Featured Article: Apostasy: The Primary Sign of the Rapture - By The Gospelist - https://www.raptureready.com/2022/04/29/apostasy-the-primary-sign-of-the-rapture-by-the-gospelist/
Some prophecy teachers claim that there are no signs to look for prior to the rapture, but this is not remotely true.
Although it is difficult to analyze the primary sign, which is apostasy in the church, there is no question that this is the mega- sign of the beginning of the end times.
Any discussion of apostasy in the church makes people very uncomfortable because no one wants to think that their church is a member of the apostate class. Unfortunately, if we are worshipping in a dead church, we place ourselves and our families in grave peril.
The time period that Christians should be looking for is the final great apostasy of the church. That is where things get complicated since there has always been apostasy in the church, so we do not know if this present apostasy is the last one.
The only way to make this determination is to examine the most popular churches in this country and around the world to see if they are actually proclaiming the Gospel. And are these mega-churches influencing smaller churches who are adopting their messages in order to grow their church.
There is plenty of evidence that we are currently under the judgment of God because the vast majority of our churches are apostate. By this, I mean that these churches are preaching false doctrine rather than the Gospel. I can make this determination because Jesus told us what the entire Bible was about, from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus opened the minds of his disciples and all future generations of Christians so that they could understand the Scriptures.
Then he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47).
Those churches that do not proclaim God’s law and His Gospel are preaching a different Gospel, and their pastors are therefore accursed (Galatians 1:9).
There is no question that this nation is currently under the judgment of God. When our own Supreme Court upheld the morality of homosexuality, ordained ‘Gay Marriage,’ and affirmed the existence of transgenderism, these were acts of judgment from God against the apostate church. They are also judgments against this nation as a whole.
“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God [the church]; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey [preach and live by] the gospel of God?” (I Peter 4:17).
It seems that the spiritual condition of the nation is directly tied to the spiritual condition of the church. If the people are strong in their faith, then the nation rests on a firm foundation, and its institutions are based on truth and righteousness. However, if the faith of the people is weak, then we should expect our institutions to suppress the truth and to begin to prey on the righteous.
If judgment begins in the house of God, then there is no question that the faith of the people of this nation is very weak. Our government and our institutions are outrageously corrupt, and the corruption seems to grow exponentially with each passing day. This may be merely a warning to the church that its faith is poor, or its lack of faith may have exhausted God’s patience, and He is ready to pass judgment upon us.
We know that the great apostasy, or falling away from the faith, precedes the introduction of the Antichrist. We also know that the Antichrist will enter a temple in Jerusalem that has not yet been built so he can proclaim himself to be God. Prophecy writers are prudent to watch for the plans to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem because that act does give us a clue as to how close we are to the rapture.
However, the primary sign that should disturb us is the fact that the faith is being abandoned on our watch.
“Let no one deceive you [Matthew 24:4] in any way. For that day [the day of the Lord] will not come, unless the rebellion [Apostasy, Falling Away from the Faith] comes first, and the man of lawlessness [Antichrist] is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the [rebuilt] temple of God [in Jerusalem, Israel], proclaiming himself to be God” (II Thessalonians 2:3-4).
It is imperative that the true church of Christ call all dead and Laodicean churches to repent before the return of Christ. The problem is, when true Christians stand up and denounce these churches, they are shouted down by those who prefer to cling to false doctrine. Paul warned us about this as well.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers [pastors] to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (II Timothy 4:3).
If we examine our ‘mega-churches,’ it seems that we have already arrived at the time that Paul described.
The largest ‘congregation’ in the United States is Lakewood Church, with 16,800 seats. They apparently have upwards of 45,000 attendees per week who attend the various services of Joel Osteen. Millions more are probably watching on TV, which offers shows with different languages so that the whole world can receive its messages.
It is doubtful that anyone can find any evidence in Osteen’s thousands of sermons where he preached the Gospel. Paul admonished his listeners, “For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (I Corinthians 9:16) (or if I preach a different one).
When the word ‘Woe’ is used, it usually means that the person it is ascribed to will be spending an eternity in the lake of fire. This is not only true of the person who is preaching false doctrine; it is true of his devoted congregation as well.
Joel Osteen does not preach repentance for the forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus. He preaches a different Gospel called the “Prosperity Gospel.” The Prosperity Gospel is not Christ-centered; it is self-centered. If you make the mistake of reading Osteen’s book, “Your Best Life Now,” you will find quote after quote that focuses on you and your drive to be successful in life. Jesus is only an afterthought.
Paul would be shocked to find that people would trade the pure Gospel of Christ for this drivel. Paul stated unequivocally,
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some [false teachers] who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you [repentance for the forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus], let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone [especially a pastor] is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9).
When Christ addresses the seven churches in Revelation, it seems that the first four are now historical churches and the last three are end-times churches.
The church of Ephesus condemns the Nicolaitans, which is probably some cult that is lost in history. The church of Smyrna condemns slanderous Jews, and this has not been a problem since the first or second century. In Pergamum, there was a great leader named Antipas, but he is now with the Lord in eternity, and we know little about him.
Finally, in Thyatira, there was a woman named Jezabel who was causing discord in the church, and now she is lost in eternity.
When we reach the last three churches, however, we see language that is more in keeping with our understanding of the end times. It seems that the rapture is imminent, especially in the churches of Sardis and Philadelphia.
“I know your works. You have a reputation [by man] for being alive but you are dead. Wake up [preach the Gospel], and strengthen what remains [obey the Gospel], and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God [not based on faith in the Word of God]. Remember, then, what you received [the Gospel] and heard. Keep it [do not be ashamed of the Gospel], and repent [of your false teachings].
“If you do not wake up [and proclaim repentance for the forgiveness of sins in my name], I will come like a thief and you will not know at what hour I will come against you [I will be your enemy]. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments [with false doctrine], and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers [remains in the faith] will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the [Holy] Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:2-6).
We see the same thing with the Church of Philadelphia, which is the true church of the end times.
“I know your works [the work of God is to believe in the one He has sent]. Behold, I have set before you an open door [to the kingdom of heaven], which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power [your numbers are small], and yet you have kept my word [My Gospel] and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan [who reject the Gospel] who say that they are Jews and are not [Not descendants of Abraham by faith – Galatians 3:7], but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down [in repentance] before your feet [during the Millennium], and they will learn that I have loved you.
“Because you have kept my word about patient endurance [amid persecution], I will keep you from the hour of trial [the tribulation] that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth [I will judge all who dwell upon the earth but the church will be kept from it]. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have [Remain in the faith], so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers [remains in the faith], I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:8-13).
The church of Laodicea, which is the last church that Christ addressed, is one where Jesus is not even welcome. Christ treats these people as if they were heathen who needed to hear the Gospel to be saved. He counsels:
“I know your works [without faith]; you are neither hot [zealous for God’s Word] or cold [outspoken unbelievers]. Would that you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm [indifferent], and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth [I will reject you in disgust]. For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing’ [my faith is in my wealth], not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked [Gospel-less]. I counsel you to buy gold [the Gospel] refined in the fire [of the Holy Spirit], so that you may be rich, and white garments [faithfulness] so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen.
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock [I am outside of your church]. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door [receives the Gospel], I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me [at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb]. The one who conquers [remains in the faith], I will grant him to sit with me on my throne [he will rule with me] as I also conquered [at the cross] and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:15-22).
Each of these three churches is what we can expect to see when the end times are upon us. The fact is, we can categorize many of the churches that exist today in one of these three groups. Unfortunately, people need to be honest with themselves about what type of church they are in. This is difficult because the church is usually our social circle, and those who make waves are eventually shunned. This is especially true when a member of the congregation challenges the pastor who is not handling God’s word properly.
After all, who are you to challenge the expert?
Be advised that even the laymen can challenge the ‘expert’ if he understands that the entire Bible revolves around the Gospel.
There is no evidence that Joel Osteen spent any significant time preaching the Gospel, if he ever did at all. It is doubtful that there is any record of him calling sinners to repent and be forgiven in the name of Jesus during this entire career. His church can easily be placed in the Laodicean camp.
Since this is fairly obvious, we can further assume that those who attend this church are not so much deceived as they are rebellious. My guess is if they ever attended the Church of Philadelphia, they would be offended or bored and quickly leave. It is highly likely that they would not be comfortable in the true church of Christ and would walk out of it in disgust.
The job of the true church of Christ is to preach the Gospel in season and out of season. That means that whether the Gospel is popular or frowned upon in a society, the church must remain true to its mission. We are not here to build relationships, try to be relevant, or engage in ‘church growth’; we are here to save souls from the lake of fire.
If Lakewood Church is indicative of the spiritual condition of the church in general, then we should expect the spiritual condition of the government to match it. If the church is not engaging in its mission to proclaim the Gospel, we cannot expect the government to engage in its mission to punish the wicked and defend the righteous.
Just as Lakewood ravages the souls of those who attend it, so too will the government crush the lives of those it governs.
The Sound and the Fury
By Pete Garcia
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
Psalm 2:1-3 (my emphasis)
In honor of our recent Earth Week, I thought it pertinent to bring back the discussion of how things begin and end. Contrastingly, those who are foolishly trying to separate the Creator from His creation, love to promote the idea of uniformitarianism. By definition; Uniformitarianism is the principle or assumption that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe. (Link) This idea has been a mainstay in humanist reasoning since Aristotle first proposed the universe had no beginning.
Nearing Midnight: Nuclear Neurosis and Prophetic Prognosis
By Terry James
The diplomats of the world are making noise about Russia more and more looking like it will come to the nuclear option in finally defeating the Ukrainians. Thus, more and more people are becoming nervous that we are headed for World War III.
The worry—the threat—has always been that once a nuclear weapon has been used, things will escalate until all-out atomic war results. All the big nukes on all the tips of the ICBMs and other delivery systems will be unleashed. Planet earth will be turned into a cinder–or at the very least, it will be made inhabitable.
What Comes Next After Roe Is Overturned? Chaos On the Streets Of Washington Like We Have Never Seen Before…
by Michael Snyder
I am sitting here absolutely stunned as I write this. According to a draft decision obtained by Politico, the U.S. Supreme Court is going to overturn Roe v. Wade. My initial reaction was that this is the best news that we have had in decades. We all knew that the Dobbs case had the potential to be really big, but I was skeptical that Roe would actually be overturned. I just didn’t think that the votes were there. But if this draft opinion is the real deal, it appears that is precisely what is about to happen. The draft opinion was apparently written by Samuel Alito, and Politico is calling it “a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision”…
Deception: My People Are Destroyed
By Dave Hubley
I have long believed and frequently said that while the Old Testament was written to the Jewish people, it is important to understand that the Lord had the entirety of the scriptures (including the New Testament) written, knowing that all His creation would still be reading it even up to the present time. Therefore, all the scriptures have application and give direction to every individual who would ever live.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16).
More News and Articles of Prophetic Interest...
Putin "Begins Gas Blackmail of Europe": The US Must Give Ukraine Warplanes to Defeat Russia
'Anti-Racism Fight Club' presentation given to students as young as pre-K; 'Fistbook' asks them to identify family members with 'racist beliefs'
Mom suing school over 13-year-old daughter's 'protected' secret gender transition issues stark warning to parents across the country
Rachel Levine claims no doctor disagrees with 'gender-affirming care' for children, says dissension is 'political'
Russian TV Warns Britain Can Be 'Drowned In Radioactive Tsunami’ By Single Nuclear Sub Strike
Kim Jong Un Warns Of 'Preemptive Nuclear Strike' If North Korea Threatened
USA / NATO gearing up for counterattack against Russian forces in July or August, with high risk of escalated retaliatory strikes by Russia using EMP or nuclear weapons
World Economic Forum believes people are “useless eaters,” and views their “brains and bodies” as product that can be hacked, controlled and discarded
FALLING AWAY: Majority of presbyteries of the Church of Scotland support approval of same-sex weddings
Only 6% of adults in the UK identify as “practicing Christians”
Illinois school district hosts “Satan” club for elementary students after hours in response to “horrific” Christian “indoctrination”
US sending billions of dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine that could end up in Russia’s hands
Scientists in Iceland are using genetically modified barley to create lab-grown meat
‘Unconscionable Overreach Of Legislative Powers’: Bill Seeks To Penalize Unvaccinated With Monthly Fines, Doubled Taxes
The Biden Administration Tells Israel They Have No Right To The Temple Mount And Warns That Jews Praying There Is ‘Provocative’ And Must Stop
Palestinians Are Reportedly Destroying the Temple Mount Similar to What ISIS Did to the Arch de Triumph and Several Antiquities in Ancient Palmyra and Throughout the Region
Daily Jot: Overturning Roe does not end abortion - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Politico obtained what it says is a draft decision that the Supreme Court is striking down Roe v Wade, the case that legalized abortion in 1973. If the document is authentic, Justice Samuel Alito has written the initial draft majority opinion, Politico reports, concluding: “We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today’s decision overruling Roe and Casey. And even if we could foresee what will happen, we would have no authority to let that knowledge influence our decision. We can only do our job, which is to interpret the law, apply longstanding principles of stare decisis, and decide the case accordingly. We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.”
Alito writes: “Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.” Alito noted that for the first 185 years after the adoption of the Constitution, each state was permitted to address the abortion issue according to the will of its citizens. In 1973 all that changed. He writes: “Even though the Constitution makes no mention of abortion, the Court held that it confers a broad right to obtain one. It did not claim that American law or the common law had ever recognized such a right…” Alito agreed with Justice Byron White’s 1973 dissent of the opinion, saying it represented the “exercise of raw judicial power.”
In 98 pages, Alito gives sound reasoning and a compelling history of how the states handled the question of abortion prior to 1973 and how they are dealing with it today. If this decision is the final, it rightly interprets the Constitution’s 10th Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” What the decision would do is grant the states the authority to decide whether abortion should be legal in that state. The entire debate shifts to the states and away from the US Constitution. This means that the overturn of Roe does not end abortion, it kicks the debate to another level.
Politico says it obtained the draft decision from a source familiar with the Mississippi abortion case brought before SCOTUS. This has sparked debate over why it was released and whether the pro-abortion Democrats will use it as justification to pack the Court with liberals to overturn this particular decision. I am reminded of Christ’s words in John 10:10, “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” America’s Declaration of Independence reaffirms Christ’s words, saying that all men (all mankind) are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, “that among these are Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness.” This decision will not end the debate on the right to life of the most vulnerable and innocent. It will fuel it in all 50 states. Believers (the Church) must be prepared to do a better job instilling God’s law into the hearts of people.
Daily Devotion: Forward Momentum - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. —Philippians 3:12
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/forward-momentum/ - Listen
The moment you become a Christian you enter a race.
The apostle Paul wrote about it in Philippians 3: “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me” (Philippians 3:12 NKJV).
We see from this verse that to win in this race of life, we must be dissatisfied with where we presently are. If we’re spiritually mature, we’ll have this mindset. A modern version of Paul’s statement puts it this way: “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me” (Philippians 3:12 MSG).
We need to be ready to gain ground, not lose ground. But to do that, we need to get rid of extra weight and things that would hinder us in this race.
A few verses earlier Paul wrote, “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (verses 7–8 NKJV).
In the original language the word for “rubbish” that Paul used here actually describes excrement. Paul was saying, “Whatever I accomplished before I was a believer is rubbish. It’s garbage. It’s excrement compared to what Christ has done for me.”
We must look at things we do, as well as relationships we have and then ask ourselves these questions: Is it a wing or a weight? Does it speed me in the race of life, or does it slow me down?
FROM THE HEART
Let Us Make the Short Time We have Left,
Count for ALL of Eternity!
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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