All Is Well, There is Peace and Safety

(I Thessalonians 5)

Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians is one of the earliest of his writings. In this letter, Paul offers comfort in the midst of their persecution, by teaching concerning the return of Christ. The subject of the second coming of Christ permeates the letter, which brought encouragement for them all. Verse ten, we read, And look forward to and await the coming of His Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead- YAHSHUA, Who personally rescues and delivers us out of and from the wrath which is coming and draws us to Himself.  The coming wrath of God, long time been taught, is certain as is the deliverance of His people from it. The world today, has turned toward its destruction in an unprecedented way and so fast, everyone is in awe! Peace, is the cry. The more it cries for peace, the more chaos is created, as to shape the world into one order, under the power of a few, and ultimately, one leader. The world’s government’s sovereignty is now challenged, and pressured into doing what has been dictated. The news sounds the same everywhere.  The world, as it is today, dresses alike, eats the same foods, and now it is working on one religion system. Unity, as in one order of government, and one religion, applied to the entire world, is their way to bring about “peace” through one man, the antichrist. That’s what they think and are working hard toward that goal to make it happen on their watch. The Bible says, When people are saying, all is well and secure and, There is peace and safety, then in a moment unforeseen destruction will come upon them as suddenly as labor pains come upon a woman with child; and they shall by no means escape, for there will be no escape (vs.3). In the words of YAHSHUA, But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened  and depressed with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to this life and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; for it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth. Keep awake then and watch at all times, praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man (Luke 21:34-36).

Purposes of the Tribulation

The purposes for the great tribulation are clearly stated in the book of Daniel chapter nine: to finish transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place (vv. 24). Summarizing all, it is to make an end of wickedness and wicked ones.  When YAHSHUA came in the period of the sixty-ninth weeks of the seventy weeks of years given to the Jewish nation, He took upon Himself the penalty of our sin and iniquity, He suffered the pain of the tribulation and of hell, so to deliver those who would accept Him. Those who believe in Him go through the process of regeneration, and sanctification and ultimately glorification through the new birth.  As He told Nicodemus, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you that unless a person is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God; unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is born of flesh is flesh; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. God so greatly loved the world that He gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life; for God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; but he who does not believe in Him is judged already, because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God; The [basis of the] judgment lies in this: The Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works were evil” (John 3:16-19).

The Parable of the Fig Tree

                               (Matt. 24:32-35; Mark 13: 28-32; Luke 21: 29-33)

From the fig tree learn this lesson: as soon as its young shoots become soft and tender and it puts out its leaves, you know of a surety that summer is near. So also when you see these signs (24:1-31) all taken together coming to pass, you may know of surety that He is near, at the very doors. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away till all these things taken together take place. Sky and earth will pass away, but My word will not pass away (Matt. 24:32-35).

This parable of the fig tree representing the reestablishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and the space of generation of forty years in its relationship has been miss- interpreted by many, with the belief that in that generation of forty years after the birth of Israel, the Second Coming can happen.

According to the book, In the footsteps of the Messiah by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, there are two errors in this belief: (1) the Bible does not limit the period of a generation to be forty years, for the term “generation” can be twenty, forty, seventy, eighty and one hundred years. The only place where the term generation is given a specific time is found in Genesis 15:13-16, which is one hundred years. It says: And [God] said to Abram, Know positively that your descendants will be strangers dwelling as temporary residents in a land that is not theirs, and they will be slaves there and will be afflicted and oppressed for 400 years. But I will bring judgment on that nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions… and in the fourth generation they shall come back here again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete. “And in the fourth generation” of one hundreds Israel shall come back to their land.

He Brings Her to the Banquet Table

(Song of Solomon 2)

The Song of Solomon is for most part misunderstood, because of lack of understanding of its meanings. The carnal and human mind in their interpretation misses the point and the context for what it was written.  It is impossible to read this book and understand it outside its spiritual sphere. One cannot read it with a carnal mind as one reads any book. The author of the Song of Solomon’s book is the Creator of man and woman, the Designer and the establisher of marriage between the two. Song of Songs is a depiction of marriage as God intended for it to be; it is a love song. It exalts the virtue of love between a man and a woman- husband and his wife. It shows the intimacy between the two, their hard times and the ultimately victory in their union.

Chapter two expresses a beautiful dialog of love and caring between the two. The bridegroom, in his desire to have his bride with Him, invites her to come up. The place He invites her to is close to Him. He says, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away; For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing as come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land; the fig tree puts forth and ripens her green figs, and the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away (2:10-13). It is the season when life is expressed everywhere in the spring of life. The season to celebrate. The horizon springs up with new colors of life. This is figurative of Christ’s and His bride’s relationship. Winter, a thing of the past in color of lifeless grey is no more.  For it symbolizes hardships and trouble.. “Rise up My love” implies the rapture. His invitation comes with eternal blessings in His presence. It is the time for His bride to celebrate her redemption! A time to sing. The intimacy of His words compels His bride to respond in a loving way.  “My Beloved is mine and I am His.” YAHSHUA, as the church bridegroom, finally takes complete possession of His bride, whom He has bought with His own blood, by calling her to her new home. As Paul mentioned, “And so always we shall be with the Lord!” In His priestly prayer our Lord YAHSHUA prayed, Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; You loved Me before the foundation of the world (John 17: 24).

Israelites Left in the Desert

After the number of days in which you spied out the land, even forty days, for each day a year shall you bear and suffer for your iniquities, even for forty years, and you shall know My displeasure (Numbers 14:34).

When God called Israel out of the Egypt, He gave them instructions and guidance on how to ordain their lives in order to enter the Promised Land successfully.  But Israel’s sin of unbelief and idolatry followed by the hardening of their hearts became a stumbling block on their way there.  In their stubbornness, Israel closed the eyes of their hearts to the miraculous deeds performed on their behalf, as in the opening of the Red Sea to save them from the Egyptian’s army;  how God had satisfied their hunger with heavenly manna;  the visible presence of God in their midst in a pillar of fire by night  to give them light on their journey and a cloud by day to protect them from the heat of the day. Nothing seemed to matter to them.

After having wandered for three days, they went through the wilderness of Shur, where there was no water. In panic, they murmured, complained and doubted and undermined the faithfulness of God. Yet, lovingly, God blessed them with twelve springs of water, one for each tribe, and seventy palm trees. God used the number seventy to form the nation of Israel; Jacob’s family consisted of seventy people when they left for Egypt. The number seventy is also connected with God’s punishment of Israel; so those seventy palm trees were speaking to them of future seventy years of captivity in Babylon. It is prophesized in the book of Daniel that seventy weeks of years (70×7) have been given to them to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness and to seal up the vision and prophecy and to anoint the most Holy (Daniel 9:24). That was the frame of time that God gave Israel for forgiveness in the number 70×7= 490 years. There is one more week of years left for the completion of God’s plan in the life of Israel.

When They Got Into the Boat

(Matthew 14)

The death of John the Baptist, lead YAHSHUA to withdraw to a solitary place by Himself. It was a time of reflection; a time alone with the Father, not because He did not know John’s future, but to consider His position in the world without his forerunner, who openly declared that him to be the Messiah. The timing for all to happen was perfect, as His ministry reached out with healings to all who needed them; not only physical healing, but also spiritual. It was a busy time for YAHSHUA and His disciples. The news about Him had reached far into Israel, as well into other countries at the time of John’s death. It was a solemn hour for Him, nevertheless, enough to want to spend a time alone. YAHSHUA must have spent the entire night praying, as it was His custom to do. The crowds came in the morning and stayed with Him all day until the day was over.  He satisfied them all with healings and with food in a miraculous way. They counted about 5,000 men without the women and children. That was the perfect timing, indeed for Him to manifest Himself as the Messiah through the supernatural happenings that only He as the Son of God could do. When the crowds heard where He had gone, they followed Him on foot. That in itself confirmed the importance of His ministry. He looked at the crowds with His heart and He was full of compassion. He saw the matter of the hearts of those who were there anxiously waiting for their healing.

In the Wilderness of Temptation

No nation has ever experienced the physical wilderness as the nation of Israel. Theirs were the trials, the thirst, the hunger for meat, for the onions and other things Egypt offered. To them were given forty years wandering through the desert for the purpose of being formed as a nation under God Himself. Many died; a large number of them; they did not make it through the wilderness to their destination, because they fell to temptation, while their hearts became hardened as they were tested. The signs and wonders they witnessed when God provided for their needs did not serve as a guide to exercise faith in Him. So their journey became a wilderness of temptation in every aspect: physical, emotional and spiritual. That constituted an open door to fail in every time a need arrived. Without waiting for God to provide for their needs, as He promised He was going to, they murmured and complained, even when manna- food from heaven was given them.  They longed the world’s food instead. In Psalm 95 the Psalmist remembers those days with a warning: Harden not your hearts as at Meribah and Massah in the day of temptation in the wilderness, when your fathers tried My patience and tested Me proved Me and saw His work. Forty years long was I grieved and was disgusted with that generation, and I said, It is a people that do err in their hearts, and they do not approve, acknowledge or regard My ways. Therefore I swore in My wrath that they would not enter My rest (95: 8-11), and again in Hebrews 3: 7-11.

Jews and Romans at a Crossroad

(Matthews 27:1-2,11,17-27)

The word crossroad, according to Webster dictionary, is at the point where one must choose between different courses of action.

Sometimes crossroads are unexpected emergencies as consequences of decisions of our own. Sometimes, they come to us for changes in lifestyles, sometimes a warning not to proceed. In today’s study of the event in the lives of Jewish and Roman nations, we will learn that, although a seemly bad decision was made, it was in God’s plan and purpose for the salvation of the nations. The Prophet Isaiah prophesized this many years previously: All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53: 6).  Rejected by His own people, YAHSHUA’S salvation was extended to all nations. John said, He came for His own, and they did not receive Him and did not welcome Him. But to as many as did receive and welcome Him He gave the authority to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in His name (John 1:11-12).

Understanding the Context of the Fig Tree Episode

(Mark 11: 13-15; Matt. 21:18-22)

A week before His death, YAHSHUA rode on a young colt as the ultimate expression of His kingship or messiahship. The people, in return, cried out with voices of happiness, they spread their garments on the road, and others [scattered a layer of] leafy branches, and those who went before and those who followed cried out, Hosanna! Praised and blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord; Praised and blessed in the name of the Lord is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest (Mark 11: 7-9)! What was going on here? Had the people accepted Him as their Messiah? Of course, not. The people wanted Him to overthrow the Romans and become their physical king. They were not interested in the spiritual aspect of His Messiahship. That week was very important for YAHSHUA. In a few days, His ministry as all knew it, would come to an end. He entered Jerusalem riding on a colt fulfilling Zachariah’s prophecy of long ago: Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zach. 9: 9-10). Slowly, He rode to Jerusalem, the city that kills their prophets, and soon, He too, was going to face His death at their demand. He was their rejected and condemned King, riding on to face His death in His city- Jerusalem, the city of the great King. A lot was happening at that time while He was fulfilling the last things before His death without the people around Him knowing or perceiving them.

The Hill Called Olivet Past, Present and Future

(Acts 1: 6-12)

The Mount of Olives is a very significant place in the prophetic pages of the Bible. Its past in the time of Solomon was used by him for idol worship. I Kings 11:7-8: Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abominable idol of Moab, on the hill opposite Jerusalem, and for Moloch the abominable idol of the Ammonites, and He did so for all of his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.  From the distance we only see white sepulchers; nothing that shows life. Death is written all over it. We cannot understand why that mount was used for such a purpose, since it is located in a desirable area for all to see. In spite of this, Mount Olivet is also a place that speaks of the future pointing to the time of the end.