The Kosher Red Heifer Is The Missing Piece in the Prophetic Puzzle, And It Could Already Be Here!

Almost a year after five red heifers were found in Rockwall, Texas, and flown to Eretz Yisrael, how close are we to the animals being qualified for the critical sacrifice required to generate the ashes of a red heifer needed for purification at the time of the third Temple (Revelation 11:1)? It could be closer than we think!

Israel currently doesn’t have a Temple in Jerusalem. The remains of Herod's Temple are all that's left, and the foundation of that building is what is known as the Kotel or Western Wall. Are things about to change? The Bible speaks of a third and a fourth Temple or Millennial Temple (Ezekiel 40-48). The third Temple is a project that has been at the heart of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem for decades. A section of religious Jews is convinced that they will be rebuilding their Temple and once again resume the sacrificial system in Israel, and they are absolutely correct. Towards that end, they have painstakingly recreated all the implements necessary for the resumption of Temple life. Everything has been ready for a while now, even the priests from the tribe of Levi (remember that the tribe of Levi is the only one that can be identified since its identity was preserved in the name of its members such as Levy and Cohen and other derivatives). So, what remains to be done before the Temple is rebuilt? Well, not a whole lot.

Obviously, the location of the Temple remains a very controversial topic since the current Temple Mount is more of a Muslim site than anything. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is built on top of the Temple Mount, and that is currently the biggest hurdle to rebuilding a Temple at that location. I do believe that part of the peace treaty that the Antichrist will sign with Israel will include the possibility of rebuilding and that the Antichrist will be successful at making Arabs and Jews get along. The Temple could even be rebuilt through a collaboration of the two groups and including Gentile assistance (Zechariah 6:12-13). This would be a great example of world peace brought by the Antichrist, especially during the first half of the Great Tribulation. A false world peace that is!

Let's assume that the Temple could be rebuilt today. That doesn't automatically mean that Temple duties and the sacrificial system could resume because to resume Temple duties, a red heifer is needed. It is also important to note that the third Temple, while simply called the third Temple by its Jewish proponents, is also known by Yeshua’s followers as the Tribulation Temple. It is a building that never was and never will be condoned by God. It is needed for the end times agenda to unravel, but it is not the Temple that God wants. Sometimes God allows for events to take place for his plan for mankind to be possible. The Tribulation Temple is such an edifice, and yet, there is a critical aspect of Temple purification that remains unfulfilled, and it pertains to the ashes of the red heifer.

The reason why a red heifer is needed is that Jewish people at the Temple must present themselves in a state of ritual purity before they perform their duties. We get this from the Passover celebration in the wilderness in Numbers 9:5-7“They observed the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the LORD had commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did. But there were some men who were unclean because of the dead person, so that they could not observe Passover on that day.” The 113th commandment of the 613 found in the Torah stipulates that “the ashes of a red heifer are to be used in the process of ritual purification.” (Numbers 19:1-22.)

Only nine red heifers were ever found in the entire history of Israel, so it goes without saying that they are extremely rare and valuable. So, the possibility of five new red heifers in existence today is extremely important. Much mystery surrounds the reason for using the ashes of a red heifer. It is even mentioned in the New Testament in Hebrews 9:13-14 as an example of Yeshua’s spotless, sinless sacrifice being greater than the ashes of the animal.

Recently, on the biblical site of Shiloh, where the Tabernacle once was (Joshua 18:1), a group of Levites went through a practice run. One of the five red heifers brought from Texas in 2022 was presented at that ceremony. The animal is just months away from being of age for the sacrifice, and if it continues to grow and not show more than two white hairs, IT WILL QUALIFY FOR SACRIFICE very soon. This means that Israel will have everything needed to rebuild a temple and resume the sacrificial system interrupted in A.D. 70. This is both exciting and terrifying. Let me explain.

This is exciting both for Jews and Christians. The idea that the Third Temple could be erected and functioning in this generation is very exciting to some of the Jewish people around the world, but especially in Israel. This being said, only about 15% of all Jewish people are religious and even less within that percentage long for a Temple to be rebuilt. Those who await that day, like the people from the Temple Institute in the Old City of Jerusalem, are very excited. To them, this announces the coming of the Mashiach, the messianic age, and peace on earth, so who wouldn't want that?

To the Christians who study eschatology (the study of the end times), this coming temple is also very real. It is known as the Tribulation Temple and is required to be built and functioning during the seven-year Tribulation (Daniel 9:24-27). This is the Temple that the Antichrist will desecrate (2 Thessalonians 2:4) after the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation, so it has to be rebuilt soon. To Bible-believing followers of Yeshua, this confirms the veracity of the Bible and its flawless prophetic word. We know that the Third Temple will be rebuilt because God's word says so, and God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18.) From the perspective of end times events and their biblical accuracy, this is very exciting, unfortunately, for Christians, there is another side to that coin.

As soon as the Tribulation starts and the Temple is fully functioning, the clock is ticking, and it is a short span of time in comparison to world history. The proverbial rubber will be meeting the road in a very bad way for all people on earth at that time. It is understandable when Christians get excited about the rebuilding of the Temple because it means that we are that much closer to the return of Yeshua the Messiah. The sad reality for many people is that around the time of the resumption of the sacrificial system in Jerusalem at the Third Temple, things will start going south very rapidly.

What first will appear as a beautiful Jewish Temple reminiscent of Herod's Temple about 2,000 years ago, will become a place desecrated by the Antichrist (Daniel 9:26-27; 2 Thessalonians 2:4.) This coincides with the time when people will "willingly" take the Mark of the Beast and seal their fate as followers of the Antichrist. This will be an unprecedented time of great turmoil, as prophesied in Jeremiah 30:7 and Daniel 12:1.

The red heifers are getting really close to being kosher and ready for the sacrifice producing the ashes to be mixed with water for purification. All the Temple implements are ready to go and the Levites have been trained. It is 11:59 PM on the prophetic clock, and yet, so much can still be accomplished in the last minute before the prophetic midnite call. Our desire to share the message of hope with the lost should be boiling inside us.

I don't know if I will witness the making of the purifying water in my lifetime, but I know without a doubt that it is coming and that once that part of God's program is in motion, there is no looking back. I have been on God's side for the last 40 years. I hope you are too, and I pray that you will be bold about the hope that you have in Yeshua. NOW IS THE TIME!

This is the Mark of the Beast, Are You at Risk?

The Mark of the Beast is not a Hollywood creation to generate ticket sales, it is a real Mark for real people that will tragically affect our world in the not-so-distant future. This being said, what is the Mark of the Beast and more importantly, who will take it and what will be their fate for taking it? It is definitely a very intriguing issue in all of Bible Prophecy, and as such, it has generated many books, conferences and YouTube videos. People go from making fun of it to being terrified that they might have taken it. I believe that like everything else, moderation is key and that we should seek solid ground rooted in Scripture to explain the Mark of the Beast.
The Bible speaks of that Mark with the most details in Revelation 13:16-18, 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a Mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the Mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.
It is important to understand that the Beast is the Antichrist. It is critical to understanding his Mark and his destructive agenda (Revelation 13).  He will be under the authority of the dragon (Satan, Rev. 13:2 4).  He is also the "little horn" of Daniel 7:7-8, 20-25. So, If indeed the Beast is the Antichrist powered and directed by Satan, we understand that there is absolutely nothing good about this Mark; but it still doesn't tell us who will get it, when, how and if they can escape from its grip after receiving it.

• The timing of the Mark of the Beast: Some believe that the Mark of the Beast occurred in the past (preterist).  These are people who view the events of the book of Revelation as already having happened and they identify the Beast as Roman Emperor Nero. This would have occurred between AD 66-70 and culminated with the destruction of the Temple. Yet, the book of Revelation was written about 30 years after the reign of Nero, so that would force us to see the book of Revelation as non-prophetic, and Nero NEVER fulfilled all the events of Revelation 13 required to identify him as the Beast. Additionally, Nero never forced a mark on anybody. The Mark of the Beast has yet to come!

• The reason for the Mark of the Beast: While the Bible tells us that without the Mark of the Beast, nobody can buy or sell during the Tribulation (Rev. 13:17), the ultimate purpose for the Mark is for someone to show unconditional allegiance and devotion to the Antichrist (Rev. 13:15). The Antichrist will not invite people or offer them options to follow him. He will demand it! People will either worship the Antichrist or they will worship Christ (Yeshua the Messiah). The consequences will be drastically different. Those who worship the Beast will temporarily be taken care of during the second half of the Tribulation, but their eternal destiny will be the Lake of Fire without exception (Rev. 20:11-15).

•  The number of the Mark of the Beast: 666 is probably one of the most-known numbers in history by believers and unbelievers alike. Revelation 13:18 advises those with wisdom to calculate the number of the Beast. The process of assigning a numerical value to letters exists in Hebrew, Greek and English and other languages. It is known as Gematria, and while people can get out of control with the use of Gematria, Revelation 13:16-18 can be granted some clarity from its proper use. Many reputable scholars see the number 6 as the number of man, one short of the number 7, representing the number of perfection or the number of God. As powerful as the Antichrist will be at his peak of power, he will always remain just a man, still under the control of the perfect God of the universe. His name will have a numerical value of 666, but until his name is revealed, many names can have that numerical value. So, first people will have to hear his name and then they will be able to calculate the value of the letters as Revelation 13:18 tells us, Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast.

• The location of the Mark of the Beast: A tremendous number of books have been written on what the Mark of the Beast will be and where it will be located on or in the human body. People continue to speculate on this topic. For decades, people have conjectured on the possibility for the Mark of the Beast to be an under-the-skin microchip implant, an ID card or recently even a vaccine. While the exact nature of this Mark cannot be determined with certainty with what the Bible reveals to us, we know a few details about it. Revelation 13:16 says that the Mark will appear on their right hand or on their forehead. It never mentions "under" the skin or "within" the body of a person. Incidentally the Hebrew Scriptures also use the word "mark" similarly to the way it is used in Revelation 13. "The Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a Mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst." (Ezekiel 9:4.) The Greek word used in Revelation 13:16 is epi, meaning "upon" or "on" and never "inside" or "under".  The Mark will be on the right hand or on the forehead.

• The Recipients of the Mark of the Beast: Now, considering that a variety of people have worried about receiving the Mark of the Beast in some way or another for a very long time, it would be helpful to narrow down who will actually receive that Mark. Since the Mark of the Beast is a future event taking place during the Tribulation, nobody will be at risk of receiving it prior to that seven-year period of time on earth, and it really doesn't come into effect until the Antichrist demands to be worshipped as god at the mid-point of the Tribulation. The identity of the Antichrist will be revealed after the Rapture of the church (2 Thessalonians 2:2-3), when he signs a peace treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:26-27). People will choose to take the Mark of the Beast so that they can survive in a world where the entire economy is based on acceptance or refusal of that Mark. Part of taking the Mark of the Beast will be a total allegiance to and worship of the Antichrist. Those who refuse the Mark by trusting Yeshua will most likely die as Tribulation martyrs.

• The Finality of the Mark of the Beast: While no one can receive the Mark of the Beast until the middle of the seven-year Tribulation, receiving it has dire consequences. It marks the point of no return for that individual who will willingly reject Yeshua and worship the Beast. His identity and the exact way that the Mark will be displayed are still unknown, but the result of taking the Mark is very clear, Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a Mark on his forehead or on his hand,10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.11And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the Mark of his name.”

The Mark of the Beast is to be feared if you are not part of the family of God and will find yourself left behind and suffer through the seven-year Tribulation. Even then, not taking it is the best outcome because your death as a result of rejecting the Antichrist and trusting Yeshua will result in eternity in God's presence. Taking the Mark of the Beast will bring social and economic benefits in days of global havoc, but they will be short-lived, and the end result will be eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone. For those of us on God’s side, the Mark of the Beast isn't to be feared, even if much of the technology to accompany and facilitate it is already in place, it will simply not affect believers.

Let's not worry about the meaning of 666, the method by which the Mark will be inaugurated or who will choose it. Let us make it clear to those who don't yet know Yeshua that they either come to a saving knowledge of the Messiah today and avoid the Tribulation altogether or procrastinate and trust Him on the other end of the Rapture and suffer greatly and unnecessarily.

Holocaust and Pandemic: Common Points and Differences!

I am not going to deny that the current handling of our global pandemic is strangely reminiscent of the 1930s in Europe. I even recently wrote an article about that very fact. It frightens me to see how people are being handled and even categorized based upon their decision to receive medical help or not. This is even becoming more divisive than the current political climate that has already become a tragic tear in the fabric of America.
Yet, if we simply state that this reminds us of the Holocaust and how the Jewish people were treated, we are not doing justice to the current situation and we run the risk of minimizing the Holocaust and trivializing its legacy. There are some common points between the two but there are also some differences that need to be recognized.

COMMON POINTS
• People are being stigmatized: There is a feeling of disgrace and even disapproval of those who differ in opinion from both ends of the issue. What happened to having an opinion, sharing it with others and simply and cordially agreeing to disagree? I fear that that ship might have sailed.

• Privacy is being infringed:
In our age of information, instant communication and "smart" everything, our privacy is constantly shrinking.  We gladly give away information for the added convenience of speaking orders to a machine and waving our hand in front of a scanner or our smart tech at a pay station. This is not going away anytime soon, if ever. The current crisis invades our privacy as it demands that we divulge private information about ourselves for "our safety" or "the safety of others".

• The authorities are checking identity documents: In some countries, the government is trying to enforce a verification process that demands people have an ID document with their current health status.

• People are exposing their own neighbors: We are starting to see people exposing those they don't agree with or those who they feel do not comply with what is in force. Trust is becoming a very rare commodity.

• People are being conditioned: It is not just about those who do not wish to receive medical attention, but also about those who do and who are being conditioned for further compliance to whichever organization, government or individual that will come in our future. They are also being conditioned to view other people with different opinions as potentially dangerous

• People are being separated: In some countries and in various cases, people are being placed in facilities for quarantine. There is a positive aspect of keeping infected people away from healthy ones; yet, in the current case, it would seem that healing is less important than being separated and ostracized.  Some see it as a modern Ghetto, but I wouldn't go that far.

DIFFERENCES
• Property is not being confiscated: During the Holocaust, Jewish property was being confiscated. I remember my father's stories about his father having to relinquish his radio set, his bicycle and any other means by which he could connect and/or communicate with the outside world.

• People are not being singled out for race or ethnicity: Outside of some minority groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, Gypsies and mentally impaired people, the Holocaust primarily and wrongly targeted the Jews as a subhuman race in need of extermination like vermin.

• People are not being placed in forced labor: During the Holocaust, people were being forced into camps, first for internment, but they rapidly became labor camps so that the Nazi regime could get free labor during wartime. That was just temporary before the camps became death camps.

• People are not being killed:
Although emotions are running high and misinformation is coming from both sides of the medical care debate today, people are not being killed for disagreeing. During the Holocaust, there was only misinformation coming from one side and it was always against the Jewish People. Placing them first in the camps for “labor”, was only temporary.  They quickly became the death camps where six million were lost.

Those are the main commonalities and differences, and we should be very careful before we claim that this situation is similar to the 1930s and the Holocaust. Am I concerned? Absolutely! Could it get worse? Of course it could - and it very well might!

As Bible students and modern-day disciples of Yeshua the Messiah, the one aspect about all this that we do not want to miss, is the coming of the Antichrist on the world scene. That event is a sure thing and when it takes place, all of the points made above will become a reality beyond what anyone could fathom right now. Following are some scriptural truths about the Antichrist.

• The Antichrist is a coming global human ruler – Daniel 7-12
• He will be a Gentile – Revelation 13:1
• He will be revealed after the departure of the Holy Spirit (after the Rapture) – 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7
• He will rise to absolute power – Daniel 7:8208:23
• He will sign a seven-year treaty with Israel – Daniel 9:27
• He will break his treaty/covenant in the middle of the seven-year Tribulation – Daniel 9:27Matthew 24:21; Revelation 13:14-15
• He will claim that he is God – Daniel 11:36
• He will persecute the Jewish People (and all those who take the mark of the beast) – Daniel 7:21
• He will set up and start “the abomination of desolation” – Daniel 12:11
• He will invade Israel – Daniel 11:40-45; Ezekiel 38-39
• He will conquer – Daniel 11:38-44
• He will be defeated – Daniel 7:11269:27

Let's not jump the gun, but let's be diligent about the current events. There are obvious similarities and they are frightening. Things will eventually go south for mankind and get a lot worse, but we also must remember that our hope is and should continue to be in the Messiah of Israel, His redeeming atonement for us all (Isaiah 52:13-53:12) and His imminent return. It is those who have placed their trust in Yeshua of Nazareth who will join Him before it gets to the point of “the abomination of desolation”. Are you in?

The One End Times Prophecy You Can Take to the Bank Today!

The words "end times", "prophecy" or "prophetic" usually get people's attention when uttered, and they should! Unfortunately, a lot of false teaching is being done under the heading of "end times prophecies" and it can be very damaging. There is a proper, healthy way to look at the prophetic word, biblically. But let's start by defining what we mean by prophecy. The word "prophecy" comes from two Greek words meaning, “to speak for or before”. Thus, prophecy means to be speaking or writing about events for someone or before they occurred. All prophecies of the Bible are from God only, and none of them were from the prophet’s origin (2 Peter 1:20.) The prophet of God can either be used for forth-telling (inspired telling) or  foretelling (predicting). In both cases, they are directed by God Himself for the benefit of mankind. From that perspective, almost 30% of the Tenach (Old Testament) is prophetic, and almost 22% of the B'rit Hadashah (New Testament) is prophetic.

More and more people are wondering why we should even study prophecy. Intimidated by apparent biblical difficulties, inconsistencies or contradictions, people give up on prophecy and miss out on about one third of the counsel of God.  We should study prophecy for several reasons:

• It comforts and calms: God has always been in control of all events of history. We are comforted (John 14:1-4) with the fact that He gave us His unchanging word, especially messianic prophecies that were all literally fulfilled in ONE person, the future unfulfilled prophecies will likewise be literally fulfilled.
• It cleanses and changes: In light of the fact that Yeshua of Nazareth could return at any moment, we should strive to lead lives that are pleasing to Him. (Titus 2:14; 2 Peter 3:13-14). In the effort to lead better lives for Him, we cannot avoid growing closer to God.
• It helps us understand who Messiah is and who God is: By studying messianic prophecies in the Tenach (Old Testament), we discover that through progressive revelation, God has granted us with increasing knowledge about the person, character, timeline and redemptive career of Messiah. Eventually, as the prophecies are studied within the grammatical/historical context, they all point to the same person: Yeshua of Nazareth.

But we must be careful to properly approach the prophetic word. Many approaches to the study of prophecy have been introduced over the ages. It is important to use a consistent approach when studying prophecy, as switching between approaches might satisfy our desire for an interpretation that fits our needs or understanding, but would do a disservice to God’s word. The proper study of prophecy helps us understand the whole Bible and it motivates us to live godly lives.

Towards that goal, we must remember the David L. Cooper's “Golden Rule of Interpretation": "When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise."  The bottom line is this; a text apart from its context is a pretext!

Regardless of all the warnings about taking Scripture out of context to fit the news or one's opinion (eisegesis), people thrive on speculating on end times events. Newspaper eisegesis is running rampant today. Especially in the era of the Internet and social networks, it is easy for someone to become a self-proclaimed prophecy teacher, throwing a bible verse here and there to impress their online audiences.

Trying to identify the Antichrist or pinpoint the exact date of the Rapture of the believers are two favorite topics for a lot of people. There have been more potential candidates for the office of antichrist over the ages, than we can count or list here. Some say that he will be a Muslim, others say that he will be a Jew or a Gentile. People are divided on that topic, but it preaches well, and it sells books even better. A thorough study of the prophet Daniel and the book of Revelation will equip us to understand that the Antichrist will be a Gentile leader (read "totalitarian dictator") who will appear on the world scene after the Rapture of the believers, as soon as the Great Tribulation starts (Daniel 9:27.)

As to the Rapture, people have been speculating on the exact date when it will occur, when in fact nobody knows the day or the hour. These, as Ed Hindson and Mark Hitchcock state, are "calculated guesses based upon interpretive assumptions" at best. We can learn from a study of God's word  that the Rapture will happen, and that it will be before the Tribulation, although not everybody agrees on the timing, but nobody should set a firm date. I often imagine Yeshua, currently at the right hand of God, looking down on us and each time someone sets a new date, He shrugs and says: "They set a new date for the Rapture, I got to postpone again!" I say this tongue-in-cheek of course, but there is some truth in that statement.

Now, I promised you at least one end times bible prophecy that you can take to the bank, I will actually give you two. This doesn't mean that the rest of the prophetic word cannot be trusted or is with error. It simply means that we should tread the prophetic landscape carefully, lest we have to back pedal on some unfounded dogmatic statement we made. As to the currents events that we can know for sure are part of the prophetic future, they are the apostasy of the Church and the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.

The apostasy of the Church is promised in the Bible. Paul said that the Antichrist will not be revealed to the world until “the apostasy comes first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3.) Additionally, Yeshua prophesied that “many will fall away” and “most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:10, 12.) It is not difficult to see that much of the Church today is increasingly shifting towards that toxic behavior. Revelation 2 and 3 also give us some examples of the great falling away. Are we in the midst of the great apostasy? Will it get worse before it gets better? Are we not there yet? I think that we have started as a Church to see the falling away but it will get worse, and I am not even talking about the Great Tribulation, but what must take place before it.

Now, let's look at the one world event that we are living through today that is a guarantee that we are in the last days. I am speaking of the regathering of the Jewish people to the land of Eretz Yisrael. God promised to restore the land of Israel and He did when He allowed for the birth of the modern state of Israel on May 14, 1948. Beyond the restoration of the land, He also promised in Ezekiel that the Jewish people would return to it in the end times. Ezekiel 36:24 is clear, "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land." This speaks of the physical restoration of Israel and it has literally been happening in front of our very eyes for the last few decades. Additionally, In Ezekiel 37, the prophet is given a vision known as "the vision of the valley of dry bones", in which he is told that Jewish people will return to Israel. This is about Israel's national restoration, which is controlled by the God of Israel.

Jews have been coming to Israel under "the Law of Return" since 1948, but even more so in the last few decades. God is directing His chosen people back to His land for the final days before the return of the Mashiach. France has lost 50,000 Jews in the last 30 years, most of them in the last 15, due to the increased antisemitism that we have been witnessing lately. Is God behind this surge in antisemitism? He is not, but He can easily allow it as part of His divine plan. After all, He allowed for Satan to mess with Job at a level that most of us cannot even comprehend, but God did not hurt Job Himself. Can God allow for antisemitism to increase so that His chosen people will return home to Israel? Can God allow us to get into difficult and dangerous situations to draw us closer to Him, the answer is yes to both.

But, the national physical restoration is only part of this world event, because we will also see the spiritual rebirth of Israel as we read in Ezekiel 36:25-27, "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances."

Frankly, the national regathering of Israel is nothing short of a miracle. We, the Jews should not exist, if it was not for God's grace and the fact that He made promises to Israel that He ratified in His covenants. The fact that Jewish people are moving to Israel in droves from the four corners of the world should encourage us about God's promises. It is the one current end times prophecy that we can claim is happening in front of our very eyes. What it does, is that it confirms that the word of God is true, tested and guaranteed.

We do not need to know the exact identity of the Antichrist (if you do know his identity, it actually means that you were left behind and are suffering through the Great Tribulation, and you don't really want that to happen to you!) We also do not need to know the exact date for the Rapture, we just need to know that it will happen for sure (it is actually the next prophetic event on God's timetable and could happen anytime now.) What we need to know, is that as we see the Jewish people repopulating their ancestral biblical land, we are living in the end times for sure and this should encourage us and motivate us to share the Gospel with people.

Is the Antichrist Watching the News?

First, we need to realize that the Antichrist is a real person. He is not a Christian legend to scare people. The Antichrist is real and while nobody knows that for sure, he might even be alive today.  What I can tell you, is that if he is alive, he is probably watching the news daily, awaiting to make his entrance on the world stage as the greatest "peacemaker" ever introduced to mankind. That is of course not taking into consideration the real peacemaker; Yeshua the Messiah! So, what do we really know about the Antichrist? For this, we have to go to the source, where truth can be found. The Bible actually has quite a few details about him:

• The Antichrist is a coming global human ruler - Daniel 7-12
• He will be a Gentile - Revelation 13:1
• He will be revealed after the departure of the Holy Spirit (after the Rapture) - 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7
• He will rise to absolute power - Daniel 7:8, 20; 8:23
• He will sign a seven-year treaty with Israel - Daniel 9:27
• He will break his treaty/covenant in the middle of the seven-year Tribulation - Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:21; Revelation 13:14-15
• He will claim that he is God - Daniel 11:36
• He will persecute the Jewish People - Daniel 7:21
• He will set-up and start "the abomination of desolation" - Daniel 12:11
• He will invade Israel - Daniel 11:40-45; Ezekiel 38-39
• He will conquer - Daniel 11:38-44
• He will be defeated - Daniel 7:11, 26; 9:27
Much more can be learned about the Antichrist from Mark Hitchcock in his book The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and of the End days.

Over time, people have speculated about the identity of the Antichrist. Each time that a nasty world figure became prominent in the news, it garnered them the title–albeit potential–of Antichrist. Eventually, that person would fade away or die and their wrongly assigned title with them. Whoever he is, and regardless of him already being alive today or not, the world has to be in the right place for the Antichrist to enter the stage and be accepted by all. This leads me to the concerns I have about the recent normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. First, we must look at peace from three different perspectives:

From a human perspective, in a region that has been punctuated by wars since Israel's birth as a modern nation on May 14, 1948, seeing peace between the two countries is highly unexpected and very exciting. There has been a "proverbial" hatred between Arabs and Jews for the last 75 years. In all honesty, the hatred is lopsided. There seems to be more hatred for Israel and the Jews from most Arab countries than there is from Israel towards the Arab world. This still takes into consideration the fact that both sides have friends and foes for either side. It's complicated! But from a human perspective, peace is good. As long as we understand that humanly speaking, peace simply means the absence of war. I'll still take that any day!

From a biblical perspective, it goes even further. We are asked to be at peace with our neighbors and love them (Leviticus 19:18; Romans 12:18). We are also supposed to be at peace and submissive to our governments (Romans 13:1-3). Additionally, in the very words of Yeshua, we are also to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). From a human perspective, this is a very tall order and it is also the only command of the sort from any of all the world religions. I have to remind myself every day that I MUST pray for my enemies and love those who persecute me. In that sense, this makes followers of Yeshua very unique. We definitely need the help of the Holy Spirit for that one!

But I would also like to look at one more aspect, being the prophetic perspective. We read in Daniel 9:26-27, "Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

There aren't that many passages in the Bible that include so much meaning and span such a long period of time in only two verses. I would like to bring our attention to the semblance of peace that this individual will bring. It will apparently come at a time soon after the Rapture of the Church when a lot of people would have "mysteriously" disappeared. Havoc will reign worldwide and the need for stability will be greater than ever. The Antichrist will come and sign a covenant with Israel, giving the world the false idea that peace has arrived on earth in general and in the Middle East in particular. We have to always keep in mind that the Antichrist will counterfeit for his own profit, all that Messiah (Christ) does. If Messiah brought real peace in the heart of men (at His first Coming) and real peace in the world upon His return at the Second Coming after the Tribulation, the Antichrist will try to counterfeit that as well with false peace.

The region in the world that is the most volatile, and has been that way for decades, is the Middle East. If that region could appear to be at peace, that would go a long way to prepare the stage for the Antichrist. This is why I don't look at the normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE with the same enthusiasm as others. I rejoice for the temporal human peace aspect from that historic decision, but I also see it as a potential first of many agreements setting up the stage for the Antichrist. I look at this with great anticipation because I know that the End-Times clock is ticking towards the final countdown.

Ezekiel told us that Israel will be invaded when "my people Israel are living securely" (Ezekiel 38:14), so Israel must feel at peace to somehow have its guard down. Antichrist will do his best at gathering nations against Jerusalem ( Zechariah 12:1-2; 14:1-3, Revelation 16:16; 19:19). There will be much damage and many casualties (Zechariah 13:9), but ultimately, Antichrist will be defeated (Revelation 20:10), and all Israel will know their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10; Romans 11:26.)

My intention is not to be the bearer of bad news. Again, from a human perspective, this normalization will undoubtedly bring a well deserved period of respite to the region, only the third treaty after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Not to mention the threat to Iran if more Arab countries follow suit–and they most likely will. Looking at the geographical situation with Iran, alliances between Israel and any Arab country will continue to be a threat to Iran's aspirations of hegemony. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" as they say, and this could have even played a part in the recent decision.

At the end of the day, the world is ready for the Antichrist, but the world is also ready for the Messiah. It is up to those of us who know the difference, to teach those who would be tempted to follow the Antichrist, and lead them to the only true Prince of Peace known as Yeshua of Nazareth (Isaiah 9:6-7; 52:13-53:12.)