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Friday, November 30, 2018

I Chronicles 23:25

For David said, The LORD God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem forever
For further study - I Chronicles 23:1-32

I Chronicles 23
the record of what happens at the end of King David's life and at the time he anoints his son Solomon to become King over Israel. You might remember that even though David wanted to build the Temple as a permanent worship center for the Jewish people, God had not allowed him to do so because of disobedience.

As in I Kings, the record is clear in I Chronicles 22 that King David prepared for the building of the Temple by gathering together the monies needed, plus the manpower and materials for the Temple including all the furniture of the Temple, I Chronicles 22:14.

David would also gather the Levites together to set them in "order" so that they might serve in the Temple at an allotted time of the year, as well as the times of the Jewish Feast Days. I Chronicles 24 is the schedule for the priest to serve in the Temple as set forth by King David.

In our extended reading we find some very significant information on the service at the Temple. Verse 3 states that the priests who serve at the Temple begin their "priesthood" at the age of thirty, having studied for twenty-eight years the priestly duties and responsibilities.

The number of Levites serving the Temple in one capacity or another is 38,000, verse 3. And of these, 24,000 of them were to "set forth the work of the house of the Lord", verse 4.

It's interesting to note that 4,000 of the 38,000 were "to praise the Lord" with instruments which King David had made to be used for "praising the Lord". It was the "harp" that King David had made and used to "praise the Lord". He also wrote many of the Psalms by using his harp.

As you read through the entire 23rd chapter of I Chronicles, you'll notice that in verses 7-23 King David sets certain families aside for service in the Temple. This is similar to the divisions of the sons of Aaron into the twenty-four orders to serve at the Temple, as found in I Chronicles 24.

From verses 24-32, David gives further instructions for service at the Temple. Please notice King David's statement in verse 25, it is very prophetic. Because of the Davidic Covenant, the promise from the Lord to David, the aged King of Israel, was that the Jewish people would dwell in Jerusalem, forever.

By the way, the word "forever" means forever, even into eternity future. There, in fact, will be a temple in Jerusalem, forever, Ezekiel 37:26 & 28.

One final word about what King David did to prepare for the first temple, Solomon's Temple. David selected the priest, set the number needed in place and even the four thousand to play the harps.

Today in Jerusalem there are men studying the "priestly duties" so that they can operate the next Temple. Even the harps have been made to use in the next Temple.

The next Temple could be built very soon. The only thing that must happen before the building of the Temple is the Rapture of the Church, and that could happen today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord, to live today as if this is the day that the Rapture will happen.
Thursday, November 29, 2018

I Chronicles 21:24

And King David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.

For further study - I Chronicles 21:18-30

Our extended devotional reading for today is the account of King David purchasing the "threshing floor" from the Jebusite, to be used as a place for an "altar" upon which David could offer sacrifice.

You might recall that King David had conquered the Jebusite's stronghold known as "Jerusalem" and made it the "political capital" of the Jewish people, II Samuel 5.

In II Samuel 6, David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem and then made Jerusalem the "spiritual capital" of the Jewish people. Jerusalem would be the location where David's son would build the first temple.

The threshing floor that Ornan, the Jebusite, owned was the location that King David wanted as a place of "sacrifice" and the King of Israel was willing to pay "cash money" for that piece of real estate.

You'll notice in our extended reading that the Jebusite, Ornan, wanted to give King David this exact location for the place of this altar that the Jewish King wanted for offering sacrifices. When Ornan offered to give the land to King David, the king refused saying that he would not offer sacrifice unless he paid for this sacrificial site.

Let the record show that King David paid cash money for Ornan's threshing floor, 600 shekels of gold, approximately $222,000 in the present day price for gold. It is important to see that King David did not take this site as a gift but instead paid cash money for the location, which was on the peak of Mount Moriah.

Remember, Mount Moriah is the spot where Abraham offered his son Isaac to the Lord, Genesis 22:2. Mount Moriah is also the location where King Solomon built the first temple, II Chronicles 3:1.

This location, Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, is where the next temple will be built during the Tribulation Period, Daniel 9:27Matthew 24:15II Thessalonians 2:4; and Revelation 11:2.

This sacred spot where the first and second temples stood and where the next two temples will also stand is the piece of real estate that a Jewish King purchased for "cash money".

That should settle the question of ownership of the Temple Mount, but it doesn’t. The Temple Mount will be the "center of controversy" until the Antichrist has a temple built on the spot where Jesus Christ will one day build his millennial Temple prior to the 1,000 year Kingdom.

The only problem for building a Jewish temple today up on the Temple Mount is a gold-domed building, a Muslim religious center; however, the Jewish temple will be built there one day, not too far into the future. That Dome of the Rock must be taken down, and it will be taken down during one of the military attacks on Israel in the Tribulation Period.

All preparations have been made for the next Temple, the "Tribulation Temple". This next Temple will be built after the Rapture takes Christians up into heaven to be with Jesus Christ. That Rapture can happen at any moment, even today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to recognize the times in which we are living and to look for Your soon return.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

I Chronicles 17:9

Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning
For further study -I Chronicles 17:1-27

A look at I Chronicles 13-16 gives one the record of King David in two attempts at bringing the "ark of the covenant" up to Jerusalem. The first time doing the "right thing in the wrong way", chapter 13; and then doing the "right thing in the right way", chapter 15.

As we continue our devotional readings today in I Chronicles, I must mention that in the original Hebrew Canon, First and Second Chronicles were one scroll. In Hebrew, the title of that scroll means, "the words concerning the days".

Jewish tradition says that Ezra was the author of the two books. However, scholarship believes that Ezra may have been the writer but the author is actually unknown and referred to as the "Chronicler".

The two books of history start with Adam, I Chronicles 1:1, and conclude with the "carrying away" of the Jewish people into the Babylonian captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar in II Chronicles 36.

As we come in our reading today to I Chronicles 17, we see the record of David's desire to build the Lord a "permanent place of worship" instead of the "transportable worship center" known as the "Tabernacle".

David had brought the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem and rested it in a tabernacle, I Chronicles 16, and now David approaches the Lord about building the temple. The Lord responded with the Davidic Covenant, which promises that there will be a temple built by David's son, Solomon, as recorded in I Kings.

The record of David's response is worship and prayer, verses 16-27 . David's past sins have been forgiven and the Lord now tells David of the future of his family and house. It is an account worth reading and meditating on as you read it.

Notice two verses in our extended reading, verse 21 and our key verse, verse 9. In David's prayer, he thanks the Lord for his people and his nation whom God has chosen for a special purpose, verse 21. But then, reread our key verse, verse 9.

God makes the promise, in fact, He ordains a place for His "people Israel" to dwell. It will be a place where they will live forever. They will not be removed from this "place" or "wiped off the map", as threatened by the Iranian president Ahmadinejad, and the leadership of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic terrorist organization.

God's promise of a land for the Jewish people is in the process of being totally fulfilled. A Temple in that land with a king, King Jesus, on the throne in that Temple, will be fulfilled and seemingly in the near future.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you, Lord, for being a "promise-keeping" Lord.
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

I Chronicles 12:32

And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.

For further study - I Chronicles 12:23-38

The author of the two books of the Chronicles, which is one book in the Jewish Bible, traditionally, is Ezra. There is no way that we can be certain on this and many therefore refer to the author as “the chronicler”.

In chapters one through eleven we see a number of genealogies that help us know the families of many of the Bible characters that we read about throughout all the Bible. As we come to I Chronicles 12 we find the family of David, the second king of Israel.

The shepherd boy David grows up, becomes the King of Judah and serves in Hebron for 7 years, II Samuel 5:1-6, before being approached by all the tribes of Israel to be their King. David would then serve as the King of all of Israel for 33 years more in the city of Jerusalem.

The record of the 12 tribes of Israel making David their king in I Chronicles 12 has a very interesting phrase that describes men of one of the tribes - the tribe of Issachar. These were "men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do", verse 32.

That description of the tribe of Issachar should be a principle that guides our daily lives - we can only make proper decisions today when we understand the times in which we are living. Notice, in our key verse, these men "understood the times" and then they knew what to do in the future.

It is possible to understand the times only when we understand God's prophetic scenario found in Bible Prophecy for the last days. Since the Bible is almost one-third prophetic, one out of every three pages, then a complete understanding of all of Scripture is necessary to recognize the times in which we’re living.

God's word tells us we have a "sure word of prophecy", II Peter 1:19, and we should take heed to the prophetic passages of Scriptures and study them in light of the times we find ourselves living in today, II Timothy 2:15.

Every one of us has a worldview that is shaped, and determined by what we watch, hear and read everyday. The old computer adage fits so well right here, "garbage in, garbage out". We must, on a daily basis, put the right information, "Biblical prophecy" into our minds and based upon Biblical truth, make the right decision.

Like the "children of Issachar" we can know the "future", by studying God’s prophetic passages that explain all that will happen in the future. With that knowledge, we too can know what to do in the future.

We will understand, as we watch current events unfolding as foretold in Bible prophecy, that we are living in the last days, just prior to Jesus shouting for us to join Him in the air at the Rapture, which could be today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for your prophetic Word that helps us to know, and understand, the times and thus know what we must be doing as we await Your return.
Monday, November 26, 2018

I Chronicles 1:1-4, 34 and 2:1-2

Adam, Sheth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth... And Abraham begat Isaac. The sons of Isaac; Esau and Israel... These are the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

For further reading - I Chronicles 1:1 - 2:2

I can just hear you now, not another genealogy to read for our devotion today. I remind you that there is always something, and in fact, sometimes many things that can be learned from reading through genealogies, even though it may be more difficult to do than reading a narrative of events in Biblical history. This particular genealogy goes from Adam to the "twelve sons of Israel", which of course, became the "nation of Israel".

Let me point out several items of interest as it relates to prophecy. Notice the sons of Japheth, I Chronicles 1:5-6. They are Gomer, Magog, Tubal, Meshech, and Togarmah. Now remember, this is 4,500 years ago, right after the flood, that these sons were born to Japheth. These are the names of some of the peoples and the nations that come against Israel, to destroy the Jewish state in the "last days", Ezekiel 38:2-6.

Then, we need to look at the sons of Ham, I Chronicles 1:8-10. Among those mentioned are Cush, modern-day Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia. There is Mizraim, modern-day Egypt and Put, the name for today's Libya. 

Verse 10
 tells us that Cush begat Nimrod who became "mighty on the earth". Genesis 10:10 reveals to us that Nimrod had a "kingdom" in Babel, Biblical "Babylon", which is modern day Iraq.

These sons of Ham, whose descendants became the present-day Arab states, were born over 250 years before Abraham, and definitely not to his first son, Ishmael, I Chronicles 1:28 and Genesis 10:10-11:26. Therefore, Abraham, nor his son Ishmael is the father of the Arab world.

Notice, Abraham also had Isaac, I Chronicles 1:28, who became the father of two boys who became two nations, Genesis 25:19-23. The Lord told Rebekah, the mother of these two boys, that they would struggle throughout all their generations.

Jacob, or Israel as God changed his name, Genesis 32, would have 12 sons, I Chronicles 2:1-2, and they would become the Jewish people, the nation of Israel. This son would carry on the heritage of Abraham and Isaac.

Esau, Jacob's twin brother, would also become a nation. You can trace through the Bible and see that they are the modern-day Palestinians who are in the process of becoming a nation.

Several Jewish prophets, Ezekiel, Malachi and Obadiah, tell of the conflict between these two brothers that will continue until the return of the Lord (See my study, Esau and the Palestinians -

As I stated earlier, we can learn from genealogies. In our reading for today we see the "end times" scenario being laid out for us to study. Bible prophecy will be fulfilled, all in a "genealogy". Bible prophecy will be fulfilled. It is all laid out in the Word for us to study, and "prepare" for it to happen in our day, today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me as I study God's word, all of it even the genealogies, to understand the times we are living in today and to live in light of the truth I will come to know.
Sunday, November 25, 2018

II Kings 19:34

For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

For further study - II Kings 19:1-37

You need to take a moment with me and read all 37 verses of II Kings 19, our devotional reading for today. It is the story of a king’s prayer for the Lord to save the Jewish people and their city of Jerusalem, and how Jesus Christ intercedes to protect both the Jews and the city.

We first need some background. The King of Judah, King Hezekiah, had come to power and there was revival in the land of Judah and among the Jewish people, II Kings 18.

Now around 710 BC, almost 15 years after the Assyrians had captured the ten tribes of Israel in the north, the Assyrians, led by King Sennacherib had come to capture Judah, the two southern tribes, and destroy the city of Jerusalem.

This caused King Hezekiah to humble himself, rent his clothes, cover himself with sackcloth and go into the Temple to pray. Hezekiah sent his servant, Eliakim, to the prophet Isaiah so that the prophet would also beseech the Lord for the protection of the Jews and Jerusalem.

Isaiah's message to King Hezekiah was a prophecy that the Lord would defeat the attacking Assyrian army. King Sennacherib would return home and there die in his own land.

Sennacherib heard the prophecy and determined that he would defy the Lord God of Israel. King Hezekiah heard that the Assyrians were coming and failed to believe the prophecy of Isaiah.

Therefore, he returned to the Temple to once again pray for his people and Jerusalem. The Lord's answer to the King's prayer would come through the prophet Isaiah, again.

This time Isaiah goes into more detail, verses 20-34. The Lord makes the promise to Hezekiah, through the prophet Isaiah, that He would defend the city of Jerusalem and thus the people, the Jewish people.

Verses 35-37 reveal the record of the prophecy fulfilled. That night Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophecy. The "angel of the Lord" is a pre-incarnate appearance by Jesus who that night killed 185,000 of the attacking Assyrians, verse 35.

Then King Sennacherib returned to his capital city of Assyria, Ninevah, and Sennacherib was killed, by the sword of his enemies as Isaiah the prophet had foretold it would happen. This is another proof that Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.

Please notice before we leave this passage that the reason the Lord protected Jerusalem at this time was two-fold. The Lord saved Jerusalem for His own sake, He has chosen Jerusalem to dwell among His people forever, Psalm 132:13-14.

Jesus also saved Jerusalem because of His promise to King David that there would be a Temple in Jerusalem and one of David's descendants would rule on the throne in that Temple, forever. That king forever is "King Jesus".

Prophecy fulfilled in the past is evidence that prophecy yet to be fulfilled will be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the pages of prophecy in the Bible that help me to understand the times in which I'm living and also alert me to the nearness of Your soon return.
Saturday, November 24, 2018

II Kings 18:3

And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.

For further study - II Kings 18:1-12

Have you ever heard someone refer to the book of Hezekiah in the Bible? I often say, "in Hezekiah 3:16", in jest with people. Today, we are not in the book of Hezekiah, but II Kings, which is the record of Hezekiah as King of Judah, the revival under Hezekiah and the victory in Gaza for this King of Judah is recorded.

After the reign of King Solomon, I Kings 11, the Twelve Tribes of Israel divided into a Northern and a Southern "kingdom". The ten tribes who went to the north were known as "Israel". The two tribes in the south were "Judah".

There were a number of Kings over Judah until the Babylonian captivity and Hezekiah was one of the greatest. He was great, not because he was a military genius or an astute politician, he was both wise in military activity, verse 8, and adept in the political arena. But Hezekiah's greatness came because, "he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord", verse 3.

The result of Hezekiah's "right living" led to a "revival" among the Jewish nation. The children of Israel had been misusing the "brazen serpent" that God had given the Jewish people for salvation, Numbers 21:5-9. This idolatrous activity took place all the way to the days of Hezekiah, over a thousand years after the brazen serpent in the wilderness wanderings.

The Jews were not "looking to live" on the brazen serpent but instead they were "burning incense" to the serpent. Hezekiah broke the brazen serpent into pieces to stop this idolatry. Hezekiah also removed the "high places", broke the images set up there, and cut down the groves, which all were symbolic of idolatrous worship.

Revival had broken out in Judah and it started with their King and worked its way down to the people. In contrast, this account reveals the defeat of the ten tribes in the north, Israel, by Shalmaneser, King of Assyria. They were defeated because they did not obey the voice of the Lord and transgressed the Mosaic Covenant, verses 9-12.

Before we conclude our devotional thoughts for today, please notice Hezekiah's victory over the Philistines in Gaza. The "Gaza" in this passage is the same as the "Gaza Strip" in modern times. God did give Judah, King Hezekiah, this piece of real estate almost 2,700 years ago.

Let me hasten to remind you that the Philistines of Biblical times are not the Palestinians of today. The Palestinians of today come from the line of Esau, Jacob's twin brother. (See my audio series Esau and the Palestinians.)

It is so interesting that God gave the Jews victory over their enemies that were headquartered in Gaza. What goes around, comes around and will continue to do so in the future. Obadiah 14-18 tells of the victory that the Jews will have over the present residents of Gaza at the time of the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

That time is quickly approaching, the stage is being set for Obadiah’s prophecy to be fulfilled. But remember, seven years before Jesus Christ returns He will shout and each of us who are Christians will be "caught up" to meet Him in the "air" and it could be today - keep looking up.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, dear Lord, to be like King Hezekiah and to do that which is right in Your sight as I await the "shout" to join You in the "air".
Friday, November 23, 2018

II Kings 17:23

Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.

For further study - II Kings 17:1-23

The year is 722 BC, the location is what is today northern Israel, and the situation is Assyria, led by King Shalmaneser, is taking the ten northern tribes, known as Israel, into captivity. Remember, after the death of King Solomon, I Kings 11, the twelve tribes of Israel had divided.

Jeroboam had taken ten tribes out of Jerusalem to the north and established "Israel" with these ten tribes. Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon, remained in the south with two tribes. These two tribes, Benjamin and Judah, became known as "Judah".

A number of years later, the Assyrians came and took captive Israel, these ten northern tribes. The author of II Kings, who is unknown, but a man writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, II Timothy 3:16, reveals the sins of Israel, the reason for their capture.

Verse 7 says it all in the statement that "Israel had sinned against the Lord their God". The manifestation of that indictment was that the ten tribes had feared other gods more so than the Lord their God, verse 7. They also did secret things against the Lord, verse 9. They were involved with idol worship, verse 12. In reality, the bottom line was that they would not listen to the Lord and they hardened their necks against Him, verse 14.

The Lord had warned these ten tribes, Israel, as He always did, by the prophets that this would happen. The Jews failed to repent and return in obedience unto the Lord so He followed through on His warning and allowed their enemies to capture them taking them out of their promised land into Assyria.

By the way, the last three words of verse 23, "unto this day", refers to the time of the writing of II Kings, not until our day. I bring that to your attention because these ten tribes are not the "Ten Lost Tribes of Israel" as some try to say.

The Assyrians took the ten tribes, Israel, into captivity. But remember, the Babylonians defeated the Assyrians and took under its Kingdom all of the people of Assyria including these ten tribes.

These tribes are not lost - they were under the Kingdom of Babylon and representatives of these ten tribes returned to Jerusalem after the Medo-Persian Empire came to place and Cyrus allowed almost 50,000 Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.

Ezra, chapters 2 and 6, records that all of Israel, all twelve tribes or at least a family or two from these tribes returned to Israel. This is key, in light of the prophecy of Ezekiel 37:15-23, when once again the twelve tribes will be divided into two Jewish states, Israel and Judah.

The truth be known, the Jewish state of Israel today is so divided that Ezekiel's prophecy could happen in the near future. Our reading today helps us to see the background for the future fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, Lord, to not sin against you and have to face Your chastisement.
Thursday, November 22, 2018

II Kings 9:36

Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel

For further reading - II Kings 9:30-37

There are some very interesting characters in this Biblical narrative that reveal a very important principle of Bible prophecy or should I say several principles of Bible prophecy. I'll get to those principles in a moment, but first, the narrative.

From II Kings 3 through 8 we see the account of the beginning of Elisha’s ministry. Elisha had prayed for a "double portion of the spirit be upon him", II Kings 2:9, and this young Prophet "took up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him", II Kings 2:13.

Now in II Kings 9 we see additional information about the "prophetic ministry" of Elisha, a ministry that was a major part of the life of the Jewish people. As already mentioned there are some very important principles that we need to learn.

Jehu is the son of Jehoshaphat and had been made king of Israel, which included the 10 tribes who had separated from the other 2 tribes Benjamin and Judah. God would use Jehu to fulfill the prophecy He had given through Elijah.

Jehu would travel to Jezreel, the city, and be confronted by the wicked Jezebel. Do you remember her? She was the patron saint of the Prophets of Baal that were defeated and killed by Elijah, I Kings 18.

After Elijah defeated the 400 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, he ran, in fact, out ran King Ahab, Jezebel's husband and wicked king of Israel, all the way to Jezreel, I Kings 18:46.

It was Jezebel who threatened to take the life of Elijah, I Kings 19:2, and scared Elijah so much that he ran for his life all the way to Mt. Sinai. However, Elijah returned to the land of Israel and gave the prophecy that Jezebel would die and her body would be eaten by the dogs, I Kings 21:23.

Now back to our narrative. The King of Israel, Jehu, would be used of God to fulfill the prophecy God gave to Elijah. After Jezebel's death, Jehu had her body thrown down to the ground and she was trodden upon under his feet.

Jehu commanded that Jezebel be buried, but when the men went to take her body for burial, all they found was the skull, feet and the palms of her hands. The dogs had eaten her flesh, which is what Elijah had prophesied would happen.

That is the narrative, and now the "principles" of Bible prophecy. Elijah had prophesied that dogs would eat the flesh of Jezebel in Jezreel. If it is indeed a prophecy from God through one of His prophets, it will happen just like it was prophesied - word for word, Deuteronomy 18:20-22. That is what happened here.

The second principle of Bible prophecy is that when one of God's prophecies is fulfilled that is assurance additional prophecies from God will also be fulfilled. There are countless records of that principle applied throughout the Bible. We will look at them as we continue our journey through the Bible with "prophetic prospectives" on our daily devotional.

Rest assured, this account of Jezebel's death confirms prophecies for the "last days", which will also be fulfilled. As one studies through the prophetic word and compares these passages to current events, it is evident that Jesus is coming soon. Keep looking up, it could be today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, dear Lord, in my study of prophecy to better understand the times we live in and the nearness of His coming.
Wednesday, November 21, 2018

II Kings 2:11

And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

For further study - II Kings 2:1-11

This Biblical account of a living creature being taken into the heavens, alive, is the second such incident of this kind to be recorded in 6,000 years of history. The first man to be taken to heaven alive was Enoch - an event recorded in Genesis 5:24. Enoch and Elijah are the only two men that have never died - and are now in the presence of God in the Third Heaven.

I’ll discuss these two men more in a moment but first please notice the trip that Elijah and Elisha made to the spot where God would take Elijah into the heavenlies. They started their trip at "Gilgal", verse 1, which is a place of "safety". They passed through "Bethel", verse 2, a place of "commitment". Then the two men went into "Jericho", verse 4, a place of "battle".

Before Elijah was taken up to heaven in a "chariot of fire", verse 11, the two Prophets would cross the Jordan River, verse 8, into the country of "Jordan", verse 6, a place of "departure". In Jordan, Elijah would give his "mantle" and "ministry" to Elisha.

Then the Lord sent a "chariot of fire" that had "horses of fire", verse 11, and took Elijah "up by a whirlwind into heaven", as Elisha stood there watching. Jordan is indeed a "place of departure". Thus, Elijah became the second man, after Enoch, to go to heaven without dying.

The New Testament writer of Hebrews says that "it's appointed unto man once to die", Hebrews 9:27, and yet these two men have not died, which leads us to other passages of Scripture for an explanation.

Revelation 11:3-12 foretells of two witnesses - two men who will have a preaching ministry from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the coming 7 year Tribulation Period. Malachi 4:5-6 tells how God will send Elijah back to earth before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

It is reasonable to say that Elijah, one of the two men who have never died, will be one of the two witnesses of Revelation 11. The current popular Christian song, "we're living in the days of Elijah" speaks to this issue. This is evidence that the Rapture, which must happen before the appearance of Elijah, must be close - let's keep looking up!

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord, help me to recognize the evidence that the Rapture is close at hand and live my life as if it could happen in the next moment, which it could.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

I Kings 18:36

Let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

For further study - I Kings 18:17-46

The account of the dividing of the "twelve tribes of Israel", after the 40-year reign of King Solomon, into the two divisions of "Israel" and "Judah" can be found in I Kings 12-16. This record of the people of Israel, the Jewish people, then leads into the account of one of the great "Prophets" of the Jewish people.

I Kings 16-18 continues the story of the ten tribes that went with Jeroboam to the north of the country and became the ones who would "worship evil" in their "religious" practices. Into this story would come one of the great "Prophets" of the Jewish people, Elijah.

Before we get to Elijah let me set the scene. The ten tribes in the north known as 'Israel" had a King that was the King that "did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him", the King of Israel, Ahab.

God used Elijah to stop the "rain" in the land of Israel for a period of three years, I Kings 17:1and 18:1, and Elijah did all of this according to the word of God. You will notice that phrase again, "according to thy word".

Please read through the extended reading for our devotional today, I Kings 18:17-46. This is the marvelous story of God using a man of like passion as we have to do a "mighty" work for Him. This is the classic account of the battle between the "God of Elijah" and the "god of the prophets of Baal".

Read this account and rejoice in the Lord and how He gives the victory over evil. Notice the phrase found in I Kings 18:36, Elijah again did all that he did according to the Word of God.

The prophetic significance in this passage is found in the life of Elijah. James, the New Testament writer, reveals that Elijah was, and will be used of God even though he is just a man that is subject to like passions as you and me. That does not eliminate us from being used of God in the last days.

Elijah is one of the two witnesses foretold in Revelation 11:3-12, according to Malachi 4:5. These two witnesses will have a ministry of 1260 days, or three and one half years, during the Tribulation Period. We’ll have more on this great Prophet and his total ministry in a future devotional.

I close this devotional by reminding you that the first portion of the Tribulation is drawing closer and closer each and every day. This is so because of all the prophetic passages in God’s word yet to be fulfilled and seemingly at the point of fulfillment.

The very next prophecy to be fulfilled is the Rapture when Jesus calls us into the heavens to be with Him evermore. That Rapture can happen at any time, even today, so keep looking up and listening for the shout.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, as I await your shout for me to join you in the heavens, help me to "do according to your word".
Monday, November 19, 2018

I Kings 11:11

Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.

For further study - I Kings 11:1-12

As we continue through I Kings, next is chapter 10, which is the account of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. This one note of fact, King Solomon never gave the Queen the "ark of the covenant" thus it never went to Ethiopia. The next chapter contains a prophecy for that day as well as the near future.

Our key verse, verse 11, in our devotional reading for today is the prophecy that I’m referring to that has the connection between yesterday and the future. This prophecy to Solomon thus becomes the "prototype" for a prophecy yet to be fulfilled. 

The fulfillment of this prophecy is recorded in I Kings 12:16-24. The dividing of the Kingdom of Solomon - 10 tribes under Jeroboam known as "Israel" and two tribes under Rehoboam known as "Judah".

These 12 tribes would reunite almost 500 years later. This reunification of the twelve tribes of Israel would take place in the days of the reign of Cyrus of the Medo-Persian Empire, Ezra 1:1-3 and Ezra 2.

However, the ancient Jewish prophet Ezekiel reveals another division among the Jewish people will take place during the last days leading up to and during the seven year Tribulation Period.

Ezekiel 37:15-23 is prophecy that is yet to come to pass. There will be two Jewish states at that time known as "Israel" and "Judah" (see my study on Ezekiel 37 on my CD "Ezekiel, Retribution and Restoration') .

The stage is being set for this prophecy to be fulfilled with the growing division among the Jewish people of Israel over the issue of the Jewish settlements in the area of Judea and Samaria (sometimes referred to as the "West Bank").

In addition to the division in the body politic of Israel there is the continuing pressure from the United States, the European Union and the United Nations for the Israeli government to evacuate the almost 500,000 Jewish settlers in Judea and Samaria.

There is a recent poll done by Hebrew University that reveals there are thousands of these Jewish settlers that say they will “take up arms” to stop their own government from evacuating their families from the homes that they have lived in for more then five decades.

We are witnessing the formation of the two Jewish states called for in Bible Prophecy, even today. The Rapture will happen before this division of the single Jewish State of Israel today. Thus the Rapture could be today........ So let's keep looking up.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, as I watch the preparations for the fulfillment of Bible Prophecy help me to allow my understanding of future events to cause me to live in light of your Word, a life expecting You to call me to be with You at any moment.