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  • Jim Fletcher

First published at Beliefnet December 24, 2022

One of the most remarkable prophecies in the Bible is found in Micah 5:2.

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Micah was a prophet in Israel and he predicted the brutal Assyrian invasion, which occurred in the eighth century B.C. He was a contemporary of fellow prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah. But it was this astonishing prophecy about Bethlehem that was fulfilled hundreds of years later with the coming of the Messiah.

God, through Micah, called this event 700 years before it happened. If he can do that, He can fix your problems. That’s what Christmas Eve is all about.

Verse 2 tells us that the tiny hamlet of Bethlehem, obscure even to people of that day, would be the birthplace of the long-awaited Messiah. Almost from the beginning, believers in the Creator God knew that a Redeemer was coming, one that would serve as a sacrifice for individual sins. He would be the only path to being reconciled to God, given the sin nature that all humans inherit from Adam. As far back as Job (thought to be one of the oldest books in the Bible), people had some pretty detailed understanding of this coming Redeemer:

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,

whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. (Job 19:25-27)

This Redeemer would rule Israel, forever, and be the Savior not only of the Jews, but all mankind. Finally, we are told in this beautiful wording that He is “from everlasting.” This distinguishes him from pagan gods, all of whom have a beginning, a birth. This is key to understanding this particular passage, since while it provides a backdrop for the birth of a child, that child has no beginning and no ending. He is, I Am (John 11:25, among others).

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)

Many people try to explain the Micah prophecy away, but if you know a bit of history, and understand the biblical context, Micah 5:2 is very clearly describing Jesus Christ. Born around 4 B.C., in that afterthought place, his parents happened to be there to register with the government.

It’s easier to believe this story is real, and not a myth, than it is to believe the tortured explanations from liberal scholars and skeptics.

Tonight, on Christmas Eve, you might feel totally alone. You might be fighting some depression. Many people do at the holidays. Another helpful verse to commit to memory is found in Matthew 11:28:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

If you can let yourself believe though that the God of all creation—the One that made you—knows everything, including the future, you can find the peace that comes from being reconciled to God. The Apostle Paul explained this in his letter to the Romans:

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:9,10)

Tonight, if you need peace, tell the Man from Bethlehem that you are weary and burdened. Ask Him to give you rest and peace. He will do it.

Christmas must be tonight!

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  • Jim Fletcher

Published at RaptureReady (“Israel Watch”) January 7, 2023

I listened to a fascinating podcast this week from the Friends of Israel. Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid, a resident of Jericho, was asked about the situation in Israel, overall. He focused of course on life as a Palestinian.

The New Year’s Eve interview left me wondering how such a man can live and breathe in Jericho, a stronghold of the PLO (I really get tired of referring to the artificially created “Palestinian Authority,” which is really just the old murderous PLO dressed up in diplomatic clothes).

Eid is a very brave man, taking issue with the murderous leadership of the Palestinians, whether it’s Fatah (PLO) or Hamas. He is public with his criticisms, and deserves our prayers. He told one incredible, almost hilarious story about his brush with trouble back in the 90s, during the Bill Clinton Administration. Born in 1958 under Jordanian rule, Eid began to distance himself from the PLO in 1993.

Now, what makes this story truly remarkable is that Clinton was perhaps more responsible for anyone for the creation of the Frankenstinian monster known as Yasser Arafat as a “statesman.” Remember, Arafat, the killer Egyptian dwarf passing himself off as a “Palestinian” revolutionary; he was hiding in a cave in Tunisia when Western diplomats plucked him out, put clean clothes on him and presented him as the undisputed Palestinian leader.

Anyway, Clinton presided over the monstrous Oslo ceremonies at the White House in 1993—to his eternal shame—and he spent a good bit of his time pushing “peace” between Palestinians and Israelis. The other half of course was spent mentoring young interns.

So it is especially amazing that a Clintonista would come to the aid of a good guy like Eid. The activist had run afoul of Arafat, who jailed him. Lo and behold, Secretary of State Warren Christopher, an otherwise thoroughly forgettable political hack, got on the phone and gave Arafat five minutes to release Eid, or else. We’ll never know what “or else” would have been, but Bassem Eid walked out of jail and never looked back. To this day, he seems able to say what he wants about the goons that enslave his people.

But it was an insight Eid had that really grabbed my attention.

He said that the Arab leaders want a “three-state solution.” Hamas wants their Islamic Emirate in Gaza; Abbas wants his empire in the West Bank. Then you have the state of Israel.

I’d never heard this perspective before. Now, I think most of us know the vaunted “two-state solution” has never been the real goal of the terrorists. Even a multi-state solution is not the ultimate goal; the ultimate goal is the destruction of the Jewish state.

But Eid’s insight was intriguing. He means that the two rival Palestinian factions want to see who will finally emerge to continue the stranglehold on the people themselves, and then they will turn their focus solely on eliminating Israel.

A three-state solution. Well, everything else has been tried. Remember during the waning days of the odious Clinton years? Diplomats were actually floating the idea that the Temple Mount should basically just be administered by God Himself! Everything else had been tried, enormous manpower and money had been spent trying to make the sewer of Palestinian control into a modern nation-state. So at the end of the day, in some respect, the stones cried out and God was acknowledged.

As we speed toward the end, we will see that only the One-State solution will work:

The God State.

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  • Jim Fletcher

The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of. Matthew 24:50

One of the most-asked questions about Bible prophecy—both from Christians and even non-Christians—centers on this: “When will Jesus return to Earth?” This refers to various verses in the Bible, such as Matthew 24; Luke 21:5–26; Revelation 22:20; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–10.

For decades, Bible prophecy teachers and students have interpreted what is happening in the world at a given moment as having relevance for this question. This would include increases in earthquakes, increased wars, famines, etc.

One (me!) could even argue that this is referred to in what Christians call the Old Testament (another name is Hebrew Scriptures). This occurs in Zechariah 12:10, in which God is saying that “they” will look on Him. “Him” in the Christian tradition being Jesus, who will have returned to the same place he ascended 2,000 years ago: the Mount of Olives.

In any case, this is a question on many minds.

I am not a person that gets hung up on timelines, trying to determine with total accuracy what event follows another. For example, many prophecy students spend a lot of time trying to determine if the Gog-Magog event of Ezekiel 38-39 is before or after the Rapture (or some other end-times event).

I don’t ask questions like that. For one thing, I think the Bible is not clear on purpose. In other words, there are things God has determined we don’t need to know yet. Since I believe He is sovereign, He makes the rules, I don’t need to concern myself with things God doesn’t definitely answer for us.

What He has told us is that Jesus is coming back.

Notice how specific Matthew 24:50 is. We are told very clearly that Jesus will return to Earth when no one is looking for Him!

When might that time be? I have no idea. In fact, it seems almost impossible. You would think that someone, somewhere in the world, would be thinking about it at any given time! But if we boil this down, Jesus will return at precisely the moment no one is looking for him. We don’t know exactly how this could be, but Scripture is our guide. Nothing else.

If we look at it that way, we are then not bogged-down in various theories or arguments.

If you are worried about life, worried about what might or might not happen after this life, consider believing (as a child would, with simplicity) that Jesus will return and make everything right, one day.

That is what He’s promised us.

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