I recall the night when Neil Armstrong uttered those historic words, "That's one small step for man one giant leap for mankind" I was unsaved and on a 3 day speed (Amphetamines) binge. I happened to be reading the Bible that night ...
" And there will be strange events in the skies--signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And down here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.
Now, I can't tell you the lunar landing was what Jesus had in mind but it sure struck a chord in my heart. The next year I got saved(Aug 14,1970)and a life long love of Bible prophecy took hold of me. Our Lord has enabled me to travel to Israel 29 times since 1981.I call it the real "living" Bible.
The Bible is not only supernaturally composed but is as well historically viable. Mind and spirit can be fully satisfied if you read it with the right spirit. It's also a sad fact that the vast majority of Christianity either ignores or distorts many of its truths.
There is room for disagreement in some areas but we are coming to a time of put up or shut up. While I love my Christian family, the distinctions of truth have become quite blurred. Calvinist, Armenian, Pre-mil, wind-mil ... it can leave one dazed and confused. It is clear we should not read the Bible to get what we want from it. Cults, apostasy, lethargy and a please-think-for-me attitude are bringing in an hour of darkness that is frightening. I have dear friends in Christ who have turned to preterits.
( Preterism is a variant of Christian eschatology which holds that some or all of the biblical prophecies concerning the Last Days refer to events which actually happened in the after Christ's birth. The term preterism comes from the Latin praeter , meaning "past". Adherents of Preterism are known as Preterists.) en.wikipedia.org
No more celebration of the Lord's Supper, no looking for the Blessed Hope, no physical resurrection on the last day. How anyone can point Christ's return from the destruction of Jerusalem (AD 70) boggles my mind. Have you ever heard this gem? The Western (wailing) Wall in Jerusalem proves the prophecy has yet to be fulfilled.
"Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."
Jesus was not talking about a southern retaining wall! That wall was not a part of the Temple complex. Isn't it simply amazing how literal people can be when they want to!?
While my lengthy intro was necessary to place the rules of interpretation, it goes without saying that the Bible is to be interpreted literally but not hyper-literally. The Bible employs metaphor, figurative language, hyperbole, simile etc. How do we know when to read it literally? Just follow the basic rule of simplicity. “I am the door,” “bread of life,” “drink my blood eat my flesh”(Jewish people love that one!)
The Bible interprets itself.
So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the LORD. God forbid that I should do this!" he said. " Should I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives?" Because they risked their lives to bring it back, David would not drink it.
1st Chron 11:19
No Jewish person would ever consider drinking blood "literally" King David gives us the meaning of what Jesus said. Fearing the pangs of hell poor souls depend upon the Eucharist. Again I do not wish to offend anyone but lets get a reality check. If a Christian believes the literal presence of Christ in the host, fine for them, but it is not what the Bible implies.
This one example paves the way for us to understand HOW to read the Bible. There is nothing wrong with getting a spiritual meaning from a literal event but not at the expense of rejecting the plain truth.
Since the 4th Century much of the Bible has been twisted to the point of denying what is written.
Someone said , "to allegorize is to tell lies because you have no spiritual eyes ." The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Jesus will not have a sword protruding from his mouth when He returns. Jesus has "white woolly hair" in the book of Revelation. To some this means he has kinky hair and is of African descent. We all have the same blood regardless of the genetic alterations God employed years ago. We are either Caucasoid, Mongoloid or Negroid. Jews are Caucasoid. In the end the Jewish race is God's stronghold. Satan must go nuts when things plod along according to God's plan. Israel will return and become a nation. When they do they will never be destroyed. God is not rewarding the Jewish people for good behavior.
I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, O house of Israel! Eze 36:32
They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations.
I have walked the Temple Mount area numerous times. Islam denies there ever was a Temple! According to them, the Mosque was built by ADAM!
One cannot read the Bible when in the Islamic controlled area. They will spit on you, rip it from your hands. The Israelis beg us not to bring any archaeological etchings of Solomon's Temple. It would start a riot. I asked my guide Micha why don't you guys just build a Temple? He said, " We would have 20 million Muslims over for lunch."
It is easy for us to talk about it, but it is a very satanic area. One can feel it. The skin crawls. More than once I had to remind myself, " Love your enemies." Only agape, God's love can produce a sympathy for the untold numbers lost in darkness.
Israelis are tough but even the most humanistic one admits something deeper is going on. There is no rhyme or reason to the worlds hatred of Israel. It is satanic pure and simple. In the not too distant future the long awaited, debated, inflated Anti-Christ will finally come.
Israel is primed for peace regardless of how it will come about. They are weary and echoes of the holocaust haunt them. Never again! The Jewish Defense League once interrupted a lecture I was giving. They shouted never again! Never again! Then they began to sing a song strange to my ears, the "Hatikvah." It is Israel's national anthem.
I was about 2 years old in Christ Moishe Rosen and Hal Lindsey had spoken before. Talk about tough acts to follow!
Madison Square Garden was packed and there they were the JDL. I started singing Amazing Grace and everyone joined in. I felt kind of bad after that. Little did I realize I'd be blessed to do concerts from Dan to Beersheva in Israel. Guess what our closing song has been? Yep. Hatikvah.
Today there are many Messianic fellowships in Israel. In 1981 maybe there was only one. The closer we get to Christ's coming the stress of warfare will grow. Meanwhile, go to Israel. Do not be afraid. It is so peaceful you'll think you are dreaming.
About Israel's Restoration
"In that day I will restore David's fallen tent.
I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins,
and build it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name,
declares the LORD, who will do these things.
"The days are coming," declares the LORD,
"when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman
and the planter by the one treading grapes.
New wine will drip from the mountains
and flow from all the hills.
I will bring back my exiled people Israel;
they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
I will plant Israel in their own land,
never again to be uprooted
from the land I have given them,"
says the LORD your God.
God loves all people. Satan hates us all. The days of sending missionaries are almost over. Just try replicating the "End Of The Spear"- God rest our brothers souls- In Iran or Pakistan or Rome for that matter. The song remains the same..... To be God's children you must be born again"
We are often asked to "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem".
But we must qualify this request. Only the Prince of Peace can bring real peace. Imagine one day even the Egyptians and Assyrians will be called God's people.
Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
Jesus is coming soon!
Pastor Charlie Rizzo