Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Is Coronavirus Connected To Bible Prophecy? - By Todd Hampson/ToddHampson.com -
I have lived through several impactful--even game-changing--historical events which all occurred within 1 year. I worked in DC on 9/11, during the DC sniper murders, and during the DC anthrax mail attacks. That condensed time period was a pivotal moment in our nation's history. Things were never the same.
Our Gen-Z population doesn't know what it was like before 9/11, just as my Gen-X generation doesn't know what it was like before the culture-shaking events of the 1960's.
After 9/11, people filled churches again--but only for a time. As life returned to normal, so did the cultural default position. In fact it has worsened. In the West--including in America--there has been a steady decline of belief in the Bible or the God of the Bible.
The great falling away predicted in Scripture continues and escalates. If trends continue, the next generation of leaders and decision makers will be "nones." "Nones" are those who do not identify with any religious affiliation or belief system. Like most of Europe, it will be wholly secular--which IS a belief system in itself, but I digress.
As more and more people fall away from true, Biblical Christianity--so too will they fall away from its principles, wisdom, sound-logic, and blessings. There's not doubt that our country has been blessed so tremendously because it was founded on Biblical principles (and because we have blessed the nation of Israel [Genesis 12:3]).
I'm not saying our country is perfect by any means, but to the degree that we have followed God's ways in our culture--we have also experienced God's blessing and protection.
Fast-Forward to 2020. The world is on lock-down. The impending tidal wave of COVID-19 has not fully hit the US just yet, but the daily breaking news from our president (and other leaders) both reassures people with a bit more clarity--and frightens people as the reality of the pandemic sinks in.
It's not very deadly--although all of us know people in the most vulnerable demographic, and we are concerned for their wellbeing. COVID-19 is not even that tough to have as a sickness for most people who are struck with it (as compared with frightening diseases such as ebola).
But the uncertainty surrounding the virus, and the speed with which it spreads, has sent people's emotions, sense of security, and the stock market into a tailspin.
HOW IS THIS RELATED TO BIBLE PROPHECY?
So what does this mean for us? Is this related to end-time events? Will it pass? Should we store up toilet paper, cleaning supplies, flu medicine, and hunker down in fear? What voices should we listen to? How seriously should we take the advice given by national and local leaders? How should the Church respond?
First, to address the elephant in the room as it relates to end-time prophecy. We're not in the tribulation period. Scripture is clear that the rapture will occur first. That's not to say things won't get tough prior to the rapture. In fact Jesus taught in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13) that there would be birth pains leading up to (and ultimately into) the tribulation period.
Also, THE tribulation is different from tribulation in general. Jesus told us in no uncertain terms that we would have tribulation in this world (John 16:33). But, the judgments in the tribulation period will be progressively worse than anything the world has ever experienced.
I believe what we are witnessing with COVID-19 is part of the birth pains Jesus talked about in the Olivet Discourse (referenced above). In fact, I think it is a major birth pain; as is the locust plague that is ravaging Africa and the Mideast; as is the large number of social uprisings in countries around he world; as is the increase in earthquake activity; as were the record-breaking Australian wild fires; as is...you get the picture. Birth pains increase in frequency and intensity, and they only increase until the moment of delivery.
This particular birth pain happens to be one that the entire world is feeling. Again, increased intensity. It's also a birth pain that has shaken all earthly things. Sports, financial markets, distractions, hobbies, concerts, you name it--have all been shut down.
Those things aren't bad in themselves, but it's as if God is removing any distractions for a moment in history to plead with the world again,"Look up! Look to me! This world is temporary. Think about eternal things. I love you. I died for you. Please don't ignore me. Turn to me now while there is time."
I should also add that this is a pebble in the ocean compared to a yet-future global event that will rock the world to its core. If one rapidly spreading virus can cause this type of global disruption, can you imagine what the rapture will do when tens of millions are removed from the world in an instant? That singular event will set all the end-time events of John's Revelation into motion.
There have been condensed periods of major supernatural events in the past--creation, the exodus, and the events surrounding the first coming of Jesus culminating with the resurrection. Now after roughly 200o years, we await another period of immense supernatural events which will begin with the rapture.
Were it not for the hundreds of major prophecies that have already been fulfilled--including the rebirth of Israel and recent developments in Syria--this notion would be laughable. But I believe it will literally happen. Scripture is clear.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO NOW?
Here are a few things.
First, we should not live in fear. God is still in control. He's in control of the world, and in control of your life. He didn't cause COVID-19, but he allowed it. There is a paradox inherent in this discussion. God is sovereign, yet mankind still has free will.
God has told history in advance about where this is all headed, yet our freewill and the nature of the fallen world transpire in chronological fashion. Faith is required. Gods' promises are true, prophecy is real, world events are not random, this is all headed somewhere. Do not fear. Look up!
Second, we should look for new ways to leverage this moment to turn people to Christ. It may look different than 2 weeks ago. The truths of Bible prophecy are beginning to have meaning to a broader audience as the whole world senses these birth pains.
Even the secular voices are becoming progressively more apocalyptic. The condition of the world is the elephant in the room. We need to be bold enough to talk about it from a Biblical (ie, accurate) perspective. Along with that, we should love others and meet needs at a time when most are fearful and need some encouragement.
Third, we should be responsible. Though we should not fear, we should heed wise advice and take the recommended precautions seriously. It's a chance for us to love our neighbor as our self. This pandemic forces us to get our eyes off of our own needs and onto the needs of others.
During the worst moments of the initial outbreak, Chinese Christians from the underground church served victims of COVID-19 with grace, joy, and love. Because of such acts, the underground church in China continues to explode. What the enemy meant for evil, was turned to be used for good. The political division in our own country has even (momentarily) subsided a bit.
Much like after 9/11, our country is (at least somewhat) joining together as one. I believe this will end once the major threat of COVID-19 has passed. Then (I believe) it will be globalists vs. nationalists at an even greater level.
Fourth, let this time of uncertainty draw you closer to God. If I can be completely real for a moment, the Lord has shown me several things the past few weeks that I need to work on. Nothing earth-shaking, but areas of my thinking and reactions that God has brought to the surface so I can turn them over to him. The closer I get to the Lord the more I realize how much I need him every day.
These are serious times--and we need to be ready. We need to be ready for whatever lies ahead--and we need to do so with courage, boldness, joy, and hope in a soon coming King. Everything else fades away in the bright light of His promised future return.
We don't know the day or hour, but all Biblical indicators are that we could very well be the generation that experiences the rapture. What a privilege--and a burden--to be alive at this time in history. Are you ready? Why not put your trust in the only thing that is really stable?
The Real Pandemic - By Terry James -
A headline on Rapture Ready News jumped from the monitor screen: "Will Coronavirus Kill the New World Order?"
By this, I infer the question implies that the globalists might not get their long-dreamed-of, unified world because the so-called coronavirus pandemic will keep the nations of the world separated out of necessity.
This is one question I can answer with absolute certitude. The answer is NO. The coronavirus, nor any other virus or human agency, will destroy the coming "new world order."
However, the caveat that must be entered here is predicated upon the supposition that we're talking about destruction of the coming new world order, not changes in it.
Those changes are coming-and we must think in terms of profound, unprecedented changes that will likely rearrange modalities of living even in the United States of America.
For Americans, this prospect is daunting. We're used to not having our apple carts upset. Concerning our ways of life, the poor among us, the middle class among us, and the wealthy and upper 1 percent of the ultra-rich among our numbers are not easily moved from our routines. God's Word says through prophecy that a new world order is coming. As a matter of fact, two new world orders are on the way.
So to predict that the new world order-the first of which isn't even here yet-will not be killed by the coronavirus or anything else is a sure bet.
But the changes that will affect the first of these separate and distinctly different world orders are, I'm convinced, upon us right now. These are manifesting in every news cycle. The "pandemic" of the coronavirus is engendering not the destruction of it, but the changes in it that will forever alter life in our nation and around the world.
These changes we're witnessing, experiencing, and enduring aren't Bible prophecy being fulfilled, but rather, are setting the stage for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
The first of these world orders is the one Antichrist will rule. It will ultimately be created out of the geopolitical turmoil going on at this moment in history. This turbulence-fomented by Satan, with the United States presidency and the American nation at the epicenter-is generating the current economic earthquake.
The coronavirus hoopla is being used masterfully by Satan and his minions in high places to try yet again to bring this US president down. This must be done in order to get the globalist juggernaut back on track.
This is in no way saying that I take this disease lightly. I agree with my good friend Eric Barger of Take a Stand Ministries, who recently wrote the following:
There is no question that COVID-19 is deadly. There is also no question that some in the media are manipulating this story dramatically as they report on it. Objective reporting is hard to find these days but instead of calling out some of the politicians on the left-who've chosen to politicize an epidemic-their allies in the media are choosing to just chime in! Both pundits and political hacks alike apparently just can't wait to attempt scoring the cheapest of points against the president. It is frankly unconscionable, but, as expected, it appears that nothing whatsoever is off limits for these partisans.
The old serpent has chosen to create the perception of a worldwide spread of a relatively common virus to bring the peoples of the world together Fear is the ingeniously devilish nucleus around which the globalist cabal has wrapped its plans to get things back to normal, in a perverted model of normalcy. The one-world elitists will do anything and everything within their Lucifer-infused power to restore their internationalist equilibrium, to tear down nation-state sovereignty and dissolve national boundaries.
All of that said, however, the coronavirus pandemic is not the pandemic to which I refer as presented in the title of this commentary. That "real" pandemic, as I term it, is far more lethal-far more terrifying.
The real pandemic facing the world today is 100 percent fatal-not only to physical life, but to life that follows physical death.
It is the virus called sin. Each and every person who has ever been born on this fallen planet with the exception of One, the Lord Jesus Christ, is born with this spiritual virus It will, for the one afflicted, without remedy, end with the person suffering the process of dying forever.
This hellish, spiritual virus turns mankind against God. It thus brings about thinking that is upside-down-an insanity that precludes rationality. That's what we've been witnessing for the last four years in particular. The Lord of Heaven has turned the anti-God forces over to a "reprobate mind" (Romans 1:28).
There is coming a second new world order. It will be ushered in by King Jesus, who will reign and rule over an Eden-like planet that He will refurbish upon putting an end to Armageddon.
Finally, at the end of Christ's reign, there will be no more pandemics that corrupt and destroy God's creation called man. The new heavens and new earth will provide the perfect environment-the utopia the globalists with their climate-change rants proclaim they want. But they will not be around to enjoy it. Sadly, they will have succumbed to the pandemic that is far deadlier than the coronavirus.
To avoid being terminally and eternally ill because of this terrible, spiritual virus, confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins. Believe then in your spiritual heart that He rose from the dead. Do this and you have God's Word on it. You are now saved. (Romans 10: 9-10)
Answering Fear - By Hal Lindsey -
I've never counted them, but I have read that phrases like "fear not" or "do not be afraid" occur over 300 times in the Bible. Clearly, God does not want us to be afraid. In fact, He commands us not to fear.
That's because, in many ways, fear and faith are opposites. And Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."
And yet, when countries around the world are declaring national emergencies, the temptation to fear can grow. When markets falter, and wealth disappears before our eyes, we might be tempted to feel anxiety. The coronavirus COVID-19 is what Psalm 91:6 calls a "pestilence that stalks in darkness." We know it's there, and we know it's deadly, but we can't see it.
When we're tempted to fear, what does God say?
2 Timothy 1:7 says, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
In Acts 20, Paul talked about his many afflictions and trials. Then, in verse 24, he put those difficulties into perspective. He said, "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."
If your hope is in this world only, then you should be afraid. But if through the finished work of Jesus on the cross, you live in the assurance of heaven, then don't be afraid. Don't be moved by any of the things the world is throwing at you.
Romans 8:15 says, "For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!'"
The New Living Bible translates Philippians 4:6 like this. "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."
Cry out to Him as a child would cry out to his dear father - full of faith and trust. Then thank Him for all He has done.
1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear."
Psalms 34:4 says, "I sought the Lord, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears."
In John 14:27, Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."
Psalms 57:1 says, "In the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by."
Isaiah 26:3 says, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee."
These are difficult days. We should be prudent and plan things as well as we can. But panic? Fear? No! Let the Living God keep you in perfect peace.
'Coronavirus Passover' Prophesied by Medieval Rabbi as Precursor to Messiah - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
And the blood on the houses where you are staying shall be a sign for you: when I see the blood I will pass over you, so that no plague will destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:13 (The Israel Bible™)
The coronavirus quarantine in effect in Israel is unpleasant but as Passover approaches, it becomes clear that it is a powerful aspect of the final redemption, recreating the seder ritual in a prophetic form it has bot taken since the original redemption from Egypt.
The details of eating the Passover lamb are described in Exodus. One particular section of the Bible describes the seder (the ritual meal eaten Passover night) as it was performed the evening before the Children of Israel left Egypt. Though this version of the seder was only performed that one time, one detail, in particular, is relevant today.
They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they are to eat it. Exodus 12:7
Rabbi Jacob ben Asher (also known as Ba'al ha-Turim), a 13th Century Torah scholar from Cologne, commented on how to perform the ritual.
"[And we see in a later verse that] Aaron and his sons will eat [the offering] in the [Tabernacle] tent and will not come out, here also you will not come out of your house, thereby teaching that the final redemption is like the first redemption"
Similar to the traditional American Thanksgiving feast, Passover is normally a time for family and friends to gather together for a festive meal. But due to the coronavirus, there is a quarantine in effect throughout Israel as well as many regions in the U.S. This means that most Jewish homes will be having an 'isolated' Passover seder with few, if any, guests. In other words, this year, the Jewish people will be like the priests in the tabernacle and just like the ancient Jews in Egypt were in their homes - insular and isolated.
Lest the reference by Rabbi ben Asher be classified as vague and applicable to a different era, the Torah continues describing that first unique 'redemptive' seder.
Do not eat any of it raw, or cooked in any way with water, but roasted-head, legs, and entrails-over the fire. Exodus 12:9
In this verse, the Hebrew word for 'raw' is נָא (na). The medieval French Biblical authority, Rabbi Shomo Yitzchaki, who is known by the acronym Rashi, commented on this verse:
אל תאכלו ממנו נא. שֶׁאֵינוֹ צָלוּי כָּל צָרְכּוֹ קוֹרְאוֹ נָא בְלָשׁוֹן עֲרָבִי:
Don't eat it raw: that is not roasted all that is necessary, which is called 'na' in Arabic. In Hebrew, "called 'na'" is pronounced corona.
Two verses further on, the purpose of that original seder and the blood on the doorposts is explicitly described in a manner that is just as relevant today:
And the blood on the houses where you are staying shall be a sign for you: when I see the blood I will pass over you, so that no plague will destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:13
Daily Jot: God is in Control? - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
"God is in control" is a cliché that is common among Christians these days. This means different things to different people. On one side of the spectrum, people believe that no matter what happens, great or small, God is in control of every small detail. On the other side of the spectrum, people believe that God is in control, but there is free will to make decisions and experience the consequences of those decisions-good, bad, or indifferent. Overall, I believe God is in control in that he allows us to make decisions and he will intervene according to His will. I bring this up because some Christians say they will not abide by China coronavirus restrictions because God is in control and anybody who does take precaution lacks faith.
There are at least two problematic issues with this position. One is of faith and the other is of testing God, and they are interrelated. Satan brought Christ to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, urging him to cast himself down, saying in Luke 4:10-11, "For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over you to keep you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone." Jesus answered in verse 12, "It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Those who emphatically state that God is in control might see this example, if told to them without the mention of Satan and Jesus, as someone who lacks faith.
Faith as defined in Hebrews 11:1 is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him [God]: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." James writes in 2:18, "Yea, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." He goes on to write in verse 26, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." There is much written in the Bible about faith. It is based in trust and should result in wisdom, not foolishness. With respect to coronavirus faith with wisdom might look like what Martin Luther wrote in a letter during the time of the Black Death Plague.
In Luther's Works, Volume 43, page 132, he wrote: "I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. This I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God."
Godly faith is not foolish, nor does it tempt God. Those who question others' faith because they subscribe to best practices of science and health in dealing with coronavirus are both foolish and risk tempting God. Christ arguably had more faith than any human, but he refused to tempt God by making a foolish decision. Christians, who make foolish proclamations of faith that belie good sense and risk tempting the Creator, cause those who are seeking answers during this crisis to question the very credibility of God. We are God's representatives on earth. Let's not allow ignorance of sound doctrine to get in the way of what God wants to accomplish during these times. If you believe God is in Control, show your faith with wisdom and love.
Daily Devotion: There for You - by Greg Laurie -
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. -John 16:33
Studies have found that 85 percent of the things we worry about never happen. This means that of all the things you're worrying about right now, 85 percent of it won't happen. But what about the other 15 percent? Well, the Lord will be with you in your time of difficulty.
God has not promised that we'll live in a pain-free world. Jesus said, "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). We need to face facts. Loved ones are going to die, and hardship will come into our lives.
But here is the good news: we live in the land of the dying, but we are headed to the land of the living. Yes, death will come, but we have this promise from Jesus: "Don't be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look-I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave" (Revelation 1:17-18). I'm so glad that He holds the keys. If I had the keys, they would've been lost for years now.
Someone asked me not long ago what the most spiritual moment of my life was. In other words, when was the time in my life when I felt God's presence more than any other? I had to think about it. And then I realized the most spiritual moment of my life, the moment when I felt the presence of God more than any other, was when I heard the news that my son Christopher had died, and God was there.
We can rejoice in the fact that God is in control. He will be with us, giving us what we need, when we need it.
FROM THE HEART
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"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
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