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Tribulation Toes

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.

Any other gospel…

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.

Exposing End-Time Economics

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.

Endtime Perplexity

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.

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