust in full fury, and the pressure of the flow sent scalding columns of superheated waters upwards, breeching the ocean’s surface and erupting skyward as a globe-encircling curtain of steam rocketing into the upper atmosphere. As the steam came into contact with the colder air it would condense and produce cloud cover and relentless rainfall on a planetary scale. This is precisely the sequence of events described in this part of the passage:
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.’”  (Gen 7:11-12 KJV)  (source).

At the end of the flood, the Bible again accounts for the fountains of the deep being ‘stopped’
and the water returning back into the ground:

And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;  And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.  And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.  And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen. (Genesis 8:1-5).

When The Lord gave the Ten Commandments to Moses he also referenced this underground water source:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (Exodus 20:4).

Ezekiel 26 is an address of judgment upon the city of Tyre. In it the Bible recounts how this island city would be destroyed by water and this Divine judgment will come from “the deep”:

 And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which wast strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it! Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure.For thus saith the Lord God; When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee; -Ezekiel 26:17-19.

Answering Skeptics

Proof of the Biblical flood | Tectonic Plate shifts

The area known to geologists as “the Ring of Fire” is a primary place for water to break through to the Earth’s surface.

Many have questioned the Biblical account of Noah’s flood since the Bible clearly states that the water was 15 cubits (approximately 25 feet) over every mountain. This would require more water than presently exists on the Earth’s surface. However, with the confirmation of the subterranean oceans, that is now possible (and Johnson also points this out).
Of note is that Johnson wrote these articles years before scientists’ recent discovery. Additionally, scientists have also just recently confirmed that large amounts of water could reach the Earth’s surface through deep sea faults. And the area of the globe with the greatest potential to do so are in the Pacific “ring of fire” volcanic region the precise area Johnson’s article identifies as the most likely source for the great geysers that flooded the Earth in Noah’s day.

Being a born again Christian is not an intellectual pursuit. It is not the result of examining evidence and analyzing data. It comes through faith. It is faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ that saves a person. But Christian faith is not blind faith. It is based on understanding and believing God’s Word. And the Bible confirms that nature itself proves God’s existence. In this way, scientific discoveries that confirm the Bible are indeed helpful and exciting. Pray for more people to look to God’s Word and believe the Gospel as science confirms the Bible – even if they are 3,500 years behind.

Word of the Day… April 6, 2014…

image

Against All Odds

Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.    —2 Chronicles 20:3–4


Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, faced a dilemma. His enemies greatly outnumbered him. To make matters worse, his enemies had joined forces with the other enemies of Israel and were coming to destroy him. One day, someone came to King Jehoshaphat and warned him that a gigantic army was headed his way, bent on his destruction. It was hopeless. There was no way that he could meet this army with what he had. He was going to be destroyed. What did Jehoshaphat do? The Bible says that he “set himself to seek the Lord.” He prayed, “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20:12).


The Lord told Jehoshaphat, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s… . Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17).


Jehoshaphat and his army went out to meet their enemies, but they put the worship team out front. The Bible says that when they began to sing and praise the Lord, the enemy started fighting among themselves and destroyed each other.


Maybe you are facing what seems like an impossible situation right now. You may not be able to see a way out. But God can. Call on Him. Then stand still and see what He will do.


I think this is the perfect devotional to start my week.  I know that in my own life there in nothing our God cannot do!!! He goes before me and makes my crooked path straight.  Have a Simply Heavenly day!!!  God bless you!!!

http://dlvr.it/5KqsqF

Word for the Day…. April 5, 2014….
 
You know those “you can tell you’re going to have a rotten day when” jokes? They always follow with something outlandish—something that’s really bizarre or out of the ordinary. Something like, you can tell you’re going to have a rotten day when your twin sister forgets your birthday.
 
There was a man in the Bible named Job who had a really rotten day—the worst possible day of anyone I’ve ever heard. The Bible tells us Job was very wealthy. He had ten children and a multitude of livestock. Not only that, but Job was also upright, blameless, feared God, and shunned evil (see Job 1:1). He was “Mr. Godly”; God Himself bragged about him (see Job 1:8).
 
So why does Job’s story tend to bother Christians so much? Because of what happened to him. Job 1:13-19 tells us about four rapid-fire disasters that took away everything Job loved and owned: his children, his wealth, and nearly all of his servants. Here was this man—a man who hated evil and loved good—reduced to ashes. Everything that could’ve gone wrong in his life did. And what was his response?
 
"Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’ In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong" (Job 1:20-22).
 
He was an incredibly godly man, but he still suffered immensely. You need to realize there’s no guarantee that when you come to Christ, He’ll take away all your problems and protect you from pain. If you’re godly, that doesn’t mean you’ll never suffer.
 
Look closely at Job’s response. He “arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head” (v. 20)—all signs of mourning. He wasn’t some super spiritual, emotionally aloof individual. His first reaction was to grieve. We need to allow people to grieve when they go through tragedy. It’s a part of life. I still remember the phone call that came when my dad died; it was the same day my wife Lenya lost her pregnancy after three months.
 
We all experience tragedy and grief. But, there are three things we can learn from Job’s response to suffering.
 
Our grasp must be light. Have a loose grip on the things of this world. Like Job said in verse 21, we came into this world with nothing, and we’ll leave this world with nothing. Paul wrote, “Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20).
 
Our God must be enthroned. Job recognized that God is sovereign. In times of extreme suffering, how many of us would be able to say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord”? That’s rare; that’s unexpected; that’s worship. Worship is the act of placing God above everyone and everything else in life.
 
Our goal must be submission. We must take our rightful place before the Lord. A better translation of verse 22 would be, “Job didn’t sin by blaming God for the calamity.” Job didn’t have a rational or even a theological explanation for his suffering, but he still trusted and worshiped God. If Job was able to do that, we can too.
 
We may never know while we’re here on this earth why certain things happen to us. But we do know God is always on the throne. May we never trade in the things we do know for the things we don’t yet know.
 
 
 

I really enjoy these devotionals from Pastor Skip.  He always gets me thinking about my own walk with the Lord and if I am truly walking “IN” Jesus. I have found that in my own life that the Lord is always present even in the middle of my suffering He is right there and is large and in charge.  Sometimes I can’t always see Him when I am in the middle of it but when I have the chance to look back and reflect I can see that Jesus has been with me all along.  He truly is in charge and His timing is always perfect.  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day.  God bless you!!!

Word for the Day…. April 5, 2014….

 

You know those “you can tell you’re going to have a rotten day when” jokes? They always follow with something outlandish—something that’s really bizarre or out of the ordinary. Something like, you can tell you’re going to have a rotten day when your twin sister forgets your birthday.

 

There was a man in the Bible named Job who had a really rotten day—the worst possible day of anyone I’ve ever heard. The Bible tells us Job was very wealthy. He had ten children and a multitude of livestock. Not only that, but Job was also upright, blameless, feared God, and shunned evil (see Job 1:1). He was “Mr. Godly”; God Himself bragged about him (see Job 1:8).

 

So why does Job’s story tend to bother Christians so much? Because of what happened to him. Job 1:13-19 tells us about four rapid-fire disasters that took away everything Job loved and owned: his children, his wealth, and nearly all of his servants. Here was this man—a man who hated evil and loved good—reduced to ashes. Everything that could’ve gone wrong in his life did. And what was his response?

 

"Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’ In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong" (Job 1:20-22).

 

He was an incredibly godly man, but he still suffered immensely. You need to realize there’s no guarantee that when you come to Christ, He’ll take away all your problems and protect you from pain. If you’re godly, that doesn’t mean you’ll never suffer.

 

Look closely at Job’s response. He “arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head” (v. 20)—all signs of mourning. He wasn’t some super spiritual, emotionally aloof individual. His first reaction was to grieve. We need to allow people to grieve when they go through tragedy. It’s a part of life. I still remember the phone call that came when my dad died; it was the same day my wife Lenya lost her pregnancy after three months.

 

We all experience tragedy and grief. But, there are three things we can learn from Job’s response to suffering.

 

Our grasp must be light. Have a loose grip on the things of this world. Like Job said in verse 21, we came into this world with nothing, and we’ll leave this world with nothing. Paul wrote, “Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20).

 

Our God must be enthroned. Job recognized that God is sovereign. In times of extreme suffering, how many of us would be able to say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord”? That’s rare; that’s unexpected; that’s worship. Worship is the act of placing God above everyone and everything else in life.

 

Our goal must be submission. We must take our rightful place before the Lord. A better translation of verse 22 would be, “Job didn’t sin by blaming God for the calamity.” Job didn’t have a rational or even a theological explanation for his suffering, but he still trusted and worshiped God. If Job was able to do that, we can too.

 

We may never know while we’re here on this earth why certain things happen to us. But we do know God is always on the throne. May we never trade in the things we do know for the things we don’t yet know.

 

 

 

I really enjoy these devotionals from Pastor Skip.  He always gets me thinking about my own walk with the Lord and if I am truly walking “IN” Jesus. I have found that in my own life that the Lord is always present even in the middle of my suffering He is right there and is large and in charge.  Sometimes I can’t always see Him when I am in the middle of it but when I have the chance to look back and reflect I can see that Jesus has been with me all along.  He truly is in charge and His timing is always perfect.  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day.  God bless you!!!

Why Is Bible Prophecy Important Now? - Dr. Mark Hitchcock

Prophecy Before Our Eyes…. The Coming Kingdom (Part 24)….

FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014

By Dr. Andy Woods 
Sugar Land Bible Church 

Today’s evangelical world believes that the church is experiencing the Messianic kingdom. To address this type of confusion, we began a study chronicling what the Bible teaches about the kingdom. In this series, the biblical teaching on the kingdom has been surveyed from Genesis to Revelation. We have noted thus far that what the Old Testament predicts concerning an earthly kingdom was offered to Israel during Christ’s First Advent. Yet, the nation rejected this kingdom offer leading to the kingdom’s postponement. In the interim, the kingdom is future as God now pursues aninterim program that includes the church.

In addition, we began scrutinizing a series of texts that “kingdom now" theologians routinely employ in order to argue that the kingdom is a present reality in order to show that none of these passages, when rightly understood, teach a present, spiritual form of the kingdom. We began with the use of alleged "kingdom now" texts in the earthly ministry of Christ, such as "the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 3:24:1710:5-7), “seek first His kingdom" (Matt. 6:33), “until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence" (Matt. 11:12), “the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matt. 12:28), “the kingdom of God is in your midst" (Luke 17:21), “unless one is born again he cannot…enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:3-5), and “some…who are standing here…will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom" (Matt. 16:28).

KINGDOM TAKEN FROM ISRAEL AND GIVEN TO THE CHURCH?

Yet another statement by Christ used by “kingdom now” theologians is found inMatthew 21:43, which says, “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.” Debate persists concerning from whom the kingdom is taken and to whom it is given. “Kingdom now” theologians argue that Christ in verse 43 is teaching that the kingdom will be permanently taken away from Israel and instead given in spiritual form to the church. However, for two primary reasons, this theology of replacement is not supported by this passage. First, the replacement theologian errs in asserting that the kingdom was to be taken away from Israel as a whole. The context indicates that Christ was only speaking to first-century Israel.Matthew 21:45 says, “When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.” This first-century group of unbelieving Israel and her religious leaders is the exclusive group that the kingdom was to be taken away from rather than Israel as a whole at all times and places.

Second, the replacement theologian errs in asserting that the church is the nation that is to receive the kingdom. The “nation” in question cannot be the church since the church is not a nation. In Romans 10:19, Paul writes, “But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, By a nation without understanding will I anger you.” Here, Paul explains how God’s present blessing on the church is currently provoking unbelieving Israel to jealousy. In this description Paul calls the church a non-nation. The singular noun “nation” ethnos is twice used here to depict the church’s lack of national status. After all, the church does not consist of a single nation but rather consists of believers in Jesus Christ from all nations (Gal. 3:28Eph. 2:14-15Col. 3:11Rev. 5:9). Some use First Peter 2:9 to support the idea that the church is a nation. However, this argument incorrectly assumes that First Peter was written to the church at large rather than merely to the believing Jews in the Diaspora. [1]

Rather than seeing the nation as the church, it seems far better to conclude that the nation spoken of in Matthew 21:43 is a future generation of believing Jews. This view fits well with the remaining context of Matthew’s Gospel, which speaks of a physical and spiritual future restoration of national Israel (Matt. 23:38-3924:3125:31). Furthermore, the word nation (ethnos) that is translated “people” or “nation” in Matthew 21:43 is used of national Israel elsewhere in Scripture, such as in John 11:51 and Acts 24:17. [2] Thus, contrary to the “kingdom now” rendering of Matthew 21:43that the kingdom will be taken away from Israel as a whole and instead given in spiritual form to the church, the verse when taken in context actually teaches that the kingdom will be taken away from first-century Israel only and instead given to future believing national Israel in the comingTribulation period and millennial kingdom.

Interestingly, such a divine pattern of working through a subsequent generation after the cutting off of a previous generation would be in harmony with Israel’s history. For example, despite the fact that the Exodus generation failed to attain Canaan due to unbelief (Num. 13–14), God accomplished His purposes through a subsequent generation of believing Jews as recorded in the Book of Joshua. No doubt Matthew’s Hebrew-Christian readers would not only understand this pattern but also recognize its reassertion in the end times drama as God would set aside first-century unbelieving Israel and fulfill His kingdom program through a future generation of believing Israel.

MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD

Yet another statement by Christ used by “kingdom now” theologians is found in John 18:36, where Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” “Kingdom now” theologians use this verse to teach that Christ’s kingdom is entirely spiritual rather than physical. However, for at least threereasons, Jesus did not here deny the one day future arrival of an earthly kingdom. First, Christ made this statement very late in His ministry. By this time, the offer of the kingdom that had been extended to first-century Israel (Matt. 3:24:1710:5-7) had already been rejected (Matt. 12:24) and taken off the table (Matt. 21:43). Thus, in John 18:36, at that specific point in time, Christ was simply explaining that God’s kingdom was no longer an imminent threat to Pilate’s kingdom. Constable notes the specific timing of Christ’s remarks:

Jesus was not denying that His kingdom was an earthly kingdom. He was not saying it was only the spiritual rule of God over the hearts of His people. He was not saying that His kingdom had nothing to do with this world, either. This should be clear from Jesus’ other references to His kingdom as being an earthly kingdom. His point was that He and His kingdom were not a present threat to Rome (cf. 18:10-11). It was non-threatening because God had postponed the messianic kingdom—due to Israel’s unbelief—though Jesus did not explain this to Pilate. [3]

Second, the final clause of John 18:36 contains the Greek word nyn, which is typically translated “now.” This final clause could therefore be translated, “but now My kingdom is not from here” (NKJV; italics added). Thus, the idea is “My kingdom is not now established.” In other words, Christ was not denying the kingdom’s ultimate arrival upon earth. Rather, he was only denying its immediate arrival. Craven explains the significance of the insertion of “now”:

In this utterance, it is contended that our Lord intended to declare to Pilate that the kingdom He came to establish was not after the manner of the kingdoms of this world, i. e., not external, political. It is admitted that the utterance considered in itself will bear this interpretation; but it will also bear one consistent with the theory herein advocated, especially in view of the introduction of nyn in the last clause of the verse, which may be regarded as a particle of time—My kingdom is not now established. Which of these interpretations are we to adopt? The one supposes that our Lord whispered into the ear of a heathen (neither the disciples nor the Jews were in the Pretorium, ver. 28), the great truth concerning His kingdom, which he had not only concealed from His disciples (hid from them in a bewildering enigma) but a few hours before on the solemn occasion of the institution of the Supper, Luke 22:2930; but which, also, He continued to conceal throughout the forty days of His subsequent continuance with them, during which time He is represented as “speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God,” Acts 1:3, and as opening “their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures,” Luke 24:45! The other interpretation supposes that He spake in consistency with His previous and subsequent teaching. [4]

Third, rather than denying its future, terrestrial reality, Christ was here simply making a statement as to the His kingdom’s ultimate origin or source. When Christ explained “My kingdom is not of this world” (italics added), the word translated “of” is the Greek preposition ek. McClain notes its significance: “The preposition is ek, indicating source or originating cause. His kingdom does not originate in the present cosmos or world system.” [5] Constable similarly explains, “Jesus’ kingdom is ‘not of this realm’ or ‘from another place’ (Gr. ouk enteuthen, lit. not from this place) in another sense. It will come down from heaven to the earth rather than originating from the earth. It will begin when Jesus comes down from heaven to earth at His Second Coming.” [6]

Because the kingdom ultimately originates from heaven, it is referred to as “the kingdom of heaven” by John (Matt. 3:1-2), Christ (Matt. 4:17), and the Twelve (Matt. 10:5-7). It is also called “the kingdom of heaven” since the kingdom will be inaugurated by the “God of heaven.” Notice how Daniel connects this “God of heaven” with His coming kingdom: “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed…” (Dan. 2:44; italics added). In sum, rather than teaching that His kingdom is spiritual only, in John 18:36, Christ simply explains that the future kingdom, which will one day come to the earth, ultimately originated from or is sourced in heaven. Thus, when it is understood that Christ made this statement after the kingdom offer had been withdrawn and that this verse only focuses upon the kingdom’s immediacy and origin or source, then it can be concluded that John 18:36 makes no contribution to “kingdom now” theology.

(To Be Continued…)

FINDING YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFT: Hal Lindsey Report: 3/28/14

Here is another great Hal Lindsey prophecy update for the week ending March 28, 2014… Exciting News As We Move Ever Closer To The Rapture… Maranatha!!!

 

Prophecy Before Our Eyes… I Had to share this… COMMENTARY: Russia, Crimea and the Middle East in Bible Prophecy….

Many people are wondering if the Crimean crisis has anything to do with fulfillment of Bible Prophecy.

First let’s line up some of the facts in order to understand the effect of this crisis on the Middle-East.

The Russian intervention in the Crimea is more direct and dramatic than the one in Syria, with actual troops deployed. But there are similarities. One of the little-noted rationales for Russian support for the Baath government in Damascus is that it is seen as more favorable, being secular and minority-dominated, toward Syria’s roughly 2-3 million Christians, the bulk of them Eastern Orthodox (i.e. the same branch of Christianity that predominates in Russia and among ethnic Russians in the Ukraine). Indeed, there are more Eastern Orthodox Christians in Syria than in Crimea. Russian President Vladimir Putin is giving as a rationale for troop deployments in Crimea that the ethnic Russian population there is in danger from Ukrainian nationalists.

In both cases, Russia is exaggerating. The vast majority of Syrians who rose up against the Baath were moderates. Only when the regime of Bashar al-Assad responded to peaceful protests with massive military force did the opposition militarize, at which point Sunni extremists and al-Qaeda affiliates came to the fore as seasoned fighters with substantial Gulf money. Most oppositionists are still moderates and most Syrians want more freedoms, not a Taliban state on the Euphrates. The Russian official press often slams those who oppose its provision of huge amounts of money and arms to al-Assad as backing “al-Qaeda,” but that is propaganda.

Likewise the popular movement in Ukraine against President Viktor Yanukovych was not primarily led or fueled by nationalist extremists. Most who went to the streets in Kyiv were disturbed at Yanukovych’s neo-authoritarian tendencies, his acquiescence in Moscow’s demand that he move away from the European Union, and his jailing of his opponent in the 2010 elections (Yulia Tymoshenko) on what seem likely to have been trumped up charges. There is zero evidence of ethnic Russians in Crimea being menaced by Ukrainian nationalists, but plenty of evidence of foreign Russian forces intervening there. Of course, now that Putin has violated Ukrainian sovereignty so blatantly, there could be a backlash against Ukrainian Russians; Putin might even secretly hope for such polarization as a pretext for further intervention.

Those in the Middle East opposed to Russian backing for the Baath regime in Syria are also unhappy about the Russian intervention in Crimea.

Turkey is the country with most at stake. In essence, it is surrounded by countries it which Russia has intervened, with Syria to its south and Crimea just across the Black Sea to its north. Turkey has a special interest in Crimea. Today, on the order of 12% of the 2 million residents of the peninsular are Tatars, i.e. Turkic-speaking Muslims, though before Russia’s annexation of the territory from the Ottoman Empire in 1784, it was all Tatar. Russians immigrated in (they are now almost 60% of the population, with a quarter being ethnically Ukrainian). Stalin ethnically cleansed the Crimean Tatars during WW II, but after the fall of the Soviet Union some 300,000 have gradually returned. Turkey is as interested in the fate of the Crimean Tatars as Russia is in that of the Crimean Russians.

Moreover, Turkey is opposed to Russian policy in Syria. So it is no surprise that Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu was in Kyiv this weekend consulting with the new Ukrainian interim government. Turkey is the world’s 17th largest economy (by nominal GDP), but cannot really offer Ukraine much beyond moral support itself. Still, it is part of NATO and the Crimea crisis will increase its worth in the eyes of that organization. Because the Turkish navy is on the Black Sea, NATO is on the Black Sea.

Iran is likely to side strongly with Moscow in this crisis, and may benefit from it substantially. Of course, Iran is also concerned about the welfare of the Crimean Muslim community. But it should be remembered that Tehran has backed Christian Armenia against Muslim-majority Azerbaijan, so you can’t read off its foreign policy from its supposed Islamic commitments.

The conservative Iranian daily Hemayat editorialized on Sunday:

“Hemayat [conservative]: “Many consider Ukraine as the new battleground between the West and Russia. Now that Russia is mulling military action against Ukraine, there are a few points that Russia is taking into consideration with regards to Ukraine. First, Ukraine’s economy, especially its energy sector, is dependent on Russia. Half of Europe’s gas supplies are imported from Russia via Ukraine’s soil. Therefore, Ukraine cannot ignore Moscow and the West cannot exclude Moscow from Ukraine’s equations either. The West will try to use the new Ukrainian government to enhance its bargaining leverage against Moscow. Being aware of this, Moscow will try to maintain its interests in Ukraine, especially since the economic crisis in the West has made it unable to provide considerable assistance to Ukraine. [Western officials’] current remarks are just aimed at helping the self-declared rulers of Ukraine establish their power.” (Editorial by Ali Tatmaj headlined: “Moscow’s strategies”)”

President Obama is threatening Russia with the same kinds of international sanctions Washington has applied to Iran over the latter’s pro-Palestinian stance and its civilian nuclear enrichment program.

China more or less defies the US on those Treasury Department sanctions, but Russia had in the past been willing to allow UN Security Council votes against Iran, which involved sanctions. If Putin now faces the same techniques from Treasury as Tehran has suffered from, he may well start protecting Iran at the UNSC and allowing Russian banks to do more open business there. (Before, they had to worry about being sanctioned by the US, but if they are already sanctioned, they may as well make some money in Iran). Russian firms like Gazprom may also decide to go in to develop Iranian natural gas, if they are under sanctions anyway.

Moreover, an attempt by President Obama to sanction the world’s 9th largest economy could well permanently blunt US financial power. Who would want the dollar as a reserve currency and who would want a US-dominated international currency exchange regime if you knew at any moment it could be weaponized against you? Russia and possibly China together could begin working on an alternative to US stranglehold over global finance.

Russia, China and Central Asia have formed the Shanghai Cooperation Council as an implicit challenge to the Bretton Woods institutions. Iran applied for membership but was only given observer status. If Putin feels that SCO has to up its game in response to US sanctions on the Russian Federation, perhaps he’d push to admit Iran.

With rumors flying that Iraq may break US sanctions by purchasing Iranian weaponry, the current crisis could be another impetus toward Iranian reassertion, with Russian backing.

Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Gulf oil monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council are already at odds with Russia over its Syria policy. They are also upset about the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran. They are complaining about US disengagement from the region and ‘weakness,’although the US has never intervened directly in eastern Europe and cannot be expected to. The GCC’s quiet support for the US invasion and occupation of Iraq demonstrates where they want to take US policy, and they seem unrepentant about that disaster, desiring a repeat in Syria.

Egypt’s interim government is miffed at US criticisms of the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government of Muhammad Morsi last July 3. It has declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization and has mobilized against Sunni extremists in the Sinai. Cairo has swung its support to Bashar al-Assad, who is struggling in Syria against the Muslim Brotherhood and Sunni extremists. (This is an awkward situation, since Egypt’s major financial patron is Saudi Arabia, which wants the Baath government in Syria gone, but also does not want to see the Brotherhood come to power in Damascus, since Saudi conservative monarchism is challenged by the Brotherhood’s republican populism.)

Egypt has sent delegations to Moscow in search of Russian weapons and support, and as a way of diversifying from its mainly American and Gulf patrons. To my knowledge the foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy (kept over in the new Ibrahim Mehleb cabinet just formed) has not said anything about Crimea. Likely Cairo will try to avoid annoying Putin, whose capitalist, nationalist neo-authoritarianism may be seen as a model for Egypt by its current elites. Still, if the US does sanction Russia, Egypt may be forced to reconsider buying arms from the latter.

If Russia is pushed further into Tehran’s arms by US sanctions then ironically Bashar al-Assad and Sayyid Ali Khamenei may be the biggest winners of the Crimean crisis. At the same time, Turkey could also be a winner in the sense that its value to NATO, the US and the European Union will be much enhanced because of its Black Sea presence and its own historical interests in Crimea.

If the Turkish regime will not be respected by the west - Russia and it’s allies are the option they will choose. After all the west has never been so weak as it is now under the leadership of Barack Obama.

Russia,Turkey and Iran together, responding to the fall of their Syrian ally - is all we need to see as Ezekiel 38 and 39 are coming to pass.
Photo: COMMENTARY: Russia, Crimea and the Middle East in Bible Prophecy
************************************************************

Many people are wondering if the Crimean crisis has anything to do with fulfillment of Bible Prophecy.

First let’s line up some of the facts in order to understand the effect of this crisis on the Middle-East.

The Russian intervention in the Crimea is more direct and dramatic than the one in Syria, with actual troops deployed. But there are similarities. One of the little-noted rationales for Russian support for the Baath government in Damascus is that it is seen as more favorable, being secular and minority-dominated, toward Syria’s roughly 2-3 million Christians, the bulk of them Eastern Orthodox (i.e. the same branch of Christianity that predominates in Russia and among ethnic Russians in the Ukraine). Indeed, there are more Eastern Orthodox Christians in Syria than in Crimea. Russian President Vladimir Putin is giving as a rationale for troop deployments in Crimea that the ethnic Russian population there is in danger from Ukrainian nationalists.

In both cases, Russia is exaggerating. The vast majority of Syrians who rose up against the Baath were moderates. Only when the regime of Bashar al-Assad responded to peaceful protests with massive military force did the opposition militarize, at which point Sunni extremists and al-Qaeda affiliates came to the fore as seasoned fighters with substantial Gulf money. Most oppositionists are still moderates and most Syrians want more freedoms, not a Taliban state on the Euphrates. The Russian official press often slams those who oppose its provision of huge amounts of money and arms to al-Assad as backing “al-Qaeda,” but that is propaganda.

Likewise the popular movement in Ukraine against President Viktor Yanukovych was not primarily led or fueled by nationalist extremists. Most who went to the streets in Kyiv were disturbed at Yanukovych’s neo-authoritarian tendencies, his acquiescence in Moscow’s demand that he move away from the European Union, and his jailing of his opponent in the 2010 elections (Yulia Tymoshenko) on what seem likely to have been trumped up charges. There is zero evidence of ethnic Russians in Crimea being menaced by Ukrainian nationalists, but plenty of evidence of foreign Russian forces intervening there. Of course, now that Putin has violated Ukrainian sovereignty so blatantly, there could be a backlash against Ukrainian Russians; Putin might even secretly hope for such polarization as a pretext for further intervention.

Those in the Middle East opposed to Russian backing for the Baath regime in Syria are also unhappy about the Russian intervention in Crimea.

Turkey is the country with most at stake. In essence, it is surrounded by countries it which Russia has intervened, with Syria to its south and Crimea just across the Black Sea to its north. Turkey has a special interest in Crimea. Today, on the order of 12% of the 2 million residents of the peninsular are Tatars, i.e. Turkic-speaking Muslims, though before Russia’s annexation of the territory from the Ottoman Empire in 1784, it was all Tatar. Russians immigrated in (they are now almost 60% of the population, with a quarter being ethnically Ukrainian). Stalin ethnically cleansed the Crimean Tatars during WW II, but after the fall of the Soviet Union some 300,000 have gradually returned. Turkey is as interested in the fate of the Crimean Tatars as Russia is in that of the Crimean Russians.

Moreover, Turkey is opposed to Russian policy in Syria. So it is no surprise that Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu was in Kyiv this weekend consulting with the new Ukrainian interim government. Turkey is the world’s 17th largest economy (by nominal GDP), but cannot really offer Ukraine much beyond moral support itself. Still, it is part of NATO and the Crimea crisis will increase its worth in the eyes of that organization. Because the Turkish navy is on the Black Sea, NATO is on the Black Sea.

Iran is likely to side strongly with Moscow in this crisis, and may benefit from it substantially. Of course, Iran is also concerned about the welfare of the Crimean Muslim community. But it should be remembered that Tehran has backed Christian Armenia against Muslim-majority Azerbaijan, so you can’t read off its foreign policy from its supposed Islamic commitments.

The conservative Iranian daily Hemayat editorialized on Sunday:

“Hemayat [conservative]: “Many consider Ukraine as the new battleground between the West and Russia. Now that Russia is mulling military action against Ukraine, there are a few points that Russia is taking into consideration with regards to Ukraine. First, Ukraine’s economy, especially its energy sector, is dependent on Russia. Half of Europe’s gas supplies are imported from Russia via Ukraine’s soil. Therefore, Ukraine cannot ignore Moscow and the West cannot exclude Moscow from Ukraine’s equations either. The West will try to use the new Ukrainian government to enhance its bargaining leverage against Moscow. Being aware of this, Moscow will try to maintain its interests in Ukraine, especially since the economic crisis in the West has made it unable to provide considerable assistance to Ukraine. [Western officials'] current remarks are just aimed at helping the self-declared rulers of Ukraine establish their power.” (Editorial by Ali Tatmaj headlined: “Moscow’s strategies”)”

President Obama is threatening Russia with the same kinds of international sanctions Washington has applied to Iran over the latter’s pro-Palestinian stance and its civilian nuclear enrichment program.

China more or less defies the US on those Treasury Department sanctions, but Russia had in the past been willing to allow UN Security Council votes against Iran, which involved sanctions. If Putin now faces the same techniques from Treasury as Tehran has suffered from, he may well start protecting Iran at the UNSC and allowing Russian banks to do more open business there. (Before, they had to worry about being sanctioned by the US, but if they are already sanctioned, they may as well make some money in Iran). Russian firms like Gazprom may also decide to go in to develop Iranian natural gas, if they are under sanctions anyway.

Moreover, an attempt by President Obama to sanction the world’s 9th largest economy could well permanently blunt US financial power. Who would want the dollar as a reserve currency and who would want a US-dominated international currency exchange regime if you knew at any moment it could be weaponized against you? Russia and possibly China together could begin working on an alternative to US stranglehold over global finance.

Russia, China and Central Asia have formed the Shanghai Cooperation Council as an implicit challenge to the Bretton Woods institutions. Iran applied for membership but was only given observer status. If Putin feels that SCO has to up its game in response to US sanctions on the Russian Federation, perhaps he’d push to admit Iran.

With rumors flying that Iraq may break US sanctions by purchasing Iranian weaponry, the current crisis could be another impetus toward Iranian reassertion, with Russian backing.

Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Gulf oil monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council are already at odds with Russia over its Syria policy. They are also upset about the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran. They are complaining about US disengagement from the region and ‘weakness,’although the US has never intervened directly in eastern Europe and cannot be expected to. The GCC’s quiet support for the US invasion and occupation of Iraq demonstrates where they want to take US policy, and they seem unrepentant about that disaster, desiring a repeat in Syria.

Egypt’s interim government is miffed at US criticisms of the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government of Muhammad Morsi last July 3. It has declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization and has mobilized against Sunni extremists in the Sinai. Cairo has swung its support to Bashar al-Assad, who is struggling in Syria against the Muslim Brotherhood and Sunni extremists. (This is an awkward situation, since Egypt’s major financial patron is Saudi Arabia, which wants the Baath government in Syria gone, but also does not want to see the Brotherhood come to power in Damascus, since Saudi conservative monarchism is challenged by the Brotherhood’s republican populism.)

Egypt has sent delegations to Moscow in search of Russian weapons and support, and as a way of diversifying from its mainly American and Gulf patrons. To my knowledge the foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy (kept over in the new Ibrahim Mehleb cabinet just formed) has not said anything about Crimea. Likely Cairo will try to avoid annoying Putin, whose capitalist, nationalist neo-authoritarianism may be seen as a model for Egypt by its current elites. Still, if the US does sanction Russia, Egypt may be forced to reconsider buying arms from the latter.

If Russia is pushed further into Tehran’s arms by US sanctions then ironically Bashar al-Assad and Sayyid Ali Khamenei may be the biggest winners of the Crimean crisis. At the same time, Turkey could also be a winner in the sense that its value to NATO, the US and the European Union will be much enhanced because of its Black Sea presence and its own historical interests in Crimea.

If the Turkish regime will not be respected by the west - Russia and it’s allies are the option they will choose. After all the west has never been so weak as it is now under the leadership of Barack Obama.

Russia,Turkey and Iran together, responding to the fall of their Syrian ally -  is all we need to see as Ezekiel 38 and 39 are coming to pass.



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