October 31--Halloween 10/27/23
In America, October 31 is celebrated as Halloween. Depending on the person, that can mean different things. Probably, most people just enjoy an excuse to party. They do not actually celebrate anything other than having the next drink. For children, most enjoy the free candy they get. Oh, and don't forget the costumes they get to wear.
Speaking of costumes, are you aware that during the 1920's through the 1940's, Halloween costumes were created at home? There were no big box stores. A sheet over the head with eye cut out made a ghost; or, a black dress accompanied with the kitchen broom to look like a witch were the most popular. Since then, the Halloween costume has taken on far more imagination, and has been more reflective of the degeneracy of the culture by becoming more ghoulish as the years go by.
But what is Halloween? Ancient people made it is a day to worship or pay tribute to the spirits of the dead. Whether they be your beloved ancestors, cherished church saint, or someone from the past you wish to try to summon up—they all have one thing in common—they are no longer living. October 31st marks the day many, through out the ages, have felt the closes to the spirit world. The opportunity to encounter a ghost, or evil spirits, or even lost loved ones makes one not only curious, but it is also very alluring. Something like when the serpent lured Eve with the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Listening to Satan did not work out well for Eve, and it will not work out well for anyone who dabbles in the occult—even if it is just your first time.
What does this have to do with Bible Prophecy? The Scriptures indicate, that throughout the Tribulation, one form of worship that will continue is devil worship‐ref Rev 9:20. It would make since that our present culture would be far more receptive to occult worship since we are nearing the time of the Tribulation. How receptive is our generation to the occult? Have you ever viewed, or read the books, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “The Vampire Diaries”, “Charmed’, “Penny Dreadful”, “Bewitch”, “Harry Potter”, or any number of fictional works—ll geared to tantalize your senses with the unknown or forbidden? All of these fictional works have a cult following, which translates into a generational range from baby boomers to generation Y fans. And since most do not read their Bibles anymore, they are unaware of the dangers they are in when they associate with the occult.
According to a PEW study done in 2009 they reported, “…this year’s survey finds that religious and mystical experiences are more common today among those who are unaffiliated with any particular religion (30%) than they were in the 1960s among the public as whole (22%).” For those who have already been in contact with a person from the dead, PEW reported that back in 1990 it was 17%, 1996 was 18%, jumping to 2009, it was 29%. Here we can see the populous as a whole are growing more and more familiar with, and have embraced, the idea of the spirit world. But, to many of them, this spirit world of evil can be beat, can be over come, can be marginalized, or controlled by doing certain things. Unfortunately, those things do not translate into anything Biblical—therefore, in the real world, people become like silly women swayed by many evil desires. They are seeking out new things, driven into deeper and deeper darkness—till they find themselves possessed by any number of demons. Repentance is their only hope to escape death and the lake of fire.
Do you believe you are a good person and call yourself a Christian? Many people do profess God, in word. For example, in a 2022 Gallup poll, 81% said they believed in God. That is down from 2012 at 92%. However, when asked if they were convinced that God existed, they replied with a 64%, which was significantly down from previous years. But Christianity is not only on the down swing in the U.S., Britain, (who can be model of all of Europe) had some interesting findings. According to a YouGov.UK survey of 2016, only 55% of people who self‐identified as Christian believed there was a God. However, out of those calling themselves Christians only 41% say they definitely believe in a Creator and only 27% believe in hell. But ask those same Christians if they believe in ghosts, aliens, reincarnation, or karma/ cosmic justice, all of the responses were between 20‐30%.
Is there a spirit world—yes. It is written, God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth‐Jn 4:24. Remember, the Anti‐Christ will make deceit (lies) a success by his influence‐Dan 8:25 NAS. Which do you follow? Truth or lies?
For it is written, And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire‐Rev 20:12,15. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life, and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral persons, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying‐Rev 22:14,15.
Most countries around the world have a day, or days, they set aside to honor the dead. Traditions lead people astray. If you really desire to celebrate someone, consider Jesus Christ who rose from the dead. He holds the keys of death and hell, and enables his faithful followers to escape their horrors. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life-ref Jn14:6. Check out this link if you would like to learn more about Jesus.
Bible Prophecy On The Move 10/11/23
A war in Israel should not go by without reflecting on Bible Prophecy.
As most already know, on Saturday October 7, 2023, (just after the Jewish festival of Sukkot, concluding with Simchat Torah), the terrorist organization known as Hamas, bombarded southern Israel with 2000 rockets. This has been called the most serious bombardment from Gaza since the 11‐day war in 2021. With rockets blazing, and many mines along the border of Gaza and Israel exploding, the terrorists group successfully invaded the land of Israel; the death rate, for the first day, was a staggering 1000 people. Some killed in their beds, burned in their vehicles or apartments, pulled off of scooters and beaten to death, raped, beheaded— gender nor age mattered, even pets were killed. Not only were Israeli′s affected, but also citizens and dual nationals from more than 20 countries were killed, or remain missing, or taken hostage—their common denominator? They were all Jewish. The battle plan for Hamas appears to have included not only the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) outposts and observation sites, but also the targeting of 20 Jewish communities—meaning Hamas wants a real war—no bars hold.
Attacks less reported on were the boats that came ashore near those Israeli communities, and the drones that were able to reach far into the tiny state of Israel with missiles. Meanwhile, there are reports from the IDF, that since the Hamas attack, the terrorist group Hezbollah has fired rockets into northern Israel from both Syria and Lebanon.
How was Hamas able to pull off this malicious attack? How were they able to fire 2000 missiles into Israel in one day? How did Hamas obtain the missiles? First off, in case you know little about the country of Israel and its history, it is not naive regarding her Arab neighbors. (Check out our 08/03/23 blog for more.) That being said, people are wondering how Israel was not aware of the attack? Some are considering that the attack was allowed to happen and are holding the Prime Minister to account—those would be his political enemies. Could Israel′s unpreparedness have anything to do with the fact that many Israeli′s had chosen not to show up for their military work assignments due to protesting the government? The current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has a history of advocating for the safety of the Jewish people—not only in Israel but worldwide. The truth to the unpreparedness of Israel has yet to be examined.
According to an article on military.com, Iran has been a major player in supporting and training Hamas since the 1980′s. And it is clear, that recent liberal U.S. Presidents have been instrumental in helping the Iranians build capital to wage war on their sworn enemy—the Jews. Currently, the U.S. is investigating whether the Iranians did indeed help to fund, train and supply arms to the terrorist group in their latest tactical advance on the Jewish state. There are also questions being raised as to if the funds the Biden Administration released last week, of $6 million dollars to Iran in a prisoner exchange, was somehow commandeered to the terrorist group. There are even suspensions that another terrorist group, Isis (also financially backed by Iran), was involved, at the very least as trainers, because the antics and tactics (especially beheading) seem similar to the calling card of the Islamic jihadist.
In response to the Hamas attack, the Biden administration′s Office of Palestinian Affairs called on Israel to refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks. This post was later deleted. The most current position of the Biden administration is that, “the United States unequivocally condemns the unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians. There is never any justification for terrorism.”
Military action taken by the current U.S. administration is to send the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the region. It is reported that this move is in an effort to deter third party players who seek to widen the war between Gaza and Israel. The strike force includes the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford, eight squadrons of attack and support aircraft, Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy, and missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner, USS Ramage, USS Carney, and USS Roosevelt, according to a Fox News report.
There also have been military exercises scheduled between the navy and the marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit off the coast of Kuwait; however, according to Marine Corps Times, as of Wednesday, they were no longer near Kuwait. Their orders have not been revealed to the public; however, speculation is that they are nearing the Mediterranean Sea area.
So what does this war have to do with Bible Prophecy? Certainly, we have been looking for an invasion into the tiny state of Israel. However, even though Hamas and Hezbollah desire the annihilation of the state of Israel (and of all Jews); and the fact remains clear, through past events, that Iran is clearly behind the invasion; and not to discount many Arabs in surrounding countries are in an uproar due to Israel′s response to the war declared upon it and want to fight Israel—this is not the invasion we are looking for. One important player in the up coming war we anticipate, just after the Rapture, is Russia. We are looking for the Bear (Russia) to come and plunder the tiny state of Israel—so timing is everything. At this time, it seems it would benefit Russia to have a neutral position regarding the Gaza war on Israel. For example, the recent war in Israel is taking attention away from the abating Russian war with Ukraine. (This would also be beneficial for the West as the war is not going in a good direction for either side). Also, for war to break into Syria might threaten Russia′s air and naval bases along the Mediterranean Sea—this would be critical for Russia. And let us not over look that while the previous Israeli government tried, but failed to broker peace between Russia and the Ukraine, Israel has never sent or allowed the U.S. to send any of Israel′s technological weapons to Ukraine. Therefore, relations between Russia and Israel presently are decent—but that can change over night.
Also, all the countries the Bible list that will join Russia in it′s invasion (see our blog of 2/12/2020), are not in a place to run along side the Bear. What this Gaza/Israeli war seems to be accomplishing is setting events in motion for another time. Due to the Russian/Ukrainian war, both Russia and the West are low on ammunition.
However, both of these wars seem well orchestrated and could lead some to see some interesting facts emerging. As the West is engaged in trying to secure Ukraine from the hands of Russia; secure Taiwan from the hands of China; and in a surprising move for the liberal U.S. President to back it's old pal Israel, (which in recent years they have been standing with the Palestinians, not the Israeli′s), may just strain America too much. There are rumors the U.S. is running dangerously low on annunciations due to the good‐natured giving they have been providing Ukraine. And, even though Russia is expected to have also gone through a lot of munitions, China to date has yet to fire a shot. And how can the U.S. be expected to provide Taiwan with munitions? How about Israel if they run low? What about defending their own country—the good old USA? It is an interesting predicament—however, the Scriptures indicate that when Russia does decide to invade Israel, they seem to do so because they have no fear of retaliation. Maybe we are closer to the Rapture than you may have considered—or, maybe not. Check out this link if you would like to know more about Jesus.
Sources: myjewishlearning.com; aljazeera.com-Palestinian Group Hamas Launches Surprise Attack; apnews.com; jewishvirtuallibrary.org; aljazeera.com-What We Know; jpost.com-IDF: Hamas Plan Was To Conquer, Hold Gaza Corridor; jpost.com-Bodies Of Residents And Terrorists Lie In The Grounds Of Ravaged Israeli Kibbutz; nationalreview.com; usatoday.com; msn.com-Marines On The Move In Middle East As A Result Of Emerging Events; military.com; nbcnews.com; msn.com-Biden Agrees To Pay 6 Billion Ransom To Iran For Five Us Hostages; rferl.org; theintercept.com; taskandpurpose.com; israel365news.com;