In Left Behind I, we saw a picture of our world that relates to the Jewish Prophet Ezekiel’s Chapter 38-39 prophecy of a multi-nation attack on Israel, written in the year 587 B.C. We saw Israel being prosperous, while most of the world was suffering from famine. We saw Israel being attacked by many opposing nations, with the attacking aircraft being shot out of the sky, without any Israeli ground to air missiles being fired, or without any Jewish fighter aircraft being launched to confront the attackers. Early morning dawn quickly turned to darkness. As the movie progressed, a young charismatic European leader emerged onto the scene, making a pitch for world peace and adequate food supplies.
Very abruptly, millions of people around the world became missing, with small children being the cornerstone of that “rapture,” or catching away that had been predicted by Bible scriptures. Many of those people thought that they were secure in life as “nominal” Christians (in name only), only to come to the reality that they did not have a real relationship with Christ.
There were people who had been left behind, having missed the rapture, who began to study prophetic scriptures. Many of those people thought that they had been secure in life as “nominal” Christians, only to come to the reality that they had not had a real relationship with Christ, that was sealed by saving faith.
Worldwide unrest escalated.
Being supported by a United Nations government-controlled worldwide press, pressure was being mounted for a one-world banking system, and an assault on religion. An alignment of nations, under the rule of the United Nations, confirmed a peace treaty which included Israel. That treaty was brokered by the “young charismatic European,” who had become the Secretary General of the United Nations, and would come to be known as the Anti-Christ.
Some of those who missed the rapture, and were “left behind,” learned that seven years of tribulation would follow the rapture. Worldwide chaos, famines, pestilences and cosmic disturbances were learned to occur during that time of tribulation.
In Left Behind II, we will see a tribulation force of some of those who had been left behind from the rapture. We will see their response to the reality of the emerging Anti-Christ, and to his one-world government, to include that of religion and banking.
The oppression of the Anti-Christ against Jews, and to gentiles who will come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior, will escalate.
The following verses relate to the situation that will face Jews, and gentiles who accept Christ after the rapture takes place.
Matthew 24:6-12 The Passion Translation (TPT)
6 “You will hear of wars nearby and revolutions on every side, with more rumors of wars to come. Don’t panic or give in to your fears, for the breaking apart of the world’s systems is destined to happen. But it won’t yet be the end; it will still be unfolding.
7 “Nations will go to war against each other and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be terrible earthquakes—seismic events of epic proportion, horrible epidemics and famines in place after place. 8 This is how the first contractions and birth pains of the new age will begin!”
9 “You can expect to be persecuted, even killed; for you will be hated by all the nations because of your love for me. 10 Then many will stop following me and fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many lying prophets will arise, deceiving multitudes and leading them away from the path of truth. 12 There will be such an increase of sin and lawlessness that those whose hearts once burned with passion for God and others will grow cold.
Consider nominal Christians, which are those who will be left behind to face the tribulation after the rapture takes place.
John 17:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
In John 17:3, “to know” is to have an intimate relationship with Christ.
Matthew 7:21-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
Consider the words of Christ,” I never knew you.” He was saying, I have never had an intimate relationship with you.
Nominal, “in name only,” such a ticket to the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
Revelation 20:11-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Judgment at the Throne of God
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
The “great white throne judgment” is a place where the only people who will be assembled there will be those who have not been born again. Many of those will be those which were left behind from the rapture.
John 3:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Unfortunately, there are many families today who will have “a ticket to the lake of fire, on the family plan.” We are told in scripture, “teach your children,” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
Israel: Key to Understanding Bible Prophecy
See bio below.
Comments related to this series of posts on the Book of Ezekiel. Comments come from the Ryrie Study Bible.
Ezekiel was a Jewish priest who had been carried off to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar with other Jews from Jerusalem in the year 597 B.C. Ezekiel’s ministry to the exiles in Babylon was at the same time as that of Jeremiah to the Jews of Palestine, and of the early years of the ministry of Daniel.
The prophet Daniel had already been taken captive to Babylon in 605 B.C.
The posts that will be published in this study of Ezekiel will be prophetic, as opposed to being chapter by chapter, and verse by verse. A teaching video will also be included in each chapter study. The selected video may actually cover more scripture than that which is shown in the text breakdown which precedes the video.
Chapters 1-24: Prophesied judgments on the kingdom of Judah.
Chapters 25- 32: Prophesied judgments on the gentile nations.
Chapters 33- 48: Prophesied blessings on Israel.
Ezekiel #1: Age and Experience
See bio below.
Life Essentials Videos
Published on Mar 8, 2016
When we are selecting those who are to lead and shepherd the church at the highest levels of leadership, we should consider chronological age.
Ezekiel. 1:1-3; p. 1074
Bio. Dr. Ron Rhodes
Ron Rhodes http://ronrhodes.org/meet-ron.html
Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary (1986). Major: Systematic Theology. Graduated with High Honors.
Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary (1983). Major: Systematic Theology. Graduated with Honors. Elected to Dean’s List.
B.A., Houston Baptist University (1979). Recipient of the Greek Excellence Award. Chief nominee for the Riverside Scholarship.
The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.
Hatikva at Bergen-Belsen
Any non-Jew would normally wonder what it is that keeps the emotional drive of Jews so strong, especially after they have viewed the preceding videos of the Jews who were so brutally treated during the time of the Holocaust. Any normal person should also wonder how one group of people could be so brutal to another group of people. Many people have denied the fact of the Holocaust; but, the videos of this article don’t lie. Consider the following reports of other articles that discuss how Jews were treated during their time of dominance by the Roman World Empire.
Israel In The Roman Empire
In order for anyone to have a clear understanding of the culture of Israel, and the Jewish people, it is an imperative that the religious aspects of the Jews be considered. In order for a news reporting agency to properly report on the nation of Israel, and Jews around the world, there must be an honest sensitivity to things that are important to Jews, and must be shown in that reporting. In order for businesses to effectively incorporate Jewish businesses into their overall corporate scheme, the sensitivities and beliefs of Jews and Israel must be taken into account. Before this post is read it is advised that the prior posts be read, in their order of being published:
1. Israel, A Look Within, From Without
2. Israel 931-586 BC
3. Israel 586-445 BC
4. Israel 444 BC To The Roman Empire
Consider the following breakdowns of Jewish history.
The history of the Jews in the Roman Empire traces the interaction of Jews and Romans during the period of the Roman Empire (27 BC – AD 476). Their cultures began to overlap in the centuries just before the Christian Era. Jews, as part of the Jewish diaspora, migrated to Rome and Roman Europe from the Land of Israel, Asia Minor, Babylon and Alexandria in response to economic hardship and incessant warfare over the land of Israel between the Ptolemaic and Seleucid empires. In Rome, Jewish communities enjoyed privileges and thrived economically, becoming a significant part of the Empire’s population (perhaps as much as ten percent).
The Roman general Pompey in his eastern campaign established the Roman province of Syria in 64 BC and conquered Jerusalem in 63 BC. Julius Caesar conquered Alexandria c. 47 BC and defeated Pompey in 45 BC. Under Julius Caesar, Judaism was officially recognised as a legal religion, a policy followed by the first Roman emperor, Augustus. Herod the Great was designated ‘King of the Jews’ by the Roman Senate in c. 40 BC. The Roman province of Egypt was established in 30 BC, and Judea proper, Samaria and Idumea (biblical Edom) were converted to the Roman province of Iudaea in 6 AD. Jewish-Roman tensions resulted in several Jewish–Roman wars, 66-135 AD, which resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple and institution of the Jewish Tax in 70 and Hadrian’s attempt to create a new Roman colony named Aelia Capitolina c. 130.
Around this time, Christianity developed from Second Temple Judaism. In 313, Constantine and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan giving official recognition to Christianity as a legal religion. Constantine the Great moved the Roman capital from Rome to Constantinople (‘New Rome’) c. 330, sometimes considered the start of the Byzantine Empire, and with the Edict of Thessalonica in 380, Christianity became the state church of the Roman Empire. The Christian emperors persecuted their Jewish subjects and restricted their rights.
To the Romans, the Greek civilization was a source of inspiration, and as Athens prospered under the Emperor Hadrian, Rome prospered from the ideas of the ancient Athenians.
Hadrians Arch and the Temple of Olympia Zeus. In 168 BC the Romans defeat the Macedonians in the battle of Pydna. In 146 BC and 86 BC the Romans seize rebellious Corinth, killing all the men, selling the women into slavery and destroying the city as an example. When Athens joins King Mithridates in another rebellion against the Romans in Asia Minor they invade the city, destroy the walls and leave with the most valuable sculptures. When Octavion becomes emperor with his victory over Mark Antony and Cleopatra (of the line of Greek Ptolemaic Pharaohs) the period of peace which follows is known as Pax-Romana, lasting 300 years. It is the longest period of peace in the history of Greece
The Roman Empire was an outgrowth of the ancient Roman Republic, which had roots back as far as 500 BCE. In the first century BCE, Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus formed the First Triumvirate in an attempt to gain control of the Republic. Caesar emerged as the victor, but was later assassinated. However, his chosen heir, Octavian, formed part of the Second Triumvirate, and in 31 BCE, became the undisputed ruler. Roman emperors continued to expand and conquer more territory, until the Romans ruled much of the known world. During the Pax Romana (Roman Peace), in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, a period of relative peace, the Roman economy thrived and trade routes were established. The Romans built huge, architecturally impressive structures, like the Coliseum, and made incredible advances in infrastructure, building aqueducts, sewer systems, and the first highway system.
The Romans, in the 1st century BC, conquered much of the known world, ending the reign of the Greeks, as well as the reign of the Hasmonean dynasty in Israel. Their reign lasted until 476, when the Eastern Roman Empire, or the Byzantine Empire, gained control.
At first, the Romans granted the Jewish people some authority over their internal affairs; however, frequent rebellions by the Jews led the Romans to stamp out that autonomy. Around 40 BC, the Roman Senate proclaimed Herod the Great as “King of the Jews,” and he was appointed the governor of Judea. He married a Hasmonean princess in order to gain the favor of the Jews in the region and shore up support for his reign. Herod also embarked on a program to reconstruct the Temple, which suffered damage from invasions over the years. He returned the Temple to its former glory, as well as enclosing the Tomb of the Patriarchs and building the fortress at Masada, but never received full Jewish support.
After Herod’s death in 4 BC, the Romans took full control of Jerusalem. The Jewish revolts began in earnest, culminating in the rebellion in 66 AD, which led the eventual destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. The Jewish people had been able to fend off Roman advances for a few years, but were never a true match for the stronger and better-equipped Roman army, under the Emperor Titus.
After the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, the Jewish people were devastated. Hundreds of thousands were killed by the Romans, exiled, or sold into slavery. The image of the Romans triumphantly carrying off the sacred vessels from the Temple is immortalized on the famous Arch of Titus. Hope stirred again briefly during the reign of Bar Kokhba, a messianic figure and powerful military leader, who managed to reclaim Jerusalem in 132 AD. His victory, though, was short-lived; in 135 AD, his rebellion was crushed, the remaining Jews exiled, and Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolina.
However, this did not end Jewish presence in Israel. The north, specifically Tiberias, became a center of Jewish learning and Torah study.
During the long siege a terrible famine raged in the city and the bodies of the inhabitants were literally stacked like cordwood in the streets. The toll of Jewish suffering was horrible but they would not surrender the city. Again and again they attempted to trick the Romans through guile and perfidy. When at last the walls were breached Titus tried to preserve the Temple by giving orders to his soldiers not to destroy or burn it. But the anger of the soldiers against the Jews was so intense that, maddened by the resistance they encountered, they disobeyed the order of their general and set fire to the Temple. There were great quantities of gold and silver there which had been placed in the Temple for safekeeping. This melted and ran down between the rocks and into the cracks of the stones. When the soldiers captured the Temple area, in their greed to obtain this gold and silver they took long bars and pried apart the massive stones.
A Second Exile for Israel
When the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 the period of the second exile began. The Jewish people were soon to be scattered throughout the earth. For the next 1900 years the Jews would have no authority in the land God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However during most of the period of this Second Exile there have always been some Jews living in Jerusalem. Although most of the nation was in exile from their land, the Jews did not forget Jerusalem or the Temple Mount. Their daily prayer was for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.
For the next two thousand years, the Temple Mount would lack any Jewish presence. The destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 caused the beginning of the scattering of the Jews throughout the world. During this period, the Temple Mount was for the most part neglected and profaned. Though this time constituted a period of neglect, some significant events concerning Jerusalem and the Temple Mount did occur. More information on this time period of Temple Mount history is given in Tuvia Sagiv’s writings.
Let’s go back to the opening question of consideration of this article.
“What is it that keeps the emotional drive of Jews so strong?”
My belief is that it is because Jews hold deeply to a promise that is written in a Jewish scripture.
Deuteronomy 7:6 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Lord’s Chosen People
6 Israel, you are the chosen people of the Lord your God. There are many nations on this earth, but He chose only Israel to be His very own.
Any religious Jew understands that the Jews were chosen by God to bring the Messiah into the world. Such Jews also believe that during the future Kingdom of God, Jews will have a special role of service during that thousand year period of time. Beyond the Kingdom age, religious Jews look to, new heavens, a new earth and a new Jerusalem, where they will also have a place of God-ordained prominence. Many Christians hold to these same beliefs.
Hear O’ Israel
Per the Jewish prophet, Isaiah, the nation of Israel would be born in one day. The prophecy was made in 698 B.C. The day that the prophecy was fulfilled was May 14, 1948.
Isaiah 66:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?
Can a land be born in one day?
Can a nation be brought forth all at once?
As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.
Many Jews hold to the promise of Genesis 15:18-21, which describes the land that the Jews would inherit, and is rightfully theirs today in the land that is called Israel. Many Christians also hold to that same promise that was made to the Jews in approximately 1913 B.C., as was written by Moses.
Genesis 15:18-21 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
18 That day Adonai made a covenant with Avram: “I have given this land to your descendants — from the Vadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River — 19 the territory of the Keni, the K’nizi, the Kadmoni, 20 the Hitti, the P’rizi, the Refa’im, 21 the Emori, the Kena‘ani, the Girgashi and the Y’vusi.”
Comment made by Dr. James MacArthur
15:18–21 river of Egypt to the…Euphrates. Scripture records both general (Ex. 23:31; Num. 13:21; Deut. 11:24; 1 Kin. 8:65; 2 Kin. 14:25; Is. 27:12) and specific (Num. 34:1–12; Josh. 15:1, 2; Ezek. 47:15–20; 48:1, 28) descriptions of the Promised Land, centering on the ancient land of Canaan. Such precise geographic demarcation will not allow for any redefinitions which would emasculate God’s promise of its specificity. The river of Egypt was most probably what became known as the Wadi El Arish, the southern border of Judah. Kenites…Jebusites. The various peoples who inhabited the land are named. Such precise detailing of the nations in the land of Canaan attests again to the specificity of the Promised Land in God’s promises.
Jews do not believe that their land should be used as a political bargaining chip. They do not believe that the land that was given to them by God should be reduced, “in cookie cutter fashion,” and parceled out to any other nation or group of people.
Two terms have entered the situation that affects the nation of Israel.
ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is a terrorist group.
The term Levant is employed to refer to peoples, states, or parts of states in the region, namely:
Soon after ISIS made is presence known to the world, most people began to use the name, “ISIS,” to relate to ISIS. But soon, thereafter, U.S. President Obama began to refer to ISIS as “ISIL,” which caused that group to be known as “The Islamic Sate of Iraq and the Levant.” Such recognition of “ISIS,” as “ISIL,” inflated its importance in the world, to include its territorial overshadowing of the nation of Israel.
Ever since the death of King Solomon in 931 B.C., Jews have come under the domination of the following world empires: Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greek and Rome. At present time, Israel is located within the geographic territory of the Old Roman Empire. Oppression never ceases to come upon the Jews. For a confirmation of the previous sentence, “check the daily news.”
The rapture will happen quicker than, “the twinkling of an eye.”
Consider the following verse of scripture. It explains what will immediately happen after the rapture takes place, (Rapture: Latin, rapio. Greek, harpazo. English, catch up, snatch away).
1 Corinthians 15:52 The Voice (VOICE)
52 It will all happen so fast, in a blink, a mere flutter of the eye. The last trumpet will call, and the dead will be raised from their graves with a body that does not, cannot decay. All of us will be changed!
Those who are dead at the time of the rapture, and knew Christ as their Lord and Savior prior to their death, will have their bodies raised from their graves and will be given bodies that are immortal, and that will never die again, or suffer any kind of sickness, illness or disease. Those who are alive at the time of the rapture, will have their mortal bodies changed to immortal bodies, that will never decay or die. Both, dead and living, will have their “changed” bodies raised up to heaven where they will live forever in eternity with Christ.
Consider the future that the raptured saints of God will experience, as described in the following verse.
Revelation 21:3-5 World English Bible (WEB)
3 I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away.”
5 He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” He said, “Write, for these words of God are faithful and true.”
For the people who have not been born again, and are “left behind” on earth when the rapture takes place, they will face a future that can be best described as “the worst nightmare” of their lives. Worldwide confusion, chaos, violence, death and destruction will soon become “the norm for each day; the “Amber Alert” system will be overwhelmed. With the added natural and cosmic disturbances, the news crews of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC will have “never ending days.” World governments will be, “less than Godly.” Consider the following movie, which adapts to the book, “Left Behind,” and was written by Dr. Tim LeHaye. The movie and book series are based on Bible prophecy, and should not be considered to be “science fiction.” My plea to anyone, who has not been born again, is for you to come to know Christ as your Lord and Savior. Otherwise, “you will be left behind!” It’s a choice; make the right one! Consider the following verse of scripture that describes the conditions that will take place after the rapture takes place.
Matthew 24:21 World English Bible (WEB)
21 for then there will be great oppression, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be.
Now, the movie. Watch it very attentively. It is based on biblical prophecy. I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the events that take place in the movie.
Consider the news reports from all around the world.
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE MISSING ! WHERE ARE THEY?
Airplanes crashing – flight crews missing! Cars and trucks colliding – drivers missing! Hospitals report, “No babies anywhere!”
School teachers frantically looking for young children! Clothing seen in restaurants and businesses where people had been seated!
Chaos everywhere! Network news anchors and theologians attribute the situation to global warming and alien abductions!
Congress convenes, and grasps for an explanation as to why, “a scattering of them” is missing.
Many pastors can’t be found – many others are being interviewed by CNN!
WHERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE MISSING?
The answer is found in “The Rapture Of The Church.”
WILL YOU, “ALSO,” BE SEARCHING FOR THOSE WHO ARE MISSING?
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord.
5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.