Issue 93 Autumn 2009
Greetings on this Feast of Tabernacles in the precious name of
Him who came and tabernacled among us so that we might share His home
in glory. Jesus was conceived at Christmas and born at
Tabernacles. A study of Luke’s account of the birth makes
this clear. Philip writes about Afghanistan, the Equality
Directive, the crumbling of the foundations and his new booklet
The Feast of Tabernacles
Jesus born at Tabernacles
When the Black Flags come
European Equality Directive
A Worship Centre on the Temple Mount
When things start to crumble
Watch – preparing for the unexpected
Prophecy Conference 2010
The Feast of Tabernacles [KK]
As I write we are on the eve of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. This represents the climax of three great festivals – Passover [barley harvest] Pentecost [wheat harvest], Tabernacles [fruit harvest]. Israel was largely an agricultural society – the year was marked by these three harvests, when all Jews had to go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the pilgrim feasts [Deut 16:16].
At Tabernacles the Jews are commanded to live in booths for 7 days – temporary structures made of wood and branches of trees. You had to be able to see the sky through the roof. They had to take their meals in the sukkah and some also slept in it to remind them of their fathers living in tents in the wilderness.
The sukkah reminds its dwellers that true security comes from faith in God, rather than from money or possessions.
It was to be a time of rejoicing “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress and you shall rejoice in your feast’. Deut 16:13-15
In the rejoicing people brought a bundle of ‘four species’ [Lev 23:40] – an etrog, [a citrus fruit], a date palm, a branch of myrtle & a branch of willow – and shook it in six directions, north, east, south, west, above and below to signify God’s sovereign control of His whole world.
The four species have a particular significance, representing something with a sweet taste and smell [like those who read Torah and do good], something with a sweet taste and no smell [those who read Torah but don’t do good], something with no taste and a sweet smell [those who do not read Torah but do good] and something with neither taste or smell [representing those who neither read Torah nor do good].
‘During the festival every morning of the feast there was a joyous procession to the Pool of Siloam, with music, headed by a priest with a golden pitcher (a little over 2 pints). At the same time there was a procession to the Kidron Valley to collect willow branches which were made into a canopy over the altar of burnt offerings. As the sacrifice proceeded, the priest returning with the water entered through the Water Gate (named for this event). With a threefold trumpet blast he poured the water into a silver receptacle on the altar.
On the last day of the Feast a joyous crowd assembled, carrying palm branches a couple of metres in length. It was said to resemble a forest in motion if seen from a rooftop. There was silence in the crowd as the priest said the Hallel (praise) Psalm 118, to which the people responded at every line with Hallelujah. The people processed seven times around the altar.
As they got to verses 25 - 29 they joined in with the words "Hosanna, make your salvation now manifest, O Lord" and "O Lord send now prosperity" and they would wave their palm branches. As they reached the words "Baruch haba bashem Adonai" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD", the godly would greet the coming Messiah in their hearts, knowing it applied to Him.’ [from "The Visions and Prophecies of Zechariah" by David Baron]
This is the psalm that the Jews used on all occasions of national rejoicing as when Jesus entered Jerusalem.
Coming to Jesus & Tabernacles, in John 7 we read of Him going up to the Feast which is called ‘a feast of the Jews’ – men had got their hands on what God had intended to be feast of the Lord and had made it a thing of men. ‘You teach as doctrines the commandments of men’ and in doing so they nullified the word of God [Mark 7:13].
On the last day Jesus stands and proclaims that He is the source of the water of life, the precious Holy Spirit which those who believe on Him receive.
There was much debate about Him and His teaching among the expectant crowd, and the temple police were sent to bring Jesus in for questioning. When they return without Him the exasperated temple authorities ask ‘Why haven’t you brought Him?’. They reply with the solemn answer ‘never man spake like this man’.
It is a fitting tribute to our Lord, who did not come to abolish the law & the prophets but to fulfil all that was written about Him.
Jesus born at Tabernacles [KK]
The clearest evidence is in Luke’s account.
1. The birth of John the Baptist was foretold to Zechariah (priest of the course of Abijah Luke 1:5; see 1 Chron 24:10): the priests served in turn for one week (Talmud), so priests of this course (Luke 1:8) would have been ministering before the Lord in week 10 (counting the two weeks, Passover + Pentecost when all the priests were on duty).
2. When did the sequence start? It was on the first day of the religious year (Exodus 12:2): that would be about March/April: John would have therefore been conceived after the tour of duty had finished – that makes it June/July
3. Mary’s annunciation was six months later (Luke 1:26, 36) i.e. December at the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) or Hanukah, the Feast of Lights (appropriate for the light of the world to be conceived at the Feast of Lights)
4. His birth was therefore in September at the Feast of Tabernacles (He came and tabernacled among us: John 6:14 lit trans of Hebrew).
5. Supporting evidence: Luke 2:8 talks about shepherds in the fields: no shepherds out in fields in December (too cold: flocks indoors from October).
When the Black Flags come [PW]
Deeply entrenched in Islamic beliefs, both Sunni and Shiite, about the end times is the coming of an army bearing black flags from the region of Khorasan. The Mahdi will be part of this army. When they come they will sweep through Asia towards Jerusalem. Afghanistan is at the heart of the area known to Islam as Khorasan.
Without more troops we will lose the war against Taliban
At the end of September a report was leaked in which General McChrystal (overall commander of the forces in Afghanistan) stated that the tide in favour of the Taliban could not be reversed without strategic changes. He warned that without urgent reinforcements the war is likely to "result in failure" for the West within a year. "Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) ... risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible”.
It brings back memories of another time when the generals called for more and more troops to turn the tide against those waging a jungle war. As casualties mounted the American public realised that they were engaged in a war which they could not win. Will Afghanistan become another Vietnam? As in Vietnam the West is not pitted against an irregular army of guerrillas but an ideology. This time the ideology is much stronger than communism. It is driven by an Islamic eschatological worldview. A worldview that sees the events taking place in Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel as confirmations that now is the time for Islam to arise. The Muslim who has imbibed this ideology welcomes death as a pathway to paradise. An army that sees death as a glorious end in it self cannot easily be defeated. So long as there are men and women willing to fight it will press on.
Following General McChrystal’s leaked report the News Media has from time to time dropped in comments about the need for a change of strategy or hints that the war in Afghanistan cannot now be won. Are we being prepared for failure? When the USA withdraws from Afghanistan radical Islam will see it as a pivotal victory. It is to be expected that there will be a groundswell of support for those who are perceived to have driven the occupiers out. The black flags from Khorasan will be on the move.
The current American policy is to build up the Afghan army loyal to President Kharzi. It is hoped that in time the army will be strong enough to maintain order and allow the USA to withdraw. The recent elections have demonstrated that the establishment of a Western style democracy is a vain hope. Traditionally Afghanistan has been governed by War Lords each holding their own tribal area. What if Kharzi proves he is just another War Lord who has gained ascendancy through American support. It is possible that we will see the new Afghan army, trained and equipped by the USA becoming the heart of the uprising carrying the black flags towards Jerusalem. After all the army equipped by the USA to drive the Russians out became the Taliban with whom the USA is now at war.
What you believe will happen next depends on your interpretation of prophecy. Revelation chapter 9 points to a vast war before the Antichrist appears. Some believe that the Islamic armies will be crushed leaving the way open for the end time global empire of the Antichrist to arise. I believe that it is the West that will have received a deadly wound from which it will not recover. The USA is already in sharp decline. With all the other problems the West has accumulated in recent years, she is weak. Islam will arise to strip Babylon naked and reduce her to ruin.
European Equality Directive [PW]
If you have the facility please use the link below to view the following 15 min video posted on the CCFON website:
In the video Prof. William Wagner warns of the dangerous impact of the Equality Directive now being drafted by the European Union. This directive is expected to go to the Council of Ministers for ratification in November. Once ratified national governments are obliged under their treaty obligations to incorporate the Directive in the law of the land.
In the view of Prof. Wagner, this law if adopted has the potential to extinguish Christianity from the face of Europe. It will amount to cultural genocide.
One of the areas of concern is the weak definition of harassment. Under the directive, if a person perceives that another person has said or done something, which causes them offence, they can claim harassment. To take another person to court, all they have to do is to allege that they have been offended by another person’s remarks. The onus then falls on the other person to prove that no offence was caused! Which is an almost impossible task. There is no upper limit on the damages that can be awarded if the case is successful.
This Directive is not just a threat to Christianity but also to our democracy. With the threat of law suites hanging over them people are going to refrain from expressing unpopular ideas.
Action is required if we are to defend freedom and time is short. The government minister who will represent the UK at the Council of Ministers is Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP. Write to her at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA, to express your concerns. CCFON offer a pack with suggestions for drafting a letter on this issue.
The Equality Directive is separate from and additional to the Equality Bill which Harriet Harman is currently pushing through Parliament. The Equality Bill raises similar concerns. The Directive seems to be a fail-safe mode of operation. If the Equality Bill fails then the same legislation will have to be passed into law by EU directive.
The Equality Bill and Directive are not specifically focused on Christians. But in the current climate such measures could be used as an effective weapon to silence Christians and others who speak out against current politically correct ideologies. The kingdom of this world, of which Europe is a part, is in opposition to the Kingdom of God. It is in the nature of the kingdom of this world to hate all who belong to the other Kingdom. As the present age draws to its close we can expect more and more restrictions to be placed on our freedom to think, speak or act in conformity to our faith. One directive will follow another just as waves break on the seashore until all dissent is worn down. Is this a council of despair? It would be but for the fact that we believe in a Great God who has overcome the kingdom of this world and is coming to establish His kingdom. Come Lord Jesus.
And in the meantime keep writing, we should not concede victory to the world without a fight. Even if it is a rearguard action in which, we lose more battles than we win, we may be able to preserve some freedom.
A Worship Centre on the Temple Mount [PW]
In a phone interview on "The Tamar Yonah Show" aired on Israel National Radio the best selling Muslim author Harun Yahya voiced his dream of rebuilding Solomon’s Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. To listen to the interview go to the following link. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Radio/Player.htm#0#1332 .
Yahya believes that the rebuilding of the Temple would restore the glory of Jerusalem. It would be a great joy to Muslims, Christians and Jews to be able to worship in such a place. Yahya has met with Jewish Rabbi’s in Istanbul to discuss the idea. The building should be a copy of the original Temple. There would be a mosque, a church and synagogue on the site. He believes that the creation of such a building will bring peace between the religions.
Yahya (moderate Sunni) also believes that the Mahdi is already living among us. He sited several proofs that the time for the Mahdi has come. Among the proofs he gave are the wars in Iraq and Iran and also the siege of Afghanistan.
Some teach that there will be a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem prior to the return of Christ. Jesus’ reference to the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, and Paul’s saying that the man of sin will sit in the Temple of our God and other references are taken to support this position. It is difficult to conceive that God would call such a building either His Temple or a holy place. Surely it would be just as much an abomination as Herod’s Temple which the Father caused to be destroyed in 70 AD. The interpretations of Jerusalem as the holy place and the church as the temple of our God are more plausible. The majority of observant Jews do not expect a Temple to be built prior to the Messiah.
Yahya through his publishing enterprise (which is much bigger than he makes out in the interview) has some influence. It will be interesting to see how things develop in this respect. Perhaps some form of worship centre will be built. Positive action that offers a step towards peace will be very attractive to not just the Jews but to world leaders faced with an intractable problem. The worship centre idea could take off and prove to be a straw of hope to them. It could be offered as a real step towards peace, especially if senior figures from the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish and Muslim communities could be persuaded to back it. I believe that such a construction would be an abomination to God.
Internet scams [KK]
Some of you who are on my e-mail address list may have received a spurious message allegedly from me, that I was stranded in Nigeria and needed a large sum of money immediately. I apologise to all my friends who received it
Fortunately the message was written in very poor English with indifferent spelling and deceived no-one. Someone had access to my e-mail address. BT said it was impossible but I was able to assure them that it was not so.
Interpol and Western Union said there was nothing they could do about it! Apparently the economy of Nigeria relies heavily on these scams, so there must be those who are taken in by them.
The incident did however result in many friends contacting me to express their concern and to confirm that the message was a fake, and I was thrilled at the response.
I have also been sent the Inland Revenue scam, which tells you that they have a refund for you and ask for your bank details!!
Added to this my Bank of Scotland credit card was used to draw out two large sums, which the bank instantly refunded.
The internet has some very beneficial sites [especially for bible study] but its use requires us to be constantly vigilant. Jesus urges us to be ‘wise as serpents and harmless as doves’ [Matt 10:16] for we are indeed ‘as sheep in the midst of wolves’.
Gethsemane is a lesson on how we are to understand the call to watch. Before the resurrection came the crucifixion. Before the Second Coming will come the tribulation (Matt 24: 21). In those dark hours when Jesus was on trial, condemned, crucified and laid in the tomb the disciples needed strength to stand. If only they had listened to the warnings they would have taken courage. When Jesus said that he would be delivered to the Gentiles to be crucified He also said that he would rise again. The night would precede the triumph. Apparent defeat would herald the victory.
On that evil night Jesus watched. He spent time in prayer with his Father. The cup of suffering could not be removed but a sure hope was set before Him. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12: 2 KJV. He saw the joy that would come out of His sacrifice. Because of that promised joy He was able to endure the cross.
We need to focus on the Second Coming if we are to stand and not give in to temptation in these final days. The night will come before the dawn. But the dawn will come and the fulfillment of all our hopes will be realized. Throughout scripture the focus is on the return of Christ not the trials which will precede His coming. That does not mean that the trials will not come. The joy set before Him enabled Jesus to endure the cross. The assurance of the glory which is to be ours will enable us to hold fast to our faith.
Jesus knew that the disciples would not stand. He had warned that the sheep would be scattered. But for the age in which we live He leaves us with a question: “However, when the Son of man comes will He find the faith on the earth?” Luke 18: 8. If the disciples had watched they would not have been scattered. Will the church in these last days watch? The answer to that question will determine whether Jesus will find faith. If believers watch, if they take His warnings seriously, then there will be the faith on this earth when Jesus comes in glory.
We need to learn the lesson from Peter. He thought that he could stand in his own strength and so he fell. Today many ignore the warnings about the last days and think that come what may they will stand. Beware, due to ignorance they may fall.
WE ARE TO WATCH SO THAT WHEN THE FINAL HOUR OF TRIAL COMES ON THIS WORLD WE HAVE STRENGTH TO STAND FIRM.
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when his glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4: 12,13.
The above is an extract from a booklet I have felt led to write on the subject of watching in preparation for the Second Coming. Please see the paragraph below for more information on how to receive a free copy of the booklet.
When things start to crumble [PW]
“Though the fig tree may not blossom nor fruit be on the vines; though the labour of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills”. Habakkuk 3:17 –19
The value of the dollar is collapsing while the government of the USA sits back and lets it go. Nations such as China and the Gulf States that have large dollar reserves are very worried. They see the value of their reserves being written down as the USA prints money to ease the financial crisis. Russia, China, Japan and the Gulf States are all talking of ceasing to use the dollar to trade in oil. The days of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency are numbered. There is talk of creating a new global reserve currency to replace the dollar. This time plans are in place to make it happen.
In the UK criticisms of MP’s expense claims rumble on. The British Democratic system once the bulwark of freedom is in a sorry state. Parliament, of which we were once so proud, is now no more than a rubber stamp for every EU Directive, every whim of Government and now every expense claim. In the UK we have ended up with a system of government that no longer appears fit for purpose. That is a national tragedy for it is only through strong democratic government that a nation can be protected from a totalitarian dictatorship. Christians are called on to pray for their government. Now more than ever our rulers need our prayers. The weaker national governments become, the wider the door is open for the one who will seek global power in the last days.
The Lisbon Treaty and the establishment of a European Super State looks unstoppable. The ratification of this Treaty coupled with weak and ineffective national parlaiments means that the democratic accountability of those who frame our laws vanishes. Those who lead us aspire to recreate a new global paradise. The scriptural name for this man made hell is Babylon, the kingdom of this world in defiance of God.
But although prospects look gloomy and much of what others have predicted is rapidly coming about, we should rejoice. We are to rejoice in the Lord and stand firm in the assurance that soon we will be walking in the high places as Jesus establishes His kingdom.
Watch – preparing for the unexpected [PW]
Are we prepared for the closing years of this present age? Before Jesus returns there will be a time of tribulation. False prophets and deceivers will come and lead many astray. The church will be hated and persecuted in all nations causing the worldly minded to fall away. Disturbing signs in the heavens, earthquakes and darkness will terrify those who do not know the word of God.
But through all this the Christians who have taken heed of scripture will not be shaken. They will be refined and purified to become a bride made ready. In these last days their resolute faith will turn many to righteousness. Those who overcome will shine like the stars forever and receive from their Lord the precious words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
‘ Watch – preparing for the unexpected’ is a booklet which the Lord has prompted me to write in order to help Christians prepare for the final years of this age. It is a message needs to be shared with as many believers as possible. I pray that it will in some way contribute to the encouraging of the church to triumph in the years of adversity.
If you would like a free copy please email email@example.com with your name and address:
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£3.00 each including p+p overseas.
Cheques should be made out to ‘Trumpet Ministries’.
Prophecy Conference 2010
Next year’s Conference will be held at Rora House, Bovey Tracey, on the weekend of 26-28 March 2010. Details will be circulated nearer the date.