Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Is The Middle East About to Go Apocalyptic?

By Bill Salus

While world leaders met in Copenhagen for the United Nations 2009 Climate Change Conference, Damascus, Syria hosted a war tribunal with high level delegations from Iran and the Hezbollah. Concurrently, about five-hundred prophetically minded Christian’s fellowshipped at the annual 2009 Pre-Trib Rapture conference in Dallas, hosted by Dr. Tim Lahaye and Dr. Thomas Ice.Among the eschatologists in attendance were, Dr. David Reagan, Dr. Mark Hitchcock, Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Jimmy DeYoung, Jimmy DeYoung Jr., Dr. Chuck Missler, Bill Koenig, Pastor Chuck Smith, Dr. Ed Hindson, Dr. Randall Price, Mike Gendron, Dr. Thomas Horn, Al Gist, Don McGee, Terry James, Todd Strandberg, Gary Fisher, Phillip Goodman, Wilfred Hahn, Jerry Robinson, Nathan Jones, Don Perkins, Daymond Duck, Gordon Peterson, Don Mercer, Ray Gano, Mike Hile, yours truly and many more.The revived Roman Empire, trend toward Globalism, coming Mideast War, absence of America in Bible prophecy, and soon return of Jesus Christ weighed heavy on our hearts and minds at the conference. Although not all Christians worldwide agree as to when or whether Jesus Christ comes to take millions of believers out of this world, many of them are troubled by the rapidly developing dangerous events in the Middle East.

On December 2, 2009 Iranian president Ahmadinejad declared “The Zionist regime (Israel) and its (western) backers cannot do a damn thing to stop Iran's nuclear work". Just a few days later according to Debkafile, Iran successfully simulated the detonation of a nuclear warhead in laboratory conditions. This is an alarming development because detonation is one of the most difficult challenges in the development of a nuclear weapon.In addition to the above, Debkafile issued an article on December 10, 2009 entitled “If attacked, Iran wants Syria to hit back at Israel. Damascus hedges.” The article suggested that the largest Iranian delegation ever witnessed in Syrian history recently arrived in Damascus to form a strategic partnership between Iran and Syria against Israel. According to the article, Iran expects an Israeli attack within one month and wants Syria to commit to joint military action against Israel. It appears they plan to pressure Syria into a YES WE WILL ENLIST answer! (Iran and Syria confirmed a military pact on 12/11/09.)

Iran's defense minister Ahmad Vahidi headed the Iranian delegation in Damascus and he stated, "The countdown for war is coming close to its end." "We must get our strategic partnership in shape ahead of time." He went on to pinpoint “chemical, microbiological and banned nuclear weapons" as strategic retaliatory Israeli targets. Syrian and Iranian military officials purportedly proposed that Hezbollah and the Palestinian terrorist organizations start heating up Israel's borders in the coming days to draw the attention from the world's focus on the Iranian and Syrian nuclear programs. (Hamas vows to unite with Iran if Israel attacks.)Additionally, Hassan Nasrallah the Secretary General of Hezbollah, brought a delegation from Lebanon to participate in this important Damascus meeting. Hassan Nasrallah had previously advocated this type of antagonistic behavior toward Israel on September 18, 2009, when he declared Hezbollah can presently wipe out one-half of Israel’s army and that Israel should be wiped off of the map.

It appears as though things are about to go ballistic in the Middle East. Should a war break out between Israel and the parties listed above, it could segue into a sequence of events foretold in the Bible. Three Mideast centered prophecies are strongly bleeping on the prophetic radar presently. They are Isaiah 17:1, Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38 & 39. These three major prophecies have a myriad of subset prophecies, like Ezekiel 25:14, 37:10, Obadiah 1:18, Jeremiah 49:1-27 and many more that seem interconnected. These three prophecies were alluded to frequently among the attendees at the Pre-Trib conference.While attending on December 8, 2009 I visited with Bill Koenig, a respected eschatologist and White House correspondent. He said that Syria supposedly has the most advanced scuds in the world. Additionally, we discussed the possibility that Saddam Hussein may have smuggled many of his chemical warheads into Syria before the 2003 U.S. led invasion of Iraq. I commented to Bill Koenig that; “Should any chemicals penetrate into Israeli soil, I suspect Israel might attack Damascus and ultimately bring about the fulfillment of Isaiah 17:1”. (Isaiah 17:1 alludes to the final destruction of Damascus)Also we discussed the upcoming massive civilian defense drill potentially scheduled for the middle of January 2010 in Israel. Several people at the conference had heard about this drill, which is being performed in preparation for a potential multi-front war with Hezbollah, Syria, Hamas, and perhaps Iran. This exercise is intended to prepare Israelis for an attack of a chemical and biological nature. Also Koenig concurred that gas masks are going to be re-distributed on a wide scale in Israel in January 2010, seemingly for such a scenario.Regarding chemical warfare, the Kuwaiti Daily reported in the summer of 2008 that chemical components enabling the production of mustard gas made their way through Iran and Syria into Hezbollah's hands. There is legitimate concern that deadly chemicals may already be mounted within many of Hezbollah’s rocket warheads.

Koenig believes that there are presently 50,000 rockets in Hezbollah's arsenal. In the 34 day conflict between Hezbollah and Israel during the summer of 2006, Hezbollah launched approximately 4000 rockets into many parts of Northern Israel. This proved to be an embarrassing wakeup call to Israeli Defense Forces and their leadership.Recently, in a televised speech on Al Quds day this past September, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah discouraged all Arab allegiance with Israel and encouraged a multi-front war instead. He said "the next Mideast war will change the maps", inferring that in the aftermath, new maps would be drawn without the nation of Israel upon them. Undoubtedly, Hezbollah defiance is due to their success in 2006 and their abundant arsenal amassed presently in 2009.In my estimation this coming war will be unlike any other Mideast war throughout the entirety of history. I had dinner with Jimmy DeYoung, the widely respected end time’s expert, on December 7, 2009 and he, like most everyone else I spoke with at the conference about the subject, believes that Israel will pre-empt a strike against Iran's nuclear sites in the near future. "They have to", he said.The possible, albeit speculative, scenario I am suggesting to prepare for is as follows:

Israeli Pre-empted strike against Iran's nuclear sites.
Iran and/or proxies (Hezbollah, Syria, Hamas) retaliate.
Israel uses Scalar Technology against Damascus
Damascus ceases to be a city (Isaiah 17:1 fulfilled)
Arab League calls an emergency meeting intended to draw a line in the sand between Israel and the Arabs
Jordan and Egypt are pressured to break fragile peace treaties with Israel and confederate with other Arabs. (Jordan and Egypt are enlisted members of Psalm 83)
Saudi Arabia, also enlisted in Psalm 83, joins in for survival and economic, religious, and geo-political purposes
8. Psalm 83 commences...On a side note; Arab Nationalism is at an all time high especially in light of the Iranian nuclear threat. Additionally the Palestinian Refugee Plight is climaxing presently and, if the scenario I'm suggesting occurs, it could come full front and center in the midst of this major conflict.I believe these refugees are represented as the "tents of Edom" in Psalm 83:6.
Israel recognizes Arab military intentions and launches further preemptive strikes on its Arab neighbors and strikes religious sites in Saudi Arabia and overtakes the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. (Jimmy DeYoung informed me that the priestly garb is presently being prepared for about 28,000 Levites. DeYoung declared, They are saying in Israel today; "When the dome comes down, the priestly garments come out"! )
The Psalm 83 war ends, separation wall comes down, and construction of third Jewish temple begins.
The I.D.F. becomes an exceedingly great army in fulfillment of Ezekiel 37:10.It may not happen exactly in this way; however, the above scenario is not that far fetched and I encourage people to prepare for the above or some varying scenario possibilities.The prophecies that are about to be fulfilled leading up to Ezekiel 38 are world changing and then the world will probably witness the Gog of Magog invasion. The sign posts are all up and pointing toward the nearby coming of the seven-year tribulation period ending with the campaign of Armageddon, shortly after the above type scenario occurs.Therefore, Christians worldwide should look up for our redemption draws extremely near.Related Links
Iran reels toward popular counter-revolution - DEBKAfile Israel Says Iran Close to Nuclear Capability - Voice of America Noble Energy Group Reaches Potential $9.5B Gas Deal In Israel - Wall Street Journal Barak: New Iran nuclear facility resistant to regular bombs - Haaretz.com Isralestine: The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East - Bill Salus (Book)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Coming Mark of the Beast

Keep in mind that though many people scoff at such things as a litteral mark, and although things like implants may not be what the mark will be- the idea of getting implants and tatoos are becoming more of an excepted idea. By the time of the antichrist's mark, people will think little of having an implanted chip, or iris scan, or tatoo of some sorts- and it will be that much easier to convince people to have one.

By Michael G. Mickey

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheadsAnd that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name (Revelation 13:16-17).The mark of the beast. It's one of the most discussed topics in the realm of bible prophecy and yet none of us know exactly what it is going to consist of. Having said that, as most of my regular readers know, I have been keeping a very watchful eye on the FDA-approved implantable microchip (VeriChip) for some time now as a potential mark of the beast technology.Imagine my surprise this morning when I read the following opening paragraphs of an article at SeekingAlpha.com entitled "VeriChip Takes Off on H1N1 Win":
An announcement today regarding the exclusive license granted to controversial chip-implant maker VeriChip (CHIP) for H1N1 detection sent CHIP shares hurtling nearly out of orbit - up 178%, or over $2 per share - to around $3.20 by Monday afternoon. Other news reports have cited that this is the biggest intra-day gain since the company went public in February 2007.VeriChip's development partner, RECEPTORS LLC, has granted exclusive rights to VeriChip to develop one of its patents based on the "virus triage detection system" used to treat H1N1 virus, commonly known as "swine flu." The H1N1 virus sent shockwaves of worry about a dangerous pandemic developing world-wide, and just last week came FDA approval of the first treatments of the virus from Sanofi-Aventis SA (SFY), CSL Ltd, MedImmune (now a subsidiary of AstraZeneca (AZN) and Novartis AG (NOV).VeriChip is best known for its human-implantable RFID (radio frequency identification) chip, which has sparked controversy from civil rights groups and religious organizations alike. Some opponents of the technology have derided VeriChip products as "spy chips."A 178% gain in VeriChip stock in less than a single day on the heels of its potential value as a tool in combating what we're being told is a coming swine flu pandemic of epic proportions? The potential prophetic ramifications are huge!Fear and Crisis as Vehicles of ChangeRahm Emmanuel, White House Chief of Staff, said the following a while back and it applies in the pandemic scenario:
You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”In the post-September 11 world, many people are afraid and the mainstream media with all its apocalyptic movies, television series, ample references to the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world coming on December 21, 2012 and the arguably over-hyping of a global flu pandemic are only heightening humanity's collective fears, so much so that proponents of the new world order both can and presumably are doing things to bring us closer to that end than they ever could've before.Bearing the above in mind, if the RFID implant is a gateway to the prophesied mark of the beast, what better way to enhance its image to mankind than market it as a life saver in a time of crisis? It would raise the RFID implant's marketability as the future mark of the beast by leaps and bounds, overcoming some of the issues that presently turn people off by it, like the ickiness of having a microchip injected into your flesh, for example.Ewwww!Mere days I go I stumbled across an article on MSN Money about the RFID microchip implant that caught my eye. It was examining the benefits of mankind using microchip implants as a means to, literally, make financial transactions. Is that reminiscent of Revelation 13:16-17 or what? Just scroll to the top of the commentary if you're unsure.The article, entitled "Pay with a wave of your hand?", stated, in part, the following:
It's a simple concept, really: You inject a miniature radio frequency identifier the size of a grain of rice between your thumb and forefinger and, with a wave of your hand, unlock doors, turn on lights, start your car or pay for your drinks at an ultrachic nightspot.The problem is, the whole concept is a little geeky for most of us, nauseating for some, Orwellian for a few and even apocalyptic for a smattering of religious fundamentalists.Forget the science of it - and yes, it does work remarkably well. Forget the convenience of it. Forget that similar identifying technologies, from bar codes to mag stripes, overcame similar obstacles and are now ubiquitous.Radio frequency ID implants face a hurdle the others did not: ickiness."There is sort of an icky quality to implanting something," says Rome Jette, the vice president for smart cards at Versatile Card Technology, a Downers Grove, Ill., card manufacturer that ships 1.5 billion cards worldwide a year.A lot of ground is covered in those few paragraphs, not to mention positive media coverage, that only heightens my suspicions that the RFID microchip implant may well be on its way to becoming the mark of the beast.
An obstacle the RFID microchip implant has to overcome if it's ever going to be a mainstream means of making financial transactions is the notion it is icky to have one implanted in one's body. My question? Could a crisis like a swine flu pandemic, for example, after which the RFID microchip implant could be hailed as the means used that saved hundreds of thousands of lives, change the way people feel about getting one? I believe so. In fact I believe that, if "spiritual wickedness in high places", new world order proponents or both are playing any role whatsoever in marketing the swine flu as a global catastrophe in the making, the marketing of the RFID microchip implant as a means of saving lives may be a calculated move in what we're witnessing.
The RFID microchip implant works remarkably well as a means of making financial transactions. It's as simple as waving your hand! It's almost like magic, isn't it? Subliminal message received? For many, I believe so. Absolutely.
Technologies that in the past weren't well-received by the public initially, like the bar code for example, were eventually accepted. There's a subliminal message here as well. "Give this microchip implant idea a little more time to be accepted and it, too, can become a part of your daily life. After all, you accepted bar codes and nothing bad came of that, right?"ConclusionsBible prophecy tells us that pestilences are going to play a prominent role in the end times (Luke 21:11), a device of some variety is going to eventually become both a necessity to make purchases and a symbol of allegiance to the prophesied Antichrist and the new world order he will utilize to wield control "over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations (Revelation 13:7), and that deception is going to be part and parcel for the last days on a variety of fronts.In what I've shared with you in this commentary I believe we can all see that the news of our world today is quite possibly following the storyline detailed in bible prophecy that will lead to the mark of the beast becoming a reality and, in a wider sense, demonstrating that the fulfillment of all of the bible's yet to be fulfilled prophecies is within view. As such, let us live our lives soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:12-13)Got Jesus?If you're reading this commentary today and you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, it's time for you to do so. The world around us today is eerily reminiscent of the descriptions provided in bible prophecy of the days leading up to Christ's return to the extent that I wouldn't, personally, risk a second of my life at this point without having secured my eternal destiny.In my youth, the pastor of my church used to say, "There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun." So true, but in the days we're presently living in, as if the previous isn't enough to worry about, the potential that one may have to endure a time Jesus Christ said would feature tribulation the likes of which has never been seen from the creation until now (and beyond) has NEVER been higher than right now! Thus, the need to come to faith in Jesus Christ TODAY!If the Rapture of the Church should occur today and you found yourself left behind for no other reason than you thought you had more time to come to faith in Christ than you actually did, what a tragedy it would be, especially if you realized that your soul's salvation depended on you understanding the content of my site's Post-Rapture Survival Guide and heeding its words of warning at the risk of being martyred when you could've been caught up in the air to be with the Lord and avoided the whole nightmarish situation!Please, I'm begging you. Come to faith in Christ! Don't play games at a time like this. The risks are too great and none of us, even under the most ideal of circumstances, are promised a tomorrow.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Babylon the Great

I had a question from Matt. He was curious to know which prophecies I saw happening now or coming soon. In the next few posts, I'd like to focus on 3 main prophecies which are in the "building stages". This kind of means that while it's not showing that these will come to pass immediately, things which are happening show the ground work beginning which will bring these prophecies to fruition.

I'd like to talk about Babylon, Israel and Jerusalem. Now for folks who I talk to who want to know what to look for, I have always said, we need to keep our eyes especially, on Israel, the Temple (which will be rebuilt) and now on Babylon. I will go deeper in each post to the things that have been happening for years to bring things into focus and bring about the circumstances, people and events which will bring the prophecies to pass.

First, I'd like to talk about the place called Babylon. Now, why is talking about Babylon so important, and where exactly is this place anyway? First things first. The Bible talks about Babylon in both the Old and New Testaments. If you remember anything about the Tower of Babel, this is the first mention of not only the place, but also of the second place where men decided they wanted to be as a god (the first being in the garden of Eden). There was a guy by the name of Nimrod, who was a grandson of Ham (one of Noah's sons). He was a warrior, he was proud and arrogant. He was actually the first Antichrist- that is, he was all for himself, and he gathered people around himself who despised God. Nimrod and his wife organized the first idolatrous religion at Babel. She was the first new ager- that is, she practiced magic, astrology and spiritism. She proclaimed herself a queen of the heavens, the queen of god. She started the first astrological society, a cult based on the alignment of the stars and planets which were claimed to foretell the events which would happen on the earth. Through her and her husband Nimrod, they built this superstitious religion based on everything under the sun, except for God. When they, and the ungodly people around them, proclaimed that they should build a tower to reach the heavens, they were making themselves equal to god. When God "came down" and saw what they were doing, He mixed their languages and scattered them so they couldn't understand one another anymore, and they gave up on the tower.

Later in History, we see Babylon again a seat of great power through Nebuchadnezzar. Again, this great city was steeped in the "mystery" religions, astrology, psychic activities and idolatry. This empire enslaved the Israelites, and allowed them to forget God. They eventually were overthrown and other more powerful empires rose behind them. Since the days of the end of Nebuchednezzar, Babylon has been desolate, nothing but ruins. Someday, in the time of the final Antichrist, Babylon will be a great city again. In fact, it will become the new capital of all the world's financial, military, cultural and religious societies . It will be the home of the Antichrist.

Back in History, the hanging gardens of Babylon were considered one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world. Someday soon, Babylon will make every man made wonder seem like a child's sandbox castle. This place is going to be the most futuristic, expensive, technologically updated architectural wonder in all the world. There will be no expense too big when it is built. Every country will gladly contribute to the finances and resources that it will take to make it a reality, as everyone will want some recognition for contributing to it. It will be the richest man made city in all of history, and everyone will want to be a part of it.So, where is this place? It is in Iraq and it is a real place. Saddam Hussein started to have it rebuilt during his regime. He poured millions of dollars into the rebuilding of part of the walls, the Ishtar Gate and part of the palace. I think though, that when the Antichrist claims the city as his own, he will perhaps leave some of the original work and some of Saddam's rebuilt areas, but he will, as above, spare no expense to make it unique and his very own.

Now, as it stands right now, there is still not much of the original city left, but between now and when the Antichrist enters the world stage, the city will become a popular and great city- something that will catch the eye of the future world dictator. It will have to be up there with some of the popular cities of the world today, and some of the fantastic places they are building in some of the riches middle eastern countries today.

When I first wrote about the rebuilding and how it would come about, I said that we, along with Iraq would win this war- mainly because of Babylon and future prophecy. I said that, and still do, believe that once the war is over and the Iraqis have a stable government in place, when they get all their infrastructure back up and running, they will need to find ways to bring in much needed dollars. They will continue the rebuilding of Babylon in order to make it a major tourist destination. Other countries will lend support, perhaps to "make up" for their part in this war. With all of the happenings going on in the world these days, much of it is Bible prophecy coming to pass, it won't be long before everything is in place, and the Antichrist and his puppets are all ready to rule.

I am not a prophet, and I will never claim to be. All I do is interpret what is going on in the world and compare the happenings with what the Bible has shown in prophecies.There are more happenings now with the rebuilding of Babylon, which suggests my earlier post from 3 years ago was correct in that the US and other countries would aid the Iraqi government in rebuilding.
I just read an interesting article at Stripes.com Which the headline reads: U.S., Iraqi experts developing plan to preserve Babylon, build local tourism industry
The article describes -Soldiers with the 172nd Infantry Brigade are exploring the ruins as part of a U.S.-Iraqi effort to preserve the ancient city and plan for the return of Western tourists.Members of the brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment escorted a group of U.S. heritage tourism experts to the ruins last week for the first of several visits to develop a preservation and tourism plan for the area.
Now the rapidly improving security situation in surrounding Babil province has persuaded the U.S. State Department and the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage to embark on the preservation project, dubbed the Future of Babylon Project.
The State Department and the World Monuments Fund have committed $700,000 to the project, which will see U.S. and Iraqi experts develop a plan to preserve the site and develop a local tourism industry, said Diane Siebrandt, the U.S. embassy’s cultural heritage officer.
The Babylon project is one of several that the State Department is involved in to conserve ancient sites in partnership with the Iraqi government, she said.

Foreign money and investors will be pouring into Iraq when the city is built. Iraq will become one of the wealthiest nations on earth, and, according to end time prophecy, it will be the "Wall Street" of the world- The place the Antichrist will call home, and where his financial headquarters will be. During the times of God's wrath, Babylon will fall- it will be destroyed for once and for all. The prophecies tell us that Babylon will be a real place in order to be a great city in the near future, and one which will be destroyed by God.

While things like these seem like small things to people, and a bit of a stretch, those of us who know and trust in the prophecies written in the Bible, know that these are the first steps towards the whole of the end time Prophecies coming to pass. The building and plans for the city of Babylon are showing that the prophecies will happen. Jesus said that the generation who witnesses the beginning of these events would not perish. We know that by the signs He told us to watch for, the beginning has been happening since His Ascension, and will be fulfilled within our life time. How do I know this is the generation? In the next post, I'll get to that!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Some from Matthew 24

From Matthew Chapter 24
There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.

One thing I will never claim is that I'm a prophet. Unless God gives me the gift of prophecy, any opinions that I give, remains just that- opinions. That said, as I was thinking about the above verses, I was thinking about the first, famine, in that it is not only physical famine, or lack of food, but also spiritual famine- lack of belief and/or faith. Let me explain what I mean here. Famine as Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary explains is 1) A widespread scarcity of food, 2) scarcity of anything.

We are used to seeing pictures of people around the world when there is a famine from food- sad pictures of little kids with extended stomachs, surviving on very little if anything every day. The mothers looking as frail and skinny as skeletons. This kind of famine is unfortunately a typical way of life in many poor countries around the world- many countries who's leaders could avoid slow starvation of their people, but for power or egotistical reasons, refuse. Places like North Korea, who's Kim Il Jong would rather spend any money coming into the country on building up the military, acquiring nuclear arms and putting dissenting citizens in concentration camps. Places like Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan, where people are terrorized because of their religion, or who are caught between opposing militias trying to gain political power often lead to the innocent men, women and children having to either leave their homes and belongings, or being burned our driven out by warlords. Some places suffer for lack of water and crops, insect infestations and other catastrophes.

For many decades, it has been countries like the USA who have been at the forefront of sending aid to these countries, tons of bags of wheat, rice and other food stuffs. Now, we are seeing problems in this country- in that some places are experiencing over farming and soil erosion, some places are experiencing insect or other natural disasters, just a couple of winters ago in California for example, lost much of it's crops due to snow and ice storms. here in Florida, many of us lost crops due to frost and freezes. The animal industry is also experiencing problems with mad cow, resurgence of hoof and mouth disease and with the 'bird flu', could wipe out much of the world's beef and poultry supplies. One only has to look at food recalls lately as well to see that there are serious health issues with cross contamination and uncleanliness. There is also a mysterious killing off of and disappearance of bees around the world. Bees which are necessary to pollinate crops. The economy in recent years as well, with rising fuel prices and scarce crops have actually caused shortages on some food items in the grocery stores.

There will definitely be famines and food shortages to come, possibly worse than anything ever experienced in the world.

As for spiritual famines, I believe we have been seeing this for decades- both inside and out of the Christian church. There is a slow demise of the church and culture is influencing the church more than what it should be- as it used to be, the Church's calling to influence culture by spreading the Gospel and loving people by the Truth has been disappearing. I read a few interesting stories that are not all that uncommon, that show the spiritual starvation of so many people, that they are not being fed the Truth of the Gospel, so they are turning elsewhere to be fed, or they are sampling from the 'smorgasbord' of beliefs that are available. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness with a loaf of bread, His answer to Satan was "Man can not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Jesus was and is talking about God Almighty- not new age gurus, not Mohammad, not Rev. Moonie, not any and every other god- but The God- author of all time, the beginning, the end and everlasting creator of the Universe. Jesus knows that people can survive physically on food, but without His Word, people will die spiritually- from famine.

For those who equate Jesus as just one of the many good teachers or prophets of ages past, another enlightened and good teacher- He believes in the God Breathed Book of Holy Scriptures- He knows that the Bible is Truth, or He wouldn't have quoted it so much. Therefore, either He was a liar, quoting something He knew to be corrupt or nothing more than fairy tales, some book that could be changed or interpreted according to societal and cultural changes, or He is who He says He is. It is your choice in which to believe, but how can a good teacher, or enlightened prophet be a liar?

For the next part of this prophecy, Jesus tells of earthquakes in various places. This is happening now, in places that aren't usually the places you'd think of earthquake prone areas. Last year, some in South West Florida felt a tremor that was from an earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico. The deadly Tsunami a few years ago that was caused by such a massive quake in the Ocean off Sumatra, that it literally knocked the earth slightly off it's axis. Earthquakes are happening quite frequently, as they most likely have throughout history, but there will be major ones to come such as the Oakland/San Francisco Bay area quake back in the late 80's. There are more people in quake prone areas, so there will be terrible loss when they happen more violently in the future.

For the last part of this prophecy, this is happening in many countries around the world already in countries such as China, Cuba, Eritrea, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bhutan and so many others, and if the so called hate crimes bill passes and becomes law here in the Untied States has it has in Canada and other countries of Christian roots, many more people of Christian faith will be dragged into courts, forced to pay large fines or thrown in jail for their faith, and Pastors at Bible believing churches could lose their tax exemptions or even their church.

Many of the Prophecies told to us by Jesus are happening already, and are only going to get worse until He comes back. Some might claim it's just coincidence, or that people like Nostradamus predicted similar things. While there have been many psychics and seers, none of them have proven to have every prediction come true as the Bible prophecies have and will.

Are you willing to stake your eternal future on coincidence or some seer that died centuries ago, or will you put your trust and faith in the Living Jesus, who has forgiven all already, paid the penalty for all sins, leaving you only to accept or reject Him?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

2 Timothy

In the last post we looked at some of the prophecies which are written in the Bible, which have a lot to do with what we will be witnessing soon. There are more, which is what we'll look at in this post. Some of these are close to happening, or are happening now. Many things happening in the world are being shown in the secular news, with no reference to what the Bible has to say, but I find it interesting that many of these happenings have already been written about and foretold in the Bible.

One of the most vivid descriptions of the times we are living in now can be found in 2 Timothy 3:1-9

Godlessness in the Last Days

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

Now people may argue that we've had these kinds of people all throughout the ages, that there have always been hateful behavior from people. While that is true, there will be worse to come, and we are seeing the beginning of it.

We witnessed some of this behavior within the past year, with political greed and personal irresponsibility from people who thought they were entitled to something more than they could afford, in the housing collapse. While I'm not going into the whole story, as it's old news, it does show that love of money, power, and proud behavior is alive and well in Washington and all around the world. Governments the world over are displaying reprehensible and greedy behaviors- everything from mass murder of their own people, building weapons to destroy others, letting their people starve while they live in luxury.

Even in America we have so called leaders who are corrupt, using their positions in government for their own gain and interests. From lobby groups to so called community organizers who are out for their own benefit while claiming to be working for the poor and disadvantaged. We've seen crime among young kids and teenagers sky rocket, and many of the crimes are brutal, evil and totally without conscience. People are showing no self control when they are piling on debt on credit. They are showing no self control when being sexually promiscuous- and our society has displayed it's utter disregard for life when we allow our children to be murdered in the womb from conception all the way to the point of being able to survive after birth. We have allowed these "compassionate" people let those unfortunate babies who survive the burning saline and the butcher's knives- to die unaided, cold, hungry and in pain in a garbage can.

In our hyper sexual society, we can see that people are lovers of pleasure with no thoughts of consequences, no thoughts of the impact on the rest of society.Perhaps the biggest of all is having a form of godliness but denying its power. The church has become any place except a place of corporate worship. We have churches which are hip and trendy cafe style, or even in bars- a ear tickling, feel good all inclusive, non judgemental social clubs. Everything is taught at many of these churches, from how to have your best life now, to helping the poor- but for the love of pete! DO NOT proselytize! They are learning how to connect to the inner christ, how to meditate on the feeling of spirit, to love mother earth and build a utopia where we all get along. Not often will anything be said about Christ, the cross or sin and redemption.

We have garbage worming it's way into our homes via TV. Now, I don't have cable where I live, nor do I have satellite. On just the 5 or so channels we do have, is garbage enough. Daytime TV is virtually nothing but depraved people, sad people airing their sin to those they supposedly love on national airwaves. From everything from Maury to Judge Judy, people are willing to display their degenerate behavior for all to see. Night time is not much better with shows like 2 and a Half Men, Sex in the City and other trash.

We have people from all parts of society always learning, and many are shown the truth, but they reject it. It is only going to get worse, and unfortunately many people will still be rejecting the truth until He comes again. They will be acknowledging at last the truth, on their knees before Him, but by then it will be too late for them.
The prophecies in the Bible- or for that matter, the whole Word exists so we don't have to live rejecting Him. It is His revealing Himself to us through His Word, He shows us in this world of His Glory. You don't have to reject the truth.

The world is heading towards it's end. Someday soon, Christ will make a new heaven and new earth. After God's warnings for the past millennium through His prophets, we are all facing the one decision. Are we for Him and Truth, or are we going to live out the word of Timothy?

I'm sorry, this is longer than I intended- I will post more soon, finishing up the current happening prophecies.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Prophetic Run Down Part 1

I realize that I haven't posted much yet on this blog, and I've kind of gone all over the place here so far, so in this post, and the next few, I'd like to just do a run down on the prophecies which have come to pass already, those which are happening now and the ones still to come. I'd like to put a little more order to those which we are seeing and looking for to come. Hopefully this will help put things in a little better order.

When I first "restarted" this blog, I mentioned that most of this material is from my old blog when I was on AOL Blogger. Much of it was written about 4 or 5 years ago, and because things have changed so much since then, I have had to go through my notes and make many changes. I'm sorry for the "jumbling" around up until now, and the fact I haven't posted much lately as I've been so busy.

OK. Here is a list of some of the Biblical prophecies which have already come and are happening now:

The rebirth of Israel, "the dry bones".
Ezekiel 37
Matthew 24:32-34, "the fig tree"

We know that the Jewish people came back to their homeland in 1948, and won the
6 day war in June of 1967, just as God told His prophets concerning His never breaking the covenant with His people. In Ezekiel, this prophecy is actually in parts, but some haven't happened yet. yes, God's people are back in the land He gave to them, but they are still in spiritual "blindness" concerning their Messiah- Jesus, thus, verses 13 and 14 state: "I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "

God has not put His Holy Spirit in His people yet. That will not come until after the rapture and during the tribulation time, which we will look more closely at in a later post.

The budding fig tree which Jesus speaks of here is to show that once you see the beginning signs start, we know the time is soon when He comes again. The fig tree is one of the last trees to bloom in the late spring/early summer- so when the buds appear, people knew that summer was right around the corner- as it will also be with His coming.

Exiles returning to Israel
Ezekiel 37:21

There have been Jewish people immigrating continuously to Israel since the rebirth of the State. They are still going, many times, leaving relatively "safe" homes in the west- to go to Israel which is under threats nearly daily from her enemies. God is calling His people back Home!

Israel becoming fertile and blossoming
Isaiah 27:6

Mark Twain once described "Palestine" in this way: "A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds - a silent mournful expanse.... A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action.... We never saw a human being on the whole route.... There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country."

We have seen how Israel has been transformed into modern cities, fertile country sides and farmlands. Israel is a huge exporter of flowers and fruits and vegetables. We have seen how the people have built up farms and
greenhouses in a land which when they came was nothing but sand and rock.

The Roman Empire reviving
Daniel 2:40-43

We know that the European Union is comprised of much of the same area which was once under Roman rule. Interesting enough, is that out of the greatest empires of the ages, the Roman Empire was the only one which was not overpowered by any other. All proceeding empires such as the Babylonian, Persian, Assyrian and Greek were eventually conquered. Rome dissolved- it was never conquered.

Russia rising military power
Ezekiel 38:1-12

Almost daily we can read or hear the news about Russia- "the Giant Bear" waking up. Russia after the cold war and the trial of democracy was mild and no threat. With the rise of communism again and the return to the leaders desire to be dominant again, we are hearing more and more of Russian exploits such as supplying war hardware to enemy states and invading neighbors. Even in the world of oil exploration, Russia is at the forefront, wanting to claim the North Pole and everything under for their own oil resources. Russia- ancient Gog, is a country to keep our eyes and ears on.

The City of Babylon being rebuilt
Isaiah 13:1,6,19

Back in my AOL days, I wrote a post about Babylon, and how it would be rebuilt. It's no secret that Saddam Hussein started rebuilding this ancient city- which began and will end in superstitious "mystery" religion. The fact is, now that Iraq is being stabilized by the American and allied forces and beginning to take control of many of their own areas, the Iraqi government will be looking into making Iraq the next "hot spot" vacation destination. Some day soon, the Antichrist will expand and modernize the city of Babylon, make it a marvel of the modern world, and have it as his capital city.

Global arms race
Matthew 24:6,7

Again, one only has to read or listen to the news and see that despite the willingness of soft politicians wanting to do away with the world's nukes, more and more rogue countries are wanting or already possessing them, and testing them. North Korea, Iran, Syria, Pakistan and others all have dangerous situations which could lead soon to a genuine launch and nuclear war.

Worldwide communications
Revelation 11:9,10

In this verse describing the death of two witnesses (whom we will learn about at a later time) it is describing something that only within the last few decades where it would be possible for every man to be watching at the same time- such an event. With CNN and other global news feeds continuously running 24/7.

Israel surrounded by enemy nations
Psalms 83:4-8

This is another no brainer really. One only has to think of 1 enemy, Iran, but think about how even the west, and under the present occupying administration in Washington, is rethinking any possibility of continuing friend and ally status with Israel. Just in case you missed it,
I did a post on Israel a few weeks ago which shows just how alone this country is in this world. This is to set up a time soon where God will intervene and save Israel from her enemies, as written about in Ezekiel.

Many false prophets and apostasy
Matthew 24:24

I will be doing a detailed post on apostasy in the Church very soon, which will cover this prophecy which is coming to pass now.

Asia/2 million man army
Revelation 9:14-16

A few decades ago (not to mention in the days of John!) the prospect of an army being so vast would been extremely frightening. We know that China alone has a standing army of 2 million!

Those are just some of the Bible prophecies which have already happened and are happening right now. Stay tuned for the next part- more prophecies which are happening now, and more to come.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Rapture

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. -Romans 15:4

In the last post, I promised I would post about a time which is written about in the Bible- an event popularly called the rapture. There's a lot to cover, and I'm sorry to make it so long!

I know there are people who don't believe in a rapture, there are some who don't understand it, and still others who believe in the event, but aren't sure when it will happen. I'm not an expert on this, but I will try and lay out the basic understanding of it- so let's get on with it.

First of all, the word "Rapture" is not in the Bible. There are certain verses which suggest a time when Christ will come and take His church (meaning His followers) back to heaven, allowing us to miss the worst of the end time tribulation period. Theses verses talk about being "caught up" or being taken away in the "blink of an eye". The English phrase "caught up" translates the Greek word harpazo, which means "to seize upon with force" or "to snatch up." The Latin translators of the Bible used the word "rapturo," the root of the English term "Rapture."

As with all of the Bible prophecies, there are certain events in History, which is recorded in the Old Testament which point to the present or future prophecies of the New Testament. In the Old Testament, there were 2 cases of harpazos or raptures in the cases of Enoch and Elijah. Enoch is one of the most interesting guys in the Old Testament.

Enoch had a son named Methuselah, who in turn had a son named Lamech- the father of Noah. Interesting, that Methuselah died the same year as, but before the flood. Anyway, Enoch was 365 years old, and the Bible tells us that he walked with God. This means that he didn't only live a Godly life, but he was close to God, pleased and obeyed and was God's friend. A very special relationship! The Genesis verse reads: Altogether Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more because God took him away. This literally means Enoch never died a physical death, but was taken to the presence of God. What is interesting here, is that in Jewish Tradition, Enoch was said to have been born on the day that Jewish people observe Hag Shavout- the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost. (which is coming up at the end of this month by the way!) And that he was "caught up" to heaven on his birthday. So, born on the day of Pentecost, and raptured on the day of Pentecost 365 years later. Interesting that the Holy Spirit visited the Apostles and the church was "born", on the day of Pentecost.

There were three groups of people facing the judgement of the flood of Noah: those that perished in the flood. Those that were preserved through the flood - Noah and his family. And those that were removed prior to the judgement of the flood- Enoch. It is interesting that Enoch might be a foreshadowing of a removal prior to judgement, in contrast to Noah and his family who were protected through it.
Elijah as we know was a prophet of God. He was carried to heaven with a whirl wind in a fiery chariot, with Elisha as the witness. Elijah never died a physical death either. Interesting too, is that the first raising of the dead happened (see 1Kings 17:17-24) by God through Elijah.

As I posted some time ago about the rapture, God never leaves His people to suffer His full Judgement. As with Noah and his family, who God preserved by having him build the ark, we also see that Lot and his family were warned by the Lord to get out of Sodom and Gomorrah before those cities were destroyed. Rahab the prostitute was saved from the destruction of Jericho (see Joshua chapter 2 and 3).

Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger. - Zephaniah 2:3

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. -Psalm 27:5

These 2 verses don't come out and say that God raptures, but they suggest what happened in the Old Testament preservations and "salvations" of Noah, Lot and Rahab, and of being caught up to escape the Day of the Lord.

Before we go on, I want to repeat about the time when the rapture will take place. Some people believe it will happen before the Tribulation begins, before the Antichrist comes on the world scene. This is referred to as the Pre tribulation Rapture. Some people believe it will happen half way through the tribulation- at the time of the false peace between the world and Israel, but just before the Antichrist breaks the peace treaty- 3 1/2 years into it. This is called mid tribulation, and the last group believes the church will be raptured just before Jesus comes back at the end of the Tribulation, to fight the final battle at Armageddon. This is the post tribulation view. I've posted before why I believe in the pre tribulation view, some of which is what I just spoke of, where God gets His people out before a time of full judgement.

Now, onto the New Testament. It's interesting too that in the New Testament we see Philip, Paul, John and Jesus all raptured, but with the case of the 3 Apostles, they were "transported" to be given messages and/or prophecies, and came back to earth to write down or tell about what they had seen.

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. -Luke 21:36

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,-1 Thessalonians 5:9

The removal of the church is also the event which will take away the present blindness of Israel. Many Jews are wary of Bible believing Christians- many, do not believe in Jesus as their Messiah- and many find the whole end time prophecy ideas as offensive and degrading. Many Jews feel that by the end times, they must believe in Jesus or they will go to hell, and they, as with many non religious and people with other philosophies, find that to be a very narrow minded and judgemental thing to say. Unfortunately too, there are some Christian groups who believe that the nation of Israel has failed and been replaced as the chosen people of God, by the Christian Church. The latter views are clearly mistaken, and contrary to what the New Testament scriptures tell us about Israel. I won't go into all the details, but one only has to read much of Paul's writings, Hebrews is a great example, to see that the Jewish People have yet a huge place in all things, and as I've written before, Israel is in the thick of everything.

Now, The Jews were chosen by God through the covenant to protect and preserve the purity of the original manuscripts of the Holy Scriptures- they received it and wrote down by divine inspiration of God and took that message to the rest of the world. The Old Testament contains more than 300 prophecies about the first coming of Jesus, yet when He came, many of those who prophesied about Him, rejected Him. During the history of the Jewish people, God has kept His promise of eternal blessings. They have been scattered through out the world only to be brought back to the land that God gave them. While God loves them and has a special place for them, He has also allowed for a "spiritual blindness" to have come over them, as so many have not believed in Christ as the Messiah.

In each generation since Abraham however, there have been some Jews who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, and are commonly referred to the believing remnant. But, because of those Jew's who have not received Christ as the Messiah, God has blinded their eyes. Someday, the whole nation of Israel will come to join the remnant and be restored to the position of special favor. Someday, the whole nation of Israel will come to join the remnant and be restored to the position of special favor. The rapture of the church is a prelude to the Nation of Israel's "scales" being removed from their eyes.

"Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded....that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in" (Romans 11:7, 25). For more on this, please visit:http://www.prophecyforum.com/mystery_of_Israels_blindness.html

"In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness" (Zechariah 13). The Lord will wash away "the filth of the daughters of Zion" (Isaiah 4:4). He will put His "law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts" (Jeremiah 31:33). Their iniquity will be forgiven (Jeremiah 31:34). God will put a "new spirit" within them (Ezekiel 11:19). He will "sprinkle clean water" upon them (Ezekiel 36:25). The Deliverer "shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob..." (Romans 11:26). "The Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left..." (Isaiah 11:11; 43:5, 6)

Another way we can learn about the rapture, is by looking at Jewish Traditions, such as weddings.All through the Gospels, Jesus relied on the ancient Jewish wedding pattern for many of His parables.

In the Ancient Jewish Wedding , the bridegroom took the initiative and negotiated the price (mohair, which is much like a dowry) he must pay to purchase the bride. Once the bridegroom paid the purchase price, the marriage covenant was made, and the young man and woman were regarded as husband and wife. From that moment on, the bride was declared to be set apart exclusively for her bridegroom. As a symbol of the covenant relationship that had been established, the groom and bride drank from a cup of wine over which the betrothal had been pronounced. After the marriage covenant was established, the groom left his bride at her home and returned to his father's house, where he remained separated from his bride for approximately 12 months. This gave the bride time to prepare her for married life.

During this period of separation, the groom prepared a place in his father's house to which he would later bring his bride. At the end of the period of separation, the bridegroom came - usually at night - to take his bride to live with him. The groom, the best man, and other men in the party left the father's house and conducted a torch-light procession to the home of the bride. Although the bride was expecting her groom to come for her, she did not know the time of his coming. As a result, the groom's arrival was preceded by a shout, which announced her imminent departure to be gathered with him. After the groom received his bride, together with her female attendants, the whole wedding party returned from the bride's home to the groom's father's house, where the wedding guests gathered.

Shortly after their arrival, the bride and groom were escorted by the other members of the wedding party to the bridal chamber. Before going into the chamber, the bride remained veiled so that no one could see her face. While the groomsmen and bridesmaids waited outside, the bride and groom entered the bridal chamber alone. There, in the privacy of that place, they entered into physical union for the first time, consummating the marriage that had been delayed nearly one year earlier.

After the marriage was consummated, the groom came out of the bridal chamber and announced the consummation of the marriage to the members of the wedding party waiting outside. Then, as the groom went back to his bride in the chamber, the members of the wedding party returned to the wedding guests and announced the consummation of the marriage.
Hearing the news of this, the wedding guests remained in the groom's father's house for the next seven days, celebrating with a great wedding feast.

During the seven days of the wedding feast, the bride and groom remained hidden in the bridal chamber (Genesis 29:21-23, 27-28) for the seven days. Afterwards, the groom came out of hiding, bringing his bride with him, but with her veil removed so that everyone could see her.

The New Testament portrays the Church as the Bride of Christ in Ephesians 5:22-33, and 2 Corinthians 11:2 . In the opening verses of John 14, the marriage covenant is confirmed. Paul continually reminds us of the purchase price and the covenant by which we, the Bride, are set apart, or sanctified.

Jesus is the Bridegroom, who has gone, and His return to gather His Bride is imminent. He has gone to prepare a place for His people- His Bride. The idea of imminence is taught throughout the New Testament and there is no event which is a necessary condition for His gathering of His Bride.The Bride of Christ, the church, is made ready to come with Christ to earth (Revelation 19:7-8, 14) before the Second Coming, but how could this happen if the church is still on the earth awaiting the Second Coming? If the Rapture isn't real, then how does the Bride (the church) also come with Christ at His Return?

We can also look at the various Jewish Observances as well. Coming up this year at the end of May, (the 6th of Sivan) Israel will celebrate Hag Ha Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost. This is based on Leviticus 23:15-22, which points to "the day after shabbat after Passover" (the Feast of First Fruits) plus 50 days--in Greek, Pentecost. Pentecost is one of only three of the seven feasts of Moses which was mandatory for every able male to attend. This seems to show that these three were very important. The Feast of Weeks is associated with the birth of Israel and the giving of the Law in Exodus. It is also called the Feast of Revelation.

The seven Feasts of Moses are not only for remembrance, they are also prophetic. The first three, in the month of Nisan, show the First Coming of Jesus. The last three, in the month of Tishri, are associated with His Second Coming. It is this one, Pentecost, in between, which is related with the Church, by which it was pointed out earlier, the church was born on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit visited upon the Apostles, as promised by Jesus. The Birth of the Church appears to be a fulfillment of the Feast of Pentecost. Jesus predicted it, and it was also fulfilled precisely on the Feast of Pentecost. It's interesting that this is the only Feast of Moses in which leavened bread is allowed, which seems to give it a Gentile influence (Leaven is shown in the scriptures to be a "type" of sin. Jesus and Paul both used it this way. It corrupts by puffing up.)

Another name for the Feast of Weeks is Hag Ha Kazir, The Feast of Harvest, since it is celebrated at the time of the "first harvest." Jesus often used "the harvest" to refer to the ingathering of believers.In the Seventy Week prophecy in Daniel 9, where the Angel Gabriel outlines God's plan for Israel, we see four interesting verses: 9:24 tells of the scope of the prophecy. 9:25 tells of 69 weeks (of years) which ends with the Messiah the King. 9:26 shows an interval before the 70th week. And 9:27 tells of the 70th week. In Daniel 9:24 it shows that all 70 weeks are for Israel. The church must depart prior to the 70th week, before the final seven-year period.We see in Daniel the "Second Coming" is preceded by a "week" of seven specific years which includes an interruption in the middle of the "week".
From a view of 2 Thessalonians 2, we learn that the removal of the church is a necessary condition to the appearance of the Antichrist. Since there is a definite seven-year period immediately preceding the Second Coming, it would seem that there could be up to as many as 33 years (40 - 7) between the rapture and the beginning of the seven-year period for the Man of Sin to appear, rise to power, and position himself to enforce the covenant that Isaiah calls the "Covenant with Hell." These years could also include the rebuilding of the Temple, the rebuilding of Babylon, and other anticipated positioning for the event of Christ's final return. With all of the things happening in the world, and which will be coming on the horizon, it suggests that the circumstances anticipated for the seven-year period are moving right along, and these support the view that the Rapture is getting closer and may closer than we know.

One more point on the Day of Pentecost is the Book of Ruth. The Jewish observance of the Feast of Weeks has always included the reading of this book. What is interesting, is that this story parallels events relating to the Church. This is one of my favorite Books in the Old Testament. It is a love story which shows the role of the kinsman-redeemer. As we look at Boaz, we notice that he, in many ways, pre-figures Jesus Christ. Through his act of redemption, Boaz returns Naomi (Israel) to her land, and also takes Ruth (a Gentile) as his wife. This suggests a parallel with the Church as the Gentile bride of the kinsman-redeemer. The similarities between Boaz, Naomi, and Ruth with Christ, Israel, and the Church, have been widely recognized, but it's so interesting to think- who first introduces Boaz to Ruth? An unnamed servant! (John 16:13)

It seems that the events regarding Israel directly is interrupted for a period of time. This interruption appears to be associated with Israel's rejection of the Messiah and God's program for Israel is resumed at the completion of the Church. The completion of the church is at the time when the church age is finished- at the rapture. Paul tells us that the Church is a mystery not revealed in the Old Testament and if we read the scriptures carefully we can find this "interruption" throughout the scriptures. The day is approaching when the Church is "complete" and God will remove it and again continue with His program with Israel. Is it possible that His "clock" will restart on the 6th of Sivan, the day of Penticost, the day that it was inturrupted?

Paul mentions the "Trumpet of God" in connection with the rapture. It is interesting that this term appears only twice in the Bible: at the giving of the Law at Sinai and at the rapture. This isn't the "Trumpet of God" with the temple trumpets or the shofar. We need to realize that these trumpets continue during the Millennium, so they aren't "the last trump."

OK. I know this is long, but there is just a little more. Some have the view that the "Second Coming" of Christ and the "Rapture" are somehow the same. There seems to be a number of things in the scripture which shows that these are different and separate events. The event known as the Rapture is most clearly shown in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, which encourages the Christians that, at the time of the "snatching up" they will be reunited with those who have died in Christ before them.

There are also scriptures which show a "time of trouble", which has never been seen before, that Jesus called the "Great Tribulation." Many hold to the view that the Rapture of the church will occur after that period of time, closely associating it with the Second Coming. This is known as the "post-tribulation" view.

The Rapture is characterized in the New Testament as a "translation coming" (1 Corinthians 15:51- 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) in which the Lord comes for His church, taking her to His Father's House (John 14:3). At Christ's Second Coming with His saints, He descends from heaven to set up His Messianic Kingdom on earth (Zechariah 14:4-5; Matthew 24:27-31).
Paul speaks of the Rapture as a "mystery" (1 Corinthians 15:51-54), that is, a truth not revealed until it is told of by the apostles (Colossians 1:26). The Second Coming, on the other hand, was predicted in the Old Testament (Daniel 12:1-3; Zechariah 12:10; 14:4). In fact, the oldest prophecy told by a prophet was given before the flood of Noah and was of the Second Coming. It was given by Enoch, quoted in Jude 14-15.

The Rapture is the believers going from earth to heaven; at the Second Coming it is from heaven to earth. At the Rapture, the Lord comes for His saints (1 Thessalonians 4:16), while at the Second Coming the Lord comes with His saints (1 Thessalonians 3:13).

The rapture is the only prophetic event that is both unspecified and imminent.
So. Will the church go through the time of Tribulation? With the signs pointing to a time of the church's "disappearance", it doesn't seem so. Will the church suffer though at all? Most definitly. Jesus said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. -John 16:33 What He is saying, is while we will have trials and tribulation, it is different than going through the "Great Tribulation" as described in the end time prophecies. The true believers of Christ are suffering in different degrees all over the world, and the persecution will keep happening until Jesus takes His people up to Him. These triblations and trials are inspired by Satan, and they will get worse because he knows his time is short.

This is differnt than what will be the full wrath of God during the end times. The Great Tribulation involves more than the wrath of the world or the wrath of Satan: it involves the righteous wrath of God. But the Church has these promises:

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. -Luke 21:36

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,-1 Thessalonians 5:9

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour [time] of temptation [trial], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. -Revelation 3:10

While things are pointing to the immenance of the rapture, we can't try and set a date for it to happen.

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. -Matthew 24:36

While we know the time is near, we also have to be ready. We are commanded to "go about our Father's business" while we wait, and "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. -Matthew 24:44

We need to sense urgency, that the time is nearer than we know. We need to be prepared for persecution. We have, in the west been "sheltered" from any real persecution so far. Time may come soon, where we will begin to suffer as much as our brothers and sisters have in other areas of the world have been suffering. We must remember the existence of organized evil; not just good and bad individual choices. We also need to remember spiritual warfare and be prepared for it. We have to understand the worldviews of today and how Biblical Christianity is different from that, and even different from many of the liberal church and emergent church philosophies. We have to stay in constant teaching of the Bible.

The differences between a Bible believing Christian, and a liberal person who professes faith, is in their view of Scripture, the end times, and especially the Cross and Resurrection. Do they take the Word of Jesus literally? Many may focus on the love of Christ, which is good- but we need to believe on ALL His word, not just those which make us feel warm and fuzzy. Is Christ the only way or not? If you believe in Christ, are you willing to follow Him, wherever it leads, to pick up your cross, to die?

If you don't believe in Jesus, I hope you can see some of the things written, not only here, but in so many places, and more importantly, ask the Holy Spirit to Show you the Scriptures. If you don't know or think God exists- ask Him to show you.

Next time, we'll look more at the church, and more closely at what is in store for Bible believing Christians until the rapture.

Note~ Much of the material on the facts about the Jewish observance of The Festival of Weeks and the relation between the Festivals and the Rapture and facts of the Rapture was from Koinanoia House.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ezekiel Coming?

My last topic on No Apologies was concerning Israel, and specifically, the Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecy. I won't repeat the whole verse here, but it talks about the time when Israel's enemies will surround them, and God will intercede in such a way which the whole world will know that God is real, and that Israel was saved by His mercy for His people, and because of His judgement on those who have come against His people.

There are a two huge things which I've thought about this prophecy, and how it just may be the puzzle pieces which fit into place concerning the coming of the one world religion, and the spiritual awakening of Jews around the world.
I find it amazing how the events going on in the world are giving Bible believing Christians more and more of the puzzle, which are the Bible prophecies!
First of all- the things I'm talking about in this post are only my thoughts and ideas of what may happen. This is not a series of predictions, and I still claim that I am no prophet by any means. All I am is a simple person who has been learning about the Bible prophecies and the Word of God. Please keep this in mind as I go through the scenario in this post.

First of all, there is no argument about the fact that Israel is facing some extremely deadly threats- not only from Iran, which is the obvious. Russia, Libya, Syria and even Turkey are showing signs of power plays which all only lead to eventual conflict against Israel. Now, what is the common denominator with all of these countries? They are all either predominantly Islam nations, or have a large population of Islamic people.

When the Ezekiel Prophecies happen, and they will happen, what do you suppose will be the outcome of all of this? I mean, not only will these countries be severely stricken militarily, but it is my belief that Islam will be no more.
What I mean, is Muslim people will be looking at the beginning war against Israel from their religious perspective. They see this as one of the last important battles in jihad- the destruction of the Jews, and the taking of the land for Islam. They will have every belief that allah will give them victory and they will be watching the war very closely, as will the rest of the world, non Muslims included.

When The God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph destroy the armies of the Muslim countries who come against Israel, what will the Muslims have left to believe in? They will recognize enough of the miraculous happenings to know that God indeed was present in the battle- not allah, but God Almighty. They will, in the Words of the Scriptures, "Know that the Lord is God." It is my sincerest belief that Muslims will turn from belief in allah, and search the true God.
I'm not claiming that every Muslim will automatically become a Christian, but many, millions of them will realize that the Muslim faith is an empty faith, and search Scripture for the True God.

Consider also- the timing of the Ezekiel Prophecy. If this happens before the Tribulation time, and before the Rapture of Christ's own, many Muslims may end up being raptured along! All over the middle east, right now, thousands of Muslims are turning towards Christ. Many are having visions of Christ, and dreams concerning Him. It is straight out of Joel! There will be millions of former Muslims being raptured, so this idea is not so far fetched.

If this war happens at the beginning of the tribulation time, but after the rapture, this will be the removal of 2 of the World's largest and most prominent religions. The Bible believing Christians will be removed by the rapture (Next time I will be talking only about the rapture), and Muslims defeated by war, and the rest, turning to the True God of their brothers through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The Jews will be "awakened", that is, the scales that have kept them blinded about the Messiah will have fallen from their eyes. Israel will continue to be the "stumbling block" for the Antichrist. (I'll get to this in a minute).

When Biblical Christianity and Islam is no longer in the world religious picture, the vacuum will be filled quickly with the new one world religion of the liberal, watered down ear tickling, man centered (at first) feel good theology. This is something the atheists and agnostics can accept, because much of it is man centered and based on evolution ideas. It is something the new agers can accept because it is based on everyone on the path that suits them best, which all lead to the same place. It suits the humanists, socialist government because it is not seen as a threat, or a dangerous brain altering religion. It will be at first the accepted religion of the Antichrist, because it will lead into a time where the rest of the world will see the "miracles", they will "feel" the spirituality of this new charismatic, peaceful man.

All which will stand in his way, is the "stumbling block". Israel. By this time, Israel will have a new Temple, and they will have rededicated it and offering the daily sacrifices. The Antichrist will have to appease the Israelis for a little while- 3 and a half years to be exact. We'll learn more about that another time. Next time, as promised, we'll look at the Rapture of the Bible believing Church.

Until then, I just wanted to add, that one of the main reasons why I am doing this series, and keeping it out there is so Christians can see things a little more clear, if they have never read or heard of these prophecies. Also, for non believers, so they can watch and wait- seeing how world events coincide with the prophecies. I pray for those, that they will see God's hand in all the happenings, and see that He is in control- no matter how out of control things may be. He is a loving God who is waiting, has waited for millenia for everyone to come to Him.

The other reason I am keeping this series alive, is so when someday soon, the prophecies come to pass- people will remember not only my series, but search other sources as well and come to know Jesus Christ as their savior- and be able to, through the Holy Spirit, recognize the Antichrist for who he is, and who he belongs to. They will hopefully gain knowledge and faith, peace and strength to resist the Antichrist and persevere until the end when Jesus will come to make all things New.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Prophecies Part 2- As in the Days of Noah

One note I want to make here before I go on with the series. I will be posting them in different orders than when I first posted the series. Before, I tried to keep all of the prophecies in order as they come. While I could do that again, I have so much to talk about and so many notes from my original series, that it would take more months to reassemble everything. I'm not trying to be lazy, just posting each as they come to my mind in what I am seeing. God Bless!

From Matthew Chapter 24
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

I know that most have heard about the story of Noah and the ark- how animals came two by two and Noah and his family were safe from the flood, but there is so much more to the story than that. If you've ever read the account of Noah you know that Noah built that ark on direction from God, and that people who knew Noah laughed at him and mocked him. You can only imagine the types of things that people shouted at him, calling him stupid, or ridiculous. Telling him to forget that boat- live your life, and have fun. Do whatever you want. Be happy. They must have thought he was nuts. A fanatic. Sound familiar? Noah went through years and years of this, and I think he must have wondered more than a few times if what he was doing was really worth it. Well, he found out one day, as those first few rain drops fell, that yes, he had followed God through good and bad, and now, God was being faithful to him by saving him and his family from destruction. Not only though, did Noah have to listen to mockery and insults, no, he also implored his neighbors to turn from their wickedness, and help him- also to trust in God and be saved.

Yes, Noah did his share of evangelizing while he was building that ark. But the people would have none of it. As just like these days, people went on living their own lives, ignorant of what's to come. Not ignorant because of stupidity- but ignorance out of either ignoring the message so many have been telling them, or because they refuse to believe. People are buying and selling, giving and taking, getting married and raising kids. People are working and living. People are busy living. Is that wrong? No, of course not. It was God's command for us to scatter, be given in marriage and to populate the earth- as well as living His commands. It's this last part that so many have refused to follow.

With things political and things social, this world has come to the same place of society in Noah's day. So many things contrary to the laws of God- people not listening, but going on following their own way or the ways of whatever feels good for the moment- people are living contrary to God's commandments. People have, as in Jesus' day, ignored the message of the Messiah, the Savior, and gone on with their own thing. Those of us who are Bible believing Christians know that Jesus first came to save and show His love in sacrifice for our sins, but we also know that there will be a day when He comes back to judge the world for their non repentance for sins- those who have not asked Him to save them from sin. This is the great Judgment that most people who claim to know Jesus as a good teacher do not believe- that He is the one all who refused His salvation will have to come before some day in judgment.

People refuse to acknowledge that He will someday come to sift the wheat from the chaff- and those who denied Him, will be denied everlasting life with Him. These same people also think we're nuts because we believe that before the battle at Armageddon, or, as in the case of the Department of Homeland Security- we are dangerous because we believe in this. The body/church of His true followers will be raptured- that is taken away to Him, to leave the rest of the world to deal with the sin and wickedness of the Antichrist until Jesus comes for the final battle. I'm sure there will be many excuses from those who remain on this earth for the mass disappearance of Christ's faithful ones. Anything from sudden annihilation, or that we all got taken away by aliens to be reprogrammed or something. Even after warning after warning- they will still refuse to know that we are with Him, and they, unless they grasp the truth during the end of times, will be away from Him for eternity.

When I was not a Christian, I used to hear of people talking about this rapture business, and I thought it was a pile of hooey. I didn't understand it at the time, but since I've been born again of the Holy Spirit. I have come to see the verses myself which tells of the day- just not the hour, when Jesus will call all believers to Himself. The time is drawing steadily closer folks. Now is the time for decisions to be made. Will you put your trust in Him who declared Himself as the Only Way to God the Father, or will you still deny, even after the rest of us have been rescued as Noah was rescued from God's judgment?

I will talk more on the Rapture next time, as I know not everyone believes in this or some folks may not understand the meaning of the rapture.

End Note- you'll notice that in the above verses, Jesus calls Himself 'son of man'. Some claim that by calling himself that, He is not God in the flesh, but a perfect man born through man. Actually, in calling Himself this, He was declaring his deity. In verses such as this, you will also notice that the pharisees- went to pick up stones to kill Him- as they thought it was blasphemous- they knew exactly what He meant by calling Himself son of man. He is actually referring to one of the visions of Daniel in the old Testament, where Daniel says "I saw one 'like a son of man' coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the ancient of days and was lead into His presence. He was given the authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." Now this is describing a person who is in the very presence of God Almighty's throne, and given supreme dominion, authority and is to be worshipped. Throughout scriptures, it is only God Himself who is to be worshipped. Therefore, Jesus as one like a son of man, is not meant as for his humanity, but as One to be exalted.