Prophetic Allusions - By Pete Garcia - https://www.rev310.com/2020/06/prophetic-allusions
Years ago, I was doing some training flights in southern Afghanistan and we had a particular landing zone (LZ) we trained at called Texas LZ. It was unique LZ in that it sat atop a singular mountain, which sat on a relatively flat, desert plain. This made for a great place to practice your approach and landing techniques. However, flying over flat, open terrain, toward a decent-sized, standalone mountain, presents a unique optical illusion called the size-distance illusion. Needless to say, I came in too fast and too high on my first attempt, and had to execute a go-around. On my second attempt, I slowed down a lot further out, and executed a successful approach and landing.
So when I was out walking last night admiring a spectacularly, cloudy evening sky, a question popped into my head. I thought- what exactly is the Lord waiting on? Israel has been back in her land now for seventy-plus years. The Jew's have been in control of Jerusalem now for fifty-plus years. Europe has been reunited now for thirty-plus years, albeit, somewhat disjointedly. Most if not all of the technology mentioned in Revelation, is either now in use, or has been already developed. The world is already largely using varying forms of digital currency. Satellite television and internet makes global communication and viewing from anywhere in the world possible. Travel has been global nearly a century. The western nations, to include many eastern nations, have already embraced the days of Noah and Lot as a rite of passage. The Laodicean Age is in full bloom. So again, what exactly is the Lord waiting on?
The general answer is that it is either one of two things. It is either a specific date, or it is a specific number of believers. However, what if it is both? What if it is neither? Can it be known? If not, why not?
If He were waiting for a specific number of people to come to a saving knowledge of the faith, then the number would be known only to the Father. (Matt. 24:36) It does not seem likely that we ever could know specifically, or at least, there is nothing in Scripture that would lead us to believe we could ever know that. Romans 11:25 does mention a 'full number' who would come into the body of Christ, but that is about as specific as Scripture gets with this idea.
Think about it. For two-thousand years, no generation has had more access to knowledge than ours. No generation in two-thousand years has had more prophetically awakened believers as we have had for the past seventy-years. We have seen more prophecies fulfilled in this past century, than in the previous 19 centuries combined. Prophetically woke is not to say more Christian's are students of Bible prophecy, but more have been exposed to it than any previous generations. The Late Great Planet Earth and the Left Behind series were wildly successful. Furthermore, we have had, since the mid-1800s, an explosion of knowledge regarding Bible prophecy, in large part, due to the divinely sanctioned Dispensationalist movement.
It is doubtful if there has been any other circle of men [dispensationalists] who have done more by their influence in preaching, teaching and writing to promote a love for Bible study, a hunger for the deeper Christian life, a passion for evangelism and zeal for missions in the history of American Christianity. -Dispensationalist Critic, George E. Ladd
Moreover, even the mocking of the Rapture and the Second Coming by Hollywood, Media, and Academia, has served the purpose of exposing the general public to these very iconic concepts in Bible prophecy. You would be hard-pressed to talk to anyone in America, who is not at least familiar with the idea of the apocalypse since it is used so loosely in movies and books these days. It is also used to describe virtually every disaster of epic proportions, and we have had plenty of those as of late.
Perhaps He is waiting for a specific date to round out the fulfillment of the seven Feasts of the Lord. (Leviticus 23) We know that the Rapture-event does not start the 70th-Week (aka...The Tribulation) however, it does seem to trigger the conditions necessary for it to be necessary. Thusly, is it possible that a Feast of the Lord could also be a date for the Rapture? There are plenty of Jewish Feast dates between now and 2033 that would make great Second Coming candidates. My friend Randy Nettles has done A LOT of work on the future feast dates and how each in the Fall Feasts could present excellent choices depending on when the Lord chooses to come back in power and glory.
We know in the earthly life of Christ, Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits by His death, burial, and resurrection (respectively). Many also believe the Church to be born at Sukkot (Pentecost). That leaves the unfulfilled Fall Feasts of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles as being prophetically set aside for fulfillment at some future date.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:18-23
Personally, I do not believe the Church was born at Pentecost. Rather, I believe the Church was conceived at Pentecost, and is presently in a gestation period, awaiting to be born into our eternal, glorified bodies, at the Rapture. I may be wrong with this theory, however, I hold too because it makes the most sense in my mind when I look at all the corresponding Scriptures and church history itself, holistically. I take this view by holding to several previously revealed ideas and seeing how they fit into a pattern that foreshadow things to come.
First, when the Holy Spirit came down in spectacular fashion in Acts 2:1-4, he indwelt those believers and immediately began speaking in foreign tongues. This caused some to mockingly say; perhaps they had too much wine. (Acts 2:13) After the Rapture, we (those who are caught up and transformed) will most likely speak whatever the heavenly language is (presumably Hebrew or some higher form of it). Therefore, the 'speaking in tongues' was meant as a functional-type to foreshadow our future change after the Rapture. Admittedly, this is a weak association between the two events; but the change in language is a correlation nonetheless.
Secondly, the first time we see the Holy Spirit involved in antenatal (pre-birth) is with John the Baptist, who as we know, was the forerunner of the Messiah. The second time we see the Holy Spirit involved in conception/birth in the New Testament, was in the Gospels when the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary (Luke 1:35) causing her to supernaturally conceive Jesus. However, when Jesus was conceived inside the virgin Mary, she did not immediately give birth to Him, but rather, went through the normal stages of pregnancy carrying Jesus to term before delivering Him in a manger some nine-months later. (Luke 2:7)
Similarly, salvation in the New Testament comes by faith, through grace, after which, the Holy Spirit indwells, and seals us until the day of our redemption. (Eph. 1:11-14, 4:30; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22) But the moment we get saved, we don't immediately get transformed into our glorified bodies. We live, we mature in the faith, and then (as has been the case for all of human history) our mortal body's age and we die and go to be with the Lord.
Thirdly, Jesus is the head of the Church, and we are His body (Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18, 2:19). IF Christ is the head, and we are the body, does that not demonstrate the inherent connectedness we share with our Lord and Savior? Babies are typically born (around 95% of the time at least), headfirst. Nevertheless, the Head is Christ, and He is first, through whom the rest of the Body (the Church) follows, because we are "knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God." (Col. 2:19) Perhaps this is why Jesus used the analogy of our salvific redemption as being 'born again.' (John 3:3-6)
Fourthly, Jesus taught in His Olivet Discourse, that the last days would come like birth pangs (Matt. 24:8). We are presently in our mortal, fallen, conditions, and are subject to the 'laws of nature' in this world (i.e., sin and death). Undoubtedly, births are very trying, painful, and emotional events, especially for the woman giving birth. However, to put our physical deliverance into cruder terms, we who are born again are very much like the world's bastard stepchildren. The world does not know our Father, nor us; nor does she want too. However, she (the world) is going to suffer mightily at our redemption called the Rapture. If Eve is the mother of all earthly humanity, then even after the fall, she is still the mother to us all.
To the woman He said:
"I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you." Genesis 3:16
At the moment of the Rapture, our physical, instantaneous translation into glorified bodies, will wrench forth from this world's vise-like grip, those previously held in bondage to the natural law of sin and death. Interestingly, the Apostle Paul uses the process of giving birth in relation to the time leading up to, and immediately after the Rapture of the Church (1 Thess. 4:13-18). He alluded to the fact that when the world was crying out for 'peace and safety,' then sudden destruction would come upon her like labor pains upon a woman and they shall not escape (1st Thess. 5:1-4). Eve's fallen offspring will bear the brunt of Eve's redeemed offspring's deliverance.
In summary, I believe the Church was conceived at Pentecost and has been going through the stages of development over these past two millennia (See Revelation 2-3). The Rapture, is that day of delivery (or the day of Christ) in which every generation has been waiting for to be delivered from this fallen world when mortality puts on immortality. In the womb, we were blind, helpless, and comfortable in darkness, but we could not stay there. In birth (deliverance) we are brought into the light and become the creation God always intended us to be.
Over the past two-thousand years, we (humanity) are very much like the aircrew flying out over that vast, flat desert terrain. For millennia, there were no signs. Believers in the world kept pressing forward, unaware of where they were on God's prophetic calendar. However, with the super-sign (national Israel) back in play that approach and landing is coming at us quickly. Where it was once hard for believers to judge our approach due to the lack of signs, now, events are happening very quickly and at times appear wildly out of control.
Juxtaposed to the believer, the unredeemed world sees that mountain out in the distance, but they have been led to believe it is further out than what it really is. They are suffering from the prophetic optical illusion (or spiritual delusion) that Satan has been pulling over their eyes since the dawn of time. He has whispered in many an ear, you have plenty of time, and yet, time is racing past and picking up speed as they hurtle toward their collective date with judgment.
So what is the Lord waiting on? Perhaps His plans combine both a particular Feast Day (to keep continuity with those already fulfilled) along with a certain number of believers. It may not be how many come into the body of Christ, as much as it is how many are still responding. If that number drops below a certain, minimum threshold, as was the case of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18:32). Nevertheless, God will still use the Rapture-event itself to become the greatest evangelism tool the world has ever see.
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb...Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?"
And I said to him, "Sir, you know."
So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:9-14
We have a strong reason to suspect that there is a gap in time between the Rapture, and the start of the 70th-Week, so depending on how long that gap turns out be, makes 2027-33 a very attractive time for the Second Coming. This means that in the meantime, we are going to go through increasingly turbulent times (labor pains) as we draw nearer to our date of delivery. Perhaps all of these allusions to birth, rebirth, birth pangs, and so forth, have a far more practical application to them than just being ornamental, apocalyptic language.
Even though the days are darkening and times are becoming increasingly chaotic, take heart. The same God who spoke the universe into existence is the same One who is indwelling and sealing you until the day of Redemption. We are instructed to keep looking up, because we, who have placed our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, have by inheritance, become the children of God. That is not just flowery language. We must be physically changed from our mortal bodies to our immortal bodies to be and live where God lives (1st Corinthians 15). We must be changed on that Day because we now bear our Father's spiritual DNA. The apostle John writes concerning this change-
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1st John 3:1-3
Fair Warning - By Daymond Duck -
The next election is now about four months away, and some commentators are saying things are going to get nasty.
Words that come to mind as I read this are devilish, ugly, anarchy, orchestrated chaos, insurrection, planned wickedness, incitement of trouble, weaponized Antifa terrorists, Black Lives Matter, and others.
Liberal Democrats (Pelosi, Schumer), Planned Parenthood, gays, etc., are desperate to retake the White House and prevent the loss of another seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Powerful globalists (Soros, Kissinger, Clinton, etc.) are passionate about world government, and they want to continue the surrender of America to meet the UN goal of world government and world religion by 2030.
The investigation of those that spied on (and tried to overthrow) the Trump administration is zeroing in on some big-name Democrats (Obama, Clinton, Brennan, Clapper, etc.) that may have committed crimes, and they want to shut down the investigation and possible prosecutions.
Muslims in the Democrat Party (Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib) want the U.S. to abandon Israel, but Trump is strengthening ties with Israel.
Trump's main asset has been a strong economy, and they want to take that talking point away from him.
Several political insiders with big jobs in the Washington bureaucracy feel threatened by Trump's promise to drain the swamp, and they want him out to preserve their power, high positions, big salaries and exorbitant pensions.
Below is my take on some prophecy-related stories that recently made the news.
One, on June 12, 2020, it was reported that Pastor Robert Jeffress said if Pres. Trump is not re-elected the left will bring out the guillotines.
God is not a Republican or a Democrat, but I agree with the great preacher.
If the Democrats gain control of the government, they are likely to try to undo everything Trump has done and bring in their much-desired world government as fast as they can.
That will lead to the rise of the Antichrist, and the guillotine will be his favorite scare tactic (Rev. 20:4).
Some might say Pastor Jeffress is an extremist for saying this, but the "autonomous zone" occupiers in Seattle recently implied that they will behead those that disagree with Antifa (notice that this group of paid and armed arsonists, looters and terrorist thugs are threatening the lives of U.S. citizens and, as far as I know, most of the Democrats and a few Republicans are praising them. Know that on June 20, 2020, it was reported that inside the "autonomous zone," a 19-year-old black male was fatally shot, a second black male was hospitalized with life-threatening wounds, the police were not allowed into the area, and there is no outrage.
Two, globalists puppets are smashing, defacing, and destroying statues (These are paid thugs; not just in the U.S., but in other nations too; not spontaneous destruction of statues, it is part of the globalist plan).
One aspect of the globalist plan is to change western civilization by eradicating nationalism and replacing it with a New World Order (They encourage people to burn flags, kneel during the national anthem, keep their borders open, etc.).
According to the Bible, God will let the globalists have their New World Order, but instead of destroying statues during the Tribulation Period, they will be forced to bow to a statue of the Antichrist and worship it (Rev. 13:14-18).
Three, on June 12, 2020, Pastor James Kaddis said there are now calls to disband police forces all over the world and to replace them with a global police force.
He said this could be the beginning of a global police force controlled by the Antichrist.
That global police force will behead people that refuse to take the Mark of the Beast (Rev. 20:4).
Four, on June 15, 2020, it was reported that the UN Human Rights Council will examine accusations of systemic racism and police brutality in the U.S.
Pres. Trump pulled the U.S. out of this wannabe world government group two years ago when its leaders accused the U.S. of being biased toward Israel.
With so many Christians being persecuted and killed in India, China, and several Muslim countries, it is incredible that this UN group plans to discuss racism and police brutality in the U.S.
(Update on this: On June 19, 2020, a human rights official at the UN expressed "profound concern" over the U.S. calling Antifa and other anti-fascist groups domestic terrorists.)
Five, on June 17, 2020, Dave Hodges reported that UN personnel are marching in anti-American police rallies and protests in the U.S.
Hodges said he does not know if any UN officials have committed crimes, but they have diplomatic immunity and cannot be prosecuted if they do.
Should UN personnel be allowed to use their diplomatic immunity to march with protestors, arsonists, and thieves in the U.S.?
Since some UN officials are marching with the demonstrators and it is a UN goal to establish a world government by 2030, should anyone be surprised that they object to the protestors being called domestic terrorists?
Six, on June 17, 2020, Life News reported that Black Lives Matter (BLM) is receiving large sums of money from sympathetic Americans.
Life News reported that the BLM website is partnered with a Democrat fund-raising organization called ActBlue.
According to Life News, people that choose to give to the "Defund the Police" campaign on the BLM homepage are rerouted to a site hosted by ActBlue.
As of May 21, 2020, ActBlue had given $119,253,857 to the "Biden for President" campaign.
Think about this: Biden says he does not support defunding the police, but he has received more than $100 million from a "Defund the Police" group (and the Democrat Party is boasting about how much money he raised in May).
If this is true, and there is no reason to doubt it, there is a lot of deceit going on (an end-of-the-age sign that Jesus warned the world about in Matt. 24:4, 5, 11, and 24).
Seven, some Democrats deny that they plan to defund the police, but the Democrats in Minneapolis voted to defund the police, and on June 12, 2020, it was reported that the New York police Dept.'s 2020-2021 budget will be cut by $1 billion and its 600-member anti-crime unit will be eliminated.
To make up for the shortfall, these Democrats plan to reduce the number of police by attrition, cut overtime and shift some police responsibilities to other agencies.
Ten days later, it was reported that crime has already started surging in New York.
Eight, on June 13, 2020, it was reported that the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) has indicted more than 50 people in several states (none yet in Washington and Oregon) on charges of theft, arson, carrying guns, throwing Molotov cocktails, etc.
Pres. Trump and the DOJ need our prayers because they have been strongly condemned for trying to prosecute these accused criminals.
Nine, on June 21, 2020, Luciferian (New Age Satan worshipers, Isa. 14:12) parades were held in more than 20 U.S. cities, and prayers were offered for Satan to establish his one-world government.
According to the Bible, the coming NWO will be headed up by a Satan worshiper identified by Christians as the Antichrist (Rev. 13:3-9).
Ten, on June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination against gay and transgender workers.
For many years, the courts said the law means people cannot discriminate against women in the workplace.
Critics say the court redefined the word sex (legislated from the bench) and changed the law.
Dr. James Dobson called it "an affront to God" because the word sex now includes one's sexual orientation and gender identity.
Know that the Antichrist will change laws (Dan. 7:25), some think he may be gay (Dan. 11:37; II Tim. 3:3), the court's ruling takes the U.S. farther away from Biblical Christianity, and it brings the U.S. closer to the UN 2030 global ethic (world religion; Sustainable Development 2030 goals on LGBTQ rights).
It looks like some on the U.S. Supreme Court are destroying the U.S. Constitution and moving the U.S. closer to the globalist agenda.
Eleven, concerning wars and rumors of wars, on June 15-16, 2020, several weeks of a border dispute between China and India turned into hand-to-hand combat that resulted in the death of about 20 Indian and 35 or more Chinese soldiers.
On June 16, 2020, No. Korea blew up a four-story building that No. and So. Korea used for talks to peacefully settle their differences.
On June 16, 2020, U.S. jets intercepted Russian bombers twice in one night (8 times in 2020) over international waters just 32 miles from Alaska.
Turkey's economy is hurting, and she seems to want to fight anyone that will fight: Russia in Libya and Syria; Israel if it annexes part of the West Bank; Greece over oil exploration on the Greek continental shelf (Greece has deployed troops and weapons to their border, and asked Israel for help); the Kurds in Iraq; Armenia, etc.
Twelve, concerning God causing the Jews to return to the Promised Land, record numbers of Jews are attributing their requests to move to Israel to riots, economic problems and anti-Semitism in several nations including anti-Semitism in the U.S.
Many Jews are saying the lockdown caused them to reflect on what life is all about, and they have decided that Israel is the place they want to live.
Despite the Islamic threat, many believe that they will be safer in Israel than they are in the U.S. and other nations where they live.
About 90,000 Jews are expected to relocate to Israel in the next 18 months.
This is a literal fulfillment of Bible prophecy (Jer. 31:10; Ezek. 11:17-20).
Thirteen, an astute Rapture Ready reader pointed out that there is no 7-year requirement in Pres. Trump's peace proposal, but the PA has 4 years to accept it.
He suggests that the agreement could be modified to require 7 years of peace and safety while the PA decides what to do.
He points out that the PA is not specifically mentioned in Dan. 9:27, so the "many" (Arabs, Israel, EU, etc.) could agree to support a 7-year period of quiet.
This is speculation, but a 4-year time-period that can change with negotiations is intriguing.
Finally, God has given the world fair warning of things to come and the need to be saved before we die or before the Rapture takes place.
He does not need us; He can get along just fine without us, but we need Him if we want to go to heaven, and we need to trust Jesus as an atonement for our sins to have a right relationship with Him.
The purpose of God's warning is to give us a chance to establish that relationship.
Accept the free gift of salvation that God offers by the death of Jesus on the cross in your place; ask Him to forgive your sins and come into your heart right now.
If you have already accepted Jesus as your Saviour, tell others about Him.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
In the Midst - Part IV - The Return of the King - by Randy Nettles - https://www.rev310.com/2020/06/in-the-midst-part-iv-the-return-of-the-king
In the last three parts of this series, In the Midst, I have given many plausible timelines for the upcoming seven year Tribulation. Of course, these are just hypothetical examples based upon Jesus returning to the earth on one of the Feast of the Lord days known as Trumpets. He will appear in all of His glory as King of kings and Lord of lords at the Battle of Armageddon and defeat all of His enemies; including the Antichrist, false prophet, Gentile militaries of the world, and Satan himself.
The three great judgments of God (Seals, Trumpets, and Vials) will end at this time, having lasted for 2520 days. 1260 days will have elapsed since the Antichrist committed the abomination of desolation in the Jewish 3rd temple and started his campaign of persecution and genocide against the Jewish people. "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days." (Revelation 12:6).
During this future day of the Feast of Trumpets, Jesus will come to the earth as "the" king, riding on His white horse and accompanied by a vast army of saints and angels. "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a robe dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he has on his robe and on his thigh a name written; KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:11-16).
Jesus Christ will save the remnant of His chosen people, the Jews, from total annihilation at the hands of the evil and possessed Antichrist. There will also be Gentile survivors from every nation that will survive the 7 year Tribulation as well. Jesus will then judge the nations and peoples of the earth (for their faith or lack of) to determine who is eligible for citizenship status in His "new world order" known as the Millennium Kingdom. This is known as the sheep and goats judgment. (Matthew 25:31-46).
I thought the hypothetical example in part III would be the last one, but.there is truly just one more that needs mentioning. Although I have given several 7 year timelines, I still haven't mentioned the obvious "800 pound gorilla" in the room. I am talking about the Tribulation occurring in the years 2026-2033. If Jesus returns in 2033 it will have been 2000 years since he was last seen on planet earth, as He was crucified in A.D.33. The Church will have been raptured for at least 7 years prior to 2033. More than likely, there will probably be a gap of time of several years between the Rapture and the official start of the Tribulation. It will take some time for the Antichrist to gain power and then "subdue" three of the ten kings (kingdoms/regions) that rule the earth at this time.
For this hypothesis to have merit, the year of AD 33 needs to be substantiated as the year Jesus was crucified. Although this can't be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by any written documentation or scientific analysis, there are several truths that lead to this conclusion:
1) According to Luke 3:1-6, John the Baptist began his ministry in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. Tiberius began his official reign (not co-reign) in the fall of AD 14; so the fifteenth year would be AD 29. It is believed, therefore, that John and Jesus' ministry began in the spring of AD 30. There are three definite mentions of Jesus observing the Passover feast in the gospel of John: John 2:13, John 6:4, and John 13:1. This would account for two years of ministry, which puts us at AD 32. Many scholars suspect there was another Passover that wasn't recorded in the gospels or perhaps the "feast" mentioned in John 5:1 was the fourth one. If this is the case then that places us in the year AD 33.
2) In my view, the late Bible teacher and scholar, Jack Kelley, proved (according to the gospel scriptures) that the crucifixion occurred on a Thursday. Here is the article he wrote back in 2016 explaining his reasoning: https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/holidays-and-holy-days/solving-the-three-day-three-night-mystery/ . The only year that works (for a Thursday Passover) within the possible five year timeline of AD 29-34 is AD 33. For proof of this, you can use the Jewish calendar and simply count backwards using the seven days of the week (Saturday, Friday, Thursday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday, Sunday, etc.) until you come to Nisan 14, 33 on the Jewish calendar. This might take a while (lol) so I would just suggest going to the calendar convertor web site and let it do the work for you: https://www.360calendar.com/360-days-Calendar-Converter.html . The first full moon of spring always occurs on Nisan 14th during the Feast of Passover. As you can see from the calendar convertor, the full moon of Passover (Nisan 14) occurred on the following dates: Tuesday in AD 30, Sunday in 31, Sunday in 32, Thursday in 33, and Sunday in 34. AD 33 is the only date that meets the criteria for a Thursday crucifixion. You can also use NASA's web site to trace full moons in the past and ancient past.
Hypothetically, in the year 2033, Jesus will return physically to the earth after a 2000 year absence. 2000 years is as two days for the Lord; for Peter said, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Peter 3:8). The Old Testament prophet, Hosea had this to say about the subject (in my opinion): "After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth" (Hosea 6:2-3).
It has been 2000 years since Jesus was on the earth and 4000 years of mankind existed before that which adds up to 6000 years of human history. According to my article Epochs in Bible Chronology - 6000 Years of Mankind - http://www.rev310.com/2018/12/epochs-in-bible-chronology-6000-years-of- mankind, we are currently (AD 2020) 20 years away from the 6000 year anniversary of mankind. By my reckoning, in 2033 we will be 7 years shy of the benchmark 6000 years of human history. Of course, human error always figures into the equation and could account for the seven year discrepancy.
As mentioned in my last article, the years of AD 2026 and 33 are an exact match on the Jewish and Gregorian calendars. For instance, the feast of Passover /Nisan 14 occurs on March 31st of the Gregorian calendar and April 2nd on the Julian calendar for both years (2026 and 33). In this example, 2026 would be the start, 2030 would be the "in the midst" middle, and 2033 would be the end of the Tribulation and start of the glorious 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ.
So in this hypothetical example, the start of the Tribulation (confirming of the covenant with the many) will occur on Kislev 20/November 29, 2026. The "in the midst" event of the "abomination of desolation" will occur 1230 days later on Nisan 10/April 12, 2030. Jesus will return to the earth at the battle of Armageddon 1260 days later on Tishri 1/September 23, 2033. The actual end of the Tribulation and start of Jesus' millennium kingdom will occur 30 days later (1290 days after the abomination of desolation) on Heshvan 1/October 23, 2033.
During this time, the prophecy of Daniel 9:24 will have finally been fulfilled regarding the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem: "Seventy sevens (490 years) are determined upon your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy and to anoint the most Holy" (Daniel 9:24). These words of Gabriel, to Daniel, point to a future time when all iniquity shall be restrained, sin will be atoned for, and Jesus Christ will be anointed as our High priest and King. He is the Most Holy!
I believe the double marriage ceremony of God the Son to His saints, and God the Father to His chosen people (the believing remnant of the sons of Jacob), will occur 45 days after Jesus Christ begins his millennium kingdom. "Blessed is he that waits and comes to the thousand three hundred and thirty and five (1335) days" (Daniel 12:12). Blessed indeed!
Gabriel told Daniel the words he spoke were to be closed up and sealed until the time of the end. That time is now, as we are living in the end times before the Great Tribulation, otherwise known as Jacob's trouble or the day of the Lord. "Many shall be purified and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand" (Daniel 12:10).
Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Conditioning of America for the New World Order - By Jonathan Brentner - https://www.raptureready.com/2020/06/23/conditioning-of-america-for-the-new-world-order-by-jonathan-brentner/
It's no longer secret; the elite in this world want to eliminate national sovereignty in favor of a New World Order, a worldwide governing authority.
The United Nations recently launched a web page titled "Let's Take Our Planet Back" at https://unnwo.org/. [i] An easy way to remember the link is to remember "UN New World Order." Although the UN's objective to establish a worldwide government has long been visible through its Agenda 2030 goals, this website represents a more blatant unveiling of its intent to create a Marxist New World Order to control the people of the world.
Much of what we are seeing in 2020 represents a concerted effort by these elite globalists to prepare people in the United States and the world to accept the authority of the coming New World Order (NWO). Although President Trump remains solidly against the submission of the United States to it, the radical left and media have succeeded in convincing many Americans that:
Only a NWO Can Protect You from Disease
I remain amazed at how the left has used the media to create a psyche of fear in the wake of COVID-19. I am aware that the coronavirus has caused much suffering. However, the evidence does not support the shutting down of economies and the widespread panic that has resulted from it. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced that it's highly unlikely for one with no symptoms to spread this virus. Does this not make quarantining the healthy and masks unnecessary?
Furthermore, for the majority of people, COVID-19 is not any more deadly than the typical flu. Those under seventeen have a greater chance of lightning striking them than of this virus killing them.
In spite of this, media and left-leaning politicians have convinced us that we are incapable of deciding the risk inherent in public gatherings. Most states closed down "non-essential" businesses and churches to protect us from ourselves. Many governors have put draconian measures in place that have more to do with control than anything else.
How does this relate to the New World Order? The third goal of the UN's Agenda 2030 states the mission of this coming worldwide government will be to "ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages." In other words, we must turn over the responsibility for our health to a government agency because they supposedly possess a better understanding of how to protect our health than we do.
We have already seen calls for this type of ruling authority to deal with this virus. On March 26, 2020, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, called upon world leaders to create "a temporary form of global government" in order to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
I believe the widespread wearing of masks in public symbolizes the willingness of people to submit to a worldwide regime who promises to act in their best interest. Do masks stop the spread of the virus? No. On May 21, 2020, the New England Journal of Medicine said this about wearing masks, "The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic." The writer of the article in the journal concluded that masks reduce the fears of people, but are otherwise ineffective.
Only a NWO Can Protect the Environment
Until the arrival of COVID-19, the supposed climate change crisis had been the impetus behind the calls for the NWO. Both Agenda 2030 and its corresponding Green New Deal in the United States assume that the only way for us to protect the environment from imminent catastrophe is to join together under a totalitarian Marxist government. [ii]
Inherent in the goals of these initiatives is the unmistakable presupposition that only such a socialist type of government can save the environment from the dangers posed by climate change. Hollywood celebrities, politicians around the world, and even Pope Francis repeatedly warn us that only a New World Order can save the planet and thus preserve it for future generations.
Who decided that only a Marxist world order can combat climate change? Even if one concedes that climate change is an emergency requiring immediate action, why is it necessary for the entire world to forsake nationalism and free enterprise in order to address it?
According to the most recent statistics of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the United States leads the world in declining CO2 emissions. On February 11, 2020, the IEA stated that the "United States saw the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 on a country basis-a fall of 140 Mt, or 2.9%, to 4.8 Gt.US emissions are now down almost 1 Gt from their peak in the year 2000, the largest absolute decline by any country over that period."
China, on the other hand, provides us with ample evidence that totalitarian socialist governments are the absolute worst at controlling air pollution. It seems to me that the Marxist solution proposed by Agenda 2030 and the Green New Deal is the worst possible route to take since it has already proven incapable of decreasing pollution in our environment.
Only a NWO Can Protect Minorities from Racism
Among other things, the well-orchestrated and carefully planned rioting of the past few weeks has convinced many people that the United States can no longer protect people from racism or the abuse of the police. The subservient act of kneeling has become symbolic of agreeing with the rioters that not only can we not trust the police; our entire structure of law enforcement needs radical transformation.
The intent of the media and violent groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter is to shame us into believing we are all responsible for any and all racism as well as for the killing of George Floyd. As such, we must accept the reforms to our police departments even to the extent of agreeing to UN help in order to achieve justice for blacks.
According to NBC news, Ben Crump, a member of George Floyd's legal team, has already appealed to the United Nations to intervene in the alleged injustice in the United States. In doing so, he stated, "The United States of America has a long pattern and practice of depriving Black citizens of the fundamental human right to life.... The United States government has consistently failed to hold police accountable and did not bring Federal criminal charges even in cases with irrefutable video evidence."
While I believe Crump's statements are totally false, the media along with many politicians are diligently working to convince people that such statements are true. As a result, we hear growing cries to either disband police departments or defund them. The future result of such action would quite likely lead to UN intervention to quell the resulting violence and lawlessness that will happen without our police.
This fits perfectly with goal number 11 of the United Nation's 2030 Agenda, "Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable." The intent of the UN is for it, rather than individual nations, to ensure the safety of all people from the evils of racism and injustice.
We know from Scripture that racism and injustice will increase exponentially during the coming tribulation despite the lofty goals of the UN. The long-awaited utopia will eventually become a killing machine under the leadership of the antichrist.
Only a NWO Can Guarantee Equal Outcomes
The goals of the UN's Agenda 2030 and the Green New Deal are the exact opposite of what the founding fathers envisioned for America. Those who wrote the Declaration of Independence and framed the constitution did so with the aim of forming a republic that guaranteed equal opportunity for its citizens. The Marxist globalists pledge to guarantee equal outcomes for all people via the New World Order.
The graves of over a hundred million people from the last century testify to the deceitfulness of such a claim, which is impossible to achieve for at least a couple reasons. First, in any totalitarian regime, it's the ruling class that defines the "equal outcome" for the masses, not the people. And secondly, the elite always resort to deadly force in dealing with those who disagree with the elite regarding the nature of these "equal outcomes."
As has been the case since the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11, the desire for a one-world government represents a rejection of God and His Word revealed on the pages of the Bible. People have long believed they can institute a better plan for governing the world than God.
Sadly, at the end of the millennium, people will even rebel against Jesus' righteous and just rule over the world (Rev. 20:7-10). In doing so they will prove that rebellion against God and His Word comes from the heart of those who reject Jesus. The violence and rioting we see in the United States is not the result of systemic racism, but the result of hearts bent on spurning the Lord's authority and revelation to us.
As people turn away from Jesus and the truth He embodies, the more likely they come to look to government as the answer to their woes and grievances. And once the left and the media convince them that the United States does not have their best interests at heart, they become more vulnerable to the cries for a worldwide governing authority that falsely promises a utopian existence for them.
Such things as new laws, more government regulation, and a worldwide governing authority will only continue the downward spiral of this Christ-rejecting world into lawlessness and destruction. It saddens me to see so many people, even Christians, sucked into the prevailing mindset that we need more government control to combat social ills and disease.
The answer is found in the pages of Scripture. It's Jesus and Him alone. The future of this world consists of unimaginable death and destruction. For those of us who know the Savior, we look forward to His soon return.
Website: Our Journey Home
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[i] This website appears to be malfunctioning at the moment.
[ii] Here are websites for Agenda 2030 and the New Green Deal: ttps://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworldand Zachary B. Wolf, "Here's what the Green New Deal actually says," February 14, 2019, on the CNN website @ https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/14/politics/green-new-deal-proposal-breakdown/index.html . Both sites provide the Marxists goals of these initiatives
Civil War and the Coming New World Order - by Pete Garcia - https://www.rev310.com/2020/06/civil-war-and-the-coming-new-world-order
This is quite a difficult and sensitive topic being discussed here today. But I feel that it is warranted, given what we are seeing play out before us. I don't have any particular scriptural basis for it, other than it is more of an observation of the times. If anything, I would liken it to the condition Jesus laid out for His disciples when asked what the signs of the end would be when He said...
Nation (ethnos) would rise against nation (ethnos), kingdom (political power) against kingdom (political power) ...and the love of many will wax cold... (Matt. 24:7, 12)
There is a storm brewing in our land and has been for some time. Those dark, foreboding clouds have always been on the horizon, but now they are overhead and our grumbling like a Kansas thunderstorm laden with the potential for torrential rains, lightning, and tornadoes. While history is not everyone's favorite subject, it should be something we reconcile frequently. Studying history helps illuminate the challenges and similarities that our ancestors faced, and may help us recognize the challenges we face in our own day, and of days yet to come. The reason for this is because although the times change, and the technology changes-the human condition never does. We tend to make the same mistakes over and over because we are a fallen race riddled with sin...and given enough time, history tends to repeat itself without fail.
On November the 9th, 2016, quite possibly the largest political earthquake ever felt in the United States occurred in the wee hours of the morning with Republican Donald Trump's victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. So stunning was the loss for Clinton and the Democrats that the media, the glitterati, the newspapers, print journals, pundits, and comedians all had assumed that her victory was so certain, that the election itself was just a formality. But since that day, the stammering and speechlessness has turned increasingly vitriolic and toxic, as the reality that Donald Trump really will be the next President of the United States.
Since then, we've been witness to an increasing number of "spontaneous" anti-Trump demonstrations along with a rash of growing anti-police violence. These protests are "spontaneous" in the same sense that Benghazi was a result of an 'anti-Islamic' video on YouTube. In all actuality, these protests are part of a greater concerted effort by uber-leftist/globalist groups like George Soros Incorporated and MoveOn.org, who are attempting to upend the system in the wake of their stunning political defeat. So if they can't win politically despite the rampant fraud and voter machine rigging, they will attempt it by funding and fomenting violence.
The attempt now by the media to link the 'rise in white power groups' to Trump's victory, is another attempt to get him to backpedal. Their rise (neo-Nazi's and the like) are not a result of Trump's election, but rather, a reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement that has sprung up across the nation and has hijacked the narrative on race.
Along those same sentiments is a growing call for secession from the Union from more traditionally liberal states like California and Oregon as a more formal protest against a Trump presidency. In the past, conservative states like Texas have threatened secession due to President Obama's federal overreach, but it seemed more bark than bite. At the very least, things could get to the point where California itself divides between the liberal south and central, and the more conservative north. But one thing to watch here is the momentum of the movement at the state level and to what degree Governor Jerry 'Moonbeam' Brown supports it as an act of defiance over the 'sanctuary city' status they will maintain despite federal threats of financial penalties.
But in watching the 'useful-idiot' movement (and media) attempting to justify their actions of blocking traffic, destroying private property, killing cops, threatening to kill cops, and provoking random violence, it reminded me of the events leading up to the American Civil War. Let us recap:
1820: The Missouri Compromise-Allowed Missouri to be a slave state, but added Maine as a free state to balance out Congress. Also divided the slave territories along the 36 by 30 parallel.
1831: Nat Turner's Rebellion-slave uprising killing 60 whites. Quelled after two days, 55 slaves, including Nat Turner, were executed, along with 200 more who were lynched.
1846-1850: Wilmot Proviso would have (it failed) outlawed slavery from expanding into the newly acquired territories at the end of the Mexican-American war, which gained the US much of the southwest including California.
1850: The Compromise of 1850-New western territories in the would be slave states, but compelled the northerners to abide by the Fugitive Slave Act, which required them to return fugitive slaves back to the South.
1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" popular book on slavery conditions in the south, considered by the north shocking and horrifying, but disparaging to Southerner's who viewed this as gross mischaracterization.
1854-1861: 'Bleeding Kansas' The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 overturned parts of the Missouri Compromise, by allowing these states to determine whether or not to be free or slave. The both went free after a bloody, five year struggle.
1857: The Dred Scott Case-The Supreme Court ruled that slaves were property, further complicating the North's opposition to slavery.
1859: John Brown's Raid-White Southerners and freed black slaves raided ammunition arsenal and began arming other groups to rise up. Was captured and executed becoming a martyr to the Abolitionist movement.
1860: Election of Abraham Lincoln-The election of the Republican A. Lincoln was overwhelming, considering he was not even on the ballot in many southern states. His election was followed by the secession of South Carolina some 30 days after. Six more states would secede by the spring of 1861.
1861: Battle of Ft. Sumter-Following S. Carolina's secession, Ft. Sumter suddenly found itself on foreign land. Lincoln decided to send supplies and was met with a Southern blockade. This sparked the start of the actual Civil War.
As you can see, the Civil War didn't start because a Republican, Abraham Lincoln, was elected as President. Lincoln's election was simply the straw that broke the camel's back. There were decades of unchecked grievances and emotions leading up to the election of 1860. Former President Thomas Jefferson made this forewarning upon hearing of the Missouri Compromise of 1820 on slavery. In it he...
"Considered it at once as the (death) knell of the Union. It is hushed indeed for the moment. But this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, oral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated; and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper."
Thomas Jefferson saw slavery as an issue that would not simply go away by appeasement and compromise. It would continue to fester in the hearts and minds of Americans (both for and against) until it resolved itself in the bloodiest war ever waged by Americans. In regard to this concept of unchecked grievances, I would like to draw a parallel to the issues of our day. The battle over the hearts and minds of Americans has been over a century in the making and is so ingrained into our culture, that we no more think about our eroding liberties than a frog thinks about the water he is in warming up.
There would be no need to work for liberty were liberties not being lost. Most Americans are unaware of a decline in individual liberty, and the reason is obvious: the decline rarely takes the form of sudden personal deprivations but, instead, takes the form of unnoticed erosion, and thus we come, as do the Russians, to regard whatever state we are in as a normal condition." Leonard E. ReAd, (1965)
The outrage by normal Americans over the past eight years, has resulted in the loss of some 900 Democrat seats of power, the rise of the Tea Party movement, and culminated with the election of Donald Trump primarily because of Obama's overreach. He didn't do anything different than any other president before him, which was to create more bureaucracy, more overreach, and add to our burgeoning national deficit. Obama simply got too greedy, too fast. His federal abuse was too obvious, and it has awoken the silent majority much in the same way that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor awoke a largely isolationist-minded American public in the 1940s.
Understand that there has already been a soft coup in this nation going back a hundred years or more. This coup began with the varying ideological theories from people like Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Margaret Sanger, John Dewey, and many others who at their foundation, espouse a rabid anti-Christian, anti-American, and anti-Constitutionalist ideas. Although the aforementioned specialize in different areas (economics, science, eugenics, psychology, and education), they all feed off of each other and use each other as stepping stones to validate their own agendas.
Their goal, largely accomplished today, was to spread this infectious ideology first through European seminaries, universities, and then on to the rest of the world via public education and governance. This then would be reinforced through the relentless "consensus-mantra" beatings by media and pop culture on the average citizenry. Now those most indoctrinated by socialism (in its varying forms) are firmly embedded in most of the western governments. Their goal is a one-world system. But first, they need to 'divide and conquer' which is why we see the parties (even within themselves) so divided over fiscal, social, and political issues we face today.
Although the swing left was greatly exacerbated during the Clinton and Obama administrations, Hillary's third term was meant to be the icing on the cake. It was meant to usher in an avalanching demographic change via massive, unchecked immigration that would change the electoral makeup of this country forever so that no Republican could ever win again. This is why this Trump win is such a stinging defeat. They (media, politicians, "experts") were so sure of a Democratic victory that Clinton never even thought to write her concession speech. Such was the power of the media to distort the facts on the ground. Even now, you can see now how the media is already trying to shape what President Trump's agenda should be. This is the same media that completely got the election wrong. They keep trying to shape the argument that what real American's are angry about, is their talking points.
To set the record straight about the average American:
We aren't angry over "climate change."
We aren't angry because men can't use women's restrooms.
We aren't angry because we hate immigrants.
We are angry because the progressive-left has hijacked the Constitution and is trying to redefine it into something it was never intended to be- a license for lawlessness leading to a global government.
We are angry about unchecked immigration, sanctuary cities, overwhelming national debt, global trade deals that would crush the US economy, and an overburdened, and under-resourced military.
We are angry at the lawlessness and corruption permeating every facet of our society.
We are angry that the America we got the privilege to grow up in, will not exist for our children at the current rate.
Slavery is a system of both commerce and thought, and has been around as long as man has. It always seeks to put one class above the other. One works while the other reaps the benefit of that work. In the past centuries, the workers and reapers were determined by race and ethnicity. But as the west came to abandon the actual practice of slaveholding, the concept remained. In the 20th-21st century, the class division wasn't so much about race, as it was political and religious ideology.
While slavery was the issue of the day back in the 1850s and was rightly rejected by the Republican Party, the issue of slavery still holds sway over the world today. This new form of oppression in the west is more akin to the proletariat versus bourgeoisie of the communist revolutions that swept through places like Russia, China, Cuba, and Vietnam in the 20th century. This new form of oppression is between the haves and have nots, the elite, and the 'unwashed' masses, between the enlightened and the deplorables, and between the media and the alternative watchdogs. The Democrat party, like their Confederate forefathers, never abandoned the idea of slavery however, they just redefined it.
Lyndon B. Johnson's "Great Society" wasn't based on truly helping poor, minority communities, but enslaving them into systemic poverty, and guaranteeing party loyalty for decades to come. Even the leftist Snopes 'fact-checking website' has a very difficult time walking back his vehemently racist comments. But here is the greater proof, if the Democrat party truly had the best interest of minorities in mind, democratic strongholds like Detroit, Chicago, and Washington D.C. would be beacons of peace and prosperity. But those cities, like so many others, are markedly divided between the 'go and no go' zones of the rich and affluent, and the poor and desperate.
But to the left, even racism and slavery are only means to an end, not the end itself. It is even somewhat disingenuous to claim on the left want globalism because there are many so-called Republicans who are also in the tank for a one-world system. Racism, sexism, 'homophobia', 'islamophobia', etc., are tools they use via Cultural Marxism to create 'identity politics' as a means to divide and conquer a nation. To this end, the left will never concede of their own volition to constitutional governance, because they've already spent the last 100 years corrupting the system and have come too far. For them, the Constitution is only useful in how they can use it to destroy the entire system. Put in another way, they (globalist-left and right) want us to commit constitutional suicide. Since they will never yield, we are really only left with one option if we are to preserve our way of life (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness), and that is by making them bend to our will, not the other way around.
We should also accept the reality that mainstream media has become irrelevant. Their agenda is not the American agenda. The Democrat party is in massive decline and are in the process of implosion; they have lost around 900 seats (governorships, congress, senate, etc.) since 2010. We can make a rather sobering assessment that the Democrat party itself will die, and out of the ashes will rise something between a mix of outright communism and Sharia Law.
They want an international system of socialism because, in their heart of hearts, they truly believe that this is the only way in which man can solve all of his problems. That is why they are intent on destroying the very system that affords them the ability to even have thoughts of destroying it. And just as the Civil War didn't start in 1820 with the Missouri Compromise, nor did it begin with Lincoln's election, rather, it was a long series of steps that led straight to the battlefields of Antietam and Gettysburg, in which brother killed brother, and neighbor killed neighbor. We would be smart to remember the old axiom that Mark Twain once said...although history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme. Not to fear though, there is a one-world system coming, and the Bible guarantees it. Revelation 19:11-16...
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.
Even So, Maranatha!
Recognizing The Signs Of The Times - A Warning To Our Generation - By Britt Gillette/End Times Bible Prophecy -
About two thousand years ago, Jesus rebuked the religious elites of His day. He criticized them for their failure to recognize His Coming. He told them, "You know how to look at the sky and predict the weather, but you don't know how to recognize the signs of the times" (Matthew 16:1-3).
Just like you and me, the religious leaders could see dark clouds on the horizon and know a rain storm was on its way. In the same manner, Jesus said they should have seen the signs and prepared for His arrival. The Pharisees and Sadducees knew the Old Testament Messianic prophecies, yet they failed to recognize the Messiah.
But their failure is relevant to our day and time as well. Why? Because Jesus wasn't simply addressing the Pharisees and Sadducees when He said this. He had a second audience in mind - you and me. That's right. Jesus was also talking to our generation.
The Bible is filled with prophecies about the Second Coming, and Jesus commanded us to watch for Him (Mark 13:35-37). Our generation is also expected to recognize the "signs of the times." But are we? Do you recognize the signs of the times?
The World is Complacent
Unfortunately, much of the world (including a large number of Christians) are not watching for Jesus. They're asleep when it comes to the Second Coming, even though Jesus warned against it. Why do I say the world is asleep? Because right now, a flood of signs surround us. Never before have so many signs of the Second Coming been present. Here are just a few from 2020:
COVID-19 - Since emerging in Wuhan, China is late 2019, COVID-19 (a.k.a. "the coronavirus") has wreaked havoc on the world stage. It first led to the shutdown of several major cities in China. Eventually, the shutdowns spread to the rest of China, then Italy, Spain, the United States, and countless countries throughout the world. While many nations have made inroads to "flatten the curve" and even force a decline in new cases, the coronavirus is far from gone.
Many fear a "second wave" while others argue the first wave never went away. While some local areas may have temporarily seen a decline in case counts, the number of new confirmed global cases has grown from 2 million in mid-April to over 8 million today. That's a four-fold increase in two months.
Far from being in the rearview mirror, the coronavirus pandemic is still an ongoing global emergency. A form of pestilence, it's one of the signs Jesus told His followers to look for (Luke 21:11).
Global Riots - In late May, the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer sparked nationwide protests in the United States. Unfortunately, alongside countless peaceful protests, riots erupted in several cities. Minneapolis saw several days of riots, looting, and burning buildings following Floyd's death. In Seattle, the police and National Guard have abandoned six city blocks in the downtown area, ceding control to various radical groups.
In Atlanta, rioters attacked the global headquarters of CNN. In London, authorities boarded up a statue of Winston Churchill to protect it from those threatening to tear it down. Throughout the world, we see images of arson, looting, and mayhem as a spirit of lawlessness prevails. The Bible says this is what people will be like in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
A Global Depression - Despite all the talk of a "V-shaped" recovery for the economy, no such thing is happening. The global travel industry is a fraction of what it was in early January, and it will likely be years before we see travel return to the old "normal." Restaurants, hotels, and retail outlets have a fraction of the foot traffic they once had.
Last week, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development estimated global GDP could plummet as much as 7.6% this year - twice what it previously announced in March. The World Bank estimates global GDP will fall 6.2%. If these figures are correct, the current economic downturn will be twice as bad as the Great Recession and the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression.
Last week also brought bad news on the employment front. More than 1.5 million people in the United States filed new unemployment claims. This is after most states have "re-opened" their economies. To put this number in perspective, prior to March, the largest weekly unemployment claim number in U.S. history was 695,000 in October 1982.
Even with many people returning to their jobs following state restrictions, continuing unemployment claims remain over 20 million. This is the worst global economy since the Great Depression, and it doesn't look like it will get better any time soon. This creates fertile ground for the rise of a dictator. The Great Depression paved the way for Adolph Hitler. The Bible says a similar economic catastrophe will pave the way for the Antichrist (Revelation 6:5-6).
Swarms of Locusts - This year also saw the emergence of one of the worst locust plagues in decades. Swarms of billions of locusts, ranging anywhere from a third of a mile to a 100 square miles or more, have attacked crops on two continents. The hardest hit areas so far have included East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, and Ethiopia), the Middle East (Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Iran), and Southwest Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India).
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization projects these swarms will continue to thrive and spread well into late-July. As these locust swarms destroy crops, millions face the prospect of famine in parts of the world where food insecurity is already common. Famine is one of the signs Jesus said to look for (Matthew 24:7).
Rumors of War - On July 1, the Israeli government will formally consider annexation of large parts of the West Bank. If it does, Jordan has said it will end its 27 year-old peace treaty with the Jewish State. The Palestinian Authority has said it will end its relationship with Israel, and Hamas has warned any such annexation will ignite a new Intifada.
If Israel moves forward with plans to annex all or part of the West Bank, it will almost certainly face widespread condemnation in the international community and violent resistance from its longtime enemies. Only time will tell what July brings, but rumors of war are widespread. Jesus said rumors of war will be another sign of His coming (Matthew 24:6).
The Converging Signs
But these are just the latest signs. Many of the signs Jesus and the prophets said to look for appeared long before 2020. Generations of Christians lived and died without witnessing a single sign of the Second Coming. Yet our generation is witness to all of them. Those signs include:
Israel Back in the Land - God promised to bring the Jewish people back into the land of Israel before He returned (Jeremiah 23:7-8). He said He would call them from "among the nations" (Ezekiel 39:28), from "the farthest corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:12), and from "north, south, east, and west" (Psalm 107:3). He promised to welcome them home from the lands where they were scattered (Ezekiel 20:34). When they did, He promised to return and establish His everlasting kingdom (Isaiah 11:11-12).
Israeli Control of Jerusalem - Jesus said armies would surround Jerusalem, destroy the city, and enslaves its citizens. This happened in A.D. 70 when the Roman legions did exactly that. Jesus then said people other than the Jewish people would control Jerusalem for a time, then the Jewish people would once again control Jerusalem. When they did, Jesus promised to return (Luke 21:24-28). Since 1967, the Jewish people have been in possession of Jerusalem.
The Gospel Preached Throughout the World - When asked about the end of the age and the signs of His coming, Jesus said the Gospel will be preached throughout the entire world. Every nation will hear it. Then, the end will come (Matthew 24:14). For centuries after the crucifixion, the Gospel was confined to a small area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
In the past two centuries, Christians have brought the Gospel to every nation in the world. Today, missionaries live in every nation. The Bible is translated in hundreds of languages, and the message of Jesus is sent around the world by radio, TV, satellite, and the Internet. Our generation is literally on the verge of spreading the Gospel to every last person on earth.
Increased Travel and Knowledge - Six hundred years before Jesus, an angel gave Daniel a special message. He said "travel and knowledge" will increase in the end times (Daniel 12:4). For centuries of human history, dramatic gains in travel and knowledge did NOT take place. Yet the last two hundred years have seen explosions in the speed and frequency of travel as well as the amount and availability of knowledge.
Arrival of the Exponential Curve - Jesus said a variety of global signs will come before His return and the end of the age. These signs will be spiritual, natural, societal, and political in nature. And He said they will appear in a distinct way - "like birth pains" (Matthew 24:3-8).
This means the frequency and intensity of these signs will increase as we near His return. Our generation has seen the exponential increase in war and famine Jesus said to look for. In the 20th Century alone, more people died from war and famine than lived on the earth when Jesus spoke these words.
Israel Surrounded by Enemies - The Bible says enemies will surround Israel in the end times. Those enemies will say "Come, let us wipe away the nation of Israel. Let's destroy the memory of its existence" (Psalm 83:4) and "Let us take for ourselves these pasturelands of God" (Psalm 83:12). Ezekiel said Israel's neighbors will say "God has given their land to us" (Ezekiel 11:14-17), and "Israel and Judah are ours. We will take possession of them. What do we care if their God is there?" (Ezekiel 35:10).
Ever since the rebirth of Israel in 1948, the daily headlines have included these Bible verses. Israel's Muslim neighbors claim the land of Israel for themselves, and they have no regard for the God of Israel.
Israel's Exceedingly Great Army - Ezekiel said, in the end times, Israel will field "an exceedingly great army" (Ezekiel 37:10). Zechariah said Israel will be like a fire among sheaves of grain, burning up the neighboring nations (Zechariah 12:6) and even the weakest Israeli soldier will be like David (Zechariah 12:8). Since 1948, Israel has fought no less than four conventional wars against its neighbors. Despite being outnumbered more than 50 to 1, Israel has achieved overwhelming victory every time.
Rise of the Gog of Magog Alliance - The Bible says a military alliance that includes Russia, Iran, Turkey, and a number of Muslim nations will attack Israel "from the north" (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2) "in the latter days" (Ezekiel 38:8) when God brings His people home from among the enemy nations (Ezekiel 39:27). Today, we see those very nations forming an alliance that has never existed in world history, and all three have troops in Syria - a nation on Israel's northern border.
Rise of a United Europe - The Bible says a revived Roman Empire will come to power in the end times (Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Revelation 17). According to Daniel, it will be a ten nation alliance of weak and strong nations. Some parts will be as strong as iron, while other parts will be as weak as clay (Daniel 2:42). We see the beginning of this alliance in the European Union - a coalition of weak and strong nations struggling to stay together.
The Rise of Global Government - The Bible says a single government will rule the world politically (Revelation 13:7), religiously (Revelation 13:8), and economically (Revelation 13:16-17) in the last days. It will rule over "all people, tribes, and languages" on the face of the earth (Revelation 13:7). Its authority will be so complete no one will be able to buy or sell anything without its permission (Revelation 13:16-17). For centuries, a true global government was impossible. Today, world leaders openly discuss it. And cryptocurrencies and electronic banking foreshadow an economic system where people can be shut off from commerce.
Denial of the Signs - Almost two thousand years ago, Peter issued a warning. He said in the last days people will mock the idea of Jesus returning. They will make fun of those who believe in the Second Coming and say things like, "I thought Jesus was coming back? What happened to His promise? Generation after generation has said He's coming. Yet, since the beginning of the world, everything has remained the same!" (2 Peter 3:3-4). This is exactly what we hear people say today.
Given all these signs, you can be certain of one thing: Jesus is coming, and ours is the generation that will witness His return. How can I be so sure? Simple. All these signs are converging. Jesus said when you see these signs come together, you can know His return is near.
In fact, He said the generation witnessing these signs will not pass away before He returns (Matthew 24:34). Keep in mind - for 1,878 years of Christianity (A.D. 70 - A.D. 1948), none of these signs were present. Today, all of them are. That means Jesus is right at the door (Matthew 24:33).
As in the Days of Noah
When the disciples asked Jesus to describe the signs of His coming and the end of the age, He pointed to many signs. But one of the most overlooked is the idea that when He returns, the world will be "like it was in the days of Noah."
Jesus said, "In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn't realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes" Matthew 24:38-39 (NLT).
Look around. Despite all the chaos and turmoil, people are living their lives as if everything is normal. As in the days of Noah, they don't realize what's coming. Noah's generation didn't think the flood would come, but it came. Our generation doesn't think Jesus will come, but He will. And all the signs say He'll come in our generation.
Why the Rapture Hasn't Happened (Yet) - Greg Laurie -
When I first became a Christian back in 1970, lots of people were talking about the return of Jesus Christ. The top-selling book of that entire decade was The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey, which spoke in depth about Bible prophecy and the signs of the times.
Driving around the roads and freeways, you would see bumper stickers with slogans like "Maranatha," "Jesus is coming" and "In case of rapture, this car will be left unmanned."
There was a sense of expectancy among so many of us that we could be the generation that would see the return of the Lord.
That was 40 years ago. I've gone through quite a few "Jesus is coming" bumper stickers since those days.
Was my hope displaced?
Did I get it wrong?
Did we misread the signs of the times?
Not at all.
God is not late, and the Lord will return to this earth at the appointed hour that has been predetermined in the councils of eternity. But there may be a reason why Jesus didn't come when we were hoping He would in 1970.
Consider this: Millions and millions of men and women, boys and girls have come to Jesus since 1970.
The Bible reminds us: "The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent" (2 Pet. 3:9, NLT).
It's all in the Lord's hands, of course, but I do believe that somewhere on this planet, there is a particular man or a woman for whom the Lord is waiting, and when that person finally places faith in Jesus Christ, we will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, in what we call the rapture of the church.
Why do I believe this? Because all around me there are signs of the times. One of the "super signs" of the last days was the regathering of the nation of Israel in their ancient homeland.
That happened against all odds. It was an event without precedent in human history that a nation and a people who had been scattered throughout the four corners of the earth would gather again where they had once been and form a nation.
Jesus says the generation that sees this happen will not pass away until all these things have been fulfilled (see Matt. 24:34, Luke 21:32). Once the Jewish people returned to their homeland and became a nation on May 14, 1948, the prophetic clock started to tick. This is a very important date in Bible prophecy.
But the Bible not only says the Lord will gather the Jews back to their homeland again, it says Jerusalem will end up being a source of conflict in the end times. What's interesting to me is that on May 14, 1948, Israel did not possess all of Jerusalem. In fact, that didn't happen until the 1967 war, when Israeli forces captured the Old City and reunified all of Jerusalem, so the city was under Jewish control for the first time in centuries.
Of course, this is where the rub comes in. Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with many Arab leaders worldwide insisting that Jerusalem and the entire West Bank are rightly Palestinian territory and must ultimately be given back as a condition of peace.
But here's the problem: God gave Israel and the city of Jerusalem to the Jewish people. He made them that promise, and they're not going to give their land up again. Nor should they.
The Bible is the one book that dares to predict the future. Not once, not twice, but hundreds of times. We can look back now and see that many of those prophecies have already been fulfilled-but not all of them. Some remain to be fulfilled, and we may be the generation where that begins to take place.
It's not a big stretch for God to predict the future. He can speak to future things as easily as you and I might discuss the past or present. In fact, God can predict the future far more accurately than you and I can recall the past. He sees the past, present and future simultaneously. Tomorrow is like yesterday to God. Every day lies before Him with equal clarity. The Lord does not forget things, nor does He learn new things.
He literally knows everything-past, present and future. So let's just take out our checklist of events and see what has already transpired.
The Bible says Israel will be scattered to the four corners of the earth. Did that happen? Yes. Check.
Israel will be regathered as a nation. Did that happen? Yes. Check.
Israel will regain the city of Jerusalem. Has that happened? Yes. Check.
Israel will be isolated from the other nations of the world. Is this happening? Yes. Check.
Israel will be attacked by a nation to her north, bent on her destruction. Has that happened? Not yet. But we could easily envision such a scenario.
Jerusalem-not Rome, Paris or New York City-will be at the center of the conflicts of the world. We read in Luke 21:20: "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you know that its desolation has drawn near."
In Zechariah 12:2-3, God says, "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup of reeling before all the surrounding nations. And when there is a siege against Judah, it is also against Jerusalem. And it will be on that day that I will set Jerusalem as a weighty stone to all the peoples. All who carry it will surely gash themselves, and all the nations of the land will be gathered against it."
John Walvoord, a respected expert on Bible prophecy, made this statement: "The prophecies about Jerusalem make it clear that the holy city will be in the center of the world events in the end time. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs will focus more and more attention on Jerusalem. In all of the situations Jerusalem is the city to watch as the city of prophetic destiny prepares to act out her final role."
Israel is so tiny. At one point, the nation is only nine miles wide. Yet God says it will be at the center of the end-time events. And this is happening just as the Bible promised it would.
In Ezekiel 38, the Lord speaks of a large and powerful nation to the north of the newly established Jewish homeland, along with a number of this nation's allies, invading Israel. This has not yet happened. So let's see what Scripture says.
"And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Son of man, set your face against Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshek and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say: Thus says the Lord God: I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshek and Tubal. And I will turn you back and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses, and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet" (Ezek. 38:1-5).
Drop down to verses 8-11: "After many days you shall be called. In the latter years you shall come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered out of many peoples, against the mountains of Israel which had been always a waste. But its people were brought out of the nations, and they, all of them, are dwelling safely. You shall ascend and come like a storm; you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you. Thus says the Lord God: It shall come to pass on that day that things shall come into your mind and you shall think an evil thought, and you shall say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates.'"
Many believe "Magog" refers to modern-day Russia. The reasoning goes like this: Magog was the second son of Noah's son Japheth who, according to the ancient historian Josephus, settled north of the Black Sea. Tubal and Meshech, also mentioned here in Ezekiel 38, were the fifth and sixth sons of Japheth, whose descendants settled south of the Black Sea.
These tribes intermarried and became known as Magog. They settled to the north of Israel. In Ezekiel 39:2, God says to them, "I will turn you back, drive you on, and take you up the north parts and bring you against the mountains of Israel."
So all Bible directions are given in relation to Israel. And if you look to the extreme north of Israel today, you will find the mighty nation of Russia.
Now here is where things really get interesting. Look at the allies that march with Russia. We have Ethiopia (modern-day Sudan), Libya and Persia, which is modern-day Iran. These are all Islamic cultures, and they are all anti-Israel. Russia has had arms deals with Libya. And Persia? It wasn't until March 21, 1935, that Persia changed her name to what we now call Iran, a recent ally of Russia.
So here is the alliance God says will form against Israel, and there's nothing about it that surprises us. It's already taking shape before our eyes.
Consider this: When Magog and her allies attack Israel, God will intervene and decimate her army and the armies of the allies as well. And because of this, the Jewish people will give glory to God.
When you go to Israel today, you may be surprised to learn that most Israelis are not believers in God. Many of them are atheistic. Certainly, you will find very few Jewish people who believe in Jesus as their Messiah. There are some, thank God, but not many.
But when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon Israel after He drives back the invading armies of Magog, there will be a revival in Israel, and many Jewish people will come to believe Yeshua Hamashiach, Jesus [is] the Messiah.
This outpouring of the Spirit on Israel, however, can't happen until the full gathering of the Gentiles is accomplished. What does that mean? Most people who read these pages are Gentiles, not Jewish by birth. As Paul explains in Romans 11, we have been effectively grafted into the promises God originally offered to Israel. Now is the time when God is working with the non-Jews, the Gentiles. But this time will come to a close, and then the Spirit will be poured out again on the land and people of Israel. But before that can happen, God needs to wrap things up with us.
In Romans 11:25, Paul says, "For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, lest you be wise in your own estimation, for a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in."
In other words, the "partial hardening" will endure until the last Gentile person finally believes in Jesus-and then we will be gone. Raptured. We will meet the Lord in the air and be with Him forever.
So that means when we see these events in the world beginning to happen, we need to look up, for our redemption is drawing near (see Luke 21:28).
When we speak of the rapture of the church, there are some who will say, "The word 'rapture' isn't even in the Bible." Maybe not, but the event certainly is.
First Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall be forever with the Lord."
Over in John 14:2-3, Jesus says, "In My Father's house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also."
That phrase "receive you" means "to take you by force."
And then in Matthew 24:40-42, Jesus says, "Two will be in the field; one will be taken, and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord will come."
John addresses it as well in 1 John 3:2, "Beloved, now are we children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."
Paul speaks of this same event in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52: "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
Now imagine this for a moment. In an instant, all over the world, millions of believers are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
Let's just briefly consider some of the effects the rapture will have on each of us.
The rapture means no death. There is a generation that will not see death. These believers will go straight into the presence of God.
The rapture is instantaneous. It has been said that the twinkling of an eye (mentioned in 1 Cor. 15:51-52) is about 1/1000 of a second. How fast is a second? And this is a thousandth of that? If we have the privilege of being raptured, there will no real sense of departure and arrival; we will simply be there, in the Lord's presence.
The rapture is a transformation. In that moment, God will give you a brand-new resurrection body. Perhaps you struggle now with the effects of old age, disease or some other physical difficulty or problem. All of that will be gone in an instant. Age melts away. Disability disappears. Sorrows are replaced by pure joy.
Philippians 3:20-21 gives us these glorious words: "But our citizenship is in heaven, from where also we await for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our body of humiliation, so that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working of His power even to subdue all things to Himself."
The rapture will be a rescue operation. In 1 Thessalonians 1:10, Paul writes, "They themselves declare ... how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead-Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come."
From what is He rescuing us? The wrath to come. What does that refer to? The tribulation period, inaugurated by the emergence of the Antichrist and lasting for seven years. So God is sending his special operations team of Michael and His angels to evacuate the church-to get us out of here before the Tribulation begins. Sometimes there is confusion about the Second Coming and the rapture. Some people think it is one event. But the Bible is very clear; it speaks of two distinct events.
The rapture will be a stealth event; the Second Coming will be a very public one.
In the rapture, we meet the Lord in the air; in the Second Coming, He returns to the earth.
In the rapture, He comes for His church; in the Second Coming, He returns with His church.
In the rapture, He comes before judgment; in the Second Coming, He comes with judgment.
So how should this affect us today? How should I respond to these truths? Very simply, I need to walk with God.
We have a great Old Testament prototype of these things in the life of a man named Enoch. Enoch had what we might describe as a solo rapture. Genesis 5:24 says, "Enoch walked with God, and then he was no more because God took him." That phrase "God took him" could be rendered, "God translated him." In other words, God carried him over or across. Enoch didn't have to die like everybody else. He just took a walk one day and didn't come home. He started on one shore and ended up on another.
He walked with God.
Are you walking with God? Notice it doesn't say, "Enoch sprinted with God." He walked with God.
Many people have a burst of energy and say, "I love the Lord so much. I'm really going to follow Him." But all too soon, they crash and burn. Then they get up again and go for a while-only to crash and burn again.
"As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him" (Col. 2:6).
Here's the thing: Just walk with God.
Don't be in a big hurry. Be regular, be consistent and stay at it. Be disciplined enough to maintain that relationship. Walking implies steady effort and speaks of regularity-doing something over and over. You just stay with it, day by day, hour by hour, step by step, and seek to be consistent in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is coming back, and it could happen at any time. This year. This month. This week. Today. And when He comes, I want Him to find me walking with Him. Isn't that a great thought? You could take one step on earth, and then find that your next step is into His presence.
Come soon, Lord. Come soon.
The Judgement of the Prince and Power of the Air, and Mankind (Part 2) - By pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2020/06/the-judgment-of-prince-and-power-of-air.html
IN the first part of this series we looked at how Satan fell from the throne room of God and is condemned to be cast into the lake of fire.The adversary, Satan the devil, the prince and power of the air will eventually loose what he could have had. We will do a quick summary of that message, and then look at we who have been created in the image of God and the downfall of mankind and ultimately, being judged in the Age of Grace that is fast coming to a close and the last 7 years of the rule of mankind. We being reconciled to God, because of the perfect sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ during this time period of the Age of Grace will be Kings and Priest to our God.
10 "Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into." (1st Peter 1:12)
Mankind is a mystery to the angels. God has charged them as ministering spirits to the heir of salvation. They are given the understanding that the heirs of God will judge them in the end of time.
"10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:10-14)
We will instruct and judge angels, and that is why God created mankind in His own image, for the express purpose of being His family and judging in the world to come.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:27)
It is something that one angel just could not handle, and rebelled against the purposes God laid out.
LUCIFER IS CAST OUT (a recap)
Not being there, but imagining in my own mind, what must have gone through Lucifer's mind when God created man and gave him dominion over the whole earth. Lucifer was given the earth to administer for God and it is theorized that from Genesis 1 to verse 2 could have been a billion years, as God is outside of time and the planets could be that old. But here we have God giving what Lucifer must have imagined, an upstart called Adam priority over him. I mean, this was God's anointed Cherubim who was one of the ark angels that covered the mercy seat. Who was given an image that was glorious to behold. "What was God doing by giving my earth to a man"..Lucifer may have thought. Jealousy and pride made the anointed Cherubim rebel against the Creator of all of the universe, which included even, Lucifer.
The Prophet Isaiah introduces us to the first outbreak of sin in the universe when Lucifer, the most anointed of the angels, uttered the first of his five famous "I will's":
"For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." (Isaiah 14:13)
War broke out in the heavens, as Lucifer convinced 1/3 of the angelic host to follow him in rebellion.
For his sin of arrogance, God pronounced judgment on Lucifer, the most honored of His angels, and those rebellious angels who followed him;
"Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." (Isaiah 14:12-15)
I've often wondered, why those who were created by God Almighty, the legions of angels would follow another created being and join Satan, (which means adversary) in open rebellion. Did they not know WHO they were standing against? Did they not know that the God who created them, could not be over come by even their power?
What made them so crazy? Perhaps they felt God was being unjust in His dealing with Lucifer and in so doing, were also guilty of sin and cast out.
Or maybe they joined with Lucifer at the moment that God unveiled His plan to create the human race and make the angels subject to their judgment. Maybe they were jealous.
It is a unanswered question, as the Bible doesn't specifically say what was their reasoning and to join Satan. Did they really think they could win against Almighty God, YHWH?
SIN OUR COMMON DENOMINATOR
It is worth thinking about and considering, while mankind is a mystery to the righteous angels who did not rebel, the fallen angels understood mankind only too well. That's because we have something in common with these fallen angels. That commonality is called "Sin".
Sin is the great equalizer between even fallen angels and fallen mankind. From the context of the story of the fall of Satan, reading the five "I WILLS" give the impression that Satan was upset over God's decision to put man in charge of the earth. It was a bone of contention of who was going to rule, who was in charge. ..Mankind, by implication, is the reason that Lucifer felt betrayed and his pride caused his rebellion. Lucifer just could not handle that mankind, an inferior race of created beings, was going to be served by the angels in submission and then at the end of the age, be their judge. Now Satan has a deep hatred of mankind.
Thinking about this and trying to picture what Satan must have thought when given this plan of God, Lucifer just could not handle that plan of God and his pride got in the way of his obedience to God's ultimate plan. This is where the Five "I WILLS" began and Lucifer decided he would rise above even God.
DESCRIPTION OF WHAT WAS, SON OF THE MORNING
As mentioned, Lucifer was the anointed angel of God. He was the most blessed, the most beautiful, the most entertaining, and not so much a stretch of the imagination to say he was the most popular of all the angels. The prophet Ezekiel speaks of the beauty of Lucifer :
13 "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."(Ezekiel 28:13-15)
From the description, Lucifer was adorned with precious jewels, and must have been a player of music, or singing praise to God around His throne.
It also, isn't much of a stretch to wonder what the other angels in heaven that did not join the rebellion thought about the severity of the punishment.
The existence of humanity is often described by theologians as the 'trial of Satan'. Why a trial? Because God is just.
Let us paint a picture of the scene of Satan being judged and awaiting the sentence that will finally be brought upon him.
Lucifer was highly favored before God, as he was the most beautiful, and God anointed him as a covering cherub, as verse 14 of Ezekiel 28 plainly says.
What was the rebellion that Lucifer pursued that brought judgment upon him?
Isaiah 14:14 defines that first sin as, "I will" -- the sin of pride. The trial is to prove what 'one little sin' can do -- the classic 'slippery slope' scenario.
This trial is really, on close examination of the age of human history from the perspective of God's angels who did not join in the rebellion, who have no knowledge of sin, or how it really works.
Let us examine the evidence in this trial of Satan before the heavenly angels, and mankind in general;
MANKIND AND SIN ARE PUT ON TRIAL
(First: Adam and Eve.) -God creates a perfect environment for two perfect people He created and give them dominion over the whole earth, with only ONE commandment. They were not to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve allowed Satan to deceive her, and the thought of being wise and knowing what God knows appealed to her vanity, so she ate, and was deceived. But Adam was not deceived and ate the fruit against the commandment of God. He knew that Eve would be condemned, so some say, out of love for her, he decided to join her. Obviously, he never envisioned what the penalty would be when he did so, as they were cast out of the Garden of Eden and were destined to die in the future from their sin. So man inherits a sin nature.
(Second piece of evidence) - Man is allowed to reign until the flood and do what was right in his own mind, or the so-called "Age of Conscience" Without direct interference by God, man was allowed to follow his sinful heart, whereas mankind became so sinful and corrupted, that God repents of even making mankind and decides to destroy mankind in a Great Flood. This was the time period where fallen angels mated with human women and created giants known as the Nephilim, with the express purpose of defiling the DNA of mankind being half human and half demon.
"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."(Genesis 6:4)
This was an attempt at preventing the salvation of mankind to what he was created for. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (as his bloodline and DNA had not been corrupted), and his family are saved in a wooden ark that God commanded him to build.
(Third piece of evidence) - God makes a covenant with the Age of the Patriarchs beginning with Abraham, then Isaac, Jacob, Lot, etc. Each of them having spoken directly with God commit a sin against God. Having come from the Age of Innocence with only one commandment of not eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, to direct confrontation with God during the Age of the Patriarchs, God progresses to giving mankind His Ten Commandments (the Age of the Law)
None of mankind has ever kept what God gave as what He expects from His creation, and broke all of the Commandments of God handed down by God to Moses at Mt. Sinai. Each of them sinned against God's standard for living a righteous life, no matter what the circumstance. (Remember, King David broke most of them.)
(Fourth piece of evidence) - During the Age of the Law, during which time that man corrupted the Law of God and perverted it so by following pagan gods from Moses to the Prophets who warned of judgment for sinning against God's Law, that God decided to scrap the whole Age of the Law, as man could not keep it..and replaced it with the Age of Grace. This was planned before the foundation of the world.
(Fifth piece of evidence)- God knew that mankind could not stand before Him by keeping the Law of God, as all have sinned:
20 "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" (Romans 3:20-24)
Knowing this, God stepped out of the Glory of Heaven, shed His Divine nature and became a man, kept the law perfectly on our behalf, and paid the price for our sin, by dying in our place.
24 "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." (Romans 3:24-26)
By this unselfish act of supreme love for His creation, God through Jesus (God in the flesh) laid down His life, to save ours, an act of supreme sacrifice to redeem the family of man, to become the FAMILY OF GOD. In doing so, Jesus gave all mankind the free offer of mercy and grace.
6 "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." (Romans 5:6-9)
MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN
But God knew that man's pride would not want to submit to God's offer of this grace and mercy. God knew that only a remnant down through the ages would accept this free offer, which is a gift that none of us can do anything to receive it, but by faith believing.
I can only imagine the shock that must have filled the angelic host who gasped in disbelief of the refusal of mankind to return to what was lost, and that is a relationship with God who created them and Paradise lost. The Angelic host see how "one little sin" in the Garden of Eden, has thus far brought mankind to the point it is in today. God has allowed mankind to earn the wages of his own willful pride and the sins he commits.
"20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:20-23)
(Sixth piece of Evidence - The Tribulation Period. The Age of Grace ends with Jesus coming to "snatch away" His chosen people, the Bride of Christ. This HARPAZO (the forceful snatching away by definition) spoke of by Paul the Apostle in 1st Corinthians 15 and 1st Thessalonians 4 and even found in the Old Testament in Isaiah 26, removes the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit, giving Satan and the sin of mankind to grow unabated and given free reign for seven horrifying years. The end result is the near complete destruction of all human life on this planet. As Jesus said:
21 "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."(Matthew 24:21-22)
Jesus returns in wrath in the 19th Chapter of Revelation, and Satan is bound for a 1000 years, while the King of Kings reigns from Jerusalem.
" And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season." (Revelation 20:1-3)
IN this age of the Kingdom of God, man has no excuse. Jesus is right there in front of them. He is in Person, for all to see. Each man and woman is given the free will choice to accept Jesus as personal Savior, as the Saints of God, Kings and Priest to God have instructed them in the ways of righteousness and revealing the mercy and grace of God through Jesus, by even beginning Temple sacrifices during this time, to point to the only Savior of them also. Satan is restrained, lifespans increase like it was right after the Garden of Eden (up to a 1000 years), wars are banished, famine and poverty are but a memory, and the world is returned to the Eden-like state as it began...PERFECT.
(Seventh piece of Evidence) - With God Himself on the Throne of human government, ruling with a rod of iron for a thousand years, Satan is loosed for 'a little season'.
7"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea." (Revelation 20:7-8)
I can't even begin to imagine that having perfect harmony of God's creation, God reigning on earth for the entire time, and returning the world to what it was intended to be, when Satan is loosed "for a season" his influence is able to raise an army to come against the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords Himself....To me, this is total madness to come against a Living God.
"For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law." (Romans 2:12)
7 "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Revelation 20:7-10)
We are not told how long this loosing of Satan is, but his temptation of mankind who is still able to sin, causes them to follow their evil heart and desire to be rulers of themselves, not subject to a Living God.
MANKIND IS JUDGED AND SENTENCED
The trial of mankind is over. Sin has been judged according to it's works, and all appeals have been exhausted. Sentence of Satan and the rest of mankind is pronounced and justice is about to be served:
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them." (Revelation 20:10)
This is the SECOND resurrection. Unlike the first resurrection, it has only one phase.
11 "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."(Revelation 20:11-15)
The first resurrection had many phases, as Jesus was the beginning of that resurrection, and those raised at the end of the Tribulation will be the end of the 1st resurrection. Here, there is only one phase and it is the Great White Throne judgment of all who have ever lived and have died in their sins and not accepted the Free Gift of Eternal life found through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Man has been found to not be able to be trusted in his mortal state.
Even with God in the middle of them, man is prone to pride of what made Lucifer to fall. God will change all who belong to Him, into what the Church has been changed into...spiritual, immortal beings and .the image of Jesus Christ..
As the Apostle John wrote in explaining of what we will be, what mankind will be going into eternity...he wrote:
"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
2, Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." (1st John 3:1-2)
We will be just like our Savior, Jesus Christ. In all points we will be just as He is, save His deity. We will have the mind of Christ, be immortal, and unable to sin ever again.
In the grand Plan of God, as revealed in the Holy Bible, everything has a purpose. There is no omission, there is no mistakes, or inconsistencies.
From Genesis to Revelation, a central theme is that sin is the cause of death. Sin is what condemned Lucifer and all who follow his deception and sent all of them into the Lake of Fire to be forever separated from God Almighty for all eternity. Sin will be eradicated from existence. And all who have rebelled against God and have not received Jesus will receive the ultimate judgment.
BEHOLD I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW
This is not the end of the story...judgment has been passed on all sinful mankind, the Anti-Christ, the False Prophet, Satan and his demon angels and all sinful mankind. Men, Satan, and his angels were created immortal, so they had to go somewhere. The Lake of Fire was created for sentencing Satan to outer darkness and was not designed for mankind, but man chose to follow Satan's deception, just as the fallen angels did, because of pride and desire for sinful living. God gives them what they want, as He is a just God who is completely fair. Each of these beings had free moral choice to choose God, or choose evil. Judgment is passed, and sentencing is carried out...the Case against mankind is closed with this last judgment...but wait, God is not done yet.
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful." (Revelation 21:1-5)
Thus begins our Love and Devotion to God Almighty being part of the family of God, as we bathe in His power and glory, never to see evil again, to ever shed a tear, or to depart from being obedient to God for all eternity. Reminds, me of a passage of scripture that as a finite, limited, and mortal man cannot fully grasp in this life what is coming for all who put their faith and trust in the Only Begotten Son of God for the remission of sins, and promise of future glorification:
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor earheard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. " (1st Corinthians 2:9)
I can only imagine the glory that will be found in us....
16 "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God."(Romans 8:16-19)
TO ALL WHO WILL....COME!
But I close up this message with what is written at the end of the last book of the Bible. The Spirit and Bride beckon to all who will come to this place called eternity with God Almighty and become part of the Family of God..
"17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17)
The Bride of Christ, whose names have been written down before the beginning of time, before the foundation of the world was laid, have had their names written in the Lamb's book of Life, as God foreknew who would be His. The Church, the bride of Christ, beckons to all who will hear "let him who has an ear, let them hear what the Spirit says to the Churches,"...the Bride and the Spirit beckons all who will heed the call to come join them, in this glorious period of end of the Age of Mankind into eternity...It is the last proof that the Church, the Bride of Christ, calls to those who endure the Tribulation to endure to the end and to join them.
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)
"But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."(Romans 10:8-13)
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying you find the door that is Jesus Christ, my Lord. If you should need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , God bless you all
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
The Reason for the Rapture - by Gary Stearman -
Each day brings us closer to the day of resurrection ... the rapture of the Church. Certainly, there is nothing new about this, except for the accumulation of critical indicators. Mystery Babylon is poised to rise again, national Israel becomes daily more resolute and the Middle East is positioning itself along the lines of biblical prophecy. Russia and Iran (old Persia) are at the forefront of agitation. Most especially, the world is increasingly characterized by raging apostasy. Our reason for excitement is much greater than in past generations.
Since the days of the Apostles, Christians have watched for the return of the Lord with great expectancy. Paul even wrote to the Thessalonians, warning them against misguided agitators, who were spreading false information that God's judgment (the Tribulation) had already begun! Essentially, these foolish "authorities" were throwing cold water on the greatest hope given to the Church.
And this was around AD 51! It would be well over ten years before Paul finished and circulated his complete teaching about the life and destiny of the Body of Christ, the Church. We should never forget that from the very beginning of the Church Age, believers have been frustrated, confused and puzzled about the order of prophetic events.
It is the business of Satan and his minions to sow the seeds of confusion. Furthermore, there are many "church authorities," who present themselves as eschatological experts, and are quite bombastic about naming particular dates or windows of time for the rapture.
In the past, the subject of the rapture has waned almost to the level of being forgotten for a little while. Then, for a variety of reasons, interest in it rises again. Occasionally, it escalates to the point that it becomes a vital issue, with accompanying emotion and vitriolic disagreement. At each peak, several competing camps weigh in upon the matter, bombarding each other with proof texts and theoretical challenges.
We seem to have reached such a peak again, when many have established prophetic proofs, measured by a number of standards, which we shall discuss later in this article.
Something we often recall is the year 1988, when a variety of "proofs" were published. This was the year that brought us the ubiquitous little white booklet (3.2 million copies), with its distinctive red-letter title, offering "88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988."
This particular year also happened to be a year of great excitement among Christians. About two decades before, in 1967, Israel had won a war that allowed them to reclaim the Temple Mount, if only briefly. Then, in 1973, fighting against astronomical odds, Israel had won the "Yom Kippur" war. To prophetic observers, it seemed that Israel was favored by the Lord, and poised to take charge and reclaim the land grant that God promised Abraham. The mechanism of this process is clearly described by the Old Testament prophets.
In 1988, excitement rose to fever pitch. It had been forty years since Israel's statehood in 1948 - forty years, the number of testing! Many of the faithful expected the Lord's return in that year ... soon!
ARE WE THERE?
And here, a fine distinction must be made by those who expect the any-moment return of the Lord. There is a big difference between "soon" and "imminent." The former means that something will come within the lifetime of the believer, sooner rather than later.
But the Bible speaks of Christ's return for the Church as happening imminently - at any moment - without the necessity of any event coming to pass between the present time and His coming.
In the middle of the first century, the Apostle Paul taught his early followers that the Lord might return at any moment, perhaps in the next few seconds. No prophecy needed to be fulfilled before this coming. This is referred to as the doctrine of imminency.
For example, he writes in the present tense as he refers to faith of the believers in Thessalonica, assuring them:
"9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come" (I Th. 1:9,10).
The verb tense that Paul uses here intends the assurance of the continuous present, as spoken in modern English: "Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath." In other words, he wants those then alive to be watching for the rapture, which he presents as imminent. Paul uses such language repeatedly. This is demonstrated again and again. Here is another quote that comes a little later in the same letter:
"For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?" (I Th. 2:19).
Here, Christ's coming for the Church (the rapture) is a promise, which those then alive would take personally, as applying directly to them. Paul never spoke of the rapture as an event in the far future, but as a distinct and real possibility that might occur within the lifetime of any believer who read his letters.
Returning to the year 1988 and the word "soon," most of us can clearly recall that around this time preachers around the world began to proclaim, "Jesus is coming soon!" Certainly, they also believed that He might come imminently. But, soon? That implied an arrival within the next few years. Certainly, there was nothing wrong with their level of expectation. Given world events and the prophetic truths of the end times such excitement was - and still is - perfectly justifiable.
(Incidentally, this current year has witnessed the appearance of another little white booklet with a red-letter title: "17 REASONS Why the Rapture Will Be on September 22nd, 2017." This date happens to fall on the second day of Rosh HaShanah, at the beginning of the Jewish New Year, 5778).
But to say that He is coming soon is far different from saying that His coming is imminent. Why were they making this proclamation? Clearly, they had picked up on clues that linked developments in Israel with the teachings of the prophets. Then and now, prophesied events in the Land of the Bible are developing on a daily basis.
The Middle East is a boiling pot of conflict, and the nations at the center of the action are all mentioned in prophecy. Iran (Persia), Iraq (old Babylon), Kuwait, Saudi Arabia (Sheba and Dedan), Syria (Damascus), Egypt, Libya, Ethiopia and others are all prominently mentioned in Scripture. And they are all falling under the control of the master plan that has long been the dream of the Islamic Brotherhood, that is, the destruction of Israel.
Most of all, Russia is moving southwest, to Crimea and Ukraine. Moreover, governments throughout the region have been contacted by this great power to the north. Russia has offered them "aid" as it wraps its tentacles around their oil wealth and strategic locations. Of course, that "aid" includes military pacts and armaments that will fuel the great wars predicted by several Old Testament prophets.
Will the Church go through these wars? It may or may not see their opening phases, but will most likely not see their full advance; their most extreme horror is reserved for the Apocalypse, when the church will be absent from this Earth. With believers' global influence gone, secular powers can be brought to their fullness. All of this is perfectly in keeping with the idea that the Church might be caught away at any moment.
FORTY, THE NUMBER OF TESTING
The 1988 rapture theory offered many hopeful scenarios - mathematical, calendrical or Scriptural - that made the rapture a sure thing in that year. But at their core, each of these systems were driven by the fact that modern Israel, founded on May 14th, 1948, had arrived at its fortieth birthday. Israel, God's timepiece, had gone through its modern "wilderness march," and would now arrive at the promised Land, meaning that it was highly probable that the Church would be taken out of the way so that the events of the end times could come to culmination. Scriptures like the following were referenced: "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise" (Num. 14:34).
All the mathematics and biblical proofs for the 1988 rapture were driven by this simple Scriptural truth ... and they were wrong. But there is nothing wrong with being watchful. In fact it is encouraged. In Paul's own reassuring words:
"4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thess. 5:4-9).
The rapture discussion has been hotly argued for over a century now. It began in earnest in the 1870s, when the land of Israel began to be repopulated with Jews. The revivals and missionary movements of that time brought the First Zionist Congress of 1897. Foreseeing the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, Jews and Christians worked together. As Israel returned to the Land, the rapture began to loom large as a real possibility.
The idea of a pretribulation rapture began to be taught in earnest. Others (preterists) rose to say that it would be impossible, because the Tribulation has already taken place ... long ago, in the first century. Still others (posttribulationists) taught that yes, the Tribulation lies ahead, but the Church is scheduled to pass through it, enduring its rigors to the end ... its entire seven years. Others (midtribulationists) say that no, the Church will only go through the first three-and-a-half years of this horrific period, not the violent wracking tortures of the second half. And the discussion will no doubt continue, with varying degrees of passion.
Following the 1988 disappointment, a new group (pre-wrath) arose to say that the Church would experience everything but the last year or two of the Tribulation ... missing only God's full wrath, which they reckon to be limited to that short time.
Why is there such disagreement upon a subject that seems so clearly laid out? Paul writes, "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Th. 5:9). The "salvation" mentioned here is not the initial receiving of Christ by the believer, but the act of being removed from the earth before the Tribulation. Still, there is a great misunderstanding of the rapture. And His wrath begins with the opening of the first seal.
At this point, we're going to ask a question that's not often discussed.
WHY IS THERE A RAPTURE AT ALL?
Why has God planned a removal of the Church from the Earth? If the Lord is coming back to set up His Kingdom (which He certainly is), why doesn't He simply return, resurrect the righteous dead and proceed with it from that point? Why would He bring the righteous - both living and dead - upward into the air at the rapture, when all He would have to do is resurrect believers at His Second Coming?
This raises still another question. At the Second Coming, who will serve at His throne as His earthly representatives? Those steeped in "supercessionism" - that is, replacement theology - say it will be the Church, which has superseded Israel.
In that case, what happens to the twelve tribes of Israel, and all the prophecy that speaks of their priesthood, rising to service again in the end times? And what are we to do with the Antichrist's temple, mentioned by Daniel, Jesus and Paul? It must be administered by an Israelite priesthood, not the Church. The evil one is able to convince the Jews that He is their Messiah. Where would Christians fit in this scheme? Answer: They would not fit at all.
Do the passages that speak of the rapture (I Thessalonians, Chapter 4) also speak of Jesus establishing His throne at the Second Coming? They do not. Actually, they speak of a coming judgment, coming just after the rapture. But why is there a rapture
Is the rapture an escape from the world's troubles?
Many deride the rapture as a "great escape," and claim that it misleads Christians, who should be preparing for toughening times, but instead, are living in the vain hope that before times get really horrible, they will be taken from this earth. These critics teach that the concept of the pretribulational rapture was invented out of whole cloth in the nineteenth century, never having been taught before that. They are partly correct; the rapture was taught in the early Church, but the rapture was not taught while Israel was in exile. Once the Jews returned, the rapture question began to be emphasized once again.
Still, they scoff at Christians whom they perceive as naively believing in such an escape. For them, the rapture is a denial of the Lord's ability to take the well-prepared Christian through the perilous times that lie just ahead.
2. Is the rapture holding off until the last sinner to be saved, has been added to the Church?
Some teach that the rapture operates on some kind of "quota system." They believe that the timing of the rapture is dependant upon a certain number of saints, predestined to salvation, who must be saved before the Church can be taken out of the world. When that number is reached, the Lord will give the word. Then, the rapture will take place. These people can be heard to say, "When the last saint is saved, the Church will be taken home."
This idea makes the rapture completely dependent upon the Church. It says, in effect, that there is no real reason for the rapture, and it makes the timing of the Tribulation rely upon the development of the Church. Under this thinking, one might even come to believe that the faster we get Christians saved, the sooner the rapture will come. But certainly, the rapture is never pictured as being linked to the success of the Church. On the contrary, the latter-day Church exists within the deteriorating environment that is described as coming just before the rapture.
3. Is the rapture an escape from the trials of the Tribulation period?
Critics of the pretribulational rapture often criticize it as a desire to flee the rigors of the coming Tribulation. They teach that the Church must, in some way, prepare for the coming of the Kingdom, by participating in it. Perhaps, they say, we will be God's representatives during the great judgments to come. But the Church is never seen in this role. Quite the opposite, it is well out of the way before those judgments take place. As we shall discuss later, the Church is simply not seen in Scripture that describes the events of the Tribulation.
An objective study quickly and emphatically reveals a basic truth: The reason for the rapture is quite clear. It will come specifically to make way for the rise of Israel as prophesied in the Old Testament. With the Church in its present position, Israel cannot rise to its prophesied destiny.
ISRAEL'S CONTROVERSIAL RETURN
From its very beginning in the first century, the era of the Church has been marked by a central dispute, involving the prophetic destinies of Israel and the Church. Within the institutionalized church, there has been fundamental disagreement about the centrality of Israel in the plan of God. Early in the 5th century, AD, the major theologian of the Roman church, Augustine, established their basic theological position regarding Israel.
His doctrine was amillennial. That is, he regarded the present age as the prophesied Millennium; it was not a thousand-year period in the future. Taking this position, he reasoned that since the Tribulation comes before the Millennium, it must already be past. He and others were predisposed to connect it with the defeat of Israel in the years between 70 and 135 AD. Israel was regarded in the past tense; the Church would then rise as the world's leader. It would progressively purify the world until Christ returned again in the Second Coming.
To a greater or lesser degree, Augustinian eschatology came to dominate the Roman Catholic church, and the state churches of Europe and America in the centuries following the Reformation. In short, the reformers threw off the constraints of Roman Catholic legalisms, but retained its view of the last days.
To this day, in fact, they have set Israel aside in the plan of God, bringing monumental consequences to the interpretation of Bible prophecy. A major theology, stating that the church has replaced Israel, has grown to such proportions that it sets the standard for organized Christianity.
But with the return of Israel to the promised Land, a dramatic situation has developed, in which Israel is the world's pariah. The tiny new nation is considered by the world at large as a presumptuous upstart, without any real reason for existence, except for their collective suffering in the Holocaust era of World Wars I and II. Their great despair at the end of this period provided the momentum for their return to the land of Israel. Today, those memories have faded, and the Gentile world has an increasing tendency to scoff at their right to exist as a nation.
This growing problem now threatens to bring a major war to the Middle East. Israel's legitimacy is being seriously questioned by the nations, as they meet in infamous concord in the same U.N. building where members awarded justice to the Jews in 1947.
MYSTERY OF TWO HOUSES
In parallel with these developments, a very small wing of the Church began to grow in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It taught that the classic disagreement between the Church and Israel as claimants to the Kingdom could be resolved. It contended that the Lord works through successive periods of time, called "dispensations." Today, in the dispensation of the Church, individual salvation is at the center of God's plan; after that, in the dispensation of the Kingdom, Israel will reign. The transition between these two time periods will be marked by catastrophic convulsions that will bring the collapse of the Gentile power that now controls the world.
Dispensationalism revived the Apostolic teaching that there are two houses of faith in the plan of God ... that the age of the Church is finite, and will come to an end, dictated by God's timing. At that point, Israel will rise to predominance again, amidst the tumult and chaos of the Tribulation. Out of that upheaval will come a renewed Israel, a new Temple and a thousand-year Kingdom ruled by Christ on Earth.
Paul, writing to the Church in Rome, lamented the fact that national Israel had rejected its Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. But he never went so far as to condemn Israel to a spiritual death. Quite the contrary. In Romans, Chapter 11, he asks a rhetorical question that resounds through the centuries:
"1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew ..." (Rom. 11:1, 2).
Here, Paul's question is asked and answered in no uncertain terms. His rhetoric begins with the certainty that Israel had denied its Messiah and received the consequences of that act. But he quickly follows that observation by saying that God has not irrevocably cast them off.
He goes on to say that in the plan of God, Israel is to play an ongoing role, because it has among its numbers an elect lineage:
"5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear); unto this day" (Rom. 11:5-8).
It is extremely important that today's Christians understand that what Paul refers to as the "present time" extends all the way to our day. It is his way of stating truth about the current dispensation. In effect, he is saying that "under the present conditions," Israel is still under God's grace. The nation has not been cast aside, nor will it be. It now operates under the conditions of "the election of grace." Nothing could be clearer.
Paul also asks another question that brings forth an amazing truth that is generally overlooked. Certainly, it is not usually used to support the idea of a Pretribulation rapture. Yet it is one of the greatest proof texts in the entire Bible. It makes a statement that can't be ignored. Israel's fall brought salvation to the Gentiles. In other words, the cataclysmic defeat of first-century Israel had a purpose. This is simply another way of saying that the fall of Israel brought a new dispensation:
"11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? (Rom. 11:11,12).
This is an astounding statement! Israel's fall brought with it a blessing to the entire world system. It is perfectly logical, then, to conclude that when Israel once again rises to power ("their fullness"), the world of the Gentiles will fall. This is, in fact, the major theme of the book of Revelation, which details the collapse of Gentile world power and the reinstatement of Israel.
At one point, he even describes the age of the Church by using the word, "dispensation":
"If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward" (Eph. 3:2).
This simple fact is made so utterly clear that it can't be misunderstood, except by those who are driven by an agenda that is unalterably biased in favor of a continuing dominant and unbreakable Gentile world power. In the following passage, Paul concludes his dissertation, stating that the mystery of the two houses will conclude with the collapse of Gentile domination and the subsequent salvation of national Israel.
Paul earnestly pleads that the Church keep Israel's prophesied future in the center of its thinking. Otherwise, there is the tendency to believe that Israel has forever lost its Scriptural promise ... the promise that it would return in power. You can hear the passion in his words.
"25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. 33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (Rom. 11:25-36).
Romans 11, which begins with Paul's sorrow over his people's spiritual failure, ends on this high note of glory. Paul wonders aloud at the astonishing truth that Israel's great diaspora fulfills a major part of God's plan for the ages. He foresees the regathering and rising again of Zion and the redemption of national Israel.
Israel, in Paul's time, was the enemy of the Gospel, yet it remained the beloved of God, because of the promises He made to their forefathers. Not only that, the Old Testament contains a profusion of prophetic references to the coming change from Gentile to Jewish world power. Interestingly, they are all focused upon the Day of the Lord.
WHAT IS THE DAY OF THE LORD?
Properly viewed, the phrase, "Day of the Lord," is, first of all, a phrase that marks the great transition from the age of the Church to the Age of the Kingdom. It appears under this title 25 times in Scripture. Under other names, such as "The Tribulation," "The Day of Israel's Calamity," or "The Wrath of God," it is found in over 40 additional biblical passages.
Every biblical reference to it presents it as a time of unprecedented anguish, both in scope and scale. It will be the worst catastrophe to hit this planet since mankind began to walk upon its surface. Its judgments are aimed first at national Israel in the rise of the Antichrist, then at the wicked world system of Mystery Babylon.
The prophet Isaiah notes that one of its purposes is to purge the Land of Israel of the sinners within it:
"Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it" (Isa. 13:9).
Jesus, Himself, said that it would become the most horrific series of events in the history of the world:
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Mt. 24:21).
This time of unprecedented calamity will also bring perhaps the greatest revival in the history of the world as 144,000 representatives from the twelve tribes of Israel (not the Church) are sealed, and go forth to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to the entire world.
Finally (and still centered upon Israel and the Jewish people) the Day of the Lord will bring down the pride of the twelve tribes. Characteristically, the Jews are quite proud of their ability to survive, no matter what befalls them. They have 2,000 years of history in this position. Since their return to the Land, they have won a series of wars, often against overwhelming odds. As a result, their self-sufficient pride is one of their chief cultural characteristics.
The prophet Ezekiel makes it more than clear that the Day of the Lord will at last bring Israel to her knees. Hearkening back to the wilderness march of the Exodus, God speaks through Ezekiel, telling His people that they will undergo yet another wilderness experience, just like the one they endured after their ancient departure from Egypt.
In the end, they will repent and turn again to the Lord:
"33 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: 34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. 36 Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. 37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: 38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD" (Ezek. 20:33-38).
No matter what biblical reference you study, you will find that the Day of the Lord is not only centered upon Israel, but extreme in its effects. Often it has been held up as a kind of day of salvation for Israel. And those in the Church who are convinced that they will go through the Tribulation, think that they will be able to survive, and even thrive. But there are many warnings about the severity of this day.
AMOS AND JOEL
The prophet Amos sounds a special warning about the day, noting that its intended recipient is Israel. In the context of the rapture, this is most important, since the church is never intended to experience the Tribulation:
"Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel" (Amos 5:1).
In verse 18 of this chapter, Amos specifically warns Israel about the severity of that day:
"Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light" (Amos 5:18).
And in verse 20 of the same chapter, Amos puts a note of finality on the matter:
"Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?" (Amos 5:20).
The message: Don't wish for the Day of the Lord, and don't desire to go through it. Many in the Church today are preparing for exactly that!
Speaking generally, those who follow the dispensational model of redemptive history interpret the Day of the Lord as the millennial kingdom, including its opening seven years of judgment, called the Tribulation. But again, it must be emphasized that this initial period of severe judgment is intended for Israel.
As the following Scripture from Jeremiah tells us, the Day of the Lord is directly centered upon Israel, so much so that it has Jacob's name attached to it. Furthermore, the Lord has the purpose of releasing Israel from the bondage of the world system, just as He freed them from Egyptian bondage in the days of the Exodus: "6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. 8 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: 9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them" (Jer. 30:6-9).
Here, Israel is depicted as experiencing birth pangs, even as Jesus said in the Olivet discourse, when He spoke of Israel during the Tribulation, describing their pain as, "... the beginning of sorrows" (Matt. 24:8). In the Greek language of the New Testament, "sorrows" is hodin, or "birth pangs." Of course, the metaphor wouldn't be complete without saying that the birth in question is that of national Israel, being born as a new, cleansed, and redeemed nation in the Kingdom Age.
From Jeremiah to Matthew and onward into the epistles, we encounter the same language. There can be no doubt that the Millennial Day of the Lord is initiated by a well-defined upheaval that lasts seven years and constitutes the birth of a new Israel.
Paul's First Epistle to the Thessalonians is the definitive exposition of the rapture. When the blessed hope of the Church is mentioned, it is the passage we turn to first. But it must be stated that its context places the rapture at the beginning of an ordered series of events. Chapter 4, verse 17 speaks of the Church being, "... caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
This statement leads directly into Chapter 5, directly addressing the subject of the Day of the Lord. This sequence is perfectly in keeping with the dozens of Old Testament passages that feature Israel as the key player. But in this case, modern Israel, experiencing the Tribulation, is referred to simply as "they," while those whom Paul addresses in the Church are called, "you," "ye," "yourselves," and "we."
Those left behind to experience the Day of the Lord are called, "they." They are seen calling for "peace and safety," which has long been a slogan in modern Israeli politics. Even as we see Israel doing today, idealistically offering peace while encircled by nations that openly call for their complete annihilation. "They" are modern Israel.
"1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness" (I Thess. 5:1-5).
The woman in childbirth is, of course, Israel. And "we," members of the Church (the body of Christ) are not in darkness. We understand the fine distinctions of grace, which would never put the redeemed of the present age under divine judgment.
Yes, there are those who say that the Church can go through the Tribulation without being touched by God's wrath ... sealed, as it were, against any difficulty that might come their way. But they should look again at the Day of the Lord. There is nothing in Scripture that says a small, select group will escape the ravages of that terrible Day.
Isaiah's so-called "Little Apocalypse" sets the scene of the Tribulation. Note that it makes the point of saying that everyone is affected. We know from the figures given in Revelation that literally billions will die:
"1 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. 3 The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word" (Isa. 24:1-3).
Geologists tell us that in the past the earth has wobbled from time to time. They always add that if it happens again, the surface plates on the planet will slide, producing titanic earthquakes and volcanoes. Isaiah describes exactly that:
"19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. 20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. 21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth" (Isa. 24:19-21).
Isaiah also paints a picture of the horrific weather disruptions that will be witnessed in the Tribulation:
"And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones" (Isa. 30:30).
Revelation speaks of hailstones almost a hundred pounds in weight! Certainly, the Tribulation will feature the greatest display of breakaway plate tectonics ever witnessed by man. Imagine the following horrifying vision from Revelation 6:14:
"And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places." Later in Revelation, the same theme is repeated: "And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found" (Rev. 16:20).
And we must also mention the "great mountain burning with fire" that falls into the sea, as well as the infamous star called "Wormwood," which also falls from the heavens and poisons the waters, bringing death to many.
Add to these the unprecedented famines and plagues that wrack the entire globe, and you have some idea of the Day of the Lord. The Church will be taken out of the way precisely because it is the Spirit-filled body of Christ, and must be removed in order that the program of God can proceed as prophesied. That program will establish Israel - not the Church - as head of the nations. And that is the clear and unequivocal reason for the rapture!
The Death of a Nation- Echoes of 1793 - By Pete Garcia -
Anytime the word "conspiracy" is mentioned in public, many listening instinctively cover their ears and start yelling at the top of their voices so they cannot hear what follows. First things first, conspiracies happen. Conspiracies are not just evil men conspiring together to do some nefarious deeds in dark, smoke-filled rooms on moonless nights. Conspiracies are just that, people conspiring to do something unlawful or harmful to someone else. Just look at the murder of Julius Caesar or even of Jesus Christ. A conspiracy in its essence is simply a plan to do evil by two or more individuals. A conspiracy theory is a theory (speculation) on something that was done in the past or will be done in the future. Furthermore, just because something is labeled a conspiracy theory, does not automatically mean it is false or true, it just means it cannot be proven as of yet. However, there are plenty of conspiracies that were theories until they were later proven true.
Secondly, for those who do not know what the Hegelian Dialectic is (in the Marxist political sense); it is a planned outcome, where actions are instigated to drive people to a predetermined end state. Thesis (proposition) Antithesis (counter-proposition) Synthesis (new thesis). It is a subtle tactic globalists have used to advance their socialist agenda for the past century. So what is their agenda? Quite simply, it is the concentration of power and wealth from the many, to the few. Another tactic aligned with the Dialectic is incrementalism. These small, unnoticeable changes accumulate over time, so much so, that one would hardly notice. However, if you were away, say out of the country for a few years on business, and then came back, the changes would be more noticeable.
Most Americans are unaware of a decline in individual liberty, and the reason is obvious: the decline rarely takes the form of sudden personal deprivations but, instead, takes the form of unnoticed erosion, and thus we come, as do the Russians, to regard whatever state we are in as a normal condition. Leonard E. Read
These are important concepts to understand as you continue to read, because, much of what you are seeing play out on a daily basis, is the culmination of an agenda 100-years in the making. The ANTIFA thugs we see looting, rioting, and burning buildings down didn't just appear one day out of thin air...they were indoctrinated. Their teachers, who indoctrinated them, were themselves, indoctrinated by someone else. The sympathetic media to these thugs and looters, were the same media who just weeks earlier, were so hostile to patriot citizens who were peacefully protesting many of their governors illegal "stay at home" orders. Most of these media figures weren't just pinko-commie-fascists overnight, they too, were indoctrinated somewhere along the way. Even the fact that Donald Trump is president, is a result of years of bureaucratic oppression by an increasingly totalitarian government. Thus, the events over the past 12-years are being orchestrated to get the American people to arrive at a predetermined conclusion, which is, civil war.
First, we must distinguish who is doing what. From bottom to top:
Violence Based Groups: Foot Soldiers
Anarchists- ANTIFA, Black Rose Federation, Symbiosis, etc.
Sectarian/racial supremacy: Black Panthers, Aryan Nation, Black Hebrew Israelites, Hammerskins, National Front, Black Lives Matter (the political arm), Ku Klux Klan, etc.
Gangs: Bloods, Crips, MS-13, Latin Kings, etc.
Sanctioned groups: Planned Parenthood, NARAL
Environmental: Animal Liberation Front (ALF), Earth Liberation Front (ELF), Earth First!, etc.
Islamic: Al Qaeda, ISIS, Muslim Brotherhood, etc.
Leftist Political Groups: Activists
Democrat Party, Green Party, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Socialist Party of America (SPA), Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA), Progressives, Communist Party of the United States, Young Communist League, ACLU, SJWs (the Evangelical left), ACORN, Open Society Foundation, Bernie Sanders, Tides Foundation, Southern Poverty Law Center, Green Peace, PETA, Bash Back, Queer Nation, American Atheists, CAIR, etc.
Globalists/Internationalists/One World Government Advocates:
Financers/Influencers The Rockefeller Foundation, Center for American Progress, George Soros, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, Pope Francis, Bill Gates, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger, Council of Foreign Relations, Bilderberg Group, Trilateral Commission, The Clinton Foundation, The Obamas, etc.
This is just a small sampling of all the different groups out there that are actively and aggressively seeking to divide and destroy the United States from within. These are just some of whom President Trump and patriotic American's have to contend with on a daily basis going forward. While not all the groups on here advocate for violence, they either see violence as "an option" or are sympathetic to it, especially when it happens against politically incorrect groups...like Conservatives, Christians, and those opposed to their radical agendas. While all the groups on here have differing agendas, they do share a common theme that America that is, must become something radically transformed into something it was never intended to be...a pure democracy.
Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. Pres. John Adams
It is no secret that the leftists in media and government are desperately trying to avoid a Trump 2020 victory. They have already spent the last four years throwing everything they could at Donald Trump and so far, have come up empty.
~It began with the Access Hollywood Tape release prior to the election.
~When that failed, it went into conspiring to dismantle the incoming administration through falsified FISA warrants, illegal wiretaps, anonymously leaking classified data to the media, weaponizing certain branches of the government against the new administration, and a two-and-a-half-year investigation.
~When that came up empty, it immediately moved into another investigation, which resulted in the Democratic House impeaching the President for alleged quid pro quo, simply for asking about the actual quid pro quo the previous administration actually admitted to doing.
~When that failed to pass the Senate, the emerging Chinese Coronavirus outbreak was coincidentally turned from a non-event, to a global crisis overnight. The impact for this was aimed squarely at shutting down the Trump economy, which to date, had been Trump's greatest achievement.
~After months in a self-imposed quarantine and artificial economic pause, American's began questioning the wisdom in committing economic suicide over a virus with a 99.89% survival rate. Patriots began staging peaceful protests outside of state government offices primarily in Democratic states.
~When the COVID-19 threat began to diminish and failed to stop President Trump's momentum, a white police officer in Minneapolis killed an unarmed black American for no apparent reason. This became the new cause cé·lè·bre for fighting supposed systemic racism and defunding the law enforcement agencies across the nation.
~It remains to be seen what the political fallout will be for Trump come Election Day even though the event happened in a Democrat-controlled state, and in a democratically controlled city. In fact, the most crime-ridden cities are often the cities that were managed by democrats for decades (Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, etc.).
So here we have a global pandemic coinciding with the greatest US economic comeback in a lifetime. The economy was Trump's greatest political advertisement he could ever have, because everybody, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, everyone was doing financially better than they had under eight-years of the Obamanation (short for Obama Administration). In fact, President Trump has worked aggressively to address and fix more long-standing concerns the African-American community have had in his brief tenure, then the past four presidents before him combined. This in spite of having to deal with multiple investigations, a hostile media, and numerous attempts by practically everyone to derail his presidency.
I am especially leery of things that seemed overtly staged, like a high-level pandemic conference two months before a "real" pandemic kicks off globally; or say, a white cop, kneeling on the neck of non-resistant black male for almost nine minutes, all the while, none of his fellow officers bothering to intervene. In addition, all this knowing he was being filmed from multiple cameras. What is even more disturbing, is watching this from multiple angles. Just some really weird things going on for no logical reasons (i.e., the differing time stamps on multiple cameras)
My first thoughts on all this was:
Therefore, I do have a theory based on everything I laid out, and it is simple. The left (i.e., democrats, leftist media, academia, Hollywood, see above list), along with internationalists, globalists, and pro-United Nations leaders, CANNOT tolerate another four-years of Donald Trump's populist and nationalist agendas. In addition, they will do (and have done) everything within their power, to stop Trump.
They first go after Trump's credibility with the Access Hollywood tapes, which was at the tail end of the "Me Too" movement. It did not sink him. They then go after LTG Michael Flynn, Carter Paige, and George Papadopoulos, and others, attacking anyone attached to Trump in an attempt to derail his first few months in office. Most of these attacks have already been proven false, and are now in the process of bring former Obamanation employees in for questioning with the DOJ and the Senate Judiciary process. The ones who went to jail or are scheduled too were convicted for offenses NOT connected to the Trump Campaign (i.e., Michael Cohen, Roger Stone).
They then spent almost three years with the Mueller Investigation spending nearly $30M, and an army of pro-Clinton lawyers trying to dig up any dirt they could on Trump, the campaign, and anyone even remotely connected to Trump and Russia. Again, a giant-nothing burger. After that report failed, they then got wind of a phone call between President Trump and the President of Ukraine, in which, supposed quid pro quo happened in an attempt to get Joe Biden's son on fraud and corruption charges.
The left lost their mind. They immediately attacked Trump for targeting his political opponent, regardless of the fact that Biden had not even been selected as the Democratic nominee yet. Trump pulls out the boss move and prematurely releases the transcript of the phone call to the senate and press, and proves that there was no- there, there. The Democratic Congress, led by Adam Schiff, proceeded to impeach Trump in an empty show of force, knowing, their efforts would not survive the Republican led Senate.
Which brings us to 2020. While the whole country and the left were exerting maximum pressure on the Senate to get them to empower the impeachment, the news of a novel coronavirus began making its way out of China. The first US Senator, who made any forewarnings about this, was Republican Tom Cotton out of Arkansas. In addition, here, China does something unsettling. They lock down national travel from Wuhan to the rest of China, but they do not stop any international from Wuhan to the rest of the world.
To date, we do not know if the Wuhan Flu was a result of shoddy security practices at their Biosafety Level Four lab, or intentional release, or their proximity to their wet-market, in which animals of all kinds are bought and sold for human consumption. We do not know, because China will not work with any other nations on getting to the truth. This has triggered a multi-national call for punitive actions against China since they are unwilling to cooperate.
This may explain why China's recent aggression in Hong Kong, the South China Seas, and along the border with India have intensified significantly. They are either flexing their muscles, trying to distract us, or may fear economic repercussions and are shoring up their freedom of movement and control before sanctions or other economic constraints are enforced.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is wrapping up their yearlong investigation with the Durham Report, which will highlight the treasonous activity of the outgoing Obamanation, and an attempt to sabotage the peaceful transition of power to the incoming Trump Administration. While the Democrat's Mueller and Ukraine investigations came up empty, the Durham Report will show absolutely, serious felonies committed up and down the Obamanation staff, department heads, and other high-ranking cabinet members. I do not think they will go after Obama himself, but you never know.
Which may explain the oddly staged and conveniently timed, George Floyd tragedy. The left needed a new crisis to derail the country. Now Minneapolis and New York City are two of the largest cities claiming they will defund their police departments. Out of all the cities in the US, NYC had, the highest number of COVID-19 deaths, in large part, because they claimed they didn't have enough ventilators, masks, gloves, and other PPE, as well as their enforcement of sending COVID-positive patients back to the Nursing Homes potentially infecting whole populations that already had weakened immune systems. They also conveniently attributed almost all deaths to COVID-19, as if people stopped magically stopped dying from the regular flu, cancer, gunshot wounds, car accidents, suicides, amongst other causes.
Now, these same cities want to defund their police departments after looters and rioters destroyed large sections of their cities? If more cities follow suit, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston, you can rest assured that businesses and law-abiding citizens will flee those cities in droves, hollowing out those metropolises, which will destabilize those states, causing more chaos leading into the 2020 elections.
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:17
I mentioned in the title, 1793, because that was the year Marie Antoinette met her gruesome beheading in the height of the French Revolution, which lasted from 1789-1799. Although the success of the American Revolution some years earlier resulted in American colonist overthrowing British Monarchial rule. The success of America was the result of divine providence and men with the forethought to create a Constitution whose rights are derived from God (not man). Furthermore, a Constitution whose laws were designed to limit government, not individual freedom and property.
The bloody and violent French Revolution became as it were, the standard for all future revolutions to follow. The French Revolution was not based on any divine guidance, but on human secularism. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen makes no mention of a Creator granting man inalienable rights, but rather, the rights of the society. It was in 1799, that the French General Napoleon Bonaparte, seized power in a coup d'état, and ruled as an absolute dictator for the next 13 years.
While it might seem politically correct to call for the abolishment of organized law enforcement, a nation whose foundation is built on laws, yet does not enforce them, is begging for anarchy. My prediction is that neither Minneapolis nor NYC actually defund their police departments. The mayors of those cities might agree to it, but the governors will probably shoot those ideas down. Furthermore, if they actually did defund them, you would see both citizen and businesses fleeing in droves for fear of what follows.
Isn't that the point of George Soros, Bill Gates, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (former UK PMs), the Vatican (Roman Catholic Church), the Rockefeller Foundation, and countless other Agenda 2030 proponents? They want a one-world government, run by the United Nations, which all nations fall under the umbrella of their international sovereignty. They had been busy building there dream of a globalist utopia for decades, and in 2016, Americans' overwhelmingly rejected that dream by electing Mr. Populist/Nationalist himself, Donald Trump.
Now, the United States stands like a giant roadblock derailing their dreams of this singular, globalist system. They have come to far now to quit, and will do whatever it takes to get him out of office so they can finish dismantling our Constitution, our economy, and our democracy. From their perspective, the United States may have been born from a righteous revolution, but it will die by suicide.
IF the Lord tarries, and allows Trump to win the 2020 election, we may go forward as a nation and buy ourselves a little bit more time. However, I foresee even more unrest in the urban democrat havens that will force even more stress on the nation. This may require some level of Martial Law, which, if executed by the government, fits right in with the globalists agenda of turning the United States into a perpetual police state. It is sort of a 'damned if you do / damned if you don't' scenarios for President Trump. IF Trump loses the next election (for whatever reason), rest assured, America, as we know her, will cease to exist by 2030.
The most likely scenario is that IF Trump loses, and it appears to be a blatantly, fraudulent coup d'état attempt by the left to hijack the election, the US will go into a civil war again. Not because we are sore losers, but because we know that if we lose this election, our country is lost forever. After getting a small glimpse of democrat totalitarianism with the quarantines, and the feeble, beta like responses from the city and state governments during the riots, our nation will not survive four years under another democratic government. We almost got our own version of Bastille Day last week when violent rioting broke out in near the White House in Washington D.C. Unfortunately; this might be a taste of what is coming in the not too distant future.
I am not of the illusion that Trump can fix all that ails our nation. There are too many enemies actively seeking to destroy us from within to ever humanly change that fact. On the other hand, I am equally convinced that there are many more Deplorables out there, who would not just willingly roll over and let the Left take the nation again. I have said this for many years now, but the US is heading toward another civil war. I used to think that it happened AFTER the Rapture, not before; however, if we continue on this path to lawlessness and anarchy, which may mean we are closer to the Rapture than even we think.
The Bible already told us that the United States is not in Bible prophecy. That means despite our best-intended MAGA or KAGA slogans, something happens to our great nation that sidelines us from being a major player in the last days. I do not want that to happen, but as the late Chuck Missler use to say, Bible prophecy is just history written in advance. It is going to happen whether we like it or not. (Isaiah 46:9-10)
Aside from the off chance that a major global, catastrophic, disaster happens (i.e., meteor hitting earth, Yellowstone exploding, alien invasion, etc.). I still believe that the most viable option for the downfall of the United States is the Rapture of the Church. When the Church is pulled out (along with children and invalids), the US economy will implode overnight. Now, should the Lord tarry, I fear the US may get very close to tearing itself apart before that Day comes. Nevertheless, if that (civil war) does happen, the Lord is still Lord and He knows how to care for His own. I still believe that God put Trump in office in 2016 for a reason, and no schemes of man will thwart that plan until God's purposes are fully completed. (Acts 17:26)
Rest assured, the Church we will be removed BEFORE the great and terrible Day of the Lord. As bad as it is now, the lunacy, violence, and lawlessness will be on steroids once the Church is removed. Therefore, we remain busy sharing the Gospel with everyone we can. We also need to be vigilant and vocal about what is coming upon the earth. And it may be that our message now falls on deaf ears and hardened hearts, but God, is still longsuffering that ALL come may come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:9)
Perhaps God raised us up in this generation, to be that clarion call to that most hard-hearted of generations, whose minds are given over to their base natures, unable to come to the truth. However, there are still many who will be saved on the other side of the Rapture. Those 'left behind' will have to contend with a very frightening world and their reward might be martyrdom, but we see a multitude who cannot be counted coming out of the Tribulation and standing before the throne after the Rapture. And it gives us hope that our message now is not in vain, and that many may still yet be saved. (Revelation 7:9-10)
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14