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Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers!)
What can we do as Americans to bless Israel?
We must remember the scripture from Genesis 12:3 in which God states He will bless those that bless Israel. There are many ways to bless God’s Holy nation. We are instructed to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you."" – Psalm 122:6. Those that pray for Jerusalem will prosper.
1. Educate your church by encouraging prayer for Israel, deliver teachings on Israel, and create support groups.
2. Display the Israel flag at your home, church, or ministry as a sign of support and love.
3. Do not support political legislation that divides Jerusalem or Israel. Division of God's land is forbidden in Joel 3:2.
4. Donate to organizations that have been created to assist Jews with returning to Israel from foreign lands. You can also donate to help Jews who are already living in Israel as many are living below poverty. There are many credible organizations that serve this purpose but diligently research them to determine what they support and believe before donating.
The Jewish people are a great and holy nation that we should bless and be grateful for. Blessing Abraham and his descendants honors the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - the very Lord whom Christians claim as their God and Father of Jesus Christ. God told Abraham that all nations would be blessed because of Israel. And all have been blessed with the opportunity for eternal life that was given by the King of the Jews, Jesus Christ. It is written, "You worship what you do not know, we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews" - John 4:22. The Christian Church should view Israel in the same way that God views them, as the "apple of our eyes".
Book of Daniel
Are we finally understanding prophecies we've never understood before?
Yes, there were many prophecies which Daniel wrote about, but he did not understand those prophecies. For example, if we look at Daniel 12:4, there were signs of the times in which these things would be understood as we got closer to the end. Daniel was told of course of many prophecies, including the fulfillment of the return of our Messiah, Jesus Christ. Daniel 12:4 says that in the end, which is the last days, people will run to and fro and knowledge will increase. We look today at travel. My grandmother is 91 years old, and she actually says that she never traveled on an interstate road until she was well into her 20's! Now as I go to airports, I see little babies on airplanes quite regularly. And so, I think that we clearly see travel has increased. We see planes taking off. People are going to and fro. Traffic jams are common.
Now let's look at knowledge. We see advances in technology and science and medicine that are taking place that have not happened yet prior to this time in history.
I also believe that Daniel 12:4 could refer to the time period of the Tribulation when all these cataclysmic events are coming upon the earth and people will run to and from the Bible to gain understanding of what is happening and what is taking place. Why are these things coming upon the earth?
If we continue if we look at verses 8 and 9, we find that God says those prophecies will not be understood until the end times. There have been some happenings historically and technologically that help us understand these prophecies. For example, look at the nation of Israel. When teaching prophecy, I'm always stressing the importance of the nation of Israel. Prior to 1948, it would be very difficult to understand a lot of the prophecies concerning what's going to happen with Israel. But, now that Israel is in the land, we can more clearly understand these things.
Let's look also in Revelation when it speaks of how there will be two witnesses who will be killed and their bodies will lie in the street for three days. We're told the whole world will look upon them. Well, how could that have happened prior to the invention of satellite television? Now we have smart phones to watch video. I think that will allow the means by which many people will look upon these two witnesses and their dead bodies.
Finally, we look at Revelation where it tells us that a third of the earth will be burned during the Tribulation. Now that we have the capability of nuclear warfare, I think we have a clear explanation as to how that can happen, and how it can happen so quickly.
I think those are just a few of the many examples of the events that Daniel wrote about, and how now we can understand them a lot better.
Is the book of Daniel a valid book of prophecy?
The critics, the liberals, the Atheists, the Agnostics — they all love to discredit the book of Daniel. The reason they do so is because Daniel wrote with such accuracy and precision concerning prophecy. He wrote prophecies from the time of his day all the way to the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. There are those who say Daniel actually wrote prophecy with more accuracy than historians have written history, and I certainly agree with that as well.
What the critics do is they will claim Daniel was written around the time of maybe a hundred years before Jesus Christ. They claim that because they try to place it after the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. Daniel wrote about prophecies concerning Antiochus Epiphanies with great accuracy and precision, and that of course shows the divine inspiration of our God. The critics though will say, "Well, that's just not possible."
But you can easily dismiss the critics. For example, if we look at the Septuagint, which is the translation of what we call the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek, the translation was made around 280 BC, long before the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. Then, if we look at Alexander the Great, he actually spared the city of Jerusalem from destruction because of the fact that the High Priest was able to show that Daniel prophesied of his empire. Then, if we look lastly at our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Himself, in Matthew 24:15 He referred to the abomination that causes desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, so therefore our Lord validated the book of Daniel Himself.
What is your favorite prophetic passage in Daniel and why?
I would say for certain that my favorite passage comes from Daniel 2 in the vision of the great image. In the vision that Daniel received, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a great image, and Daniel was asked to interpret this dream, and so he naturally turned to God. Daniel was able from God to speak of a statue, this image, and how it depicted many different empires in history.
When we come to the last empire which is represented as the feet, Daniel tells us there in verse 31 that a stone cut out of a mountain without hands struck the feet and destroyed the image. That's a depiction of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The passage says the stone grew into a great mountain that filled the entire earth.
I look forward to that day. That's my favorite passage because it tells us of the future return of Jesus Christ. Jesus will return literally and physically to this earth. His righteousness will fill the entire earth. This will be a time that we Christians will also rule and reign with Him. That's the time that we so much look forward to because there will be no debate on sin issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, for the laws of Christ will reign. And so, without a doubt, Daniel 2 is my favorite passage in the entire book of Daniel.
Can you provide a list of charity organizations that provide services & funds directly to the people of Israel?
We are so glad that you have a desire to bless Israel! Here are some organizations we recommend that are working diligently with sincerity to bless the nation of Israel:
Vision for Israel: http://www.visionforisrael.com
Christian Friends of Israel: http://cfijerusalem.org/web
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem: http://int.icej.org
Additional organizations may be added in the future. Please contact us if you have any further questions.
Is there any modern day significance to the Feast of Trumpets?
The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) occurs on the first two days of the Jewish New Year which is the month of Tishri. The Feast is recorded in the book of Leviticus.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.’” – Leviticus 23:23-25
There are a total of one hundred trumpet blasts during the Feast. They are categorized as follows:
The first category is known as the tekiah. It is a long single blast – a straight, plain, smooth continuous note. Its purpose is to symbolize joy and contentment.
The second category is known as the shevarim. It consists of three short blasts – a combination of three broken notes which serves to symbolize weeping.
The third category is known as the truah. It consists of nine extremely short blasts – staccato notes in quick successions. Its purpose is to symbolize trepidation, sorrow, and sobbing.
The fourth category is known as the tekiah gedolah. It consists of one long final blast – “the great tekiah” or “the last trump” which serves to symbolize redemption.
During the ceremony, the first three categories are repeated until there is a total of ninety-nine blasts. Then comes the one-hundredth blast, the tekiah gedolah, also known as the “last trump”. Most Christians (the Church) do not celebrate this Feast but it is important for the Church to be familiar with it. The Apostle Paul wrote about the Catching Away of the Church, also known as the Rapture:
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. - 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
Behold, I shew you a mystery, We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. - 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
There are seven Feasts of the Lord, four in the spring and three in the fall. Jesus, at His first coming, literally fulfilled the spring feasts on the actual feast day. They can be summarized as follows:
1) Passover (Leviticus 23:5) – Pointed to the Messiah as our Passover lamb (I Corinthians 5:7) whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover at the same hour that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening.1
2) Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6) – Pointed to the Messiah's sinless life (as leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible), making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus' body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, like a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the bread of life.1
3) First Fruits (Leviticus 23:10) – Pointed to the Messiah's resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in I Corinthians 15:20 as the "first fruits from the dead."1
4) Weeks or Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16) – Occurred fifty days after the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and pointed to the great harvest of souls and the gift of the Holy Spirit for both Jew and Gentile, who would be brought into the kingdom of God during the Church Age (see Acts 2). The Church was actually established on this day when God poured out His Holy Spirit and 3,000 Jews responded to Peter's great sermon and his first proclamation of the Gospel.1
Since the spring feasts were literally fulfilled on the actual feast day, it is likely that the fall feasts will be literally fulfilled in the Lord’s Second Coming as follows:
5) Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24) – The first of the fall feasts. Many believe this day points to the Rapture of the Church when the Messiah Jesus will appear in the heavens as He comes for His bride, the Church. The Rapture is always associated in Scripture with the blowing of a loud trump, the last trump (I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and I Corinthians 15:52).1
6) Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27) – Many believe this prophetically points to the day of the Second Coming of Jesus when He will return to earth at the end of the seven year Tribulation. That will be the Day of Atonement for the Jewish remnant when they "look upon Him whom they have pierced," repent of their sins, and receive Him as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:1-6, 25-36).1
7) Tabernacles or Booths (Leviticus 23:34) – Many scholars believe that this feast day points to the Lord's promise that He will once again “tabernacle” with His people when He returns to reign over all the world during the Millennium (Micah 4:1-7).1
Click here to listen to a detailed study on the Feast of Trumpets
1. Dr. David R. Reagan, The Feasts of Israel
Judgment of the Nations
Will our nation (America) be judged by God if we fall short of how we should bless Israel?
Yes. The current U.S. administration should concern Christians. Our current president, Barack Obama, is pushing for division of Jerusalem to create a two state solution (Israeli & Palestinian). God warned that He would judge nations that attempt to divide His land (Joel 3:2).
Language & Translations
What is the Septuagint?
The Septuagint is the translation of the Hebrew Bible (i.e. Old Testament) into the Greek language. The term “Septuagint” is derived from the Latin word for seventy. Tradition says that approximately 70 Jewish scholars collaborated to translate the Septuagint. This translation was performed between 300 - 200 BC in Alexandria, Egypt. The Greek language became very common during this time due to Israel being under the rulership of Greece. Thus, Israelis spoke Greek as their primary language during this time. This led to the effort to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek which allowed those how did not know Hebrew to be able to ready and study the Bible. The Septuagint translation is believed to be the first major undertaking for translating a major religious text from one language into another.
Why do Jews rock back and forth at the Wailing Wall?
It is quite common for Jews to pray and study this way. It is debated how this practice started. This practice is regularly seen at Rabbinical learning centers. Some say this is done to keep focus during long hours of prayer and/or study. They will sometimes bow down/forward during prayer as in bowing before the Lord. The rocking back and forth is nothing Biblical but simply a practice that has taken hold in the Jewish community.
Do the Jews still have a special place in the eyes of God?
Absolutely! Evidence of this is found in various passages throughout the Bible. For example, Romans 11:29 tells us, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Apostle Paul gives the definitive statement that God has not cast away Israel in Romans 11:1-2, “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew…” God’s covenant with the nation of Israel begins in the book of Genesis 12:2-3. The Jews were chosen as a special vehicle through which the entire world would be blessed. Romans 9:4 tells us that God’s covenant with His chosen people still remains. They are currently in disbelief when it comes to Christ but they will come to repentance and accept Him as the true Messiah at the end of this age (Zechariah 12:10). Yes, the nation of Israel did stumble but their position will be restored (Romans 11:11-12) and the world will acknowledge it (Zechariah 8:23).
Does Israel now possess the land that God promised to them in the Old Testament?
The call to Israel as God’s chosen people began with Abraham. God spoke the following to him:
Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are – northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants for ever – Genesis 13:14-15
God later reaffirmed this promise with Abraham’s son Isaac and grandson Jacob (Genesis 26:3-5; 28:10-15). When God made the covenant with Abraham, He also spoke the following, “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:3
We find more specifics on the land promise later in the book of Genesis.
On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates – Genesis 15:18
But prior to this covenant coming to pass, Abraham’s people spent 400 years under Egyptian bondage. Under tremendous persecution, the Hebrew slaves called out to God for deliverance. Following twelve plagues cast on the land of Egypt by the hand of God, pharaoh finally consented to the order of Moses to let the people go. God then led the Hebrews to the Promised Land. Following a long dispersion due to disobedience, God held to His promise and led the Jews back to their land with Israel officially becoming a nation again in May of 1948. But as of present day, 2013, we can clearly see that Israel still does not possess all of the land promised to them in Genesis 15:18 (See map for land promised). Scripture does not specifically say but I think it is likely that complete fulfillment of the land promise will take place during the 1000 year earthly reign of Jesus Christ.
Is the Hebrew language of the Bible used in present day Israel?
Yes. It was prophesied in the Bible that the Hebrew language would once again become the national language (Zephaniah 3:9). This fulfillment took place in the 19th & 20th centuries and continues.
For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language,
That they all may call on the name of the Lord,
To serve Him with one accord. - Zephaniah 3:9
When was the modern state of Israel re-established as a nation?
May 14, 1948 - Numerouse passages foretold the state of Israel would be reborn. (Isaiah 66:7-8; Ezekiel 37:11-22).