Prophecy Update Newsletter
September 30, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
We're Hunting Pretribbers - Alf Cengia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8315
We're hunting pretribbers! Or as Elmer Fudd would say, "It's pwetwib season. We're hunting pwetwibbers - ha-ha-ha-ha!"
It's always pwetwib season, Elmer.
Yes, I know the odd pretribber likes to throw mud around. There are always a few. None of us should ever call people with different eschatological viewpoints, heretics or false teachers. Let's all get a clue.
That said the level of rancor I've seen against pretribulationism fascinates me. It almost ranks with the animosity I see against modern Israel. In fact the only reason I ever became interested in the rapture timing debate was because of this weird anti-pretrib phenomenon.
I'm sure many sincerely believed they were doing a good thing - rescuing pretribulationists from a "dangerous teaching." Later I discovered that a lot of them were influenced by polemical books written against pretribulationism. There are even entire websites designed to combat the "pretrib heresy."
My shift from posttrib to pretrib was partly a result of struggling to understand why some people were so fervently anti-pretrib. I wanted to know if their arguments and concerns stacked up and how they justified their views.
Having reached my conclusions, I started a blog on eschatology in order to record my thoughts. Sure enough, whenever I posted an article on the rapture, I'd get drive-by comments suggesting I should Google something about John Darby, or Tommy Ice, or Cyrus Scofield, Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye etc. It hardly ever failed.
I learned something from jousting with the rare few who bothered engaging me. Most of them weren't interested in genuine dialogue. Whenever I answered an objection they'd move to a different one. They also disliked justifying themselves. Interestingly, atheists use the same tactics.
Others who run public pretribulational forums know that pro-pretrib articles are bound to be magnets for attacks. After a series of attacks by proponents of one particular rapture timing system, one ministry decided to officially respond to the view.
Personally, I felt that the response was fair and irenic considering the provocations. But the non-pretribbers were incensed. "Foul!" they cried. Blogs were written and debate challenges dutifully issued. Those wotten pwetwib wascals! How dare they attack us!
Then there was the four-hour documentary produced against pretribulationism in which John Darby was a focal point. It was natural that pretribulationists who actually endured the four hours would react. Ironically, the doco producers were so offended by one rejoinder - they convened a one hour and forty-five minute conference. Is there some disconnect here?
Speaking of Darby - a standard attack on pretribulationism consists of drawing connections between Margaret Macdonald, Darby, Scofield, Lindsey, and LaHaye's Left Behind novels. When Grant Jeffrey discovered a pre-conflagration rapture statement by someone called Pseudo Ephraem, non-pretribbers circled the wagons. "It couldn't be!" they cried. "Wishful thinking!"
Posttribber Robert Gundry came to their rescue by suggesting that PE spoke in symbolic language. Sound familiar? Dr Ice responded HERE. Note that Gundry wrote two books arguing against the pretrib rapture.
Yet PE was the tip of the ice-berg. William C. Watson has since written Dispensationalism Before Darby which opens the flood waters of pre-Darby rapture and dispensational themes among Puritans. Dr. Watson told me that Gundry - despite this overwhelming data - insisted his view was based on Scripture. One then wonders why that urgency to debunk PE.
There's more. One prominent non-pretrib website recently criticized a well-known pretribber because of his biblically questionable associations. The writer observed that the man was sliding into apostasy, all the while obstinately clinging to his pretribulationism.
The man's "apostasy" wasn't the real focus - it was his pretribulationism. How else does one explain the roaring silence in the face of posttribber Gundry's bizarre stance regarding the Apostle Peter's alleged apostasy? According to C. David Farnell, the heart of Gundry's problem is his bias against biblical inerrancy:
Clearly, Robert Gundry's view of inspiration allows for errors and contradictions, both factual and theological, in the Gospel records.
Did I miss something? Is this the same Scripture Gundry uses to cling to his posttribulationism? Why is there no non-pretrib outrage over this?
Because dispensationalism and pretribulationism are often intertwined, we often hear of the so-called heresies associated with the former as a means to refute the latter. Foremost is the charge that dispensationalism teaches two ways of salvation. As many times as this is refuted it keeps returning. Please read Tony Garland's response.
Another alleged issue is that pretrib-dispensationalism "dangerously" teaches a different mode of salvation during the 70th week of Daniel. Salvation is always by faith through grace - even in the Old Testament. The question is the content of that faith.
Here's the irony. In this Age of Grace there's no sin preventing an unbeliever from repenting and coming to salvation through faith in Christ. Yet when John MacArthur suggested that people who'd taken the Mark of the Beast could repent and be saved, pretribbers and non-pretribbers alike criticized him. Of course the latter had a field day against pretribulationism.
Now I'm not defending MacArthur. However, what has changed in the 70th week? What about Matt 25:32-46? Think about it.
I realize I'm going over some well-trodden ground. But it bears repetition because it keeps coming up. Are pretribbers ill-prepared for the coming tribulation? Will they confuse the Antichrist for Jesus because the former allegedly arrives first?
It's hard to take the last one seriously. The Beast doesn't come down in the clouds, and he chops people's heads off if they don't take the mark and worship him. That isn't what Christ does. Case closed.
Here's something for the non-pretrib preppers. There's much wisdom in being prepared for short-term disasters. Yet it isn't likely one can prepare for seven years of it. Will you bunker down? Then who will witness to the lost? When the starving lost ones knock on your door, will you feed and witness to them? Or will you send them away? Remember Matt 25?
I sometimes see non-pretrib Christians use the pseudonym "Overcomer" as a pointer to Matt 24:13 and Rev 7:14. Tribulation is already here. It always has been. Every day, around the world, Christians are dying for their faith.
The time for overcoming is now.
How do we overcome? Do we trust ourselves? Paul wrote that he was able to bear all conditions through Christ who strengthened him (Phil 4:11-13). He didn't prep for shipwrecks. Paul was ever ready because of his position in Christ.
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5
This is what should comfort us greatly:
My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. Psalm 62:5-6
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8:38-39
Instead of hunting down people with differing eschatological views, our focus should be on our personal daily walk in the Lord and witnessing to the lost. We don't know when God may call us home through death. Are you ready to meet the Lord now?
Let's wisely use whatever time we have left.
The Lord might come for us sooner than we imagine.
Confirming The Sequence of End Times Events - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/confirming-the-sequence-of-end-times-events/#more-198
He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times." (Matt. 16:2-3)
So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel-let the reader understand- then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (Matt. 24:15-16)
For then there will be great distress (Great Tribulation), unequaled from the beginning of the world until now-and never to be equaled again. (Matt. 24:21)
When it comes to developing any kind of time line concerning the End Times, the watershed event has to be the Abomination that Causes Desolation. Why? Because from that time forward, the Bible gives a very clear sequence of events.
First, the Abomination is the event that kicks off the Great Tribulation, a period of judgments 3 1/2 years long.(Matt 24:15,21) After the Great Tribulation, the Lord returns and following His return the Millennium begins. After the Millennium comes Eternity. Any one on Earth during this time will be able to predict these events with reasonable accuracy.
Second, we who study prophecy can also count backward from the Abomination that Causes Desolation and predict the sequence of events leading up to it by applying our knowledge of Scripture.
How Does That Work?
Well, we know that the Abomination involves the anti-Christ standing in the Temple in Israel, proclaiming himself to be God. (Daniel 9:27 and 2 Thes. 2:4)
But that can't happen until some other things take place first. Obviously the anti-Christ has to be revealed. And the Jews have to build their Temple. This is something that can't happen until they experience a change in attitude causing them to demand a Temple regardless of the consequences. A recent poll commissioned by the Joint Forum of Temple Mount Organizations showed that 30% of the citizens of Israel want a Temple built, but even if every one of them did just the hint that they were going to build one would send the rest of the world into a tizzy. It simply wouldn't be permitted.
Some major event has to take place to convince all the Jewish people that building a Temple in Israel is the right thing to do in spite of all the trouble it could cause, and some world leader has to have enough clout to convince the rest of the world, especially the Muslim Middle East, to let them do it.
Daniel 9:27 also reveals that as the End of the Age approaches, a leader from among the people who destroyed the Temple in 67 AD will confirm (enforce) a 7 year covenant with Israel that includes permission to build a new Temple, and that in the middle of this period he will commit the Abomination that Causes Desolation. That explains the persuasive world leader. He's the anti-Christ, and he will want the Temple built for reasons that have nothing to do with Israel. The unanswered question in Daniel's prophecy is why the Jews would desire a Temple at that particular time.
Our knowledge of the Old Testament tells us that a Temple was necessary to fulfill the requirements of the Levitical worship system. So then, because of the uproar it would create, it seems logical to assume that the Jews would only want a Temple if they felt it was absolutely necessary for the Nation of Israel to re-instate their Old Covenant worship of God.
How Does That Happen?
Toward the end of his two-chapter prophecy that speaks of a great end times battle between Israel and its neighbors (Ezek. 38-39), Ezekiel noted that God is going to use this battle to reveal Himself to Israel and the world once again. The way He'll do this is to give Israel a decisive victory in the face of such overwhelming odds that everyone on Earth will realize that only God could have done it. Ezekiel wrote that following the battle God would gather all His people alive at the time to Israel, not leaving any behind. (Ezek. 39:28)
So this battle is the event that compels a national return to God in Israel. And when all the living Jews in the world are suddenly drawn to Israel because God has called them there, they'll demand a Temple so they can resume their Old Covenant relationship with Him. If He was calling them through the Messiah into a New Covenant relationship they wouldn't need a Temple, so it has to be a resumption of the Old Covenant, which as we know was interrupted seven years short of it's promised duration. Their New Covenant call, prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31, happens later during the time of the Two Witnesses (Rev 11) and they'll respond to it toward the end of the Great Tribulation, according to Zechariah 12:10.
Also on the heels of Ezekiel's battle, the anti-Christ will emerge with a plan to restore peace to the Middle East. He first appears as a peacemaker as foretold in Daniel 8:25. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. I prefer the King James translation of the second sentence, which begins, "By means of peace he will destroy many ...". So the battle of Ezekiel 38-39 creates the circumstances for both the anti-Christ and the Temple to appear on the scene, setting the stage for the Abomination that Causes Desolation.
Connecting The Dots
Using our Bible knowledge to back into the present from the Abomination that Causes Desolation, so far we find the sequence looks like this.
The Abomination can't happen till the Temple's built. But that can't happen till a 7-year covenant is confirmed permitting its construction. (By the way, this 7-year period is often called Daniel's 70th week because it's the last week of years in a prophecy consisting of 70 weeks of years given to Daniel in about 538 BC. Dan. 9:24-27)
The 7-year covenant can't happen till someone from among the descendants of the Roman people emerges with a plan for peace in the Middle East. And that can't happen till the battle described in Ezekiel 38-39 puts the Middle East in all out war.
Ezekiel's battle can't happen until God is ready to reveal Himself to Israel again, bringing Jews from all over the world to Israel clamoring for a Temple so they can re-instate their Old Covenant relationship with Him.
For all of my 25 plus years as a student of prophecy, scholars have been expecting the Battle of Ezekiel 38. Yet the conditions that make it possible have never been met. For one thing, Israel has never known a single day of peace, let alone the prolonged period necessary for them to be described as a peaceful and unsuspecting people, the way they were in Ezekiel 38:8,11,14. Something has to happen to make them feel like they no longer have a threatening enemy while leaving Iran, Russia, and the other nations Ezekiel identified in position to attack.
Recently, several writers, myself included, have seen two other Old Testament prophecies as likely preludes to Ezekiel 38. In Psalm 83 it appears that all of Israel's next door neighbors will rise up in an attack intended to destroy the Jewish nation, and Isaiah 17 specifically mentions Israel's destruction of Damascus. The defeat of Israel's neighbors fills in two more blanks in the end times sequence. First, it explains why none of them are mentioned in Ezekiel 38, when logic dictates that they should be right in the thick of things. Second, it reveals how the Jews can be caught with their guard down. With Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, Lebanon, and the others defeated, Israel will finally have some breathing room. Since Russia and Iran have traditionally used these neighbors as proxies rather than having a face-to-face confrontation, Israel may feel there's no longer any threat from them either.
But Wait, There's More!
And neither God's revelation to Israel nor the emergence of the anti-Christ can happen until the Church is gone, for two very good reasons.
1. In Acts 15:14 James clearly prophesied that after the Lord had taken the church He would return and rebuild the Temple. Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: "After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it" (Acts 15:14-16).
After the Lord has taken the Church, He'll return and rebuild the Temple. Two Greek words are critical to our understanding of this passage. The one translated tent also means Tabernacle, a reference to the Temple. The one translated taking means to lay hold of, or take up in order to carry, or carry away. I believe it's a veiled reference to the Rapture of the Church preceding God's return to Israel.
If so, it's consistent with God's way. He seems to focus either on Israel or the Church, never both at once. In the greater context of the passage James was illustrating this very point from the other end of the Church Age. He told the gathered Apostles that God was setting Israel aside while He took from among the Gentiles a people for Himself. But after He had taken them, He would return to restore Israel.
Later, Paul alluded to this sequence in Romans 11:25-27. I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins."
As I've pointed out before, in Paul's day the phrase full number was a nautical term that stood for the number of crewmen necessary before a ship could legally set sail. Apparently God has assigned a specific number to the church before it can be raptured. When that number is complete, the Church will "come in" to the place prepared for us. Come in was another nautical term meaning "to arrive at the intended destination", which Jesus described as His father's house in John 14:1-3. Then God will turn again to Israel, reversing the hardening of Israel's heart, taking the blinders from their eyes, and offering salvation once more.
2. In 2nd Thessalonians 2:6-7 Paul explained that the anti-Christ could not be revealed until the power that's restraining him is taken out of the way (literally out of the midst). To most evangelical scholars the power Paul wrote about is the Holy Spirit. Since this power is sealed within us (Ephe 1:13) it stands to reason that if the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way we have to go too. Here's another hint of the Rapture of the Church, this time preceding the appearance of the anti-Christ.
So if the Rapture has to precede both the revelation of God to Israel and the revelation of the anti-Christ to the world, then the Rapture has to precede the battle of Ezekiel 38 as well. Since no one knows what the full number of the Church is, no one can know in advance exactly how long before Ezekiel 38 the Rapture will take place. It could literally happen any day, and there's no day more likely than any other. For that reason we can't locate it any more specifically in the End Times sequence than to say that it must precede Ezekiel 38.
But apart from the rapture, the sequence of events will go like this. The Battle of Psalm 83/Isaiah 17 come first, then when Israel feels secure the Battle of Ezekiel 38 will erupt. Then comes anti-Christ's appearance as a peace maker, the 70th week of Daniel begins, the Abomination that Causes Desolation takes place , then the Great Tribulation, the Second Coming, the Millennium, and Eternity. The first of these could be very close. So close that you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.
The Fifth Trumpet - By Don McGee - http://raptureready.com/soap2/mcgee32.html
Mankind has been very successful in his quest for ease of living, and I am mostly very pleased about this success because I don't like heat and humidity. In the "good ole days" virtually no one in rural America had air conditioning in their homes, and the drive to church three times a week was along dusty roads in a pick-up truck with no air conditioning. Church services were in stifling hot buildings with outdoor facilities, and the invitation song was almost a temptation to "get re-baptized" just for the opportunity to take a dip in the murky but cool waters of the Spillway Canal.
Obviously the "good" of those days had little to do with dust and sweat. It was mostly associated with family, church, community, and those other values that formed the strong framework of principled, godly families and a stable nation. Values that a growing majority of America's current leaders have never known.
We understand there is nothing inherently good about having a difficult life. But, if there is any virtue in any of that at all it is in the fact that difficulty, when faced properly, can be used to mature strength and perseverance. But, there is a vast difference between difficulties and severe suffering, especially the kind of suffering that is soon to make a seven-year appearance upon this earth like never before. And to answer a question before it has been asked, the fact is there are no experiences in depravation that can even remotely prepare a person for what is coming. When this is understood all thoughts of "prepping" for what is coming are cast aside.
Some Christians will recognize this period by its commonly used name: the tribulation period. This refers to the final 7 years of the 490 years in which God has, and will, deal specifically with the Jewish people and their city of Jerusalem as seen in Daniel 9:24ff and other passages. This final 7 years takes up most of the book of Revelation with some of the horrors that will come upon this earth being described in detail, at least to a degree.
But, those passages have been given mostly a token glance even by those who claim to take them seriously. Since the church will not be on earth experiencing those horrors, some Christians just avoid any real study of them because they are very unpleasant, or maybe because they know they have loved ones who will be left behind, or maybe because they think they have made enough preparations to live through it, or maybe because they are hoping God is grossly exaggerating everything and it won't happen after all.
Before looking at just one event that will occur during this time it is very important to understand that this tribulation period is really going to happen. You can be equally sure about two things. One, the sun came up this morning, and two, these things will happen in just the way you read about them. And not only that...they will happen very soon.
This time of Tribulation is described in the Old Testament, but Revelation is the go-to text for some of the details of what will be involved. Revelation describes a series of three events that will happen during this time. A seven-seal scroll will be opened, followed by the blowing of seven trumpets and ending with the pouring out of seven bowls of the wrath of God. Each of these events are distinct and each is associated with horrific events.
As the intensity of these judgments grows so will the hardness of men's hearts. Said another way, instead of the desired effect of prompting repentance from people, these plagues will produce more obstinateness and hatred for God. Even during these unprecedented terrors God extends His forgiveness and grace, yet the overwhelming part of humanity thumbs its collective nose toward God.
After the sounding of the fourth trumpet there is an announcement from heaven regarding what will follow as seen in Revelation 8:13. The eagle will announce, "Woe, woe, woe..." upon those who will experience the remaining three trumpets and the seven bowls. The first woe is described in Revelation 9:1-12. The second woe is described in Revelation 9:13-11:14.
The third and final woe is described in Revelation 11:15 through chapter 19. Interspersed in these woes are what might be called parenthetical insertions where John (the recorder of Jesus' Revelation) is taken off track by the Lord's dictation in order to describe other, or side events. After Jesus has dictated those other events He brings John back to the original line of thought.
Christian writers have written about these things for centuries, and some of their conclusions are senseless. Some of those writers have tried to take the events, the creatures described and their associated horrors and bring them in line with interpretations they think are more in line with reality. For example, some have taken the horsemen of Revelation 9:16 to mean modern helicopters.
Folks, there are not 200 million aircraft of all kinds on earth, much less 200 million helicopters! We must simply allow the text to speak for itself, and let God handle what we can't figure out and what we can't even imagine.
For the purpose of this article only the events of the fifth trumpet will be considered, for that is the first woe.
The object seen is a star which had fallen to earth. This is unlike the inanimate object called a star in Revelation 8:10, which could be a large asteroid that burns brightly as it enters the earth's atmosphere. This star is a personality with intelligence to whom is given the key to the bottomless pit. When the pit is opened smoke comes out and in the smoke are locusts with power as that of scorpions.
These creatures will have free reign with people, but they cannot harm the 144,000 Jews who had been sealed with the name of the Father written on their foreheads (Revelation 7:4; 14:1). We are not told how God's name will be affixed to their foreheads, but it seems possible it will be tattooed or something similar. Some believe the seal will be invisible to the unsaved, but that really does not matter.
The size of these creatures is not given, but their purpose is not to kill people but to torment them and to do so for five months. Their torment will be like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a person. There are almost 2000 species of scorpions on earth, but these creatures do not belong to the realm of this earth. Their sting is "like" the torment of a scorpion which simply means it will be excruciatingly painful. Additionally, it seems from the text that the torment will not be limited to a single sting, or even limited to an occasional sting. It seems that there is no escape from continual stings. Now look at this from the perspective of reality.
We are not told what time of day this will begin, but we know that when it does begin some people will be going to bed, others will be getting up and still others will be at work. Imagine slipping between the sheets in the dark and being stung. The person howls in pain and tries to turn on a light and is stung again. Another person steps into a shower and is stung. Still another reaches for a cooking pot, or walks through the yard, or puts on a shoe and is stung. You are probably beginning to get an idea of how this will be. But there is more.
These creatures come out of the smoke of the abyss and the stings are continual with each sting bringing fresh, full-blown pain. The torment cannot reach a threshold where the pain becomes mitigated. The pain is so agonizing that people will be on the verge of insanity and will attempt suicide... but they will be unable to do so. We are not told how death will flee from them, but it will. There is no medical remediation. There is no insecticide or repellant, no pain killers, and no cure. There will be no help from physicians; they will be tormented like everyone else. This will go on, day and night, for five months. This is incomprehensible, yet true.
Meditating on just this one text causes a person to ask a couple of questions. Why is this happening? Is God a sadist? First, this is happening because mankind has chosen, by exercising his free will, to not only dismiss God from everything, but to express the most vile hatred and blasphemy toward Him that his warped mind can produce.
By dismissing God from his conscience man has de-facto invited satanic hatred and blasphemy to take His place. The most depraved sins of both body and mind are welcomed into the regular custom and practice of human life, and this invitation is accompanied by utter disregard for the consequences. That is what sin does to the human heart and soul; it reduces mankind to the point of absolute wretchedness and degradation.
Still, it is that same malicious human soul for whom Jesus died to save from not only these earthly plagues, but from something even worse - eternal damnation in the lake of fire. Love for mankind is our Lord's motive. In the middle of all this judgment Jesus continues to offer salvation to whomever would repent and cast themselves upon His great mercy and grace (Revelation 7:9ff). Though the number of those saved during this time is great, relatively few will avail themselves of His invitation, and those who do will suffer incomprehensibly and finally be killed by Antichrist for their choice (Revelation 20:4).
Second, God is not a sadist. The God-hating world is getting just what it deserves (Revelation 16:4-7). The world will be without excuse, for it has been warned for 2000 years that these things are coming. As late as the beginning of the post-rapture tribulation the world will be warned by the two witnesses, the 144,000 Jews and later by the gospel angel. Today people are being warned, but the majority of mankind pays no heed. No, the human heart is not innocent of guilt, nor is it ignorant of these coming judgments.
In Revelation 9:20-21 we are given the response of humanity to these judgments. People then, like today, will refuse to repent of their idolatry, murders, sorceries, immorality and thefts. A logical question might be, "Why won't people respond after experiencing all these horrific judgments?" This situation in Revelation is similar to the event in Mark 6:5 when Jesus could do only a few miracles in His hometown.
The key factor is faith. You see, miracles in the absence of faith only hardens the human heart against God. People in those days will see these judgments as real and painful, but like most today, they will have no faith in God and in what He is saying about them. Faith, you will recall, comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17).
Be warned. Your past experiences of hard times and depravation will not prepare you for what is coming. Certainly you can prepare, at least to a degree, for certain disasters like an economic collapse or a hurricane, but nothing can prepare anybody for what the post-rapture world is going to bring.
It is nothing less than amazing how most people ignore these things. That, however, will soon change.
Messiah is On the Doorstep, it is Written, Says End-of-Days Rabbi - By Rivkah Lambert Adler - http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/76423/martial-law-will-declared-elections-end-days-rabbi/#svLfELzgHFGPfd35.97
"A thousand may fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; it shall not come nigh thee." Psalms 91:7 (The Israel Bible™)
Rabbi Alon Anava, who lectures all over the world, preparing Jewish people for Moshiach (Messiah), was interviewed last week by veteran broadcaster Tamar Yonah of Israel News Talk Radio about different scenarios for how God might bring the final redemption. He spoke about what Jews and non-Jews should be doing right now to avoid the most difficult consequences.
Rabbi Anava mentioned three particularly dark scenarios. He spoke at great length about the controversial dwarf star Nibiru. If Nibiru is the scenario by which God will bring us to the final redemption, Rabbi Anava said, "Two-thirds of the world could be underwater."
And it shall come to pass that in all the land saith Hashem two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. Zechariah 13:8
He also said, "There are prophecies that there is going to be an 11-second war. That can only be a nuclear war." Naming China, Iran, Russia and Korea as four major enemies of the US, he spoke about the possibility that one of these countries could attack by detonating an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) high over North America, thereby plunging it "into the 18th century by completely burning out anything that has electronics in it."
Asked about the connection between the US presidential election and the End of Days, he remarked, "Of course the elections have to do with end of time. Moshiach is on the doorstep and every current affair that we see... you just open our [Scripture] from 2000 years ago and it's like opening a newspaper. Everything is written. Everything was predicted. Everything was prophesied.
"Personally, I don't think we're going to get to the elections. I think they're going to declare martial law way before the elections happen. Maybe a terror attack, by financial collapse, by riots. Sixty million Americans are on food stamps. Just take that away for one month and you're going to have 60 million Americans on the streets, creating riots. That's very easily a cause to call for martial law."
There is a Jewish teaching that positive prophecies will come true but negative prophecies can be changed. How does Rabbi Anava suggest people can annul these dark scenarios?
"Both Jews and non-Jews alike - we all have to repent. We have to go back to our source. Believing in one God, following the Torah and mitzvahs (Biblical commandments).
"The non-Jews also have to repent and they also have to stop doing bad things and they also have to follow the laws of Noach (Noah) that you can find in the Torah.
"There's no difference. We all have to repent and basically convince the Master of the Universe to annul all these decrees. Especially now, before the High Holidays, repenting means, first of all, stop doing any bad or evil things that we do. Stop lying. Stop cheating. Being honest. Giving charity. Helping people. No judging people the wrong way. Needless to say, following the Torah - observing the Shabbos (Sabbath), eating kosher.... This is the time to really get your act together."
If enough people turn to God, "we do have the option of sweetening the judgement and receiving the redemption in the blink of an eye, in a sweet way, with no wars, with no problems, with no hatred. It's all in our hands and the sooner we do it, the better, because the time is ticking."
Asked where the Jewish people should go, Rabbi Anava unequivocally stated that "Israel is the only safe place... It's the Land of God. Nothing is going to happen on this land."
"Righteous gentiles, as long as they follow the Seven Laws of Noach, they'll be saved. We have a promise from the Torah and a promise from King David [in Psalms 91:7]. You have to be close to God," Rabbi Anava emphasized.
"Not only do I believe, I will be beyond surprised if nothing's going to change in the next few weeks or months. I know it's happening. Moshiach is happening. Now is the time and everybody better get their act together."
Tamar Yonah told Breaking Israel News that her interview with Rabbi Anava got four times the amount of traffic as other shows on Israel News Talk Radio. Well-aware of the controversy surrounding Nibiru, Yonah related that she wanted to share the story because of a lesson she learned in childhood.
Yonah's father was a Holocaust survivor from Poland who told his children that when Russian Zionist Ze'ev Jabotinsky tried to warn the Jews of Europe to leave before WWII, no one would listen to him. In many cases, he was barred from even speaking.
She recommends keeping an open mind. "You need to listen to people, no matter how crazy it sounds. You listen because crazy things happen in this world. Personally," Yonah told Breaking Israel News, "I've heard these predictions throughout the years. I don't believe the dates. I like to listen. I want to be open. But I'm of the school of 'let's wait and see.'"
"I think we have a bit more time. There are scenarios that need to mature. I think that we're close. Anyone who believes in the Torah and the Bible can see that we're in the End of Days period, but my opinion is that it's not going to happen in the next three weeks."
Watchman Warning: Things Fall Apart - by Hal Lindsey - http://www.hallindsey.com/ww-9-29-2016/
"The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats is one of the most widely quoted poems from the 20thCentury. In fact, one firm that watches such things says it's being quoted this year more than ever.
The title does not refer to the return of Christ, but to the return of an ancient monster - paganism. The newfound popularity of a poem written in 1919 tells us a great deal about where the human race sees itself in 2016. And, without meaning to, it serves as a potent reminder that Jesus is coming very soon!
The poem begins;
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
"Gyre" means spiral or vortex. Yeats pictures the falcon flying in a circle too large for the falconer to maintain control. Then, with brilliant simplicity, he expresses the human dilemma from the time of Adam and Eve's sin until now - "Things fall apart."
Last month, The Wall Street Journal ran an article on the reasons for the poem's rising popularity and influence. The Journal called it, "A warning of sorts for a world entering a dark, anarchic age."
An analysis by the media database, Factiva, shows that the poem was quoted more in the first few months of 2016 than in any full year of the last three decades. "Things fall apart" is the most quoted line. The next most quoted goes back to Yeats' picture of the falcon and the falconer - "The centre cannot hold." "Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world" is the third most quoted phrase.
In his biography of Yeats, Oxford Professor Roy Foster, wrote, "There's a sense of insecurity, instability, risk, and a feeling that something appalling is around the corner. I think we have seen rough beasts arise, notably in desert countries."
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs....
The phrase "Spiritus Mundi" means "world spirit." Yeats used the sphinx as the embodiment of this spirit. "A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun."
The monster's moving, but where? Yeats saw it headed toward Bethlehem - the pitiless beast on its way to devour the Christ child.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Yeats was no prophet of God. He had a lifelong love affair with the occult, practiced "automatic writing," and admired Mussolini. Wikipedia says, "During séances held from 1912, a spirit calling itself 'Leo Africanus' apparently claimed it was Yeats' Daemon."
"The Second Coming" presents a nightmare view of the future, with Satan winning in his war with God. It's a picture the devil would like everyone to buy into. And with interest in the poem so high, that's apparently happening.
People turn to it today because the imagery seems to depict the world of 2016. In a time of terror, corruption, economic danger, and nuclear menace, people relate to and identify with the phrases, "the centre cannot hold," "mere anarchy is loosed upon the world," and, most of all, "things fall apart."
But I have good news. Things are not falling apart. Yes, these are troubled times. Humpty Dumpty is having a great fall. And the leaders of the world have no idea how to fix it.
"But there is a God in heaven!" Daniel said. And that's still the answer. Our God knows the end from the beginning, and nothing catches Him by surprise. Daniel went on to say, "He has made known... what will take place in the latter days." (Daniel 2:28 NASB)
In an article posted on the Rapture Ready website, Jan Merkel wrote, "Things are not falling apart - they are falling into place."
That's exactly right. These are not days for Christian despair, but hope and awe. Before our eyes, Planet Earth is taking the shape God's word described 2,500 years ago!
In the world, even the most powerful men and women feel insecure. The ultra-rich are building massive, luxury bunkers beneath their homes. Among regular houses, the biggest trend is to add a "safe room." People are afraid. They sense that something huge is happening, but they don't know how to get ready.
How exciting that we who are in Christ have the answer! And to prove it, God gave prophecy that predicts our times to a tee. May we be faithful to let them know. "There is a God in heaven and His word will be fulfilled!"
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
Still Clinging to the Old? - By Grant Phillips - http://raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips339.html
Matthew, Mark and Luke give us the account of Jesus' analogies of the old and new cloth and the old and new wineskins. I love it when the Lord provides us different accounts, three in this case, of the same incident. It's like three different people taking a photograph from different angles. All are accurate, but with different perspectives. So we get a broader understanding of the account. Since we weren't there, and they were, it provides us a better understanding of what took place and what was said. So let's read of this as witnessed by Matthew, Mark and Luke.
"Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?" Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." (Matthew 9:14-17 NIV)
"Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, "How is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?" Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast. "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins." (Mark 2:18-22 NIV)
"They said to him, "John's disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking." Jesus answered, "Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast." He told them this parable: "No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, 'The old is better.'" (Luke 5:33-39)
Obviously, attaching a new piece of cloth to an old piece of cloth won't work. The aging and wear and tear of the old cloth will eventually tear away and disintegrate from the new cloth.
As for the wineskins, the people of that day would use animal skins to keep wine because of the elasticity of the animal skins. That was important because as the wine fermented, it would expand, but would not burst through the animal skins due to the elasticity.
So what does all this have to do "with the price of beans," as my wife sometimes says? To answer that, let's go back to the original question asked by John's disciples and the Pharisees. (By the way, these particular disciples of John were not the same who left John and followed Jesus. These particular disciples stayed with John.)
The original question was, "How is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?" Also notice from Luke that John's disciples and the Pharisees were also praying. So they were all fasting and praying while Jesus' disciples were doing neither. Then Jesus' seemingly out of nowhere provides them these two analogies of the old and new cloth and the old and new wine. It seems on the surface that Jesus pulled these analogies out of thin air and they are totally unrelated, but are they? Not by a long shot.
Jesus was telling them by these analogies that it is time to rejoice because the Bridegroom is here. His disciples did not fast or prayer, because there was nothing to be somber or sad about. However, the time would come, at the cross, when the Bridegroom would be taken away. Then, at that time, they could fast and pray.
John's disciples and the Pharisees were not recognizing who stood before them. They were still clinging to the old, the old hope that the Messiah would come. But alas! He was standing in their midst! Don't fast! Don't pray! Worship! He is here!
And there's more. The time had come that the Old Covenant of works was being replaced by the New Covenant of grace. The old rituals and ceremonial fastings were quickly coming to an end. A new day was developing in which God would deal with people differently. The dispensation of the Church age was preparing to arrive on the scene, and it would be introduced at the cross, and then fulfilled at Pentecost with the arrival of the Holy Spirit.
In the meantime, the Bridegroom had certainly arrived, but His departure would be soon after the sacrifice of Himself for the sins of all mankind. The Savior had come, and would soon be leaving, but would be sending His Spirit too indwell all those who believed on Him, the Son of God.
So Jesus message to them was, "It is now time to rejoice, not to fast. Put aside the old rituals and ceremonials and rejoice with my disciples." That is His message today also. Are we rejoicing or still tied up with old rituals and ceremonies?
The apostle Paul said about thirty years later, "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ." (Colossians 2:16-17)
John's disciples and the Pharisees were still walking in the "shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ." Many today are doing no differently than these disciples in question.
To me, it is like sitting outside on a cloudy day as opposed to sitting outside on a sunny day, feeling the warmth on your face. I for one would much rather enjoy a beautiful sunny day. Have you ever noticed how a cloudy day and a sunny day affect your personality? Our very being is always happier on a sunny day as opposed to a cloudy day.
This tells me that those who understand and live in the freedom that only Christ can give are the truly happy folks. The others are curmudgeons.
Let us not mix the new life of grace in Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit with the works of old rituals and meaningless ceremonies. Jesus lives, and it is time to rejoice, not fast.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: When the establishment is threatened - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Donald Trump must really have the establishment threatened. There have been news reports that the only allies Hillary Clinton has are the establishment Democrats and the mainstream media. This is playing out today before your very eyes with the unprecedented Clinton endorsement of USA Today. It was not a ringing endorsement of Clinton, however, as one would expect, but rather a stinging diatribe against Trump, calling him unfit for the office, a habitual liar, a reckless man with a checkered business history, who "traffics in prejudice." In other words, USA Today took the Clinton talking points and turned it into an editorial maligning Trump as "beyond repair." The "establishment" is threatened.
In the next 30 days, Americans will see an unprecedented attack by those whose power is threatened by a Trump presidency. We already have seen it in the works. Politico reports: "The United Nations News Centre - the official U.N. news service - tweeted, then quickly pulled, a post that called for "8 million Americans abroad" to "stop Trump." The tweet, published at 9:14 p.m. ET on Thursday, urged American expats to share a voter registration tool on the website of the activist organization Avaaz that states, "U.S. Citizens abroad could defeat Trump ... if they voted." While the UN has tried to influence US politics in the past, it is vehemently pushing illegal voting, anything that would stop a Trump candidacy.
As Christians, we can look at this in two major ways. Some may say, "See, I told you so. If so many people who are intimately involved in world affairs are against this man, so should we be. Where there is smoke there is fire." Or many may say, "If so many of these world leaders who are afraid of losing their power, who have run economies into extraordinary debt, have fomented war rather than peace by promoting Islam, and have subjected individual rights-including the right to life, freedom of speech and of religion-to overreaching government are against Trump, maybe he is on to something good." Personally, I fall into that category. These established world leaders have made a mess of things. Trump can do no worse.
Hillary Clinton is all the things that USA Today accuses Trump of being. She is a liar, a crook, traffics in class warfare, supports nations who wish to kill all Americans who do not submit to them, peddles influence for money (especially from terrorist sponsors), and the list goes on and on. Clinton is the "establishment's" woman. We do not have great choices for the presidency, but I know what kind of choice Clinton is, what she stands for and her body of work. She is the antithesis of what is good and right about America. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." Be careful not to be deceived by those who will make accusations based on the content of their own hearts so they can keep their power and continue their deeds at the expense of others (like you and me).
Daily Devotion: Safe in the Storm - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. -Psalm 46:1
When I was a kid, I attended Southern California Military Academy in Long Beach. We would have mandatory chapel every Sunday. Not being raised in a Christian home, I can recall it was the only time, for the most part, that I was ever in a church service. I remember one of the songs we sang in chapel was "You'll Never Walk Alone."
At the time, I was experiencing a storm of my own because of the way my mom lived as an alcoholic. I remember singing, "When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high, and don't be afraid of the dark. At the end of the storm is a golden sky and the sweet silver song of the lark. Walk on through the wind. Walk on through the rain."
The problem was there was no mention of God in those lyrics. As we sang, "Walk on, with hope in your heart, and you'll never walk alone," I thought, Who is with me? The lark that we're singing about? Who is here?
As Christians, we do walk through storms in life. But we can hold our heads up high-not because of some bird singing but because the Lord is with us. He was with me as a little boy, though I hadn't yet put my faith in Him completely. God was there as I cried out to Him.
We're safer with Him in a storm than anywhere else without Him. I would rather be with Jesus in a storm than in the plushest, most luxurious place on earth without Him. The Bible tells us that "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).
Sometimes God will calm or even stop the storms, but He is always with us through them.
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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