All Things Prophecy: Vol. IV - By Pete Garcia - http://rev310.com/2019/03/all-things-prophecy-vol-iv
Why Prophecy Matters
I am going to begin this article with a reasonable presumption, in that; I believe Satan has read the bible. He may not believe its precepts, or accept its outcomes, but I believe he is well versed in it (Luke 4:10-11). He would have to be well versed in it, in order to misquote and attempt to corrupt its message. This leads me into the discussion at hand, primarily, that a proper understanding of Bible Eschatology is vital to both the believer's spiritual and physical well-being. Not only that, but because of its perceived difficulty in understanding it, it is one of the most ignored of all biblical doctrines. This is something our enemy eagerly exploits. As the old maxim goes, it's not what you know that is often a matter of life and death; it is what you don't.
Humans are not just physical beings only made of flesh and blood, we are tripartite creatures (1 Thess. 5:23). The world is also not just, what we can perceive with our five senses, but also what we cannot see, feel, touch, etc. (2 Cor. 4:18). In fact, much of the problems the world has ever faced was ideological in nature. Whether people fight over politics or economics, religion or lack thereof, flawed man's propensity to think, "what is best?" is often what is the chief cause of his demise (Prov. 14:12).
Adding to this is the general rise in ignorance over the past century. In part, this was a deliberate attempt be political leftists who have gained control over much of the education system to "dumb down" the masses. While true ignorance is a risky thing, being in a state of willful ignorance can be downright precarious. Let us explore two categories of what I deem, the willfully ignorant.
Free thinkers (aka...atheists, skeptics) like to think of themselves as unburdened and enlightened having thrown off the "shackles" of organized religion. In reality, they are setting themselves on a path of self-destruction as foretold in Scripture (Rom. 1:16-32). The old adage of if you don't believe in something, you'll believe in anything couldn't be any truer. If you deny that a Higher Power of supreme intelligence created the world, you will likely accept that an accidental, unprovoked giant explosion did.
If you do not believe God created man in His image, you will likely believe we evolved from swamp slime. Furthermore, skeptics accusations of Christian's being brainwashed and backwards, rings hollow when simply looking at the complexity of our bodies, the world, and the systems that hold everything in place. Our existence could not be accidental. Too many things are precisely correct for all of this to be happenstance.
In terms of enlightenment, the credit really goes to those early 14th-century Christian dissidents (ex. Wycliffe, Huss, etc.) who dared to challenge the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Their role helped in diminishing the power of the Catholic Church. Furthermore, the 15th-century Reformers further weakened and succeeded in breaking up the monopoly the RCC had over Christendom in Western Europe. Their boldness in challenging the iron-fisted grip of the Catholic Church centuries before the Age of Enlightenment is what allowed the spark of change to begin to occur throughout Europe. IOW, the enlightenment could not have happened had not the Reformers (and their predecessors) begun to break away from the Roman Catholic oligarchy of the 14th-16th centuries.
While skeptics, atheists, agnostics, flat-earthers, etc., are all in the same category of denying the painfully obvious, this group is the other side of the same coin. This group attributes religion (take your pick) with enlightenment and/or salvation. Religion of every stripe and flavor has been practiced throughout the earth since the beginning of time. From ancient Judaism, Canaanite, Minoan, Zoroastrian, Ashur religions, to the Buddhists, Hindus, Satanist, Pagan, and Christian religions of modern times. Religion of any kind cannot save you. Religion simply defined, is man's attempt to appease a higher power through rites, rituals, dogma, and services. Religion can make people do and believe very stupid things.
Many of us would consider ourselves religious to varying degrees, but I am not addressing the born-again believers who hold to religious practices and views. I am addressing those who are not born-again, and simply view whatever their religion is as sufficient for salvation.
Skeptics love to point to the atrocities committed by the RCC in years past, as proof that Christianity has failed humanity. They ignorantly lump Christianity into religion as if attending church services were how someone becomes saved. I always counter (as should you), that Roman Catholicism is not Christian. It calls itself that, and perhaps some are born-again who still reside inside that system, but the system itself is not. When you look at the tenets Roman Catholicism holds too, you would see it is just another works-based religion. Christianity is a grace through faith-based relationship with the Creator of the Universe. One can make you a moral person (theoretically), while the latter, can save to the uttermost even the most wretched of sinners.
Not only is ignorance a dangerous thing, but Biblical ignorance is equally hazardous, especially in a topic as expansive as Eschatology, (which makes up nearly 30% of the Bible). So here are some real life examples of people who did not understand their Bible very well. During the 20th-century, more than 100M people were murdered under the atheistic regimes of the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and North Korea. They replaced God with government, and created a theological worldview where there was no God, no afterlife, and thus, no divine judgment. Theology matters!
Skeptics often accuse Christians of past atrocities and are quick to point out the Crusades and the Inquisition as evidence. Is this a fair charge? What justification was there for the Crusades (1195-1291) which hundreds of thousands were killed in the name of Jesus Christ?
At the root of the cause for the Crusades, was the flawed eschatological position known as Amillennialism. Augustine of Hippo first created this eschatology back in the 4th-century as a replacement for the original pre-millennial position. Similar to how Communism replaced God with government, Amillennialism replaced the Kingdom of God with the kingdom of the Catholic Church.
Amillennialism (the a being used in the negative) posits that despite what Scriptures say (Rev. 20, Isaiah 2, 66, etc.) that there was no literal, future, Christ-centric Kingdom coming to the earth. The Roman Catholic's position then was that they were the fulfillment of the Kingdom (headed by the papacy), and that it was their "duty" to reclaim the Holy Lands from the infidels (Muslims and Jews), and force people into Christendom. Nowhere in scriptures does it charge the church to do this. Hermeneutics matter!
Faulty/erroneous hermeneutics can cost you your life and/or everything you own, especially if you buy into false doomsday predictions. Just look at those people who diligently followed Jim Jones (the People's Temple), David Koresh (Branch Davidians), Harold Camping (Family Radio), or Marshall Applewhite (Heaven's Gate). Each of these groups had very flawed understandings of the Bible, and in particular, Bible prophecy. Eschatology matters!
Although I do not consider Eschatology in and of itself to be a salvific issue, I am hard pressed to believe that the Holy Spirit can indwell a full-Preterist or an Amillennialist devotee. Primarily, because although Eschatology is not in and of itself salvific, it is deeply interwoven into the other major bible doctrines. Therefore, one's eschatological view is often a weathervane for what a believer, believes regarding other major bible doctrines.
Amillennialism and Preterism are so corrupt and extreme in their denial of Biblical truth that if one could adopt them (or either); they probably have no issue in denying other foundational spiritual truths. With that said, I am not saying it is impossible for one to be a born again Christian and still hold these views; I personally just find it very hard to believe that they could.
Loss of credibility can be devastating to one's ministry or denomination, especially given that most ministries are based on the financial support of their followers. The Bible only teaches one Eschatological position (the Pre-70th Week Rapture, Pre-Millennial view). Any variant outside of this is therefore doomed to failure. See what WWI and WWII did to the Post-Millennial position. See what damage the Amillennial position has done to whole denominations (primarily mainline protestant denominations). See how Amillennialism and Preterism has wreaked havoc upon the Catholic Church worldview. Churches, who promote either the Preterist or the Amillennial view, are without fail, are either DYING on the vine or apostatizing. Let me sum up what that last point by a comparison to atheism.
Atheism offers nothing and takes everything
Likewise, Amillennialism and Preterism offers nothing and takes everything from the believer. As shown above, having an accurate understanding of theology, hermeneutics, and eschatology matters. For instance:
Ecclesiology: If you believe the Church must go through the 70th Week of Daniel, then your understanding of the Church is confused or warped. You likely believe either that there is no coming judgment, or that the church is destined to go through it. The reason for this is that if you do not understand whom and what the Church is, you will most likely come to some conclusion that the Church has either replaced, or has become Israel. This is the Church:
Soteriology: If you believe that the Church must go through any of the judgments outlined in Revelation 4-18, it is almost a foregone conclusion that you also deny the eternal security of the believer. This denial means you believe either that Christ's sacrifice was insufficient to pay for your sins, or insufficient to keep you saved.
Pneumatology: If you believe the Church must go through the 70th Week (aka...The Tribulation), then you would also have to deny the role of the Holy Spirit as the Restrainer (2 Thess. 2:7). In layman's terms, the Bible teaches very clearly that the Holy Spirit is God, and has always existed on earth throughout our history. That is to say, He (the HS) was very busy on the earth prior to His arrival to the Church in Acts 2. The HS performed differing roles, from the "energizer" at creation, to the "enabler" during the Old Testament times. The Holy Spirit would come upon and empower certain individuals for periods of time (ex. Samson, Saul, David), but it was only ever to select individuals, and it was not a permanent indwelling.
In the post-Acts 2 Church age, the Holy Spirit's role is to permanently seal the believer (Eph. 1:11-14, 4:30), guide the believer into all truth (John 16:13), and convict the world of sin (John 16:8). What Paul posits in 2 Thessalonians 2, is that the man of sin (i.e., the Antichrist) cannot be revealed UNTIL the Restrainer is removed (2:8), which is to say, the vessels the Holy Spirit indwells. I fully understand God the Holy Spirit is omniscient and omnipresent, so I am not saying the Holy Spirit is physically removed from the earth. What Paul is saying here, is that in His present role of sealing the Church and convicting the world of sin, this particular role is what is removed. This allows for the floodgates of hell to be opened upon the earth during this final week of years.
The removal of the role of the Holy Spirit (as restrainer) is just as necessary, as it was necessary to reboot (for lack of a better term) the Holy Spirit's role from the Old Testament era, to that of Acts 2 and beyond. (Luke 24:29, John 16:7, Acts 2:1-4)
As Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 13:12, we currently see in the glass darkly, having a partial understanding of all that is yet to come. None of us has it perfectly figured out. However, the Holy Spirit can guide us into all truth, if we allow Him too. This means taking the Bible at face value, (literally), and keeping passages in their proper context (grammatically and historically).
Just remember, that while the whole the Bible is written for us, it is not necessarily all written to us. While having an incorrect Eschatology often has real-world ramifications, it is usually indicative of other errors in your biblical hermeneutics. The grace of God in all this is that the Rapture of the Church is going to happen regardless of our individual eschatological persuasions, and will correct all these issues the church is currently facing, instantaneously.
Behold, 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, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." 1 Corinthians 15:51-54
Even so, Maranatha!
All Things Prophecy: Vol. III - By Pete Garcia -
The Politics of the Beast
Thinking about the final week of years (the 70th Week) and all that must occur therein, and I struggle to see how it all takes place within just those seven years. As noted in previous briefs, I believe there will be a gap in time between the Rapture of the Church, and the official start of the 70th Week. Looking at it purely from a logistical and operational standpoint, the man of lawlessness will have an incredible amount of things to do in a very short period of time (even with a gap).
Example: If you have ever been involved in setting up a charity event, or hosting a wedding or some other type of formal occasion, you know how time and task intensive it can be. Even seemingly, insignificant actions can become extremely taxing when one has to rely on other people to make the necessary arrangements. Now, consider how much time and resources it would take, to take over the entire world.
Perhaps it has been glossed over and lost in the context of the bigger picture, but for one man to control the entire world, to me, seems like the mother of all ambitious plans. Many have tried, and none (to date) has succeeded. However, where they have failed, the Antichrist, or rather, The Beast will succeed. Even still, the stage must be set in order for there to be a global coup to occur, and that in and of itself is no small feat. For clarification between the two, the Beast is in my understanding, the final government system that arises. At a certain point, a singular man (the Antichrist) will become the head of the Beast, and becomes the personification of it. Before we start, let us look at the current ideological coup that is ongoing and how that has come to a culminating point in these past ten years.
Marxism was a 19th-century social-construct that mixed class struggle, social conflict, economics, and psychology into a singular philosophy of governance. Its theoretical goal was to create a more equitable society. The reality has resulted in a series of totalitarian governments controlled by a small group of people (an oligarchy), or even by a lone individual (ex. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Kim). Its method for achieving totalitarian control, is by the use of propaganda, class relations (divide and conquer), political correctness, cult of personality, and the suppression of free speech. It pits people groups against each other and specializes in creating false narratives (ex. Fake news, Reconstructionist history, political correctness, etc.) to keep the facade going. Considering how one of our two political parties is now openly advocating for socialism as well as academia, the media, and the entertainment industry, I would say this ideological coup has been somewhat successful.
Even still, it has taken over a century for this to come as far as it has.
The Antichrist will have anywhere from 7-10 years (at best) to conquer the world.
So how does this Beast take over the entire world in such short order?
Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" Revelation 13:1-4
Therefore, when considering this final week of years and the governmental system we see managing it, we must come to certain conclusion that it will be the most comprehensive, complete, and perfect governance system ever devised by man. I say perfect only in its ability to be an authoritative control over the earth, not perfect as in a force for good. In fact, it will become the most evil and destructive system ever created. Moreover, it will have two advantages no previous empire has ever had, which is the full backing of the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4), and an advanced artificial intelligence system that will be completely taking over through some form of demonic possession.
The numbers seven and ten play significant roles throughout the Bible. The number seven is viewed in biblical numerology as the number of divine perfection. It is the combination of the number of the divine (three) and of creation (four). The number ten is often seen as the number of completion or perfection, and is used 242 times throughout the bible. The most famous examples are the Table of Nations (of which there were ten), the ten plagues put on Egypt by God, the Ten Commandments, and the ten toes of the multi-metallic stature (representing nations) that King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed and Daniel interpreted. [Of note, there were seven combinations of materials used in Nebuchadnezzar's statue: Gold, silver, bronze, two legs of iron, and iron mixed with miry clay.]
The number seven is used 735 times (the book of Revelation uses it 54 times). The word created is used seven times in Genesis 1 and 2, and God rested on the seventh day. There are seven days in the week, and it is in Jewish tradition that Adam was created in the seventh month. The seventh day is considered the Sabbath. There are seven major divisions of the Bible.
As fascinating as the numbers are, I believe it just goes to exhibit the kind of system it will be, and why it will be different from any empire before it. Clearly, there are more than ten nations now in the world. In order for the more than 190 nations to be consolidated down into ten, means a process of regionalization. I believe regionalization is the interim fix between the goals of nationalists and globalists. The scope and breadth this government must become in order to do all Scripture says it must, requires much stage-setting first. This stage setting may shed some light into the lunacy we see going on in today's political theater, and why these issues are critical to The Beast's overarching aims of global domination. In no particular order:
1. Climate change: Part of the pre-70th Week narrative is this idea that man causes climate change. While mankind may contribute too, and/or exasperate certain climate issues, we certainly cannot control it. Nevertheless, the current political green movement we see today (Al Gore, AOC, Bernie Sanders, et. al) is not as concerned with fixing the world as it is in controlling and taxing it. The final government will need the narrative firmly entrenched into the common citizen's psyche ahead of the Rapture, to provide the justification for implementing it in a time of crisis (think Patriot Act). This will provide the governing authorities then legal authority to begin controlling the entire world's natural resources, to include, the air they breathe (UN Agenda 2020/2030). Secondly, the Beast will need man-caused climate change to be the escape-goat (excuse) necessary to shape the narrative regarding the divine judgments wreaking havoc upon the earth. If you take into consideration all the particular judgments of which deal with natural catastrophes (Seal Judgments 3 & 4, Trumpets 1-4, Vials 2-6, etc.), there will needs be an excuse that excludes the possibility of divine wrath. Paradoxically, we read that by the Sixth Seal Judgment, man begins to attribute the cosmic disturbances as the Wrath of the Lamb (Rev. 6:16-17).
The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. Revelation 8:7
2. Ecumenism: No exclusive religions will be tolerated inside the 70th Week aside from the one being promoted by the False Prophet (the Harlot). Given the plurality of religions in the world today, there will needs be two convergent efforts underway to make this happen. First is the oppression of exclusive religious views, and the promotion of inclusive (one size fits all) ones. We see the oppression of Christianity today throughout the government, media, academia, and elsewhere, however, ALL views (Hindu, Buddhism, Islam, et. al) will one day be forced into this mandatory ecumenism.
The exception to this absolutely intolerant position will be that of Orthodox Judaism, as they will be allowed to rebuild their third temple. It may also be that the Beast will not be able to stop the Jews from doing so with the arrival of the Two Witnesses protecting/distracting the Beast's efforts in Jerusalem for three and a half years. However, all that changes with the death of the Two Witnesses, which seems to be near the mid-point of the Tribulation. At this point, the Antichrist (head of the Beast) betrays the Jews and desecrates the Holy of Holies in this new Temple by declaring himself God and making people worship him (see 2 Thess. 2:3-4).
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication." Revelation 17:1-2
3. Digital Money: In order for the Beast to control the world, it will need to control the money, which means doing away with all national currencies and going to a centralized one. The world will be forced to wean itself off paper money by taking advantage of the right global crisis. As I have noted numerous times in the past, I believe that perfect crisis to be the Rapture of the Church. Whereas there has been global crises in the past (ex. WWII), what was lacking was the technology for a suitable replacement to said physical currency. Think of the days/weeks just after the Rapture, and the likely geopolitical chaos and upheaval that will ensue with millions, perhaps even a billion people all of a sudden disappearing. This would be the opportune time for the governments then (perhaps the U.N.) to implement a Bretton-Woods Agreement 2.0, which instead of replacing the gold standard with the US Dollar will replace the US Dollar with some new form of International Digital currency.
Currently, governments around the world hate physical currency because it is not easily traceable, ergo, more difficult for authorities to control. This is why criminals and others who do not want the government to know what they are doing and where they are doing it, prefer physical money. I believe this is also why the globalist entities today (IMF, UN, World Bank, Federal Reserves, etc.) are allowing nations to bury themselves in national debt, because the greater the debt accrued, the lesser the crisis needed to become the tipping point toward this new digital currency.
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13:16-17
4. Peace & Security: There has been much ado these days about building walls, especially along our southern border. Whilst all this has been garnering the bulk of the news feeds as of late, another type of wall is being built without much fanfare. That wall is the technological iron curtain, which is being laid quietly around the world. Techno-giants such as Google, Amazon, Alibaba, Microsoft, IBM, Apple, and others are all racing to develop technologies, which they believe will aid in the evolution of mankind. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Quantum computing, block chain technology, digital currency, unmanned and autonomous weapon systems, global surveillance, Nano-technology, and biometrics to name a few, are supposed to make the world a better place.
The band of Big Brothers (Russia, China, UK, and US) are the top endemic surveillance states on the planet today. They are working in tandem with the aforementioned tech-giants to develop an array of information processing platforms and networks, which are sold to the public as being for our own safety and security. Granted, this is not to say that these governments and companies' purposes are doing all this is for purely nefarious reasons, because there are plenty of problems and issues both face. From corporate espionage and national security, to terrorism and crime, the world has become an increasingly dangerous place. This requires increasingly complex strategies to control it. However, the Antichrist will use this technology to cement his iron-fisted control over the entire planet. There will be nowhere to hide.
It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:7-8
5. The Hybrid Domain: The world's current greatest military, the US Department of Defense, has in large part, moved its priorities away from fighting small, regionally confined conflicts (insurgencies, counter-insurgencies, and terrorism), back to that of the nation-state threat on a global scale (think World War I or II). They have factored in the advancements in technology so that we are not just fighting on the domains of land, sea, and air anymore, but also in space and cyber-space. Furthermore, with the world's population topping 7.5 billion, we now realize that any future major conflicts, will likely take place in dense, urban areas such as megacities. This adds in still another factor, the subterranean domain (as most large cities have large underground infrastructures such as subway systems). However, what most governments and organizations fail to contend with is the spiritual domain.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Beginning with the Age of Enlightenment, the world's academic and scientific elite have increasingly denied the existence of the spiritual realm. This has resulted in the rise of naturalism (that everything has some logical basis for being) and the explosion of human secularism. This has resulted with the academic promotion of atheism, Darwinian evolution, Big Bang theory, Freudian psychology, and other empty theories that deny the reality of the spiritual domain. This is problematic for humanists, atheists, etc., because science is now proving that there is a lot more to our reality than previously understood. This denial is something the Beast will paradoxically exploit as the world's elite remain in shock at what just transpired.
The development in the understanding of quantum mechanics (late 19th-early 20th-century) is now beginning to bear fruit in the 21st-century. What Einstein once famously labeled "spooky action at a distance" is now being harnessed into the power of quantum computers. The first time I was introduced to the topic of the "quantum realm" was by the late, great Chuck Missler who often compared the truth of quantum physics to the truth of the Rapture by use of a quote.
"The popular Cal Tech physicist Richard Feynman has summed up this paradoxical situation well: I think it is safe to say that no one understands quantum mechanics... In fact, it is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. Some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it, in fact, is that it is unquestionably correct."
Elon Musk, Geordie Rose, and other leaders within the technology industry are now openly commenting on the potential breakthroughs quantum physics has presented.
"Imagine a world where all of the laws of physics as we know them are obeyed but different decisions were made along the way, different decisions at the level of tiny microscopic particles, different decisions all the way up to what you chose to eat for lunch, and whether you chose to come to this session or not. Quantum Mechanics makes a very specific prediction, that all of those are as real as the thing that you remember... But science has reached the point now where we can build machines that exploit those other worlds." - Geordie Rose, Founder of D-Wave
As it turns out, the Rapture will not only remove the believers from the earth, but will also fundamentally change reality, as they (those left behind) know it. Although the rapture event will have to be explained by the authorities as something, I believe they will attribute it to something we are now being exposed to through the media, pop culture, false religions, etc. such as ancient aliens, UFOs, Maitreya, New Age Mysticism, the "Snapture," etc. Which may be why there is a renewed interest in the post-apocalyptic genre these days. Likely, the days and weeks after the Rapture will be overflowing with every conceivable conspiracy theory as to where so many people (and children) vanished too. Simultaneous to this, is the gateway (portals) that science-based organizations (NASA, CERN, DARPA, etc.) are actively attempting to open. Where they were unsuccessful in the past (pre-Rapture) in breaching these other dimensions (the spiritual domain), the barrier will now be removed and they will inadvertently unleash hell upon the earth.
"Out of this door might come something, or we might send something through it," said Sergio Bertolucci, who is Director for Research and Scientific Computing at CERN, briefing reporters at CERN HQ earlier this week.
So how does the Antichrist exploit this?
Science is now introducing the possibility that through technology, they can explore other dimensions (DARPA, CERN, NASA, etc.). I believe the reason they have not crossed that boundary as of yet, is due to the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit (i.e., it takes a Spiritual Being to restrain the spiritual forces). However, once the Holy Spirit-filled believers are taken up at the Rapture of the Church, this divine barrier will be removed and there will be an explosion of supernatural unleashed upon the earth. The paranormal will become the new normal and the Antichrist and False Prophet will use this to deceive the entire world.
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2nd Thess. 2:9-10
All Things Prophecy: Vol. II - By Pete Garcia - http://rev310.com/2019/02/all-things-prophecy-vol-ii
The Mark of the Beast
Last week I got to thinking about the true purpose (the why) behind the Antichrist's need for a system like the Mark of the Beast. Aside from the already stated economic and religious reasons given in Scripture (Revelation 13), my opinion, is that there is also a very practical reason for it. By the time, he begins to come to power; the war on truth will have reached a crescendo of sorts. So much fake news and information leaks will be ongoing everywhere, it would seem that in order for him to secure his position of authority, he would require a plan that demands absolute loyalty.
Much in the same way Nazis had to wear the swastika as a symbol of political loyalty to the Reich; this mark will also be a symbol of allegiance to the Beast. Not only that, but will also likely influence the bearer's ability to reason to such an extent, that once you receive it, you will have permanently abdicated your right to free will. That will be the ultimate form of sacrifice this man will require.
Therefore, while we do not know who this Antichrist is, nor do we know what exactly how the number 666 fits into this technology, we know it is coming because the technology is already here. From Deep-brain neurostimulators to electronic tattoos, there are numerous types of wirelessly controlled implantable technology. While most of this technology is being used benignly for medical purposes, this man will conceive of a way to use them as a form of control. He will figure out a way to tie this into the new form of digital currency that will arise once our current fiat system has collapsed.
Interestingly, both regimes (the Nazis and the Beast) will have only truly ruled for seven years. While it is true that Adolph Hitler came to power in 1933, he really did not get around to his true intentions until 1938, when he invaded Czechoslovakia. From 1933 until 1938, Hitler seemed like a great man of peace and enterprise. He was praised all over Europe and even in America by many political leaders and captains of industry for bringing Germany back from the economic brink with his Four Year Plan. However, from 1938 until 1945, Hitler's true colors came out and he was bent on conquering everyone he could, at whatever price. Similarly, the Antichrist will first come out as a man of peace; riding on a white horse, as a man on a mission (Dan. 8:23-25, 9:27; Rev. 6:1-2).
As outlined in my Volume I, after the Rapture, the world will be thrown into chaos. This rider on the white horse will seemingly have all the answers to the issues that will be plaguing mankind at that time. Since Satan is the defacto ruler of this earth and age (Luke 4:5-7, 1st John 5:19), he is the primary instigator of all the problems which have always plagued mankind. As such, Satan will hand over the keys of the earth (metaphorically speaking) to this man and he will do the impossible. The world will marvel after him, and for the briefest of moments, he will seem like the answer to their godless prayers.
So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"
What gets lost in translation here, is the timing of all this. So as a bit of a recap, allow me to list out how I believe things will transpire.
This season of conquest is why Antichrist will require unwavering loyalty by use of this permanent mark with his name. Much like the current Social Credit System China is currently employing, the Mark of the Beast will be everything, and without it, you cannot do anything. Furthermore, to deny receiving it, will mean a forfeiture of all property and certain execution. The mark itself will most likely genetically alter your DNA, and will corrupt your mind (loss of free will) possibly causing the bearer to enter into some form of demonic possession that never lets go.
I personally believe that demonic forces can possess technology. Just think about all the creepy things Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already saying these days with simple systems like Alexa and Siri. My theory is that the Antichrist will be a man who is embedded with some form of quantum-powered (quantum dot), AI infused, technology that will give him unfettered and immediate access to all the digitized information stored around the world. Perhaps this is why places like the Utah NSA Data Center exists. This data center (one of many) can hold upwards of five zettabytes of data [a zettabyte equals a billion terabytes]. Furthermore, our DNA itself can hold massive amounts of information (around 700 terabytes in a single gram of DNA), which may also be how he accesses it.
Imagine how powerful a man could be, if he could perfectly recall any information ever conceived of in mere milliseconds by accessing this data with assistance of AI. Now imagine that same man who is embedded with a form of quantum-based AI that is also possessed by Satan himself. Satan and his fallen angels were here before Creation, so they certainly understand how everything works down to a molecular level.
He will know where all the hidden treasure is buried. He will know every dark secret conceived of on earth. He will be able to manipulate everyone whose name is not written in the Lamb's book of Life, simply by knowing all their dirty secrets. Francis Bacon once noted that knowledge is power. If that is the case, then this man will be the smartest unredeemed man to have ever lived.
Not only will he have access to all the conventional knowledge in the world, but he will also be able to access the secret (multi-dimensional) knowledge that is hidden from our reality. He will have the dutiful support of the False Prophet, who can summon up supernatural demonic powers. The world at this time, will want to worship this man. He will be for all intents and purposes, the world's first superhero. This is why a supernaturally charged False Prophet, who can do signs and wonders, directs all worship towards him. Antichrist will be (my opinion) the physical embodiment of the Singularity, or at least, that is what people will think of him as being.
Nevertheless, by worshipping this man for temporary respite, he or she will be condemning themselves to an eternity in hell. Whatever temporary enjoyments they have here on earth, will be extremely fleeting because before hell, they will endure the divine judgments increasingly compounding upon the earth. From cataclysmic natural disasters, to the bloodying of the waters, scorching the earth, devastating heat, and tongue-gnawing darkness. Their messiah will not be able to stop the wrath of God from being poured out upon the earth.
Even still, the mark of the beast will so pollute their minds, that they will be incapable of repenting. All they can do is curse and blaspheme God. If the mark of the beast involves some form of neuro-engineering, those who bear it will not be able to reverse it.
Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." Revelation 14:9-11
The World That Was - By Pete Garcia -
"In early 1914, though, it seemed almost impossible that Britain and France would go to war with Germany to defend Russia against Austria-Hungary over a dispute with Serbia. Yet by June 28, war moved straight from impossible to inevitable - without ever passing through improbable. Four years later, 10 million people had died." (From World War One: First war was impossible, then inevitable; Anatole Kaletsky)
Although I have used this quote in the past, I've found myself drawn to it again due to its precise accuracy describing the seemingly incredible and often unpredictable nature of geopolitics. Prior to World War I, who would have believed it? Yet after it was over, the warning signs of impending trouble were so obvious that most could not believe they had missed it. Even though the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand could not have been predicted, it simply became the right crisis at the right time the old powers used to set the world afire. World War I itself then became a forcing function by the old world who were stubbornly clinging to the dying vestiges of the world as it was. However, change came nonetheless and no one could stop it.
Juxtaposed to the seemingly unpredictable (and unbelievable) nature of global geopolitics, is the inevitable march towards a future, one-world system. We can see early efforts for this in moves like the League of Nations and later, the United Nations (UN). The UN, along with its cornucopia of bureaucratic offshoots, continue to try to gain global influence and power through treaty and peer pressure. What it lacks at present is a military force capable of enforcing any of these treaties.
Even more so, is the combined financial, informational, and military efforts across the world, solely concentrating on consolidating more and more power into fewer and fewer hands. This is made possible by the snowball-effect of the technological advancements in the 20th century. In fact, so much innovation has transpired over the past century that the technological advancements of the 20th century alone have eclipsed all the progress of the previous six thousand years of human history combined. Our dependence on technology has all but ensured that an ultimate centralized power controlling everything is already a foregone conclusion.
When asked about the last days, Jesus told His disciples that the end of the age would be recognizable because of the many signs those days would present themselves. Although these signs in and of themselves were not unique (as signs are meant to point to something further down the road), what would be unique was the manner of their manifestation. Jesus likened these signs to 'birth pangs' a woman goes through leading up to the birth of a child. In pregnancy, the first and second trimesters have few (if any) contractions (pangs). But as a woman enters into the third (final) trimester, the pangs first come sporadically but soon come in rapid-fire regularity finally reaching a crescendo in both frequency and intensity to the point where the child is coming and she must seek immediate care for delivery. So too would the generation that enters into this final "trimester" of human history be witness to the delivery of 'the child.'
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 8:20-23
Just as Rome's founding was many centuries before it became a world power, the same is true for the United States. The US was founded in 1776; but did not become a world power until the end of World War II. For a brief period following WWII, the US remained the world's lone super-power. It was here in this tiny window of time, that she became instrumental in providing the global and political influence the newly formed nation of Israel would need in order to survive as an island of democracy in a sea of tumultuous Islamic theocracies.
But like everything else, the world's corruptive and persistent influence has/is forcing the United States to concede to its demand to divide Israel. This is primarily due to our dependence on oil from said Islamic theocracies. Inevitably, our betrayal equates to a "ratcheting-up" of seemingly insolvable problems due to the Abrahamic Covenant effect, which God both promises and warns that I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you. We view this covenant in a global sense, (since God was speaking to the nation who would come from Abraham) as the prophetic fulfillment we know simply as the convergence. In other words, the more the world turns against Israel, the more problems the world is going to have.
"For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will also gather all nations,
And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
And I will enter into judgment with them there
On account of My people, My heritage Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
They have also divided up My land.
The convergence then is simply the visible escalation and divine approval of natural calamities and man-caused problems since 1977. The land for peace agenda began this year between Egypt, Israel, and the United States with the Camp David Accords. Since then, there has been an ever-increasing series of tragic and horrific events overwhelming the entire world. For those watching, the rapid uptick has been startling. For the rest of the world, the normalcy bias has set in and the world has been lulled back to its slumber.
Presumably, Satan learned his lesson post-Calvary (1 Cor. 2:6-7) and now understands (Rev. 12:12) that his time is running out. The conflict we then see in the world is one in which the world that is currently controlled by Satan (Luke 4:5-6) is trying to stay the way it is, rather than allow God to press forward with His divine timeline. This then results in wars and rumors of wars, which inevitably allows for rapid innovation. Man's technological, financial, and political progress careens forward then because crisis demands action and solutions. In other words, Satan can't stop God's agenda no matter what he tries.
The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. Luke 16:16
Therefore, in the macro-sense, the world continues to press forward in all aspects, and the drama involving all its nation-states seems to be ever fluid and unpredictable. The issues of death, eternity, the kingdom of God, heaven, hell, God, the angels, etc., all seem to be distant things no one wants to talk or even think about, yet it will not go away. Inarguably, there have been moments in time where mankind's mortality (in the collective sense) has been so shaken, that it unintentionally makes the world wake up, even if only for the briefest of moments. Such has been the case with 9/11 or the 2011 Japanese Tsunami. Even then, a little time passes and said-event passes into mankind's short-term memory.
The election of Donald J. Trump was in a sense, the last gasp of a free American people. Here is a man who by all accounts (at least according to every expert and think tank on the planet) should not have won the election. His election was as unthinkable and as impossible, as the scenario found in the start of World War I. Yet, win he did, and he did so with as Steve Bannon called it, the island of misfit toys team. Let me explain.
For eight years, both Christians and conservatives had been force-fed the incessant mantra of the big three lies by the Obama administration. It was done with an intensity and zealotry that was shocking to anyone who had an ounce of common sense. For brevity's sake, the big three whoppers were man-made climate change, aggressive historical revision (whitewashing or rewriting historical facts), and that all cultures and religions are equal. It was piped through all the Sunday news shows and by all the academic panels with their "experts." These were they who all created the perfect echo chamber to make sure this message was beaten into our heads day after day. By the time 2016 rolled around, the last vestiges of American common sense found itself electing a man who was so far removed from the mainstream political fray out of sense of rebellion against having to endure another four years of the democrat propaganda machine.
Nevertheless, elections have consequences and the lies that were pumped via airwaves and Wi-Fi for eight years have unfortunately stuck in Western culture. This has us Christians are looking around the world today and finding ourselves increasingly at odds with the mainstream narrative. Even worse, is that there is a growing rift in Christendom between those congregations who are acquiescing to a culture in decline (accepting of gay marriage, transgenderism, abortion on demand, illegal immigration, cultural relativism, etc.), and those who are not bending the knee to popular consensus. Pretty soon, those not bending the knee will be as popular (and numerous) as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego on the plain of Dura (Daniel 3).
But are we Christians guilty of the same type of wishful thinking that those in the old world were guilty of by believing we can keep the world as it was? Are we guilty of actually thinking we can Make America Great Again?
The Bible does not predict any great revival in the last days before the Tribulation (i.e., the 70th Week of Daniel). America is far too diverse today to ever make that an eventuality. I do not mean ethnically diverse, but politically, religiously, and ideologically. Ten people in a room could not agree on where the moon was in relation to the earth. Furthermore, President Trump is finding out the hard way that the swamp does not want to be drained, and will do everything in its power to prevent it. The same could be said for our brothers and sisters across the pond in Great Britain with BREXIT. I do not believe it ever will happen because the EU and British swamps cannot let that happen.
My intent is not to be Mr. Doom and Gloom (Doug Woodward already owns this title!), but to simply make one point. The reason that the born-again Christian is finding himself or herself increasingly at odds with the world is that the world is the swamp, and is in the process of giving itself over to a strong delusion. Instead of draining it, God is going to purge it through judgments and with fire before He makes it great again. However, before He does any of that, He is going to remove His people by way of the Harpazo (i.e., the catching up or the Rapture). Then the world will be forcibly cast headlong into the final week of years. So fellow believer, do not get too sentimental on the world is it was, or frustrated at what it has become, because it is about to change.
For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:16-17
All Things Prophecy: Volume I - By Pete Garcia - http://rev310.com/2019/02/all-things-prophecy-volume-i
The Rapture Gap
As of late, I have noticed some within our Pre-Trib community who have begun to shift their thinking regarding the timing of the Seal Judgments and where those align within the 70th Week of Daniel-proper (i.e., the literal seven years). Some have even suggested that the Seal Judgments do not even begin to open until the mid-point of the Tribulation (or 3.5 years into the 70th Week).
I believe that part of their reasoning for departing from the traditional view (i.e., the simple chronological understanding of Revelation), is that their previous assumptions about the Rapture have not yet come to pass. If we think back to all the high-watch, rapture years (1993, 2000, 2011, 2017, and 2018), it seems these teachers relied on a faulty timing-based scenario that aligned the Rapture at either 40 or 70 years. Since we are now in 2019, many have begun to rethink their understanding, which is why they are moving into a hybrid, mid-tribulation Rapture scenario.
I do not subscribe to a mid-trib (for lack of a better term) scenario. Although I will tie up my thoughts in the summary of his volume, I want to give some context as to the why our Rapture is at the beginning of the 70th week, rather than the middle. Furthermore, if we understand that Scripture never ties the Rapture with the start the 70th Week of Daniel, we can see how and why a gap must be necessary.
Why the Gap?
The reasons I do not support a mid-trib Rapture (or even a 3.5-year Tribulation) are many, but many theologians ignore one of the more practical reasons I can think of. There is a military truism I have oft heard repeated throughout my career, which is amateur's talk of strategy, while professionals study logistics. In other words, you can be the best tactically trained force on the planet, and have the best strategic plan ever devised, but if you cannot resource it, it is never going to work. Logistics is truly how the US beat the Japanese and the German's in WWII. It is not that we had better weapons, tanks, ships, or aircraft; it was that we out-produced them while simultaneously decimating their ability to replenish theirs.
A logical assumption (based on second and third order effects) then is that immediately after the Rapture of the Church, the world is cast headlong into a temporary state of chaos. That is somewhat hard for us to wrap our minds around, given we have largely benefited from a stable world over the last 70-plus years. Despite the issues we have had since the last period of global chaos (World War II), life on terra firma has largely held steady and provided a period of relative normalcy.
The nation-states (for the most part) have operated in a functional manner. Wars were largely confined to individual nations (ex. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan) rather than across the globe. International trade and currencies proliferated amongst the nations. Aside from the occasional weather phenomenon, global travel has greatly expanded and remained unimpeded. IOW, things have remained relatively stable and peaceful. That has all been a result of a stable and somewhat benevolent super-state like the United States. Given the state of the world as it is currently, the United States is still the largest economy, still has the most powerful military, and is still the single greatest roadblock to global governance.
[For the purposes of this article, we will simply use 10% of the American population as a mark on the wall.]
If the Rapture happened tomorrow and ten-percent of the US population simply disappeared in an instant that would equal around 31 million Americans who are no longer contributing to our economy and society. Since the early 1980s, the Greatest Generation has begun being replaced with the Baby Boomers. Each subsequent generation has continued to deteriorate in terms of national identity and unanimity. Our society today is more akin to America 1860, than we are America 1960. If the Rapture happened in 1945, the US may have recovered. But we are far too divided and weakened today to survive a major natural disaster, much less something like the Rapture.
1. The US is highly polarized today, with about half the nation ideologically/politically pitted against the other. Whether it is liberal versus conservative, or capitalist versus socialist, black vs. white, gay vs. straight, or simply Democrat versus Republican, we are a much-divided nation ideologically. The elections of Barack Hussein Obama and Donald Trump have only further heightened that division.
2. The US recently crossed the $22T threshold regarding our national debt. If we included all the future promised expenditures, i.e., the unfunded liabilities (Social Security, Medicare, etc.), we are well over $100T mark in debt. This means that even without a Rapture-event scenario, the United States as we knew it, will not survive into the near future without some kind of radical governmental overhaul.
3. The rest of the industrialized/modernized world is in equally similar (or worse) shape economically speaking. Most of the industrialized world either have huge debt to GDP ratios, have failing economies, or do not have the adequate infrastructure to sustain their economic growth.
Therefore, if the Rapture took place tomorrow, and 31 million Americans were instantaneously removed, the sudden loss of income, wages, rents, taxes, and the loss of the societal contributions would absolutely destabilize an already fragile political and economic system. That destabilization would trigger a domino effect across a world that is equally fragile and unstable.
About the best example we can come to seeing what this looks like, was the 1929 Stock Market crash. That crash triggered a series of economic collapses around the world and crushed nations who were already struggling financially. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 also provided the perfect opportunity for a man like Adolph Hitler to rise to power in Germany. A future scenario similar to that of 1929 would create the prime opportunity for a man like the Antichrist to emerge from the shadows.
"And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; Daniel 9:26-27
From somewhere within the boundaries of the old Roman Empire, will come one, who will confirm (or increase) some covenant with the many (many nations), for one week of years (or seven-years). We can be certain that this has not happened historically, so we know that this is still a future event.
How it happens
European leaders such as Winston Churchill, Nicolas Sarkozy, Emmanuel Macron, Donald Tusk, Jean Claude Juncker, and others have long had on their mind a vision to revive the greatness of Europe. As of 2019, they have not yet had the means to do so. Going back to 1947, Europe has undergone a process of piece-meal unification via treatise to make that happen. So far, this has resulted in a fractured and somewhat dysfunctional economic and political alliance. They barely have an Army, and practically no Air Force or Navy. NATO (the current military force for the EU) is truly only functional because it is being led by the United States. Once the US is no longer taking the lead in NATO, it will fall apart and NATO will be drafted into the European Defence Force.
The EU has many serious issues (both foreign and domestic), of which they really cannot get a handle on, let alone, take on the mantel of replacing the US as the world's next superpower if we were to collapse. Since there is presumably far fewer born-again Christian's in the EU than the US, it would be another logical assumption that internally, the EU would take far less of a hit than the US would when the Rapture does occur. That is to say, the EU would be in better shape after the Rapture, than it is before. The same could be said for much of the Middle East, Russia, and Asia.
Presupposing a US collapse (breakdown of all normal societal and governmental functions), what remains in the US is a hodge-podge of secure zones, surrounded by large swaths of lawless areas. At this point, the world has about three choices for who can/will take the mantle of becoming the new top dog: Russia, China, or the European Union. Given that, the world has seen what Russia and China are capable of (Stalin, Iron Curtain, Great Leap Forward, etc.); the world will likely favor a European-led confederacy. Add into this, the demise of the Gog-Magog coalition (Russia, Turkey, Libya, Sudan, and Iran), the choices are now largely the Kings of the East (a China-led coalition), or the European confederacy, comprised of ten regions.
In order for the EU to propose any sort of challenge to the China or Russia, it would need to capitalize on the things it has excelled at, which is technology and economics. The EU still wants their great military forces (as treaties and stability are meaningless without the threat of power). Logistically speaking, it would take time to transfer the wealth, power, and people of those who were left behind in the US to the newly ascending European Union (and/or Union of the Mediterranean). This is also assuming that people would want to leave the New World for the Old World, but if the US were to return to its wild and ungovernable roots, many would flee the Americas to get back to some sense of normalcy.
So how does the Antichrist take power and revive the old Roman Empire (the EU and UfM) to take over the entire earth in the last days?
The same way Hitler did.
He took advantage of chaos and uncertainty.
This is why I believe there is a gap in time between the Rapture and the start of the 70th Week of Daniel (aka...the Tribulation). Note that Adolph Hitler did not rise to power at a time when Germany was prospering and politically stable; he rose to power when things were in utter shambles. Back then in 1929, the US Stock Market crashed, triggering numerous economic crashes around the world. Germany was still suffering under the auspices of the financial penalties from the post-WWI Versailles Treaty. When the stock market crashed, they literally hit rock bottom. Using Hitler, as an example as an antichrist, the one thing we take note of, is that it took time for him to do what he did.
Hitler's political climb to power started in 1929 and continued through his ascension to the Chancellorship in 1933= four years.
Hitler's domestic consolidation of power began in 1933 and continued through 1938, when he annexed Czechoslovakia and the Sudetenland= five years.
Therefore, it took nine years from the 1929 to 1938 before Hitler's true ambitions came to the forefront. If the Rapture of the Church triggers a similar economic shockwave around the world such as the 1929 Stock Market Crash, then conservatively speaking, we could see the Antichrist rise to power in half that time, or about 4.5 years.
The timing would have to be right for a leader to step in and fill the vacuum that an absent US would present. However, this man would still need the logistical means to resource and finance his ambitions. This is where advancements in technology and the Mark of the Beast system comes into view. This man (the Antichrist) would first have to contend with a number of systemic and emerging issues and problem sets that would prevent him from completely taking over IF the Rapture happened tomorrow:
1. The sudden removal of 31M US citizens would destabilize the US Dollar causing it to collapse. When it does, it will drag every other fiat currency down with it. This means not only economic instability ensue, but also political, military, and societal chaos. The only solution to this problem is to convert the world's economies over to a new form of currency. This means that the world would already have to be close to such technology for that to be feasible. In 2019, we are already there.
2. The war on truth (fake news, information leaks, disinformation, etc.) has become every bit as real as any other military conflict. IF the economies of the world collapse, and societal chaos ensues, no one will know whom to trust to a far greater degree than even today. The Antichrist would need to use this new financial system as a forcing-function to create absolute, politically loyalty.
3. THE world is currently divided amongst nationalists and globalists. The happy medium between these two polarized viewpoints is regionalization. Divide nations amongst regions, so that the nation states can still keep some semblance of autonomy (the EU is largely like this today), but are grouped in regions so that they can be more manageable. The Club of Rome (See here) have already created a map detailing this plan.
4. While the political world of today refuses to acknowledge the spiritual domain, the Antichrist will absolutely embrace it. He will do so through infusing technology (some form of quantum-based artificial intelligence) into his body. His super-power as it were, will be the most superior intellect the world has ever seen. He will have perfect ability to recall any bit of information ever conceived of by man and use it for his advantage. Through the help of another person called the False Prophet (who really does have supernatural powers), the Antichrist will begin to consolidate his power amongst the other regional leaders (Dan. 7:7-8, 19-25). Lastly and most importantly, Satan will give him all the kingdoms of the earth (Luke 4:5-7).
According to 2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8, the Antichrist cannot be revealed until AFTER the Rapture of the Church.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed...
According to Revelation 4:1-2 and 5:8-10, Christ begins to open the Seals after the church has already been caught up to heaven.
After these things (after the church age) I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this (after the church age)." Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. (Emphasis mine)
The Antichrist cannot begin his conquest, until Christ opens the first Seal.
Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. Revelation 6:1-2
Therefore, the Antichrist will not be in a position to confirm any covenant with anyone, until he is politically/militarily/economically in a position to do so and...
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; Daniel 9:26-27
One cannot negotiate from a position of weakness. Antichrist must be in a position of power to set the terms, enforce the regulations or laws of the treaty, in order for anyone to abide by it.
So many things have to happen between the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation (Gog and Magog War, rebuilding of the Third Jewish Temple, power transfer to the EU) that it becomes logistically impossible to do it all within the seven-year period of the 70th Week proper. With that said, if you understand the gap required, you need not manipulate your Pre-Tribulation Rapture position to fit current events.
Next Week, Volume II: The Mark of the Beast
'Green New Deal' Would Decimate Earth's Population - By Geri Ungurean - https://www.raptureready.com/2019/02/17/green-new-deal-decimate-earths-population-geri-ungurean/
Since 2015, I have been writing articles on the Georgia Guide Stones and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
What do these have in common? The Georgia Guide Stones (GGS), an eerie monument of sorts, clearly spells out the Globalists' agenda for our planet. There are ten commandments on GGS, which has been called the "Stonehenge" of America
Here are the ten commandments engraved on the stones:
I want the reader to focus on the first commandment about maintaining humanity under 500 million people. Since the earth now has approximately 7.7 BILLION people, if you do the math, you will see that the globalists want to kill off around 95% of the human population! YES - you read that correctly.
Here is the article if you have not read it:
The Georgia Guide Stones, Population Control and the Coming Antichrist <click here to read
Sustainable Development Goals of the U.N.
Here is the article I wrote on the 2015 meeting of the U.N. regarding "Sustainable Development Goals."
Preparing the World for Antichrist: The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals < click to read
Alex Newman of "The New American" wrote a startling piece recently. It seems that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (the new Socialist representative in Congress) co-authored what is being called "The Green New Deal." Alex attended an event in Calgary, Canada, where he met the former Co-Founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore. Mr. Moore had MUCH to say about the dangerous legislation which is being pushed by the Dems in the House.
Green New Deal Would Kill Almost Everyone, Warns Greenpeace Co-Founder
CALGARY, Canada - The "Green New Deal" proposed by congressional Democrats is a "recipe for mass suicide" and the "most ridiculous scenario I ever heard," Greenpeace Co-Founder Patrick Moore (shown) warned in an exclusive interview with The New American. In fact, Dr. Moore warned that if the "completely preposterous" prescriptions in the scheme were actually implemented, Americans could be forced to turn to cannibalism to avoid starvation - and they still would not survive. Other experts such as Craig Rucker, the executive director of the environmental group Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), also sounded the alarm about the "green" proposal in Congress, comparing it to Soviet five-year plans and calling it a "prescription for disaster."
The so-called Green New Deal is a massive scheme to, among other goals, restructure the U.S. economy. It is being advanced by a coalition of radical communist and socialist Democrats in Congress led by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). A resolution (H. Res. 109) "recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal (GND)" already has 67 co-sponsors in the House. If the scheme outlined in the resolution expressing the "sense of the House" is implemented, it would seek to eliminate air travel, the eating of steaks, the use of hydrocarbons, and more. It would aim to completely end all emissions of CO2 - an essential gas exhaled by every living person and required by plants - over the coming decade.
Moore, who was one of six international directors of Greenpeace, was flabbergasted that something so ludicrous could even be proposed, much less be advanced in the U.S. government. "It is quite amazing that someone that is in government - actually elected to the government of the United States of America - would propose that we eliminate all fossil fuels in 12 years," he said in an on-camera interview with The New American from Canada. "This would basically result, if we did it on a global level, it would result in the decimation of the human population from 7-odd billion down to who knows how few people." It would end up killing almost everyone on the planet, he added.
Worse than mass death would be the way people reacted. "It would basically begin a process of cannibalization among the human species, because the food could not be delivered to the stores in the middle of the cities anymore," Moore continued. "The point that bothers me the most is that if you eliminated fossil fuels, every tree in the world would be cut for fuel. There is no other source for heating and cooking once you eliminate fossil fuels. You could use animal dung, if there were any animals left, but the animals would all die too because they would all get eaten."
Moore also slammed the "social aspects" of the Green New Deal proposals such as "paying people who are unwilling to work," according to a FAQ released by Ocasio-Cortez' office. "I can't believe that anyone would write that in a proposal for law in the United States of America," he said, calling it "just unbelievable." Indeed, that language and other half-baked ideas caused nationwide ridicule of Ocasio-Cortez and others involved in pushing the "New Deal." The ridicule got so intense that one of its proponents eventually lied, claiming that mischievous Republicans might have put out a fake Green New Deal document to make Democrats look ridiculous. But then the truth came out, despite the FAQ being removed from Cortez's congressional website.
But the absurdity of it all may be a boost to Republicans and President Donald Trump. "We have a situation where something completely preposterous is being backed by a large number of Democratic congressional elected representatives in the United States of America," Moore said. "This is actually going to put Trump right over the top. I cannot see how this can possibly be negative for him. It can only be positive, because people recognize when something is preposterous. And I think that is the best word for it."
"The best term for it is actually mass-suicidal," Moore added. "Why would anyone vote for something that was going to result in the death of nearly all humans on Earth?" As far as what Americans could do who support the environment but not mass suicide, Moore urged people not to vote for anyone who would support the "Green New Deal."
Recipe for Mass Suicide Video WATCH: https://youtu.be/hUXKaBbqecQ
Speaking at a conference put on by the Economic Education Association of Alberta over the weekend, Moore also explained that so much of what climate alarmists were pushing was pseudo-science and easily discredited lies. For instance, carbon dioxide is actually doing great things in terms of greening the planet - after all, it is plant food, Moore said. He also lambasted those who say coral reefs are dying due to alleged man-made global warming, something he said was not true. Noting that trucks need hydrocarbon fuels to bring produce to market in cities, Dr. Moore explained that just that one problem alone would be absolutely catastrophic if CO2 emissions were ended.
Moore has since left the Greenpeace he helped found, because it left him. When the group was founded, "we wanted to save civilization; we didn't want to destroy it," he told The New American. "By the time I left Greenpeace, it had drifted into a situation in which all they had left was the green. They kind of dropped the peace, which was the human side of the situation. And now they were characterizing people as the enemies of the earth - the human species as the enemies of nature, as if we were the only evil species."
One of the most outrageous campaigns by Greenpeace, Moore said, was when the leadership - which had no formal science education - decided to try to ban chlorine use worldwide. "Yes, chlorine can be toxic; it was used as a weapon in World War I," he said. "But the fact that it is toxic is why it is the most important element in public health and medicine. Adding it to drinking water was the biggest advance in the history of public health... that has saved hundreds of millions of lives through the time that we learned to use chlorine as an anti-bacterial agent." Nature, he added, is full of toxic materials.
In his own keynote address at the conference, CFACT's Rucker - who famously boarded Greenpeace ships to "punk" them with propaganda banners reading "ship of lies" and "propaganda warrior" - explained that much of the environmentalist movement has it backwards. The real key to preserving the environment, he said, is free markets, private property, and prosperity. Poor nations do not have the resources to protect the environment. And socialist-ruled nations have the worst environmental track-records of all. Meanwhile, freer and wealthier nations such as the United States, Canada, Japan, and Western Europe have remarkably clean environments.
In an interview with The New American, Rucker celebrated freedom. "What's good for people is good for nature," he said, calling for pro-growth policies that benefit people rather than government-enforced scarcity. "It's like the old Chinese proverb: When there is food on the table, there are many problems; when there is no food on the table, there is one problem. Societies that do not take care of their people don't have the resources to take care of the planet."
Rucker, a top leader of the non-totalitarian environmental movement, also slammed the "Green New Deal" being advanced in Congress. "It is a horrible idea," he said, blasting the original New Deal as well. "But I actually think it is more like the Soviet 5-year plan.... They want to be off fossil fuels within 10 years. That is insane. It is not that we are embracing fossil fuels, but this is a government-driven objective much like the old Soviet plans were government-driven objectives. It is going to fail. And the problem is, it is going to take a lot of people down with it... This is going to really hurt people. It is a prescription for disaster."
Citing University of Maryland business Professor Julian Simon, Rucker used a hilarious example to illustrate the point. If the ideology of the sustainable-development movement were used 100 years ago, there would be great concern about where humanity was going to get enough whale oil to use as lighting. But of course, since then, electricity and light bulbs have taken the place of whale oil, thereby eliminating the alleged prospect of resources running out. The same concept applies to other resources, too, he said. When the price goes up due to scarcity, people will find substitutes and new ways of getting what they need - at least they will if markets are allowed to operate. "People are not just mouths; they are also hands and a brain," he said.
He also drew a distinction between the "conservation" ethic, in which man is included in how to protect the planet, and the "preservation" ethic and the "Deep Green ecology" that views man as a "virus on the planet" that needs to be removed. Obviously, efforts to conserve nature should have the well-being of man in mind, he said.
Green New Deal HORRIBLE WATCH: https://youtu.be/PZa8o-J0hpo
Rucker and Moore both served at keynote speakers at the annual "FreedomTalk" conference [a project of the] Economic Education Association of Alberta. This writer gave a speech focusing on the indoctrination of children taking place in public schools - and particularly the implications of it for freedom. Other speakers highlighted the problems with the man-made global-warming hypothesis, the looming public pension disaster, and much more. - source
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU or on Facebook.
Alex also co-wrote the book "Crimes of the Educators" which is a "must" read.
Brethren, we have been seeing the year 2030 cited over and over in the news. Please understand that this year was part of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. This year is projected by the U.N. to be the year when ALL countries (including the U.S.) comply with regulations set forth by the U.N. regarding "Saving the Planet," which is the TOTAL opposite of what these regulations will do!
I believe that this projection of the U.N. is in direct correlation to the first commandment of the Georgia Guide Stones.
We can pray that this monstrous legislation coming from the Dems will die a quick death. But no matter what happens, we must focus on the fact that God is in Control of history.
2030? Who knows what that year will bring? Our God knows.......
Everything that happens, God has allowed because every event further fulfills Bible Prophecy!
The pieces are falling into place!
An Hour Ye Think Not - By Pete Garcia - http://rev310.com/2019/02/an-hour-ye-think-not
Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" Matthew 24:1-3
One of the most common rebukes used to discourage people from studying prophecy or the Rapture of the Church is a passage taken from Jesus in the Olivet Discourse. In Matthew 24:36, Jesus states but of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. On the surface, it appears that Jesus was trying to dissuade His disciples from trying figure out when exactly all these fantastical things He had just shared with them would occur. Yet, if Jesus was really trying to dissuade them from knowing, why explain in such great detail all the things He does concerning the original three questions they asked?
At the time of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus had not been arrested, tried, crucified, or resurrected so even the events surrounding even that very week was not fully clear to the disciples. At His arrest, the disciples scattered, Peter would go on to deny Christ three times, and they would watch in agony as their Messiah is publicly and humiliatingly nailed to a cross. Even after His resurrection and subsequent forty days amongst them, the disciples were still in confusion as to what was to happen next.
Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:6-8
We have the luxury today of reading all these events in our neatly chaptered and versed Bibles with a great deal of theological, historical, and archeological hindsight. We often read into the text this idea that the disciples should have known what was is clearly plain to us. They did not have a New Testament explaining all this to them. It would not be for some time after Christ ascended in which these future things would be revealed to them.
After Pentecost, God the Holy Spirit was now showing the Apostles all the things, which would take place for them then and in the days to come. This knowledge was not all given to Peter or James, but to each according to their ministry and to what God wanted them to know at the appropriate time. It was to the Apostle Paul that Christ revealed the mystery of this new creation known as the Church. Pulling from an ever growing Gentile audience and consisting of both Jew and Gentile converts, the Church would become in Christ neither Jew nor Gentile. The Church would become a hybrid and unique entity conceived at Pentecost by the giving of the Holy Spirit and would continue to grow until some future point when the fullness of the Gentiles is complete.
God's mechanism for transferring His attention and purposes from the Church back to Israel, is known as the Rapture of the Church. This event accomplishes several things, the first of which is fulfilling a promise Christ made to them (and us) in the Upper Room Discourse (John 14:1-3). That if He went away (He did), that He would return and take us to be where He is (He will). Then God would return His focus solely back upon the nation of Israel to finish that final week of Daniel's Seventy Weeks of which He determined (chathak) to them that He would complete the six items listed below.
"Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
(1) To finish the transgression,
(2) To make an end of sins,
(3) To make reconciliation for iniquity,
(4) To bring in everlasting righteousness,
(5) To seal up vision and prophecy,
(6) And to anoint the Most Holy. Dan. 9:24 (emphasis mine)
These things HAVE to happen. As mentioned in my article last week, God does not shrink away from revealing specific things to us and for us. On one hand, we have God revealing via the Angel Gabriel to Daniel the exact timing of Christ's First Advent to the earth as the God-Man. This ended exactly at the 69th week with the Messiah being cut off. On the other, what is not revealed to Daniel (or later to the disciples), is the 2,000-year gap in time we now refer to as the Church Age or the Dispensation of Grace. This is a unique time for a body of believers from every tribe, tongue, and nation who are brought into the singularly corporate body of Christ. This global drawing is what Paul referred to as the fullness of the Gentiles in Romans 11:25. It is a summation of what Jesus stated in two passages within Matthew's gospel.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. Matt. 28:17-19
Having now two thousand years of church history behind us, we can see with crystal-clear clarity that the Gospel has indeed gone out into all the nations. This is not to say that the Gospel has been embraced by every nation and taken root, but you can bet there are believers in every nation on earth and believers of every major tribe and tongue. This is why Satan has worked so diligently to blanket the earth with as many antichristian governments and religions as possible (e.g....Communism, Islam, atheism, etc.).
However, this brings me back to the original issue regarding Matthew 24:36; can we know when Christ will return at His Second Advent?
The answer absolutely yes. It will be seven years from the start of that final 70th Week.
What we cannot know is when that final week will start. That final week will not commence until after the Church is removed at the Rapture. The Rapture is indirectly tied to the covenant by way of sequential events. The Rapture will trigger the geopolitical reordering of the power on earth, allowing a covenant to be made at a future point by Israel with the many (Dan. 9:27).
Both the Church and subsequently the Church Age were a mystery both to Daniel and the other Old Testament Prophets as well as to the disciples. The disciples, as mentioned previously, asked Christ when He would restore the Kingdom to Israel. They were still thinking in terms of the Old Testament prophecies and promises, which had been made to Israel. It would not be until the Apostle Paul later reveals that the Church has a different timeline and destiny than that of national Israel. Speaking to the believers at the church at Ephesus Paul writes...
...having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-in Him. Eph.1:9-10
Paul had shared with the church in Rome...
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Romans 11:25
We cannot know the day or hour of the Rapture simply because the Church as an extension of Christ Himself (we are His body), adopted heirs, and an object of His affection will continue to grow and mature until this fullness of the Gentiles comes to a culmination point. Will that culmination point be in 2017? It might be...but I do not know for certain. However, I do believe 2017 will be significant to Israel if the historical pattern holds true (1897, 1917, 1947, 1967, 1977, and 1987). [As it turns out, it was!]
This fullness of the Gentiles serves as a bookend of sorts, capping the age of the church from Pentecost until Rapture. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to earth in spectacular fashion (Acts. 2:1-4). At the Rapture, those Spirit-sealed believers are also removed from the earth in spectacular fashion (Ephesians 1:11-14; 1 Cor. 15:51-55).
The Church is the singular, corporate, multi-membered body of Christ. I am not saying that no other person (Jew or Gentile) will be saved after the Rapture. We know that they do according to Rev. 6:9-11 amongst other Revelation passages. In truth, the Gospel will continue into the Tribulation by the 144,000 Jewish male virgins and with the angelic proclamations in the Heavens (Rev. 14:6-7), but those who come to faith after the Rapture are not Church-Age saints.
Some might argue this point, but considering all the variations, we plainly see within humanity, within the angelic ranks, and within creation itself, speaks volumes to the idea that within the redeemed, there is also variation and distinctions. The Church-Age saints are as distinct from the Old Testament saints (or pre-Christ saints), as they will be from the post-Rapture saints. The main distinction itself coming from the knowledge of Christ. The OT Saints knew a Messiah would come, but they did not know exactly who, when, or how. They had faith that One would come and this time of waiting was completed with John the Baptist.
You yourselves bear me witness that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.' He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:28-30
The Church's knowledge of Christ and His first coming but were not eyewitnesses to it (except for those in Christ's day). We have to take things by faith and by God's word.
Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29
Those who come to faith after the Rapture will be plunged into the darkest period of human history replete with supernatural signs, wonders, and judgments, as well as having witnessed the Rapture event itself. This fullness of the Gentiles is not to be confused with the times of the Gentiles which does not find its completion until the end of the seven-year Tribulation (Luke 21:24).
Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near-at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. Matt. 24:32-36 (emphasis mine)
We often get hung up with the identity of the fig tree. But whether we attribute it to the nation of Israel (Judges 9:10-11; Jeremiah 24:1-10; Hosea 9:10; Mark 11:12-14; etc.), or not, we understand the intent of the parable. Christ said when its branch has become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. He didn't say you may know, or you might know, but He said, you know.
Christ spent His precious time and energy conveying to His disciples (and to us) these signs of the times so that we will know that the season is near, even at the doors! If 2017 holds true to historical patterns, then something significant should happen as it regards to Israel (i.e....the fig tree). That means God is getting ready to conclude this current Church Age, and return His focus back to the nation of Israel. He did not bring her back out of national extinction and diaspora, to continue on indefinitely with both her and the Church in play. That overlap will come to an end just as it did before and He will finish what He started with her regarding Daniel's 70 Weeks.
Like a countdown, we have seen 120, 100, 70, 50, 40, and 30 year-markers as well as three Jubilee cycles (two of which overlap) happening in the same period of time. Perhaps 2017 does come and go without a peep and we are still here. At this point, then I would really be looking up. Either 2017 comes and goes, or we do, but therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect (Matt. 24:44).
Watch Israel for Signs of the Times: Part 1 - By Gene Lawley - https://www.raptureready.com/2019/02/14/watch-israel-signs-times-part-1-gene-lawley/
Jesus challenged the Jewish leaders in Matthew 16:1-4, answering their request for a sign from heaven with these words:
"When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'; and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah."
Of course, Jesus did not elaborate for them what this meant. Would they search it out with a desire for the truth? John writes, in John 5:39-40, of another time when Jesus was more direct:
"You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life."
In these two examples, we have the key to the title of this article-"signs of the times" are told by what is happening in current events regarding the earth and people of the world and compared with the proclamations of Scripture.
Types or examples by people and events in the Old Testament of New Testament "look-a-likes" are numerous. One event and person that is duplicated, in type, of the outworking of God for Israel is that of Israel's experience in Egypt and of the part Moses had in their exodus.
Joseph was a type of Christ, as he was the pivotal person in Israel's salvation from the peril of starvation in the time of famine. It was 430 years that Israel was in the bondage of slavery in Egypt when God raised up Moses and led them out of that bondage. Moses told the people that "another Prophet like me" will come forth in the future.
The end of God's prophetic dealing with Israel in the Old Testament was with the writings of Malachi. It was 400 years later that Matthew's gospel opened the New Testament era with the coming of the Messiah as a babe in Bethlehem, just as the prophet Isaiah had predicted. Thirty years later, Jesus appeared as a grown man, beginning His effort to lead Israel out of the bondage of the law of works and slavery to sin.
Note the likeness of the slaughter of young boys under two years of age in both instances. Note also how they rejected Moses and God in their trek across the wilderness in those days, and then, the rejection of Jesus the Christ when He came, just as John 5:39-40, above, spells it out.
Therefore, God set them aside-temporarily-to take to Himself a people from the Gentiles.
Romans 11:25 tells us:
"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in."
At the conference in Jerusalem, as reported in Acts 15:14, what that meant, regarding the Gentiles:
"Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name."
Notice, too, that Israel was set aside in part; that is, not every Israelite would be blinded to the truth of Jesus being the Messiah, so that some would receive Christ.
John 1:11-12 tells of that rejection plainly:
"He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name."
Remember that Paul wrote, in Romans 1:16:
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek."
The trail of the Jews does not end there; for God, when He judged Israel and "scattered them into all nations" just as the prophets Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah and others constantly predicted, He also promised to restore them to the land given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob many years before. Just one of Jeremiah's reports of God's promise is this:
"Then it shall be, after I have plucked them out, that I will return and have compassion on them and bring them back, everyone to his heritage and everyone to his land" (Jeremiah 12:15).
It is not a casual statement that God "forgot" His promises when the Jews rejected His offer of salvation with Jesus the Christ. (Replacement Theology is an obvious deception from the devil so that man will not be looking for the returning of Christ.)
After their rejection of Christ at His trial and ever since that dispersion of Israel among all of the nations, the restoration of their nation was the next notable event on their calendar. When Jesus told us, in Luke 21:28, "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near," He was addressing His followers, then and now, and had just listed many of the turbulent physical, political and social tragedies that will occur in the last days. It compares favorably with the increased worldwide physical turbulences in the past ten to twenty years-earthquakes, their aftereffects, violent hurricanes, thunderstorms, snowstorms and their flooding results in an exponential manner.
Then, after those words, Jesus marked the time when the countdown to the end was to begin, with His parable of the blooming of the fig tree, a symbol of the nation of Israel. Since Israel became a nation among nations again, time has been closing in on the Day of the Lord when His judgment will begin.
What I have discussed above is a subject of history. It has already occurred. That is, the things are "beginning to happen." It has long been the recognition of prophecy students that God's "timepiece" is the nation of Israel-what is happening and going to happen to Israel.
Over the centuries of Israel's existence as a nation, the prophets repeatedly reported that God's plan, in response to Israel's continual rejection of the Lord in favor of the idols of their godless neighbors, was to scatter them throughout the world of nations. However, He also promised over and over that He would restore them to the land that He had promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
More than a few, today, claim that God went back on His promise and has given those promises to the church, and Israel has no right to be in that land at all; it belongs to the church, they say. But why do they then say the land is owned by the Palestinians?
The very fact that the Jews are back in the land, even by the hand of secular entities, says volumes about the sovereignty of God. The clear answer is that God does not lie, ever, nor change his mind. Those are fixed attributes of His character; and if not, then mankind is doomed, for what do they say about His other promises of salvation through Christ's death on the cross of Calvary?
Numbers 23:19 properly refutes those believers in "Replacement Theology" by the power of His Word:
"God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"
The promises of God to "scatter them among all nations" is a repeated declaration throughout the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 28:64 looks forward to that possibility:
"Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known-wood and stone."
In His promises of restoration, God makes it clear that He does not do it because of anything those people have done, honorable or dishonorable, but "for His own names sake," that His own character remains unblemished and true.
After the fact seems to be the timing of this quote from Ezekiel 36:19, saying, "So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds."
This past-tense accounting has a contextual relationship with the following Ezekiel 37 account of the restoration of the nation of "dry bones" or emptiness, to a new nation, where the promise of the return of the Jews to their land is stated like this:
"Then say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again" (Ezekiel 37:21-22).
In His promises of restoration of the Jews to their land of promise, it is always from "all" or "every" nation to which they have been scattered. Thus, the promise was not fulfilled when Israel became a new nation on May 14, 1948. There are still thousands remaining in nations around the world. It is estimated that 600 thousand remain in America and about 350 thousand in Canada, for example. When will the "all" be fulfilled, then?
The coming seven years of tribulation is referenced as "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7), thus continuing the restoring to the land all Jews from around the world until the second return of Jesus Christ. When Paul wrote of the setting aside of the Jewish people for these many centuries, he explained it this way:
"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in" (Romans 11:25).
The reference to the Gentiles comes from God's declaration that He would "take from among the Gentiles a people for His name" (Acts 15:14). When Jesus returns to redeem His own at the Rapture, as recorded by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 5:1-4, the "fullness of the Gentiles" will have come in. The one thing in the account of the Rapture that involves Israel is her response at the confirmation of the covenant when the Jews cry out in relief, "Peace and safety," as Paul related in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3, which appears to be a triggering action for the Rapture's beginning.
(To be continued in Part 2)
Contact email: email@example.com
The Paradox of a Righteous Lot - By Pete Garcia -
Most of us alive here in America tend to see the world with a western worldview. This worldview works fine for everyday life, but can cause the average western believer consternation when trying to make sense of certain parts of the Scriptures. All Scripture is giving by inspiration of God through the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16), but what we fail to sometimes take into account, was that the men who physically wrote the Bible, were all from the Oriental world.
The Old Testament was written almost entirely in Hebrew and with a small portion in Aramaic. The New Testament was written entirely in Koine Greek (the common vernacular of the day). Nevertheless, it was Jewish men, who thought with a Hebraic mindset, which wrote both Old and New Testaments. Therefore, when we modern westerners get to certain parts of the scriptures, the text seems to be paradoxical and we often times get perplexed at the seeming contradictions.
However, to the Hebrew mind, opposing ideas could be equally accepted at the same time. Patterns that formed cycles were key to understanding the fullness of the entirety of the message. The Hebrew culture (like other eastern cultures) used what has been deemed, "block logic", and in Marvin Wilson's "Our Father Abraham-Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith", he makes some interesting points about the two:
The use of what may be termed block logic is another important contour of Hebrew thought. Greek logic, which has to a large extent influenced the Western world, was different. The Greeks often used a tightly contained step logic whereby one would argue from premises to a conclusion, each step linked tightly to the next in coherent, rational, logical fashion. The conclusion, however, was usually limited to one point of view-the human being's perception of reality
The Hebrew knew he did not know all the answers. His position was 'under the sun' (Ecc. 8:17), so his words were few (5:2). He refused to over-systematize or forced harmonization on the enigmas of God's truth or the puzzles of the universe. He realized that no one could straighten what God has made crooked (7:13). All things, therefore, did not need to be fully rational. The Hebrew mind was willing to accept the truths taught on both sides of the paradox; it recognized that mystery and apparent contradictions are often signs of the divine. Stated succinctly, the Hebrews knew the wisdom of learning to trust in matters that they could not fully understand.
In layman's terms, those influenced in western thought, i.e....the Greco-Roman world-view, understood things in a linear, logical manner. We try to apply logic to a problem in order to come up with the most logical solution. Applying this type of mental methodology to Bible prophecy, can often times frustrates the purpose, which then causes confusion. Marvin Wilson provides some excellent examples in which 'block logic' is used in Scriptures:
The book of Exodus says that Pharaoh hardened his heart, but it also says that God hardened it (Ex. 8:15; cf. 7:3). The prophets teach that God is both wrathful and merciful (Isa. 45:7; Hab. 3:2). The New Testament refers to [Yeshua] as the 'Lamb of God' and the 'Lion of the tribe of Judah' (Jn. 1:29, 36; Rev. 5:5). Hell is described as both 'blackest darkness' and the fiery lake' (Jude 13; Rev. 19:20). In terms of salvation, [Yeshua] said, 'whoever comes to me I will never drive away,' yet no one can come 'unless the Father draws him' (Jn. 6:37, 44). To find life you must lose it (Mt. 10:39). When you are weak, then you are strong (2 Cor. 12:10). The way up (exaltation) is the way down (humility) (Lk. 14:11). 'Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated' (Rom. 9:13; Mal. 1:3).
Block logic is the mindset, that one can accept two opposing ideas as both equally true... it all depends on whose perception one is looking through.
Old Testament Lot
Throughout the entirety of his account beginning in Genesis chapter 11, through chapter 19, Lot was always living in the shadow of his older cousin Abram (Abraham). When they arrived at Canaan, Abram gave him the choice cut of land and they parted ways. A little later on, some wicked kings kidnapped Lot and Abram had to come to the rescue. From there, the Lord and two angels visit Abraham and give him a heads up, that they were going to visit Sodom and Gomorrah, and then destroy it. Abraham, knowing Lot lived there, asked one of the most pivotal questions that sets the tone for the rest of the Scriptures:
And Abraham came near and said, "Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Genesis 18:23
Two angels were dispatched to Sodom and Gomorrah, and there Lot met them at the gate. He persuaded them to come back to his house because he knew the kind of evil that would befall these visitors should they remain out in the open. However, this did not stop the men of the city from surrounding Lot's house and attempting to break down the door to get to them. Lot does what any "red-blooded father" would do...and he offers up his two daughters in exchange for these visitors safety. The outraged mob attempt to rush Lot and the visitors...
In addition, they (the mob) said,
"Stand back!" Then they said, "This one (Lot) came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them." So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door. Genesis 19:9-11
From there, the two visitors and Lot with family in tow depart the city early in the morning. Lot's wife looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt. Lot ends up in the mountains with his two daughters, and they get him drunk and seduce him so they could be impregnated.
Seems like Lot is always getting himself into some kind of precarious situation.
New Testament Lot
Lot is referenced twice in the New Testament; first in Luke 17, when Jesus referencing what the world will be like when He returns, pointed back to the wickedness of that time. The second mention is by the Apostle Peter. And here, Peter gives three different examples of the punishment in which God had served in the past to curb the wickedness in the world: the fallen angels who left their first estate and copulated with human women, the wicked people in Noah's day, and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Lot's day...
....and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)- 2 Peter 2:7-8
WHAT?! Did I miss something in the Genesis account? Three times, Peter was moved by the Holy Spirit to call this man Lot righteous. What did we see of this man's life and actions in the Old Testament that would warrant him being addressed as righteous now?
Remember that thing about 'block logic'? There is where our perception and God's, see things differently.
Just turn on the news or read the Drudge Report one day and you can quickly see the awful wickedness that permeates this day and age we live in. Lot's circumstance was just a microcosm of what we experience today. Both news and travel have greatly increased (Dan 12:4), and we know what's going on in the world as it happens. Since bad news sells better than good news, we are inundated with as much of it as one can take.
Whether it's horrific crimes committed against the innocent, or wars, pestilence, famines, and corruption, you can be sure that no matter where you look, you don't have to look hard. For those of us who watch the signs of the times, it can make you weary and long for the Lord to return. Even now we are being oppressed by the filthy conduct that is being pressed on us to accept as normal by the "civilized" world. The issues includes: drugs, gay marriage, abortion, anti-Christian propaganda, euthanasia, apostate and false religious movements, genetic engineering, and violence perpetrated against the Church in many parts of the world.
Is your soul tormented? If it's not, then your head is in the proverbial hole in the sand. Remember, we are tri-partite beings: body, soul, and spirit. Even though one is saved (revived spirit), our souls (the conscious) is being tested like never before. The floodgates of evil are being opened and we are getting just a taste of what's going to be turned loose during the Tribulation. Even now, we are weary and long to be home in heaven with our Savior.
For those who don't watch for the Lord's soon return, it's just business as usual. And that attitude often feeds the frustration many of us feel when sharing the gospel with urgency we know...with the apathetic or spiritually blinded who don't know how close to the end we really are, nor do they want to know.
The Pattern and the Plan
According to the Strong's Lexicon, Lot's name in Hebrew means "Covering" and since he had to be removed prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, we too will be removed prior to the Wrath of God being poured out on this world. As the body of Christ on earth, we are inhabited and sealed by the Holy Spirit, overcomers chosen by God before the foundation of the world ever came to be (Eph 1:4). [The Plan] At the Rapture, the Holy Spirit's ministry of restraint is likewise removed, and God's wrath is poured out on a Christ rejecting world. When the covering is removed, God's wrath was poured out on the plains cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. When the Church is removed (along with the Restrainer) the wrath will be poured out. This pattern is repeated throughout the Scriptures. God does not destroy the righteous with the wicked. [The Pattern] Although we don't see much righteousness in Lot's testimony, God did. Although we don't have much to brag about ourselves, God sees us as righteous through the shed blood of His Son on the cross at Calvary. It may not always make sense to us, but it does to God. And I love it when God's plan comes together!
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:2
Does the Great Commission Exclude Teaching on Prophecy? - By Jonathan Brentner -
The prevailing mindset of many Bible-believing pastors today is that eschatology, or the study of future things, is not only separate from the preaching of the Gospel, but detracts from it. They maintain that our task of fulfilling the Great Commission excludes teaching on prophecy, which they believe only confuses believers and stirs up unwelcome controversy.
Is this way of thinking biblical? No, it is not. This represents a myopic way of viewing both the commands and teachings of Jesus, who highlighted "eternal life" as the result of belief in Him and commanded His followers to watch for His return. Let's explore these things in more detail.
Jesus Emphasized Eternal Life
Jesus emphasized eternity throughout His earthly ministry. The Gospel of John records at least a dozen instances where Jesus promised "eternal life" to those who believe in Him.
We are all familiar with John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." The foundation of the Gospel is the promise of eternal life versus the fate of everlasting punishment in hell.
Jesus did not die on the cross just so we would have a terrific Christian life in this uncertain world filled with sorrow and heartache; He sacrificed His life so we could receive eternal life with physical and imperishable bodies, reign with Him in a spectacular kingdom, and spend a glorious eternity with Him.
Many Bible-based preachers love to criticize Joel Osteen for his book, Your Best Life Now, but then reflect that precise idea with teaching that emphasizes Christian living in this life, with only fleeting references to eternity. Doesn't such preaching leave those listening with the singular hope of being a joyous and "good Christian" in the here and now? Where is the hope in that amidst a fallen world?
It's the specifics of our hope of heaven that encourage us each morning as we step out of bed to face a daunting and evil world. The "now-based" preaching that fails to do more than briefly mention the glories ahead for us in eternity does little, if anything, to console us in the midst of tragedy. It's the details of the Lord's return and our eternity in heaven that comfort us in the midst of sorrow and provide bright hope for tomorrow.
Jesus Instructed Us to Watch for His Return
Those who believe that teaching about future things detracts from the Great Commission ignore the other commands of Jesus, especially the one in Matthew 24:44 where He said, "Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." Jesus again stressed the need for watchfulness in 25:13, "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." The Lord commanded us to both be ready and watch for His return.
What does such watching imply? Jesus provides the answer to that in Matthew 16:1-4 where He chides the Pharisees for not recognizing the signs that He, the Messiah, was already with them. He blamed them for not knowing the Old Testament signs of His first coming. Does He not also expect that we also know and recognize the signs of His coming? I believe He does.
In Matthew 24, Jesus gave us many signs of the end of this age so we could recognize the nearness of His coming and not miss the signs as did the Pharisees. In Luke 21:28 He added this, "Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Jesus expects us as His followers to be watching for these signs so we will recognize the season of His return and look up with eager anticipation. This is now!
Those who compare the signs given to us in Scripture with current events are not performing an unnecessary task that diverts attention from fulfilling the Great Commission. They are obeying Jesus' command to watch for His coming.
Jesus Taught about Prophecy after His Resurrection
Jesus stressed at least two things after His resurrection. First, He emphasized how He fulfilled prophecy (Luke 24:26-27, 44-47) and, in doing so, instructed His followers "about the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3). Second, He told His followers to proclaim the Gospel (Acts 1:8).
What was the response of His disciples to His teaching during this time? They asked Him this question just before He ascended back to heaven: "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel" (Acts 1:6)? Why would they ask this question if Jesus had not talked about this matter during the forty days when He emphasized "the kingdom of God?"
Jesus' teaching caused the thoughts of His disciples to race ahead to the time when they would rule with Christ in His kingdom. They expected Jesus to immediately fulfill the promise He made to them earlier: "Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matt. 19:28). Their timing was off, but not their ultimate hope.
There is one instruction in the Great Commission that I rarely hear mentioned in sermons on the Great Commission. The majority of messages on it overlook a key instruction embedded in it, ". . . teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:20). Would this not also include the command of Jesus to watch for His return? I think so.
As we will see in the ministry of the Apostle Paul (my next article), he taught his new converts all about Jesus' imminent return as well as the future day of the Lord.
While C.S. Lewis might not agree with me on everything regarding my views on eschatology, he would agree with my connecting the dots between Jesus' command for us to watch and our urgency to proclaim the Gospel. Notice what he said on this topic:
"If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since because Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this." [i]
You see, we do not detract from the Great Commission through our emphasis on Jesus' soon appearing and the signs of the times. Quite the contrary! Such an emphasis intensifies both the importance and urgency of reaching the lost.
And, many are turning to Christ today precisely because they see how God fulfilled prophecy with the first coming of Jesus, and recognize that He is doing it again with His Second Coming!
Just ask JD Farag who in part inspired this post. His prophecy updates demonstrate how the teaching of prophecy brings many to Jesus!
Website: Our Journey Home
[i] C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (London: Collins, Fontana Books, 1955), p. 116. Quoted in Hot Tub Religion, p. 90