by Tim Buck | Mar 17, 2023 | Tim's Articles
A roadside bomb that severely wounded a motorist in northern Israel earlier this week was planted by a terrorist who infiltrated the country from Lebanon, security forces revealed on Wednesday.
After the blast, the IDF, Shin Bet and Israel Police began a joint manhunt in an effort to catch the terrorist, including the establishment of roadblocks in northern Israel.
A vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint near the village of Ya’ara containing a suspect who was equipped with a suicide bomb vest and a rifle. Israeli security forces shot and killed him.
The Israel Defense Forces has not yet named who it believes dispatched the terrorist, but it is not ruling out Hezbollah.
One possibility being examined is that the terrorist was driven to Megiddo from the border area; a man suspected of acting as his driver is under arrest.
Security sources believe the suspect likely planned to carry out an additional attack before possibly seeking to return to Lebanon.
Tal Beeri, head of research at the Alma Research and Education Center, which specializes in Israel’s defense challenges in the northern arenas, said, “We assess that there are two main possibilities for identifying the responsible element: Hezbollah and Hamas.
“Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a player in Lebanon but with fewer operational-military capabilities. We believe an attack like this cannot happen without, at the minimum, Hezbollah’s knowledge.
“It seems likely to us that Hezbollah is responsible for this even if Hamas was also involved. We assume that in either case, the Palestine Division of the Iranian Quds Force was updated and that the attack was coordinated with it,” Beeri said.
Whoever was behind the attack, it concluded that it could exploit the political crisis in Israel to time an attack of this kind while managing risks in regards to an Israeli response, which it assesses will be minor, said Beeri.
In January, it became public knowledge that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization has built more than 20 observation and guard posts along the Israel-Lebanon border over the past year, in an escalatory move.
by Tim Buck | Mar 17, 2023 | Tim's Articles
“So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.”
The Fog Is Lifting: Prophecies that once seemed far-fetched, even impossible to understand, are now easily understood.
The eighth chapter of Daniel features an astounding vision of a male sheep and a male goat. What did this vision represent, and is it relevant for us today?
The vision recorded in Daniel 8 came to the prophet in the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar of Babylon (553-554 B.C.). This was just two years after Daniel’s vision of four beasts and a little horn recorded in Daniel 7.
As was the case with the previous vision, Daniel didn’t fully understand the significance of what he was seeing (Daniel 7:19, 28). This vision concludes with Daniel saying, “I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it” (Daniel 8:27).
If Daniel didn’t understand it in the sixth century B.C., can it be understood today? The answer is YES and the reason is that the prophesies of Daniel have now been unsealed.Many of the prophecies of Scripture have been sealed until “the time of the end” (Daniel 12:9).
As we approach that time, the fog is lifting. Students of Bible prophecy today can look back over history and see the significance of much of what Daniel and other prophets predicted in God’s Word. For those with ears to hear and eyes to see (Revelation 13:9), the signs are everywhere.
As the fog lifts, the scenery is beautiful because it reminds us that God is working out His plan precisely as He said He would.
Daniel 12:9 indicates that the closer we get to the coming of the Lord, the more understanding God will release to the final generation! That’s us! The last generation! So read and study and ask the Lord for understanding and rejoice because Jesus is coming soon!
by Tim Buck | Mar 12, 2023 | Tim's Articles
The Apostle Paul in Arabia
Reconstructing Paul’s Hidden Years
In the Desert at Petra
3/11/23 By Tim Buck
The New Testament recounts many episodes from the apostle Paul’s life. Yet it provides scant details about his visit to Arabia. In his letter to the Galatians, while describing his conversion, Paul mentions his time in Arabia:
When God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus. (Galatians 1:15–17, NRSV)
In the first place, Paul is not referring to the area we today call Saudi Arabia. After his conversion, rather than immediately travel to Jerusalem to be instructed by the apostles, Paul instead went to Nabatean, Arabia, a wilderness desert that stretched East of Damascus down to the Sinai Peninsula. Paul then says, “After three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter” (Gal. 1:18).
During his three years at Petra, Paul made a visit to Damascus (Gal. 1:17) but mainly resided in Arabia under the continuous ‘seminary’ instruction from the Lord. One can only imagine what that experience must have been like. Paul confirms the Lord was his only teacher in his testimony,
I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
What else happened in Arabia?
Ben Witherington III of Asbury Theological Seminary explores these hidden years of Paul’s life in “Paul of Arabia? The Apostle’s Early Adventures,” published in the Winter 2021 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Although the specifics do not appear in the biblical text, Witherington reconstructs elements of this time.
Witherington clarifies that the region called Arabia in Galatians 1:17 should be associated with Arabia Petrea, or the kingdom of Nabatea. With its capital at Petra, Nabatea flourished for several centuries and remained independent from Roman control during Paul’s lifetime. Witherington thinks that Paul likely spent time in Petra, which was situated on the major trade route that brought spices across the Arabian Peninsula—from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea.
Later in his life, when Paul would travel to other Mediterranean cities, he typically sought out the local Jewish community and shared the gospel, first with the Jews and then with Gentiles (non-Jews). He spoke Greek, the language of the day. To support himself, he practiced leatherworking and tent making. Witherington thinks it likely that Paul did these same things at Petra.
Another passage seems to support the idea that Paul preached while in Arabia. In 2 Corinthians 11:32–33, Paul says that King Aretas tried to arrest him in Damascus. This refers to King Aretas IV, who ruled Nabatea from 9 B.C.E. to 40 C.E.
Why would the Nabatean king have known about Paul and wanted to arrest him? Witherington thinks it likely that Paul came to the king’s attention while preaching in Nabatea. It seems likely Paul preached the gospel in Arabia Petrea, and the king wanted to arrest him for promulgating a non-Nabatean religion in his territory without permission.
These reconstructed details give a glimpse of the apostle Paul’s time in Arabia. Since we plan to be in Petra during our upcoming April-May Tour of Jordan and Israel we’ll see if we can learn more about the Apostle Paul’s hidden years in Petra.
by Tim Buck | Mar 10, 2023 | Tim's Articles
News & Headlines
3/10/23 By Tim Buck
Israel and the Nations
Recent reports suggest that Hungary is now considering moving its embassy to Jerusalem. However, Budapest has communicated that no decision has been made as of yet. Furthermore, there are reports regarding new Abraham Accords negotiations for normalizing ties between Israel and Niger, Mauritania, Indonesia, and Somalia.
Israel, Iran, and the Nuclear Saga
For the first time ever, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi last week. Pathetically, Grossi recently said that an Israeli attack on Iran would be “illegal”.
I like the response of prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu – “Grossi just said in Tehran that an Israeli attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities is illegal. Outside what law? Is it allowed for Iran, which openly calls for our destruction, to defend the instruments of destruction that will slaughter us? Are we not allowed to defend ourselves? Of course, it is allowed!”
In addition to the rising tension, there are reports that Azerbaijan will allow Israel to use its military airports to attack Iran.
Israel continues to preemptively attack Iran in Syria, as the Israeli military struck several targets in Aleppo early this week. Another attack occurred in Deir ez-Zor in Eastern Syria, which was aimed at Iranian weapons and was carried out by the US in coordination with Israel.
It’s worth noting that what happens between Israel and Iran doesn’t stay between the two. You can already see how many countries are part of the equation, and now Jordan has shared its concerns with the US concerning the Iranian threat to Jordan. This is worth keeping a close watch in the coming days. As noted by an Arab blogger, there has been some unusual flight patterns involving Israeli fighter jets in recent days.
Most significantly, the head of Israel’s national security council said yesterday, “Israel is ready to strike Iran and the Americans know about it! Israel will not rely on anyone in order to take care of its security!”
Dissension in Israel
Every Saturday evening, liberal progressive anarchists demonstrate in Tel Aviv against the judicial reforms of the new government. They shout “democracy”, yet they don’t respect the democratic decision of the majority who voted for this government. That’s the face of the left all around the world – it’s either their way or the highway! Sadly, the current US administration is enabling the left in Israel by supporting the ridiculous demonstrations.
Russia & Ukraine
The Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia is being crushed by the Russians, and is facing abandonment. As far as the Russians are concerned, it’s part of the four districts that they unilaterally annexed, so they will not stop destroying it until it surrenders in the future. The scope of the destruction is enormous, which can be seen in photos online.
Things are continuing to escalate in a way that’s becoming more and more concerning. Recently, former President Donald Trump voiced his perspective that World War III will be inevitable if something doesn’t change soon – very soon.
Moscow, Tehran Nuclear Deal
According to at least one source, Russia and Iran have reached a secret agreement in which Moscow is now able to return the stockpile of enriched uranium that it transferred from Tehran after the signing of the nuclear agreement in 2015.
Update On FOTET Ministry
The conversation that Jesus had with His disciples on top of the Mount of Olives has been followed by many misleading conclusions over the last 2,000 years. When will these things happen? What is the sign of His coming? How will we know when it’s the end of the age? The world needs clarity on the times and seasons we face in the run-up to the Tribulation and Second Coming!
Both non-Christians and Christians alike need to know about the terrors of the Tribulation. Non- Christians must understand what is awaiting them if they reject Jesus. Christians must realize what their unsaved loved ones will go through, so that they are motivated to share the truth with them. These are some of the reasons we started this teaching ministry.
Time and time again we’ve seen God bless this ministry through your abundant and faithful prayers and your generous financial gifts. I can’t thank you enough for the way you express support for what God is doing with Focus on the End Times.
While the events of this world are heading in a crazy direction (and have been for some time), let’s not forget that they’re heading in a prophetic direction. As believers, we have a front row seat to the fulfillment of what the Scriptures have communicated for thousands of years. As we face adversity and trials in these last days, may we be actively waiting to meet the Lord at any moment.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
by Tim Buck | Mar 7, 2023 | Anti-Christ, Beast, Daniel's Prophecies, Tim's Articles
Chapter By Chapter Highlights
3/7/23 By Tim Buck
Thinking DanielIf you spent any time in Sunday School you know about Daniel with the stories of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego escaping the fiery furnace and Daniel escaping the Lion’s den. But Daniel is more than a Bible character on your teacher’s flannelgraph.
His book accurately prophesied more than 2500 years of world history with astonishing detail. And in the process, students of prophecy discover something very important. God wants us to use Daniel’s prophecies as the standard for interpreting other prophecies. It’s unique design built into every chapter presents it as God’s blueprint for prophetic interpretation. Here’s the best part.The book holds the key to understanding our history and our tumultuous times today and reassures us of God’s absolute authority over the future.
Overview, All Six Classes!
– 2023 Dates –
Four Beasts, 10 Horns and a Little Horn – Daniel 7 (March 14)
The prophecy that was revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2, that there would be four world-ruling empires, was repeated about 50 years later in Daniel 7. This time, however, it was Daniel who had the dream, and there were added details.
In this vision Daniel saw four beasts—representing the same four world-ruling empires described in Daniel 2 that come up out of the sea. The phrase “coming out of the sea” is a purposeful link that coincides with the Beast of Revelation 13 who “comes out of the sea” so we know the four beasts of Daniel 7 are also depicting the final empire of Antichrist.
Daniel noted that there was also a little horn that spoke blasphemous words against God and made war against the saints. God reveals the “little horn” (Antichrist) for the first time in scripture, and dramatic details emerge of the intensity of his war against Israel and the unprecedented evil that will pour out from the empire of Antichrist.
Daniel 7 also gives us a much greater explanation of the fourth beast, which has 10 horns, representing 10 kings that would arise from the fourth kingdom. This prophecy concludes with more details about the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom.
The Ram and the Goat – Daniel 8 (April 18)
One of the unstated themes running throughout Daniel is his search through these empires to identify the bloodline and geographical territory of Antichrist. In the eighth chapter, Daniel begins his journey of narrowing down the search for Antichrist. To accomplish this we are given an expanded vision of just two of the four world-ruling empires, the Persian and Grecian Empires also identified in Daniel 2 and 7. Daniel sees a vision of a ram with two horns (Medes and Persians) and then a male goat with a single notable horn between his eyes (Alexander the Great) conquering the ram.
The historical fulfillment of this vision is Greece under Alexander the Great conquering the Medo-Persian Empire. The search narrows as it then follows the division of Alexander’s kingdom after his untimely death into four new empires ruled by his four generals.
It further narrows with the focus landing on two of the four new Grecian Empires; the Ptolemy and Seleucid empires. In one last twist, Daniel narrows our search for Antichrist down to just one possibility when sees another “little horn,” coming out of one of these two empires but he’s different from the little horn of Antichrist in chapter 7.
This time he’s the rogue and vile Syrian King of the Seleucid Empire who in 167 BC launched severe persecution of the Jewish people in a pattern to be followed by Antichrist. This becomes the model for the rise of Antichrist to emerge from the Middle East land mass of the Seleucid Empire in the territory of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
Israel’s Calendar Revealed, 70 Weeks of Daniel – Chapter 9 (June 20)
The 70-weeks prophecy found in Daniel 9 reveals God’s extensive 490 year calendar that unfolds His plans for Israel. This remarkable prophecy dates the coming of Jesus Christ to earth the first time and also identifies significant aspects of Jesus’ ministry. Israel should have known when their Messiah showed up in Galilee.
We learn that the majority of Israel’s calendar events were fulfilled at the time of Jesus’ death covering 483 years, but that seven years still await fulfillment. These final seven years that remain unfulfilled is the seven-year Tribulation period.
The seven years begins with an international peace treaty or covenant, is disrupted when Antichrist invades Israel and breaks the covenant by committing the abomination of desolation in the middle of the seven years, and ends when the disruptor is soundly defeated at the Second Coming of Jesus.
Spiritual Warfare, Fighting the Prince of Persia, Placing Life in the Larger Story – Chapter 10 (August 8)
In Daniel ten, Gabriel pulls the curtain of the unseen spirit-world aside and reveals the battle of spiritual warfare up close and personal. In addition, Gabriel reveals God’s, “Book of Truth” to Daniel, God’s heavenly record of unrevealed end-time events which is kept in heaven.
The chapter reminds us that until we grasp the spiritual realties at work in this world, we will never truly appraise the things in our lives the way that we should. We learn that behind whatever crises or conflicts the world faces, lies a more potent spiritual conflict. A conflict that requires spiritual weapons, prayer and discernment. The chapter reminds us that we have a God who is more than capable of handling any crises of the past, present and future.
Wars of Antichrist – Daniel 11 (September 26)
Of particular interest in this chapter, to students of prophecy is Daniel’s reference to “the abomination of desolation” (Daniel 11:31; 12:11). In Daniel 11 this refers to evil events that the other “little horn,” Antiochus IV Epiphanes did like pouring pig’s broth throughout the Temple and outlawing being Jewish, atrocities he committed in Jerusalem around 167 B.C.
In chapter 12 the abomination is in the context of the “time of the end” (Daniel 12:4) pointing to when Antichrist desolates the temple in the seven-year Tribulation. Jesus later spoke of this same end-time event (Matthew 24:3, 15).
Writing from the location perspective of the land of Israel, Daniel 11 writes of other powers coming into the region he referred to as “the king of the South” and “the king of the North” (Daniel 11:5-6). Of special interest to us, verses 36-45 speak of these same powers becoming the end-time wars of Antichrist (king of the north) as he seeks to conquer all the land of Israel and destroy God’s people. This scenario is rising right before our eyes today as the nations of the Middle East shuffle and are staged for the coming final empire.
Daniel 12 Wrap up!
While previous prophecies in the book of Daniel have touched upon end-time events, the final short chapter gives special emphasis to wrapping up his vision of the Tribulation period. Even though this will be “a time of great trouble” unlike any other, the encouragement for God’s people is that after Christ returns they will receive eternal life and be glorified in the Millennial Kingdom with their beloved King Jesus on the Throne in Jerusalem.
Understanding Daniel’s prophesies is so important today because most interpretation of prophetic events these days, especially on the internet and TV, is based on emotions and current events as opposed to sound doctrine flowing from the study of the Word.
So we invite you to join us for each class this year.