“Be not afraid …” These words of the Lord are meant to give us courage as we pass through times of unprecedented evil. These words were spoken by the Lord in the wonderful story of John 6:15-21 but they relate also to the inspiring message within the story, as we steer ourselves through the great wind, as the prophet John described the years of tribulation.

Interesting, isn’t it, how many times the Scriptures encourage us to go through life’s shortcomings with courage rather than fear. Yet, even those of us who better understand God’s overall plan because we have been blessed through knowing the Israel Truth, experience some trepidation as we witness events unfolding around us. We of Israelite heritage are imprisoned by all the curses through disobedience to God’s Law, as clearly set out in Deuteronomy 28, including the strangers directing our affairs and financial and mental bondage. Our lands are overrun by non-Christians and the conspiracy to kill every vestige of Christianity is in full gear. Our Saviour is defamed regularly and it is astounding that even a huge percentage of theologians no longer believe in the Resurrection or His Return. No wonder why Jesus made the statement that when He returned, “will He find the Faith”.

Now, when one sees what is happening in the Mid-East, the Ukraine and many other places around the globe, it is plain to see the evilness around us is preparing the world for an age-ending war. Those behind it believe there is little time remaining to bring on their one-world government, a sure sign that the curtain is going up on the final act of God’s Plan.

Yet, when still believing Christians who study prophecy point to His early return, we are usually met with the verse from Mark 13:32, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father”. Indeed, this verse is a prime reason theologians and most Christians alike don’t bother with prophecy, thinking that it is foolhardy to study a subject that has no known ending. Yet, if this is so, why did the Lord God inspire the prophet Amos to write, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets”. (Amos 3:7) Or as Daniel was told, “Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end ….. but the wise shall understand”. Jesus Christ Himself described the signs of the times just before His Return (Matthew 24) and it doesn’t take much study to match His Words to everything taking place in the world today, particularly in the Israel nations.

But, what if! What if the interpreters of the King James Bible erred with Mark 13:32? Howard Rand, the greatest Bible scholar of modern times, believed so and in his research he quoted Archbishop Trench who was one of the greatest authorities on words. They determined that the clause should read, “neither the son if not the father”. Rand claims this can be determined by anyone on reference to a good Greek lexicon. It certainly makes a difference; as Rand explained, the passage could be paraphrased in part, “If I were not God as well as man, even I should not know.” Remember, He was described by Isaiah (9:6) as “The Mighty God” and the “Everlasting Father” and He Himself referenced Himself as the Father in many verses of the New Testament, such as John 10:30, “I and my father are one”.

Now, if I was to guess how many jelly beans were in large bowls and was correct 75 out of 100 times, you would think I had a good eye or was lucky. But, if I was right 100 times out of a 100, you would come to the conclusion that I had inside information. Well, if all true Israelites were to study prophecy, that is, “Study to show yourselves approved” as counseled by the Apostle Paul, then they would discover that the prophets definitely did have inside information; the Bible describes their writing, “Divinely inspired”. The Apostle Peter confirmed this when he wrote, “Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”. (2 Peter 1:21) Jesus said, “And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” John 14:39. In Matthew 24:25, in describing what will take place before His Return, He again said, “Behold, I have told you before”.

You see, there is a definite purpose to prophecy, Jesus is saying “check it out and verify the exactness of My Word.” So, as Israelites who have been blessed with knowledge of the Israel Truth, we have to bear in mind the “wise”, as Daniel wrote, and the “servants”, as Amos wrote. And what about, “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: … not out of the night, nor of darkness”, as Paul confided in 1 Thessalonians 5:5. Where do we fit?

You know, Howard Rand stated that 80% of the Bible is concerned with prophecy; that’s absolutely awesome, but true. I like the analogy he employed, “The knowledge of God’s Word is our lamp, while prophecy furnishes the light that illuminates the way before us”. Some reader once asked why I so often write on prophetic matters. Well, I think it is our particular obligation to study and encourage others to delve deeply into a study of their own. The Apostle Peter wrote, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star shall arise in your hearts”. (2 Peter 1:19) As Israel Truth believers, we must ask ourselves, “Am I a child of the Light”. Rand observed, “An unlighted lamp is useless in a dark place and many who possess the Bible fail to focus the light of prophecy upon its message.” So, paraphrasing Rand, “in not studying prophecy, are we in effect no more versed than those who possess no lamp at all.”

Whew! When you think about it, God placed a great deal of responsibility on our shoulders when He touched us and stripped away the blindness. I don’t know but perhaps He is saying to each and every one of us, “Dust off those Bibles, get together with your Bible study buddies, seek out reliable reference material and work toward becoming a child of the light.” I suppose that one day He might call upon us in some way and hopefully, we will at least be partially ready. As an aside, going back to prophetic events that have already taken place exactly as the Scriptures foretold, it seems there are only a handful of prophecies yet to be fulfilled. So, perhaps there isn’t much more time before we see the ushering in of the great and terrible day of the Lord. One that hasn’t been fulfilled is Isaiah 17:1, “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap”. With the current turmoil in the Mid-East, one can visualize the Syrian capital being caught up in a war, or perhaps, even in a natural disaster. Interestingly, another prophecy that seems to have been fulfilled in the past year during the Muslim Brotherhood riots is Isaiah 19:2, “And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians …”

In any event, prophecy is wonderful and brings us so very close to God. I would need many, many pages for this article just to record the main ones I have studied. However, space doesn’t permit. There is one that I think worthy of mention, one that I alluded to last December in an article “Look Toward 2016”. You might like to review it at this time but, briefly, it revealed how Bible scholar Dimbleby and Great Pyramid scholar Davidson both pointed out that the equinox of 2001 was the fulfillment of the 6 days or 6,000 years when God left man to his own devices, which coincided with the month of 911, how God told Hezekiah (meaning “Jehovah Strengthens”) that fifteen years (15 meaning “rest”) would be added to his life and that He said, “I will heal thee, on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.”

What I think is interesting is that this year, 2014, is 13 years past 2001 and “13” stands for depravity or rebellion and is associated with evil, according to Dr. Ed Vallowe in his book “Biblical Mathematics”. If you look at this year’s events in Syria and Iraq re Isis, Hamas and Israel, Russia and the Ukraine, the invasion of our borders and Lord knows what else is ahead at the time of the September 2014 equinox, then you would have to say evil is having its way.

So when the Apostle Paul said, “Despise not prophesyings”, I think we should sit up and take notice because events certainly seem to be falling into place. (Article based on Howard Rand’s book “Marvels of Prophecy”)