Turmoil in the Middle East
The Fall Holy Day season has just gone by us, and world events really heated up just in time for them, as usual. This year looks like a humdinger, and as I write Qadaffi is out of power and has been killed. As of today the 24th of October, 2011, the transitional leader of Libya just called for Sharia Law as Libya celebrates liberation (foxnews.com). I quote, "Abdul-Jalil set out a vision for the post-Qaddafi future with an Islamist tint, saying that Islamic Sharia law would be the "basic source" of legislation in the country and that existing laws that contradict the teachings of Islam would be nullified." Next door to Libya foxnews.com reports "Signs of Strong Islamist Vote in Tunisian Elections" and "Egypt's parliamentary elections have been taking place this last week in November, with the Muslim Brotherhood scoring a whapping 36.6 percent, which when allied to any other conservative Islamic party will give them a clear majority in the Egyptian government." As of now, quoting from foxnews.com, "The High Election Commission [in Egypt] said the Islamic fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party garnered 36.6 percent of the 9.7 million valid ballots cast for party lists. The Nour Party, a more hardline Islamist group captured 24.4 percent...The Brotherhood has emerged as the most organized and cohesive political force in these elections...The party itself has positioned itself as a moderate Islamist party that wants to implement Islamic law without sacrificing personal freedoms, and has said it will not seek an alliance with the more radical Nour party. The ultraconservative Salafis who dominate the Nour party are newcomers to the political scene. They had previously frowned upon involvement in politics and shunned elections. They espouse a strict interpretation of Islam similar to that of Saudi Arabia, where the sexes are segregated and women must be veiled and are banned from driving. Its members say laws contradicting religion can't be passed." That last statement was also made by the new leader of Libya right after Qaddafi was killed. Now for sure there appears to be a solid string of Islamic nations across North Africa, soon to come under Sharia law, all loosely united under the Muslim Brotherhood, or worse, the organization that brought this Arab Spring about through their well-organized protests, which started in Tunisia and spread throughout the Arabic world. Syria is next on their list. Now Basher Assad's regime in Syria looks to be in very serious trouble, and in danger of toppling. Such a group of nations may form into a caliphate of nations, with little Israel sandwiched inbetween them, with the possibility these nations could possibly morph into what is known in Daniel 11 as the "king of the south" (cf. Daniel 11:40-45). The prospect of Israel in a "Muslim Brotherhood Sandwich" does not spell peace in the Middle East at all. It may create a "situation which demands outside intervention" (European brokered 7-year peace treaty anyone?). How close to the abyss do we have to get before waking up spiritually to the signs of the times folks?
How Important Are God's Holy Days?--Did the Early Church Observe Them?
As a few of you already know, the Fall Holy Days symbolize the time of the great tribulation and subsiquent 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ (Trumpets), the locking away of Satan and the demons and Jesus' Atonement being applied to the whole world now (Atonement), and the arrival of the Millennial Kingdom of God (Feast of Tabernacles). Recent world events show us these events depicted by the Fall Holy Days are getting much closer. As a matter of fact, all of God's Holy Days commanded for ancient Israel in Leviticus 23, and observed by the early Christian Church for the first 300 years of their existence, symbolize important steps in God's masterplan of salvation for the whole world (and everyone who has ever lived in the world as well). Gentile Christianity mainly focuses on the meaning of the Spring Holy Days (Jesus' death, burial, resurrection, and the birth of the Church), although they don't celebrate the actual spring Holy Days per se, while ignoring the Fall Holy Days and their symbolic meaning altogether, not incorporating their rich meaning into their Gospel proclamation. What I suspect is that God wants the entire, complete picture of his plan of Salvation and His invitation to it to be given to the world. That is what makes the Holy Days so very important, because they picture that entire plan of salvation we should be making plain to the world. Why celebrate the Hebrew Holy Days of Leviticus 23? Simply because they rehearse God's master plan of salvation, step by step, as you observe them. They step beyond one's own salvation (Spring Holy Days), to how God is going to offer up salvation to the whole world. To see how the early Church looked, days of worship and all that, log onto:
The early Christian Church was nothing like what most imagine it as being like. The "ancient" Holy Days of God, and the Sabbath itself, convey far more spiritual meaning and knowledge than the Gentile Christian days of worship--Sunday, Christmas and Easter--which borrow heavily from pagan origins. And they knew that back then. What Sunday-observing believers really need to learn is the historic truth that Sabbath and Holy Days of Leviticus 23 were being actively observed as "days of worship" by the early Christian Church for the first 300 years of its existence, from 30AD to around 325AD, instead of believing the unhistoric fable that it went over to Sunday/Christmas/Easter as their "days of worship" almost immediately, from Acts 8 onward. That is a historic fallacy. But just because the Sabbath and Holy Days are shadows for what Jesus and the Holy Spirit have accomplished in us (Spring Holy Days), and will yet accomplish (Fall Holy Days), is that a reason to ditch their observance? Nahum said this to Judah, and by inference to all believers in Jesus, taken in context with part "a" of Nahum 1:15, "Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaim peace! [that's the Gospel, folks, those that bring the Gospel!] O Judah, keep your appointed feasts, perform your vows." Yes, Sabbath and Holy Days are far better than Sunday/Christmas/Easter (which have pagan origins [see http:www.biblebelievers.com/babylon/00index.htm] ). The Holy Days of Leviticus 23 rehearse God's entire Plan of Salvation for mankind. As a matter of fact, Jesus at his return will make observance of the Holy Days mandatory for all of mankind (see Zechariah 14:16-19; Isaiah 66:22-23). You have a choice to make. Choose wisely, time is short.
A Sincere Question for Sunday-observers
Some of the Body of Christ on the Sunday observing side are literally on fire in their promotion of the Gospel, and that is a good thing--the Sabbath-observing believers could certainly learn a thing or two from you guys on this score. Also the Calvary Chapel denomination's method of preaching through the Word of God giving what I term "connective expository" sermons is also one of the most powerful methods of spiritually nurturing a congregation--something else the Sabbath-observing believers could learn from as well (I feature transcripts of some of these [by permission] on this site, Gospel of Matthew, Mark, John, and some of the Epistles so far). But here's a serious question for you Calvary Chapel people: One of your pastors of Jewish lineage, Dr. David Hocking, made the statement to some of your pastors (I think in a pastors meeting) that 'they [Calvary Chapel pastors] should start getting used to the idea of Sabbath/Holy Day observance, because in the Millennial Kingdom of God we're all going to be observing them.' That's what he said. And Dr. Hocking's message was favorably received, because a local Calvary Chapel pastor relayed what Dr. Hocking said to his congregation (I was sitting in the congregation and heard him repeat Dr. Hocking's words). My sincere question is: Seeing that Sunday/Christmas/Easter truly have repugnant pagan origins, Why wait till Jesus' return to start observing the days Jesus himself will re-institute for the Church? That's my question. To see where Dr. Hocking is getting that idea (which is totally Scriptural), log onto the link below and scroll to the part of the commentary on Zechariah 14:16-19 and read through that: