Do Things Have to Get Worse Before the Rapture? - By Arden Kierce - https://www.raptureready.com/2023/05/06/do-things-have-to-get-worse-before-the-rapture-by-arden-kierce/
Among the different end-times prophecy sources I follow, it seems there are two main trends regarding what Christians are saying about what they see happening in the world today in relation to the Rapture.
The first (and most common) trend is for Christians to be very excited by how it seems that the Rapture could occur literally any day now. These Christians look at all the news surrounding the challenges facing Israel, natural disasters occurring in various places around the world, the wars and threats of wars, and developments moving toward world government and digital currencies, and see that the Tribulation is practically ready to begin. All that is left is for the Rapture to happen, and everything else could quickly fall right into prophetic place.
However, there is also a less common and more pessimistic view held by some Christians that, despite all these signs that seem to indicate the nearness of the Tribulation, the Rapture still can’t happen yet because things still need to get worse.
These more pessimistic Christians might say things like:
“Well, ten years ago, I didn’t imagine that things would get this bad before the Rapture, but here we are. Therefore, things could still get worse, and we need to be ready for it.”
Perhaps in their own way, these people are simply trying to care for fellow Christians who they fear might become disappointed if the Rapture doesn’t happen as soon as we hope it might.
However, to those Christians in the first category, to hear fellow believers in the Rapture say such things is disheartening, discouraging, and maybe even downright scary. It can seem to be a denial of our blessed hope (Titus 2:13) and a rejection of the encouragement that the Rapture should offer Christians (e.g., 1 Thessalonians 4:18).
These pessimistic Christians might even seem to us to be on the verge of becoming the prophesied ‘scoffers’ who say that these sorts of things have always happened, but still, Jesus has not returned, so don’t get your hopes up—we might still be here for decades (2 Peter 3:3-4).
Being told this by fellow believers in the Rapture can feel like a stab in the heart to all those who are eagerly longing for Jesus’ appearance and who are desperately praying for him to come soon.
So in this article, I want to argue that there is no reason why things must become worse before the Rapture can happen. In fact, I believe that things cannot become much worse than they are now before the world would effectively enter the Tribulation period.
My argument is based on how Jesus said that the next time he comes, it will be like it was in the days of Noah and the days of Lot.
The Bible describes Noah and Lot’s societies as being full of sin and evil (Genesis 6:5-8, 18:20-21). Yet at the same time, civilization was still holding together. People were eating, drinking, marrying, working, buying, selling, planting, and building (Matthew 24:37-42, Luke 17:26-30). These activities would not have been possible if there were not a relative level of peace and security in society, just like it is prophesied there will be before the Tribulation begins (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
It was bad enough that Lot felt distressed by all the evil around him (2 Peter 2:7-10), but still, it appears he was able to live and work in his wicked city without too much difficulty. It was only at the very end, when the angels evacuated him and his family, that their lives were at risk (Genesis 19:1-17).
Therefore, it is clear that Jesus’ prophecy about the world being like it was in the days of Noah and Lot must be speaking about the time just before the Rapture rather than Jesus’ Second Coming.
This is because Jesus warned that the seven-year Tribulation will be the worst time in the history of the entire world. It will be so bad that if Jesus does not cut the days short, no one on Earth would survive it (Matthew 24:21-22). People’s hearts will be failing with fear when they begin to see and experience all the terrible things that are prophesied to occur during the Tribulation (Luke 21:25-26 KJV).
As I describe in more detail in my book, A Detailed Biblical Introduction To The End Times (The Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Seven-Year Tribulation, and Pre-Millennial Return of Jesus Christ), at the time of Jesus’ Second Coming, the world will be nearly uninhabitable, thanks to the twenty-one judgments that God will send on the world during the Tribulation.
At least a quarter of the world’s population will have died after the Fourth Seal judgment (Revelation 6:7-8). Another third of humanity will be killed by the fire, smoke, and sulfur associated with the demonic army that will be released in the Sixth Trumpet judgment (Revelation 9:13-18).
Some of these divine judgments will likely include astronomical events beyond anything the world has experienced before.
A near miss of Earth by another large celestial body, like an asteroid or rogue planet, could theoretically shift the Earth’s orientation around its axis, thus changing the location of every geological landmark. Smaller asteroids that could be following such an enormous object might be pulled in by Earth’s gravity to become meteorites that cause widespread destruction (Revelation 6:12-17).
Later on during the Tribulation, an asteroid will directly impact the Earth’s ocean (Revelation 8:8-9), and another will poison a third of the world’s drinkable water (Revelation 8:10-11).
Earth being hit by a massive solar flare might explain the Fourth Bowl judgment (Revelation 16:8-9). If this flare were to wipe out the world’s power grid, it might explain the ‘darkness’ that cripples the Antichrist’s kingdom in the Fifth Bowl judgment (Revelation 16:10-11).
Such destruction of the planet’s power grid would be a blessing, as it would destroy the Antichrist’s digital system that will control all buying and selling through the Mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:16-18). A solar flare that shorts out all means of electronic communication would also explain the need for the Antichrist to use demonic couriers to quickly transmit messages long distances to the kings of the east, to summon them for the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:13-16).
By the end of the Tribulation, all the oceans and rivers will have been turned to blood (Revelation 16:3-4). Babylon will have been destroyed in an hour, apparently collapsing the world’s economy and thus causing all political leaders, merchants, and ship captains to mourn (Revelation 18:9-20). Finally, just before the battle of Armageddon, all the world’s cities will be flattened by hundred-pound hailstones, as well as an earthquake that is so severe that even islands and mountains will collapse (Revelation 16:18-21).
Due to all of this, I cannot imagine that anyone will be buying or selling, marrying, building, or planting at Jesus’ Second Coming. Thus, Matthew 24:37-42 and Luke 17:26-30 must be talking about the time when the Rapture happens, when life is going on normally for most of the world.
But how bad could things get before we are no longer in times that could be called ‘normal’?
I think we can say at least a few things because of how the church of Philadelphia is promised that they will not enter the time of the Tribulation (Revelation 3:10). This is because the “departure” (the literal meaning of the Greek term apostasia) of all true Christians to heaven in the Rapture will happen before the Antichrist is revealed in the First Seal judgment (2 Thessalonians 2:3-8, Revelation 6:1-2). The Antichrist will be identifiable when he confirms some sort of seven-year covenant between Israel and “many” (Daniel 9:27), which will probably be a peace treaty (Daniel 8:25 KJV, 1 Thessalonians 5:3).
Therefore, Christians today can trust that we will not see things become so bad before the Rapture that they fulfill events that are only prophesied to occur during the Tribulation. Thus, we can be confident that:
These reassurances, though, might not feel so comforting. What if inflation gets so bad that it takes 75% of a day’s wages to feed a family? What if a new plague were to wipe out 20% of the world’s people? What if Christians and other dissenters begin to be persecuted so badly by corrupt and lawless governments that we are no longer allowed to hold jobs, or buy or sell, even before the Mark of the Beast is created? Could these things still happen before the Rapture?
It is true that Jesus said the signs of the end times will resemble the labor pains of a pregnant woman, by how they will increase in frequency and intensity as the Tribulation approaches (Matthew 24:7-8, Mark 13:8).
However, the Bible also says that Jesus will come like a thief who breaks into a house when people are not expecting it (Matthew 24:42-44, Luke 12:35-40, 2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 3:3). Or it will be like when an unsuspecting person walks into a trap (Luke 21:34-35).
Jesus warns that Christians who are not watching for his return risk being caught off guard when he returns at the Rapture (Matthew 24:48-51, Mark 13:32-36, Luke 12:45-48). This group likely includes the lukewarm Laodicean Christians who will think they are rich and prosperous (Revelation 3:17). So things must remain ‘normal’ enough before the Rapture that at least some Christians will still be unaware of the approaching Tribulation, and at least some churches will appear to be very wealthy and successful.
Yet Christians who are paying attention to the signs and watching for Jesus’ return will not be surprised by the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6), even if we do not know the exact day or hour that it will occur (Matthew 24:36, 25:13, Mark 13:32).
When all of these verses are taken together, along with the earlier discussion of the days of Noah and Lot, the picture of what we should expect the world to be like before the Rapture is clear.
The signs will increase in frequency and intensity, and people will become worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:12-13). Yet things will remain normal enough that scoffers will continue to scoff about Jesus’ soon return (2 Peter 3:3-4), and at least some Christians will not see the Tribulation coming.
Thus, the world will not gradually enter the Tribulation in a series of continually escalating crises and disasters. Instead, the world will be in a state of “business as usual” until sudden disaster strikes them without warning, like when a person steps into a trap or when a woman in labor has her water suddenly break as the unstoppable delivery process begins.
This instantaneous transition point will be the Rapture. In the chaos that follows the disappearance of millions or maybe even billions of people, everything will quickly fall into place to allow for the rise of the Antichrist to power and the signing of a peace deal between Israel and “many.” Then, the sudden destruction of the twenty-one divine judgments will begin (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
So there is no reason why the world must become any worse than it is now before the Rapture can happen.
Indeed, given the increasing intensity of the rumors of major wars, earthquakes, persecution of anyone with traditional conservative and/or Christian values, rising violence and immorality in Western societies, and so forth, it does not seem that things can get much worse before “business as usual” would be interrupted.
If someone argues that Christians are not suffering enough yet to justify God rescuing us in the Rapture, this seems to be a very Western-centric perspective. Around the world, Christian persecution has increased 70% in just the last six years, and currently, over 360 million Christians are suffering greatly for their faith.
Christians in the West are also quickly waking up to these ominous trends. A survey done one year ago in April of 2022 by the Pew Research Center said that 39% of all adults in the USA believed that humanity is in the end times. This increased to 63% among evangelical Christians. How much higher would these numbers be if the survey were done today?
Even secular analysts are seeing that the world cannot continue on indefinitely as it is now. Several months ago, Israel’s Intelligence Ministry put out a report in which they said:
“The world is at a transition point analogous to being on the verge of a cliff, after which a series of crises striking simultaneously will reorder the planet’s geopolitics, the place of technology, the economic order, and a variety of other disciplines from health to energy, according to Israel’s first government national intelligence estimate.”
If China were to invade Taiwan, as it continues to threaten, UK foreign secretary James Cleverly warns that it would likely “destroy world trade.” He “added that he shuddered to think of the financial and human ruin that would ensue.” Thus, it does not seem that such an invasion could occur before the Rapture because it would severely disrupt “business as usual.”
For the same reason, it is very unlikely that the Russia-Ukraine war will break out into World War III before the Rapture, despite the former Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev recently warning that it could.
Ongoing concerns about the world’s economy, inflation, the banking system, and potential future food or energy shortages are obvious to anyone who follows the news. Some experts have predicted a food crisis in 2023. Other experts say there will be at least a recession, if not an outright depression.
There are many experts warning about a coming war between Israel and its neighbors. Current tensions make it seem that the Psalm 83 war could break out at any moment, which would be a perfect setup for the Gog-Magog war that is prophesied in Ezekiel 38. Either of these wars could be the precondition for the Antichrist to confirm a peace treaty in Daniel 9:27.
Furthermore, the rapid advance of artificial intelligence threatens to change the world in ways that we cannot predict. Some experts have said the impact of AI will be “orders of magnitude” greater than the invention of electricity or the Internet. Other experts are calling for a worldwide stop to AI development out of fear that it could kill everyone on the planet.
Either way, such developments would likely not allow the world to remain ‘normal’ for long. Personally, I suspect that some sort of AI might become part of the Image of the Beast that can speak and will greatly aid the Antichrist in his control of the world during the Tribulation.
Thus, the world today perfectly matches the conditions that are prophesied to be in place just before the Rapture. All the signs are here, especially regarding events that foreshadow the first few Seal judgments. Yet somehow, the world is still going along like normal, and most people (even Christians) are oblivious to the nearness of the Tribulation.
It does not seem that there is time for any more world wars, economic collapses, hyperinflation and/or global famines, or another pandemic to disrupt things for a few years, followed by even longer for the world to recover back to a state of “business as usual” before the Rapture can happen.
Instead, all of the things that experts warn are lining up to happen in the near future prove that if there was ever a time for Christians to wake up and watch intently for Jesus’ appearance in the clouds at the Rapture (Luke 21:28), it is now!
If you have never believed in Jesus, it is very urgent that you do so now in order to be accounted worthy of escaping all these things that will be coming on the world after the Rapture happens (Luke 21:36, KJV).
Simply admit that you have sinned by not loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind and by not loving others like you love yourself (Matthew 22:35-40). Then trust that Jesus Christ really is who he said he is—the Son of God—and believe that because of his death on the cross and his bodily resurrection, all your sins are forgiven (John 3:13-18, 3:36, 6:28-29, Romans 4:22-25, 1 Corinthians 15:14-17).
If you believe this, you are guaranteed to experience eternity in the amazing New Heavens and New Earth with God the Father, Jesus, and all other believers (Ephesians 1:13–14, Hebrews 12:22-24, Revelation 21:1-8). Hold on to your hope in Jesus’ soon return because it will not be long until we are taken out of this world by Jesus himself, and you will be rewarded with a crown (Revelation 3:11, 2 Timothy 4:8).
Economic Despair Is Rapidly Spreading As The Cost Of Living Rises To Extremely Oppressive Levels - by Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/economic-despair-is-rapidly-spreading-as-the-cost-of-living-rises-to-extremely-oppressive-levels/
This new economic downturn is starting to bite, and we are starting to see signs of severe pain all over the nation. In fact, unless you are independently wealthy, you are likely feeling pain too. The cost of living has risen to extreme oppressive levels, and this has happened at a time when close to two-thirds of the country was already living paycheck to paycheck. As a result, many Americans are having their finances stretched to the breaking point, and millions of them are reaching out for help. For example, on Saturday morning the line of people waiting for assistance at one of Boston’s largest food pantries “stretched the length of two football fields”…
The line outside Boston’s American Red Cross Food Pantry on a recent Saturday morning stretched the length of two football fields.
The number of people filing into the red-brick industrial-zone warehouse on some days now exceeds the worst periods of the pandemic economic crisis and in April it had the second highest monthly traffic since it opened in 1982, according to David Andre, the director.
In recent months, food stamp benefits have been reduced to pre-pandemic levels, and that has made things even more challenging for those near the bottom of the economic food chain.
But it isn’t just those that are unemployed or that are on government assistance that are hurting. At one food bank in Colorado, “military families, teachers, nurses and even dual-income couples” are now coming for help…
Nathan Springer, a retired army colonel who is president and chief executive officer of the Colorado Springs-based Care and Share Food Bank, said his organization is seeing more requests for groceries from military families, teachers, nurses and even dual-income couples following the cut in assistance.
“We’ve seen young full-time employees who are for the first time facing hard decisions: Are we going to buy food or pay our utility bills?” Springer said.
We witnessed this kind of suffering in 2008 and 2009, but at that time food prices were at least relatively stable.
Here in 2023, food prices have already surged to absurd levels, and they continue to go higher at a very alarming pace…
In the first quarter alone, global foodmaker Nestlé SA reported raising prices in North America 12.4% compared to last year. Unilever Plc raised prices 13.4% globally in its food division.
No matter what the Federal Reserve does, I believe that food prices are going to keep rising.
And that is not going to be good for any of us.
In a recent tweet, I think that Mike Cernovich summed up what a lot of Americans are feeling right now…
I’ll give you example. I took my kids to a causal eating place. Ordered meals. Saw the amount due. And was PISSED. I can afford it that’s not the issue. It’s like we are being bled everywhere. If you’re struggling, this sentiment is amplified by helplessness, which leads to rage.
Can you identify with that?
I sure can.
I remember the days when you could go out to eat and feed an entire family for just ten bucks.
Needless to say, those days are long gone.
The days are also gone when the average family could afford to purchase a new vehicle every few years.
At this point, millions upon millions of us keep patching up our old vehicles because new vehicles have become just too expensive…
Juan David Ramirez knows that his 2012 Nissan Juke SL is on its last legs. But buying a new car in the Orlando area these days reminds him of car buying in his home country in Colombia, where only the wealthy can afford new cars.
Ramirez, 33, and his wife Angelica Castro-Calle really want a new, small SUV with a little space for camping and paddleboarding gear. But despite good jobs in finance and business contracting, the couple’s monthly loan payment would run around $700 for the $35,000 models they are looking at, before dealer markups.
So they plan to patch up the Nissan, which is paid off.
Actually, a lot of people would argue that if he has a vehicle that is from 2012 he is still living the high life, because many Americans are driving around in vehicles that are far older than that.
Of course there were a lot of very unwise people that went out and purchased vehicles that they could not afford over the past couple of years, and now subprime auto loan delinquencies are spiking…
The duo pointed to 60-plus day delinquencies hitting 9% in March for borrowers with credit scores of 550 and below when looking at subprime auto loans packaged into asset-backed securities, or bond deals. That’s up from a rate of about 7% in March 2019 before the COVID crisis.
They also studied evaporated savings of the lowest income borrowers since mid-2021 peak levels, and anticipate a greater share of all U.S. consumers will “run out of excess savings,” in the months to come, leaving them vulnerable to missing payments and delinquencies.
Perhaps more alarming, the 1-month constant default rate for subprime auto bonds, or asset-backed securities, already was nearing 12% (see chart), on a path toward the 16% peak seen in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Just like in 2008 and 2009, we are going to see a huge wave of mortgage delinquencies, auto loan delinquencies, and credit card delinquencies in the months ahead.
Meanwhile, banks are getting into financial trouble all over the nation and so they are starting to get really tight with their money.
In fact, the Fed’s most recent quarterly Senior Loan Officer Opinion survey shows that a credit crunch for businesses is already here…
Forty-two percent of banks said they somewhat tightened lending standards for large and midsize companies over the past three months, according to the Fed’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey. And 45% said they somewhat toughened lending criteria for small firms.
And lending standards have also been rapidly getting tighter for consumers…
Banks also toughened lending standards for consumer, auto and credit card loans, according to the survey. Credit card balances have reached a record level and delinquency rates have edged higher as low- and middle-income households grapple with high inflation.
As I have been warning my readers, lending standards have only just begun to tighten.
The latest SLOOS report confirms this. According to the report, U.S. banks are “expecting to tighten standards across all loan categories” throughout the rest of this year…
“Banks reported expecting to tighten standards across all loan categories,” the report said. “Banks most frequently cited an expected deterioration in the credit quality of their loan portfolios and in customers’ collateral values, a reduction in risk tolerance, and concerns about bank funding costs, bank liquidity position, and deposit outflows as reasons for expecting to tighten lending standards over the rest of 2023.”
What does this mean?
It means that things are going to get substantially worse than they are right now.
So the lines at the food banks are going to get even longer.
And a lot more people are going to lose their jobs.
And more businesses are going to fail.
If you remember what 2008 and 2009 were like, that will give you some idea.
We’ve got a long, hard road ahead of us, and our leaders seem to have absolutely no idea how to get us out of this mess.
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Revelation 12: A woman, a red dragon and a baby boy - By Mark Creech - https://www.christianpost.com/voices/revelation-12-a-woman-a-red-dragon-and-a-baby-boy.html
Up until the start of World War I in 1914, the world had never been free of war. The only thing redeeming about this fact is war had never been universal before then. However, from 1914 to 1918, total war was waged, and then again from 1939 to 1945. During World War II, only twelve small nations were not actually or technically engaged in the conflict.
It may come as a surprise, but war has been waged in Heaven, too. In fact, supernatural personalities have waged total war over possession and control of the world. Behind every natural war that has occurred, a hostile supernatural force instigated it.
Revelation 12 speaks of the Conflict of the Ages — the chief of all wars — the war between good and evil — the war determining who will finally and completely rule over humanity’s dwelling place. The 12th chapter of Revelation speaks of three personages of fundamental importance and their relationship to this war. They are a Woman, a great Red Dragon, and a Boy Baby — a Man-Child.
Here is what the apostle John tells us about them:
“Then I witnessed in Heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant, and she cried out because of her labor pains and the agony of giving birth.
“Then I witnessed in Heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth. He stood in front of the Woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born.
She gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and to his throne. And the Woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place to care for her for 1,260 days” (Revelation 12:1-6).
Correctly identifying the Woman in this text is necessary to understand it. Catholicism says the Woman is the Virgin Mary. Protestants often argue that the Woman is the Church. Certain cults have believed their female leadership was the Woman.
The passage says the Woman was persecuted intensely. How was Mary persecuted? She wasn’t. Roman Catholics might argue she was persecuted in that she had to view the crucifixion of Christ, but that doesn’t fit the intense form of maltreatment indicated by the text. Neither did Mary flee into the wilderness or was cared for 1260 days. Moreover, Catholics believe Mary was a perpetual virgin. Yet many places in the New Testament reveal Mary went on to have other children (Mt. 1:25; 12:46-47; 13:55; Mk. 6:2-3; Jn. 2:12; Acts 1:14; 1 Cor. 9:4-5; Gal. 1:19). So, these facts alone require excluding Mary.
Does the Woman represent the Church? Many claim the Woman symbolizes the travail of the Church to bring Christ to the nations. The Reformers, who were great men of God, held this view. The Woman is depicted as giving birth to the male child, Christ, the world’s Savior. But the Church didn’t give birth to Christ; it’s the other way around. Neither do the Scriptures anywhere intimate the Church as ever being a mother.
It hardly seems worth mentioning that the Woman couldn’t be someone like Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, who presented herself as the woman. Dr. J. Vernon McGee, in his "Thru the Bible" series, mentions another: “Joanna Southcott, [who] said that she was the Woman in Chapter 12 and that in October 1814, she would have the man child [male baby]. She never did, but she had 200,000 followers.”
McGee sums up these misguided assertions, arguing:
“We can dismiss all these claims unless we want to forsake all intelligent approaches to interpreting Scripture.”
The key to the Woman’s identification is her association with the sun, moon, and stars. The symbolism of these celestial bodies takes us directly back to Joseph’s dream recorded in Genesis 37:9-10. Jacob, Joseph’s father, later named Israel, was the sun, the moon represented Rachel, Joseph’s mother, and the crown of 12 stars represented Joseph and his brothers, which comprised the 12 tribes of Israel. This family was the origin of the nation Israel.
J. Dwight Pentecost, in his book Things to Come: A Study in Eschatology, says:
“The whole context in which this passage is set reveals that John is dealing with the nation Israel … Frequently in the Old Testament the sun, moon, and stars are used in reference to Israel. They are so employed in Genesis 37:9, where the sons of Jacob are clearly understood. Compare Jeremiah 31:35-36; Joshua 10:12-14; Judges 5:20, and Psalm 89:35-37 where heavenly bodies are associated with Israel’s history … [T]his Woman must be identified as Israel.”
Harold Wilmington, in Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible, quotes Dr. Herman Hoyt, who wrote:
“The activity of the Woman from the time of Abraham to the birth of Christ is described in verse 2. The present tense of the verses provides a dramatic setting. The Woman is continuously with child. She is continually crying … in the pain of travail. She is continuously experiencing labor to be delivered … Herein, then, are pictured the experiences of Israel as a nation from the moment she was brought into existence with the call of Abraham until the day Christ was born in Bethlehem. The entire message of the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi describes what is here set forth in one verse.”
It is the nation of Israel that gave us Christ. It is through Israel God sent him to save the world.
During my lobbying activity in the state legislature for the Christian Action League, I developed an excellent relationship with one of the House members. We had very little in common politically. Nevertheless, we worked together as much as possible whenever sharing common ground. He was a Jew, and I had a lot of affection for him. He was intellectually brilliant, I thought. Moreover, I saw him as a man of integrity.
One day he asked me the reason for my support and esteem. I responded, “Because it was through your race that my Savior came. Jesus, my Lord, was a Jew. You are from a favored people in God’s eyes. Whatever God favors, I favor.” He rolled his eyes at me, but I’m sure it was because he was bewildered by the statement.
Who is the Red Dragon? There is minimal disagreement among serious scholars as to the identity of this contemptible creature. The Red Dragon represents Satan. He is red because he is behind the shedding of so much blood by despots in human history (John 8:33).
Pentecost shares some reasons why the Evil One is referenced as a Dragon. Quoting Walter Scott from Exposition of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, he writes:
“Pharoah, king of Egypt, in his cruelty to God’s people, and in proud and haughty independence of God, is termed ‘the great dragon’ (Ezekiel 29:3, 4). Nebuchadnezzar is similarly spoken of in respect to his violence and cruelty (Jer. 51:34). Gathering up the numerous Scripture references in the Book of Psalms, and in the first three of the greater prophets, to the crocodile, the sovereign of the seas, who is identified with the dragon, insatiable cruelty seems to be the main feature. The Egyptians regarded the crocodile or dragon, according to their hieroglyphics, as the source of all evil …The heathen monarchs, Pharoah and Nebuchadnezzar, enslaved and oppressed the people of God, and, thus far acting in satanic power, merited the appellation of a dragon.”
In every dispensation, this vicious, bloody red entity has hated the people of God. They have been the primary target of his fury because they are God’s chosen people and the apple of his eye; therefore, he hates them beyond measure. This explains the mysteriousness of antisemitism. It is nothing other than a bizarre and unaccountable animosity toward the Jew. Behind the abhorrence of them has always been the Red Dragon.
Lucifer, the Devil, the Red Dragon, has seven heads, 10 horns, and seven crowns on his heads. These are emblems of his extreme intelligence and universal power on earth. No earthly mind or government is any contest for him.
Lucifer started the very first war. It was first waged in Heaven, where he became proud and wanted to overthrow God’s throne. He failed and was cast out of Heaven. When the Red Dragon was thrown out of Heaven, John says, “[h]is tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth.”
Angels are sometimes spoken of as stars in the Old Testament (Job 38:7). Since then, this mighty fallen angel and all the angels that fell with him to the earth have conducted war against God and everything he loves.
The Bible teaches the devil deceived Adam and Eve, the first couple, and they sinned, which resulted in the forfeiture of the dominion God had given them over the earth (Gen. 1:26; Gen. 3). When this happened, Satan quickly usurped their place and took the throne for himself. In the Garden of Eden, in grace and mercy, God promised to send a redeemer, who would restore everything the Ancient Serpent, the Red Dragon, robbed from humanity (Gen. 3:15).
The Conflict of the Ages, the chief of all wars, is that cosmic campaign whereby the devil and his demons intend to prevent the fulfillment of God’s purpose of deliverance and liberation. The “Man-Child,” the Baby Boy born from the Woman, is none other than Christ, the One who will ultimately rule the world with a Rod of Iron, the One who, after he completed his work of purchasing back humankind and his domain, was caught up to the Father in his ascension, and will preserve Israel for 1260 days during the Red Dragon’s brutal assault to destroy them during the Great Tribulation.
There are numerous examples of Satan’s purpose to thwart God’s plan of salvation, which are weaved throughout the Old Testament, but the story is too long to tell here. But despite Lucifer’s best efforts, Christ was born.
M.R. DeHaan eloquently covers the New Testament account:
“[Christ] He is the object of Satan’s hatred, and the devil seeks to destroy Him. He sought to destroy Christ before he was born when by a decree of Caesar, he compelled Mary to make the long and arduous trip to the city of Bethlehem from Nazareth at the very time she was to give birth to the child. This plan failed, and then Satan sought to destroy him by murdering all the children of two years and under in Bethlehem through King Herod. Again and again, he sought to destroy Christ at the hands of the wicked Pharisees, but his time had not yet come. Finally, he succeeded in bringing him to the Cross, and there it seemed as if the dragon was finally victorious, for the child destined to rule the nations with a rod of iron died the ignominious death of the Cross. What rejoicing there must have been in the pit, what celebrating among the hosts of the demons, as the Son of God gave up the ghost! But God intervened, and He was raised from the dead and caught up into Heaven to be seated at the right hand of God until He returns to make his enemies His footstool and completely defeats the dragon, Satan.”
It should also be noted that today Satan hates the Church, the faithful followers of Christ. Soon, every Christian will be “caught away” and raptured to be with Christ forever more. When the Church is gone, the Evil One will focus on the nation of Israel. But God will overrule and make everything the devil does work for Israel’s salvation and recovery, and Christ will rule over the nations from the city of Jerusalem.
The Supreme War, a war for the souls of humanity and this globe, continues behind the scenes. Jesus said the devil’s purpose is to rob, kill, and destroy. Jesus’ purpose is to give a rich and satisfying life (Jn 10:10).
The world is in the devil’s crosshairs because God loves people (Jn. 3:16). You are in the Red Dragon’s crosshairs because God loves you.
Therefore, heed the instruction of the Psalmist, who wrote, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12).
If We Study The Word Of God We Will Come To Know More Of The God Of The Word – By Amir Tsarfati - https://harbingersdaily.com/if-we-study-the-word-of-god-we-will-come-to-know-more-of-the-god-of-the-word/
How sad it is that so many people know the account, the Gospel account, yet they don’t get it. They don’t understand the meaning of the resurrection. They don’t understand the true role of the Messiah. They don’t understand that the suffering of Jesus is not disqualifying from being the Messiah. It is actually qualifying Him for being the Messiah. Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, Zechariah 12, all these accounts were talking about the suffering Messiah, were talking about the fact that He had to die, were talking about the fact that He bore the sin of all of us. They were talking about the fact that when He will return they will see Him whom they pierced, and then they will mourn and then they will cry when they understand how foolish and how wrong they were.
Jesus did not fit the words of the scribes, the words of the rabbis, the words of the teachers. Jesus fit the words of the prophets, the word of God, and that is exactly the problem today in this world. People are following man’s teachings, man’s doctrines, man’s ideas, and they are getting away more and more and more from the actual word of God. And when something happens, rather than going to the word of God and checking it with the word of God, they just ask the rabbi, they just ask the priest, they just ask any religious clerk. They don’t know Him. They don’t know His word. They don’t know His resurrection, and surely they don’t have the power of that resurrection.
One of the great tragedies in these last days is the diminishing respect and reverence for the word of God. Not just in the world, but in the church as well. It is not unusual today to sit in a church service and not hear the Bible quoted, or, if it is quoted, it is a single verse or small passage that is used as a springboard to launch into the topic of the day.
Matthew 7:28-29 KJV – “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”
The lack of teaching the word of God can only lead to the lack of the knowledge of God. People don’t learn that the Bible is not just a book, it is not just one among many religions’ writings. It is unlike any other book, because the author of the book is God the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16). If you don’t learn that this book is authored by God, then the consequence will be exactly what we are seeing today – a lack of respect and reverence for the word of God.
Hebrews 4:12 KJV – “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Jesus did not teach the way the scribes did, because Jesus is God. He didn’t just repeat others’ interpretations of the Torah like the scribes. The words that He spoke were living and powerful, just like those inspired by the Holy Spirit in the book we call the Bible.
It is funny how some today hear the story of the resurrection as we just did at Easter. They hear of the seven sayings from the cross and the angelic encounters at the empty tomb. They hear the tomb is empty, they hear that He is risen, and then they go on about their lives like Christ is still in the grave. How can someone say they want to spend eternity in heaven with God yet can’t spend 20-30 minutes each day or an hour on Sunday reading or hearing the word of God?
Jesus gave a teaching in John 6 where he used His body and blood as an illustration about the level of commitment He expects from those who follow Him, and the “spiritual lesson” He gave offended many. John said this of their response:
John 6:66-69 KJV – “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”
The Bible has some hard things to say in it, to be sure. There are many things that are counter to the culture of our day. But the words that Jesus speaks and all that the Bible records are life, and there is no other place to go to find such words. God alone has the words of life.
. We will learn that the resurrection of Jesus is not just a story. It’s a proven, historical fact. If we study the word of God, we learn of the connection between the Passover of the Jews and the death and resurrection of the King of the Jews.
If we study the word, we would learn that Psalm 22 prophesied of Jesus’ hands and feet being pierced, and of the soldiers casting lots for His clothing. If we study the word, we will find in Isaiah 53 that it was prophesied He would be silent before His accusers, be crucified among the wicked, and buried among the rich. If we study the word of God, we will learn that when Jesus returns that Zechariah 12:10 says the ones who pierced Him will mourn for Him and for the grave mistake of their ancestors.
A great preacher of a generation ago said the following:
“Bible study doesn’t bring you closer to God. Did you know there are boys who go to seminary and backslide with a Bible under their arm? What good is it to know Hebrew if you don’t know Him? What good is it to know Greek if you don’t know God? Bible study gives you knowledge about God, obedience gives you knowledge of God.”
How can you know what to obey if you don’t know God’s word? And if you don’t know what to obey, how can you then know of God? The most important thing any of us will ever do with our time is study the word of God so we can obey it and know God. As it has been said:
Seven days without reading the Bible makes one weak!
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus,
Daily Jot: Government’s Coordinating Committee on censorship - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
There is a connection between the Hunter and Joe Biden enrichment scheme and the fake Russian dossier. Obviously, the Democratic Party is involved in both, but there are other similarities that put American citizens in a very dangerous position. Both stories were during US presidential elections. Both stories were handled to the advantage of the Democratic candidate for president. Both stories were managed and manipulated by political forces and the news media. In the Russian dossier against President Trump, the media found him guilty immediately and worked against his election. In the Joe and Hunter Biden case, the media held that the story was nothing more than a conspiracy theory by detractors.
With the Russian dossier, let us not forget that President Obama himself, in collaboration with the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, petitioned the secret FISA Court for a warrant to spy on Trump’s campaign. Also it was FBI agents who were complicit in fomenting an ongoing investigation that resulted in an impeachment trial. It was also the FBI that pressured the news media and actually worked closely with Facebook, Twitter, Google and other social media companies to suppress, even censor, the stories about Joe and Hunter Biden’s influencing scheme. They did so in the name of stopping “disinformation.” Other government agencies also participated in this effort.
The Senate Armed Services Committee found out May 4 that the intelligence community has established a coordinating committee among US intelligence groups to combat “foreign malign influence” aimed at US elections, according to the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. Haines told the Committee, “We stood that up and it encompasses our election threat executive work essentially looking at foreign influence and interference in elections, and deals with disinformation more generally.” This entire disinformation effort opens the gate wide for internal government agencies being weaponized for political purposes, increasing the danger of rigged elections and, ultimately, the spying, harassment and jailing of anyone these agencies deem is a “threat” to an election. We have seen how it works with the Bidens and Trump.
Indeed, House Republicans revealed that the State Department’s Global Engagement Center funded the Global Disinformation Index which is also funded by leftist billionaire George Soros. The Global Disinformation Index created the Dynamic Exclusion List, a “blacklist” of domestic media voices, The Global Disinformation Index often points to conservative outlets as spreading disinformation. See the daisy chain connections? Now the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is going to “support” all the government agencies. This is code for targeting censorship of those who do not agree with the government position. It is a threat to your very freedom. Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 6:19 is that “utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.” We better do it while we can!
Daily Devotion: Examples to Follow - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. —1 Corinthians 11:1
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/examples-to-follow/ - Listen
In the Great Commission, Jesus gave the command to “go and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19 NLT). But we cannot take someone any further than we have come ourselves.
Sometimes people who have been Christians for ten or twenty years are still spiritual babies. They haven’t learned to feed themselves spiritually. They haven’t become as mature as they ought to be.
Writing to believers in Colosse, the apostle Paul said, “So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ” (Colossians 1:28 NLT).
Some of us are not as far down the road as we should be as followers of Jesus. Yet we ought to be living godly lives to the extent that we could say, as Paul did, “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 NLT). In other words, “Follow my example.”
Maybe you’re thinking, “We should never ask people to follow our example. We should tell them to follow Jesus.” But that would be a cop-out.
Like it or not, people are looking at us as visible representatives of Jesus Christ. They are making evaluations about God according to the way that we live. Yes, it’s a lot of pressure. But it’s also part of being a disciple.
Being a disciple is walking with Jesus in such a way that you can say, “Follow my example.”
So, what if the church were filled with people just like you? Would it be a Bible-studying church? Would it be a worshipping church? And would it be an evangelistic church? What if everyone in the church walked and talked and dressed like you? What would the church be like?
Yes, we will mess up sometimes. But that doesn’t excuse us from being examples.
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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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