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Yearly Archives: 2013
Most who watch the news in light of Bible prophecy agree that the world has moved into a time of birthpang-like convulsions. While such contractions have been observable for a long time, they seem now to be only minutes apart, rather than months and years apart, like in previous decades. It is with this frame of reference I would like to do some scenario postulating.
By doing so, I am setting myself up for severe criticism, I realize. So, I want to preface this in the strongest possible terminology. Please read carefully: This is from the thought process of Terry James, not from the mind of the Creator of all things. While I do believe the Lord gives discernment in the areas of things to come (prophecy yet future), He no longer reveals new prophetic truth in the sense He revealed prophecy to Old and New Testament prophets–i.e., God has given His Word, and there is nothing left to be given, so far as prophetic truth is concerned. Now, we who study the prophetic Word can get enlightenment and discernment. I base the following on that premise –that I sense possibilities, based upon prayer, study, and observation. What follows is postulation from a human being in God’s family (through belief in Jesus Christ as Savior). It is speculation, but, I believe, speculation that has been placed in my mind by the Holy Spirit. It is not a “word of knowledge,” as some would have it. It is an assiduously studied and prayed-over speculative insight, I believe.
It is with that understanding that I would like to look somewhat into things to come.
The prophet Zechariah comes most specifically to mind, when beginning these ponderings: “The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zech. 12: 1-3).
Israel appears to be headed toward exactly the isolation outlined in Zechariah’s prophecy for the end of human history. The tiny Jewish state is being more and more blamed by the international community for its retaliation against incessant attacks from its enemies. While terrorists are given shelter and endless supplies from countries like Iran, they are given time to resupply, rebuild their losses for their terroristic assaults by those like U.N. Secretaries, with cease-fire resolutions which, even if implemented, are kept only by the Israelis, never by the Hezbollah or Hamas or other murderers.
The latest convulsion brings to mind the question: Might this be the time violence will reach the level that is dangerous to the point world diplomats will become so terrified at the prospect of nuclear conflict they will demand peace above all other considerations? Here’s an interesting scenario:
Israel continues to move toward a preemptive attack to slow or eliminate Iran’s atomic weapons development. Israel becomes increasingly isolated in its determination to eradicate these terrorists who have bedeviled them throughout their modern nationhood.
Even within the U.S., there is an increasing cry for Israel to desist from its aggressive actions –which is exactly how the ever-present “peace” purveyors view the actions by Israel.
The tide in America turns more and more against Israel, while world media and the international community castigate the Jewish state at every turn. Israel’s only true friends are Christians in the United States who believe Israel is God’s chosen people and nation. While those Christians don’t approve of every action and everything Israel does, they continue to believe that Israel has the right to exist, and more than that, that Israel (the Jews) continues to be the heir to all of the land God granted it. The Lord has never gone back on His land covenant. “If his sons forsake My law, and do not walk in My judgments, if they violate My statues, and do not keep My commandments, then I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. But I will not break off My loving kindness from him, nor deal falsely in My faithfulness. My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever like the moon, and the witness in the sky is faithful” (Psa. 89:30-37).
Just as the war is about to explode into an uncontrollable conflict, the rapture of the Church occurs.
One can only faintly imagine the fear that will result. Every supporter of Israel’s right to exist, because of the belief that it has a God-given right to the land He gave it, has suddenly vanished without a trace –except for the material possessions left behind. Israeli leadership –especially the military leaders –panicked because of complete loss of this support, and with Washington and all of Israel’s key U.S. supportive structure gone, seeks to neutralize its enemies as quickly as possible.
They destroy Damascus with a tactical nuclear strike because that city is headquarters for every significant terrorist organization in the Middle East. Damascus, known as the oldest city of continuing existence in the world, is reduced to radiation-contaminated rubble: “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isa. 17:1).
Now the international community of nations is in sure enough distress, with perplexity! Israel has made itself a cup of trembling, and a burdensome stone.
Peace is the word most often heard, while the diplomats, and even the dictators, scream for Israel to be brought into subjection. But, Israel still holds the Samson Option (to bring everyone and everything down around it with all-out nuclear war, if it appears the Jewish state faces annihilation).
America is in chaos, having lost a sizable portion of population, including many who were in key positions of government and business. Who will pay the taxes? Who will pay off the tremendous personal debt that has been charged over the months and years preceding the disappearance?
America’s leadership looks for any solution to the chaos. The infrastructure is still there, but the nation is fumbling for any semblance of restoration to its former status as the world’s lone superpower.
The world searches for peace. America seeks desperately for something –someone, anyone—to restore its former glory. Israel faces destruction, and the diplomats in the know realize the Jews have vowed “Never again!”
Just as the world seems destined to come apart, a man of unusual diplomatic acumen and charisma is shoved forward out of the crowd of EU nations. He explains that Europe, unlike the U.S., hasn’t sustained the degree of loss of people. He has some answers to the itching ears and terror-stricken minds of everyone around the globe.
With America’s basic infrastructure of technology and nuclear arsenal still intact, he proposes the western world, with the EU at its center, restructure, bringing America under the umbrella of the Europeans’ governmental capability. He proposes a redistribution of the wealth of America –the wealth of those who disappeared– thrown into the mix to raise the unfortunates of the western world out of poverty. It will be a superstate to end all superstates!
Israel, he proposes, will have the complete protection of this burgeoning superstate. The caveat is that it must agree to disarm –to turn in its nuclear arsenal. It will be assured of its existence, and will be restored to favorable status within the community of nations.
There is no option for Israel other than this brilliantly conceived resolution. Israel accepts, and the agreement is made, based upon peace efforts that have been in process for years. It is a peace based upon the constructs of man’s capability to create the most magnificent society in history. Every person,once electronically documented, will be part of the new order. Terrorists and all others of diabolical bent will become manifest, and easier to eliminate.
Oh, well… Then I awake from my scenario-ponderings. Such a scenario might not be precisely the shape of things to come. But, our hourly headlines should nudge us to consider the possibilities.
The United States stands upon the brink of entering uncharted territory in many areas of national movement into the future. Economy is one such area. America’s Out of control momentum–generated by credit and market crises since the 2008 elections– pushes the nation toward a destiny the experts talk about but seem unable to comprehend, much less predict.
Uncertainty about petroleum and the end game for that critical commodity has for the moment left the forefront of national and international crises. But, don’t be lulled into thinking we’ve heard the last of extremely troubling energy prices that are tied up to that finite resource. America, the most dependent of all national oil-dependent entities, is but a Middle East crisis away from suffering problems even greater than the oil crisis of a few years ago.
Both matters are, of course, inextricably tied to one another. The petroleum crisis, mixed in with the monetary/credit fiscal affairs of all nations, means unprecedented global solutions are forthcoming–are already on their way, as a matter of fact. The resolution, or at least rational ways of dealing with this new global paradigm upon the brink of which America stands, almost certainly revolves around whether there is war or peace in the Middle East.
According to recent statistics, with America’s Gross National Product (GNP) down and consumer spending moving downward because of loss of confidence in job security and other economic realities or perceived realities, the nation seems to be in perpetual recession. European economic experts in some quarters say that some parts of Europe are definitely in deep recession. Business and consumers alike are looking to what the future holds with regard to projected economic circumstances and financial instrumentalities that might be employed to bring forth brighter prospects. When the gurus of global economics look at potential Mid-East turmoil, one thing stands out: There must be peace in the region for the world’s economy to get better, and stay better.
There is, by any rational account, enough blame to go around on how the U.S., thus the industrialized world, got into this mess. President Barack Obama’s dismal popularity statistics at this late hour of his administration demonstrate that the buck stops on the president’s desk. But there are, in the electorates’ view, apparently many bucks to go around because Congress, dominated during the Obama Administration by the Democratic Party, has a popularity rating even more dismal than the president’s. Clearly, though, the entire government is held accountable by the public.
The voter who wants to discern what is best for America in a geopolitical sense should look at the nation Israel. That nation, though tiny, is nonetheless a powerhouse that, despite the deluding voices that claim Israel is the problem in the Middle East, maintains the balance and stability that keep the region from boiling into total war. America’s alliance with the Jewish state is critical in helping maintain a perhaps uncomfortable, but working, stabilization.
Israel’s enemies are legendary for taking advantage of perceived weakness. Anyone who denies that just doesn’t know anything about the history of Mid-East war and peace and are sadly deluded–or are lying. And this brings up the critical nature of the American elections during this upcoming mid-term and then the presidential election year.
It is absolutely crucial to have a president and a working congressional bipartisanship that remain allied in an unyielding way to Israel.
Does this mean that Israel is never wrong? No, of course not. However, in matters of the Jewish state’s security –its right to exist–America must never relent. To do so would certainly bring on war. And Israel, despite its split leadership, has collectively vowed, “Never again!” This administration has clearly, undeniably, moved away from the commitment this nation has always held for the Jewish state. God, of course, is Israel’s ultimate Protector. There will never cease to be an Israel, from here to eternity. But, the Lord uses human offices to work in His dealings with mankind for the most part. Thus, America has been used to ally with Israel since its modern birth in 1948.
A president who moves America away from Israel will be disastrous. Such will be calamitous in the human alliance sense, but it will be much more so in the sense of violating the place in His plan that God has determined for the United States as the world moves into prophecy yet future. America’s desertion of Israel in any way whatever will be violation of Genesis 12:3.
Europeans, despite their jealousies of U.S. leadership and other antagonisms for America, understand at the top levels of leadership the importance of presidential elections for the world. A number of years ago, even before Obama was elected, one European leader expressed his concern. His worst fears have been born out, in my opinion. “JERUSALEM, Israel – French President Nicholas Sarkozy remains leery of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s stance on Iran, according to reports received by the Israeli government. In closed forums in France, Sarkozy called Obama’s statements on Iran ‘utterly immature’ and ‘formulations empty of all content.’ During Obama’s July visit to France, Sarkozy reportedly told the Democratic candidate that it would be ‘very problematic’ if the U.S. changes its policy toward Iran. Sarkozy is also concerned that if elected, Obama would attempt to ‘arrogantly’ override the U.N. Security Council’s position by making good on his promise to open direct dialogue with Iran without preconditions. Since their meeting, Sarkozy has continued to express disappointment with Obama’s stance on Iran, saying that it’s ‘not crystallized,’ and ‘many issues’ remain open…” (“Sarkozy Wary of Obama’s Iranian Stance,” CBNNews.com,10/28/08).
Much of Sarkozy’s concerns have materialized, it is disturbing to say. Every week I receive emails castigating me for concerning myself with political issues–with election matters. By insinuating ourselves into this earthly process of governing, I am–so the arguments go—becoming part of the humanistic drive that will enslave mankind under Antichrist.
I consider my concern for who is elected our leaders a matter of occupying until our Lord calls us to himself, either through death or, I prayerfully hope, in the rapture. I am convinced by God’s Word that, like each one who reads this and is a born-again member of God’s family, we are to serve as royal ambassadors while here. We are to be salt and light to an ever-darkening world.
Giving the Gospel message is the Christian’s number-one priority, of course. But, Jesus said in His Great Commission that we should teach whatever He taught while we go through this life. Part of the Lord’s teaching was to show the way for the world to live righteously under God’s rules–rules that Jesus Christ fulfilled on the cross. The Lord of heaven sets up nations and their leaders, the Bible tells us, and He brings them down. He wants us involved.
He commanded us to bless Israel. We will thereby be blessed by God. We are to stand for not shedding the blood of innocents. We are to uphold God’s prescription for the marriage relationship. We are to fight against the evils of this world. Sometimes that means fighting evil physically through the courts–through the political process, as well as through the spiritual warfare given in Ephesians 6.
As a matter of fact, dealing physically or literally, and dealing spiritually with God’s prescription for life on Planet Earth are not mutually exclusive. We must be involved; God demands it!
My research in writing my book –The American Apocalypse: Is the United States in Bible Prophecy?—(released in 2009) took me back to God’s harsh dealing with America in the 1930s. The things Americans suffered were considered by preachers and politicians alike to be God’s wrath and judgment.
One well-known writer, John Steinbeck, even gave his famous novel on that depressed time in America the title, The Grapes of Wrath. America had gone through a tremendous time of growth and relative prosperity during the “Gay 90s” (for the younger readers, it had nothing to do with the Clinton years, nor with homosexuality). It was the 1890s, and the term “gay” still enjoyed its proper definition.
Despite the early 1900s bringing about World War I, the nation leaped forward, and soon the “Roaring Twenties” brought forth the flappers and boisterous, even debauched, “good times.” Reformers tried to squash the hedonism, and with the passage of the 18th Amendment instituted prohibition against alcohol manufacture, sale, and transportation. The action only increased rebellion against morality. American gangsters took over, and illegal booze, gambling, and every other type of nefarious activity permeated culture and society.
Then in 1929 came the stock market crash in the United States, and worldwide depression quickly followed. The wrath of God had fallen! Or had it?
No, it had not. Neither had His judgment against America’s sin fallen upon the nation, thus affecting the world–not in the sense of God’s great judgment that came upon the antediluvians, the wicked, violent, even genetically corrupted earth dwellers of Noah’s day.
But God’s mighty hand of correction through the Great Depression and the horrendous “Dust Bowl” era came down hard on the backside of this nation He so manifestly chose to accomplish great things for His great purposes. Those things would include, in particular: 1) developing the technologies that would spread the gospel around the entire world, and 2) to act as midwife for the birth of modern Israel on May 14, 1948, and to become that Jewish peoples’ closest ally–an ally which just happened to soon become the most materially blessed, most powerful, and most influential nation the world has ever known.
America has, despite recession, economic downturns, and wars that took thousands of young American lives, known a standard of living and pleasures–both unsullied and debauched—like no generation of any people in history. The profoundly disturbing questions to ponder are: Will God choose to again correct this special nation called America? Or, will He take His hand off to an extent, allowing the U.S. to find its own way, which is what the majority of the electorate seems to want?
Daily I get email from people who fear this nation will now feel the Lord’s hand of wrath. The die is cast, as one of Shakespeare’s characters said. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that “judgment and wrath is about to fall” opinion. At least not in the immediate near term way many who send the fear-filled emails believe.
God’s wrath is building. It will be unleashed when the “prince that shall come” confirms the covenant with Israel and Israel’s antagonists (Daniel 9:26-27). That pouring out of God’s anger won’t happen until the Church is removed. However, there is almost certainly a heavenly decision that has already been made, and is even now in the process of implementation. It is likely the decision to either take corrective measures as in God’s past dealings with America in order to get this nation back on the moral course, to complete its work in His grand prophetic design, or to give rebellious masses what they more and more demonstrate they demand. They demand freedom to choose what is right in their own eyes.
God’s decision to take His hand off to some extent would be far more fearful than His again taking corrective action like world economic depression. To let the rebels do what is right in their own eyes, thus casting God away from any semblance of divine guidance, means America’s work is done. That is indeed a frightening thing to contemplate.
I must say that I, with reverential consideration, don’t expect immediate meltdown and correction from Almighty God. I believe with all that is within me that He has been demonstrating corrective movements over the past years and months–movements that have gone unheeded by even the majority of His people. These have chosen, it is obvious to me, at least, to bury their heads in the sands of watered-down messages that have practically no relevance to God’s message of doctrinal truth. Rather than revival, there have been false, emotional outbursts that have done disservice to the Lord who purchased each and every one who has been born again. It seems to me that the Church’s work, like that of America, has almost run its course.
Dave Hunt once wrote a book called Peace, Prosperity, and the Coming Holocaust. His basic premise was that this fallen world system, and particularly the United States and even the Church, would be drawn ever deeper into believing in humanistic salvation by seeming peace and prosperity. He demonstrated, then, through historical precedent and Bible prophecy both past and yet to come that the world of fallen man will at a future time of unprecedented evil activity on earth endure a holocaust far worse than that perpetrated by Adolf Hitler. The end will bring, he concluded, God’s wrath and judgment on an incorrigibly wicked world.
I believe America and the world might yet have another burst of so-called peace and prosperity. But the “change” the country and the world is clamoring for through trust in human governmental entities rather than God’s moral governance will, as my friend Dave Hunt wrote, swiftly bring the holocaust of the tribulation.
Let us pray for the president –even when it seems to do no good– and for all governmental leaders, so that we might lead peaceful lives. This is commanded of us by the Lord. But, let us work to complete whatever He puts in front of us to do for the Kingdom. Let us, as Oswald Chambers entitled his book of devotions, do “Our utmost for His highest” while our fleeting time remains upon this fallen sphere.
So many end-times signals pervade the present hour that it’s difficult to choose one for this column. They are all important to our being faithful watchmen on the wall. We can always present analysis of news from Israel and the Middle East, or from the European Union, Russia, Iran, Iraq and China. We can–and often do—observe geophysical signals that look much like prophecy in the making. Economy, religion, and societal and cultural matters are most often somewhat less manifest on our prophecy screens of observation. Hidden down in the sub-strata of these categories are issues and events that are most often missed, or ignored. The old adage “can’t see the forest for the trees” applies in these cases. These are the issues that have become such a part of American–and even foreign—cultural life that we often miss their significance.
I would like to deal with one area of these prophetic sub-categories for a moment. Actually, the potential ramifications involved in this singular issue likely will be at the very heart of rebellious mankind’s final rebellion against God, as follows:
“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds” (Rev. 16:10-11).
I would like to examine one of the “deeds” of which these hell-bound rebels will refuse to repent. This is because I believe this particular “deed” is becoming a prodigious problem in our time. We recently witnessed this through news media that has obviously gone completely bonkers in its obsession in reporting the matters involved.
The prophecy is given as part of the Apostle Paul’s “perilous times” forewarnings: “For men shall be…incontinent, fierce…” (2 Tim. 3:2-3). The word “incontinent” here doesn’t mean that adult diapers are required. The term means people will be unwilling and/or unable to control their desires. They will be totally addicted. Here’s the prophecy that captures the particular addiction to which that left-behind people will be willfully enslaved: “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Rev. 9:21).
The problem, so critical in our day that it is almost certainly the great addiction that will fulfill this prophecy during the most terrible time of judgment during the tribulation, is wrapped up in the word “sorceries.” Its root meaning is key to understanding what this great addiction will be when Revelation 9:21 comes to pass. Here is what one of the best Bible teachers to ever live–in my view–has to say about this matter:
“Sorceries” is the Greek word pharmakeion, from which we get our English word “pharmacy.” Pharmacy means “drugs”. What were called drugstores when I was a boy are now called pharmacies. The Great Tribulation will be a period when the use of drugs will not be controlled. Drugs will play a large part in the lives of the unsaved and will serve several purposes. Drugs will enable them to bear the judgments of the Great Tribulation…” (Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Edited Messages Commentary, p. 971).
News media reporters and pundits, as well as many of the fans/followers of the entertainment industry celebrities and their activities, are stunned when their heroes and heroines die as result of drug overdose. We remember Heath Ledger, the 28-year-old Australian actor who starred in “The 10 Things I Hate About You,” in Mel Gibson’s “The Patriot,” and in “Brokeback Mountain,” was found nude and lifeless in his New York City apartment. He is but one of many within the entertainment business to die from deliberate or accidental overdose. The drugs that took the actor’s life were, apparently, prescription–not illicit in nature.
We remember Judy Garland’s and Marilyn Monroe’s stories. John Belushi, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Anna Nicole, and dozens more have gone the way of one form or the other of pharmakeion.
Sadly, we are given the media eye’s view of possible tragedies in the making when the paparazzi follow the lives of stars like Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan. Drugs and alcohol, according to news reports, are at the center of many of the bizarre incidents in which these young people are involved.
Those who name the name of Christ should pray for these caught up in this demon world of addictions, rather than simply cast invectives, saying overtly, or in effect, that they deserve what they get. Their influence on the youth of America is considerable, and we should pray that they turn in the opposite direction and become truly positive role models. God loves them and wants to bring them out of the darkness of this world, which is ruled over by the devil and his minions.
The perilous times Paul foretells are with us, we can know, because the Scripture frames precisely what we see today: “For men shall be … incontinent, fierce…” (2 Tim. 3:2-3).
There is no doubt that the most violent crimes in the news today are usually reported in tandem with drug dealings. Both dealers and those under the influence of pharmakeion are the fiercest among us. No one is safe when standing between the dealers and their drug money, or the addicts and their next fix.
The prophecy in Revelation proves the demonic, supernatural strength of addictions. With the very last vials of God’s pure wrath being poured upon the rebellious earth-dwellers, they, rather than repent and plead for mercy, shake their fists in the Creator’s face and curse Him. As bad as the addictions are at present, they, according to God’s prophetic Word, are scheduled to get infinitely worse as mankind moves down the hellish path prepared for them by Satan and his demonic hordes.
Pray for those held in this bondage. Only Christ’s return as King of Kings can and will ultimately prevail against this thing called pharmakeion. It is one of the most prominent end-times signals to be found in this generation.
I preface these thoughts by saying that all conspiracy ranting goes against my basic worldview, with the exception of one conspiracy, which is not theory, but fact. Satan and his minions are out to destroy all human beings to the extent it is possible for them to do so. This is made clear in many Scriptures, but none is so concise as this one: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).
It is in this context that we should be concerned about developments taking place with regard to economic rearrangements within the North American continent. We need to keep in mind that it is not politicians and diplomats who are conspiring to do sinister things in order to somehow create a hemispheric dictatorship. For the most part, I believe we can give them the benefit of the doubt. They believe economic rearrangements into a unified order will produce a higher quality of life for all concerned.
However, Satan intends something entirely different than that scenario, and he does indeed stalk about, orchestrating the rearrangements that will, ultimately, destroy the majority of mankind during the last seven years of human history known to Bible prophecy dispensationalists as the tribulation, also known as Daniel’s seventieth week. This era, of course, will be the dispensation ruled over in large part by Antichrist and his regime of absolute control. We can get the first glimpse of this coming tyrannical world government in the following:
“And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay” (Dan. 2:40-43).
The prophet Daniel interpreted Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a gigantic statue of a man. This, Daniel told the king, represented four world kingdoms, of which Nebuchadnezzar was the head. The final world kingdom was represented by the legs of iron, the prophet foretold, and the feet and 10 toes of that dream-vision image will represent the final world kingdom in its revived and most murderous form. Here is what God’s prophetic Word has to say about that final regime:
“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (Rev. 17:12-13).
This final world power, then, will have 10 separate spheres of influence that will all agree to come under the auspices of “the beast,” who will be none other than Antichrist. Read Revelation 13 to see the development of this satanically inspired, and ultimately indwelt, prince who will come (Daniel 9:26).
These will be “of one mind,” but will not “cleave” (or stick together) one to another. These will have great power, and it will all flow to Antichrist. The conglomerate whole will constitute a one-world order, or, as the concept used to be called under President George H.W. Bush, “the New World Order.” Powerful economic dynamics will drive this beast-regime. Remember, the root of all kinds of evil is the love of money, according to God’s Word (1 Tim. 6:10).
A large part of our charge by the Lord as watchmen on the wall is to watch issues and events of these times to determine where we might stand as a generation on God’s prophetic timeline; i.e., determining just how near we might be to the tribulation era, thus to the rapture of the Church, which will precede that time of God’s wrath. We have pointed and continue to point to the many signals that show how very near we must be to that world-stupefying event. All indicators show that we are very near indeed!
Israel is again a nation, surrounded by enemies, and is the center of attention for world media and diplomats. Paul’s perilous times of 2 Timothy 3 are exploding on the current scene throughout all societies and cultures. I’ve pointed to the fact that we seem to be in the midst of a revisitation by the fallen angels who again want to delude people, just as in the days of Noah, and like Jesus prophesied as recorded in Luke 17: 26-27. (I believe the words of Daniel 2: 43, “…they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men…” have something to do with these inter-dimensional beings insinuating themselves into the developing 10-kingdom mix, as they did in antediluvian times.)
Ancient Persia, in the form of modern-day Iran, is cozy with Russia, just as the Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecies foretold the people of these geographical areas will be at the time of the end, when the Gog-Magog attack into the Middle East and Israel is scheduled to occur. All of these things are coming in wave after wave, in birthpang-like frequency and intensity, like Hal Lindsey likes to say, and as Jesus prophesied in the Olivet Discourse.
The European Union looks very much to be the matrix out of which the 10-power kingdom of Revelation 17:12-13 will grow, and out of which the man of sin, Antichrist, will spring to power. So, the question to ask, so far as the subject we are addressing now is concerned is: Do we see any indications of the separate powers developing that will “give their power and authority to the beast”?
Again, I’m not clasping onto any conspiracy theory in this regard, involving human geopolitical leadership. Man simply hasn’t the intellectual or derived powers to either formulate or carry out such a scheme. But, in my view, Satan certainly does have that ability –and, he is beginning to arrange things in preparation for his man of the tribulation hour, the guy whose number somehow equates to 666 –the Antichrist. The answer to the question is, I’m convinced, yes! We are seeing movement toward geographical powers trying to rearrange into configuration that might one day be the 10-kingdom entity that will give their power and authority to the beast. Rearrangements by the internationalist, human principalities in high places have been in process of manipulation and orchestrated to the tune of the old serpent, Satan, for decades. The North American Free Trade Agreement office in the Department of Commerce, commissioned to implement the Security and Prosperity Partnership, or SPP, would, upon full implementation of the globalists’ intentions, merge the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a new governmental, world trade bloc.
Developments around the world in geopolitical-economic matters, are shaping in a way that portends just the types of arrangements forecast in Daniel 2:43 and Revelation 17:12-13. GATT (Guaranteed Agreements on Trade and Tariffs), WTO (World Trade Organization) movement, and all of the other powerful monetary pressures for a one-world economy bring that final global tyrannical regime into view. The tribulation toes are forming rapidly in these troubling yet exciting times.
Perhaps no other classification of prophetic indicators exhibits more ubiquitous/prolific such end-time signs in this generation than the category “other gospels.” The Scriptures are found back-to-back, and are repeated by the Apostle Paul for emphasis.
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8-9).
This specific prophetic warning for the last generation just before Christ’s return is again given by the great Apostle and prophet, Paul: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
Satan comes at this generation with a full, frontal assault that no Christian should fail to recognize. Tragically, most do miss the attacks, so wrapped in the entertainment hyperbole of the day are they, their eyes on the glitter and glitz of the Hollywood hucksters of lasciviousness. Two examples of the frontal assaults in this regard were the novel, The Da Vinci Code, and the archaeological artifact and subsequent documentary film, The Gospel of Judas.
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Browns sold more than 40-million-plus copies. A major motion picture of the same title drew multiple throngs and rang the cash registers at the box offices. In essence, the work is a clever, but complete fabrication of matters surrounding Roman Emperor Constantine and his treatment of and interaction with Christianity. The story distorts and totally misrepresents the relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus. It gives Jesus greatly diminished status and a nature that is willing to enter into collusion with those who would fake His death, burial and resurrection. As if those blasphemies were not enough, Brown takes up the line of fiction that follows the trail of the search for the Holy Grail from the Holy Land into Europe, where the British Israel theory was hatched –the preposterous notion that Jesus and Mary were married and issued forth offspring that still can claim royal lineage to Christ today.
Sadly, much of the replacement theology of our time is based in this satanic tripe because of the ignorance of those who hold to the belief that Israel no longer is heir to God’s promises to them. The blasphemy of claiming God would ever renege on an unconditional promise is held as doctrinal truth by major denominations within Christianity today. I believe it is one of the key elements of doctrinal integrity that will one day separate the Philadelphian Church from the Laodicean (read Rev. 3:7-19).
The second most overt frontal assault is currently being made by Satan and his minions through The Gospel of Judas. This is a complete upside-down lie that makes Judas not Jesus’ worst human enemy, but His best friend! It is incredible that we could come to this point in the perversion of God’s truth. But, here we are, right on schedule in relationship to all other prophetic signs of the times, so far as God’s prophetic Word is concerned.
One writer of a major publication framed The Gospel of Judas like this:
“…What will make this gospel famous—or infamous, perhaps—is that it portrays Judas quite differently from anything we previously knew. Here he is not the evil, corrupt, devil-inspired follower of Jesus who betrayed his master; he is instead Jesus’ closest intimate and friend, the one who understood Jesus better than anyone else, who turned Jesus over to the authorities because Jesus wanted him to do so. This gospel has a completely different understanding of God, the world, Christ, salvation, human existence—not to mention of Judas himself—than came to be embodied in the Christian creeds and canon. It will open up new vistas for understanding Jesus and the religious movement he founded” (Bart Ehrman, et al., “The Gospel of Judas,” National Geographic, 2006).
As disturbing as these blasphemies are, there are others far more troubling, in my view. They are far more troubling because they come, supposedly, from within Christianity. The most egregious examples are the new Bible versions based upon texts other than the authorized.
There isn’t space to go into detail here, but the new “Bibles” that tone down the blood atonement of Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection, or that relegate God to gender-neutral status rather than acknowledging Him in the masculine –that try to present a message that we shouldn’t concern ourselves with things like judgment, punishment, or Hell –that we shouldn’t concern ourselves with Christ’s coming again and the prophetic Word, are not Heaven-sent, but hell-spawned.
Let us not be deceived by those who seek to diminish Jesus Christ in any form. Let’s not fall for any other gospel, but be fortified and edified by that once given –the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10). That is essential to understand in this last time.
Most every signal is appearing on the landscape of this generation. We’ve pointed to them time and time again in these commentaries. Primary in our look at prophetic matters are things wrapped up in geopolitics. Israel, in particular, we’ve pointed out numerous times, is at the center of the last-days analysis.
All of earth’s diplomatic machinery seems geared to deal with the potential for nuclear conflict in the Middle East. And, one can’t think of the Middle East turmoil without acknowledging that the tiny nation Israel would likely be the ignition point for what many fear will become Armageddon. Religion is an area that continually draws our attention as prophecy watchers, using God’s Word, the Bible, as the blueprint for the consummation of human history.
There is scheduled, according to that blueprint, the amalgamation of many religions, and an apostasy that will culminate in a vast religious conglomerate that will be antithetical to all that is the true Church of Jesus Christ. Even the evangelical members of the Body of Christ have begun to seriously give way to the apostasia predicted in 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2. Many have joined the entertainment-mad world of secularism in their delusion that greater numbers in the sanctuaries translates to a greater spirituality. The question that must be asked, however, is: to what “spirituality” does such clamoring after truly lead?
Signs in the heavens and the earth have begun to manifest themselves. This is not to say that these are the “signs in the heavens and the earth” prophesied by the Lord Jesus for the time of great tribulation. Those spasms will be infinitely more powerful and intense, no doubt. But, they could easily be viewed as early birth pangs that are leading swiftly toward the “time of sorrows” Jesus plainly predicted. The record hurricanes, droughts, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and the rest are convulsions of a planet pregnant with judgment that continues to fill in God’s cup of wrath.
Jesus words, as I’ve suggested before, seem to be coming true in our time. He told the pious religionists who commanded him to stop the people from shouting “Hosanna!” while He rode the little donkey into Jerusalem to offer himself as Israel’s Messiah: “…I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Lk. 19:40).
The people of Planet Earth are, for the most part, “holding their peace” –i.e., are denying Christ and rebelling against the Heavenly Father. The very elements in the astrophysical and geophysical realms are, in my view, therefore, increasingly crying out.
All of the above are strong signals of the last time in which we live. But, the signal that makes even spiritually attuned prophecy watchers, who would be normally on guard for the subtleness of time as it creeps toward the era of apocalypse, like the proverbial frog in the boiling pot, is money. Mammon, the love of which is the root of all evil, slowly weaves its web like a deadly spider, networking and ensnaring, until liberty itself is encased in a cocoon of soul-destroying bondage. We see the ultimate outcome of the evil Babylonian system of economics. It is indeed a frightful picture for the generation of earth dwellers that will have to endure it. The captains of industry will lament its destruction by the wrathful hand of God.
“And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!” (Rev. 18: 11-18).
Just as we can see the many other signals of the gathering hurricane of apocalypse, we see that end-time economics –the world’s love of money—has long been in the process of gelling into a glue-like quagmire, out of which the people of earth will not be able to extricate themselves. As a matter of fact, God’s Word prophesies that there will be a group of economic masters who will one day enjoy power at the level just below earth’s supreme tyrant, Antichrist, himself! The Scripture says:
“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (Rev. 17:12-13).
The proverbial frog continues to boil. Even God’s children are lulled into the false sense of security economic prosperity brings. In fact, lust for financial prosperity is at the very heart of some of the most profound problems faced by the Church today. Just channel through the religious networks, and watch and listen to the message that bombards your eyes and ears. The prosperity message is ubiquitous over the air and on cable satellite transmissions. The love of money is painfully obvious, while Christ’s gospel suffers, and the souls of men, women, and children hang in the balance.
We have mentioned many times the technologies that are enslaving the people of earth. The computer and surveillance cameras, the chips and the erosion of constitutional safeguards. But, it is the stratospherics of global economics to which average citizens can’t begin to relate.
More and more the European Union (EU) is at stage center in planning that involves world trade, just as the EU more and more asserts itself into the affairs of Israel, and the ongoing efforts to, if not bring peace to the Middle East, at least do something to avert nuclear conflict in the region. The Bible foretells that the Antichrist will come from the geographical area that is at the heart of the EU. We can sense his foreshadow, while the World Trade Organization (WTO) meets at Brussels and brainstorms to develop trading bloc regions around the globe. The EU, of course, is at the very center of all the grandiose planning.
Seems innocuous enough, doesn’t it? The world economic web, however, is being finely woven, and intertwined by collusion that will eventuate in Revelation chapter 18, when God must catastrophically destroy all that rebellious mankind has constructed.
Believers in Jesus Christ, in terms of the majority, don’t recognize the crucial prophetic times in which this generation finds itself. To prove this, just ask almost anyone you know –outside of the very few Christians of your acquaintance who might consider prophetic issues– and watch the blank stares, the smiles, with accompanying gesticulations that indicate they don’t worry, or even think about these things. Observe, while they quickly go onto other subjects, like “what’s for dinner,” “who’s getting married,” “who’s getting a divorce,” “who’s living with whom,” or a thousand and one other more generationally appropriate topics –in their view—than where we are at present on God’s prophetic timeline.
When the Christian who is truly a student of what God has to say about things to come stops to analyze the flood of prophecy-laden matters deluging this generation, he or she quickly realizes that we are at the very door that will open into the tribulation. But, he or she knows – if prayerfully diligent in studying God’s prophetic Word, (i.e., is led by the Holy Spirit to truth) and is thus discerning in analyzing world conditions– that another door is about to swing open. That is the door that leads through the fabric of space and time. The door that will be opened by Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ IS that door! After all, He said”…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
And, the things for the discerning Christian to consider are staggering in numbers, and in prophetic relevance. Of these many things of prophetic import we could think upon, none is more glaring at this moment –in my view—than signals of Christ’s coming again wrapped up in the title of this commentary article: “Endtime Perplexity.”
The prophecy was given by Jesus in His Olivet Discourse, as recorded in the following:
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring” (Lk. 21:25).
Review, for just a moment, the dynamics shaping up endtime world conditions while this generation rages toward Daniel’s 70th week –the seven years of tribulation, when God’s wrath will begin falling upon incorrigibly rebellious mankind.
Israel is at the very center of the last-time perplexity, just as Jesus and the Old and New Testament prophets foretold. Think of it! Everything of great significance, so far as world conditions are concerned, points right back at Israel!
1) Islamist Jihadists are in control of the Palestinian drive for statehood. Muslim terrorists are on record, determined to expunge Israel from the region. These are blood-vowed to kill every Jew they find.
2) Iran’s leadership is threatening to develop (might already have) the ability to produce nuclear weapons. The purpose is to annihilate Israel –and any other nation that gets in Iran’s path.
3) Islamic hate-filled doctrinal differences perplex American military planners in trying to deal with the Syrian war where the Obama administration is on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood, which are bad actors at least the equivalent of Basher Al-Assad’s brutal regime. The seas and waves of humanity are indeed “roaring.”
4) Islamic fascist-like, rage-filled terrorists on a world-wide basis, incite masses to attack and destroy even their own possessions in Europe and other places. Christ’s words “nation (ethnos –or ethnic entities) shall rise against nation…” have been fulfilled to some extent in our time.
Certainly, there can be no doubt that this is happening en masse across the world. Again, for most who are leaders of nations represented in the U.N., Israel is the chief reason for troubles everywhere on earth. Anyone who supports Israel in any fashion comes under the radical Islamic threat of sword applied to the neck. Then there is the cry for “peace and safety.” But there is total disregard for the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. At the risk of being castigated as “touching the anointed,” I must say that even the major players among pastors and leaders of churches in this Laodicean era have a P.E.A.C.E. plan for saving the world from perplexity.
It won’t work, of course. Peace –even if used in clever, marketing terms of acronym—–such as that mentioned above issued by Rick Warren some years ago–will fail. Only the Prince of Peace, and His godly, Heaven-sent peace will bring the raging seas of humanity under control, like He did the storm-driven waters on the Sea of Galilee those millennia ago.
Christians, it is past time to awake from the slumber under which the Church of Jesus Christ has –for the most part— been put, since allowing Satan and his minions to pull their deception over the spiritual eyes of many individual believers. We are at that point–in attitude–at the end of the age, about which Jesus forewarned:
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matt. 24:44).
To me, this is near the top among the most foreshadowing of the perplexities about which our Lord prophesied: the question of why Christians will not awake in this endtime era, and look around at all that points directly at the truth that we are, as a generation of earth dwellers, on the very cusp of the apocalypse, of tribulation.
This should make us, rather than be filled with only thoughts of earthly things, busily engaged in activities spiritually ripe with great anticipation of the “blessed hope” of Titus 2:13. He could come at any second, and all of the things of this fallen world instantly will no longer matter to the Christian of the Church Age. We will stand before Him, and see Him face to face, and give account for our attitude toward Him, and activities for Him, when we were in this life back on Planet Earth.
Replacement theology continues to be the most troubling aspect of the developing apostasy –which I believe could well be the endtime “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2. I’ve given it –in my view– the more appropriate designation, “replacement theologofolly,” because that is just what it is. It is religious folly at its egregious worst.
It cuts to the heart of Satan’s war on God Almighty, and it is foolishness at the most profound level.
The prophet John wrote the Lord’s description and condemnation of the final false religious system: “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Rev. 17:4-5).
God’s Word further describes punishment for this final religious product the apostates will produce: “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire” (Rev. 17:16).
So, God views through the prism of extreme, though righteous, anger this horrendous system that will dominate –at least for a time—the whole world with its anti-God activity. This one-world false system of worship will be presided over by the false prophet of Revelation, who will point all worship, ultimately, to the beast –Antichrist. The prophecy says: “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed” (Rev. 13:11-12).
One thing in particular will be at the root of this tribulation-era harlot system. That will be the hatred of Israel and all other things that belong to God’s perfect order. It is not a new world order, but ancient world disorder that will reign for a time on Planet Earth. Satan has, from his invasion at the Garden of Eden, sought to attack the seed of humankind, thus to try to prevent the Deliverer –Israel’s Messiah—from coming into the world and completing His mission. The mission is to offer himself as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world for the redemption of all who will accept Jesus Christ as Savior.
When Jesus said, “It is finished,” on the Cross at Calvary, that sacrifice was complete. Thus Satan was defeated at that time of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. But, the old red dragon, Satan, still is determined to deceive as many as possible, and to inflict as much agony as possible on the world. He particularly wants to inflict his horrors on the people chosen to be the seed through which Messiah would be born.
Israel –as any student of human history who approaches the study with an open mind will attest—has been vilified and persecuted as no other race of people. And, in this generation, the worst of all persecution of Israel is at hand, in preparation for the tribulation genocide against that race –the Jews.
The worst of all of history’s persecutions of Israel is at hand in this generation, because that persecution comes from within the Body of Christ. This is particularly manifest when observing the Presbyterian Church in America. The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. has for a number of years made it its official policy to divest itself of all business dealings with the nation of Israel. The policy was based upon the attitude that Israel is occupying territory that is rightfully the Palestinian people’s land. They view Israel as having no special right given them by God. As a matter of fact, the church’s almost universal belief is that the Body of Christ (all who believe in Christ for salvation) has replaced Israel so far as God’s promises to the Jews are concerned. They claim that the promises of God’s land grant to Israel was conditional, based upon Israel’s obedience to God. When Israel rejected their Messiah, they forfeited all claims to God’s promises to them.
For the world at large to claim Israel is an interloper and the key troublemaker in the Middle East is one thing, but for a major denomination within Christianity to claim that the Jew is finished in God’s view is apostate thinking of apocalyptic dimension. Thus, it is with interest we observe while the Presbyterian U.S.A. church changes its replacement stand to a very modest degree. Could it be that some who truly know Christ within the organization have absorbed a bit of Holy Spirit light?
The lead portion of a story from a number of years ago says: “The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted yesterday to back off from a decision it made two years ago to pursue divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s involvement in the Palestinian territories. The resolution, passed overwhelmingly at the church’s general assembly in Birmingham, Ala., responded to outcries by some church members and Jews who accused the church of insensitivity to Israel. The resolution apologized for ‘the pain that this has caused’ among ‘many members of the Jewish community and within our Presbyterian communion'” (Laurie Goodstein, Presbyterians Revise Israel Investing Policy, June 22, 2006).
The change in policy has apparently done nothing to negate Presbyterian theological folly that God is through with Israel. This said because that denominational sector continues to deny Bible Truth about God’s dealing with Israel. The earlier apology seems to have been simply nothing more or less than a return to good business practice. Good business, from the world’s standpoint, is precisely the accusation the prophecies of Revelation, Chapter 17, level at the apostate harlot who rides the beast regime.
We strongly urge all who hold to the folly of replacement theology to change their satanically-inspired view before it’s too late.
Every year we observe D-Day in honor of the Allied forces who invaded parts of Europe, the action that began in earnest the drive toward victory over Hitler’s Nazi military in 1944.
I want to think with you about the present invasion taking place. This contemporary assault is infinitely more deadly than the dangers faced in that long-ago invasion of France. It is infinitely more dangerous because it is –in truth— supernatural, i.e., involves eternal matters. It involves the spiritual world rather than the physical. I should say it involves the spiritual MORE than the physical world, because both worlds are intricately intertwined.
Again, I see two primary areas of Holy Scripture involved in this warfare. Both emphasize the supernatural dangers and the spiritual nature of the warfare.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5: 8). So, Satan is the general leading this endtime assault. He leads some quite terrifying forces in this stalking back and forth upon Planet Earth. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).
With but a modicum of effort in searching through the Word of God about endtime things, we can make the linkage of how the contemporary assault by Satan and his forces of evil links to the devil’s past efforts. And, we can see where it is all leading in this wind-up of human history.
These last-days things are refreshed in my mind, while I recall promoting my novel of several years ago –The Rapture Dialogues. The subtitle: “Dark Dimension” says it all. The endtime warfare is with extra dimensional beings, not extraterrestrial beings. We can identify these supposedly unidentified flying objects if we open our minds and hearts through spiritual discernment written about in 1 Corinthians 2:14.
The linkage between the human, fleshly elements of this conflict and the supernatural or spiritual elements is undeniable if we properly analyze and dissect the matters involved.
Jesus –the greatest of all prophets (because He is God) said the following: “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Lk. 17:26-30).
Jesus foretold that history would repeat itself. Things will happen almost precisely like they happened in Noah’s day before the Flood, and in the days of Lot and the destruction of Lot’s hometown, Sodom, and its neighbor town, Gomorrah. What happened that was so grievous to the Lord that He determined to completely erase these societies from the earth’s surface?
I believe it was sin, of course, speaking in general terms. Sin always ultimately brings God’s wrath and judgment. The wages of sin is death, the Scripture tells us. But I see a much more specific sin that lies at the heart of the civilizations mentioned in those judgments of the antediluvian world, and the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The linkage is strong between the fleshly or physical realm, and the spiritual or supernatural realm in these cases. The linkage is made clear in the following verse –at least to me.
“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities” (Jude 1:6-8).
Do you see that linkage? It is the phrase “going after strange flesh” that links the human to the supernatural, in considering the matter of this endtime invasion which Jesus prophesied will be a recurrence of soul/flesh-corrupting things that happened in antediluvian and ancient times.
In the matter of the supernatural realm, we see in Genesis 6:1-3 that the “sons of god” went after “strange flesh,” i.e., a number of angels who fell with Lucifer in the great rebellion, and were cast out of Heaven, saw the “daughters of men” (human women) and came down to them, and cohabited with them–producing hybrid offspring of the natural and the supernatural. Going after “strange flesh,” then, means doing something that is against the order God established.
These offspring were “men of renown,” the Scriptures tell us. These were doubtless the creatures from which Greek, Norse, and Roman mythologies derive to some extent.
Genesis, chapter 19, tells the full story of the “strange flesh” Jude alludes to in verses 6-8. This is expounded upon by Paul the apostle in Romans chapter 1. The “strange flesh” is men going after men, and women after women in the sexual sense –burning in their lusts one toward the other, and receiving in themselves the payment for their sin, which, God’s Word says, is a fitting punishment.
The endtime invasion Jesus prophesied is, I’m convinced, well underway. Key among the elements of Satan’s assault is a return of the dark, spiritual beings in high places –the extra-dimensional, not extraterrestrial, beings, again trying to corrupt the “seed” of mankind through the sightings, encounters, abductions, ghostly appearances, visitations, stigmata phenomena, and all of the rest of these strange things reported even by documentaries like those on Discovery and the History Channel every week. The prime-time invasion will, I’m equally convinced, take place in the tribulation era (Daniel’s seventieth week) as outlined in the “strong delusion” of 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2.
On the human level, the corruption is taking place through “going after strange flesh,” i.e., doing a thing totally against God’s established order. Men again are lusting after men, and women again lusting after women on a scale like in those ancient times, while Hollywood and many in government and media promote this lifestyle deadly to the continuation of the human race.
All of this indicates just how near this generation must be to the time Christ will step out on the clouds of glory and shout, “Come up here!” The final war called Armageddon that will result from this satanic invasion approaches rapidly. Rapture of those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior cannot be far distant.