Good News Press
Sharing the good news of God’s Love through his Son to our local community and world! To Contact Us: 925.368.5052
Early Summer 2015 Plan of Salvation:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
A Message From Good News Press
Is the California Drought a Warning? By Connie Woods California has been in a persistent drought that has not let up for four years. Governor Jerry Brown issued mandatory water restrictions for all California households, the first time in California history. Other extreme weather patterns have been occurring in other parts of the country as well. Is this a warning from God to America to change courses?
still get back on track if it changed its ways. What could turn America around? In what areas should Americans change? 1. The Treatment of Israel. America actively mounts pressure on Israel to agree to a two-State solution. In this plan Israel would turn over a portion of its land to the Palestinians. The only problem with this is that scripture says that God is against the dividing up of As the US economy gets worse, debt His land and that this land was promcontinues to escalate, crime rises, ised to the Jews("... there will I deal military threats continue, America can with and execute judgment upon
them for their treatment of My people and of My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and because they have divided My land”. - Joel 3:2). In John McTernan's book, As America Has Done to Israel, he documents natural and financial disasters to America based on our treatment of the nation of Israel. When America really supported Israel America prospered. 2. Abortion. Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, over 57 million babies have been aborted in America. Continued on Page 2
An Overview of the Signs of the Times The great variety of signs that point to the Lord's soon return.
does not apply to believers: "But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you By David R. Reagan like a thief. . ." He then proceeds to explain why: "for you are all sons of Many people believe there is noth- light and sons of day. We are not of ing that can be known about the night nor of darkness; so then let us timing of the Lord's return because not sleep as others do, but let us be Jesus said He would return like a alert and sober." Paul is referring, thief in the night (Matthew 24:42of course, to the light of the Holy 44). Spirit who indwells all true believers and who can enlighten us But Paul makes it clear in 1 Thessa- through our study of Scripture to lonians 5:1-6 that Jesus' statement
know the season of the Lord's return (1 John 2:27). God's Attitude As a matter of fact, God is obligated by His character to warn the world of the imminent return of His Son. The reason is that Jesus is returning in great wrath to "judge and wage war" (Revelation 19:11), and God never pours out His wrath without warning.
Continued on Page 4
The Christian message is often referred to as the "Gospel," which means "good news." Specifically, it is the good news about Jesus—who He is, what He has done, and what He offers. Essentially, the message is that Jesus was God in the flesh, that He came into the world to reconcile humanity to Himself, and that his salvation is freely offered to each person who will respond in faith. The Gospel message explains that salvation is only possible through the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus. Through his sacrifice, Jesus paid the price for our sinfulness (rebellion against God), thus offering us forgiveness. Then through his Resurrection He conquered death, removing it as the penalty for our sin and replacing it with the offer of eternal life that is only available from Him to all those that place their faith in Him.
Good News Press - 2 California Drought Cont’d
About Good News Press Sharing the good news of God’s Love through his Son to our local community and world!
Partner With Us in Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ to our Community! Good News Press is a Christian outreach publication in the San Francisco Bay Area. This popular high-quality, newspaper, informs and inspires believers, as well as plant seeds into the hearts of men and women that do not know Jesus Christ. Good News Press covers world, national, and local religious news and events, and features inspiring Christian articles and insights. It is available, both digitally online and in full-color printed format. Christian newspapers reach a targeted audience-specifically a family oriented, audience, with strong loyalties and convictions.
the good news, and bring to them the love of Jesus Christ. We do that by bringing glory to God in this newspaper. Why Support Good News Press • Urgency… We believe that these are the last days and that Jesus • Fulfill the Great Commission! Help us tell our neighbors about the Christ is soon to return. Good News of Jesus Christ and reap • Distribution Good News Press is eternal rewards. Good News Press distributed FREE all over the Bay Area. You can find it in area grocery believes that this commission bestores and businesses. gins in our own backyards. There Good News Press is produced by are more than 7 Million people in Baron & Connie Woods and Family. the Bay Area and a great number To contact us: need to be reached. We want to reach these men and women, share email@example.com.
Over one million babies are aborted each year or roughly 3000 a day. US Citizens continue to demand that this is a woman’s right. 3. Sexual Immorality. Fornication, Pornography, Adultery, Homosexuality, are all commonplace in our society. America has the highest illegitimacy rate in the world and it is a purveyor of the most vile television and movie programming promoting sex outside of marriage, adultery, homosexuality, and pornography, and its effects are seen in our culture and worldwide. There is a 50% divorce rate, sexually transmitted diseases, children with no fathers, men hooked on pornography, and broken homes. The Supreme Court, the highest court in our land, is currently deciding if same sex marriage shall be the law of our land. 4. Drugs. America has the highest illegal drug use in the world. America also has a very high rate of legalized drug use including alcohol and tobacco. Drugs contribute to a host of problems including, drug addiction, drunk driving, prostitution, children in foster care, babies born with drugs in their
system, HIV, etc. 5. The Apostate Church. Churches have turned from influencing the culture and teaching/preaching righteousness to the masses. Some denominations have even engaged in ungodly practices. Churches need to actively be a witness, voices heard, and an example of Godliness in a lost world. 6. Violence. Approximately 15,000 murders occur in the US each year. There are also high incidences of rape, burglary, theft, assaults and every other crime imaginable. 7. Forgetting God. Americans forgot the first commandment “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first com-
mandment, Mark12:30). On any given Sunday, there are millions entwined with sporting events but few in worship services. America could turn around, if it would return to its first love - God! What can Christians do? Repent and continue to be obedient to God and his Word. Know that God will keep the Saints. Pray that God’s will be done on the Earth, but that he would have mercy on America and save people all over this country and world. Be a witness. Share with your neighbors, family, and friends the Love of Jesus Christ and pray with them so that they can receive Jesus into their hearts. Be courageous and strong and continue to be a light in this darkening world.
Prayer, Fasting, & Faith by Connie Woods Prayer
The Bible tells Christians that they should pray in all things and not worry, casting all their cares upon God, because he cares for them (1 Peter 5:7). Prayer is talking to God directly. He loves and cares for his children and takes good care of them. There is nothing that can separate Christians from the love of God (Romans 8:38), not a crisis, pandemic, sickness, or anything else. He wants them to bring it all to Him. God is faithful; he won't allow saints to be tried or tempted more than they can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). God wants Believers to trust him completely and put their complete confidence and faith in him with every aspect of their lives. Believers
cause faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word When talking to God, of God. Remember God will acknowledge him for who and wants to get the glory He is, repent and turn away out of your life. Be strong from all wrongdoings, thank during trials by believing him for all that he does, and God and trusting him. if you have a desire, tell him what it is that you want. Ask Fasting him to supernaturally proWhy Fast when you can just tect your family, encamp his pray? Fasting makes the angels around you, keep impossible possible. Fasting you by his power, cover you engages and supplicate by the blood of Jesus, and (make an earnest request) ask everything in Jesus God for spiritual and physiname. Whatever you may cal breakthrough, causes a be facing God is willing and change in the spiritual able to turn the situation realm, and accelerates completely around. breakthrough. can really depend on him!
Remember the prayers that Believers have prayed throughout the Bible and how God answered. He’ll answer your prayers too. Meditate on Scriptures relevant to your situation be-
Fasting can be done for many reasons. It can be done for specific answer to prayer, seeking God’s direction and will, asking God’s protection, to humble oneself, for spiritual deliver-
ance, for healing, for repentance, for intercession, to tear down strongholds, and many other reasons.
fasted 40 days and nights before receiving the commandments, Ester fasted so that the Jewish people would be saved and not Fasting also strengthens the killed, Daniel fasted to uninner man. It helps get the derstand the vision in Daniel flesh under control. In fast- 10, and Jesus fasted for ing, one goes without food forty days and nights, being and/or food and water for a tempted by the devil. These period of time, beseeching are just a few examples. God.
Fasting always gets God's attention. God cannot be manipulated but he does honors the humble fast, done in sincerity and belief that God will move on one’s behalf. Fasting helps one to get the victory when done properly. There are many examples in the Bible of people who fasted and how God hearkened unto them. Moses
Faith is simply believing God. Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness (Rom. 4:3). His faith was in the God who was able to perform the promises of the Bible. Faith is also the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Building up your faith, espe-
cially during times of crisis is very important. It is not a blind faith but agreeing with God what he says about you and your situation and believing God that he has done and will do what he says. If you don’t read God’s word you will absolutely have no faith or very little. You won’t be as strong as you could have been. God expects us to build our own selves up by reading his word, praying, and not being babies, expecting someone to spoon feed us everything we need, but to Grow. Don’t be discouraged when going through trials. God allows some so that we exercise, develop, and grow our faith into full maturity.
Good News Press - 3 Religious Leaders Speak Out Against 'Same-Sex Marriage' -- Pledge Defiance press conference, coordinated by Dr. Rick Scarborough, president of Vision America Action, came just before the court began hearing oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case that could lead to the judicial imposition of homosexual "marriage" nationwide. Pastor Scarborough noted that federal judges have overturned marriage amendPastor Rick Scarborough ments in 26 states – amendments to state constitutions WASHINGTON, -- At a rethat were enacted overwhelmcent press conference, the Na- ingly by tens of millions of vottional Press Club, a group of ers. In another eight states, spiritual leaders spoke out pseudo-marriage was legislated against same-sex marriage and without allowing a vote of the pledged defiance should the people. In only three states has U.S. Supreme Court attempt the deconstruction of marriage to redefine marriage in the been approved by the people United States. They included via referendum. Deacon Keith Fournier (Editor- Scarborough explained "…. in-Chief of Catholic Online), The Supreme Court can no Matt Staver (founder and more redefine marriage than it chairman of Liberty Counsel), can redefine gravity” and that Focus on the Family Founder marriage is a matter "that is Dr. James Dobson (who spoke settled in Heaven and affirmed by video) and, others. The by both God's Holy Scripture
and His created order." Visit WorldNetDaily to read Dr. Scarborough's commentary "Why I Will Defy Recognition of Same-sex 'Marriage.'" Leaders have initiated a petition at www.defendmarriage.org by which signers "Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage," declare that "no civil institution…has the authority to redefine marriage" and commit to defying any unconstitutional and un-Godly judicial edict that attempts to change the natural order. The petition can be read in its entirety, and may be signed, at www.defendmarriage.org. Besides the aforementioned, signers to date include Franklin Graham (son of Rev. Billy Graham), Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army, ret.), former Ohio Treasurer and Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and Former Arkansas Gov. and FOX TV personality Mike Huckabee, as well as thousands of concerned citizens.
Documentary Interprets Religious Freedom in an Ever Changing Society "One Generation Away" Documentary Shows Consequences on Conservative Business Owners of what could Happen in the Future FRANKLIN, Tenn.,-- The outcome of the Supreme Court same-sex hearings, set for late June, could cause a potentially damaging ripple effect for conservative business owners who, based on their personal religious beliefs, do not want to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies as was explored in the award-winning EchoLight Studios documentary, "One Generation Away." "One of the biggest changes in this country in the last four or five years is the level of hostility rising toward people of faith taking public viewpoints in their business or in the public square, even in schools and the military," said Former Senator and EchoLight CEO Rick Santorum. "Those who want to live their life consistent with biblical teachings
are not being given space to do that. " The backdrop to the Supreme Court holding this hearing is a number of highprofile cases of Christian business owners being forced by the government to provide services for same-sex weddings. As highlighted in "One Generation Away," which was released last September, there is a growing understanding that the redefinition of marriage cannot be separated from a loss of freedom. "It is an increasing view that if you are not with this new orthodoxy, the secularism that is now coming from the government, that these are the values that the government values. If you don't live up to those values, well then you can be persecuted and maybe even prosecuted for doing so," concluded Santorum. "One Generation Away" focuses on seven cases of religious freedom disputes
throughout the United States: the wedding service providers in Oregon and Washington, Mt. Soledad Veteran's Memorial in San Diego, Hobby Lobby, chaplaincy in the military, as well as two education cases with a collegiate counseling program, and high school cheerleaders in Kountze, Texas. Each case clearly presents both sides of the issue, and reflects on how the First Amendment, Equal Protection Clause, Free Exercise Clause and Religious Freedom Restoration Act are interpreted and applied. Veteran Producer and Director Ken Carpenter solicited commentary from more than 70 interviewees, including 44th Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee. For more information about "One Generation Away," now available on DVD and showing in select EchoLight Cinemas nationwide, visit onegenerationawaymovie.com.
Good News Press - 4 Signs Contâ€™d from Page 1 God does not wish that any should perish, but that all should be brought to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Therefore, God always warns before He executes His wrath. He warned the world through Noah for 120 years. He warned Sodom and Gomorrah through Abraham. He sent Jonah to warn the pagan city of Ninevah, and He sent Nahum to the same city 150 years later. Likewise, God is warning the world today that His Son is about to return. He is calling the world to repentance. The message of the hour to unbelievers can be summed up in these words: "Flee from the wrath that is to come by fleeing into the loving arms of Jesus now." Jesus came the first time as an expression of God's love; He came to die for the sins of Mankind. But when He returns, He will come in vengeance to pour out the wrath of God on those who have rejected God's love and grace. The soon return of Jesus also carries with it a message for believers. Lukewarm Christians and carnal Christians are being called to commit their lives to holiness: The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. Romans 13:12-14 God's Method of Warning God is alerting believers of the soon return of His Son
through what are called "signs of the times." These are prophecies concerning world events that we are told to watch for, prophecies that will identify the season of the Lord's return.
principle from start to finish.
God dealt with the world's sin through a great flood in the days of Noah (Genesis 6). He called the nation of Judah to repentance through a terrible locust The Bible is full of these invasion (Joel 1). In like signs. There are about 500 manner, He called for the prophecies in the Old Tes- nation of Israel to repent tament that relate to the by sending drought, wind Second Coming of the storms, mildew, locusts, Messiah. In the New Testa- famine and pestilence ment, one out of every 25 (Amos 4:6-10). The prophverses is concerned with et Haggai pointed to a the return of Jesus. drought as evidence that God was calling the people In fact, there are so many to get their priorities in signs that it is difficult to order (Haggai 1:10-11). grasp all of them. The best way I have found to do this The New Testament beis to put them in categogins with a special light in ries: the heavens marking the birth of the Messiah 1) The Signs of Nature (Matthew 2:2). On the day We are told to watch for that Jesus was crucified, earthquakes, famine, pesti- there was three hours of lence, and signs in the darkness and an earthheavens (see Matthew 24:7 quake (Matthew 27:45-51). and Luke 21:11). And when Jesus returns, the earth will experience This is the least respected the greatest earthquake in category of signs for sever- its history as every mounal reasons. For one thing, tain is lowered, every valmany people simply shrug ley is raised, and every their shoulders and say, island is moved "There have always been (Revelation 16:17-21). natural calamities, so what else is new?" Note that God has always spoken Jesus says these signs will through signs of nature, be like "birth and He continues to do so pangs" (Matthew 24:8) today. We had better that is, they will increase in pay close attention to frequency and intensity as them. the time draws near for His return. In other words, 2) The Signs of Society there will be more intense Jesus said that society will earthquakes and more become increasingly lawfrequent ones. That is ex- less and immoral as the actly what is happening time approaches for His today. return. In fact, He said it would become as evil as it Another reason these signs was in the days of Noah are given little respect is (Matthew 24:12,37-39). because most Christians Paul paints a chilling picare so rationalistic that ture of end time society in they do not really believe 2 Timothy 3:1-5. He says it in the supernatural, and will be characterized by they therefore find it diffi- three loves the love of self cult to believe that God (humanism), the love of speaks to the world money (Materialism), and through signs of nature. the love of pleasure Yet, the Bible teaches this continued on Page 6
Fathers Day, June 21 Thanks, Dad, we know how important you are There's more to being a dad than earning a living and being an advisor to teenagers. According to researchers in the Fatherhood Project at the Families & Work Institute, interacting with dad is crucial for child development. Researchers now know that even interactions with your infant or toddler influence how your kids will relate to other people later in their lives and how they will view the world at large. A study at the University of Regensburg, Munich, Germany, shows that children whose fathers played with them in a sensitive, supportive and challenging way at age two tended to form closer, more trusting
relationships with others at ages 10 and 16. By age 16, fathers' play proved even more powerful and predictive than the motherchild bond. The researchers found that dads' play makes a pivotal and unique contribution to kids' growth. Telling stories of family history and how your parents and grandparents overcame adversity has an influence on
how kids handle difficult times. An Emory University study showed that the ability of children, ages 14 to 16, to retell parents' stories is linked to a lower rate of depression and anxiety. Your stories, told with eye contact about how you and others overcame problems, can help your children view the world with optimism.
Good News Press - 5
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Good News Press - 6 Signs Continued
During the 1960's Satanism exploded on the American scene and has since been exported Paul paints a chilling picworldwide through Ameriture of end time society in can movies, books, and 2 Timothy 3:1-5. He says it television programs. Dabwill be characterized by bling in the occult has bethree loves the love of self come commonplace in the (humanism), the love of form of astrology, numermoney (Materialism), and ology, crystal gazing, tranthe love of pleasure scendental meditation, (hedonism). He then and channeling. The whole points out that the payoff trend has consummated in of this carnal lifestyle will the appearance of the be what the philosophers New Age Movement with call nihilism that is, a soci- its teaching that Man is ety wallowing in despair. God. Men's minds will become depraved (Romans 1:28), As society has secularized, and people will call evil true Christianity has come good and good evil (Isaiah under increasing attack. 5:20). Judeo-Christian values, once the foundation of We are seeing these Western Civilization, are prophecies fulfilled before now openly mocked, and our eyes today as we those who still adhere to watch our society reject them are castigated as its Christian heritage and "intolerant fundamentaldescend into a hellish pit ists" by the media. of lawlessness, immorality, and despair. Even worse, The positive spiritual signs we are exporting our nihil- include the proclamation ism around the world of the Gospel to the whole through our immoral and world (Matthew 24:14), a violent movies and televi- great outpouring of the sion programs. Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-32), and spiritual illumination 3) The Spiritual Signs to understand prophecies There are both positive that have been "sealed up" and negative spiritual signs until the end times (Daniel that we are to watch for. 12:4,9). The negative ones include the appearance of false As with the negative signs, christs and their cults we are seeing these posi(Matthew 24:5,11,24), the tive signs fulfilled in our apostasy of the professing day and time. Through the church (2 Thessalonians use of modern technology, 2:3), an outbreak of Satan- the Gospel has been proism (1 Timothy 4:1), and claimed throughout the the persecution of faithful world in this Century, and Christians (Matthew 24:9) the Bible has been translated into all major lanThese negative spiritual guages. signs began to appear in the mid-19th Century The great end time pourwhen Christian cults start- ing out of the Holy Spirit ed forming. First came the that was prophesied by the Mormons, then the Jehoprophet Joel has also bevah's Witnesses, and then gun. Joel called it "the lata great variety of spiritual- ter rain" (Joel 2:23), and ist groups like the Church he said it would occur afof Christ Scientists and the ter the Jews had returned Unity Church. to their land. The state of Israel was re-established in The apostasy of the main- 1948. In 1949 God anointline Christian denominaed two ministries that tions began in the 1920's would have a worldwide when the German school impact the ministries of of higher criticism invaded Billy Graham and Oral American seminaries and Roberts. Then, in the 60's, undermined the authority came the Charismatic of the Scriptures, teaching Movement which promptthat the Bible is Man's ed renewal in worship and search for God rather than gave emphasis to the conGod's revelation to Man. tinuing validity of the gifts of the Spirit.
The acceleration in the understanding of Bible prophecy began in 1970 with the publication of Hal Lindsey's book, The Late Great Planet Earth. It seemed to open up to popular understanding many prophecies that had been "sealed up" until the end times (Daniel 12:4, 9). Remarkably, it became the number one best seller in the world with the sole exception of the Bible for the next ten years! 4) The Signs of Technology - The book of Daniel says that there will be an explosion of knowledge in the end times and that people will move about quickly (Daniel 12:4). There are many Bible prophecies that cannot be understood apart from modern technology. For example, how can the whole world look upon two bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem (Revelation 11:8-9)? Modern television satellite technology makes it easy. How can the False Prophet build an image of the Anti-Christ that appears to be alive (Revelation 13:15)? The answer, of course, is the science of robotics. How can the False Prophet require all people on earth to take the mark of the AntiChrist in order to buy and sell (Revelation 13:16-17)? It would not be possible apart from computers and lasers. Jesus said that the Tribulation will be so terrible that all life on earth would cease to exist if He did not cut the period short (Matthew 24:21-22). How could all life be threatened prior to the advent of nuclear weapons? Another reference to nuclear power is likely contained in Luke's statement that men in the end times will "faint from fear" because "the powers of the heavens will be shaken" (Luke 21:26). That certainly sounds like a reference to the splitting of the atom. 5) The Signs of World Politics - The Bible prophesies that there will be a certain pattern of world politics
that will characterize the Anti-Christ and the creaend time geopolitical map. tion of his worldwide kingdom (Daniel 7:8). The focus will be the reestablished state of Israel Other international politi(Zechariah 12:2-3). It will cal signs include wars and be besieged by a menacing rumors of wars (Matthew nation from the "remote 24:6), civil wars (Matthew parts of the north," the 24:7), and general internanation of "Rosh" or modtional terrorism and lawern day Russia (Ezekiel lessness (Matthew 24:12). 38:2,6). There will also be a threatening nation to 6) The Signs of Israel - The the East that will be capa- signs related to the state ble of sending an army of of Israel are prolific and 200 million namely, China very important. (Revelation 9:13-16 and Revelation 16:12-13). A The most frequently rethird source of danger to peated prophecy in the Israel will be the Arab na- Old Testament is the pretions that immediately diction that the Jewish surround it. They will cov- people will be regathered et the land and will try to from the "four corners of take it from the Jews the earth" in the end (Ezekiel 35:10 and 36:2). times (Isaiah 11:10-12). The Bible states that a Another key player on the consequence of this reworld political scene in the gathering will be the reend times will be a coaliestablishment of the state tion of European nations of Israel (Isaiah 66:7-8). that will form a confedera- The Scriptures say that tion centered in the area once the Jews are back in of the old Roman empire their land, the land itself (Daniel 2:41-44, Daniel will experience a miracle 7:7,23-24, and Revelation of reclamation (Isaiah 35). 17:12-13). This confedera- The desert will bloom and tion will serve as the politi- people will exclaim, "This cal base for the rise of the desolate land has become
like the garden of Eden" (Ezekiel 36:35). Another end time miracle will be the revival of the Hebrew language (Zephaniah 3:9). Most people are not aware of the fact that when the Jews were dispersed from their land in 70 A.D., they ceased to speak the Hebrew language. The Jews who settled in Europe developed a new language called Yiddish a combination of German and Hebrew. The Jews who migrated to the Mediterranean basin created a language called Ladino a combination of Hebrew and Spanish. Other significant signs of Israel that we are told to watch for in the end times include the re-occupation of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24), the resurgence of Israeli military strength (Zechariah 12:6), and the re-focusing of world politics on Israel (Zechariah 12:3). All these signs have been fulfilled in this century.
Good News Press - 7 The nation has been reestablished, the land has been reclaimed, the ancient language has been revived, the Jews are back in Jerusalem, and Israel is the focal point of world politics. Jesus says in Luke 21:28 that when these signs begin to happen, we should "straighten up and lift up our heads" because "our redemption is drawing near." The Key Signs The most important signs are the ones that relate to Israel because God uses the Jews throughout the Scriptures as His prophetic time clock. By this I mean that very often when the Lord is revealing an important event that will take place in the future, He will point to the Jewish people and state that when a certain thing happens to them, the important event will also occur. A good example of this principle can be found in Daniel 9 in the famous "Seventy Weeks of Years" prophecy. The prophet tells us to watch for a decree to be issued that will authorize the rebuilding of Jerusalem. He then says that the Messiah will come sixty-nine weeks of years (483 years) after that decree is issued to the Jewish people. There are two key prophecies which relate the return of Jesus to events that have occurred in Jewish history since 1948. These two events clearly established the period in which we are now living as the season of the Lords's return. The State of Israel The first is the reestablishment of the state of Israel which occurred on May 14, 1948. Jesus singled out this event as the one that
would signal His soon return. rusalem remained under Gentile occupation for 1,897 His prophecy is contained in years until June 7, 1967, when the fig tree parable (Matthew Israel won the city back dur24:32-35) which He present- ing the Six Day War. ed in His Olivet Discourse. The day before He delivered The Jewish re-occupation of this speech, He had put a the city of Jerusalem is proof curse on a barren fig tree, positive that we are living in causing it to wither (Matthew the season of the Lord's re21:18-19). This was a symbol- turn. Jesus said it would mark ic prophecy that God would the end of the Gentile Age. soon pour out His wrath upon the Jewish people because A Call to Action of their spiritual barrenness There is no way to escape in rejecting His Son. the conclusion that we are living on borrowed time. The The next day Jesus reminded signs of the times are upon His disciples of the fig tree. us, and they are shouting for He said to watch for it to our attention. bloom again. In other words, He said watch for the rebirth Are you ready? If Jesus were of Israel. He indicated that to return today, would He be when the fig tree blooms your "Blessed Hope" (Titus again, He would be at the 2:11-14) or would He be your gates of Heaven, ready to "Holy Terror" (Revelation return (Matthew 24:33). 6:12-17)? If you have never received Him as your Lord Equally significant, He added and Savior, now is the time an interesting observation: to act. Repent of your sins, "Truly I say to you, this gen- and call upon the name of eration will not pass away the Lord that you might be until all these things take saved (Acts 2:14-39). place" (Matthew 24:34). What generation? The gener- And if you are a Christian, ation that sees the fig tree are you living as if Jesus blossom. might return any minute? Have you committed your We are that generation. The life to holiness? Are you prayfig tree has blossomed. Jesus ing for the lost and witnessis at the gates. ing the Lord when you have an opportunity? The City of Jerusalem The second key event was Are you yearning for the prophesied by Jesus in the Lord's return? Can you say same speech, as recorded by with Paul that you are a canLuke: "[The Jews] will fall by didate for a "crown of rightthe edge of the sword, and eousness" because you have will be led captive into all the lived your life "in the love of nations; and Jerusalem will His appearing" (2 Timothy be trampled under foot by 4:7-8)? the Gentiles until the times And if I go and prepare a of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24). place for you, I will come again, and receive you to The first half of this prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D., forty Myself; that where I am, years after Jesus spoke the there words. In that year the Royou may be also. - Jesus, in mans under Titus conquered Jerusalem and dispersed the John 14:3. Jews among the nations. Je-
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Published on May 19, 2015
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