Articles and Links of Interest

Are We Living in the Biblical “Latter Days?”
Many Christians believe that we are currently living in “the latter days,” a biblical term for the prophesied period of time, which will occur at the very end of our age. Are we living in these days? Can it be proven objectively that we are living in the latter days? The answer is “Yes it can!”

Benjamin: A Wolf Pack from the North
Benjamin was the youngest son of Jacob and Rachel, and the only full brother of Joseph. This tribe was almost exterminated in an ancient Israelite civil war in which the Benjaminites were sufficiently fearless and foolhardy to fight all the other tribes at once. This senseless civil war is discussed in Judges 19-21. The Benjaminites were fierce warriors. Although the Benjaminites were outnumbered 400,000 to 26,700, they won the first two battles as they routed the combined forces of the other tribes. Judges 20:21-25 records that the Benjaminites decimated the armies of the other tribes, killing 40,000 of them. The Israelite tribes had to fast and obtain God's divine help to defeat the Benjaminites. At the end of this needless war, the entire tribe of Benjamin was reduced to only 600 men.

Biblical Teachings Regarding Tithing
This article will examine the biblical and historical origins of tithing and examines what (if any) ancient tithing practices can be applied in our modern culture, which differs so radically from the culture of ancient Israel.

Christ's Five Warnings to Latter-Day Believers
In Matthew 24:3, Jesus Christ's disciples asked him “What shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” Many Christians know that Jesus responded with a discussion of global signs and events that would indicate the end of this age was imminent and his return was near. While the prophesied world conditions are important to understand, fewer Christians realize that the majority of Jesus Christ's answer to his disciples' question detailed five clear warnings to believers living at the end of our age. One of these warnings (his last one) is extremely important and serious.

Christian Faith and Military Service
In light of the shocking September 11th attack upon America, many people in the Churches of God are reexamining the issue of whether Christians can serve and fight in the military services of our nation. This involves much soul-searching as it has long been the tradition of most churches with a Worldwide Church of God heritage to require their members to be conscientious objectors. On the other hand, we must realize that we owe our personal freedoms to the willingness of others to die in combat while fighting for our nation.

Christian Rights & Citizenship Responsibilities
Since 9/11, the rights to “liberty and the pursuit of happiness” have taken a back-seat to the need to first preserve and safeguard “life.” This has created a seismic shift in the concept of individual “rights” in American society, and Christians need to be mindful of the dramatic shift in the relationship between individuals and government which is occurring.

Church Government
Christian churches have many viewpoints about what is the correct form of “church government.” While the Bible includes some information on organizing church bodies, Jesus Christ gave his church a very direct warning to avoid one specific kind of “church government.” His warning was very consistent with the Old Testament instructions and warnings for secular forms of government.

Could Racism Exclude You from God's Kingdom
Christian churches have many viewpoints about what is the correct form of “church government.”Some believe that prejudices against various races or ethnic groups is allowed in the Bible. That belief is wrong. As this article will demonstrate, racism is forbidden in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. However, could racist attitudes and prejudices be sufficiently sinful to cause people to be excluded from God's Kingdom? This article includes a piece of important, but rarely noticed, evidence in the Bible that the answer to that question could be "yes."

Devouring Widow's Houses
Matthew 23, Mark 12 and Luke 20 all record that Jesus Christ denounced the Pharisees for their unscrupulous, selfish and oppressive practices. One of the charges leveled by Jesus at the Pharisees in Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47 was that they “devoured widow's houses.” The Amplified Bible renders Jesus' words in Luke 20:47 as: “Who make away with and devour widow's houses…”

Did Ancient Israel Fear the Sea?
Were the ancient Hebrews locked to the land, or were they active in maritime activities? Here is the answer!

Ephraim and Manasseh: Allies in the Modern World
This column has been stimulated by an extraordinary, even historic event. On September 11, 2001, the United States was heavily attacked by radical Islamic terrorists. The terrorists turned four hijacked airliners into flying Fuel Air Explosive bombs as they utterly destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and badly damaged the Pentagon in Washington DC. The devastation in Manhattan looks like London, Coventry, Berlin or Dresden after they were bombed in World War II! According to one article I read this week, the attack destroyed or damaged 20% of all the office space in New York City and it killed or wounded thousands of Americans! It was the costliest attack upon American soil since our nation was founded.

Ezekiel 38-39 Prophecy
The “latter day” prophecy found in Ezekiel 38-39 has long been seen by many Christians as a key prophecy describing events which will occur among the nations in the time preceding the Millennium (or Messianic Age). This is a lengthy and very “meaty” prophecy which needs a thorough examination in order to be understood and appreciated. This research paper has been prompted by the fact that so much is happening in world events which is directly setting the stage for the fulfillment of this prophecy in future world geopolitics. It is needful to warn as many people as possible about what will occur in the years ahead of us, because when it is fulfilled, it will shock all nations and it will drastically affect the lives of everyone on the planet. Ezekiel 38-39 reveals, in advance, many details about a future World War III which will occur in the years ahead of us.

Four Reasons the Jews are "Judah"
Because this report will be read by individuals with different viewpoints, some introductory comments are needed. After writing a book entitled The "Lost" Ten Tribes of Israel...Found!, this author has received many letters, tracts, pamphlets, etc. presenting so many different theories about the identity of the Jews that they are too numerous to mention.

Is “Babylon the Great” About to Fall… Ushering in a Global “Beast” System?
The 17th and 18th chapters of Revelation contain a prophecy about the fall of “Babylon the Great” in the latter days. Babylon the Great is identified in Revelation 18:3 as an alliance of the “kings of the earth” with the “merchants of the earth.” The “kings of the earth” are governmental / political leaders in the global public sector and the “merchants of the earth” are business / financial leaders of the global private sector. It is easy to identify this alliance in the modern world. This biblical prophecy also foretells that this global world system will collapse at some point in the latter days. This article examines the possibility that we are seeing this prophesied collapse unfold before our very eyes. Indeed, this article will propose a surprising, possible fulfillment of this prophecy which Christians have overlooked. If this fulfillment scenario is correct, we are much near the end of this age than any of us have realized.

Is the Earth 6,000 Years Old?
 The answer to this question has caused a seismic divide between Christians and the modern scientific community. Both sides think that there is no possible way of reconciling their respective differences on this question. Many Christians, thinking that the Bible teaches that the earth and all life on it can be no more than 6,000 years old, answer this question in the affirmative. The scientific community, seeing physical evidence which indicates that the earth and physical Universe is much older than 6,000 years, answers this question in the negative. Additionally, scientists have heard so many Christians assert that the Bible teaches the earth is only 6,000 years old that they reject the Bible as unscientific because of that Christian assertion. Who is right? The answer may surprise you. I believe that each side has a lot of truth on its side, but they have been in disagreement because of a misunderstanding about what the Bible actually says on this subject.

Issachar in the Modern World
Issachar was a son of Jacob and Leah, and this tribe's original inheritance was located in the region of Galilee. After their migration into Asia, they were one of the many related Sacae tribes of the Scythians who were located throughout the steppes of South Russia in the region from Eastern Europe to east of the Caspian Sea. When the Scythians, and their Parthian relatives, migrated in large numbers toward Europe and Scandinavia in the centuries after the fall of Parthia, the tribe of Issachar left its name along the migration route.

Japan's Role in Biblical Prophecy
Some readers might be surprised by this title. Where might Japan be mentioned in biblical prophecy? Obviously, it would not be called "Japan" in biblical prophecy as the nation would be designated by an ancient name (even as the USA is called "Manasseh," Great Britain is called "Ephraim," the Israelis are called "Judah," etc.). Let us first examine a biblical prophecy which points to Japan and other Asian nations. Afterwards, appropriate media articles will be cited which indicate Japan is precisely fulfilling the role prophesied for it. This article will focus mainly on Japan, but it will also touch on the roles of many other modern nations.

Jerusalem: The “Burdensome Stone”
This article is being written after President George Bush's visit to Israel and several Arab nations in an effort to broker some kind of “peace settlement” for the region. This visit was made in the end-game of the Bush presidency, and it part of an effort to create some kind of legacy for the Bush Presidency. Any Mideast settlement will have to include an agreement about the city of Jerusalem which has long been a flashpoint in Mideast politics. This article will examine Jerusalem's role in latter-day prophecy, but first it will consider the current geopolitical situation involving Jerusalem so biblical prophecies about the city can be understood in their proper context.

Jonah—the Misunderstood Prophet
If I were to ask you what Old Testament prophet is known as the “disobedient prophet” or the “prophet with a bad attitude,” many would instantly reply that the prophet was Jonah. Jonah was unquestionably disobedient to God's initial command to go to Nineveh, and the book of Jonah does end with Jonah in a deep funk regarding the outcome of his prophetic mission.

Khazars and the Modern Jews
Some maintain that the Khazars were non-Israelites who, en masse, accepted Judaism and became the forebears of the Ashkenazi Jews of Europe. This viewpoint tends to disenfranchise Ashkenazi Jews as “legitimate” Jews from the tribe of Judah, and it is historically inaccurate. This viewpoint assumes: (A) all Khazars were gentile, (B) all Khazars accepted Judaism and © no members of the house of Judah were already living among the Khazars.

Modern Day Location of the Tribe of Gad
The two prophecies giving us the most information about the tribes of Israel in the post-exilic world are in Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33. Genesis 49 is specifically for the "latter days" period of time (the time just prior to the Messianic Age), and verse 19 states: "Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last." Deuteronomy 33 is not a prophecy specifically for "the latter days," but is rather a prophecy given to Moses about the general futures of the tribes of Israel. These clues can be fulfilled in the latter days or over the broader course of history. The prophecy about Gad is in verses 20-21, which includes these words: "And of Gad, he said, Blessed be he that enlarges Gad, he dwells as a lion, and tears the arm with the crown of the head..."

New Look at Prophecy
At the conclusion of my book, The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found!, it was stated that a new book detailing prophecies about the ten tribes of Israel would be written. Since my four new books containing important new information about the ten tribes' history had to come first, that book on prophecy is yet in the future. However, it is partially written. This booklet-length article is an effort to get some of that information to people in a timely fashion. What follows is not a direct excerpt from my future book, but is rather an adaptation of some of its material for those people who are in churches or fellowships which formed as the “old” Worldwide Church of God disintegrated. For these groups, some of this information is too important to be delayed for inclusion in a future book. This article is offered freely in the public domain, and I authorize it to be transmitted and distributed electronically or in paper format to anyone. The only conditions I place on this article are accurate quotation of the material and proper attribution of authorship.

New Perspectives on Christmas Topics
his link contains short commentaries written by Steven Collins concerning such subjects as the "Star of Bethlehem" and the "Visit of the Wise Men/Magi" along with comments and exchanges about these topics. This link originally appeared in a website, ChristmasBlogSiouxFalls.com , sponsored by Church at the Gate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Mr. Collins recently taught a 5-part class on the history of the ten tribes of Israel at this Independent Evangelical Church.

Serpent Seed Heresy
It has recently come to the attention of the authors that there is a belief generally called “the serpent seed” doctrine which is being promulgated by various groups around the country, and which has even taken root among individuals who were assumed to be staunch, well-grounded members of God's Church. Perhaps this doctrine is attractive to some since it offers its adherents a soothing basis for justifying attitudes of racial hatred. Whatever the reason for people adopting this doctrine, it is a dangerous heresy about which Christians need to be forewarned.

Should Christians Prepare for Future Hard Times?
As the latter days come upon us, should Christians simply "trust God" for their needs or should they make advance preparations? This article examines the clear biblical precedents and guidance on this matter.

The Bible Diet
During the pre-Christian era, it is a well-known fact that God forbade the Israelites to eat certain types of animal flesh. While the Israelites frequently disobeyed God's instructions, it was quite clear that God's law prohibited the consumption of pork, shellfish and other types of animal flesh. Therefore, if a person ate "unclean" food in Old Testament times, it was because they were choosing to disobey God's instructions, not because they felt they had a divine authorization to consume such meats.

The Israelite Origin of the Scythians
While the house of Judah remained in the Promised Land for a time, many have puzzled over the fate and future of the ten tribes of Israel. Where did they go? While the Bible foretold that the tribes of Israel would scatter, literally, to all four directions (Genesis 28:14), this article is devoted to connecting many of the exiled tribes of Israel to one largely ignored confederation of tribes which emerged afterward in the region of South Russia: the Scythians.

The Missing Simeonites
In the book of Numbers, we find that the Israelites under Moses undertook a first and second census of the tribes of Israel while they were in the Wilderness. The results of those enumerations of the tribes of Israel reveal some surprising results. This column will attempt to at least partially explain what seems to be some incomprehensible results.

The Tribe of Joseph in the Latter Days
Many Christians and Jews have an expectation that we are living in momentous times. This expectation is based upon the belief that world events indicate we are living in a climactic period of time called "the latter days" in many biblical prophecies. This prophetic phase will be climaxed by the arrival of a new period of time known by such names as the Messianic Age, the Millennium, the Kingdom of God, etc.
Do I believe we are living in the biblical "latter days?" Yes, I do. In this column, I will discuss several aspects of the prophecy regarding the tribe of Joseph which strongly confirm that we are living in the biblical "latter days."

The Two Witnesses
In Revelation 11:1-14, there is a prophecy about two prophets who will emerge on the world scene at the very end of our age. The Bible prophesies that they will wield spiritual powers unprecedented in human history. They will alter the world's geopolitical situation and astound the nations of the entire world. The Bible calls them the “two witnesses.” They will issue a final warning from God to all nations as this current age comes to a close just prior to the millennial age to be ruled by Jesus Christ. This article will examine this important prophecy in Revelation 11, which receives surprisingly little attention in modern Christian churches. The two witnesses will affect the lives of everyone on the planet; and its time we learn more about them and what they will do.

The United States in Bible Prophecy
Most Christians think the USA is not mentioned in the Bible's prophecies about the latter days. The USA is discussed in biblical prophecies but Christians have not recognized the Bible's clues about the USA because of some critical misconceptions.To examine the evidence that the USA's founding and destiny is addressed in the scriptures, I invite you to read this timely research report.

What Kind of Captivity?
Many Christian denominations have an understanding of prophecy which expects a time of great trauma during the “latter days” of this current age prior to the return of Jesus Christ. The terms “Great Tribulation” and “Jacob's Trouble” have been applied by some to this prophesied time of trouble. In some of the churches of God, there has long been an expectation that this time of trouble would include some kind of “captivity” for God's people in the latter days of this age.

©2009 - Steven M. Collins