Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Two Judgments of End Times Babylon
- By Bill Salus - www.prophecydepot.com
This article is based on the DVD entitled, "The Identity of Mystery Babylon: Mecca or Rome?" The DVD was produced from a historic debate between New York Times bestselling author Joel Richardson and myself. Richardson believes that Mecca will be the great harlot city of Revelation 17, and I defended the popular and historic view that the city is Rome.
There are two end times judgments of Babylon in the book of Revelation. Revelation 17:16 makes an end of the Harlot's world religion and Revelation 18:8-10 terminates the global economy. In Richardson's end time scenario, these two judgments are one and the same. If they are not, then in theory his hypothesis about Mecca has significant problems, which will be uncovered at the end of this article. However, first, this article will explain how these appear to be two distinctly different judgments.
What is the logical chronological order of Revelation 13,17 and 18?
Many people read and interpret the book of Revelation in strict chronological order. They believe that the events of Rev. 13 occur prior to Rev. 17. Others believe that Rev. 17 and 18 describe the same judgment events against Babylon. However, the actual order of events makes most sense when these chapters are rearranged as Rev. 17, then Rev. 13, then Rev. 18. This sequencing illustrates that Rev. 17 and Rev. 18 are describing two different events with Rev. 13 inserted in-between.
Rev. 17 and Rev. 18 describe judgments upon end times Babylon. However, these two destructions do not appear to be describing the same event. Below is a quote from John Walvoord from his book called, Every Prophecy of the Bible.
"The Book of Revelation was written in the order in which the truth was revealed to John, but the events described are not necessarily in chronological order... This is especially true of Revelation 17 which probably occurred during the first half of the last seven years... Actually, the destruction of chapter 17 and the destruction of chapter 18 are two separate events by three-and-one-half years."
Walvoord separates the two events by 3.5 years, meaning the destruction of Rev. 17 happens at the middle of the Tribulation and the destruction of Rev. 18 happens at the end. Below is another related quote about the timing of the differing judgments in Rev. 17 and Rev. 18 from David Guzik.
"In my view, it is best to see them as intertwined, yet somewhat distinct. Religious Babylon of Revelation 17 is judged at the mid-point of the seven- year period of tribulation. Commercial Babylon (Rev. 18) is judged at the end of that period."
Mankind experiences double trouble when it comes to end time's Babylon. Two systems occur. First comes the global religion of the great whore in Rev. 17, then comes the beastly commercial system of the Antichrist in Rev. 13. The order of events that are outlined in the Scriptures are summarized below. They demonstrate the Rev. 17, 13,18 sequence.
* Harlot forms an alliance with the Antichrist (Rev. 17:3-7)
* Harlot rules over a global religious system (Rev. 17:15)
* Harlot martyrs' believers in the past and future (Rev. 17:6)
* 10 Kings hate and desolate the Harlot (Rev. 17:16)
* 10 Kings transfer their power to the Antichrist (Rev. 17:13,17)
* Antichrist then rules over the world (Rev. 13:7-16)
* Antichrist sets up a cashless society (Rev. 13:17)
* Antichrist martyrs' future believers (Rev. 13:15)
* Antichrist kingdom destroyed in 1 hour (Rev. 18:8-10)
* Antichrist destroyed by Christ (Rev. 19:11-21)
Rev. 17:15 informs that the Harlot rules worldwide over "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." At some point this global system becomes problematic for the Antichrist who exerts his power to have the Harlot's false religion eliminated by the infamous Ten Kings. Upon desolating this religious system, they transfer all of its wealth and power over to the Antichrist. This concludes the first judgment of end times Babylon, which deals with the Harlot world religion. The desolation of the Harlot is explained in the verses below.
"Ten kings receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast." (Rev. 17:12-13)
"And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast." (Rev. 17:16-17)
The Ten Kings are of one mind to eliminate the Harlot and to give their kingdom to the Antichrist. From his book, There's a New World Coming, Hal Lindsey states the following about this transitional event.
"The question that logically comes to mind is, "When the Antichrist destroys this Harlot in the middle of the Tribulation, does he destroy some geographical location from which she rules? I personally don't think so, since that would mean destroying his own kingdom, for it is in the Antichrist's kingdom that the Harlot has dominated. For example, if someone today wanted to break the power of the Roman Catholic Church, he wouldn't have to blow up Vatican City or the city of Rome. Assassinations of the Pope and the cardinals and bishops of the church, plus a destruction of some of the major seminaries and church buildings, and a confiscation of church property and wealth would finish the organization. I believe something like this will happen when the Antichrist destroys the false ecclesiastical system that seeks to smother him. He will purge its leaders and confiscate all its wealth. Then he will establish himself as the religious leader of the world and consolidate all worship in himself."
With the Harlot dethroned in the Middle of the Tribulation, the Antichrist then sets up his global order! Clarence Larkin, (1850-1924 AD), puts it this way below.
"The "Ten Kings," finding their power curtailed by the "Papal System" will "hate The Whore", and strip her gorgeous apparel, confiscate her wealth (eat her flesh) and burn her churches and cathedrals with fire. (Rev. 17:16). This will occur at the time the worship of the Beast is set up in (Rev. 13)."
At this point the focus shifts from Rev. 17 to Rev. 13. The Antichrist, who was initially acting in a subservient position to the Harlot, is now the KING OF THE WORLD. Rev. 17:2 says the woman was sitting on the beast and in Rev. 17:7 the antichrist is carrying her to the heights of her global religion. This unholy alliance stops abruptly with the desolation of the Harlot by the 10 kings. Then we read about the Antichrist's system in Rev. 13.
"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." (Rev. 13:16-17)
With the absence of the Harlot world religion, the Antichrist assumes worldwide control. He causes all, small, great, rich and poor to participate in his global order, utilizing a cashless society. This system is short lived, lasting for only 42 months according to Rev. 13:5. This period equals the span of the second half of the 7-year tribulation period. And at the end of this three and one-half years, commercial Babylon is destroyed in "ONE HOUR." Now we turn our attention to Rev. 18 for the details of this second judgment upon end times Babylon.
* Antichrist kingdom destroyed in one day (Rev. 18:8)
* Kings of earth lament at their financial losses (Rev. 18:9)
* Babylonian system is destroyed in one hour (Rev. 18:10)
* Merchants of earth can't conduct further commerce (Rev. 18:11)
* Merchants of earth lose all their riches (Rev. 18:12-17)
* Babylon the Great City is utterly destroyed (Rev. 18:19)
* Holy Apostles and prophets are vindicated (Rev. 18:20)
It's important to note from the last bullet point that the city of end times Babylon needs to have been responsible for the martyrdom of at least two or more of the "holy apostles according to the scripture below."
"Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!" (Rev. 18:20)
History tells us that the Apostle Paul was beheaded in Rome and the Apostle Peter was crucified under the Roman Emperor Nero. In addition, there is historical evidence that the Apostle Andrew was crucified by the order of a Roman governor and the Apostle James, the brother of the Apostle John was killed by a client king of Rome.
This beckons the question, "According to Revelation 18:20, how could this city be Mecca, Saudi Arabia, or other candidate cities like New York City or a rebuilt Babylon in Iraq?
The second destruction of Babylon, which deals with the end of the Antichrist's commercial system is predicted below.
"Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her....For in one hour your judgment has come.'(Rev. 18:8 and 10, KJV)
"And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all." (Rev. 18:21, KJV)
In his book, Revelation Unveiled, Tim LaHaye summarizes the two sequence of related end times events as follows;
"The prostitute (religious Babylon) is destroyed by "beast and the kings of the earth" who "hate the prostitute " and kill her (Rev.17). This clears the way for Antichrist to get people to worship him (Rev. 13). She is destroyed In the middle of the Tribulation; Babylon, the governmental system will be destroyed at the end, when commercial Babylon is destroyed (Rev.18). With "Mystery Babylon ..the Mother of Prostitutes" out of the way, "all inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast.
In summary, the list of distinguished prophecy teachers who believe these are two separate events and judgments include John Walvoord, David Guzik, Clarence Larkin, Tim LaHaye, J Vernon McGee, Hal Lindsey and Mark Hitchcock.
If these Bible teachers are correct in this belief this should require all eschatological views of end time Babylon to include two separate, distinct judgements upon the great city of Babylon in their end time scenarios. This would include even the views of Joel Richardson and Walid Shoebat, which we are about to look at next.
The Mecca - Mystery Babylon Connection
Now we will look at the Mecca connection to Mystery Babylon according to Joel Richardson. It is important to note that, to the best of my understanding, Joel Richardson believes the following;
1. The Antichrist is a Muslim,
2. Gog of Magog in Ezekiel 38 is the Islamic Antichrist,
3. Gog of Magog comes from Turkey, rather than Russia, which is where most prophecy experts believe Gog hails from.
4. Harlot Religion of Revelation 17 is Islam,
5. Mecca is the "great city" of the Harlot in Revelation 17:18,
6. Ten Kings in Revelation 17:16 are also the Magog invaders of Ezekiel 38:1-5,
7. Ten Kings, as the Magog invaders, destroy the Harlot religion in Rev. 17:16,
8. Magog invasion begins in the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation Period,
9. Antichrist sets his throne up in Jerusalem in the Jewish Temple in the Middle of the Tribulation Period as a result of the Magog invasion,
10. Gog and the Magog invaders get defeated at the end of the seven-year Tribulation Period at the time of Armageddon,
In an article posted on the web entitled, "Mystery Babylon Part 1- The Great Harlot: Revelation 17," Joel Richardson gives us his interpretation of the judgment of the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:16.
"The Antichrist and his ten kingdom coalition will bring the Harlot to ruin, They will strip her of her wealth and her royalty and they will literally kill her and burn her with fire."
From the 2008 book, God's War on Terror - Islam, Prophecy and the Bible, by Walid Shoebat and Joel Richardson, Joel and Walid point out that Mecca, as the great city of Mystery Babylon, and in addition that Saudi Arabia will be destroyed as part of this judgment.
"The idea of Muslims attacking Mecca or Saudi Arabia is far from impossible. The day is drawing near when the emerging Beast Empire led by Turkey and Iran will attack Mecca and destroy the Arabian Harlot...In the Last-Days, a coalition of radical Islamic nations (alluding to the Magog invaders), will turn on and destroy Saudi Arabia."
In fact, an article by Joel Richardson was posted on the World Net Daily website in 2010 with this provocative title, "Does the Bible Predict Destruction of Saudi Arabia?" In this article the judgment of Revelation 17:16 was referred to.
Then on page 264 of his book entitled, Mystery Babylon, Unlocking the Bible's Greatest Prophetic Mystery, Richardson writes,
"Once the Antichrist has consolidated his power over the ten kings, he would turn his attention to Saudi Arabia. In fact, a careful reading of Ezek. 38-39 reveals that this coming Antichrist empire will include Iran, which makes an attack on Saudi Arabia all the more likely. No doubt, this is exactly why the Scriptures declare that "the ten horns . . . and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire"
And on page 265 of his Mystery Babylon book, he continues with,
"Is it possible that the kingdom (Saudi Arabia) could someday sustain a full-blown nuclear attack? If the oil fields on the eastern shores of the kingdom were taken out, it is reasonable to suggest that the entire Western economy would suffer tremendously, if it survived at all? Interestingly, such a massive and sudden blow is certainly in keeping with the description that we find in the book of Revelation of a city that "in one day . . . will be burned up with fire" (Rev. 18:8), never to be inhabited again, whose smoke will rise and smolder "forever and ever" (Rev. 18:21-19:3).
As you can see Joel Richardson has clearly combined the fiery events of Revelation 17:16 and Revelation 18: 8 & 21 into only one destruction event, in which not only the city of Mecca, but the entire nation of Saudi Arabia is apparently destroyed. He suggests the means of the destruction could be a full-blown nuclear attack led by Turkey and Iran and as a result, the city of Mecca will never be inhabited again.
Could Joel and Walid be incorrect in their chronological order of events? What if the correct chronological order of events would require that Revelation 17:16 and Revelation 18:8-10 must be understood to be two entirely separate judgment events, which are separated by the span of at least three and one-half years? Wouldn't this create substantial problems for Joel Richardson and Walid Shoebat in their Islamic end time scenario?
Below is the sequence of events that I believe will happen.
* Harlot forms an unholy alliance with the Antichrist and rules over the nations during the first three and one-half years of the seven-year Tribulation Period in Rev. 17.
* 10 Kings hate and desolate the Harlot and transfer their power to the Antichrist at the mid-point of the seven-year Tribulation period in Rev. 17:13, 16-17.
* Antichrist rules over the world economy once the Harlot is desolated during the remaining second three and one-half years of the Tribulation Period in Rev. 13. This is explained in the verses below.
"And he (the Antichrist) was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months." (Rev. 13:5). "It was granted to him (the Antichrist) to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation." (Rev. 13:7).
* Antichrist's kingdom is destroyed in one hour on one day forever at the end of the seven-year Tribulation Period in Rev. 18:8-10, 21.
The Mecca is Mystery Babylon Problems
What are the ramifications if the sequence of events just described in my scenario takes place? What are the ramifications if the great city of the Harlot of Mecca in Saudi Arabia will be utterly-destroyed in Revelation 17:16 at the mid-point of the Tribulation Period?
If Mecca gets desolated at the middle of the Tribulation period how will;
1. Muslims worldwide fulfill their required pilgrimage to Mecca during the second half of the Tribulation Period as one of the Five pillars of their Muslim faith?
2. How could they pray toward Mecca 5 times a day?
3. How can these religious Muslims now do their required series of rituals of the hajj performed in and around a city that no longer exists?
Moreover, If God put it in the hearts of the Islamic Antichrist and the ten kings of a coalition of Muslim nations to utterly destroy Mecca, at the middle of the Tribulation Period in Revelation 17:16-17, then would this now make it impossible for Mecca to be destroyed again at the end of the Tribulation Period in Rev. 18:8 & 21?
Also, is it likely that after the destruction of Mecca by devout Muslim followers loyal to the Ten Islamic Kings in Revelation 17:16 that the religion of Islam would skyrocket in popularity around the globe and become a worldwide worship movement centered around the worship of an Islamic Antichrist Rev. 13:7?
Another important consideration is that the Ten Kings believe it is necessary to destroy the Harlot in Rev. 17:16 to transfer her power and wealth and to give their kingdom to the Antichrist in Rev. 17:17. This transfer enables the Antichrist to establish his cashless economic system in Rev. 13:15-17. If they are rejoicing over their victory of Mecca and Saudi Arabia at the time of the Harlot's destruction, then why are they weeping in Rev. 18:9 at the judgment of Rev. 18:8, 10?
"The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.' "And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: (Rev. 18:8-11)
Although the kings of the earth mentioned in the verses above include more than the Ten Kings, the Ten Kings are likely among those weeping. What goes wrong that causes these kings to weep? In Rev. 17:16 they are rejoicing, but in Rev. 18:8 they are mourning. Rev. 18:9-18 explains that the global economy has been destroyed. That's why the kings and merchants of the earth weep in lament.
This makes logical sense if the Rev. 18:8-10 judgment destroys the Antichrist's global system. As a result of this judgment, no one will be able to buy or sell at that point, even if they did previously take the mark of the Beast in Rev. 13:17. There are no more goods to purchase!
However, Joel Richardson believes that Rev. 18:8-10 is dealing with the destruction of the Harlot's great wealth, which is centered primarily in Saudi Arabia. Below are some quotes from his Mystery Babylon book.
The merchants of the earth have grown rich from all the goods that she purchases." Page 122
"Both the" merchants" (18:3) and the "shipmaster(s)" (18:17) have "become rich through the abundance of her luxury" (18:3 NKJ) Page 123
"The earth's merchants have grown rich from all the goods that she purchases. This is a perfect description of Saudi Arabia." Page 267
If Joel Richardson is correct that Rev. 18:8,10 represent the same judgment as Rev. 17:16, then the world's economy is decimated when the Ten Kings destroy Saudi Arabia and that leaves the Antichrist with no ability to establish his commercial system. No, it makes more sense that the judgment of Rev. 17:16 happens prior, which provides the Antichrist time and enables him to establish and rule over a global economy. Otherwise, he is left to mop up the mess of the Ten Kings destruction of the harlot and with little to no more time on his hands to do so.
[i] Every Prophecy of the Bible, pages 603 and 612.
[ii] Verse by Verse Commentary Revelation by John Guzik, page 221.
[iii] There's a New World Coming by Hal Lindsey, page 241.
[iv] Clarence Larkin, "The Book of Revelation," page 153.
[v] Tim LaHaye, "Revelation Unveiled," page 277.
[vi] Web link to Richardson's article: http://www.tedmontgomery.com/bblovrvw/revelation/MysteryBabylon/01.html
[vii] God's War on Terror, pages 407-408.
2800 Year Old Prophecy Fulfilled As Bible Comes to Life in The City of David -
By Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/101919/2800-year-old-prophecy-fulfilled-bible-comes-life-city-david/#V58Ut1GZlLrcGYBy.99
"[The Lord] says: Build up, build up a highway! Clear a road! Remove all obstacles From the road of My people!" Isaiah 57:14 (The Israel Bible™)
What is so compelling about a video, originally produced this past summer by Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) and shared by the Israel Video Network earlier this month, that has been watched well over 800,000 times?
The 5-minute video is an interview conducted by Chris Mitchell, Middle East Bureau Chief for CBN, with AnaRina Heymann, Outreach Coordinator at the City of David in Jerusalem. Heymann explains that most of the Old City of Jerusalem is not in fact part of ancient Biblical Jerusalem.
"The only part of ancient Jerusalem that lies in the Old City is the Temple Mount. The walls of the Old City were built 450 years ago by Suleiman the Great. The walls of the City of David are more than 3,000 years old," Heymann told Breaking Israel News.
The honor of being identified as ancient Biblical Jerusalem is given to the City of David, whose excavations are proving the Bible and fulfilling Biblical prophecy everyday.
"As we uncover the city, the archaeological finds provide unequivocal proof not only of the Jewish presence of more than 3,000 years in the land, but also the Biblical connection to Jerusalem, which UNESCO and the UN vehemently deny," Heymann said.
Why is the exact location of ancient Biblical Jerusalem so important? Heymann asserts, "I believe that anyone passionate about Jerusalem and serious about the Bible needs to know about the true location of the ancient Biblical Jerusalem. There is a massive realignment, cognitively and spiritually, happening as people are becoming more aware of this."
In the video, Heymann shows Mitchell two especially powerful Bible-based sites.
First, at 1:47, Heymann says, "Most of the kings of Israel were anointed where we're standing right now." Elaborating for Breaking Israel News, she noted that "the anointing of the King of Israel had to take place at a live water source."
"We know that this is the place where Solomon was anointed," she continued. "In 1 Kings 1:33, David urged Bathsheba and Nathan to take Solomon to the Gihon Spring and anoint him there."
The king said to them, "Take my loyal soldiers, and have my son Shlomo ride on my mule and bring him down to Gichon. 1 Kings 1:33
"Tradition also identifies this as the place where most of the kings from the line of Judah were anointed," Heymann explained.
The second site has prophetic implications. At 2:40, Heymann introduces the excavations at the tunnel that lead from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount and connects them to a prophecy in the book of Isaiah.
This, according to Heymann, is the walk that pilgrims made when they visited the Temple Mount during the Biblical festivals. First, they immersed in the Pool of Siloam and then walked to the Temple Mount. All of this has been hidden for 2,000 years.
"After 2,000 years, the ancient city was rediscovered by Charles Warren in the year 1867. We are now opening up the ancient road between the Pool of Siloam and Temple Mount," said Heymann. This excavation is fulfilling the exact words of Isaiah.
[The Lord] says: Build up, build up a highway! Clear a road! Remove all obstacles From the road of My people! Isaiah 57:14
Furthermore, Heymann sees an echo of this prophecy in today's Jerusalem. "I also believe that, as we are opening up the ancient road between the Pool of Siloam and Temple Mount (the final ascent that every pilgrim had to walk), there is a strong parallel to how the modern highways to Jerusalem are opening up too."
In fact, earlier this month, JNS reported that Yisrael Katz, Israel's Transportation Minister, had announced that the new high speed train to Jerusalem will launch in time for Passover. "I made a promise, and I will fulfill it. This coming Pesach (Passover), we will allow all of Israel to come en masse to Jerusalem, via the express train from Tel Aviv," he said. "We are connecting and strengthening our capital city of Jerusalem, and we are connecting to Jerusalem's history."
In addition, Heymann said that "the cable car line that will bring masses of people to the Kotel from different points in the city is now being developed."
Heyman calls the site, "the spiritual nucleus; the touchdown of the End of Days prophecies" adding that "the Bible comes alive 360 degrees in the City of David."
"Everyone passionate about Jerusalem and serious about the Bible has to reconnect with the true location of ancient Biblical Jerusalem," she continued. "For all Bible believers, we are talking about the place where kings reigned, prophets walked and epic battles ensued."
"People can now become a tangible part of prophecy by joining our efforts through the Jerusalem Watch project. Millions of people around the world feel a deep personal and spiritual connection to Jerusalem and are seeking a meaningful way to express their devotion and commitment," Heymann added.
"In response to this, the Jerusalem Watch initiative offers those passionate about Jerusalem a tangible opportunity to connect by taking an active role in uncovering the glory and history of Biblical Jerusalem, literally becoming part of the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy."
Nearing Midnight: Like a Snare... - Terry James -
Most of the world, it can be said, is not prepared for the wrap-up of human history as prophesied in the Bible. This is especially true of the apex nation of world history in which we are privileged to live.
America is afflicted by great turmoil in the political sense. We are divided almost down the middle, so far as our choices for social and political directions are concerned. As a matter of fact, I've used the word "schizophrenia"-correctly, I think-to describe the nation's malady.
One side seems to want freedom from moral constraint and government that is like a rich uncle who provides everything. The other wants morality more sensibly controlled and a return to government founded under constitutional restraint as put in place by the Founding Fathers.
Like the rest of the world, however, neither side of the political divide-or I should say none in America, of most social and political stripes-is prepared for the wrap-up of human history as given in God's Word.
I continue to perhaps bore you with my belief that America has reached the "think-not" time expressed by Jesus as recorded in Matthew 24:44: "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."
I have observed nothing in these times to indicate my sense of direction is amiss about how things are going, prophetically speaking. This is in no way neither to claim infallibility in the area of diagnosing our times, nor to claim perfect prognostication for the future. I'm just saying that things continue to move in direction exactly as I have thus far thought they would, if we are at the end of the age, as I believe this generation to be.
The Trump presidency has seemed to me to accelerate this movement into position for the prophesied end of this Church Age. We are entering a time of economic boom despite all of the minions of global order and anti-God forces coming against Him.
The latest assault, of course, is the forcing of the government shutdown by a 100 percent vote against a proposed alternative by the so-called opposition party, the political party that admits to be the party of absolute resistance.
That party, the Democrat Party, quickly backed down from their resist-at-any-cost stance when they realized the voting public across the nation saw them as placing taking care of illegal aliens above taking care of the military and the American people.
While many economists have been claiming the nation and the world were on the verge of entering a depression worse than in the 1930s, Trump's innovations, regulation rollbacks and the tax cutting has every economic indicator imaginable looking as if a true boom is beginning. This, despite the mainstream media refusing to present almost any news whatsoever about the economic uptick.
Again, I believe all this will come crashing down at the time of Rapture, when Christ next catastrophically intervenes into the affairs of wicked, rebellious, mankind.
Jesus told us how it will be when He does so. He said it will be like in the days of Noah and the days of Lot. The people of those days were enjoying prosperity, not abject poverty and hard times. This, despite the world wagging on as usual with wars and immorality that invited God's judgment and wrath.
Jesus said of those days: " For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:38-39).
Jesus forewarned that this time of apparent prosperity would come like a snare upon the whole world: "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth" (Luke 21:34-35).
The Lord was, in my opinion, talking here about the Rapture, not, as some claim, about the Second Advent (Revelation 19:11.) Thus because this will be an any-moment, unknown microsecond of time, whereas the Second Advent is calculable to the very day as given by Scripture: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36).
Jesus gave instructions for the believer alive at the time of this break-in on a world of unaware, uncaring earth dwellers: "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Matthew 24:42).
Everything looks to be in preparation for that great snare to be activated by the very Creator of all that is. He will shout "Come up here!" to those who have spiritual ears to hear His command. All others will be left behind to suffer seven years of horror, the likes of which the world has never experienced.
Here is how to avoid being left behind to face Antichrist and his regime of evil: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:9-10).
The Potter and the Clay - Nathele Graham -
Hymns can be a great source of strength and encouragement when we need to keep our mind and heart on Jesus. One of my favorite hymns was written by Adelaide Pollard and is called "Have Thine Own Way".
"Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way:
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o'er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.
All things, including people, were created by God. "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7. That's simple to understand. In just a few days God created all that is, and His final creation on the sixth day was man. He formed Adam out of the dust of the earth and gave him a living soul. The word translated "formed" comes from the Hebrew word "yatsar". This word appears a number of times in the Old Testament and always has the idea of creating something. Fashion, maker, and frame are a few of the English words translated from yatsar, and so is the word "potter". "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." Isaiah 64:8. A potter is a craftsman who takes a lump of clay and forms it into a useful vessel. The items formed may be a cup, a bowl, a vase, or a number of other useful objects, but the potter has the control. God, the Master Potter, formed man from the dust of the earth and in His own image. The love with which we are created is pure and God has a purpose for each person. When we yield to His will He will transform us into something useful and for His glory. Like a potter creating unique pieces of pottery, our Lord works in us to form us into unique and special people who yield to His loving hands.
A potter sees the potential in a lump clay and he knows what there is a need for. It's his discretion that determines what the clay should become. He divides the clay into smaller lumps in order to fashion what is needed. He takes one part of the clay, puts it onto the potter's wheel, and begins the process of shaping that clay using his hands. When he finishes he may have a beautiful ornate vase that will decorate the palace of a king. The next lump is put onto the wheel and the process begins again. With his skilled hands he might shape it into a useful object, but one that may not appear as beautiful as the vase. Perhaps it's a common drinking vessel or a bowl from which to serve food. These aren't glamorous objects, but are necessary and useful. The same potter used his skill to create both the beautiful vase and the common serving bowl. "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" Romans 9:20-21. When the Master Potter shapes us He has a plan. Not everyone will be an ornate vase; most of us will be ordinary serving bowls. Before you criticize the Potter for how He has shaped you, understand that each person is essential to the furthering of God's Kingdom and a serving bowl has no lesser value to God than a vase.
The first step in yielding to the Potter is to accept Jesus Christ for salvation. When we come to Jesus we come just as we are: sinners in need of a Saviour. We can't get around that flaw of sin on our own. Jesus accepts and forgives the truly repentant person and from the moment of salvation all your sins are forgiven. While we live on this side of Heaven we'll continue to struggle against the desires of the flesh, but the goal of every Christian should be to become more like Jesus. We do that by recognizing our sin, asking forgiveness, and then putting that sin behind us. Yield self-will to the Potter and allow Him to mold and shape you after His will. "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:" 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5. The word "concupiscence" means a desire for what is forbidden or lustful passion. Our desire should be for the things that God desires, not lusts of the flesh. We can only become more like Him by learning how to possess our vessel (our body and mind)...take our thoughts and actions captive and turn them over to the Master Potter. When we sin we need to recognize that sin and humble ourselves before the Lord; ask for His forgiveness and His help to overcome that sin. When we first come to Jesus for salvation we don't understand that sin by human standards is very different than sin by God's standards. We need to draw nearer to God's standards. Our Master Potter loves us just as we are and will mend our flaws, but we need to turn our life over to Him and allow Him to shape us into the person He wants.
Once a potter has created the vessel, it's time to strengthen it. If the clay is left on its own it'll be weak. Wet clay will collapse under the slightest pressure. If left to dry on its own it will crumble as soon as it's tested. A beautiful vase and a lowly serving bowl both need to be put into the kiln. Christians face many times of testing and sometimes the fire seems too hot. Maybe you face losing your job because you proclaim Christ as your Saviour. Maybe your family has rejected you because of your faith, or worse. A Muslim who turns from serving the demon god Allah and embraces Jesus Christ faces death. "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:...the father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." Luke 12:51 & 53. This division can be a harsh testing of faith. Family and friends may not understand, but you need to keep close to God through prayer and Bible study. Your faith may be the witness that brings someone you love to salvation. Testing will also come when the temptation to return to a sin becomes strong. At one time we didn't understand that fornication, lying, or coveting are sins. Now that you're a Christian you need to resist sin. Resisting temptation makes you stronger, just as a piece of pottery placed in a kiln becomes stronger. The more you yield to the Potter the less of a hold sin has over you. Trust the Potter and you will become stronger.
Contentment in life depends upon whether or not we are living within God's will. Everyone has hopes and dreams, but when looking for a purpose in life you need to look to God for answers. He has a purpose for you so freely yield your will to His. Scripture tells of many people who had their lives drastically changed when they discovered God's plan for them. Abraham lived in the midst of idolatry until God called him to leave it behind. Because Abraham yielded to God he was used by Him to be the father of the nation of Israel. Esther was a young Jewish woman whose life was interrupted when she was kidnapped by the Babylonian king's men and eventually she became the Queen. Because she yielded to God in spite of danger to herself, a plan to kill all Jews was thwarted. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were ordinary fishermen who chose to follow Jesus. Because they yielded to God the Gospel has been preached around the world. Paul knew what he wanted to do in life. He studied under a master rabbi and learned his Jewish religion well. That wasn't God's will for him. When Paul met Jesus his life was dramatically changed and his passion was to share the Gospel. Noah, Naomi, Ruth, David, Barnabas, Timothy, the woman taken in adultery, the demon possessed man in Gadara, the Samaritan woman at the well, and many other people listed in Scripture are examples to us of how God takes a lump of clay and transforms it. It's important to yield to God and allow Him to mold you after His will. When looking for the ultimate example of yielding to God's will the best example is our Lord. Jesus was God in the flesh (God the Son) and He knew what He would suffer on the cross. He prayed to God the Father asking for another way to accomplish His purpose, but accepted the answer. "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." Luke 22:42. There's no greater example for us to follow.
Just as a potter shapes a lump of clay into a specific vessel, Christians need to allow Christ to shape us into what He desires for us. If it seems as if your path is too difficult to follow, look at the Master Potter's hands. Look at the scars of love in the palms of His hands as He molds you and shapes you according to His will. He is the Potter, you are the clay.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
If you'd like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries just drop me an email and let me know.
Daily Jot: God's word, race and politics - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Galatians 3:28 says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Romans 3:22 says, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference." Joel 2:29 says, "And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit." It is obvious that the Lord sees no distinction between men and women, also Jew or Gentile (meaning creed or color), or station in life when it comes to how he views those who believe. So why then is it so difficult for those in the human race to view people in that same way?
There are some who will read this and lecture about there being only one race--the human race. I get that and believe it to be true. Notwithstanding, we still have in this nation and, quite frankly, around the world, problems with dealing with those who look differently than we do. It makes it a little easier if we know we are dealing with believers, but there are still barriers a lot of the time. This is a very difficult and tender subject to approach. Society is divisive. Politicians, especially politicians, are divisive as they benefit from pitting people against one another. They fan the flames and fuel the fires rather than contributing to meaningful dialogue that brings people together.
In this era of politics in America, there are a lot of people who make strong statements that are not backed by the truth. As a result, there are many out there who unknowingly are manipulated into a way of thinking that is not in accordance with the word of God. There are many who want to control others and the way they do it is through propagating a victim mentality. The problem is that people fall for it, no matter the color of their skin or their station in life or their religious persuasion. But there is a greater mandate that those of us who call ourselves Christian must follow, especially as the times grow darker. It is a higher standard--one to which we must aspire.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:1-2, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you again." I often rephrase this in my mind to say: don't judge from the content of my own heart. Our job is, as Jesus said in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." And we are to, as Jesus said in Mark 16:15, "go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." When you are faced with what society calls racism or political division, use it as an opportunity to educate about the Word of God in a way that folks can understand and receive it (not by lecturing or by being judgmental or self righteous). The world needs light, we have it. Let's shine it!
Daily Devotion: You Can't Fool God - By Greg Laurie -
"But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly." -Luke 21:34
Abraham Lincoln said, "You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time."
Jesus told a parable about a man who planted a field of wheat, but during the night his enemy came and sowed tares in the same field. The tares initially looked like wheat, but it wasn't until much later that the farmer realized it wasn't wheat at all.
God has His real believers just as Satan has his tares among the wheat. They breathe the same air. They enjoy the same sunshine and the same rain. They eat the same food. They go to the same schools. They live in the same neighborhoods. They go to the same churches. They sing the same songs. They talk the same talk. But one of these days, God will separate the wheat from the tares and the true from the false. It isn't for us to do; it's for Him to do.
But because there are a few phonies, a few hypocrites, or even a few believers who have seriously blown it, does this mean that the claims of Christ are false? No. Jesus has been everything He has promised to be.
That doesn't excuse Christians from being His representatives. We should try to be good representatives of Jesus Christ. We should do our best. But please understand. People will fail, but God will not fail.
God knows and sees everything. The shallow excuse of there being too many hypocrites in the church will not hold water on Judgment Day. God's question to you will be, "What did you do with My Son called Jesus? What did you do with Him?" You will have to answer that.
FROM THE HEART
IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED THROUGH THIS MINISTRY, THEN WE ASK THAT YOU WOULD PLEASE REMEMBER PROPHECY UPDATE IN YOUR GIVING - WE ARE TRULY, TRULY, THANKFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Prophecy Update has no corporate sponsors. This ministry is paid for and prayed for by readers and supporters. Without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update, Please pray about becoming a monthly supporter - thanks!
If ever there was a time to invest in God's Kingdom, it's now!
What on earth are you doing for Heaven's Sake?
"Share in the Blessings and Rewards that will last Forever!"
"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
1) We need your prayers!- We proclaim the Truth of the Word of God and we are under constant spiritual and sometimes even physical attack.
2) We need your encouragement!- We need to hear from you, let us know how the Lord is blessing you through this ministry so that we can share it with others.
3) We need your input! - If you have a prophetic article or story or if there is a news related item we missed, let us know.
4) We need your financial support!- To put it quite simply, without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update.
I ask that you would prayerfully consider partnering with us to get the Word out and keep the world informed. Remember, your gift, no matter how small, does make a difference! You will be helping to touch lives, around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the internet your generosity carries a global impact! - Thanks!
Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
Prophecy Update is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt - non-profit organization, and all your donations are tax deductible.
If you have been blessed by Prophecy Update and would like to help support this ministry financially. You can make a secure donation online by going to:
Or Visit our website:
Or write us at:
P.O. Box 40516
Bakersfield, CA 93384-0516