IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Does the Wrath of God Begin After the 6th Seal is Opened? - By Mondo Gonzales (Co-host at Prophecy Watchers) - https://www.rev310.net/post/does-the-wrath-of-god-begin-after-the-6th-seal-is-opened
There are four main interpretive scenarios when it comes to describing the tribulation period and the wrath of God (Pre-trib, Mid-trib, Pre-wrath and Post-trib). It’s not the point of this article to review all of these. Those reviews can be found elsewhere (one place is pre-trib.org). We maintain at Prophecy Watchers that the Pre-tribulation rapture/rescue is the most consistent theological perspective. This view teaches that the rapture/rescue happens some time prior to the 7-year tribulation period. We also see this entire 7-year period as being synonymous with the wrath of God and “day of the Lord” as found in the Old and New Testaments. This article will show the biblical evidence for this position as well as the wrath of God beginning at the first seal that Jesus opens in Revelation 6:1.
Wrath of God Definitions
The New Testament affirms quite clearly that the believer is justified by the blood of Jesus and will be saved from the wrath of God through Him (Romans 5:9). Paul taught that the church is to wait for the Son from Heaven who rescues us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10). Later, in the context of the day of the Lord, Paul says that the church is not destined to wrath, but to obtain deliverance (salvation) through the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:9). The question naturally arises, “which wrath are we going to be spared from?”
Examining the theology of the entire Bible reveals that there are at least six different types of wrath. God is holy and His wrath against sin is justified (Isaiah 6:3; Rev 16:7; 19:2). The first wrath we see was the personal wrath against disobedience that happened in the garden when God kicked out Adam and Eve (Gen 3:23-34). This wrath is often tempered by God’s mercy, but other times it gives out immediate justice (Acts 12:22-23; 5:1-11). The second wrath is often described as cataclysmic wrath such as what happened with the worldwide flood (Gen 6-8) or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19). The third type of wrath is the type that Paul describes in Galatians 6:7. It is the wrath of the principle of sowing and reaping. When people sow to the flesh, they reap the wrathful consequences. The fourth type of wrath is known as the wrath of abandonment. This is when people spurn the grace and mercy of God so stubbornly that He abandons them to their own sinfulness. He removes His restraining grace and mercy and simply leaves them to their own downward spiral. This is the wrath expressed by Paul in Romans 1:18-32. The fifth type of wrath is what theologians call eschatological wrath or the wrath of the day of the Lord (1 Thess 5:9). The final type of wrath is the eternal wrath of God which begins for unbelievers who die in the present age and end up in Hades (Heb 9:27; Luke 16:22-23). This wrath is fully and finally implemented after the great white throne judgment in Gehenna/lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15).
All true believers of all ages are exempt from eternal wrath (Romans 5:9; cf. Luke 16:22). At the same time, we see that the mystery of the new body of believers known as the church (Eph 2:15; 3:4-6) was given the special privilege of escaping not only eternal wrath, but the eschatological wrath of the day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9; Rev 3:10). Only the church, which began at Pentecost in Acts 2, was given this promise. That is why people who get saved after the pre-trib rapture are subject to the eschatological day of the Lord wrath. Countless numbers will suffer the various affects of the tribulation (compare Rev 7:13-17 with famine- 6:5-6 and scorching heat of the sun of the fourth bowl judgment- 16:8). However, they will still avoid eternal wrath and are resurrected to enjoy and rule during the millennial period (Rev 20:4-6).
There are two main words in Greek used for wrath and anger. These are orge and thumos. When Paul writes that we are saved, rescued, and delivered from the wrath of God, he used orge (Rom 5:9; 1 Thess 1:10; 5:9). In the book of Revelation orge appears six times (6:16, 17; 11:18; 14:10; 16:19; 19:15), whereas thumos appears 10 times (12:12; 14:8, 10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1, 19; 18:3; 19:15). These can often be used as synonyms, but also together to emphasize the intensity of the anger (Rev 16:19; 19:15). Both words are used of God’s wrath/anger in Revelation (14:10, 19; 15:1). I share this information to simply say that focusing only on each of these words is not definitive in making the case for the wrath of God to begin at Revelation 6:1. We must follow the evidence and not try to force the text to say what it does not.
In Revelation 6:15-17, we read, “Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath (orge) of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath (orge) has come, and who can stand?”
There are various interpretations as to the timing of the arrival of the wrath of God in these verses. The pre-trib interpretation sees the wrath of God (the entire 7-year tribulation as the day of the Lord) beginning with the opening of the 1st seal. This will be covered in more detail subsequently. The mid-tribulation position sees the wrath of God as only the 2nd half of the tribulation. The pre-wrath position sees the wrath of God as the last quarter of the tribulation. The post-tribulation position sees the believer as being preserved through the tribulation. In order to unravel the apparent confusion concerning the wrath of God, we must address the biblical teaching of the day of the Lord.
Day of the Lord
The phrase “day of the Lord” appears five times in the NT (Acts 2:20; 1 Cor 5:5; 1 Thess 5:2; 2 Thess 2:2; 2 Peter 3:10). Only the latter 3 are in a specifically eschatological context. This is important because if we can see the way in which the NT uses this phrase eschatologically, it will help us understand the unfolding of the wrath of God in the book of Revelation.
Notice Paul’s usage of the day of the Lord in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4, “Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.” The context is clearly the descriptions and relationship of the day of the Lord between believers and unbelievers. When we skip down to verse 9, Paul writes, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” For Paul, he equates wrath, to which we are not destined, to the day of the Lord which brings destruction upon them (unbelievers in v.3). Peter uses similar imagery of the day of the Lord coming like a thief and associated with destructive elements (2 Peter 3:10). Paul’s other specifically eschatological use describes the day of the Lord as not being able to come until the apostasy happens first and the man of sin revealed (2 Thess 2:3). This specific passage will be addressed in an upcoming article.
For our sakes here, we recognize that Paul associates the wrath we escape with the day of the Lord. It is a time period which comes upon unbelievers suddenly like a thief. They are proclaiming peace and safety, but experience destruction. The phrase “day of the Lord” in the NT is certainly associated with its origination in the OT. According to chapter 8 of Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s, Footsteps of the Messiah, there are 21 different names or designations in the OT and 9 in the NT for the concept of the “day of the Lord.” In the OT, some of them include: “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jer 30:7), “Day of Vengeance” (Isaiah 34:8; 35:4; 61:2), Day of “wrath, distress, wasteness, desolation, darkness, gloom, clouds” (Zephaniah 1;15).
One of the most thorough descriptions which correlates well with the outworking of God’s wrath in the book of Revelation through the various cosmic and earthly disturbances is Isaiah 13:6-13 which reads, “Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come! 7 Therefore all hands will be feeble, and every human heart will melt. 8 They will be dismayed: pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame. 9 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light. 11 I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless. 12 I will make people more rare than fine gold, and mankind than the gold of Ophir. 13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the LORD of hosts in the day of his fierce anger.”
Timing of the Day of the Lord
In the December 2021 magazine, I wrote a lengthy article showing that Jesus taught, prior to the Olivet Discourse, that the “days of the Son of Man” would be according to the pattern of the “days of Noah” and the “days of Lot” (Luke 17:26-30). This article, “Proof of rescue/rapture” can be found on our website under “articles” in the top menu bar. In that passage, Jesus taught that both groups of unbelievers associated with Noah and Lot were living life casually and were unaware (cf. Matt 24:39) when sudden destruction came upon them. Further, there would be a rescue of the believers prior to the period of judgment arriving. This is very consistent with Paul’s imagery we saw earlier that the “day of the Lord” would come at a time when unbelievers were saying “peace and safety.” Let’s keep these two passages in the back of our mind as we address other evidences for establishing the timing of Day of the Lord.
The Old Testament was clear that the day of the Lord would be a time period of judgment that God would send on the earth. We learn from Jesus that it would occur at the end of the age prior to His return (Matthew 24; Luke 21: Mark 13). Paul and Jesus affirm that it would come upon an unsuspecting world. There are various time indicators in the various eschatological passages which would be helpful to summarize at this point.
We learn from the book of Revelation that there are two periods of 42 months (11:2; 13:5). Also, the two witnesses prophesy for the 1st half of the 7-year period or 1260 days (Rev 11:3) while the woman flees from the pursuit of the Dragon for the 2nd half of the tribulation (or 1260 days- Rev 12:6). The woman (who is Israel) is protected during the second half of the tribulation from the dragon for a “time, times, and half a time” (Rev 12:14). This phraseology equals 3.5 years, 42 months, or 1260 days. The book of Daniel uses this wording to teach that antichrist will be given complete world dominion, even over the saints/believers (Dan 7:25). We learn from the NT that this period will be the second half of the tribulation (or 42 months- Rev 13:5). Moreover, Daniel uses the “time, times, and half a time” phrase to describe the second half of the time of distress (12:1-tribulation period) which will end once the power of the holy people (Jews during tribulation) are shattered (12:7). This again is consistent in describing the last half of the tribulation period as being one of intense persecution of the Jewish people in order to get them to a place of repentance and reception of Jesus as their Messiah (Matt 23:37-39; Zech 13:8-9; 12:10; Rom 11:25-26). Don’t you love the consistency? If we do the homework, God’s time frame of a 7-year tribulation period is revealed. Lastly, Daniel describes a final week (7 years; this could also be rendered as 2520 days or two 1260-day portions, 84 months or two 42-month portions) that would be used by God to bring to culmination His plan for the Holy city and the people of Israel before the millennial period (Dan 9:24-27).
The Wrath of God and the Sixth Seal
The first place that the word wrath appears in Revelation is in 6:16-17 after the sixth seal is opened by Jesus. The world has just experienced the judgments of the first five seals and after the sixth seal is opened, the unbelievers of the earth recognize that the wrath of God “has come.” The question that is often asked, “has it already come in the first six seals or will it arrive at the opening of the 7th seal?”
The mid-tribulation position considers the second half of the tribulation, the wrath of God and therefore sees it not including the first six seals. The pre-wrath position sees the last quarter of Daniel’s 70th week as the wrath of God and the wrath beginning at seal seven. The post-trib position doesn’t really care if the wrath of God is 1 year or all 7 years. They do not believe that the church is spared from the eschatological wrath of God. They believe that the church is preserved through the wrath of God. This is hard to reconcile when see that Revelation 13:7 says quite clearly that antichrist was given “authority to make war with the saints and to overcome them.” They often have a different definition of being preserved than others. We see quite clearly that the 144,000 are preserved throughout the entire tribulation by escaping death. We see them being sealed in Rev 7:4 and appearing with the Lamb after the tribulation is over (Rev 14:1). It seems quite reasonable to think that truly being preserved through the tribulation would be to escape death. We know this is not the case for the rest of the saints as there are countless martyrs (Rev 6:9-10; 7:14-17; 16:6; 17:6; 18:24; 19:2). The post-trib view of preservation is tenuous.
Here are the reasons why the wrath of God should be seen as beginning with Jesus opening the first seal. These are not in any particular order of importance and the evidence is meant to be understood as cumulative. (Make sure and read Gary’s excellent article in this issue as he provides insightful background to the role of the Lamb and the legal indictments of the scroll in Revelation 5.)
1) The outline of the book of Revelation given by Jesus in 1:19 is important to understand the sequencing of the rest of the book. Jesus tells John, “Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.” This is a threefold division of the book. Chapter 1 are the things that John saw when he saw the risen Jesus. Chapters 2 and 3 are the things which are referring to the seven churches. Revelation 4:1 uses the same Greek phrase meta tauta (“after these things”) which Jesus says in 1:19. Chapter 4:1 begins to reveal those eschatological events which are after the “church age” which ends at the rapture. Chapter 4 and 5 involve a throne room scene in which the Lamb is recognized as worthy to open the seven-seal scroll and begin the process of judging the earth in preparation for the Lamb’s rule over the entire earth. Jesus had already mentioned the idea of the “great tribulation” (Rev 2:22) and “the hour of trial that shall come upon the whole earth to test those who dwell on the earth” (Rev 3:10). Clearly, a new sequence of events and chronology begin in 6:1 with the opening of the seals by Jesus. Revelation 6:1 through chapter 18 reveal the various judgments resulting from Jesus opening the scroll.
2) The church specifically is promised exemption from eschatological wrath as we saw earlier (1 Thess 1:10; 5:9). This makes perfect sense if the wrath of God begins in Rev 6:1. In chapters four and five we are introduced to this mysterious group of people known as the 24 elders. When one compares previous OT throne room scenes (Isaiah 6:1-7; Daniel 7:9-14), there are no group of elders present. This provides evidence that in the throne room scene of Rev 4-5 this new group is the raptured church which has been removed from the earth in preparation for the wrath of God to begin in 6:1. There are many reasons to see this group as the raptured church, but space does not allow it here. Further, it is not coincidence that the church is mentioned 19 times in the first 3 chapters of Revelation and is 100% absent from the wrath of God chapters (6-18).
3) It is often argued that the first 5 seals are the not the wrath of God because they are not explicitly called “wrath.” All one has to do is to see that there are many other judgments in the book of Revelation that are not explicitly called wrath either. This a weak argument and fails to consider the entire breadth of biblical theology describing the nature of the day of the Lord which was highlighted earlier.
4) Some Bible teachers who deny that the first 5 seals are the wrath of God make the claim that this is the wrath of man or the wrath of antichrist (Satan). This cannot hold true for three reasons. The first is that Jesus is clearly the initiator of opening all the seals. Most of these same people affirm that the 6th or 7th seal is the wrath of God. The consistent approach is to recognize that the Lamb is involved explicitly in opening every seal. The second response is specific to the charge that the first five seals are the wrath of humanity and does not involve heavenly agency. This is not accurate either. Jesus is clearly involved, but Jesus also enlists the agency of the four living creatures in summoning the four horsemen. Also, one of the living creatures was assigned by God to give the seven the angels the final bowls of the wrath of God (Rev 15:7). This is consistent that the living creatures are associated with dispersing the wrath of God. Even if the two previous reasons were not stated in the text, we have a third reason. To say this is only the wrath of man and not God fails to recognize the way that God has distributed His wrath in previous times. God says in Isaiah 10:5-6, “Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury! 6 Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.” God calls the nation of Assyria instruments of His wrath against His own people. We know that Assyria was used by God to remove the rebellious kingdom of Israel in 722 BC (see also Jeremiah 51:20). Additionally, the entire book of Habakkuk is in response to the fact that God had revealed He would use Nebuchadnezzar and the wicked kingdom of Babylon to administer His justice against the rebellious kingdom of Judah in 605/587 BC. This judgment by God is not less judgment because God used human agents to accomplish His will. Even more, we see this this idea in the book of Revelation itself. Revelation 17:16-17 reads, “And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, 17 for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.” Lastly, it was God’s will to crush Jesus (Isaiah 53:10), but He predestined it to happen through human agents (Acts 4:27-28; John 19;10-11; cf. Daniel 4:25; 5:21; John 3:27).
5) There are some who argue that the OT prophesies that cosmic astronomical disturbances would occur prior the day of the Lord (Joel 2:30-31). Therefore, for them, this is proof that since the sixth seal has major cosmic disturbances, it shows that the wrath of God (“day of the Lord”) begins after the sixth seal. This sounds persuasive, but is in incomplete and assumes that there is only instance of cosmic disturbance. It is true that Joel 2:30-31 does prophesy cosmic disturbances before the day of the Lord. At the same time, the OT prophesies that there will be cosmic disturbances inside the day of the Lord which is also clearly evident in the book of Revelation after the sixth seal (Isaiah 13:9-10; Joel 3:14-15; Rev 8:10-11; 8:12). Further, Jesus said that after the day of the Lord tribulation is over, there would there would be further cosmic disturbances as He returns to earth (Matt 24:29). The complete biblical evidence shows that there are many instances of cosmic astronomical disturbance and therefore this is not persuasive in trying to prove that the wrath of God begins after the sixth seal is opened based solely on Joel 2:30-31.
6) Much discussion is focused around the phrase, “the wrath of the Lamb has come” in 6:17. Is this referring to something that is “about to arrive” (after the sixth seal) or to what has already come in the past (seals 1-6)? The Greek verb here is elthen (aorist indicative) and comes from the root erchomai. This is important because we should not fail to see that the word “has come” is clearly associated with the repetition of the word “come” in seals 1-4 from the mouth of the living creatures. There are many Greek words that John could have used here to say, “come.” He used other Greek words for “come” in this same book (Rev 19:17; 17:1; cf. Matt 11:28; 25:34), but it is worthwhile to simply notice that he chose the imperative form of the word erchomai by using erchou. This word erchou only appears here with the four living creatures and 3 times in Rev 22:17, 20. Seven total. No surprise. This is not proof positive, but lends credence to the fact that the wrath of God which “has come” in 6:17 is associated with the calling of this wrath to “come” by the four living creatures.
7) More should be said about the phrase “has come” in 6:17. Bible teachers will argue back and forth about the grammatical significance of this verb (aorist indicative). It can’t be 100% decisive either way, but the evidence strongly favors the idea that the wrath, which “has come” (Greek elthen), is in the past and involved the first six seals. I am not trying to be overly technical, but there some who appreciate the grammatical details. Consulting almost any Greek grammar will show that the aorist indicative specifically (and aorist participles) usually denotes past time. Other moods of the aorist do not indicate the timing of the verb. This same form appears also in 5:7; 7:13; 8:3; 11:18; 14:7, 15; 17:1, 10; 18:10; 19:7; 21:9. All these either have a past or immediate present aspect to them. There are rare instances that this form can be used of a future (possibly in 19:7), but this is infrequent. The overwhelming grammatical evidence is to see that John is quoting the human kings as recognizing that the wrath of God included all the judgments of the first 6 seals.
8) Finally, we learned earlier from Jesus and Paul that when the day of the Lord wrath (sudden destruction) begins, it will come upon an unsuspecting world which is living under relatively normal conditions (Luke 17:26-36; Matt 24:36-39; 1 Thess 5:2-3). If the day of the Lord commences after the 6th seal, how can this be reconciled with the fact that the first 6 seals have brought extensive war, famine, death, pestilence, and cosmic astronomical and worldwide topographical disturbances (Rev 6:1-16; Luke 21:10-11)? This is clearly not normal living conditions. In fact, the various peoples of the earth recognize that the past events are part of the wrath of God. They are very aware and seek to hide themselves from the wrath of Lamb (Rev 6:17). Sudden destruction has already begun with potentially ¼ of the world being killed through sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts (Rev 6:8). Even the fifth seal opened by Jesus is part of the wrath of the Lamb. The judgment of the Lamb is not on the martyrs themselves, but in the response that is given to them. They are told that their request for vengeance (wrath of the Lamb) would occur over a period of time, but they needed to be patient as it unfolds.
The cumulative evidence presented in this article is that the wrath of God lasts the entire 7-year period of the tribulation. We would be wise to heed Paul’s advice. “So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober” (1 Thess. 5:6). Maranatha!
The Middle East: The US Is All in or All Out - by Pete Hoekstra - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18223/middle-east-us
It is time for the Biden administration to come to terms with the challenging situation in Yemen. It seems that the administration is trying to pick a middle ground, but the Houthis' ongoing terrorist attacks and the massive scale of the humanitarian crisis rules out staying the course of strategic compromise.
Despite multiple attacks on Abu Dhabi, which include an air base that hosts American military personnel, the current administration seems unwilling to designate the Houthis as the terrorist organization it is. At the same time, however, it wants to put constraints on the use of weapons the U.S. might sell to the United Arab Emirates, whose civilian population has been targeted by the Houthis. As so often happens when you fail to identify a clear direction, the status quo is maintained. For Yemen, this is no longer acceptable.
Recently on these pages I argued for the U.S. State Department to redesignate the Houthis as a terrorist organization. While hopeful, I am not optimistic that the decision will be forthcoming. Even though it is not a strategy, hope, not deterrence, is exactly what the Biden administration seems to be hanging its decision-making on -- hoping the Houthis will stop civilian attacks and hoping the Iranians will help President Joe Biden complete his campaign promise to reenter the disastrous 2015 Obama-era nuclear deal.
Now another big decision is looming on the horizon. Shortly before the end of the Trump administration, the U.S. finalized an agreement with the UAE for $23 billion worth of U.S.-made weapons. The sale included F-35s, the latest drone technology, and other miscellaneous equipment. Recently the UAE suspended finalizing the agreement due to its belief the restrictions being placed on the deal by the U.S. government would infringe on its national sovereignty.
The Biden Administration needs move swiftly to remove these obstacles and enable the arms sale to move forward. While most of the sales of advanced weapons will not happen for several years, it is important to signal to the UAE and other players in the region, most notably Iran, that the relationship between the U.S. and UAE is ironclad. The UAE and its leadership have, unlike Iran, demonstrated strong support for the U.S. and stability in the Middle East by embracing people from other cultures and other religions. The leaders of the UAE, should be recognized and rewarded for it, instead of rewarding countries that call for the death of America and other democracies. Otherwise the message being sent, as the late historian Bernard Lewis wrote, is that it is far better to be America's enemy than its friend.
While the Biden administration has made clear its desire to restart nuclear talks with Iran, why not try doing it from a position of strength, for instance deterrence? One of the pillars of strength would be presenting a united front against Iran, with our Gulf allies and Israel at its core. Iran recognizes and responds to strength. It also recognizes weakness and responds by taking advantage of it.
It is vitally important the Biden administration stabilize relationships with key U.S. allies in the Middle East before Iran and Russia destabilize them, or it will justly receive the blame for the chaos that will ensue. The Middle East is one area where the U.S. is a dominant power-influencer, and we must make clear to our friends that we will stand by them and to our enemies that they are endangering only themselves. Having stood along the Damascus Road and talked with people in this region, I can attest that they have long memories. This is the time to strengthen the modernizing, stabilizing relationships and solidify a foundation that will enable them to survive for decades. The U.S. and its allies can stand strong against Iran, which is not only a disruptive and dangerous player in the region, it also is one of the few countries there forging increasingly strong ties with Russia and China.
As Russia and China challenge America's status as the global superpower -- politically, economically, and militarily -- in Europe with Ukraine, in Asia with Taiwan, India and Japan, and throughout east Asia and Africa with China's Belt and Road Initiative -- now is not the time to open a window of opportunity for them to exploit in the Middle East.
At the moment, the U.S. has a chance effectively to slam the door shut on Russia and China in the Middle East for the foreseeable future. Agreeing to provide the UAE with some of the most advanced, American-made military technology sends a strong signal that the U.S. is fully committed to having a long-term, strategic relationship with a great ally, the UAE. Delaying, or perhaps even potentially having the entire sale collapse, signals the exact opposite.
We are seeing our adversaries exploiting perceived U.S. weakness and lack of resolve in other parts of the world. We cannot let that happen in the Middle East. We must have a long-term, strategic plan that does not rely on hope but instead on determination and strength. Let us go all-in: anything less will be perceived as not being in at all.
Will The Biden Administration Release the Dogs of War to Distract Us from All the Other Bad Things That Are Happening? - by Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/is-the-biden-administration-going-to-release-the-dogs-of-war-in-order-to-distract-us-from-all-the-other-bad-things-that-are-happening/
There are very few things that can unite a nation like a dangerous foreign enemy can. Needless to say, Joe Biden and his minions desperately need a way to get the American people to rally behind them, because right now Biden’s approval numbers are steadily falling. If the Biden administration stays on the path that it is currently on, there will be no second term. A really big “pattern interrupt” is desperately needed, and there aren’t too many options that would fit the bill at this point. However, if a war in Europe suddenly erupted, that would have the potential to change all of the narratives surrounding the Biden administration very rapidly.
If the Biden administration and other western leaders really wanted to solve the crisis with Russia, it would be so easy to do. In exchange for a guarantee that Russia will not invade Ukraine, we would agree that Ukraine will not be allowed to join NATO and that we will not station our missiles there.
It could all be over in 10 minutes, but such an agreement is not going to happen.
Instead, the Biden administration appears to be making preparations for a war to begin. On Thursday, the U.S. State Department warned all U.S. citizens to leave Ukraine immediately…
The US government advised Americans in Ukraine to leave the country immediately and by any means available on Thursday. The previous US travel alert issued in January cited the same concerns of “increased threats of Russian military action and Covid-19” while calling on US citizens to avoid going to Ukraine, but did not go as far as to urge them to flee the country as soon as possible.
“Do not travel to Ukraine due to the increased threats of Russian military action and COVID-19; those in Ukraine should depart now via commercial or private means,” the US State Department said in its new travel alert.
That certainly sounds rather ominous.
And U.S. officials continue to use extremely harsh rhetoric when talking about this crisis. For example, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman just went on television and stated that “Vladimir Putin should understand body bags will come back to Moscow” if Russia decides to invade Ukraine…
“If Vladimir Putin takes that action, the consequences will not just be for the Ukrainian people, which will be terrible, but for the world community at large because Vladimir Putin will say that any autocrat can take action that undermines international principles that Russia has signed up to—to sovereignty, to territorial integrity, that countries get to choose their own political alliances and their own foreign policy. Added to that, not only will there be dire consequences to the economy of Russia by what we will do, not just the United States but this extraordinary alliance that exists with all of Europe and the United States and countries around the world. Not only will that create consequences, but Vladimir Putin should understand body bags will come back to Moscow as well — that the citizens of Russia will suffer because their economy will be completely devastated. So, this is a very stark choice for him.”
Why would she say something like that?
Is she completely nuts?
Like so many others in Biden’s national security team, Sherman is in a position that she is completely unsuited for.
I have no idea how someone like her could possibly become Deputy Secretary of State, because the truth is that I wouldn’t even entrust her with being the deputy janitor of a local Dairy Queen.
Biden has literally surrounded himself with the worst national security team in the history of our country, and they have been relentlessly provoking the Russians over the past year.
Now the Russians are nearing a breaking point, and more Russian troops are moving into position for a potential invasion with each passing day…
The Russian military could take nine different routes into Ukraine in a full-scale invasion, according to a U.S. military and intelligence assessment, and tanks could potentially reach Kyiv, the capital, within 48 hours.
Russia has already deployed nearly 100 of the military’s 168 battalion-tactical groups, composed of 800 to 900 troops each, with more flowing in every day. And President Vladimir Putin has dispatched personnel and equipment from six of the seven Russian special operations units, called Spetsnaz, according to the assessment. Each unit is made up of 250 to 300 elite fighters.
Of course the U.S. and NATO are mobilizing forces as well.
The Biden administration is sending thousands of additional U.S. troops to eastern Europe, and four B-52 bombers just landed at an air base in the United Kingdom…
Bombers from the US’s flying forces jetted into RAF Fairford this morning in a thinly-veiled show of strength as Russia continued to mass near Ukraine.
The four B-52 Stratofortress aircraft – with call signs HATE 11, HATE 12, HATE 13 AND HATE 14 – arrived at the Gloucestershire grounds this morning.
All it is going to take is a single mistake to push things over the edge.
Right now, Russia and Belarus are conducting joint military exercises near the Ukrainian border. Approximately 30,000 troops are taking part in the exercises, and some believe that these exercises could be a prelude to an invasion.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg seems extremely alarmed by these drills, and he is describing the current situation as “the biggest security crisis that Europe has faced for decades”…
“I honestly don’t think a decision has yet been taken” by Moscow on whether to attack, Johnson told a news conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. “But that doesn’t mean that it is impossible that something absolutely disastrous could happen very soon indeed.”
“This is probably the most dangerous moment, I would say, in the course of the next few days, in what is the biggest security crisis that Europe has faced for decades.”
Just like Biden, Stoltenberg knows that this crisis could be solved very easily, but he continues to insist that NATO “will not compromise”…
‘Nato will not compromise on core principles – the right of each nation to choose its own path and Nato’s ability to protect and defend all allies.’
As I have discussed previously, the U.S. and Russia are engaged in a very dangerous game of “chicken”, and if neither side backs down we could soon see the sort of military conflict with the Russians that I have been warning about for years.
At this point, the Russians do not trust us at all, and we don’t trust the Russians.
And so we could end up stumbling into a global war that nobody wants.
This is like watching a slow-motion train wreck happen right in front of our eyes.
Everybody can see what is happening, but we are all powerless to stop it.
It appears that our only hope of avoiding war is if Biden and his minions can somehow navigate us through this crisis, but they seem more determined than anyone else to initiate a conflict.
Don’t Worry About Nothin’ - By Grant Phillips - https://www.raptureready.com/2022/02/10/dont-worry-about-nothin-by-grant-phillips/
My wife and I have always enjoyed watching the Rocky movies, specifically the first four. We were watching Rocky II one evening, and I happened to realize that Rocky had quoted part of a Bible verse.
Rocky was saying goodbye to his newborn son as he was preparing to leave and fight Apollo Creed once more for the heavyweight boxing championship. As he leaned over the crib, he told his son, “Don’t worry about nothin’.”
Philippians 4:6 begins with, “Be anxious for nothing.” Better translated, it says, “Don’t worry about anything,” or as Rocky would say, “Don’t worry about nothin’.” I like that.
Philippians 4:6-7 states, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Our world of today is topsy-turvy in what God originally intended for mankind. We are standing on our head, neck-deep in rebellion against a holy God. Many in our society who are still sane, Christians and non-Christians alike, are wondering what in the world has happened to us and how did it happen so rapidly.
As I look around at what we have become, I can only hear the gurgling of water as it quickly drains from the tub. We are dying spiritually and don’t even know it.
I am reminded of Noah and his world of many years ago, just before the flood.
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37-39).
In the book of Luke is recorded Jesus’ further example of the days of Lot.
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30).
We know that every imaginable sin against God was being committed in those days, just as they are today. We know they were going about their lives as if God did not exist but were suddenly awakened to the truth when it was too late. God’s patience ran out and was replaced with His judgment against all those in rebellion.
“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7).
Those of Noah’s day had never seen rain or waters gush up from the ground. They had never experienced a flood, but the flood of all floods was coming. For 120 years Noah warned his generation, but they would not listen.
Those of Lot’s day had no fear of God, but they too were destroyed. God rained fire and brimstone down upon them and destroyed them all.
For almost two thousand years, God has been warning mankind of judgment to come. Unfortunately, most of mankind is just as bull-headed as they were in Noah and Lot’s days. Most today are just repeating the actions of those of long ago.
“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created’” (2 Peter 3:3-4).
Most of you who know the Lord have probably heard those comments as you have witnessed to others about Jesus’ return. Listen to Peter’s response.
“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment” (2 Peter 3:8-10).
Sometimes, even Christians will wonder why Jesus is taking so long to return for us, but “a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.” That’s not all, though. Notice what Peter repeats in the next few verses.
“And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him— I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:15, 17-18).
Thank God for His patience. Because of His patience, many have had time to come to Him and be saved. That should be the way we look at it. Yes! Absolutely! We want the Lord to return, but our waiting a little while longer gives us more time to witness and for someone to turn to Him to be saved.
Peter closes by warning us to not be swayed by the wickedness that is all around us but instead “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
In the meantime, as we witness and prayerfully hope that others accept Jesus as their Savior, they too then could have the frame of mind … “Don’t worry about nothin’,” for we are safe in His hands.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one” (John 10:27-30).
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: Super Bowl pre-game show – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
In 1972, my dad surprised me with tickets to Super Bowl VI at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. The Dallas Cowboys hammered the Miami Dolphins 24-3. That Super Bowl was more like a college championship game than what we have grown to know about modern-era Super Bowls. In 1972, Dad, Mom and I jumped in the car and traveled from Ravenna, Ohio to Picayune, Mississippi, just north of New Orleans. We were big on AAA back then and they mapped out the route ahead of time on one of those old AAA flip-type notebooks, I think it was called a “Trip-tick.” They told Mom that there were no hotels available in New Orleans and they suggested one in Picayune—one of those old motels with a diner.
When we arrived, it was an old “along the highway” motel. Dark wood paneling. Two double beds with the quarter slots for the vibrating massage. It was colder than normal, and the heating wasn’t working real well. The TV in the room was pretty retro, but had a couple of New Orleans stations. We brought our luggage in and started planning the Saturday afternoon. I was really excited to get downtown New Orleans to see the sights. We drove in and found a parking place and started wandering around the French Quarter. I loved the old two-story buildings with the wrought iron railings. The narrow streets and the ambiance of the old south was welcoming a party in every building. A lot of pre-game jubilee.
Doors were open. People were walking in the streets, just coming and going. No passes. No credentials. Just one big open pre-game party. Food and drink everywhere. Nothing like this on the farm. After the second pretty young lady in very provocative attire walked up to me and asked if I would “party” with her, Mom shut it all down. No more pre-game entertainment. When we got back to the motel, Dad was hungry, so we went over to the diner. They seated us in the corner booth. Dad had his back to the corner. Just as Dad bit in to the Southern Fried Chicken he ordered, the large brown heater about six feet over his head cut on. Being that it hadn’t been used in years, it blew a dark cloud of dust right down on him and his chicken. I mean he was covered, except for his eyes! Best entertainment of the day!
In my work with the NFL, I’ve been blessed to attend nine more Super Bowls. I took my son Christian with me to all of them. A lot has changed. People pay big money to enjoy food and drink and to mingle with celebrities. The streets are usually turned into family-oriented, football-related entertainment experiences, free to the public. Hotels are booked months in advance. Face value of game tickets were $15 in 1972. Nowadays, they are usually more than a thousand dollars. It’s exciting and fun to be able to go to attend the events leading up to the game. But, I have to say, nothing has ever compared to the pre-game show of Dad’s chicken dinner in the dust bowl. These times were as Ecclesiastes 3:13 says, “a gift of God” to be with my Dad at the Super Bowl and to share that experience later with my son.
Daily Devotion: How Skepticism Can Be Productive - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
'No, we don’t know, Lord,’ Thomas said. ‘We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ —John 14:5
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/how-skepticism-can-be-productive/ - Listen
If you’ve ever been at a family reunion where one relative sees things completely different than everyone else, then you have an idea of what the apostle Thomas was like. He was someone who thought for himself.
If Thomas didn’t understand something, he would talk about it out loud. For example, Jesus said to the disciples, “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going” (John 14:1–4 NLT).
I can envision the other disciples nodding in unison and agreement at this point. Thomas, on the other hand, spoke up and said, “No, we don’t know, Lord. We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” (verse 5 NLT).
But instead of rebuking Thomas, Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (verse 6 NLT).
We refer to him as “doubting Thomas,” but I don’t think he was a doubter. I think that he simply wanted to see and know things for himself.
Thomas’s life serves as reminder that we don’t have to live off the faith of someone else. When I was a brand-new believer, I was filled with skepticism. So I prayed, “Jesus, if you are real, you’re going to have to make Yourself known to me because I have a hard time believing some of these things for myself.”
And you know what? He did, and He will do the same for you. Skepticism is not a sign that someone is wrong; it may be a sign that they are thinking.
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