Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
After the Rapture... - by Mike Mullin -
Increasingly, within the last few years, I have had an uncomfortably subtle and creeping feeling take an apprehensive root. Though I cannot pinpoint when, I try to remind myself of Jesus' instruction - "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me." John 14:1. Yet, I am feeling troubled. Over the course of my days under the sun, like most, I encounter the full spectrum of a typical social network: spanning close family members, friends, coworkers, and neighbors, all the way to the friendly lady serving my coffee each morning, or the familiar grocery clerk.
What has made me so uncomfortable is the fact that the looming, history-changing event of the Rapture of the Church will see most of their earthly lives end by means almost too terrifying to write down. I think to myself, assuming the Rapture is as close as some think it is, what are their eyes going to behold after the Rapture? These are, for the most part, very decent people. That is what troubles me. I often try to piece together what the world, particularly America, will be like in the days and weeks following the Rapture.
My position is that immediately after the Rapture, an indeterminable timeframe known, as the 'Gap period' will commence. It will preclude the final seven-year Tribulation that begins upon the Treaty signing of Daniel 9:27, also known as Daniels' 70th Week. At some point after the Rapture - whether immediate or sometime later, the Seal judgments will occur mentioned in Revelation 6, bringing with them the Four Horsemen. It is unknown exactly when or how this will play out after the Rapture in the Gap period. What is known, is that hell on earth will break out immediately. The below commentary speaks to a few likely scenarios the everyday decent people spoken about above in paragraph one will experience. This will occur in the immediate aftermath of history's most peculiar moment.
The Rapture is imminent. No one knows when it will happen. As astute Christians, we will know the season of the end times as they approach and manifest. I believe, that season is now, which means the Rapture is looming ever closer. On that day or night when it happens, the world will collectively shudder in confusion and fear, and suffer the baffling loss of vanished loved ones. It will be a moment in time when the supernatural will breach our firmament, and the old order of things will immediately cease. America has the largest concentration of Christians in the world, and she will be the hardest hit when it happens.
I have figured a rate of 20% of Americans will be Raptured-Christians - likely a generous number. Americans everywhere will witness believers vanish into thin air - possibly while at work, watching TV on a couch beside you, standing in line at a grocery store, on a treadmill at the gym, in a restaurant, an empty baby crib, or at an intersection. Those left behind will likely have encountered someone being Raptured first-hand - this in and of itself will be traumatic. The realization that all children have been taken will push the panic levels to unimagined levels! Americans more than any other people will feel the most direct impact. It will not be hearsay, or some distant delusional rumor - left behind Americans will directly see and experience the event more so than any other people.
News reports will flood in of an unprecedented event happening. In the immediate aftermath, I would imagine, at least in America, the word 'Rapture' will be used. The Devil will be caught off guard at the precise timing of the event, and for a brief short-lived period, spreading news of the truth of what happened may escape him. Pop Culture and those left behind have certainly heard or read of the Biblical Rapture. However, the Devil will dispatch every fallen angel at his disposal to begin the campaign he has planned for thousands of years since the writings of the Biblical prophets. The Rapture explanation - quickly snuffed out - will be replaced by messages of the undesirables being taken away as they hindered a global oneness or evolution to the next stage of 'humankind'. The globally united 'Mystery Babylon' explanations for what happened will immediately take root.
Immediate changes to daily life
As the first-hand shock of witnessing the vanishing of so many abates to a very small degree - the next wave will be the realization of thirst, hunger, heat, power outages, massive amounts of people injured in the streets, looting, and general pandemonium. Grocery stores and markets will be raided ....and very quickly! Replenishments would not occur in any quick manner as the roads and highways would be a maze of accidents and eerily empty cars. Imagine for a second if the Rapture were to occur during the daytime in America? Perhaps during morning or evening rush hour? Every Single Highway in America would stop dead from empty vehicles going in every direction. So many cars and trucks carrying valuables - from packaged food and produce, to every type of consumer good imaginable, would just pilotlessly careen where its momentum would dictate.
Local food terminals could become a secondary focal point after the grocery stores and markets run bare. Looting and riots would blanket every street corner. Airports would likely shut down with the reality of multiple, simultaneous numbers of planes having crashed as both pilots and air traffic control team members vanished. How would the police forces respond? Already far outnumbered by criminals, how would or could law enforcement respond? Similarly, what of the paramedics and the fire services? While almost too macabre to think about, what about surgeons vanishing during procedures? Recently I had a painful root canal treatment. An unnerving thought came to me during the procedure of what if the power goes out with my tooth open. What if the endodontist couldn't finish the job? ....even worse....imagine someone in the same chair while the endodontist was raptured! Ok enough of that.
I would estimate America to be a place categorically divided into 2 types of regions - Mad Max zones - where the strong rule with weapons, numbers, and control all access to assets, fuel, and any land of value. The second would be federal and perhaps state security zones, where a martial law would be in effect - it has to be assumed that some form of order in America would return.
The US Economy
Six days after 9/11, with much in the way of fear and incredible uneasiness in the air, the Dow Jones fell 684 points. By the end of that week, the Dow was down an incredible 1,370 points (14%), erasing $1.4 Trillion in value from panic selling investors.
Not to make any light of the 9/11 tragedy, but the Rapture event will be exponentially larger, even to levels of incomparability. As of this writing, the Dow Jones is hovering in the 26,000 range with a valuation near $25+ Trillion. Imagine the impact of having not just 20% of the American population vanishing (65M people), and not the fact that the stock markets would be closed for who-knows-how-long after the Rapture, but... the number of deaths occurring because of the vanishing of so many. On 9/11, 2,977 people lost their lives to the tragedy. In the coming Rapture, one can expect a much higher number and that is just at the outset of the event.
In the immediate days and weeks after the Rapture, there will be a run on the banks for cash - assuming the power remains operational to run the banks in America. Physical cash, due to its tangible immediate use for buying and selling will be highly sought after. Cash will be king - but not for long. Precious metals - gold and silver - will soar to heights never seen in history. While the United States Treasury technically owns the gold bullion at Fort Knox, West Point, and Denver, it is under the United States Army control. With a crumbling infrastructure around these bases, it would very likely become the target of targets - both to internal military men, and outsiders.
I believe the Magog war occurs during this period - likely not long after the Rapture. It is interesting to note that one of the questions the Western leaders pose to Gog about his motivations for the invasion he leads are described in Ezekiel 38:13-
Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, 'Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?'
If Bible-scholar Bill Salus is correct in his Psalm 83 War theory (a potential precursor to the Magog War), in that Israel conquers its neighboring Arab countries and expands its borders outward, it is possible Israel becomes a major global power through controlling the flow of oil. From this control, could come payments in the form of precious metals. I'm tempted to call it a barter-type transaction - tangible gold for tangible oil - but gold technically is money (as JP Morgan himself declared before Congress in 1912). Currently the central bank of Israel has no gold in its possession; however, the nation may rapidly gain gold should they control oil. India and the heavily sanctioned Iran have done this in the past. Paper currencies at this point could be very inflated and worthless, while gold and silver would maintain a stable valuation as they have for thousands of years.
In 1944, the world leaders assembled in New Hampshire, to herald in a new economic order under the Bretton Woods Agreement. This system catapulted America and the gold-backed dollar system to the forefront of international trade and commerce as the British Empire's influence faded. On August 15, 1971, President Nixon took the US off the gold standard and ended the Bretton Woods arrangement. The US dollar would no longer be convertible with gold, leaving it open to spikes in speculation, and inflationary pressures. A deal was formulated between America and the members of OPEC to begin selling oil for US dollars in return for protection and weapon sales. It effectively meant the demand for US Dollars would incredibly expand, and it would grant some stability against oil embargos and more severe inflationary spikes. It also paved the way for the last 4 decades of unprecedented US debt expansion, which is now reaching levels in the tens of trillions. President Reagan for example, in his 8 years of office added about $1.7 Trillion of debt to the inherited amount of about $750 Billion. Presidents since 2008 have with regularity, added $1T plus per annum .... the trend under Trump is now pushing $1.2 - $1.3T per annum - spectacular numbers!
In the chaos after the Rapture, OPEC would for the first time since the 1970s begin selling oil outside the US Petrodollar system. It is likely they will sell oil for regional currencies, barter, gold, and possibly if functional - cryptocurrencies - a prototype/precursor to the coming Beast system. As the news spreads of how hard America, more than any other nation, has been impacted - the dollar will lose much of its current value. With a massive decline on federal collected income and corporate taxation, with OPEC selling outside the dollar system, general faith in the currency falling globally, and the ever-expanding interest alone owing on the government debt, the picture painted for the greenback is not a nice one. Costs of imports - if the sea and airports are functioning - would cost the average American exponentially more than in our current state. All those exported dollars to OPEC and the world at large would finally come home. Either hyperinflation will occur, or a complete default on all federal debts and liabilities owing.
In the past, I have wondered, what if the stock markets recover to some degree after the Rapture, every shareholder meeting and annual report will reference the need for renewed focus, strategies, and goals post the 'Event' as they will call it. If the Dow Jones can currently swing 500-800 points on just talks and Presidential tweets in the US/China trade war, how will it react to the disappearance of millions? Could the Rapture cause the collapse of the USD? Could it cause severe tangible damage to American infrastructure, assets, and workplaces? Although the damage to the USD may likely be irreparable, Biblically speaking, buying and selling continue deep into the final seven-years. Nevertheless, it seems it will be far less organized and structured in America after the Rapture. As the light dims on America, it is likely that advanced technologies and assets will migrate to Europe for exploitation by the coming Beast control system(s).
The US Military
America held down its enemies for nearly a century. As Bible scholar Don Koenig's great article rightfully indicates (God Using America as a Restrainer of Empires), America has been the restrainer of Empires and expansionist-minded countries. After being held down for so long, a unique opportunity like no other will present itself to her enemies (most should be largely unscathed by the Rapture event). If 20% of the general population is raptured in America, imagine an even higher percentage of the general American armed forces population being raptured - 30%? I may be wrong, but I have long thought that the men and women in the military may have a much higher percentage of Christian beliefs. Imagine supply lines, logistics, and having critical positions emptied of key personnel. US Bases overseas and in remote areas could become sitting ducks.
The long-time Cold War stabilizer of the American strategic nuclear triad (personnel in the Minuteman III ICBM silos, B-52, B1, & B2 bomber crews, and nuclear submarines) that could all be dangerously impacted. When the dust settles, and the realization that America has been hardest hit by the 'event' sinks in.....the enemies may very well pounce. Currently, Chinese, Russian, & Iranian military planners and terrorist groups worldwide, spend 24/7 with one focus - America. For this one unique period, America will be knocked down, and increasingly I think this event will lure attacks from all fronts on America to keep her down. None of the mentioned countries wants America - their longtime nemesis - regrouping, rebuilding or re-establishing her global lead.
It does not necessarily have to come in the form of an all-out nuclear war. Massive destabilizing cyber-attacks directed at both the military command and control systems, and civilian assets - nuclear power plants, air traffic controls, banking, and stock exchanges. EMP type weapons in the arsenals of Russia and China (and lesser degree N.Korea) could be used to send America into the dark ages. Laser batteries and other types of exotic weapons may wipe out America's vast array of military and commercial satellites. In the confusion and chaos, the war would be won asymmetrically and without any formal declaration.
If there is any reason America's enemies forebear themselves from attacking America, it is very conceivable that the once mightiest military may simply not be able to afford any more. It currently consumes 4.2B gallons of fuel each year. In picturing the arena of world affairs post-Rapture, it is difficult to envision just how the armed forces would afford anything close to the present-day consumption levels - especially factoring in the unfavorable economic problems affecting the dollar's value, and the difficulty in immediate access to fuels, easily sourced in the current global conditions.
Returning to the Ezekiel 38:13 quote. In the tepid response given by Tarshish and her young lions (presumable Britain and the western commonwealth democracies including the USA), it appears NATO or any real functioning semblance of what was NATO is at the moment far too weak to mobilize against the Magog alliance. In today's world and for the foreseeable future, the West and any sitting US President would meet any such Russian challenge head-on. The US Navy's Fifth Fleet in the Middle East and the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, along with all other nearby bases and assets would immediately mobilize to repel the threat. I have always found it interesting that the prophet Ezekiel ordered the names of the opposition whereby the young lions were mentioned last. Usually the most significant would be mentioned first, for example, if America (presumably a young lion) were the superpower it is today in the Magog timeframe, the prophet may have written - 'the Young lion of Tarshish' directly and singular, and then mention the other siblings in the brood of Tarshish. The fact it is written as it signifies a world where America is not in a leadership position, and not in any way the powerhouse it is today - not even remotely. This indicates to me that the Rapture has decimated America away from the global stage.
These are just a few examples of a world that all those familiar, decent people I pass by each day will awaken too. A terrible ending in great contrast to the normal lives they lead now. I have taken the approach that America will limp towards the Rapture, largely intact, and that the global order we see today will remain largely undisturbed, but with increasing moral erosion.
Luke 17 26:30 "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed."
The passage indicates a very sudden and immediate history-altering event.
One counter perspective I do also entertain to a lesser degree is the possibility of America being judged and destroyed prior to the Rapture. It is naïve to think us western Christians should be escape-worthy of bad things and catastrophes. Christians have suffered tremendously over the centuries - from the Roman persecution to the Black Death in 14th Century Europe, to the 250+ global wars in the 20th/21st Centuries. However, when studying America, it is obvious that is has been used by God like no other nation in history. It has spread the Gospel globally, maintained global stability and peace, and through incredible innovations has raised the worlds' living standards. I do expect that with the current trend of all things anti-Christian, America's high level of God's favor, protection, and blessing will decline and open her up to some major problems - civil unrest, natural disasters, cyber-attacks, etc.
To conclude then, I cannot wait for the Rapture! I believe it is soon and very likely to occur in the next two decades. I am as mystified and excited about it as much as anyone could be. However, I increasingly feel troubled with deep pity for all those good, decent folks I pass by and encounter each day. It is a terrible feeling knowing something bad is going to happen to someone and in this case so many! Even more reason in this late hour to speak the Good News to others and pray for others, while we still have time.
Report: Netanyahu Warns War With Gaza Could Break Out In Next Few Days - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"He tended them with blameless heart; with skillful hands he led them." Psalms 78:72 (The Israel Bible™)
With less than one week until the elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that rocket fire from Gaza is making an IDF incursion inevitable, perhaps even before the elections on Tuesday.
During an interview with Kan Reshet Bet Radio on Thursday, Netanyahu warned that war seemed imminent.
"I do not wage war unless it is a last resort and I don't risk the lives of our soldiers and citizens just to get applause," Netanyahu said in the interview. "We will probably have no choice but to set out on a big campaign, a war against the terror forces in Gaza."
"It looks like there will be no other choice but to embark on a wide-scale campaign against the terror forces in Gaza. I don't risk the lives of our soldiers and citizens just to get applause," Netanyahu said. "There probably won't be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime. Hamas doesn't exert its sovereignty in the Strip and doesn't prevent attacks. We have a situation in which a terror group that launches rockets has taken over, and doesn't rein in rogue factions even when it wants to."
His comments came two days after the Prime Minister was rushed offstage during a campaign event in Ashdod due to Red Alert warning sirens. Benny Gantz, a former IDF Chief of Staff and head of the Blue and White opposition party, criticized Netanyahu for leaving the stage during the rocket attack.
"We are not afraid - not of Hamas and not of Hezbollah. We are committed and we are here," Gantz said at an event in the Druze village of Julis in the north. "Today we saw how the big words are replaced with zero action."
It should be noted that the Blue and White party will necessarily ally with the Arab parties if it is tasked with forming a coalition after the election.
Netanyahu also stated that Israel would begin an assault when it best suited their interests.
"There will be an operation but I will not embark on it a moment before we are ready, Netanyahu said. "We are preparing for a 'different war'."
Netanyahu departed for Russia after the interview. After meeting with President Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu spoke to reporters.
"An operation in Gaza could happen at any moment, including four days before the elections," Netanyahu said. "The date of the elections is not a factor."
Netanyahu's visit to Russia is a sign of increasing military coordination between the two countries in Syria. Russia has a powerful military presence in Syria supporting the regime of President Bashar al Assad and Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes against Iranian military targets in the country.
Israel's Long, Multi-Front Struggle Against Iran - By Fiamma Nirenstein - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=3461
If you're an Israeli mother, then as the school year began on Sunday the thought uppermost in your mind was likely: Will my children be safe in the coming days? Are the bomb shelters ready? Have the teachers been trained to respond to alerts?
At the back of every Israeli mother's mind is a strange phrase: "Color Red." Echoing from loudspeakers, radios, and TVs, this phrase warns residents of towns in the western Negev that they have 15 seconds to seek shelter from incoming rockets. Heard thousands of times in recent years, it has become etched into the Israeli subconscious.
Israel's Iron Dome defense system often manages to stop the missiles from Gaza, but the threat grows more acute and sophisticated daily, not only in southern Israel but also in the north.
Shi'ite Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah possesses hundreds of thousands of missiles, which are just sitting there, pointed at Israel. Threats from Hezbollah's long-time leader Hassan Nasrallah have been in the air of late -- "Wait, we're coming," he says from his underground lair, just like a monster in a fairy tale.
Israel is unimpressed: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has invited Hezbollah to "calm down." Indeed, Israel is prepared for any attack -- but this requires constant vigilance, without a moment's respite. Israelis have to live in a very special way as a result; for example, dividing to exercise their democratic right to choose their leaders, but then coming together quickly, like the Red Sea closing on the ancient Egyptians.
Sometimes, however, the alerts and missile defense system aren't enough, resulting in death, destruction, and trauma. Israeli soldiers on the border are subject to constant ambushes. This is Israel today. It's a country forced to endlessly contain a long-term strategic plan for its destruction, driven not by the Palestinians but by Iran, the true "Islamic State," which is both stronger and smarter than the Sunni terrorist group.
Last Sunday evening in the western Negev town of Sderot near the Gaza border, a large crowd -- mostly families -- were enjoying a summer concert. Children danced, people relished the cool breeze. "Color Red" began to roar from the loudspeakers: "Open the gates, do not crowd, proceed immediately to the nearest bomb shelter. If you can't reach one, lie on the ground and cover your head."
Many couldn't reach a shelter in time; the ground was strewn with mothers covering their children with their own bodies.
Rocket exhaust glittered in the sky; Israel's macabre falling stars. Fortunately the Iron Dome blew them up in the air, but nonetheless families returned home horrified and frustrated.
The people of Israel live in manner unimaginable for most Europeans or Americans. These people must be heroes every day.
Israel's very high birth rate and constant celebration of life coexists with gritted teeth and an invincible determination to keep moving forward in the face of an implacable hatred that claims innocent lives seemingly on a weekly basis, whether by shootings, stabbings, bombings, vehicular assaults, rockets, or incendiary balloons -- while the Iranian threat on the border grows.
Iran's efforts to entrench itself on Israel's borders have gradually made it a constant presence for Israelis. Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the south, and Hezbollah in the north, are all funded and armed by this leading state sponsor of terrorism. An explosion is always around the corner, and Israel must often act swiftly to contain the threat, as was the case on Sunday, when Israel foiled an attack by Hezbollah.
Beyond its permanent presence in Lebanon and Gaza, Iran is also seeking to entrench itself in Syria. It is already a prominent presence in Iraq (where Israel has reportedly attacked Iran-linked weapons depots and militias) and is fighting a war in Yemen against Saudi Arabia using its Houthi proxies.
It is vital to remember that the Islamic Republic considers the entire Western world to be its enemy, which must be defeated in order to establish a global Islamic empire. Iran's ideological structure is interwoven with the coming of the "Mahdi," the prophet of the messianic era predicted by Shi'ite doctrine, and an ultimate clash between the forces of good and evil in which victory is certain.
Those who believe that US President Donald Trump's openness to talking with Iran might lead to a peace process ignore the fact that Tehran, whatever Trump's intentions are, ultimately cannot accept one without betraying its core beliefs.
Israel therefore faces a long, multi-front struggle against Iran. And as long as Iran remains undefeated, the Palestinians will continue to believe their policy of non-negotiation and terrorism will accomplish their goal of causing the Jewish state to disappear.
What A Day That Will Be! - By Dennis Huebshman -
Every day that the Lord gives me, my prayer is, "Come, Lord Jesus; today would not be too early!" With each passing day, it is obvious this world is heading toward that last 7-year period known as the Tribulation or God's Wrath. All the signs of Matthew 24 and 2 Timothy 3, and those given by numerous prophets, are present and are intensifying daily, and in some cases hourly. (any emphasis is mine)
The next main event on the end-time countdown will be the Rapture of Jesus' Church - all believers. There is no named "evangelical organization" that makes up His Church; only those individuals who identify as bible-believing Christians.
This is for Jew and Gentile alike. All, everyone, all over the world, who call on the most precious name of Jesus, will be saved. This was first given in Joel 2:32 and again in Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13, almost word for word. It says, "And it shall come to pass, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." In Joel, Jesus had not been here yet, but he had already gone back to Heaven in Acts and Romans. This is a promise by our Most Holy Father, and He cannot lie. (Titus 1:2)
Bible prophecy is being fulfilled at an ever-increasing pace as never before. Yes, there have always been satanic attacks, and false prophets trying to lead people away from Jesus; and Israel is hated by almost the whole world. However, the present-day intensity is reaching a "fever-pitch."
The Ezekiel 38 coalition is in place for the first time ever, and there will be a spark in the near future that will set off that prophesied war. God said He would put "hooks" in the armies that will attack Israel. Russia, Turkey and Iran are the main aggressors who will be joined by a couple other nations who will try to totally annihilate Israel, and take over their natural resources. Their economies have been suffering, and they're all in the process of falling into financial ruin. Then, there is Israel; a tiny nation with massive natural gas and oil deposits, and land that the Jews turned from barren desert waste into fertile soil. It may only be about the size of New Jersey, but it is also one of the richest nations on earth. Israel exports fruits, vegetables and wine all around Europe and other parts of the world.
Add to this the anger issues in the United States, which are getting more aggressive daily. There is open worship of Satan, and anything that is remotely connected to Jesus is deemed to be hate-oriented. Christian businesses have been the target of the alternative lifestyle people (LGBT and all the other letters), who try to get them shut down. With so many liberal judges in the lower courts, most of the lawsuits are bound for the Supreme Court, but that takes sometimes years to get resolved. Meanwhile, the Christians are blocked from making a living.
To the secular world, this is troubling to say the least. For many, there is no hope in sight as our so-called leaders are going further and further to the radical left. Even some "conservative" Congress people are joining in the attacks on our President. Our President and Vice President and anyone else in Congress who proclaim to be Christian are verbally attacked for their beliefs. In some instances, the radical left has harassed them outside their homes, and even in public places where the Christians have been with their families. It's a total disgrace, but not unexpected.
The Bible covers what this world will be like just before and during the Tribulation years. Again, I refer you to Matthew 24 and 2 Timothy 3. Also, 1 John 2 and 3, 2 Peter 3, Daniel and Revelation.
For true believers, we need to be excited about all that's happening; not because of all the hate and pure evil that is prominent worldwide, but because the next major event on the end-time calendar is just for us.
No, we don't enjoy all that is happening, or look forward to what the earth will go through for 7 years. All who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior, asked His forgiveness and long to be with Him in Heaven, will go through a "hell-on-earth" scenario.
There are numerous places in the Bible that speak of the Wrath, and the events of that 7-year period, but mainly in Daniel and Revelation. The best news is that all true believers will not be here for that Tribulation.
Our Lord and Savior gave us a pathway to forgiveness, and the promise of eternal life in Heaven through His pure blood sacrifice at Calvary on an Old Rugged Cross. He will come back to rescue us from that wrath by calling us up to meet Him in the air, so we won't be here to suffer God's Wrath on this sinful world. The dead in Christ (all believers from Calvary to the present day) will rise up first; then all believers who are still alive at that time will rise up next (1 Corinthians 15:51-58 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). All will be converted to our eternal, immortal bodies. This "harpazo" (Rapture) takes place before the appearance of the final antichrist, who will be indwelt by Satan.
The amazing part is that the Rapture will take place in less than one second. Paul says it will be in the twinkling of an eye in 1 Corinthians 15:52.
For all who are anticipating the return of Our Savior, we are also looking forward to our appearance at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). This will be our "rewards" ceremony to receive or lose rewards, depending on how we served Our Savior on this earth. The one reward I really look forward to is the Crown of Righteousness that will be given to all who sincerely are looking for the return of Jesus, and longing for His appearance.
What a day that will be! There will actually be two great days as we enter the end of this age. First is the Rapture to take all believers Home. Then there will be the "touch-earth" return of Jesus at the end of the 7-year Tribulation, to put down the "rebellion" and to set up His throne in Jerusalem to rule from earth for 1,000 years. Both will be cause for joy and celebration, but personally, I'm looking for the first great event!
The gospel song, "What A Day That Will Be," was written by Jim Hill in 1955. There is a YouTube video showing him singing this song. Many other artists have recorded this inspirational message. When I read the words, I look forward even more for that moment when we will be called up to meet Jesus. I will finally be able to bow down at His feet, and thank Him for saving someone as unworthy as I. The lyrics:
As each day passes, people are saying it can't possibly get worse. For those following Satan, this has become a challenge to prove it can, and will, get worse.
For the Rapture to be in our future, we must receive the free gift Jesus provided, and accept Him as our one and only Savior and Lord (Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-13 and John 14:6). We believe the Bible is the true word of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and we have faith that everything needed for our Salvation was accomplished at Calvary.
When you consider where the attitudes were just a decade ago compared to right now, it's almost impossible to not see the world has changed, and not for the better.
He could call today, tomorrow or anytime in the near future. One thing is for certain; it will happen! To be prepared, call on Him today - right now. To wait could very well put you in a period of time you don't want any part of. He's waiting patiently and will not turn anyone away. He will not force anyone to accept Him either. For believers, we say, "Maranatha - Come, Lord Jesus."
Daily Jot: Of Church and Congress - Bill Wilson -
Recent polling data by Gallup, Reuters, Monmouth, the Economist, and Statista.com indicates that 79% of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing, with only 17% approving. These numbers have been consistent within about three percentage points over the last 10 years. Rasmussen polling analysis indicates "Voters are more critical of the job Congress is doing, and most continue to believe the legislators should work more with President Trump. They also think the president, not Democratic congressional leader Nancy Pelosi, should set the agenda...Most Republicans (57%) and unaffiliated voters (52%) say Congress is doing a poor job, but only 34% of Democrats agree."
With such a dismal approval rating haunting Congress, it doesn't show up at the ballot box. According to the Congressional Research Service, in every election since 1950, 90-to-98% of Congress has been reelected, except for 1964 (87%), 1966 (88%), 1974 (88%), 1992 (88%), and 2010 (85%). Over 69 years, Congress has been reelected at least 85% of the time despite Americans believing Congress is doing a terrible job. When I was in politics, we knew that it was an uphill battle to unseat an incumbent congressman. We knew the answer instinctively from talking to the voters as we went door to door. You could ask how they felt Congress was doing and receive a bunch of cuss words. But they sure liked their Congressman.
In 2013, Gallup explained, "Although Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of the job Congress in general is doing, voters re-elect most members of Congress in every election. This phenomenon is partly explained by the finding that Americans have significantly more positive views of their own representative than they do of Congress overall. About half (46%) of Americans say they approve of the job the representative from their own congressional district is doing. This is on the low end of what Gallup has found historically, although it hasn't asked this question often and not since 1992. From 1990-1992, Gallup asked Americans this question eight times, with approval ratings ranging from 49% to 66% and averaging 58%. In a lone 1977 reading, 55% of Americans approved of their congressional representative."
How does all this relate to the Church? The moral and spiritual fabric of American society is falling apart. Young people are leaving the Church in droves because they say it is irrelevant. Many of these issues can point specifically to the Church as a whole-being a club, teaching bad or extra-biblical doctrine, being judgmental, legalism, money grubbing, accepting anti-biblical precepts to attract pew sitters, and the list goes on. When this is pointed out that the "Church" is far from what the Lord would have it be, people will agree wholeheartedly, but at the same time say that their church is not part of the problem. So we have the same phenomena as with Congress. Christ said in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." Sometimes self-deception is even worse. Things need to change.
Daily Devotion: Folsom - by Greg Laurie -
Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.-Proverbs 11:25
In 1967, Johnny Cash's new producer made it a priority to first help Cash define his artistic vision, and then enable him to realize it. When Cash broached the idea of recording a live prison album, the producer immediately picked up the phone and set up two performances at Folsom.
Despite less-than-perfect conditions for recording, the event became one of the most storied performances in music history. Cash took control of the room as soon as he opened the show with the greeting, "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash"-which subsequently became his signature line. Then, appropriately, he launched into "Folsom Prison Blues," and the place went nuts. Throughout the seventeen songs that followed, each interspersed with raw, rowdy humor, authentic banter and fun novelty tunes, the captive audience cheered as if everyone in it were getting a pardon.
Today the album At Folsom Prison is revered as a classic-arguably one of the greatest country albums of all time-and considered a landmark work in music history.
The whole project was a classic illustration of a verse that Johnny knew well. It's Romans 8:28, which promises that God "will cause all things to work together for good to those that love Him." For all of Johnny's bad choices and run-ins with the law, it caused him to have empathy for others who had done the same.
There are many who have never darkened the doorway of a prison facility but may be in a prison of some other kind-a cell of loneliness, isolation, addiction or despondency. And Johnny Cash, with his life experience and its ups and downs, connected with them.
1. Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25 NIV)
Do you find when you build up, serve, or give out to others, you are blessed in return?
2. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Johnny was able to comfort and encourage the inmates with his music because he connected and identified with them. Who can you minister to with the same comfort you have been comforted by?
3. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
How are you at serving others? What are some practical ways you can serve the Lord wholeheartedly?
FROM THE HEART
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