The Incurable Curiosity of the Cosmos: Vol. II - By Pete Garcia -
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Psalm 19:1
My own personal curiosity about space began with the late, great JR Church's article, The Gospel in the Stars. Mr. Church resurrected this topic from Joseph Seiss and E.W. Bullinger, who each wrote about this in the late 19th-century. By the end of the article, I was both fascinated with the topic, and in awe of God's majesty. I was even a little disappointed frankly, that I had not considered these things about the stars myself. Understandably, we approach this topic with a bit of caution, because Scripture neither outright confirms this theory, nor denies it, thus, we must allow the Spirit to guide our understanding on these things. [For the first part of this article though, I will be paraphrasing portions of Mr. Church's article to make the point ].
A well-known fact of history was that the ancient cultures of Egypt, Assyria, and the Chaldeans all held the stars in a special place in their pagan theologies. They considered them sacred and divine to varying degrees. What is not as well known, is that the ancient Hebrews, and their forefathers (e.g., those antediluvians who predated Abraham but were of the same lineage) also held a special place for the constellations. Since there was no written biblical accounts of creation prior to Job (circa 2100BC) or Moses (circa 1400BC) that we know of, it seems reasonable that God communicated to mankind through a variety of agencies, one of which was creation itself. Since the stars are part of that created order, it would not be out of the realm of possibility to believe that they could also seemingly foretell the great story of a coming redemption in symbolism and type.
Now, I have read some online ministries try to discredit Seiss, Bullinger, and the whole Gospel in the stars theory. One point they made was that how could the Gospel be a mystery, if it was written in the stars since the time of Adam. Certainly, we can acknowledge that the Gospel was a mystery to the Old Testament saints and prophets (Eph. 3:8-10, 6:19; Col. 1:26-27). However, we could equally point to the Protoevangelicum as evidence that ancient man knew that at some point in the future God would redeem him.
The question was never about whether the Gospel was a mystery, but where the mystery (musterion) actually lay. I personally believe that the mystery was always about the execution of the salvation plan, not the plan itself. What I mean by that is, the mystery was how God would actually pull it off and never whether He would do it or not.
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me (Job 19:25-27)
The book of Job, written around the year 2100 BC, predates the writing of Genesis by many centuries. In it, Job mentions names certain constellations and states that they (the constellations) were part of God's ways (Job 26:11, 13-14). Job mentions the Serpent, which in the Zodiac is also referred to as Draco, Hydra, Scorpio, or Cetus. Job also mentions the Pleades and the constellation Orion, both of which are found in Taurus. There is also a reference to Arcturus, which means bear in Hebrew, and is a reference to Ursa Major. Not only this, but one of the writer's in the book of Psalm, points out that God telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names (Psalm 147:4).
Once Satan was defeated at his original rebellion, he made his dominion not in the dark, cavernous underworld we often picture him in, but in the air (Eph. 2:2). We will speak more to why that is in a bit, but for now, simply understand that Satan attempted early on to hijack the message of redemption. However, prior to the flood, Satan first attempted to corrupt all of man and animal kind genetically so that a redeemer could not come (Gen. 6:1- 7). After God preserved mankind through the line of Noah, Satan began shifting his tactics by corrupting the created order. The fact that Satan would make the effort to pervert and convert the mnemonic Mazzaroth into a pagan Zodiac system is further evidence of its original significance. If that message (the Mazzaroth) already belonged to Satan, he would not need bother corrupting it.
Originally, the stars were divided into forty-eight constellations, with twelve major constellations, and thirty-six decans or sidereal sidepieces. The Antediluvian Saints (between Seth and Noah) used the Mazzaroth not to divine the future, but as a mnemonic tool used to help aid/keep their oral tradition alive for God's plan of redemption. The name and corruption of the Mazzaroth into what we now know of as the Zodiac, would not come about until some point after the flood, presumably around the time of Nimrod and the tower of Babel (circa 2300BC). For a more in-depth search into the history of the Mazzaroth, see here for the late Chuck Missler's excellent research on the topic.
We Are Not Alone
"At no time, when the astronauts were in space were they alone: there was a constant surveillance by UFOs." - Astronaut Scott Carpenter
As Christians, we understand that there is more to this reality than what we can see, here, and touch. We understand that there are only three different kinds of intelligent, sentient, beings in our existence. There first is the triune Godhead- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Next is the Angelic realm, filled with innumerable holy and unholy angels. Lastly, there is man. However, the secular world has a hard time reckoning anything beyond their five senses and reasons that these extra-terrestrial visitors are "aliens" from another planet or galaxy. This is why the issue of UFOs is so intriguing concerning biblical eschatology. The fact that they are here and presumably, very interested in the goings on of earth, means things are about to get interesting.
My first thought on their increased activity was a process of normalization, and allowing themselves to be seen and filmed (in varying degrees) to get unregenerate humans used to the idea that they are not alone. My second thought on this is that since they have yet to make full contact (think Close Encounters of the Third Kind); their motives are not friendly. Just ask anyone who has ever claimed to be abducted and you get the eerie semblance from their testimonials of similar scenarios when humans interact with demons.
For most of man's history on the earth, the sky remained an impenetrable domain until just the last century. When man finally began to take to the skies and started exploring the uppermost parts of his atmosphere, his encounters with the unexplainable would increase to the point where collision for disclosure would become an inevitability. Irrefutable evidence is now coming to the forefront that is forcing secular world governments, the media, and the military to finally address openly. This is the rub. Entertainment through books, movies, and television have long promoted the idea of UFOs and the supernatural because their popular and make a lot of money. This has spawned whole genres and sub-genres where people have begun to believe that these things are real. Meanwhile, the governments of the world have long understood them to be real (because of irrefutable evidences); they have attempted to keep the lid on it because people collectively were not ready for the truth. Therefore, after 70 years of science fiction and fantasy saturating our pop culture world, the time for disclosure is nearby.
The Truth is Out There
On occasion, I listen to a show on YouTube called SecureTeam10. The show is not Christian in nature, but the host, Tyler, keeps it clean and tries very hard to post only videos and commentary that appear to be as reputable as possible. He recently did an episode that sparked my curiosity and got me thinking about things. Although he primarily focuses on unexplained aerial and lunar phenomena (UFO activity), he also covers the strange and bizarre events going on in the world. From the strange, apocalyptic sounds heard around the world, to seemingly artificial structures on places like the moon, mars, and the Antarctic, along with other bizarre things picked up by Google Earth. Recently however, he sparked my interest when he asked a very pertinent question.
Why all of a sudden, are the world powers, infatuated with putting man back on the moon?
Man last set foot on the moon in the 1972 with the Apollo missions. In the subsequent four decades, there has been seemingly little appetite in going back. So why now? Why the rush?
India, China, Israel, Russia, and even the US are all now racing to get back to the moon, and to put a sustained human presence there. Not just them, but private companies as well, such as Moon Express, Amazon, Virgin, and Space X are also racing to get into space. Concerning Israel's mission, they put a twist on it. Their rocket contained some 30 million documents etched into a DVD that contains a massive amount of the world's history.
The 'Lunar Library' started its journey to outer space late February on a robotic lunar lander called Beresheet launched by SpaceX. The archive, which is housed on a metal disc about the size of a DVD, was created by the Arch Mission Foundation, a Los Angeles-based non-profit. The archive is intended to preserve records of human civilization for at least 6 billion years.
There seems to be a strong desire to both preserve humanity and create a "breakaway" civilization on the moon, on or before 2029. Why is that? What are they afraid of? Concurrent to this, NASA has recently admitted to erasing thousands of hours of recently discovered Apollo and Pioneer mission film. This is the film all concerning the moon missions in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. As the article asks, in an era when all kinds of historical data is being restored and preserved, why would the preeminent space agency not be interested in protecting and studying all of this newly found historical data?
And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things, which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens, will be shaken. Luke 21:25-26
One area we watchmen are intimately familiar with the synoptic gospel's account of the Olivet Discourse. In regards to the above passage, the timing may be as key to the verse as is the action occurring. Most would conclude that this particular passage is dealing with events that happen INSIDE the 70th Week, particularly in the second half of it. However, regarding the subject of deception, we understand that by that time, Satan will have needed to lay the proper groundwork in order for mankind to be confused and / or mislead on what is actually transpiring. In order to do that, he would have needed to begin his deception campaign much earlier.
Concerning deception, most Bible teachers tend to hone in on the current religious and ideological deception that is already beginning to saturate our world in these last days. However, from an eschatological perspective, deception must also be looked at holistically to understand the gravitas of how thoroughly comprehensive it will become. In regards to the battle over truth, deception has truly become a multi-domain battlefield.
The Apostle Paul writes in 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2, verses 9 and 10, that 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. With the skyrocketing increase in the arena of unexplainable aerial phenomena known as unidentified flying objects (aka...UFOs), we must factor this into the coming deception. The reason why, is that this increased activity in the heavens is not just happening arbitrarily, but purposefully.
This deception is twofold. First, Satan realizes that man is never going to be able to leave earth and colonize the universe as science fiction movies have led us to believe. Therefore, unglorified man is perpetually confined to earth in the physical domain. Secondly, since Christ is returning in the air at the Second Coming with His armies (Rev. 19), Satan must prep the stage by leading mankind to believe that only by uniting globally, can they defeat the threat that is coming from above. Just look at the biggest blockbuster science fiction movies to get a sneak peek for where this deception is aimed at.
Therefore, it would behoove us to try to understand how these bizarre events (UFOs, unexplainable phenomena, etc.) factor into the coming age of signs and lying wonders. Furthermore, how they fit into the coming global deception.
Although myths and monsters have also existed in the folklore throughout our history, the folklore usually matched the technology of the day. In the pre-industrial era, when there were still vast undiscovered regions with large, unpopulated areas, the sign on the map usually just said 'here there be monsters.' Throughout recent history (the last two-thousand years), vampires, witches, sea monsters, and werewolves were the usual boogeymen haunting places where men feared to tread.
In the industrial and post-industrial eras where humanity began its great urbanization migration, the boogeymen shifted to things like human monsters, ghosts, poltergeists, and the demonic. However, it was not until after World War II that man began noticing an unusual uptick in the activity in the heavens. These events seemed to keep pace with the technology of the day by presenting mankind with unexplainable flying objects that seemed to defy the laws of physics and of reality. I believe two events caused this shift from purely earthbound threats, to the supernatural intrusions in the heavens: the use of the atom bomb against imperial Japan, and the rebirth of the nation of Israel.
These two events may have been a signal for the fallen angels (interdimensional beings) that mankind was entering its final stretch. Fallen angels and their leader Satan know Scripture and know that Israel had to become a nation again in order for the end to come about. They tried their best after the 1917 Balfour Declaration through the demonic rise and possession of Hitler and his Third Reich to wipe the Jews out once and for all. They did not know their actions by the Holocaust would result in the direct opposite effect they intended with the reconstitution and rebirth of the nation of Israel. It is no coincidence that supernatural activity would begin to spike at the exact same time Israel came back into her land as a nation.
A secondary sign to the fallen angels was the use of the atom bomb. Not so much that man invented a giant bomb, but in how man got there. Man finally figured out how to split the atom, and they knew this would open up a completely new realm of technology. What it meant was that man now had the capacity to destroy ALL life on the planet.
Thus, these two events were signals to their ranks that they would need to make their presence known in an increasingly aggressive manner. They know mankind has entered into the last moments of the last days and their leader, Satan, is instructing them to begin laying the groundwork for what he needs; an answer for greatest cosmic event in human history up until this point, the Rapture of the Church.
Yes, as crazy as it sounds, the increase in frequency and intensity of UFO activity proves (at least in my mind) that the Rapture of the Church must be very soon. Why? First, we know that there are only three categories of sentient beings in the universe. Next is the unprecedented increase in unexplainable phenomena, with which this activity appears to be at best, elusive, and at worst, nefarious. So this rules out God or His holy angels. Furthermore, this activity defies the laws of physics or any capability mankind has, thus ruling us out. This leaves only one possible group- unholy or fallen angels.
Secondly, we see throughout Scripture that any time there biblical prophetic movement, there is an equal attempt by Satan to counter-react by way of satanic or demonic activity. It stands to reason that we should have expected an increase in satanic activity since 1948 (Israel's rebirth) and that it would only escalate until a culmination point (the Rapture). After which, the Restrainer (2 Thess. 2:7-8) will be removed and this unexplainable satanic phenomena will go from elusive to obvious, because the Spirit filled church will not be here to counteract it.
Thirdly, Satan has to have a believable excuse as to why millions of people disappeared, and even more importantly, something to distract and unite humanity at the time of their greatest global crisis with which the Rapture-event itself will provide in spades. So although the fear and expectation of those things, which are coming on the earth, mentioned in Luke 21:25-26 are events that happen inside the 70th-Week of Daniel, this seems to be in keeping with my hypothesis that since these activities are wildly on the increase, their increase marks the season of His soon return...Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. Luke 21:28
The Incurable Curiosity of the Cosmos: Vol. I - By Pete Garcia - http://rev310.com/2019/05/the-incurable-curiosity-of-the-cosmos-vol-i
Many of you might remember the "blood moon" craze that swept through all the eschatological circles several years ago (2012-2015). If you don't remember, or weren't a prophecy watcher back then, there was a series (tetrad) of four blood moons which fell upon the Jewish feast dates of Passover and Tabernacles. To be honest, I didn't think much of it back then, and still don't today. Neither do I think I ever wrote about them, and if I did, I was not promoting it I can assure you. Nevertheless, from what I hear, a couple fellas sure were able to sell a lot of books because of it.
The next major craze that came through was the Revelation-12 movement (2015-2017). This new one seemed to find its fulfillment/alignment on or about September 23rd, 2017. This was largely centered on the literal fulfillment of the symbolic imagery spoken of in Revelation 12:1-2. Although I did write about this, it was not a wholesale endorsement. I was angrier at the various discernment police teams running around throwing cold water on everyone prematurely and indiscriminately, than I was the groups and individuals who were actually talking about this. For one, none of the serious persons and groups who were actually talking about Revelation 12 were saying the Rapture was going to happen that day. Nor were they even sure something would happen that day. They were doing what a lot of us are prone to do, which is, speculating on possibilities, and just being excited about the possibility that something could happen. Can't really fault people for being excited about the Bible and the return of Christ.
On the other hand, perhaps there was some significance to the "blood moon tetrad" and the Revelation 12 thingy...and we don't fully understand, or cannot see all the connections yet. For the record, I am not dismissing discernment ministries for throwing caution out there. All I was saying then, is the same thing that I am saying now, which is what the late, great Chuck Missler use to say by quote: He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him (Prov. 18:13).
Nevertheless, for those of us interested in all things prophecy, we are usually the same type of Christians who want to piece together as much as the last day's events as possible, because God has stirred our hearts to want to understand the times in which we live because we long for the return of our Savior, Jesus Christ. But one of the most important things it seems we all missed (or at least I did) during all this time regarding the eclipses, blood moons, and Rev 12 hype, was in fact, the biggest sign of all, the moon itself; literally speaking, the moon should not exist!
[For all the ultra-conservative discernment ministries out there who are quick to pounce on anyone who even dares mention outer space, this next section is for you]
The Moon Enigma
Although we see it every night, most people do not give much thought about the moon...but perhaps they should. It is one of the biggest enigmas mankind has ever known. Below are a list of quotes from (to my knowledge) non-Christians, but undoubtedly qualified experts in their respective fields who have also pondered about our moon's existence, composition, and behavior. Quotes and citations collected from Source-
Isaac Asimov, American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University and Science Fiction writer. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time.
"We cannot help but come to the conclusion that the Moon by rights ought not to be there. The fact that it is, is one of the strokes of luck almost too good to accept... Small planets, such as Earth, with weak gravitational fields, might well lack satellites... In general then, when a planet does have satellites, those satellites are much smaller than the planet itself. Therefore, even if the Earth has a satellite, there would be every reason to suspect... that at best it would be a tiny world, perhaps 30 miles in diameter. But that is not so. Earth not only has a satellite, but it is a giant satellite, 2160 miles in diameter. How is it then, that tiny Earth has one? Amazing."
"The Moon, which has no atmosphere and no magnetic field, is basically a freak of nature"
Irwin Shapiro, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
"The best possible explanation for the Moon is observational error - the Moon doesn't exist.'
"The Moon is bigger than it should be, apparently older than it should be and much lighter in mass than it should be. It occupies an unlikely orbit and is so extraordinary that all existing explanations for its presence are fraught with difficulties are none of them could be considered remotely watertight."
Christopher Knight, Alan Butler
From book: Who Built the Moon?
The Moon has astonishing synchronicity with the Sun. When the Sun is at its lowest and weakest in mid-winter, the Moon is at its highest and brightest, and the reverse occurs in mid-summer. Both set at the same point on the horizon at the equinoxes and at the opposite point at the solstices. What are the chances that the Moon would naturally find an orbit so perfect that it would cover the Sun at an eclipse and appear from Earth to be the same size? What are chances that the alignments would be so perfect at the equinoxes and solstices?
Mikhail Vasin, Alexander Shcherbakov, Societ Academy of Sciences, 1970.
"Is the moon a creation of an alien intelligence?"
Dr Harold Urey, Nobel Prize for Chemistry
"I'm terribly puzzled by the rocks from the Moon and in particular of their titanium content."
Dr S Ross Taylor, Geochemist of lunar chemical analysis
Said the problem was that Maria plains the size of Texas had to be covered with melted rock containing fluid titanium. He said you would not expect titanium ever to be hot enough to do that, even on Earth, and no one has ever suggested that the Moon was hotter than the Earth.
"What could distribute titanium in this way? Highly advanced technology developed and operated by entities that are immensely more technologically advance than humans."
Ken Johnson, Supervisor of the Data and Photo Control department during the Apollo missions
Moon rocks have been found to contain processed metals, including brass and mica, and the elements Uranium 236 and Neptunium 237 that have never been found to occur naturally.
Dr. Gordon MacDonald, NASA
"it would seem that the Moon is more like a hollow than a homogenous sphere'. He surmised that the data must have been wrong - but it wasn't."
Dr. Sean C Solomon, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"The Lunar Orbiter experiments had vastly improved knowledge of the Moon's gravitational field and indicated the frightening possibility that the Moon might be hollow."
Lon Hood, University of Arizona
"We knew that the Moon's core was small, but we didn't know it was this small... This really does add weight to the idea that the Moon's origin is unique, unlike any other terrestrial body."
The Apollo 12 mission to the Moon in November 1969 set up seismometers and then intentionally crashed the Lunar Module causing an impact equivalent to one ton of TNT. The shockwaves built up for eight minutes, and NASA scientists said the Moon 'rang like a bell.
Maurice Ewing, American geophysicist and oceanographer
"As for the meaning of it, I'd rather not make an interpretation right now, but it is as though someone had struck a bell, say, in the belfry of the a church a single blow and found that the reverberation from it continued for 30 minutes."
Ken Johnson, Supervisor of the Data and Photo Control department during the Apollo missions
"The Moon not only rang like a bell, but the whole Moon wobbled in such a precise way that it was almost as though it had gigantic hydraulic damper struts inside it."
Dr. Ross Taylor, NASA
He said: "This was one of those extraordinary things. When you had the impact of these things on the moon, unlike a terrestrial earthquake, which dies away quickly, the shock waves continued to reverberate around the moon for a period of an hour or more, and this is attributed to the extremely dry nature of the lunar rock.
Dr. D L Anderson, Professor of geophysics and director of the seismological laboratory,
California Institute of Technology
"The Moon is made inside out and that its inner and outer compositions should be the other way around."
Dr. Robin Brett, NASA Scientist
"It seems much easier to explain the nonexistence of the moon than its existence."
The numerous convex Moon craters- shaped out, rather than in (from impacting meteors)
Charles A. Wood, of the Department of Geological Sciences at Brown University, wrote in a 1978 paper that these convex craters were likely created by lava. He said the lava seeped up through fractures to the surface.
The Moon stabilizes the earth's axis
NASA- "The moon stabilizes Earth's wobble, which has led to more stable climate,"
NASA (Dr. Eric Christian and Beth Barbier)
"[The moon adds] drag to the Earth's rotation in the form of tides, both oceanic and internal. This added drag tends to stabilize the rotation. It is also gradually slowing down the rotation of the Earth, which gradually lengthens Earth days."
Size and Distance
The same numbers come up in looking at measurements related to the moon, sun, and Earth. The diameter of the sun is about 400 times the diameter of the moon; the moon is also about 400 times closer to Earth than the sun. The diameter of the sun is about 108 times the diameter of the Earth; the distance between the Earth and the sun is about 108 times the diameter of the sun.
Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; Gen 1:14
From a Christian perspective, we understand that the universe did not come about by accident. We understand that according to Scripture, history, the laws of nature, and the presence of creation itself, that a Creator must be necessary. So part of these secular scientist's problem, is that they start their paradigm from a position that all this must have happened unintentionally, thus, the moon's existence is as Isaac Asimov once said, a stroke of good luck. We know that the Moon exists because a Creator purposefully put it there.
So, having lived through the blood moon phase and the Rev12 sign phase, and gotten the t-shirt and bumper sticker to prove it, what do we make of the moon? From an eschatological perspective, one might wonder that significance the Moon does play in Bible prophecy. What does Scripture say?
The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. Joel 2:31
The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. Acts 2:20
[Sixth Seal: Cosmic Disturbances] I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. Revelation 6:12
Knowing what we know now, that the moon is NOT made of green cheese and is dry and quite possibly hollow, how can the Moon be turned to blood? Scientifically, we know that the sky is not really blue, but appears that way because of the way the light particles hitting and interacting with the air and dust makes the waves of light appear to our eyes. Similarly, the moon will appear to be the color of blood, due to the obscurations in the atmosphere caused by the events happening on the earth. If we look at the passages above, and take them in reverse order, we see that what this portends too either geologic and volcanic activity, or some type of nuclear exchange that can cause that level of atmospheric obscuration. This will cause the sun to appear darkened, and the moon to appear a blood-red color. Understanding that the Day of the Lord speaks to both the general time frame, and to a specific day will help us clarify how these three passages work in concert sequentially. In order-
So understanding that, we will turn in the next volume to the topic of how Satan will use the cosmos to bring on great deception in the last days deception.
Pre Wrath Blues - By Pete Garcia -
Having just finished a month-long email debate with two men from an online Prewrath ministry, I have come to the realization that you just can't argue with stupid. I realize that sounds harsh and perhaps even unchristian ....but it is the truth. For the record, I am not calling them stupid, just their reasoning's for supporting a Prewrath (PW) view.
Any eschatological view that either puts the church into the 70th Week, or denies bible prophecy outright or in part, is heretical in nature. Now, I use that term heretical cautiously, because it is a serious charge to lay against anyone. Heresy is not just those things the orthodox authorities or majority deem heretical, but also those things, which go against the very text of the Bible itself.
Although this isn't the first time I have had a theological engagement like this, it is just the latest in a long line of end-runs the enemy has made into making divisions and schisms in an already dwindling population (i.e., the watchmen who care about Bible prophecy). It also makes me sad, not just for these two gentlemen, but for all who have bought into false teachings regarding the time surrounding the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. First for those biblically illiterate who are swept up by false teachings and had their lives ruined. Even worse, for those whose faith was crushed by a deception and quit believing altogether. Hermeneutics actually matters.
Therefore, after a month being berated, belittled, and generally not having my questions answered in any kind of coherent or logical manner, I pulled a Pilate on these two and washed my hands of the whole affair. I don't mind a good debate now and again, especially if we conduct it in such a way that is honoring to God (iron sharpening iron), but these two "ministers" were quick to go ad hominem on me the moment they felt like they were losing the argument.
One troubling aspect to this whole affair was the reality that they were not interested in the truth of what Scripture actually says, but only in their interpretation of what they want it to say. Furthermore, they put more emphasis on personal prophetic hearings, visions, and a 'word of knowledge,' then on how those compare with what Scripture actually teaches. Even more troubling, was what they were accusing me of applying a literal/grammatical/historical hermeneutic of Scripture;
That is the point Pete, you say you believe you are correct. When it comes to God's Word that is really not good enough. In the old testament God frowned upon those who prophesied by their own spirit. Again, several times in the 2nd and 3rd chapter of Revelation the Spirit of Christ said "He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches" Few end time teachers endeavor to hear what the Spirit is saying. Men are prophesying by their own spirit by approaching scripture from a hermeneutical intellectual perspective. There are many men who are actually hearing from the Lord by dreams and visions, some of them are receiving prophetic warnings and others a word of knowledge about things to come which can and have come to pass. I find almost none of them espousing a pre-trib Rapture...While hermeneutics can be a useful tool when attempting to interpret scripture, it does not work when interpreting prophecy. The proof of this is clearly visible in the fact that just about every Western prophecy teacher uses hermeneutics, but are teaching dozens of different end time's doctrines. Jesus says "He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches".
While I am not going to repost the entire conversation, I have two witnesses (Terry and Randy) who can attest to the entirety of the conversation to ensure I am not misrepresenting anyone here. They actually accused me of holding to a literal, grammatical, and historical interpretation of Scripture (taking the text for what it says), and then equating that (in a pejorative manner) as "my own interpretation." They then argue that many men they know who have had private and / or personal visions, dreams, and that almost NONE of them are Pre-Trib in nature, as proof that I am wrong?
In their estimation, there was more weight (more credibility) given to those who have dreams and visions, than to what the written Word actually says. In 2 Timothy 2:15, the Apostle Paul charges us to study to show thyself approved...The Apostle Peter warns us in 2 Peter 1:20 that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. What these both tell me, is that following dreams, visions, or a "word of knowledge," which an individual receives privately, does NOT trump what God's word says publicly. So at the very least I am comforted in the fact that our enemy is consistent and these men are not receiving dreams and visions of a Pre-Trib nature. For the record, I'm not saying people can't have dreams and visions, but if these do not conform to what God's word has already said, then they are not of God. Let us consider three points-
a) God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33)
b) God is not going to contradict His own word (Num. 23:19)
c) God is not the only supernatural being out there (Ephesians 6:12, 2 Cor. 11:14-15)
However, let me just set the record straight once and for all, up front, and in bold font,
The Bible teaches only ONE eschatological view on prophecy
Just like the Bible teaches only ONE soteriological view on salvation.
Just like the Bible teaches only ONE ecclesiological view on the church.
The Bible is NOT a choose-your-own-adventure book.
Those who abandon the normal, literal, grammatical, and historical interpretation of Holy Scripture are the very reason WHY we have so many different viewpoints on every major doctrinal position. It is because they follow their dreams, visions, or a "word of knowledge," and that causes them to depart from what the Word actually says. I believe this is how most (if not all) cults begin. When one chooses not to accept the Bible for what it says (in context to the surrounding passage) then what you are in effect doing, is creating a choose your own adventure book.
Alternatively, neither am I promoting "wooden-literalism," as Hank Hanegraaf (the Bible Answer Man) used to accuse us dispensationalists with, but rather, with a common-sense literalism. [For the record, Mr. Hanegraaf has since eloped from Protestantism into the Eastern Orthodox realm seeking more visual enlightenment as it were]. So what is common sense interpretation?
"When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise." -Dr. David L. Cooper (1886-1965), founder of The Biblical Research Society
Therefore, what this means is that...
1. The sum and substance of this most important rule is that one should take every statement of the Scriptures at its face value, if possible.
2. The following is an analysis of the adjectives "primary," "ordinary," and "usual."
3. "Primary" emphasizes the original, inherent idea in the term.
4. "Ordinary" and "usual" are practically synonyms, especially in this definition, "usual" being employed for the sake of emphasis.
5. "Literal" is used to emphasize the thought that every word must first be taken literally as expressing the exact thought of the author at the time when it was used; and one is not to go beyond the literal meaning of the Scriptures unless the facts of the context indicate a deeper, hidden or symbolic meaning.
As to departing from the literal, grammatical, historical hermeneutic, this is not new. People have been twisting, perverting, reinventing, and wordsmithing the Bible for the last two-thousand years without fail because everyone if gifted with the curse of opinions. From the first century Gnostics, to the poor misguided youngsters in the Emergent Church movement. From Origen to Rachel Held Evans, everyone wants to put their own spin on the Bible to force Scriptures to contort to the norms of their day. People might accuse me of being overly harsh regarding people who pervert the Bible to their own gain, but how one interprets, the Bible is significantly important. Here are just a few examples of how things turn out badly for those who abuse Scripture.
So yeah, hermeneutics do actually matter.
Trust me when I say that there is a lot of bad hermeneutics going around out there around the internet. This equates to there being many pseudo-Christian groups, posing as legitimate Christian ministries, who are nothing more than theological wolves in sheep's clothing preying on the biblically illiterate. However, not to fear dear reader, none of this was a surprise to God. Scripture warns us that in the last days, this would be the norm...
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Matthew 7:15-16
For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. Acts 20:29-31
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Tim. 3:1-7
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. 2 Peter 2:1-3
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude 1:3-4
Back to my Pre-Wrath venting. While I will not be so foolish as to put PW adherents and devotees into the classification of cult, or pseudo-Christian, I would absolutely liken them to theologically misguided (heretically speaking) and who have major doctrinal issues apart from eschatology, which consequently, impacts and leads them to their flawed eschatological points of view.
There is something about the PW view, which irritates me to my core. I mean irritate in the most unpleasant of terms. Like being out and you have a piece of steak or corn wedged in your teeth and you do not have any floss or a toothpick on hand. You spend the next (however long it takes) to get something sharp and pointy to wedge in your teeth to dig it out. Irritating in that sense. Here are my issues with PW:
They presume themselves to be the historic view.
Their name is deceptive. They are no more Pre-Wrath, than Mormon's are Latter Day Saints.
In order for the PW view to work, it must distort three other theological Christian doctrines;
Here are several questions I have used to debate the two Prewrath devotees, and found them either quite unwilling or unable to answer coherently. Keep in mind; this is using the PW view of how things play out as the backdrop.
1. If the Seals 1-5 are not the wrath of God, but rather, are the wrath of man/Satan/ Antichrist....HOW do they (man/Satan/Antichrist) initiate said seals.
1) If the Church is not raptured, and we are still on the earth, then how then do we when these have begun (if Man or Satan initiates these)? IOW, how do we know specifically when the first Seal has been opened?
2) How is the "wrath of man" or "wrath of Satan" any different from what has already occurred in history? In the 20th Century alone, we have documented hundreds of millions killed due to crime, war, persecution, starvation, genocide, pestilence, murder, abortion, holocaust, etc....and yet, we could not point to a single moment when the rider on the white horse could have arrived. More Christians have died in the 20th-21st century then the previous 20 centuries combined.
2. If the first Seal is marked by the arrival of THE Antichrist (rider on the white horse), how will one know who it is? Paul states in 2 Thess. 2:7-8 that the man of lawlessness (The Antichrist) cannot be revealed UNTIL the one who restrains, is taken out of the way.
1.Who/what is "the one who restrains?" Here are your options-
1) Michael the Archangel (not omnipresent)
2) Human Government (not capable or willing)
3) The Holy Spirit
4) The Holy Spirit filled/sealed Church
5) Satan (seems to not be in his own interest to do so)
2.What physically happens on the earth when "the one who restrains" is removed? How will we (those of us on earth) know exactly when this "restraint removal" happens?
3. In Revelation 3:10, Jesus tells the Church at Philadelphia (and those who have an ear to hear) that I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. If this is not a picture of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church, then what is it?
Having already departed from the literal/grammatical/historical interpretation of the Word, there are presumably many variations of the PW view floating around out in the internet these days. I imagine there will be complaints about this article as misrepresenting their view.
However, so as not to be accused by the PW pit bulls on misleading people about their beliefs, I will use their own words to describe what they say they believe.
Many of us were told that the church will be "raptured out of here before the Antichrist's arrival." The Bible, however, teaches the church will first experience the Antichrist's great tribulation. Then, at some unknown day and hour, Antichrist's persecution will be cut short by the return of Christ to resurrect and rapture believers before the day of the Lord's wrath-hence, Prewrath.
Interestingly, the PW view is the exact same eschatological view as a fairly well known cult known as the Worldwide Church of God (Herbert W. Armstrong). So either it is the chicken or the egg we do not know for certain, but either Marvin Rosenthal adopted some of Armstrong's views on eschatology, or Armstrong adopted Kampen's view on eschatology. Either way as the old sayings goes- birds of a feather...
I came across an article published by the Worldwide Church of God, the cult founded by H. Armstrong. I was amazed to find that these people hold to the identical view of Rosenthal when it comes to the Great Tribulation as being totally distinct from the Day of the Lord. Here is how they explain it: "Is the 'Great Tribulation' the same event as the 'Day of the Lord'? No. They are totally different....The Great Tribulation is not the time of God's wrath, but rather the time of the wrath of Satan the devil....The Day of the Lord is clearly shown here [in Matt. 24] to come after the heavenly signs [of Matt. 24:29]. The time order is: first, the Tribulation-Satan's wrath; second, the heavenly signs; third, the Day of the Lord-God's intervention. The same time sequence is revealed in Revelation 6, speaking of the seven seals. The fifth seal represents the Great Tribulation, followed by the heavenly signs, then the Day of the Lord or God's wrath (verses 9-17)" -The Good News of the World Tomorrow, March 1986, p. 13. Hence, some of Rosenthal's ideas are not new. The Worldwide Church of God cult has been teaching these things since 1986 and probably long before that.
In closing, the entirety of the PW's center of gravity seems hyper-focused on adding confusion to what the word of God says. Wrath is not wrath. Tribulation is not tribulation. The Day of the Lord is not the Day of the Lord. The Church is not the Church. Israel is not Israel. Seven years is not seven years. They seem bent on wanting to overly complicate the simple, and completely dismiss the obvious. There are three simple truths we must always keep in mind when regarding our Christian faith.
As I stated at the beginning, the Bible only teaches ONE eschatological view, and that view is the TRUE pre wrath position, which is the Pre-Tribulation (or Pre-70th Week) Rapture of the Church.
Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. Revelation 3:3
If He Were To Call Today - By Dennis Huebshman -
We can rest assured; the day is coming soon when Jesus will return to take His church (All Believers) off this earth so we won't go through the Wrath/Tribulation that is just about here. This has been promised in numerous verses in the Bible, and God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). [All emphasis is mine.]
The event called the "Rapture," which is described but not called as such, is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, and is an "Any Day Now" event. We were not given the exact day or hour that it will happen, but Jesus, Paul and others gave us signs we should be looking for. Today, the condition of this world is ripe for everything they spoke of. The absolute "mega-sign" that we are getting close was the May 14, 1948, announcement that Israel once again was declaring itself a sovereign nation, on its own land, for the first time in over 2,000 years. No other nation on earth can make this claim.
As time passes, we have to remember 2 Peter 3:8-9, "But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness; but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."
The "day of the Lord" will definitely happen; but for now, it appears the Father is giving time for people to reach out and accept Jesus as their Savior. He is patient, but even that will soon end as He takes His wrath out on those who remain on earth.
We are steadily watching the governments of the world breaking down and beginning to call for a "New World Order." There are already ideas of a one-world government divided into 10 distinct kingdoms. Just about anything pertaining to Christianity is being challenged, and even more than ever before right here in America.
Paul gives the most accurate picture of today in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, "But understand this, that in the last days, there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."
My question is, how do we avoid them when they're everywhere today?
The leaders of the United States and Israel are being attacked from all sides at the same time. No matter what President Trump does, he's declared wrong, and the same goes for Prime Minister Netanyahu. The interesting thing is, both nations are in good shape and prospering compared to the rest of the world. It's obvious that satanic forces are at work in earnest trying to take these nations down.
Israel is being accused of committing "war crimes" just for protecting itself, while the persecutors are being called "victims." Israel is extremely prosperous and is listed as the "8th" most powerful nation in the world; yet, it is about the size of New Jersey.
By all rights, Israel should not even exist today. They have been attacked by other nations from the very first announcement of their statehood, and several times since then. Still, they have never been defeated. Anyone who cannot see the Lord's hand in this is totally blind.
For any other country to lose a war, there would be terms of surrender and then peace agreements reached. For Israel, to lose would mean total annihilation. God will not ever let that happen.
Amos 9:14-15, "I will restore the fortunes of My people, Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them, says the Lord Your God."
Sounds like a definite covenant, especially when God says, "I Will."
Israel will go through the Tribulation per Daniel and Revelation, but will not be totally destroyed. From approximately 1% to 2% of the total Jewish population believing in Jesus as their Messiah today, 100% will believe by the end of the 7-year Wrath. It should be noted here, the 1%-2% will not be here, but will rise up to meet Jesus in the air at the Rapture with all the other believers.
Biggest question that remains is, are you ready? If Jesus were to call for the believers to go to Him, will you be there? I have actually heard people say, "Yes, I want to go in the Rapture, but there are things I need to do first. Jesus needs to wait until (xxxwhateverxxx)." The things of this earth are given more value than some people's eternal souls.
In my prayers, I have said to the Savior, there is nothing or no one on this earth that I wish to delay my going Home. My wife is of the same mind-set. Yes, each day we pray for all of our loved ones, and hope they have truly accepted Jesus for themselves. However, we cannot force them if they haven't. It's an individual process.
In John 21:21-22, Peter is asking Jesus about John; "When Peter saw him (John), he said to Jesus, Lord, what about this man? Jesus said to him, if it is My will that he remains until I come, what is that to you? You Follow Me!"
Our responsibility is to "share" Jesus with others. It is to be in a loving and "non-threatening" nature. It's up to the receivers as to whether or not they accept or reject our Savior's sacrifice for their eternal salvation. Also, it is to be the absolute truth as given in the Bible. Not watered-down theology, or "adjusted" meanings.
Some "religions" use force up to martyrdom for anyone not accepting their "god." Our Father loves us so much that He wants it to be our choice to decide. His love is based on "free-will," not intimidation or threats.
When someone really considers just how short this life on earth is compared to eternity, it should be obvious which has priority. However, the prince of this world (Satan) is at work full-time, trying to pull souls away from Jesus. His fate is the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10); and all who follow him will end up there as well (Revelation 20:11-15). That will be forever, not just for a period of time and then be released.
John 14:6 is the straight and narrow way. "Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by Me." Romans 10:9-13 gives the formula needed to call on the Lord to truly be saved. There are numerous other examples, but these give what is needed to call on Jesus to be your Savior.
To delay is to play the lottery. He may not come back today; but then again, He may. If you haven't accepted Him, at the very least you will go into the Tribulation, which will be the worst time this earth has ever experienced. If you want Him to be your Savior, forgive your sins and provide an eternal home for you with Him, He will do so. We will never be perfect while on this earth, but when we do slip, He gives us 1 John 1:9 as His promise to forgive our sins.
Don't play the lottery with your soul. Get the assurance of an eternal Home with the Savior today. It could be a great difficulty tomorrow if He comes before then.
He is never too busy to take your "call."
In Defense of Biblical Prophecy - By Jonathan Brentner -
While Christians agree on the fulfillment of prophecy relating to Jesus' first coming, such harmony quickly disappears when the subject switches to prophecies related to His return to earth.
As one who has spent many decades in the midst of the fray, I can attest to the pressing need to defend our biblical hope from attacks on the part of those outside as well as within the church. Whatever the source, they all seek to undermine our expectation of Jesus' soon return, returning to earth with Jesus after the tribulation, and then reigning with Him in His millennium kingdom.
Many Bible-believing pastors, teachers, and writers who oppose such things begin with a misguided view of God's covenants, one that eliminates the distinction between Israel and the church. They retrofit His promises to Israel so that they apply "spiritually" to the church.
"Why does this matter to me?" you might ask, "As long as they preach the true Gospel, what difference does it make if they go astray in matters pertaining to the end times?"
Those who ask these questions fail to recognize the long-term effects of how the use of allegory not only undermines our Gospel hope, but also the Gospel itself. Please stay with me as I explain how the allegorical approach to biblical prophecy . . .
Leads to an Inconsistent View of Prophecy
Jesus fulfilled over 100 prophecies through His birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection. Most all of those who claim that Israel has no future would agree with that statement. Yet, when it comes to the prophecies that relate to Israel's future as well as our own, they abandon literalness for an allegorical interpretation.
For example, no one denies the literal fulfillment of the opening words of Isaiah 9:6, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given."
However, verse 6 adds this to the prophecy concerning Jesus, "and the government shall be upon his shoulder." The next verse further explains, "Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom ...." These words, if taken literally, refer to Jesus ruling upon the "throne of David" and signify a future kingdom for Israel.
In spite of this clarity, many look at this passage in a way that retrofits the prophet's original meaning so that it aligns with God's promises to the church. They switch from a literal interpretation to an allegorical one mid-sentence.
How can such glaring inconsistencies not effect one's view of the rest of biblical prophecy?
Relies on a Vague Basis for Separating the Symbolical from the Literal
A related issue I have with those who employ allegory is this: What is the basis for switching from a literal interpretation to an allegorical one in the same passage? In Isaiah 9:6-7, how do they determine what is literal and what is allegory? Do they naturally assume the unfulfilled part is allegory? Or does the picture of Jesus' reigning on the throne of David not fit their preconceived beliefs about Israel?
We see this same vague basis for separating the symbolical from the literal in their interpretation of the book of Revelation. Many who relegate most of Revelation 6-20:10 as allegory suddenly switch to a literal interpretation of the Great White Throne judgment, the final destruction of Satan and death, and the new earth along with the New Jerusalem.
What's the basis for deciding between which events and words are literal and those that are solely allegory? The lack of agreement among those who relegate the meaning of the apocalypse to allegory demonstrates the vagueness of such a subjective approach.
For example, some who reject the millennium of Revelation 20:1-10 regard the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21-22) as an actual physical city; others with the same amillennial viewpoint deny the reality of the city, claiming it's purely symbolic of God's presence.
Do not such disagreements among those who employ allegory demonstrate the vagueness and subjectivity of such an approach? Absolutely!
Disregards the Original Intent of the Author
Of course, prophetic writers in Scripture employ metaphors, word pictures, and symbols at times. My issue is with those who use allegory to blatantly disregard the original intent of the author.
The Old Testament prophets believed they were prophesying about a future glory for the nation of Israel. Their words depict a restoration of Israel when God will regather His people from all over the earth. They unequivocally point to Jesus' reign over the nations seated upon the throne of David in Jerusalem. No one can rationally argue that these things were not the original intent of their words. How else could they have understood God's promises to the Israelites that He revealed through them?
The prophet Jeremiah regarded the continuation of Israel as a nation in God's eyes as something as certain as the "fixed order" of day and night (Jer. 31:33-36). The Lord further provided Jeremiah with physical descriptions of Jerusalem (vv. 38-40). The words God gave to the prophet depict a still future restoration of a glorious kingdom to Israel. Jeremiah could not have understood it any other way.
What does it say about the Lord's reliability if He meant one thing when He spoke these words through the prophets and now they mean something entirely different to us? The effort to retrofit the words of the Lord to say something contrary to what they meant at the time He spoke them not only undermines the integrity of biblical prophecy, but also that of the Lord Himself.
Disrespects the Understanding of the Original Audience
Not only does the allegorical method of interpretation show indifference to the original intent of the author, it displays a keen disrespect for the understanding of the original audience. Can we really say that prophecy meant one thing to those who heard the Old Testament prophets preach and now means something entirely different today? I have great problems with this distortion of the words Scripture.
Would the Israelites listening to Jeremiah proclaim God's promise of a glorious restoration of Israel have thought, "Okay, this does not really relate to our physical descendants, but to another group who will spiritually enjoy benefits of our promised kingdom?"
There's no conceivable way such a thought would have entered their minds. They would have taken the prophet's words at face value, a solemn promise from the Lord to "restore" the fortunes of a physical Israel (see Jer. 31:35-40, 32:36-44, 33:23-26).
For teachers and writers to come along 2,700 years later and say the words of Jeremiah do not really mean what they meant to the original audience not only destroys the credibility of Scripture, but also of the Lord Himself. If the Israelites could not depend on the clear words of the prophets regarding their future, does this not also undermine our security, our future hope that rests on the words of the Gospel pertaining to our future as New Testament saints?
Negates God's Sovereign Purposes for Prophecy
The allegorical approach to future prophecy negates God's sovereign purposes for providing us with prophecy. Isaiah 46:10 says that His design for it includes that of "declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish my purpose.'"
God demonstrates His glory by declaring what lies ahead in history. When one looks at the specific prophecies Jesus fulfilled at His first coming, it brings about a sense of wonder and awe for the Lord as well as for His Word. Many have come to faith in Jesus after looking at how the Lord fulfilled prophecy with Jesus' first coming.
God intends for the abundant prophecies throughout the Bible regarding the restoration of a kingdom for Israel, the Gog and Magog war, the tribulation, and the Second Coming to accomplish this identical purpose. The fulfillment of these things will further demonstrate His sovereignty over history just as Israel's miraculous rebirth seventy years ago and God's supernatural protection of them and blessing since then demonstrates the validity of God's promises in Ezekiel 36-37.
If one relegates most, if not all of future prophecy to allegory, one not only negates God's purpose for revealing the future to us but also destroys its relevance for us today, which is precisely what our enemy desires. The allegorical interpretation of prophecy has led to serious errors in the past regarding prophecy and the Gospel; it will surely do so again.
Those who use allegory to interpret still-future prophecies in the Bible not only negate God's sovereign purpose for prophecy, but also retrofit them to fit their faulty New Testament understanding of the covenants. In doing so they undermine the integrity of Scripture by making passages say something contrary to the original intention of the author or what those listening at the time would have understood.
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Becoming Antichrist: Vol. III - By Pete Garcia -
In my first two volumes of Becoming Antichrist, I wanted to ensure that I captured as much biblical and factual information pertaining to this topic as possible. However, there is still so much to discuss. In this volume, we will discuss how Satan loves to operate (i.e., from an angle). We will look at satanic bloodlines. Finally, we will summarize everything into a cohesive summation so that the entire picture can be seen in context to the here and now. However, in order to discuss everything regarding this mysterious world leader who is coming, we will have to delve somewhat into the world of speculation to tease out some potential scenarios.
In other words, we are moving from the definitive to the speculative. Where there is speculation, I will add an ** to ensure you can know where I am adding in opinion or unsubstantiated theories. I am caveating this up front as much as possible so that you can know what I am about to say, is my own personal opinion. However, my opinion was not created in a vacuum. I am basing much of what is said here, on a broad study of the topic and where I believe the Holy Spirit is leading me. Again, I am not writing this to glorify or glamourize this future world leader, nor tantalize your ears for the here and now, but as a warning to those who are left behind.
Part I: Deception
Although many within the Reformed and Catholic circles would disagree with me on this point, but we are not presently in the Kingdom. Much scripture points out that Satan is currently running this world (Luke 4:5-6, 1 Peter 5:8, 1 John 5:19), and has a vast amount of influence over the daily running of the planet. As the Apostle Paul pointed out in his sixth chapter to the church in Ephesus, we are in a fierce battle on a daily basis. Not a battle against flesh and blood, but against spiritual beings, and dark and wicked principalities who seek our demise. These malevolent beings' supreme leader, Satan, primary tactics and strategy centers on deception and confusion. In order for us to even begin to understand the depths of both his depravity and insanity.
When dealing with Satan, one must understand that NOTHING is EVER as it seems. Satan never approaches something straight on; he always comes at you from your blind side. If something seems black, you can rest assure it is white. If something appears down, you can trust that it is up. Satan is never on the level with anyone. Therefore, I say all this to ask you (the reader) to ask some strategically significant questions that need to be addressed. We know that...
1. Any religion/belief/philosophy/etc. that does not support the Biblical definition that Christ is God come in the flesh, and that He came to earth through a human (but virgin) birth, lived a sinless life, died for our sins, and rose again on the third day, is by its basic nature, antichrist. So why is the world's second largest religion, Islam, so violent and unappealing? Wouldn't Satan want this religion to be MORE appealing to everyone and less, well, unhinged?
2. How will Satan use atheism/human secularism (a belief system that is overwhelmingly antagonistic to the supernatural) immediately after the Rapture of the Church?
3. How and why is the Evangelical Church seemingly collapsing/capitulating here in the West to a culture bent on suiciding itself?
I believe the answer to these, is based 100% in misdirection.
1. Satan is using Islam in a two-fold manner. First, he is using its violent and unhinged nature to prevent the archeological discovery of the historicity and authenticity of the Bible. It is no accident that Satan has the places with the MOST documentable evidence supporting biblical claims, under the darkest protection of radical Islam. This is particularly true in places like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Gaza, Temple Mount (Jerusalem), Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt. Secondly, Satan is using Islam as a forcing-mechanism to get people of all faiths to abandon fundamentalism (which the world generously aligns with extremism).
2. For the better part of 170 years, the West has become increasingly atheistic/secular in their seeming rejection of all things supernatural. Part of this has been the educationally mandated enforcement of humanist propaganda (i.e., Darwinian Evolution, Big Bang Theory, etc.), onto the public education system. On the other hand, the west has entered into a renassaisance of all things supernatural within the entertainment industry. One would think that if naturalism/rationalism were so popular, this would be reflected in pop culture, but it is not. The reason it has not, is that atheism takes everything and offers nothing but an empty void.
Humans are more than just flesh and blood, and something within us yearns for something more. Therefore, this campaign of humanism is not about abandoning all supernaturalism, but just supernaturalism within Christianity, such as the supernatural aspects of Creation, Noah's Flood, Virgin Birth, and the Resurrection, etc. This void must be filled, and that is where the entertainment industry has been busy infilling the culture with UFOs, eastern mysticism, mythology, spiritualism, the cultic and occult.
3. Much of the Evangelical Churches in the West are folding faster than a row of cheap lawn chairs inside a F5 tornado. For those churches and clergy who chose to stand against the tsunami of the rapidly disintegrating culture, are viciously maligned, battered, and placed in the same category as German Nazis. This seems to be the reason why churches in the West are folding because, a) they want to remain relevant, b) they want to remain popular, and c) because they treat their churches like businesses (where the customer is always right).
So what does all these have to do with the Antichrist?
This is what we call battlefield preparation or stage setting.
One second after the Rapture, the world will enter into a time of signs and wonders unlike any other. Satan is (for lack of a better word) bludgeoning the world into bloody mess right now ahead of the Rapture, so that those who are left behind, are beyond desperate for peace, security, and normalcy. However, in the absence of true biblical Christianity, an ecumenical abomination will arise. Think of it as a global COEXIST campaign on steroids that embraces everything except exclusivity. Even now, we are seeing these things come together with groups like New Evangelicals, Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT), Chrislam, Emergent Church, Gospel Coalition, World Council of Churches, Red Letter Christians, Seeker-Sensitive Movement, and numerous Christian universities.
This is the pre-rapture foundation for the Harlot. She is who sits upon many waters and with whom the kings of the earth commit fornication with. What is that fornication? **I believe this is where the kings of the earth will help enforce her persecution of the tribulation saints, and she will reward them with titles, moneys, and land (think back to the Roman Catholic Inquisitions). She will be headed first by the False Prophet, but then he will betray her cause of inclusivity and direct all worship exclusively towards the Beast (the Antichrist) around the mid-point of the 70th Week (Dan. 9:27, Matt. 24:15, 2 Thess. 2:4). This will then be enforced by the Mark of the Beast (Rev. 13:11-18).
Lastly, after the Rapture, Satan will have ZERO use for atheism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in their original forms. He will need all hands on deck to support his number one Antichrist candidate, whom he will empower with the false prophet with supernatural powers. Why we are seeing such an uptick in the supernatural now in pop culture and entertainment is a process of normalization; where people are comfortable seeing the supernatural, if on nothing else, the big screen, televisions, and books. He needs his followers to be both wowed by it, but also, not so awestruck that they fear and reject it. By the time the Rapture happens, the people will want their superman.
Part II- Bloodlines
Since the beginning of time, there has always been an attraction to hidden/esoteric knowledge. This is what Satan offered Adam and Eve in the Garden, that they could "be like God" in knowing the difference between good and evil (Genesis 3:4). The numerous outlets for access to such knowledge has been promised to many seekers in the forms of secret societies, mystery religions, and occult groups who have sought out this knowledge in an effort to gain power, wealth, fame, and control. While I do not pretend to be an expert on secret societies, I have listed below some of the more recognizable ones and their foundation dates. Some of these might seem overtly political or economic and odd to be included in such a list, but they meet the criteria of secrecy, hidden knowledge, and appear to be antichrist in nature.
For those who scoff at me for including political organizations in this list, we might simply look at the common goal most of these groups have ever had, which is, power. More aptly put, the consolidation of power into as few hands as possible. Pagans, Gnostics, cultists, mystics, and later, Fabian Socialists, technocrats, oligarchs, elitists, etc. have all sought power through the acquiring of secret knowledge. In addition, they all currently have the same boss- Satan.
Another aspect most of these groups seem to share is this notion of some kind of divine right to rule. Congressman William E. Dannemeyer once quoted David Rockefeller as having said, some men are born to rule, but most men are born to be ruled. Certainly, this is not a stretch to believe knowing history and having seen the world in our own day. Furthermore, since Satan controls the kingdoms of this world (Luke 4:5-6), it is a very short jump to the logical assumption that he would therefore want to orchestrate who controls what in his domain through the use of satanic bloodlines.
We see that the bible has a table of nations in Genesis 10-11 from which all of mankind comes after Noah's flood. Since Satan cannot (or will not) mimic things that do not already exist by God, he is using the Twelve Tribes of Israel as a model to promote these twelve familial bloodlines throughout history by means of intermarriage and banking, which he has kept power together by the use of these royal bloodlines. From one of these families is whom many believe that Satan will bring about the final Antichrist candidate(s), who will come from somewhere within the boundaries of the old Roman Empire (Dan. 9:26). This certainly becomes even more reasonable when we consider that this final Antichrist will also control all of the buying and selling over the entire earth. In other words, he will control all the banking (Rev. 13:16-18).
**Some names, which readily come to mind, are the Rothschild's and Rockefellers. There are also named the Astor, Van Duyn, Merovingian, Bundy, DuPont, Freeman, Onassis, Kennedy, Disney, Reynolds, Li, and Russell bloodlines. Removed but probably connected are the avowed globalists such as the Soros, Clintons, and the Gates families. Although too many to list, the Bilderberg Meetings, which happen annually and exclude the press, are a mix of politicians, bankers, technocrats, and the who's who of the movers and shakers in the arena of geopolitics.
Their goal? A one-world government.
The reality? They will end up handing over their long-sought after universal government over to the worst dictator in human history (the Beast).
However, their current ambition is blinded by greed and pride. They do not know their end because they have rejected Christ and the Bible. Note the arrogant attitude on display here.
We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march toward a world government. . . . The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries. David Rockefeller, Bilderberg Group Meeting, Baden, Germany 1991
In the years leading up to Noah's flood (i.e., the antediluvian era), Satan attempted to corrupt the entire genetic genepool of mankind by having his fallen angels intermingle with human women (Gen. 6:1-4). He did this in an attempt to corrupt mankind so that a Messiah could not come through the race of man (Gen. 3:15). After the Rapture, Satan will attempt this same feat again by use of the Mark. He knows his time is short (Rev. 12:12) and he is seeking to take as many down with him as possible. Of course, the Antichrist and False Prophet will catch the brunt of God's wrath, seemingly, even more so than Satan will, since they will spend an additional thousand years in the lake of fire ahead of him (Rev. 19:20, 20:10).
Although we do not know what technology will exactly encompass the mark of the beast, we at least understand that it permanently dooms its bearer to eternal separation from God (Rev. 14:9-11). Presumably, the technology we are seeing being developed today (digital currency, quantum computers, 5G wireless systems, implantable technology, biometrics, artificial intelligence, etc.) will somehow be packaged up into an all-encompassing system that this final world government will use to control ALL buying and selling across the planet. Somehow, Satan will find a way to once again, permanently corrupt the human race through this mark. As stated on previous briefs, I believe it is very likely (and easy) for demonic hosts to possess technology. Perhaps the mark permanently affixes a demonic host to the bearer, who then becomes possessed themselves, unable (and unwilling) to turn to Christ.
You might be thinking, wow Pete, this is interesting and all, but what does all this mean for us in the here and now? I have work to deal with, bills to pay, health issues to worry about, and trying to figure out how I am going to make it until the next paycheck, let alone, having to worry about all this Antichrist stuff. What does this have to do with the here and now?
I know some of you might think all this talk about the end-times, the Antichrist, a one-world government, Armageddon, etc. is only a fringe topic, or that it will never happen in our lifetime. Some of you might think that is someone else's problem to worry about, but that is only true if you are a born-again believer.
If you remember the movie The Matrix, which came out back in 1999, one of the underlying themes of the story was that the world we (they) currently lived in, was really just a façade. Humans in the world of the real were nothing more than batteries from whom an artificially intelligent god-like system could use to harvest electricity. That system, created a fake-world for the mind (the matrix) so that humans could go on believing they were still alive and free, but in reality, were confined to a pod and hooked up to the system. In regards to the matrix, if you were not physically unplugged from the system, you were part of the matrix. This meant that an agent (an AI enforcer) could possess your body at a moment's notice and turn you into whatever they needed.
Although I seriously doubt the creators of this movie intended any kind of biblical connection to their story, but there is a certain level of truth to the premise. You see, we are all born with a tripartite nature (1 Thess. 5:23), into this corrupted reality, in a state of bondage (sin) that keeps us physically enslaved to the matrix (the world). Although we are all given a grace period (until an age of accountability), we are brought into a world where we led to believe we are free to live without consequences. This is the great lie. If you live past your age of accountability and have not become born again, you essentially become a dead-man walking, which is to say, physically alive, but spiritually dead (Romans 7:9). Your spirit is what HAS to be regenerated through believing and trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ- that is His death, burial, and resurrection for our sins (John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10, 1 Cor. 15:1-5).
If you do not choose to do this, you in a sense, become part of "the matrix" and Satan can use you, torment you, and harden you to the point that you may never be able to come to the knowledge of the truth as to be saved (2 Thess. 2:10-11). Just as Pharaoh hardened his heart against God over and over, there will come a point in a person's life where they will be unable to be saved (Romans 1:18-32), because God will give them over to a debased mind. They will become antichrist, and fit only for eternal destruction. That should be a terrifying thought.
Although we cannot see it with our human eyes, there is a war raging all around us, (Eph. 6:12) Satan can and is actively attempting to destroy you every day through whatever means he can. This war is over the souls of man, and Satan is intent on taking everyone he can down to hell with him to spite God. Satan uses the humans he has already turned to be his physical extensions in our reality to prevent the Gospel of Jesus Christ from ever seeing the light of day.
Therefore, although there is a literal Antichrist coming, the Apostle John warned us that many antichrists have already come, and that the spirit of antichrist is alive and well in the world today. Every single person reading this knows an antichrist. You might even be one yourself if you have not placed your hope and faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
...and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 1 John 4:3
Becoming Antichrist: Vol. II - By Pete Garcia -
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." Luke 4:5-7
We (Randy and I) have compiled a list of biblical and extra-biblical characters (antichrists and types) who seem to make up the parts of the sum for the man of sin. While not exhaustive, these seem to take the mantel in type and carry forward some aspect of the Antichrist's character and nature. Next to each name is the key characteristic of that individual that most links him to the coming future Antichrist. Again, none of the listed are THE Antichrist, simply prototypes of the coming last world leader. Using history and the Holy Spirit as our guide, we will begin to chart a path from the distant past, to the near future, for this man becoming The Antichrist.
The Way of Cain (Man of Sin)
Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. Jude 1:11
Speaking to the apostates who have crept into the church to corrupt the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, here Jude lists three Old Testament examples of men who had done terrible wickedness. What he leads off with here is Cain (the eldest son of Adam and Eve), who after having his sacrifice of works rejected, allows sin to fester in his heart and mind. So what is the way of Cain? Well, the Bible tells us. Knowing what was in his heart, God asks Cain,
Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it. Genesis 4:6-7
Shortly after that is when sin consumed Cain and he rose up in anger and struck down his brother Abel in the field. It is the first physical murder mentioned in the Bible. [Technically, Satan murdered Adam and Eve indirectly by deceiving them into disobeying God]. After this occurs, God rhetorically asks Cain where Abel is, and Cain plays dumb about his whereabouts. It is here that God comments that Abel's blood was crying out from the ground (Gen. 4:10). Then God curses the ground so that it would no longer yield its full strength. Furthermore, sin is now consuming him and he is fearful over his life, so God places a mark on Cain's forehead that no one should strike him down in revenge. What is of interest here is two-fold: first, that God directly warns him about what sin would do to him. Secondly, is that God places a mark on his forehead. We know that according to Revelation 13:16-18, the Antichrist will also place a mark on his followers. Instead of protecting them sevenfold, the mark of the beast will damn the bearer for all eternity. Furthermore, Jesus stated that Satan was a murderer from the beginning, and aside from what he did to Adam and Eve, I believe this is whom He was referencing.
The Rebelliousness of Nimrod (Man of Lawlessness)
Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore, it is said, "like Nimrod the might hunter before the Lord." And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh and Calah (what is the principal city). Genesis 10:8-12
The second antichrist character we come across in Scripture is Nimrod, the son of Cush, the grandson of Ham, and the great-grandson of Noah. Nimrod was described as a "mighty hunter before the Lord." However, we might just think of him as the world's first superhero. He could also be considered the world's first dictator, or tyrant. According to certain ancient and historical documents (the Divine Comedy being one), Nimrod (whose name in Hebrew means rebel) was actually a giant (which may lend credence to his ability rule over other men). At that time, (a 100 years or so after the Flood), people had begun to congregate on the plains of Shinar (Iraq-Syria, Fertile Crescent) instead of spreading out and repopulating the earth as they had been instructed by God to do (Gen. 9:1).
It was in Babel where men (presumably under Nimrods' instruction), began the construction of a great tower. Much conjecture has been spent on why exactly they were building this tower, but all Scripture states, is that they were building this so they could make a name for themselves and not be scattered over the face of the earth. (Gen. 11:4) Moreover, it is here that God goes down and confuses the languages and then scatters the people over the face of the earth supernaturally (Gen. 11:9).
The correlation between Nimrod and the future Antichrist is this spirit of rebellion (or lawlessness). Nimrod was the world's first dictator, and the Antichrist will be the world's last. We know that according to Daniel 8:25 and Revelation 13:1, the coming Antichrist will be boastful, proud, and blasphemous against God to the point that he believes he is God. When reading the extra-biblical books of Jasher and Josephus, this seems to be the same characteristics of Nimrod. About Nimrod, Josephus adds-
Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it were through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage that procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power. He also said he would be revenged on God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he would build a tower too high for the waters to reach. And that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers.
Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree negligent about the work: and, by reason of the multitude of hands employed in it, it grew very high, sooner than anyone could expect; but the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built, that thereby its great height seemed, upon the view, to be less than it really was. It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar, made of bitumen, that it might not be liable to admit water. When God saw that they acted so madly, he did not resolve to destroy them utterly, since they were not grown wiser by the destruction of the former sinners; but he caused a tumult among them, by producing in them diverse languages, and causing that, through the multitude of those languages, they should not be able to understand one another. The place wherein they built the tower is now called Babylon, because of the confusion of that language which they readily understood before; for the Hebrews mean by the word Babel, confusion... (Josephus, the Complete Works, Book 1, Chapter 4)
A final correlation can be made to where Nimrod established his headquarters. This will also be the same geographic location (demonic stronghold) where the Antichrist assumes his as well.
The Hardening of Pharaoh (The Willful King)
Another antichrist character we come across in Scriptures is the Egyptian Pharaoh who enslaved the Hebrews. Although not named specifically, it was most likely Pharaoh Neferhotep I who plays the main antagonist in the Exodus drama. When reading the accounts leading up to the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the Bible, we see an interesting progression of hardening of heart against the one true God. After enjoying a period of peace and prosperity in Egypt under the leadership of Joseph, the Hebrew's numbers were increasing and their success became a threat to the culture and leadership around them. Eventually, a Pharaoh did not remember Joseph outright enslaved the Hebrews and put them under extremely harsh work and living conditions. (Gen. 15:13-14, Ex. 1:8-14) Here in Egypt, Pharaoh would institute the first of many government-mandated infanticides against the Hebrew people. Although probably unknown to Pharaoh, he was simply an instrument used by Satan to attempt to prevent the arrival of the One born of the seed of woman (Gen. 3:15).
The Hatred of Haman (The Dragon)
One clear sign the bible gives us for that antichrist spirit, is the supernatural and completely irrational hatred of the Jewish people. Why is antisemitism, antichrist? Well, since the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob received their unconditional and everlasting promises of blessings from God (Gen. 12, 15, Jer. 31, etc.) they are in a special class of people. There has been a strong sense of supercessionism throughout the history of the Christian church. Currently, in our dispensation, there is no distinction between Jew or Gentile INSIDE the body of Christ (Gal. 3:28). However, just because there is no distinction INSIDE the body of Christ does not mean that God has annulled His promises to them, nor replaced their uniqueness in God's overarching plan. They (and Israel) are a constant reminder of God's faithfulness, which is why Satan hates them with a passion. Of note, is that the story of Esther plays out in the geographical area of what is today, Iran. Back then, it was simply known as Persia. This area has long been a stronghold for Satan and his minions. This is from whence the Angel who came to reveal the end times to Daniel, had to go back and continue his fight with (i.e., the prince of Persia) (Dan. 9:20-23, 10:10-14, 20). Clearly, Satan had his dark forces out to prevent this understanding from reaching Daniel at all costs, and their headquarters, was now where Esther and Mordecai were stationed to prevent the genocide of their people. Haman (the antagonist in this story) is just another example of an antichrist being used by Satan to destroy the Jewish people. In the last days, the Antichrist will also attempt to wipe out the Jewish people, and even succeeding what Hitler had done. Hitler wiped out one-third, but the Antichrist will wipe out two-thirds (Zech. 13:8).
The Delusion of Antiochus Epiphanes (The Little Horn)
Although not THE Antichrist, Antiochus IV Epiphanes is a ruler who most closely foreshadows what the future Antichrist will do regarding the persecution of the Jews and the desecration of the Jewish Temple. He was a Seleucid King, which was an offshoot of the former Greek Empire under Alexander the Great. In Daniel (Dan. 7:8, 21, 11:29-31), the vicious and virulently anti-Semitic exploits of Antiochus are captured, and then directly jump into the latter times where the antagonist shifts from Antiochus to THE Antichrist (Dan. 11:31-45).
In 167 B.C., Antiochus committed an "abomination of desolation"; specifically, he set up an altar to the Greek god Zeus inside the Jewish temple and sacrificed a pig on it. Antiochus proceeded to require pagan sacrifices in all Jewish villages. In the village of Modein, a Levite named Mattathias, who had five sons, was told to make the sacrifice. Mattathias refused and killed the troops and the villager who volunteered to do the deed. This sparked the Maccabean Revolt, led by Mattathias's sons. Israel gained its freedom from the Selucids for a time and was later recognized as an independent state by the Roman Senate. The years that the Jews were led by Mattathias's descendants are called the Maccabean or Hasmonean Period. (Link)
The Jewish Historian Josephus also had much to say about Antiochus Epiphanes in his destruction of Jerusalem and desecration of the Jewish Temple in his War of the Jews, Chapter 1. We can also see from certain Apocryphal books (1 and 2 Maccabees) about more details pertaining to the short reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. When Jesus explained that a future abomination of desolation would occur in the last days, He did so by referencing back to the book of Daniel and the abomination desolation that Antiochus performed (Dan. 11:31, Matt. 24:15).
The Destiny of Charlemagne (Rider on the White Horse)
Charlemagne (742-814), or Charles the Great, was king of the Franks, 768-814, and emperor of the West, 800-814. He founded the Holy Roman Empire, stimulated European economic and political life, and fostered the cultural revival known as the Carolingian Renaissance. (Link)
Although Charlemagne was not a particularly cruel or evil ruler, his popularity in defeating the Moors in Spain, the Saxons to the north, and the Huns to the east, has cast a long shadow down the centuries on the idea of a revived Roman Empire. Likely, this same kind of fame in defeating their enemies will also be what the Beast uses to unite Europe once again (Rev. 6:1-2, 13:4). The Antichrist's main weapons will be deception, treachery, and violence. He will offer up false peace treaties, which will mask his true intentions much like an iron fist hidden in a velvet glove. His popularity will help finally remove the barriers in fully uniting Europe once again; then he will begin to exert his will across the face of the earth. Charlemagne's victories (like the future Antichrist's) catapulted him to the head of his kingdom. He became both the head of the government (the Holy Roman Empire), and the head of the Roman Catholic Church. The Antichrist, will become head of the government (the Beast), and eventually the object of its worship ultimately supplanting the Harlot (who was formerly the apostate church).
The Rise of Hitler (False Messiah)
With World War II behind us, but still present in so many living memories, we are often guilty of biasing our opinions of the Nazis by the outcome of the war and the knowledge of all their evil deeds. Yet, if one were able to go back in time to the Roaring Twenties, and without the knowledge of the future, one would see a broken and deflated Germany trying to pick up the pieces and recover from their disastrous militaristic misadventures during World War I.
In the 1920s, the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP), or NAZI for short, were slowly but steadily building their political base and structure. Their eventual supreme leader, Adolph Hitler, would call these years (1926-1929) the quiet years. However, these quiet years were a boom for political activity with Marxists, Communists, and Socialists (of every stripe), all vying for power in the Weimar Republic.
However, during these years, the NAZIs were not able to gain as much traction as they hoped, even with their highly charged appeals to racial superiority, nationalism, and Anti-Semitism, times were good and Germany was on the mend. What Hitler lacked, was not the message or his ability to deliver said message, but to circumstances. As Obama's former Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel once famously quipped, you never let a good crisis go to waste. Hitler did not.
In another part of the world, Wall Street in New York, events were happening that would bring an end to this quiet time for Adolf Hitler and would ultimately help put the Nazis in power in Germany. On October 29th, the Wall Street stock market crashed with disastrous worldwide effects. First in America, then the rest of the world, companies went bankrupt, banks failed and people instantly lost their life's savings. Unemployment soon soared and poverty and starvation became real possibilities for everyone. The people panicked. Governments seemed powerless against the worldwide economic collapse. Fear ruled. Governments stood on the brink. The Great Depression had begun. Adolf Hitler knew his time had come. (Link)
The Treachery of Obama (The Fierce King)
Having just lived through the worst eight-years of American political history, I do not feel I need to regurgitate the entire list of scandals and misdeeds by one Barack Hussein Obama...for they were legion. Aside from his enigmatic history, and his meteoric rise to power, Obama's past (as a character study) was as much an enigma as are the weathered Sphinxes that sit quietly in the Egyptian desert. He is duplicitous, dishonest, and seems to loathe biblical Christianity. Nevertheless, one of the scariest legacies he left behind, was his creation (or reinvigoration) of a deep state and shadow government (akin to J. Edgar Hoover era). The attempted Democratic coup of our current President was an overt and offensive attempt at delegitimizing a duly elected president by weaponizing federal agencies and a complicit media to discredit Trump's political victory. All that to say that this coming Antichrist will likely rise to power in much the same way. He will after all, have the full backing of Satan (Luke 4:5-7). His past will be shrouded in mystery. His ability to manipulate truth will make Obama look like a rank amateur.
In the end, I believe that history serves as a great teacher (for those who are willing to learn) about what is coming in the last days. I believe that each of these men were either antichrists or types of antichrists, in their own right and serve the purpose of being examples. The Antichrist will most likely be someone we do not expect at all. He is called the "Little Horn" because he arises out of obscurity and dethrones three other rulers (Dan. 7:8, 8:9).
Because Satan is not omniscient, and cannot see into the future, he does not know when the Lord will return at the Rapture. I believe there is probably numerous antichrist candidates alive today, and depending on the circumstances, can activate those who he thinks will most likely achieve his ends the most efficiently. Thinking back to World War II, Hitler was not the first leader Satan began to give access to the kingdoms of the world too, but first to Benito Mussolini, Emperor Hirohito, and Joseph Stalin. These men all started to rise to power around the same time that the Ottoman Empire was defeated, and the Balfour Declaration was giving Jews the right to return to their ancestral homeland.
So what makes a good antichrist candidate? Well, if Satan thought the World War II era was likely to be prophetically significant, and he exercised his options with four world leaders, I do not think he will fall for that again. But he was limited to his options given the technology of the day. He saw the defeat of the Nazis and the Axis powers. He saw the return of Israel; he has seen how she has survived and thrived in a sea of Islamic instability for the past seventy-years. He has seen the explosion of the interest in the Rapture of the Church from within Christendom with the likes of Hal Lindsey's Late Great Planet Earth, and the Left Behind series. Satan, if anything, is a master of observation and probably senses long before most when the prophetic winds are beginning to shift.
It would seem that with the surprise election victory of the long-shot Donald Trump, that Satan may have been caught off guard. At the very least if he wasn't caught off guard, then his human agents (i.e., the secular, Christ-rejecting world) were. I would be willing to bet that he is currently scrambling to line up his frontrunners for the upcoming position of Antichrist.
What is interesting to me though is that throughout the past two and a half years of Trump's presidency, he has been thwarted/obstructed/attacked/etc. at almost every turn, WITH the exception as it pertains to Israel. As if he were being channeled into almost singularly focusing on that tiny nation in the Middle East.
I believe this has emboldened those Jews who want a third temple, as nothing else could. What was the status quo for decades, Trumped turned on its head. Now, what the Orthodox Jews' lacked since 1948, they finally have in the form of hope. Hope that now is the time to rebuild the third temple. Hope that they finally have just enough political support from the world's greatest nation, to begin construction on this temple. The only issue now is getting the Muslims off the Rock.
This is what I believe Satan is watching extremely closely, and is now, readying his man/men, to assume control. He will stir up the Gog-Magog coalition to try and preemptively thwart the rebuilding of the third temple. We know that this will backfire on him gloriously, and be the impetus for actually making the third temple become a reality. Somewhere in this conflict, I believe both the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque are destroyed during this particular conflict, and will open the door for the rebuilding of the temple.
With this much prophetic activity going on, He knows that the Rapture is near; however, he does not know when it is exactly. He knows the Rapture has to happen before the 70th Week begins, because he knows Scripture, and Scripture shifts the focus from the Church, back to the nation of Israel in the last days. Moreover, if he did not believe the Rapture happened before the Tribulation, he would not have wasted as much time and energy in trying to destroy/corrupt/malign this biblical teaching.
We know that there is no mention of a USA-type nation in the prophetic word, so the next most likely options for his pool of would-be candidates, seem to come from either Europe or the Middle East. We know in the last days, that Satan will also use the kings of the east (Rev. 16:12) to come against Israel, but is likely keeping them in his reserve forces to use a last resort.
We know now that what was lacking in World War II (and before) was the technology to accomplish all of what Revelation 11 and 13 seem to indicate. We know that technology has finally reached the point to achieve all that Scripture states must happen (Mark of the Beast, worldwide communications and travel, weapons of mass destruction, etc.).
We know that Christianity has entered into this final stage of Church history, that being the Laodicean Age. This is because the culture (primarily in the west) rapidly deconstructing itself and is becoming increasingly barbaric, hedonistic, pluralistic, and pagan. Intense pressure has been put on the church to make it bend to the will of the culture, rather than the Church standing firm on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
What this all means, is that Satan's man/men of the hour, are alive today. These men likely have access to great power, but will not have expended any of that political capital as of yet. These men will not even be known by the general public, but most likely are thought to be the "power behind the throne" for many in the geopolitical world. These men (like those antichrist prototypes before them), are likely great observers of the state of the world, and know how to achieve their ends without appearing to want a one-world government. They will likely be watching the current crop of world leaders fumble, stumble, and make a mess of things today, and are learning from their mistakes. They are probably tied heavily into both the banking and technology industries. They will have access too, and know of, the breaking technologies that will change the landscape before anyone else does. These privileged men, are like walking Manchurian Candidates who will be flipped-on at the right moment to begin their conquest in their respective areas. Next, the conclusion, Becoming Antichrist: Vol. III
Becoming Antichrist: Vol. I - by Pete Garcia & Randy Nettles -
I do not think about the Antichrist often, nor do I want this to seem as if I am glorifying him in any way, shape, or form, but I have at times, wondered about a few things. How does Satan go about selecting the Antichrist? Is he alive today? Does he know he is the Antichrist? If he does know, when and how did he find out? What does he hope to achieve? Does he have a long-term plan, or is it more like playing out things as they unfold? Is he like the Hitler with the unsustainable four-year economic plan? Or is he like the Hitler with his thousand-year Reich plan? Does he know his fate? Does he care?
The Scriptures has much to say about antichrist. Not only is it a real person(s), or a human condition, but it can also be a zeitgeist (spirit of the age). Not only are there antichrist(s) (little 'a'), but a final, literal, future Antichrist (big 'A') who assumes control over the entire earth. Here are the four passages (all New Testament-all from John) that use the actual term antichrist.
[Deceptions of the Last Hour] Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 1 John 4:3
Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:22
And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 1 John 4:3
[Beware of Antichrist Deceivers] For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 2 John 1:7
In a broader sense of the word (referencing both the Old and New Testament), an antichrist is one who opposes God, His agenda, or His people. Although there are only four New Testament passages using the term antichrist (antichristos, Greek-ἀντίχριστος), Scripture affords us an abundance of clues as to the nature of the coming future Antichrist. He is called the worthless shepherd, little horn, man of sin, the lawless one, son of perdition, the beast, the dragon, and the rider on the white horse. However, we are not told who he is. Granted, every generation has had their favorite candidates, and up until now, they have all been wrong. The reason we know they were wrong, was well, all of those Roman Emperors, Catholic Popes, and brutal tyrants have thankfully come and gone and yet we are still here.
Fortunately, as born-again believers, we will not be here to find out who he is when he is finally revealed. The Apostle Paul writes in his second epistle to the Thessalonians that 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, whom the Lord consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming (2nd Thess. 2:7-8). First, the Restrainer can be none other than God the Holy Spirit. Second, Christ must destroy the Antichrist at His coming; no other death will suffice.
Some Preliminary Discussions
Since the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view is to my knowledge, the only eschatological view that identifies the Holy Spirit as the Restrainer, critics of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view scoff at the Holy Spirit/Restrainer interpretation. The reason they scoff is because the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead and as such, is both omnipresent (everywhere at once) and will remain in the salvation business even after the Rapture.
I (as do other Pre-Trib believers) whole-heartedly agree with them.
However, let us deconstruct this passage even further.
What this phrase taken out of the way does notmean, is that God the Holy Spirit is physically (or spiritually) removed from the earth, because that would be impossible. What it does mean is that His role will change, specifically, because of the Rapture (or removal) of the Church from the earth will necessitate a change in function. For those who do not understand this idea of what changing roles means, just think back to Acts 2 Pentecost and the giving of the Holy Spirit to those Jewish believers' fifty-days after the Resurrection. Keeping that in mind, ask yourself-
1. Did God the Holy Spirit exist on the earth before the Acts 2 Pentecost? Yes He did.
2. Did His role change from Old Testament to New? Yes it did.
3. Can the Holy Spirit exist on the earth after the Rapture? Yes, He Can.
4. Will His role on the earth be different from before the Rapture? Yes, it will.
So the main question becomes, what will the primary role of the Holy Spirit be after the Rapture? Well, what was the primary role of the Holy Spirit before Christ came?
The Holy Spirit had many different roles over the history of the world. During Creation, He was the energizer or life-giver (Gen. 1:2, 2:7). From Adam to John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit's role included empowering select persons to accomplish specific missions (for ex. Moses and David). He could infill someone from a young age (Samson) or even before birth (John the Baptist), but could also depart from people for whom He once indwelt (for ex. Samson and Saul). He overshadowed Mary at the Incarnation (Luke 1:35), visually descended upon Jesus at His baptism, and at the incarnation of the Church at Pentecost (Matt. 3:16, Acts 2:1-4).
However, after He was given as The Helper at Pentecost, His role in this dispensation was to permanently seal those believers into the universal, singular, Body of Christ (ex. 1 Cor. 12:27, Eph. 5:23) until the day of Redemption, which is the Rapture (or Harpazo). For those who have already died, will receive their glorified bodies just ahead of those of us who are alive at His coming for the Church. We shall be instantaneously translated from mortal to immortal and from corruptible to incorruptible. This is in part why we groan within ourselves for, awaiting our birth into glory (Romans 8:23). The groaning gets worse as the days get darker. What changes after the Rapture, is that the Holy Spirit will no longer restrain the dark forces from interacting here in the human domain.
After Christ's body (the Church) is removed fully from the earth, they will have unfettered access to our physical realm. Therefore, in strictly mechanical terms, although Christ ascended to the Father forty-days after His resurrection, He still has His body (the Church) here on earth carrying out the Great Commission. This is why I said the incarnation (putting on of flesh) of the Church. Once the Holy Spirit infilled those believers, we were not born, but began to grow and gestate much as a baby does after it is conceived. Remember what Christ said,
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:18-19
First, Christ is building His Church- not the Pope, not Martin Luther, not the Southern Baptist Association, nor any other human organization. Second, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Clearly, when reading the summarized accounts of Daniel's 70th Week in Revelation 13, we see that authority has been given to the Antichrist to overcome the tribulation saints, so this group cannot be the Church. For two-thousand years, Satan has been trying to stamp out the Church. Moreover, the more he crushes it, the more it grows. This is not the case inside the 70th Week. This is also, why God has to resort to using Angels to proclaim the gospel (Rev. 14:6), because there are so few remaining on the earth during this time.
Secondly, at present, what the Church binds on earth means that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16). And since the Church has direct access to the throne of God (Heb. 4:16), the things we war against here on earth (Eph. 6:12), not only has heavenly authorization, but divine execution on our behalf. This is what restrains Satan and his demonic forces at present, from plunging the world headlong into darkness. Trust me, if Satan could have done this, he already would have.
Once the Church is physically removed from the earth, the path to salvation goes back to one similar to that of the Old Testament. Salvation by faith through grace, yet, the believers (tribulation saints) are not permanently sealed by the Holy Spirit as we are now. They must maintain their faith, and can lose it should they take the mark of the beast, or apostatize in some other way (Matt. 24:13, 2 Thess. 2:10-12, Rev. 12:17). In fact, the only ones we do see who are specifically mentioned as being sealed by the Holy Spirit, are the 144,000 Jewish male virgins, 12,000 from each tribe (Rev. 7:1-8).
It is for this reason, that the book of Revelation often paints strange and bizarre images of demonic beings waging war on mankind in a visually symbolic way. We often try to relegate these images to things we understand in order to make some sort of sense of it all. However, the reason we cannot understand it, is that for the past two-thousand years, the spiritual domain has not been open to us. Once we are removed, those "bizarre images" so many have relegated to pure symbolic mumbo-jumbo, will be mortified to see them fill their headlines and reality.
In summary, even though we cannot know the identity of this Antichrist this side of the Rapture, the bible is not silent on the nature of this wicked man. My hope and prayer is that this article may serve as a warning to those left behind and perhaps persuade some, to avoid him and his mark of damnation. In the next Volume, we will look at the forerunners of The Antichrist.
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