"In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God's chosen ones.” -Jesus- Mt. 24:22 (NLT)
Greetings in Jesus' Name!
Have you ever had a total stranger come up to you while you were having lunch and say, “Will you be in a documentary film tomorrow for our production company?”
This is what actually happened to me in Jerusalem. The invitation came totally out of the blue so I knew that it was an open door from the Lord. The film company is Jewish-owned; but the producers wanted to film a group of Christians on the Mt. of Olives and a few other places, asking them questions about their faith. My job was to round up a group of believers, which I easily did.
Here are some of the pictures from the film shoot: http://picasaweb.google.com/davidjrojas/ChristmasDay?authkey=q_RqnAUIr-g
God works in wonderful ways! What a great opportunity. I was able to share my personal testimony about what Jesus has done to change my life and who He is. Normally Jewish people do not want to hear anything about Jesus. But the main purpose of this documentary was to find out what Christians had to say as they visited Israel.
The film company even provided a free lunch, taxi service to each site, and a tour guide who explained the history every place we went. Without even trying, God made it possible for our testimonies to literally reach millions of people.
PBS will be showing the film throughout Europe, the U.S. and Australia. The movie is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2008. I will be sure to let you know the title of this documentary when I find out myself. If you are interested: http://www.biblicalproductions.com/ There is no doubt about it---we are in the very last days and the return of Jesus is imminent! For decades people have been saying, "Jesus is coming soon!" We in America have heard it so often that the words have almost lost their meaning. Few churches in the U.S. make any reference to His return any more. This message has become “out of style”, because it might make someone feel “uncomfortable”. "Yeah, yeah," people mock, "You Christians have been saying this stuff for decades." In this newsletter I want to present some very startling information to build up your faith. The hope of Jesus' return is one of the basic doctrines in the Bible. The angels in the first chapter of Acts told the disciples "Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but some day He will return from heaven in the same way you saw Him go."
"Everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory (Mk. 13:26)." "The end will come (Mt. 24:14)." "For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so will it be when the Son of Man returns (Mt. 24:27)." "Remember what happened to Lot's wife (Lu. 17:32)!”
Will We Miss It? One thing is for sure. We don't have to wonder if we will miss this event. He has made it very clear that EVERYONE will see Him when He returns! This will not be something done on the sidelines somewhere. This will be headline news, broadcast on every major television station in the world, and it will be screaming headlines in every newspaper and news magazine. Jesus has made it very clear that an end is coming. Some people have embraced the philosophy "same-old, same-old". But it will not always be "same-old, same-old". An end is coming for this sick old world, and there are clear signs everywhere for those whose eyes are open that we are extremely close to the end of all things. We have all seen lightning when it flashes in the sky.
Watching a storm is an incredible experience. I never tire of seeing God express His power in the heavens with explosions of thunder and lightning. Jesus used this as an example of what it will be like when He returns. Power! Majesty! Incredible! No one has ever seen anything like it! Earthquakes in Many Parts of the World! When I was in Jerusalem with my daughter, Martha, suddenly, at 10:40 a.m. one morning an earthquake shook Israel. It was only a 4.2 on the Richter scale, but it was enough to get everyone's attention. The Great Rift Valley begins in Syria and runs all the way down into Africa. The lowest place in the Rift Valley is at the Dead Sea in Israel, 1,300 feet below sea level. This was the epicenter of the earthquake. Seismologists predict that there will be many more earthquakes such as this one, and that they will most certainly increase in intensity. The reason for this is that the Great Rift Valley is a huge fault in the earth. And it is not there by accident. God put it there.
When we go from Jerusalem down to the Dead Sea we actually descend more than 3,700 feet. According to the Bible such a powerful earthquake will shake Israel that a large plain will be created north of Jerusalem all the way to the south of Jerusalem. "From Geba, north of Judah, to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem will become one vast plain (Zech. 14:10)." God is always way ahead of everything. A new settlement, named "Giba'at Ha'arb'a", has been built five and one half miles north of Jerusalem. The spelling of "Geba" and "Giba" is actually insignificant. The English meaning is "The Hill"!
Jesus calls these events "birth pains"! One thing we know for sure, when a woman is about to give birth to a child her contractions become more intense and they become much more frequent. Here are the signs to watch for as we approach the "end of all things": Deception, wars, famines, earthquakes, Christians arrested, torture, imprisonment, betrayal, hatred, false prophets, rampant sin, and love turning cold.
"There will be greater anguish than at any time since the earth began. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God's chosen ones. (Mt. 24:21-22)."
Many Will Rush Here and There
Almost every major city in America has a by-pass highway, usually four or six lanes wide that encircle the entire downtown area. Larger cities, like Beijing, have seven ring roads encircling the business section. Then there are linking roads between each of the circles. It is not uncommon for every circle road and all of the links to be jam-packed full of traffic, sometimes stopped completely for an hour or more. Airports also are so busy that there are times when a person can hardly walk through the terminal to get to his airplane. Lines are everywhere and it's push-push, rush-rush, in order to go anywhere. Five hundred million people travel by air each year inside the United States. That is more than the population of our nation. Statistics show that by 2017 the number of people flying on airliners each year within the United States will be more than one billion. Worldwide the number will be five billion! The United States consumes twenty million seven hundred thirty barrels of oil DAILY. China has five times as many people, but only uses six million five hundred thirty four thousand barrels of oil per day. Worldwide daily consumption is eighty two million two hundred thirty four thousand barrels per day. Our country uses approximately one fourth of all the oil produced. The Bible was very accurate when it said in the last days people would be rushing to and fro (Daniel 12:4). Knowledge Will Increase Daniel also predicted that in the last days knowledge would increase. How could he possibly know such a thing except by the Spirit of God? More than 3,000 new books are published EACH DAY! A week's worth of information in the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century. The number of text messages sent and received each day exceeds the population of the planet. 1.5 exabytes (1.5 X 10 to the 18th) of unique information will be generated worldwide this year . . . more than in the previous 5,000 years. NEC and Alcatel have recently tested third-generation fiber optics that push 10 trillion bits per second down one strand of fiber. This is equal to 1,900 CDs or 150 million simultaneous phone calls, every second. There are over 2.7 billion searches performed on Google each month. To whom were these questions addressed B.G. (before Google)? By 2013 a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computation capability of the human brain. Yes, exactly like the Bible predicted: knowledge is increasing.
The Temple Mount
We all know the story about Abraham and Isaac on Mt. Moriah (Genesis 22:2). What many people do not know is that Mt. Moriah is same place where the Temple Mount is now located. David was told by God to purchase Araunah’s threshing floor 3,000 years ago. It was perhaps the best real estate deal ever made in the history of the world. David paid 50 pieces of silver for it (2 Sam. 24:24)!
Solomon, David's son, erected the first Temple on this location in 953 B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C., which means it stood for 367 years. The second Temple (516 B.C.) was restored by King Herod, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
Today there are thousands of Jewish and Christian people who want to see a Third Temple erected. However, there are some major obstacles. The Arabs erected the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in 688 A.D. and the abomination of desolation is still there. If Israel bulldozed the Dome of the Rock it would start World War III.
A few days ago I made my second visit to The Temple Mount. The first time I went I was able to actually enter the Dome of the Rock and touch the huge stone on which Abraham placed Isaac. This time an imam sat out front and said very gruffly, “Only Muslims.” I could feel the murderous hatred coming out of the man as he glared at me.
Worshiping rocks seems to be the thing in Islam. The Ka’ba in Mecca is also a rock, supposedly part of a fallen meteorite that the Arabs have worshiped centuries before Mohammed was born in 571 A.D. Even though Mohammed never visited Jerusalem, the Muslims have made it their third most holy place, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
The Temple Institute in Jerusalem (you can Google it) has prepared the sacred vessels for the Third Temple. These furnishings are on display, and they have been copied precisely according to the Old Testament instructions. One of the main pieces is the Menorah. This is not a myth; I have been there and seen them myself.
The Menorah Was Moved While I was in Israel this last time. I watched with very great interest as the Jewish leaders moved the six foot high, seven-branched golden candelabra, the Menorah, from the Cardo, where it has been on display for several years. It weighs about 1,000 pounds.They moved it closer to the Temple Mount. In fact, it is so close that when a person stands in front of the Menorah he can easily see the Mount and the Dome of the Rock. Arabs are furious about this, but there is nothing they can do about it. I watched the workers place a bulletproof clear "bubble" around it and over it. The message the Jews are sending to the world by placing the Menorah so near the Kotel (Wailing Wall/Western Wall) is that they are expecting to build the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in anticipation of the coming of their Messiah. But in order to build the Third Temple the Dome of the Rock will have to be destroyed. Any thinking person knows that this will start World War III. So we will all have to wait and watch as the Lord works out the details during this time of the end. Zechariah tells us that when Jesus' feet stand on the Mt. of Olives it will split apart. Half of the mountain will move north and the other half will move south, leaving a very large valley (Zechariah 14:4). As I stood in front of the Menorah and looked at the Mt. of Olives, exactly straight east of the Temple Mount, like the Bible says, it all made sense. The Jews will not have to destroy the Dome of the Rock. When the mountain splits it will take out the Islamic Dome of the Rock in a heartbeat, and the Abomination of Desolation will be gone. Notice that Mark's gospel refers to the Abomination of Desolation as an "it", not a "he". The Abomination of Desolation has been on the Temple Mount for more than one thousand years (since 688 A.D.). When the King of Kings and Lord of Lords returns He will destroy all false idols, demons, and Satan himself. The 700-Mile Walk! While I was in Israel I met four men: George, Gabriel, Arop, and Ngor. They had several things in common. They were all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ; they were all Sudanese; they had all been tortured by Muslims; they had all watched as their mothers, wives, and sisters had been raped and murdered; and they had all walked 700 miles to Israel, the only place of refuge for them in the Middle East. All other countries are Islamic countries. My heart broke as I heard their stories. Muslims attacked them, burned their homes, killed their families, and tortured them. But somehow, by the Grace of God, they were able to escape with the clothes on their backs. They had no money, but one by one they began walking toward the only place of hope for them---Israel. When they arrived in Egypt they received the worst treatment. The Egyptian Muslims were extremely cruel. They went days without eating and they had no shelter.
But as they prayed God led them to some Bedouins who promised to guide them by night across the Egyptian/Israeli border. They had to walk in the hot desert without any water. Those of us in America would have died from that walk across the Sinai. But God kept them alive. Finally they found an Israeli military outpost, and the Jewish soldiers took them in and nursed them back to health. It is a modern day miracle that they are even alive. The plight of the Sudanese refugees has been kept under wraps by the secular press because it refuses to expose the Muslims for the ruthless killers that they are. And the press does not want to take the side of Christians on any issue, even one so glaring and obvious as this one. The “peaceful Muslims” are killing, torturing, and raping Christians in Sudan on a massive scale, more than two million so far. No one is being punished for these horrendous crimes because the Sudanese government officials are Muslims. They not only look the other way as the "infidels" are butchered, they often are the ones doing the killing. Martha's church in Jerusalem is appealing for help for these dear people. The Israeli government has not officially made a decision about what to do with these men. If they are sent back to Egypt they will be killed. Prayer is needed now for these brothers. May God have mercy upon these dear people. Martha in Jerusalem! My daughter, Martha Berg, lives in Israel with her five children. Almost two years ago her husband died from a massive heart attack. The children found him on the bathroom floor early in the morning and went to tell their mother: "We can't wake Daddy up!" There are several reasons why Martha has chosen to remain in Israel. One of them is because she works for a ministry called Shevet Achim. Check out our website (http://www.flc7.com/) to find out the details of what she does. Shevet Achim goes into Gaza and Iraq and brings children who are dying of heart ailments to Jewish doctors in Israel. After the life-saving operations they are returned to their parents. I am writing this newsletter in Jerusalem and there are five Iraqis living in the house with us. Of course, the people from Gaza and Iraq have been told all of their lives what horrible people the Jews and Christians are. When they see the love poured out on them by people like Martha, and they see their children healed, it changes them forever. Shevet Achim is a small bridge of peace between two warring peoples. Boom! Boom! Boom! It was early in the morning when I heard three explosions. Martha was already up and was crossing the street to get some breakfast food from the small store nearby. "Get back in your house!" a soldier shouted. It was only then that she noticed that Prophets Street was cordoned off with yellow tape and “suspicious packages" were lying in the middle of the road. Looking out the window she saw the soldiers release a robot which approached the object. And then the Boom, Boom, Boom of the explosions. Jesus said it. There would be wars. But this time it was right on our doorstep! Yahweh or Hashem? I was walking down the street in Jerusalem when a woman yelled my name. "Hey, Wes!" I was so surprised to see an orthodox Jewish friend. Knowing the customs, I did not even put out my hand to shake her hand. Their rules emphatically state that they cannot touch another man, especially a gentile. But she threw her arms around me and gave me the biggest hug imaginable. "Hey, aren't you still ultra-orthodox?" I asked her. "Of course I am," she replied. "Then what are you doing touching me and giving me a hug?" "Oh, you're special. I've known you a long time." This just blew my mind. Here we were out in public where everyone could see us and she was giving me this big hug. I thought we might get stoned. As we visited I asked her a few questions about her faith and shared some of my own viewpoints about Jesus being Messiah. I know that even when they write the word "God" they spell it "G-d". And in public they never speak the word "Yahweh". If orthodox Jews are standing on a corner visiting and they want to talk about God they use the term "Hashem". So I asked her, "Do you ever say Yahweh?" We do use that name when we pray to Him in private. But we use "Hashem" when we talk about him to one another. I immediately thought about the Scripture in Exodus 3:15: "Yahweh is my eternal name to remember for all generations!" Here I was, standing on a street in Jerusalem thousands of years after this verse was written, witnessing a fulfillment of Exodus 3:15. We may not use the name "Yahweh" much in America, but it is THE NAME in Israel. Literally it means: “I shall be who I shall be.”
Who Is A Jew? The Jewish people believe that if your mother has Jewish blood then you are a Jew. Anyone, from any country in the world, can move to Israel and become an Israeli citizen if they can prove that their mother is Jewish. Another way, but a very difficult and almost impossible way for a gentile to become Jewish is to be proselytized. This means going through the Jewish ceremonies, classes, and all the rigors of the rabbi’s teachings. This process can take years!
The Apostle Paul was one of the most learned men of his time. He spoke at least five languages, was trained at the feet of Gamaliel, a noted rabbi and important scholar. The Apostle Paul was born Jewish and authored books of the Bible that have endured for centuries. God picked the right man for the right job. If there is any man whose writing can be trusted it is that of the Apostle Paul. Here is his definition of being Jewish: "A true Jew is one whose heart is right with God (Romans 2:29)." He goes on to explain that when a person places his faith in God's Son, Jesus, he is adopted into God's family. If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ and believe that God raised Him from the dead, then you are a Jew! Personally, I believe that my whole family is Jewish. This belief is not based on emotion or on family lineage. It is based firmly on the Word of God. There is nothing as sure as God's Word! So every time I see the word "Jew" in the Bible I take it personally. Over and over again the Bible says that the Jewish people would return to the Promised Land in the last days. So why should I be surprised that one of my children, a Jewess, lives in Israel? It is just one more fulfillment of Bible prophecy in these last days.
As the Apostle Paul sat at the feet of Gamaliel, I have had the privilege of sitting at the feet of Dr. Gerald Schroeder (Google him) in Israel, who has two Ph.Ds and has authored The Hidden Face of God and The Science of God. He recently led Prof Antony Flew, the world’s most famous atheist, to faith in God. This has driven The New York Times editors crazy. Dr. Schroeder’s powerful message is that the living God created the universe and sustains it. We are not here by random chance! So whether it is Jewish people returning to Israel from all over the world, Muslims raging, earthquakes, wars, or other signs, the end is near. Jesus is coming again! “Every man who has this hope in him purifies himself (1 John 3:3).”
“The beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them (Rev. 13:7). I believe that the “beast” is Islam and the Dome of the Rock is the abomination of desolation. During these exciting days we should each be asking the Lord to use us and place us in the center of His will.
Very soon the heavens will roll back like a scroll and we will see Jesus face to face. What a day that will be! He is not coming this time as a baby, but as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
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