The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8

Archive for November, 2005


Sunday, November 27th, 2005

My wife and I decided to visit a few of the shopping malls in Orange County, California, the day after Thanksgiving. Some call it “Black Friday” and there were incidents all over the country of angry and somewhat violent confrontations between store employees, security personnel, and impatient and angry crowds who were waiting for hours to be served.

The situation in Orange County, CA, seemed fairly quiet and reasonable, but the crowds and traffic were certainly a problem. Most of the stores we visited had pleasant employees and our conversations with them were meaningful and rewarding. Many seemed concerned about the attitudes of a few people that seem to be upset about the word “Christmas” or about any displays of a religious nature. Several stores changed the words “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays” – but that has being going on for several years now. We made sure wherever we went to say “It’s the birthday of Jesus in Bethlehem – Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! – Don’t forget – He is the LIGHT of the world!” We saw no serious opposition, but rather warm responses and a basic willingness to listen and smile.

Perhaps all the news “hype” we have been listening to recently about changing the greeting of “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays” or calling “Christmas trees” – “Holiday Trees” – has been a bit exaggerated from where most Americans are on this issue. No doubt there is a concerted effort on the part of many businesses (a few in management who make these dumb decision!) to avoid offending anyone who does not agree with the traditional American celebration of Christmas, but it would seem from what we saw to be a bit overstated.

What we did see was an obsession with material things and what looks like a massive motivation to find happiness in the purchase of “things.” Our LORD YESHUA reminded us that a person’s life does NOT consist of the abundance of the “things” that person obtains. We did NOT see a great emphasis on the birth of the SAVIOR, nor could we find any public display of manger scenes in the main stores (like in their windows in the past!). Several still sold small manger scenes in the Christmas sections of their stores. We did see many images of Santa Claus and people dressed up like him, and hundreds of children waiting in line to get a picture with him!

Like many of you, we were looking for special gifts for family (children and grandchildren) and friends – simple reminders of our love for them. But, we definitely felt somewhat “empty” of spiritual meaning and impact after our visit to the “malls.” There was a refreshing difference in Christian bookstores.
The one thing that struck us as quite interesting as well as a blessing was the playing of Christmas carols through the malls and their stores. Songs that speak of our Savior’s birth, His death on the cross for our sins, His resurrection and His coming again – were heard everywhere! For this we were thankful.

May God give us all wisdom in dealing with the “holidays” and to find creative ways to share the good news of the Savior to all who are willing to listen! God bless you, and….MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HANUKKAH!


Sunday, November 27th, 2005

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon seems to be quite encouraged by the public response to his recent “bombshell” political announcement that he is leaving the Likud Party to form a new party that was initially called “National Responsibility.” It is now being called “Kadima.” PM Sharon now states that he intends to change Israel’s laws regarding to political parties and their influence. Sharon has stated that he will follow the US-backed “Road Map” to its final phase.

In the meantime, the Palestinian Authority which has taken over the control of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt – has now admitted that various sites in Gaza that were obtained from the removal of Jewish families are now being used as “training camps” for the terrorist organizations of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah, and others.

Also, a large group of Rabbis have voiced their opposition to the Gaza withdrawal and are now calling for PM Sharon and the Israeli government to take back these Jewish towns and put all of Gaza under Israel’s control. They have cited various Biblical passages and commands regarding the dimensions of the land. They have pointed out that since August, there have been at least 40 rockets and missiles shot into Jewish cities from these former Gaza communities that were given to the Palestinian Authority.

Recent polls reveal that if elections were held today, Sharon would win by a landslide. Apparently, the secular-minded Israelis living in this land are willing to give up more land and to establish a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital. The European Union has voiced opposition to Israel’s claim to Jerusalem, and were it not for Italy’s objections, the EU would have taken serious steps and measures to oppose Israel’s commitment to the city of Jerusalem.

Bible prophecy students are well aware that the matters predicted in the Bible about Jerusalem and the Land of Israel in the end times are unfolding right in front of our eyes while millions of Christians are either unaware of what is happening or attend churches that do not teach Biblical prophecy or who believe that the Church has replaced Israel in God’s prophetic program so that what is happening now in Israel (in their minds) has nothing to do with the future of God’s plans!

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH! God is fulfilling His Word in amazing and detailed ways in our lifetime! It is time to study Bible prophecy and take these matters seriously. The call of our churches should NOT be to make non-believers more comfortable, but rather to urge them to repent and believe the true gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ before it is too late! YESHUA IS COMING SOON!


Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

We receive continual questions about the phrase “the last days” and people want to know if we are now in the last days or at least getting close to it. We have commented on this matter several times and because of the interest in the subject we return to some basics about this matter.

YES – we are NOW in the “last days.” The prophecy of Joel 2:28-32 is quoted in Acts 2 and the Bible makes it clear that the term “last days” began on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 when the Church was born, and it will continue until the end of the tribulation period (“the Day of the LORD”) when the Holy Spirit will be poured out on the Nation of Israel (Ezekiel 39:29; Zechariah 12:10).

All during the “last days” the work of God in pouring out His Spirit refers to the salvation of both Jews and Gentiles.

Of course, we are closer to the end of the “last days” than we were yesterday! It has gone on now for over 1900 years. Near the end of these “last days” a period of time will come which the Apostle Paul calls “perilous times” (II Timothy 3:1-7). Reading over the characteristics of these “perilous times” would lead one to suspect that we are now in that dangerous time of deception and sinful behavior.

The completion of the “last days” will happen when “the Day of the LORD” takes place. The term is used 25 times in the Bible and refers to Daniel’s 70th week of his prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 and refers to the coming “Great Tribulation” which our Lord and the writers of the New Testament have referred to often.
It appears to be seven years in length and will begin with a false sense of peace and security and a resolution of the conflict between Israel and her hostile enemies. The attempt to bring that resolution or peace agreement about is, of course, going on now. What the final result will be and when – is known to God.

The “Day of the LORD” refers to the time when God’s revenge takes place upon a world that has rejected Him and His authority. It is the subject of most of the Book of Revelation. It is the “day of God’s wrath” upon planet earth. The Bible uses terms such as “deception” and “darkness” and “distress” and “destruction” and “death” etc., to describe this period of time. The world will be plunged into the greatest period of desolation and disaster that humanity has ever seen! Over one half of the world’s population will be killed before this coming trouble is half over!

Bible scholars and teachers disagree about many details concerning the future. There are some who think that there will be no future tribulation, and that all the prophecies of the Book of Revelation were fulfilled in 70 AD with the Roman invasion and destruction of Jerusalem. Here at HOPE for TODAY we believe that the events of the tribulation are still future.

The important thing in all of this discussion is to make sure of your own relationship with the LORD through His Messiah, our Savior from sin, death, and hell. There is NO OTHER WAY (John 14:6; Acts 4:12-13)! We must repent of our sin, and put our complete faith and trust in the Messiah Himself – it was His death on the cross over 1900 years ago that paid the price of our sin, and He is NOT dead – He’s alive, and He’s coming back again! If you confess Him as your Lord and Savior and believe that He is God in human flesh, and the only sufficient payment of sin before a holy God, and receive Him, trusting your life and future to Him alone – then you will be saved!

Acts 16:31


Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

If you are an observer of the news concerning the Middle East, you are aware of recent events that were publicly announced this week by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel. He has formally turned in his resignation from the Likud Party leadership to President Moshe Katsav. Sharon has asked that the Knesset be dissolved and early elections held. It was a “shock” to most political observers since it was Sharon himself who founded the Likud Party in 1973. However, he did not have much of a choice. Many Likud Party members are still upset over the “disengagement plan” that took the Jewish residents out of Gaza (read Zephaniah 2:4-7 for a Biblical prediction about Gaza at the time described as “the day of the LORD”). There are several candidates now vying for the leadership of the Likud Party. Sharon intends to establish a new party.

The main challenge to Sharon’s leadership of the Likud Party has been the former Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who intends to run again for the Likud leadership.

According to Israeli law, elections must now be held within 111 days of Sharon’s resignation. He has 21 days to see if an alternative government can be formed. Initial comments suggest that the election for Prime Minister will be held on Wednesday, March 8, 2006 – unless the Knesset dissolves itself which might cause a further delay.

The political turmoil adds to Israel’s concerns at the present time. This week the terrorist organization Hizbullah has launched a vicious rocket and missile attack against cities in northern Israel. Residents (especially school children) have returned to the bomb shelters so often used in the past. The United States President George Bush has urged Israel to show “restraint” in any act of retaliation. Interestingly, nothing was said about the other side – the terrorists themselves. Once again, the blame and responsibility was put upon Israel.

Bible believers are thankful in the midst of all the confusion that the LORD God of Israel is still on His throne – and is actively involved in the unfolding of events in the land that He Himself watches over continually. Events are moving quickly toward the grand and glorious climax of history as we have known it – we are moving toward the “blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior” (TItus 2:13) – Yeshua HaMashiach – Jesus the Messiah! We praise the Lord that He continues to reign and is NOT a passive observer to the events taking place in our world. Our Messiah is greater than all and above all and rules over all! Praise the Lord forever!


Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

Once again the United States is pressuring Israel to do that which harms its security and threatens its citizens. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has “brokered” a “deal” between Israel and Palestinian officials concerning the Gaza/Egypt border crossing. Secretary Rice made this incredible statement: “As Palestinians move back and forth to the outside world, as they trade with their Israeli neighbors, the lives of ordinary people on both sides will change for the better.” Easy to say if you do not live there!

Under this new “deal” the border would open next week – November 25th – construction on a Gaza seaport would begin, and Palestinians would be able to travel between the “West Bank” and Gaza in bus convoys through Israel. This new arrangement gives the Palestinian Authority control over a border for the first time and will provide a much-needed “boost” to the shattered Gaza economy – at least that is what is being proposed!

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly criticized this “deal” for its obvious dangers. He said: “The biggest danger is that the Palestinians would be able to transfer the Strelia missiles, which are already in Gaza, to the area overlooking Ben-Gurion Airport and threaten planes landing and taking off.” Netanyahu warned that these “access links” would enable large quantities of weapons to be transported from Gaza, including Qassam rockets and mortar shells, to Judea and Samaria where they could be fired at Israel. He went on to say: “You can’t treat the Palestinian Authority like a properly run state. It’s a failing regime that does not fight terror, and the security ring around it cannot be loosened.”

Knesset Member Yuval Steinitz said: “The government must ward off the American pressures and refuse to sign the agreement in its present form.”

What happened to the US promise that none of these “deals” would take place until terrorist attacks are ended? The terrorist groups in recent days have increased their efforts and have publicly threatened the State of Israel with annihilation and destruction. The goal of Islam remains the same – DESTROY THE NATION OF ISRAEL COMPLETELY!”

We thank the Lord that He is in charge! History is moving rapidly in the Middle East to the final conflict of all time – the Battle of Armageddon! The only hope for real and lasting peace will be the return of the Messiah of Israel – our Lord Yeshua! The so-called “peace agreement” that will establish a Palestinian State and a divided Jerusalem will be enforced by the nations of the world who will endorse the peace efforts of a leader that Daniel the prophet warned us about (Daniel 9:24-27) along with our Lord (Matthew 24:15), and the Apostle Paul (I Thessalonians 5:1-3). DO NOT BE DECEIVED!


Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

Yes, the religion of Islam includes Jesus as an Islamic prophet, and argues for him being a Palestinian Arab – NOT Jewish! Utterly ridiculous in the light of the historical and Biblical evidence and His obvious statements and teachings -Yeshua (Hebrew name) is JEWISH!

James Sundquist has taken information from the Koran and the Haddith and put together the teachings of Islam concerning Jesus. In our studies of Islam, we have found the same things, and list them here for your understanding. Consider these teachings carefully in the light of what the Bible actually says!

1. Jesus was created, not eternal. He did not create anything.
2. Jesus is a created human.
3. Jesus is NOT the Lamb of God who was slain.
4. Jesus will not return until Judgment Day.
5. Jesus prophesied the coming of Mohammed.
6. Jesus did NOT send the Holy Spirit.
7. Salvation is found only in the Five Pillars of Islam.
8. Jesus is a slave to Allah.
9. Jesus was NEVER crucified and was NOT resurrected.
10. Jesus is NOT God in the flesh.
11. Jesus CANNOT be worshipped for He is NOT God.
12. Jesus is not fit to be any kind of intercessor.
13. Jesus will judge by the laws of Islam, not by the Gospel.
14. Jesus is simply another prophet.
15. Jesus returns in yellow garments, not white.
16. Jesus lands on a minaret in Damascus, Syria.\
17. Jesus returns on the wings of two angels.
18. Jesus destroys Antichrist at Lydda (in Israel).
19. Jesus is not pierced when He returns (like the Bible teaches).
20. Jesus will marry a woman and have children.
21. Jesus will break every cross.
22. Jesus will kill all the Jews and Christians at Armaggedon.
23. Jesus will die forty years after his return.
24. God has no son!
25. Jesus is NOT the greatest prophet – Mohammed is!

We need to understand that Islam is a false religion – designed by Satan himself and worships a false God (Allah was one of over 300 pagan gods of ancient Mecca) and has a false prophet (He made claims that have proven to be false – that makes him a false prophet! For instance – he said there were people on the moon – there are no people on the moon!). Islam converts people to its teachings at the edge of the sword. It is a religion of hatred, violence, and oppression. Its history is filled with terrorism and death – even to its own people!

Do NOT be deceived by the “politically correct” statements of our political leaders! Learn the truth – study their own so-called “sacred writings.” Above all, do NOT hate Muslims! Millions are trapped in a closed system that does not tolerate any disagreements whatsoever! Muslims are a major part of the world that needs to hear the true gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We need to love them and seek to win them to faith in the true God and His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, the ONLY Savior from sin, death, and hell!


Friday, November 4th, 2005

One of the most difficult actions for believers is to forgive those who have wronged us or abused us or have accused us falsely. Often the one who does not forgive becomes the real victim of the original offense in a different way than ever imagined at the time. If you have been hurt by the words or actions of others, you are, of course, a victim. But, if you cannot forgive what someone has said or done to you, you become a victim of an unforgiving spirit which can emotionally damage you for years to come.

The true source of forgiveness is God Himself. In describing Himself, God proclaims His Name in Exodus 34:6-7 and speaks of His nature as the One who forgives iniquity. Psalm 86:5 says that our Lord is “ready to forgive” and “abundant in pardon.” In Matthew 2:5-7 we hear the reasoning of the religious leaders who heard Jesus tell a person that his sins were forgiven, and they reasoned: “Who can forgive sins but God only?” They were correct.

The standard by which any one of us should forgive what others have said or done to us is the forgiveness we receive from our Lord. Ephesians 4:32 tells us to “grace” (the Greek word translated “forgiving”) those we want to forgive as God in Christ “has graced” to us. That means when we forgive we give the other person what they do NOT deserve – that is grace! Colossians 3:13 tells us that we need to “forbear” or “put up with” one another, forgiving them as Christ has forgiven us.

The excuses we use for not forgiving include repeated offenses – if the person continues to hurt us, why should we forgive them? Peter in Matthew 18:21-22 thought that the number of times for forgiveness would be “seven.” Jesus said “seventy times seven.” Many of us do not forgive because of insincere apologies by the one who offended us. Yet, Luke 17:3-4 says that if a person comes seven times in a day and says “I repent” – then we should forgive them, even though we might question the sincerity or validity of the apology. Many times we do not forgive because we believe that the person is guilty of insufficient repentance. We do know from Hebrews 12:15-17 that Esau had that problem – he “found no place of repentance though he sought it with tears.” II Corinthians 7:9-11 speaks very clearly about what true repentance is like.

To not forgive is serious when looking at Matthew 6:14-15 or Luke 11:4. These verses clearly show that our failure to forgive others will lead to God’s reluctance in forgiving us for our faults and sins.


Colossians 3:1-17 lays out some important principles of forgiveness.

1. REDIRECT your thoughts and pursuits to things above – Colossians 3:1-2

2. REMOVE that which is destructive in your own life – Colossians 3:5, 8-9

3. RESPOND with right attitudes – Colossians 3:12

4. REACT immediately to the need for forgiveness – Colossians 3:13

5. RELAX in your heart about Who is really in control – Colossians 3:15

6. RELY continually upon the Word of God – Colossians 3;16

7. REMEMBER to give thanks and glorify God – Colossians 3:17

The message is clear – FORGIVE, FORGIVE, and always FORGIVE!


Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

We continually receive questions and comments about our support of the Nation of Israel. The arguments against what we believe fall into the following categories that people express to us:

1. It is a secular nation and NOT a fulfillment of prophecy.

2. Only the church is the true Israel, the real people of God.

3. Israel is the agressor and occupier of territory that belongs to the Palestinian Arabs.

4. Jews have been forsaken by God because they crucified Jesus!

5. Israel forfeited its rights as a nation and to its land because of their sin and disobedience.

6. God judged Israel and destroyed her in 70 AD – the modern State of Israel has NO connection with the Bible!

7. Israel is the main reason why there is no peace in the world!

The criticisms and comments go on and on – there are many more. So, in the face of so much Christian antagonism, why do we continue to support the modern State of Israel?

Let’s start with the fact that ISRAEL is mentioned 2566 times in the Bible – this is not a small subject! Here are the reasons we support the Nation of Israel:


Isaiah 43:1 says: “the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel.” Isaish 43:7 says: “I have created him for My glory.! Isaiah 43:15 adds: “I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”

Interestingly, the word “created” is the Hebrew word “bara” which is used in Genesis 1:1 for the creation of the material and physical universe out of nothing that previously existed – read Hebrews 11:3.

2. ISRAEL is God’s CHOICE!

Deuteronomy 7:6-9 tells us “the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, ABOVE all people that are upon the face of the earth.” Isaiah 41:8 says “But thou, ISRAEL, art My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen.” Isaiah 43:10 and 44:1-2 say the same thing. We might not like it or agree that it should have been done that way, but ISRAEL is the choice of God Himself! It is the most important nation in the history of the world!


Isaiah 43:1 says “I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine.” Isaiah 43:7 says “called by My name,” and Isaiah 45:3 adds, “I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of ISRAEL.” Isaiah 48 says this truth three times (verses 1, 12, and 15).


Confirmation of what? Isaiah 44:26 answers: “That confirmeth the word of His servant, and performeth the counsel of His messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Juday, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof.” Isaiah 46:10 reminds us “My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure.” Verse 11 adds: “I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”
Psalm 105:10 makes it very clear: “and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to ISRAEL for an everlasting covenant.”


Genesis 15:18 states that God made a “covenant” with Abrahm. In Genesis 17:7-8 we learn that this covenant is “everlasting” and includes “ALL the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession.” Psalm 89:34 states that God will not break His covenant. Psalm 105:8 speaks of God giving the land to ISRAEL and says “He hath remembered His covenant forever.”


God has NEVER forsaken His people, and in spite of their sin and disobedience, He will continue to comfort them, for His promises to them are NOT based on their performance but rather on His love and faithfulness! Isaiah 40:1 begins “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God.” Isaiah 44:21 states: “O ISRAEL, thou shalt not be forgotten of Me.” Isaiah 49:11 says, “for the LORD hath comforted His people.” Isaiah 51:3 adds: “For the LORD shall comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.”

Isaiah 51:12 says, “I, even I, am He that comforteth you.” Isaiah 52:9 adds, “for the LORD hath comforted His people” and Isaiah 66:13 puts it this way: “As one whom his mother comforteth so will I comfort you.”


This commitment is based on the PLAN of God to save them! That is the clear argument of Romans 11:25-36. Isaiah 43:25 speaks of this in a wonderful and powerful way: “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Isaiah 44:22 adds, “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy sins; return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee.”

Isaiah 45:17 makes it clear – “But ISRAEL shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation.” Isaiah 45:25 states, “In the LORD shall all the seed of ISRAEL be justified.” Isaiah 46:13 says, “I will place salvation in Zion for ISRAEL my glory.” Isaiah 52:11 states: “Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.”

This commitment is not only based on God’s PLAN to save them, but on His PROTECTION for them. Isaiah 41:13-14: “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not, I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob and ye men of ISRAEL; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of ISRAEL.” What comfort God gives to His people when He says through the prophet – Isaiah 43:2: “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; whey thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

Isaiah 49:16 says “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands.”

This commitment is based not only on God’s PLAN to save them, and His PROTECTION of them, but also upon the PURPOSE He has to be glorified through them. Isaiah 40:5 says, “and the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” Isaiah 43:7 – “for I have created him for My glory.” Isaiah 43:21: “This people have I formed for Myself; they shall shew forth My praise.” Isaiah 49:3: “Thou art My servant, O ISRAEL, in whom I will be glorified.” Isaiah 60:21 and Isaiah 61:3 continue to emphasize this great truth – “that I may be glorified.”

This commitment of God to ISRAEL is not only based on God’s PLAN to save them, His PROTECTION of them that guarantees their survival and continued existence forever (Jeremiah 31:35-37), His PURPOSE to be glorified through them, but also it is based on God’s PROMISES to them found in His written Word! Isaiah 46:11 – “I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” Isaiah 55:11 adds: “So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Make no mistake about it – God has NEVER cancelled His everlasting covenant to ISRAEL and has NEVER forsaken them!

Perhaps after reading this (if you have come this far!) you will understand more clearly why we continue to support ISRAEL! Thanks for reading!

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