Trumpet Sounds
 Issue 83              Spring 2007

We greet you lovingly in the Lord’s wonderful name as we join in celebrating the resurrection of our Lord, His ascension to glory and the coming of the blessed Holy Spirit. In this issue we reflect on the Lord’s Second Coming, and in these days when the world is looking for men women of stature we include a bible study on Daniel, a wonderful example of how to live in a hostile world.  Some reflections on the ascension of Jesus conclude with the triumphant statement that the Lord will return to God’s own city, Jerusalem.

Nearing the End
Khosrow  (Iran)
A collapsing house
A comparison of the lives of Daniel and Jesus
The Forgotten Festival

Nearing the End [PW]
           This summer marks 40 years of Jerusalem being returned to Jewish sovereignty. The remarkable events of June 1967 are evidence that God was behind the very swift victory. Of the things that are to precede the Second Coming, the return of the Jews to Israel and the restoration of Jerusalem, are the most significant. In the last Trumpet Sounds I set out my understanding that the prophecy of the seventy weeks in Daniel 9 points to a period of not less than 49 years elapsing between the end time decree to restore Jerusalem and the Second Coming of Christ. This is a period in which both Israel and the church are to get ready. Is Israel more prepared for the coming of her Messiah now than 40 years ago?  Is the church a ready and expectant bride waiting to hear the Bridegroom’s call?
            Israel is more secular, more sinful and less prepared for the Messiah than she was 40 years ago.  We all praise God for the significant growth in numbers of Messianic believers over last 40 years, but they are still only a tiny percentage of the population as a whole. The nation at large is very far from God. The following quote from Israel Today illustrates the decline in standards:
            “In a scathing commentary written for Yediot Ahronot, Asaf Wohl, winner of the Deacon's Prize at Haifa University in the subject of Israel's history, lamented the state of Israel's secondary education system, which is making the Bible irrelevant to future generations of Israelis.
            Religious schools have a tendency to focus on interpretations of the Bible, while Israel's non-religious school curriculum calls for the dissection of every line of every scripture in search of modern parallels. Meanwhile, both almost completely ignore the biblical narrative itself. In the case of Israel's "secular" schools, where the vast majority of children are educated, the result is that the stories of the Bible that form the basis of the nation's history and moral fibre, have been made almost intellectually offensive to Israel's youth, decried Wohl.”
            There is a debate among those who care about Israel regarding how much she will suffer before her Messiah comes. Scriptures such as Daniel12:1 and Matthew 24: 21,22 point to a time of very great suffering.  Those, whose hearts cry out for Israel, find this hard to accept.  They see a nation that has already suffered greatly. Can it really be that they are to suffer even more?  Various interpretations are offered to find a way around the scriptures, which point to even worse to come. To the question; ‘how much will Israel suffer’, I offer a simple answer, ‘no more than is necessary to bring her to repentance’.  If the nation repented today all the suffering of the last 2000 years would be ended. Her Lord would rise up in protection over her.
            Israel is destined to form the central part of the Messiah’s kingdom, not by her choice but by His election. She may obstinately resist but her destiny is pre-determined.  I find that the simple interpretation of scripture is that her resistance will be very great.  Sadly she is still the same stubborn nation which will not listen that was lamented by Jeremiah.  She has placed all her hope in being a nation, possession of the land, military strength and political negotiation.  All these will fail her. If only she would listen to her own prophets of the Tanakh.  They repeatedly warned that it is not military strength and alliances with other nations, which give security but righteousness and faith in the living God.
            The scriptures, which point to a time of suffering greater than anything since she became a nation, are motivation to pray for Israel.  Prayer that she will turn to her Lord so that her suffering will be reduced.  If Christians were to accept the extreme gravity of the situation they would plead her case before the throne.  During the time of suffering Michael will rise up to rescue everyone found written in the book, Daniel 12:1.  We can pray that many will have their names written in the book of life.
            To the second question of whether the church was ready for the return of Jesus, I am sure that most readers of Trumpet Sounds would give a negative answer.  Meaningful teaching on the Second Coming is almost non existent. 
The church is ill prepared for a time of suffering before our Lord returns. The church like Israel is called on the pass through a time of suffering but the reasons are very different.  The purpose of Israel’s suffering is to bring her to repentance.  The church will be permitted to suffer for two purposes. The first purpose is to condemn the world; the second is to prepare a people to reign with Christ. The gospel is to be preached to all nations.  The response of the world will be to reject it.  The hatred towards and the treatment of believers will demonstrate that rejection.  The suffering the world brings on the church will bring down the wrath of God on a guilty world.
            For the Christian the return of Christ is the ‘blessed hope’. It is a subject of great excitement and joy. We look forward to seeing the world restored to paradise.  There will be no more war, suffering, hunger or exploitation. But for the world the coming of Christ is a matter of terror and wrath. When Jesus returns not all will be judged and removed from this world.  Many from the nations will continue into the kingdom.  Those who followed the Antichrist will be judged and condemned. But many will have followed neither Christ nor Antichrist.  They may not have followed Satan but they are still sinful and unregenerate. They will live on into the kingdom and will be the reason why Jesus when he comes will have to rule with a rod of iron.  They will not respond kindly to the rule of the righteous.
            In Revelation 20 it is the martyrs out of this time of tribulation who will reign with Christ.  At the return of Jesus all believers will be raised to be with Him forever.  Some will be chosen to reign with Him in His kingdom. He is calling and preparing a people to reign.  A people of proven loyalty, who put faith in Jesus before their own lives.  These have been chosen to reign with Him.  Are you ready?

Khosrow  (Iran) [PW]
            Even as a small child, Khosrow questioned the “meaning of life.”  Everything around him raised questions.  Why do flowers have color?  What’s beyond the stars?  Where do we go when we die? Who are “those people” inside the TV set?  Where do they go when the TV is shut off?  When no one could answer his many questions satisfactorily, his sensitive nature gave way to a growing depression.
            One day as a young man, he passed by an Assyrian Christian church and decided to go inside, thinking he might find answers to some of his “questions.”  There were only a few elderly women there and an elderly pastor who gave him a box of books.  The books were all in Farsi and among them was a copy of the New Testament, which Khosrow read from cover to cover.  But the experience of reading alone was not enough to satisfy his search for answers.  He threw the book across his room in despair.  Just then, the form of a man came to him in a vision.  This man extended his hands toward Khosrow and told him: “Take my hands and everything will change forever.” Khosrow took the man’s hands and a wave of what he describes as “electricity” flowed through his body. Kneeling, he began to weep, making such a noise that his parents rushed to the room.  They were flabbergasted to see their son crying for the first time in many, many years.
            Khosrow’s vision was not a figment of his imagination.   He returned to the Assyrian pastor who had given him the books and described his experience.  Over the following years, Khosrow grew as a disciple of the Lord, eventually becoming a pastor himself.  But the persecution of Christians in Iran forced him to flee to Turkey with his wife and two children.  There were persecutions and difficulties in Turkey as well, but Khosrow and his family won people over through patience and love.  Khosrow planted more churches in Turkey before he and his family were forced to flee again. 
This time they sought refuge in Austria. They flew from Turkey to Bosnia and made their way from there on foot through treacherous mountain passes at night.  While crossing a river, Khosrow’s son, Joseph, lost his footing on a makeshift bridge and fell into the freezing water, dragging his father in as well.  The river was fast flowing and deep, and Khosrow flailed about in the dark water, searching in vain for his son.  Meanwhile, his wife had also jumped into the river to help, but was in danger of drowning. Suddenly, Khosrow felt as if someone put Joseph into his arms.  He also felt as if    someone—invisible to his eyes—was helping him stand in the deep water, then helping him carry Joseph to the river’s embankment.  All were saved and the family, persevering through yet more ordeals, made their way to Austria and safety.
            Khosrow compares the invisible hands that saved him and his family that night to the hands he saw and felt in his vision of Jesus.  He tells the story of being asked once by a skeptic how he could know the vision wasn’t a product of his own imagination.  Khosrow asked the skeptic if he was wearing clothes. The man was taken aback by the question, but the analogy was clear.  Khosrow’s vision was as real as that and more.
            The above is taken from you can read testimonies of other Muslims who have also converted following dreams and visions of Jesus.  The site includes videos of their testimonies in Arabic with English subtitles. Many Muslims will tell you that no one ever leaves Islam.  This is a good place to help them understand that many do find real peace, fulfilment and salvation in Jesus.

 A Collapsing House [PW]
            A couple of years ago I wrote an article that started with a story about a house, which collapsed. After surveying the house I became worried that the rear wall was no longer stable.  I reported this to the client and then became worried that I was being over alarmist.  The point being that I had similar worries about warning that Islam will play a central role in the fulfilment of end time prophecies.  I shared my belief that the USA will soon collapse as an international power and that Europe will succumb to Islam.
            In the leader to the May issue of Barnabas Aid, Patrick Sookhdeo shares a similar story about an Australian who came home to find his house had collapsed.  Unknown to him white ants had eaten away the foundations and supporting timber.  Patrick then compares this to the insidious and destructive forces eating away at out Judaeo-Christian heritage.  “There may be little visible change but ideological Islam is eroding the foundations and supports of Western society, its culture and its religion, by a gradual process of Islamisation”.
            Among the illustrations that Patrick uses to develop the point is the map of the Middle East published by the National Geographic magazine.  On it is marked the journey made by Abraham with Ishmael and Isaac to Mecca.  The magazine said that at Mecca Abraham built the Kaba and established the hajj pilgrimage.  There was no hint in the magazine that this is the Islamic version of history and at variance with Biblical story; the National Geographic treats the story as an established fact.  The secular media is assisting the process of disseminating Islamic knowledge.           

Persecution [PW]    
Those who support Revelation TV will have received the following news alert.  “On Tuesday evening 15th May, Joel Conder finished directing the evening World In Focus, and Review programme, that followed on Genesis TV, and Revelation TV, and travelled back to his home.  It was about 12.30 am. As he got out of his car to go to his front door, three men set upon him, a gun was put to his head as he was bundled into his car, and raced off with.  We know that he was handcuffed and taken to a predetermined place where other men were waiting.  Police from three forces were alerted, and began their search for him.  Thankfully after 2 hours they closed in on the gang and released Joel. None of the gang that abducted him were captured.”
            It appears from other information that this was a deliberate attack on Joel in response to his connection with Revelation TV.  The topic for World in Focus that evening had been abortion.  Was the attack on Joel a Satanic response to those who are prepared to speak the truth?  Thirty years ago Corrie Ten Boon gave this advice to those facing persecution and in particular the suffering of the last days:
             “How can we get ready for the persecution?
           “First we need to feed on the Word of God, digest it, make it a part of our being.  This will mean disciplined Bible study each day as we not only memorize long passages of scripture, but put the principles to work in our lives.
            “Next we need to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Not just the Jesus of yesterday, the Jesus of History, but the life-changing Jesus of today who is still alive and sitting at the right hand of God.
            “We must be filled with the Holy Spirit.  This is no optional command of the Bible, it is absolutely necessary.  Those earthly disciples could never have stood up under the persecution of the Jews and Romans had they not waited for Pentecost.  Each of us needs our own personal Pentecost, the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  We will never be able to stand in the tribulation without it.
            “In the coming persecution we must be ready to help each other and encourage each other.  But we must not wait until the tribulation comes before starting.  The fruit of the Spirit should be the dominant force of every Christian’s life.
            “Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run.  I, too, am a little bit afraid when I think that after all my eighty years, including the horrible Nazi concentration camp, that I might have to go through the tribulation also.  But then I read the Bible and I am glad.  When I am weak, then I shall be strong, the Bible says.  Betsy and I were prisoners for the Lord, we were so weak, but we got power because the Holy Spirit was on us. That mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit helped us through. No, you will not be strong in yourself when the tribulation comes.  Rather, you will be strong in the power of Him who will not forsake you.  For seventy-six years I have known the Lord Jesus and not once has He ever left me, or let me down.
            “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”, (Job 13:15) for I know that to all who overcome, He shall give the crown of life. Hallelujah!” - Corrie Ten Boom - 1974

 666 [PW]      
The following thoughts come from a book which Walid Shoebat is writing. With regard to the number 666 in Revelation 13, there is some confusion over the correct rendering of the Greek. The ancient manuscripts, which have been preserved, contain different numbers. Some have 666 others 616 or other numbers. Why is there such confusion over what seems to be an important number? Walid has come up with a possible solution.

        Walid  was once a Palestinian terrorist and imprisoned by Israel for his activities. He is now a Christian and outspoken supporter of Israel’s right to exist.
            Walid refers to the time when he first saw a copy of a Greek manuscript of Revelation 13 with the number 666 on it. When he first saw the Greek he though that he was reading Arabic. The Greek is composed of the letters 
Chi Xi Diagamma which hae the numerical value 666. If the central character Xi is roteated through 90 degrees. It struck Walid that this now becomes a piece of Arabic with which he was very familiar. He used to wear a similar inscription on his headband when he was engaged in the fight against Israel.
            Treated as Arabic the characters now read “In the name of Allah Jihad”. Walid posses a question: did John hear a number or did he see a series of characters which he copied down? Later the copyist tried to make sense of what they read converting it into a number.  Walid also proposes a retranslation of the Greek with multitude substituted for number. It’s a thought.

 A comparison of the lives of Daniel and Jesus [KK]

A bible study DANIEL 1: Daniel and Jesus (1 Cor 10:6,11; Daniel 9:23; 10:11,19; Matt 3:17; 17:5)

1.1 Birth and exile

Daniel was born into the royal house of Judah (1:3-6; Gen 49:10). 

Jesus is born of God (Matt 3:17; John 3:16), and came to earth as David's son (Matt 1:3; Luke 2:4; 3:33). 

Daniel was taken into exile in a foreign, hostile land (Jer 25:8-11; 2 Chron 36:15-21). 

Jesus came from heaven (Luke 11:2,13; John 1:1; 17:5) to a hostile earth (Luke 4:6; John 14:30; 1 John 5:19)

1.2 What is said of Daniel [and Jesus]

(a)   obedient (Jer 29:4-7) [Matt 20:28; John 6:38; 8:29; 14:31];

(b)   uncompromising (1:8-16; 5:17) [Matt 22:15];

(c)  a man of prayer (6:10-11; 9:3; 10:1-2); [Mk 1:5; Luke 6:12; 22:31; John 17];

(d)  a man of understanding and wisdom (1:17-20; 2:14-23; 5:11-14); [Luke 2:47; Matt 12:42; 22:46; 1 Cor 2:6-16]

(e)   anointed (4:8 and 18; 5:11); [Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38]

1.3 Daniel's achievements [and Jesus]

(a)   He had professional success (1:20) & was seen to be  “neither negligent nor corrupt” (6:4) 
[“He has done all things well” (Mark 7:37)];

(b)  falsely accused by men, vindicated by God [ch 6] [accused of “many things” (Mk 15:3-5); “no fault in him” 
(Luke 23:4 and 14-25)];

(c)   He was an intercessor for his people (Jer 29:10-14; 9:4-19)  [Jesus “lives to intercede” (Luke 22:32; John 17:20-25; Heb 7:25)]

Note: (a)  the specific references to Jesus in Daniel 2:34-35 and 44-45; 7:13-14 and 8:25-26, and (b) Jesus' reference
to Daniel in Matt 24:25 (Mark 13:14) and to prophecies from the book of Daniel in Matt 24:30; 26:63-64 and Luke 21:24.

A bible study DANIEL 2: Daniel's secret  (Daniel 11:32)

2.1 Knowing God

(a)   Note the crucial difference between knowing about and knowing (Job 42:5; John 5:39-40);

(b)  to know God is to have eternal life (John 10:10; 17:3);

(c) God's plan is that we share in the divine nature (2 Pet 1:3-4);

(d)  knowing God is a lifetime's work [cf. Moses (Exodus 33:13) and Paul (Phil 3:7-10)]

2.2 The God of Daniel (Daniel 6:26)

(a)  God is great and awesome (7:9-14, 9:4, 10:4-8):  compare Isaiah 40 and 66:1-2; Ezekiel 1; Romans 11:33;
Ephesians 3:8;

(b)  “the God we serve is able” (3:17; 6:19-21): a God of  unlimited ability (Jer 32:27;  Job 42:2; Mark 10:27; Eph 3:12;
Phil 4:19);

(c)  the Most High is sovereign (4:3 and 4:32): 
God reigns from everlasting to everlasting (Exodus 15:18; Rev 19:6);
“the Lord reigns” (Psalms 93:1; 96:10; 97:1; 99:1);
He sees “the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 43:11-13;46:9-11)
Jesus is the “coming King” (Isaiah 9:7; Jer 23:5; Zech 14:9; John 18:36-40)“ the King Eternal” (1 Tim 1:17)

A bible study DANIEL 3: Living in “ Babylon”,

Scripture offers much instruction on how to live in a hostile environment.
(a) We recognise what God has done and that we are citizens of another kingdom (Col 1:13; Phil 3:20-21);

(b)  We need to renew your mind (Rom 12:2), i.e. think like Jesus (Phil 2:5; 1 Cor 2:16; John 8:29; Phil 4:4-8)
– most of the time we are bombarded in the media with trivia, blasphemy & filth (Nah 3:6!);

(c)  By words and actions we show which kingdom we belong to (Acts 4:13; 1 John 2:15-17; Col 3:12-17; Gal 5:16-26;
1 Pet 4:4);

(d)  The God of Daniel and Jesus does not change: we have his presence and resources  (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8; 
Matt 28:20; John 20:21; 14:16) and above all.

(e)   “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22; Heb 11:33)
       It is vital that we seek the good of the nation where we live in prayer.  We are not permitted to ‘opt out’  [Jer 29:7;
1 Pet 2:13-17].

 1.5m Problem Gamblers [KK]
            My files contain the following article from September 1996.  Comment is superfluous except to say that these predictions are in the process of coming true. ”ABOUT 1.5 million British adults suffer some form of gambling problem, according to a Home Office-commissioned report published yesterday.  The study, by experts from Glasgow and Plymouth universities, erved, contain different numbers. Some have 666examines problem gambling throughout Britain and compares it to other countries.
            It says that 3.27 per cent of the adult population experience problem gambling.  Young men are particularly at risk with between five and six per cent suffering problems.  Studies in America showed that in 1981 the effect of problem gambling on industry, social services and families cost £6.25 billion. Figures showed that increased accessibility to gambling had led to an increase in crime to fund addictions.  The report gives a warning of the pressure that gambling puts on health services and help groups. Gamblers Anonymous predicted "an explosion" in problem gambling over the next few years, fuelled by the National Lottery and scratch cards and an increasing number of casinos.”

 The forgotten feast [KK]
            Coming forty days after the Lord’s resurrection [Acts 1:3] the ascension of Jesus necessarily falls on a weekday, and as such is frequently not celebrated.  Why did Jesus ascend, where did He go, and what is He doing there?  The bible gives us clear answers to all three questions.

1.         He ascended to fulfil prophecy, both in the Old Testament [Psalm 68:18 quoted in Eph 4:8] and by Himself [John 6:62;John 14:28].  He had been coming and going among them freely for forty days.  When He finally left it was in a dramatic way which the disciples couldn’t fail to recognise as marking a definite end to his earthly ministry.

2.         He went to prepare a place for us [John 14:2] so that we may see and share His glory [John 17:14; Rom 8:17]

3.         He went to sit at His Father’s right hand, to make intercession for us [Heb 7:25; Rom 8:34].        
But the most important feature of the ascension is where it happened.  We have two accounts in Luke 24:15 [Mark 11:1 which speaks of Bethany as at the Mount of Olives] and Acts 1:9.  Both spell out that Jesus ascended from the Mount of Olives.  In the Acts account we are told that angels prophesied that ‘this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go’.  And when He returns Jerusalem will be a Jewish city with Jews living in it as Zech12:10 makes abundantly clear!!  Glory to God.                                                                                                                                                                           

The latest convert to Islamic Jihad is Mikey Mouse. Hamas TV runs a weekly programme in which a Mickey Mouse look alike named Farfur teaches children to sing about using assault rifles, killing Jews and victory over America.