November 25, 2014

Islamic Supremacist Groups Connect Their Jihad to Ferguson Riots

Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch

In this photo (thanks to Kay), Leftist demonstrators relate the strife in Ferguson to the "Palestinian" jihad:

Ferguson Riot

Pamela Geller has a great deal of information on how Islamic jihadists and supremacists, including the Hamas-linked terror organization CAIR, have tried to co-opt the Ferguson riots as part of their own jihad. Most noteworthy is the active presence in Ferguson of "Palestinian" jihad activist Bassem Masri.

The connection between Ferguson and "Palestine" (and the global jihad in general) is clear: both the Islamic supremacists and the Ferguson rioters think that the American system is corrupt and must be brought down. The Islamic supremacist presence in Ferguson is thus akin to jihad recruitment in prisons: both attempt to capitalize upon resentment toward America and American authority, and channel it into jihad.

November 24, 2014

The Two Commissions in Matthew

Christopher Cone

Dr. Christopher Cone
Southern California Seminary

In a soon-to-be-published thesis, [1] James Fazio draws attention to an important component of Matthew's account of Jesus' life and ministry: specifically, that Jesus commissioned His disciples on two significant occasions, and for two very different purposes. The first, which Fazio refers to as "the Germinal Commission," [2] pertains to the gospel of the kingdom, and the message that Jesus proclaimed to the people of Israel throughout His early ministry, as in Matthew 4:17: "Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand" (or near, or even here). This gospel of the kingdom was the consistent proclamation of John the Baptist (e.g., Mt 3:2), of Jesus' early ministry, and of the disciples Jesus sent out in Matthew 10:5. Note that Jesus sent the twelve explicitly to Israel with the gospel of the kingdom, and they were not even allowed to go in the way of the Gentiles or enter the cities of the Samaritans. This gospel is exclusively for Israel, because the earlier Hebrew Scripture prophecies regarding this kingdom (e.g., 2 Sam 7) were centered on Israel and demanded literal fulfillment.

Immediately following Jesus' introductory prophecy regarding the church, there is an important transition in Matthew 16:21: Jesus' message shifts from the entirely kingdom program to be presented to Israel—now to a soteriological message regarding His death and resurrection. That does not mean there is no further mention of the kingdom—there is, in fact. However, all references to the kingdom subsequent to the prophecy of the church are either in an explicitly eschatological context (speaking of the future rather than imminent aspect of the kingdom) or in parabolic eschatological context (as in Mt 24-25). In short, the discussion of the kingdom post–Matthew 16 is not "the kingdom is near," but "the kingdom is coming." Note Matthew 24:14—"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations and then the end will come." The gospel of the kingdom is still a message that will be proclaimed in anticipation of the kingdom, but clearly the tone has changed from the earlier, "Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand."

Make Disciples

"Go and Make Disciples of All Nations"

In keeping with that new tone, after His resurrection, Jesus commissions His disciples a second time, this time with no reference to the kingdom and with no reference to specifically national promises. Instead, the disciples are told to, as they were going, make disciples (the only imperative in the commission), baptizing, and teaching. While this is a discipleship mandate rather than an evangelism mandate, it is evident that the proclamation of the gospel of salvation (as Paul later describes in 1 Cor 15:1-8) was happening in some way prior to the baptizing and teaching—either on the part of the disciples as they were going, or on the part of others who were, perhaps, as Paul puts it, "planting" (1 Cor 3:6).

In short, the first commission (Mt 10:5) was for a national call to soteriological response (to repent, change their minds) in anticipation of the imminent fulfillment of aspects of eschatology (the King had arrived), while the second (Mt 28:18-20) was for an international call to soteriological response specifically with respect to sanctification, i.e., becoming disciples. Fazio's apt distinguishing of these two commissions helps to underscore significant dispensational aspects of Jesus' earthly ministry, present focus, and future program.

Endnotes

[1] James Fazio, Two Commissions: Theological Implications of Matthew's Gospel, Masters Thesis, Southern California Seminary, April 2013.

[2] Ibid., i.


November 23, 2014

Video: Netanyahu Warns US Not to Make 'Historic Mistake' on Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Interviews with ABC This Week...

1:45

November 22, 2014

Gog and Magog in Ezekiel vs. Revelation

Tony Garland

Dr. Tony Garland
SpiritAndTruth.org

Q. We were watching your teaching on Revelation.

We did not catch the last episode. I have always wondered why so many preachers and teachers teach that the battle involving Gog and Magog is soon to happen when it says it will happen at the end of the millennial kingdom. What can you tell me about this?

A. Although the terms Gog and Magog appear in proximity in both the book of Ezekiel (Eze. 38:2-3; 39:1-11) and the book of Revelation (Rev. 20:8), a comparison of these passages indicates two different historical events are in view.

because Gog and Magog are mentioned as combatants in a war at the end of the Millennium (Rev. 20:7-9 ), many have identified the two battles in Ezekiel and Revelation as one and the same. However, the events following the battles are quite different, as are the events preceding each battle. In Ezekiel's prophecy, the battle of Gog and Magog is used by God to draw Israel to Himself; in Revelation the battle of Gog and Magog comes after God has drawn His people to Himself for one thousand years of blessing during the Millennium. Therefore, it seems best to place Ezekiel's battle in the Great Tribulation. [1]

Gog of the land of Magog invaded Israel in Ezekiel 38, prior to the rebellion mentioned in Revelation 20 at the end of the millennium. Differences between the two passages include:

  1. The Ezekiel invasion is from the north, the rebellion in Revelation 20 is from the entire earth.
  2. The Ezekiel invasion requires seven years to dispose of weapons, whereas the Great White Throne judgment immediately follows the rebellion in Revelation 20.
  3. The Ezekiel invasion occurs before the establishment of the kingdom, whereas the event in Revelation 20 occurs afterwards.
  4. The Ezekiel invasion is destroyed on the mountains of Israel, whereas the Revelation 20 force is destroyed around Jerusalem.
  5. "In Ezekiel Gog was the leader and Magog his land, while in Revelation both represent nations." [2]

This prophecy of Ezekiel concerning Gog and Magog cannot be identified with the prophecy in Re 20:7-10 for three reasons. The former takes place before the Kingdom is established on earth; the latter after this Kingdom. Also, in Ezekiel the invasion comes only from the north, but in Revelation it comes from the 'four quarters of the earth.' Furthermore, the rebellion of Gog and Magog and their destruction in Re 20:7-10 marks the ushering in of the eternal state (Re 20:11-15); but in Ezekiel it is preliminary to the Millennial Kingdom on earth. [3]

The fact that Gog and Magog are mentioned both in Ezekiel 38:1,6 and in Revelation 20:7 indicates to some a connection. However, Gog is a human leader and Magog are a people in Ezekiel 38, but their meaning is not defined in Revelation 20 . In other respects the scene is different. In Ezekiel life goes on after the war, requiring months to bury the dead. The war in Revelation 20 is followed immediately by the destruction of the earth and the creation of the new heaven and new earth. The war in Revelation 20 concerns Jerusalem. The war of Ezekiel does not touch Jerusalem. The scenes are different. [4]

In my course Israel Through the Eyes of Scripture, I discuss some of the issues related to chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel in the 11th session titled Gog of the Land of Magog. Andy Woods also has an excellent presentation on the topic titled Islamic Invasion of Israel. See also Q91 answered by Andy Woods.

Endnotes

[1] King James Version Study Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1988), Eze. 38:1.

[2] Freedman, D. N., The Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1996, c1992), 2:1056.

[3] Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1974, c1959), 187.

[4] Walvoord, J. F., The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook (Wheaton, Il: Victor Books, 1990), 191.


 


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