The rebelliousness of the creature called man was, in my view, manifest blatantly for the student of God’s truth to discern in a particular news story of several years ago. The media and politically correct crowd’s uproar over the U.S. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff making the comment –when asked his personal opinion– that he thought members of the same sex in the military who engage in sex with each other are committing immoral acts was quite telling. The voracious feeding frenzy to start the drumbeat for having that general removed from his position in the Pentagon fueled vitriolic invective against those who hold to such “unenlightened” prejudices that eventuated in a full acceptance, even embracing of homosexuality in the U.S. military today.
God, incidentally, is obviously included in our ranks of the”unenlightened”. His Word, the Bible –the instruction manual for the creature, mankind, whom he made from the dirt upon which we stand—says about homosexuality:
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was [fitting]” (Rom. 1:26-27).
The Creator’s Word against homosexuality is even more powerful in an Old Testament prescription for those who engage in that activity. (If it makes you angry, get mad at God, not me. I don’t make the rules. He does.)
“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them” (Lev. 20:13).
I know what will be one of the objections: This was for the Israelites, not today’s people. Really? Well, in giving the prescription for living, God hasn’t changed for any people at any time. Jesus, we have established, is Creator of all things, and by His power holds all things together. This, God’s Word says about the Lord of all creation: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb. 13:8).
The problem is, as we’ve seen with this one issue, fallen mankind will not have the God of heaven rule on Planet Earth. Since the fall, man has determined to do what is right in his own eyes. This is an attitude for catastrophe. Human government is fatally flawed. These have tried to create a utopian earth for millennia. All efforts to do it their way –apart from God—have met with abject failure.
The earliest attempt of human government, which followed the flood of Noah’s antediluvian era, was Nimrod’s attempt to build the tower to heaven (read Genesis chapter 11). The Lord knew this would end in disaster for mankind, so He came down and separated the one-world builders by giving multiple languages, thus driving them to diverse places around the globe. But man has spent the millennia since that time circumventing God’s intervention. The one-world drive is again being pursued in a concerted effort by the powers elite. When things reach a certain point of depravity, God always has intervened. A prime example was when He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. (Read Genesis, chapter 19 to learn about both the depravity and the Lord’s intervention.) Which gets us to the thing about end-of-days scenarios I would like to explore.
Jesus himself set the prophetic stage for a future time when He will again intervene–catastrophically—into depraved man’s playhouse of lasciviousness. He said: “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” (Lk. 17:28-29).
This is a description of a society, a culture, a generation going forward with business as usual. Jesus prophesied that it would be just like this, when judgment from heaven would fall, at the time of His end-of-days intervention. It is not, however, description of the tribulation era when Jesus comes physically to earth, as foretold in Revelation 19:11. At that time, as many as two-thirds of the earth’s population will have died in the apocalyptic judgments. It will not be business as usual, like the Lord describes here. The things that transpire here, though not as disastrous as things will get later in man’s last grasp to rule himself, will still be calamitous. And, the possible scenarios presented are mesmerizing. Let us look at my postulations, based upon the pre-trib view of the rapture, which, of course, I m convinced is the correct view, from God’s perspective.
Jesus’ description of Lot’s being removed from that condemned city is almost certainly a picture of the rapture of the only good God sees on this earth…born again Christians… the church Jesus began building, and which was born at Pentecost (in Acts, Chapter 2). Lot, Abraham’s nephew, although not a perfect example of living a godly life, was nonetheless considered a “just” man in God’s eyes. That is, the Lord saw Lot as righteous, a believer –one who accepted God’s governance over his life, accepted God’s salvation plan. Lot and his family lived in a society that was–well—much like ours. It was wicked to its black core. Incidentally, homosexuality had, in that society, become accepted as, even expected to be, part of life in Sodom.
God removed Lot, and His wrath began to fall upon that wicked, ungovernable people. Jesus indicated that this is exactly what will happen near the time
of His coming again. It will happen at the rapture –at least seven years before He comes back and touches down on the Mount of Olives. The first part of God’s wrath, I’m convinced, will be His removal from the consciences of earth-dwellers. The people left behind will have rejected God’s governance. Now, raptured saints will perhaps, from the balcony of heaven, be given a God’s-eye view of whether the rebels’ claim that they don’t need God to govern them is true.
Millions will vanish in a millisecond –an “atomos” of time– the prophecy tells us. This nation, the United States of America, which had at the same time more gospel light than any other nation of history and access to more filth and depravity than even ancient Rome at its decadent, orgiastic worse, will experience an implosion that, upon its contemplation, staggers the imagination.
We will look at my scenarios, in this regard, next week.
Again, I state that the end-of-days scenarios I lay out in this essay are speculation–postulation based upon my years of prayer, study, observations, and thought. I’m sure there are many who view things to come in a much different way, even among we who hold to the pre-mil, pre-trib view. So, I present this for your consideration, as, in my view, likely possibility, not as set in biblical stone.
First, let us look at the way the world is configured.
The United States of America is –for the moment, at least– the world’s lone superpower. Whether looking at military, economic, societal, technological, or whatever category we want to look at, America stands alone at the top of the nation-heap. I use the word “heap” because this world is built upon garbage–filth from the heart and mind of its father, the devil. Boy! I know how cynical that seems. But, God says there is none good but One: “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God” (Mk. 10:18).
Since sin entered the world, man is fallen. Mankind must have redemption found only in God, the Son. People must be born again or they cannot even see the kingdom of God: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3).
Jesus’ words, here, have dual meaning to me: 1) those who refuse Christ by rejecting their need for a new, spiritual, birth will not go to heaven upon death; and 2) they cannot even understand heaven and things of God without the new birth into God’s family. I base this latter assessment upon the following words of the Apostle Paul: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14).
This is going to sound even more off-putting, but it is true nonetheless. Christians are the only “good” in this downward-spiraling world. Now, am I saying that I, in my fleshly efforts, am better than the one who does not claim Christ as Savior and Lord? No, absolutely not! I must say that in one regard, I am like Paul. But it is not his lovely Christian side, rather is the other. Paul said: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not” (Rom. 7:18).
Only through Christ is any Christian viewed as “good” in God’s sight. Only through Jesus does a person become fit to inherit an eternal home in heaven. All humanly born and humanly-devised matters are due for God’s judgment and for eternity apart from God because He cannot abide sin. Sin must be dealt with, and Jesus is the way sin is forever eradicated.
When it comes to the future, all hinges upon the person and presence of Jesus Christ as redeemer.
So, why all that, to get to the speculation of what will happen from here to eternity? Because Christians are the key, in my stream-of-consciousness unfolding scenarios for the end of days. God’s final wrath and judgment will not begin falling until the only good there is in this world is removed. This Bible prophecy truth is found in the words of the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes. 5:9).
When Christians are removed in the rapture (read 1 Cor. 15:51-55 and 1 Thes. 4:13-18), the things on Earth will change dramatically. We get a prophetic glimpse of that removal of Christians from the planet in Paul’s additional words to the Thessalonians: “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way” (2 Thes. 2:6-7).
The word “he” in verse 7 refers to God the Holy Spirit removing from His office as He interacted with mankind during the age of grace (church age –which is this present dispensation). The Holy Spirit, resident in the church during this present dispensation, will, in the moment of rapture, no longer work in exactly the same way as now. He will interact with the human creation much as He did during the time before the church was born at Pentecost (Acts, Chapter 2). (I know some believe the church was born on the shores of Galilee earlier, when Christ called forth the first disciples. I disagree.)
God the Holy Spirit, living within Christians, is the only “good” to be found in people. The rapture will take that “good” to be with Jesus Christ for eternity. All who are “born again” (see John 3:3) will go to the heavenly homes (dwelling places) Jesus has been preparing for them since He ascended to the right hand of God the Father (read John 14:1-3). These will include everyone–dead and living–who have accepted Christ for salvation of their souls. There will be no good people left on the planet –that is, none that are “good” in God’s holy view.
With the Holy Spirit no longer acting to influence the consciences of humans in as powerful ways as He does at present, mankind’s actions and reactions will be exponentially accelerated for the worse. We will begin to explore likely scenarios for the period immediately following the rapture in next week’s commentary.
Time has arrived, I believe, to put together a postulation introspective on biblically prophesied things to come, in scenario fashion–i.e., to offer, in a stream-of-consciousness way, based upon trends in today’s news, a possible course the world might take while we trudge through the end of days toward Armageddon and Christ’s second advent.
As always, when entertaining such thoughts in a public forum, I must state up front that these are nothing more or less than speculations on my part. However, the speculations are undertaken with considerable years of study, writing, and most of all, praying about matters foretold by Jesus and the Old and New Testament prophets. Although I have not received a “word of knowledge” or been given a vision or dream in the Old or New Testament sense, I do believe my thoughts are given here with Holy Spirit-directed thought and insight.
So, where do we begin? Well, maybe at the beginning, the moment when linear time seems to have been introduced for this marvelous story of God and man to begin its run through history. I say it is good to begin at that point, because we have–it is obvious to any student of Bible prophecy who is alert to present day goings-on—come to the point that the very one who created time for mankind is now under satanic attack as a liar and/or a lunatic. Jesus, you see, is the creator of this thing called time, of the being called man, of all that is. The Scriptures say:
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Clear enough, right? God, not evolution, or any other method born of man’s sophistry, brought this world into existence.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (Jn. 1:1-4).
About Jesus, the Apostle Paul wrote: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Col. 1:16-17).
Jesus himself said: “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6).
The Bible says that Jesus Christ is God, himself. He said that He and His Father are one. That is, they are the same. When the pious Jewish religious leaders asked Him if He was God, Jesus said: “…Before Abraham was, I am” (Jn. 8:58). This refers to His being the God of His people of His promises –the Israelites, as seen in Exodus 3:6.
The world of entertainment, e.g., “The DaVinci Code” fiction of a few years ago, has been saying Jesus was a mere man who faked His crucifixion, living on to father a child with Mary Magdalene. Entertainment, under pseudo-archaeological auspices, have told us that they have found the ossuaries and even the DNA of Jesus’ relatives, and possibly of Jesus himself in a tomb near Jerusalem. Jesus addressed this matter in part when He said during His Olivet Discourse: “Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matt. 24:25-27).
Matthew 24:25-27 is, I realize, Jesus’forewarning of false christs and false prophets that will deceive all but God’s elect during the tribulation era. Just like in all other endtime signals of significance that are in view today, however, the lying–saying Jesus is not the soon returning God of Heaven–is already underway for setting up prophetic fulfillment to come.
The prominently observable fact that the deity of Jesus is under attack is, in other words, a profound signal that we are bumping up against the very end of this Age of Grace. The attack is scheduled, prophetically, to become even more hateful as we degenerate toward the end of days. Having laid the groundwork for showing that Jesus Christ’s deity and God’s veracity are under attack from our great enemy, the devil, and his supernatural and human minions, we will next examine the many developments and what they portend for the future, so far as concerns Bible prophecy. Next week, we will begin looking at end-of-days matters that are in our daily, even hourly, news–overlaid by God’s always 100%-accurate Word, the Bible.
There is a scent of endtime things in the air. The media seems to sense this odor that presages apocalypse, while the churches that name the name of Jesus Christ, for the most part, are apparently oblivious to the last days in which this generation, I’m convinced, finds itself. Or, as DR. Mark Hitchcock puts it, there seems to have been a shift of prophetic gears.
Until very recently, I got media inquiries and requests for interviews on a regular basis. There has been a lull for some reason, as of late. But, I suspect the flood-gates will soon be opened prophetically, and the interview requests will come again in profusion. And, that is with good reason. Journalistic types –whether one agrees with them so far as world-view is concerned—must be given credit for having talented “news noses” for things that have happened, are happening, or seem about to happen. Again, there is something in the air. The newshounds know it. It’s something that portends paradigm change in this troubled world.
As pointed out in last week’s column (Part 1 of “The Beginning of the Last of the Last Days”), that shift seemed to have begun surging through the breach in the dam separating good and evil. Instead of the steady, but controllable flow from the dark waters of Daniel’s prophesied endtime flood of issues and events, there now gushes a torrent into civilization. I, like Dr. Mark Hitchcock, as mentioned in last week’s commentary, believe that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 represent the explosion that produced the breach in that dam.
We pick up where we left off, loosely using Dr. Hitchcock’s seven indicators of this shift, to frame the last days picture of Daniel’s flood (Daniel 9:26).
3. The modern nation Israel has been under the microscope since its rebirth in 1948. Its existence in the heart of the Holy Land has continued to grow as a bone of contention. That people have been the target for major war-making in several horrific attacks, in addition to the attacks upon its birth on May 14-15, 1948. There was the Nasser-led attack in 1956, the 1967 “Six Day War,” and the 1973 Yom Kippur War led by Anwar Sadat and his Egyptian forces.
Israel continues to be assaulted in vicious attacks, with rockets loaded with explosives being launched against it at every opportunity. The relentless campaign by the terrorist organizations of the Middle East are testimony that Israel is at the center of the flood that is sweeping the world toward Armageddon.
Dr. Hitchcock has stated it correctly: “Israel and Jerusalem will become more and more of a burdensome stone to the nations in the days ahead as the world faces increased threats of terror (Zech 12:1-2).” (Prophecy Update – News & Information for the End Times – 9/13/06).
4. The United States of America was caught in the explosion that was September 11, 2001. As a matter of fact, this nation was and continues to be at the center of the bull’s-eye in the terrorists’ determination to bring satanic chaos into all the world, until all people on the planet agree to worship the terrorists’ god. America supports Israel’s right to exist; indeed, has and does defend that tiny nation. It is little wonder that Satan directs the minds of the genocidal maniacs into their religious rage to convert or die. Most troubling is the inexplicable tolerance which the world in general extends to these bloodthirsty avengers of fanatic Islam, while at the same time seeming to have disdain and hatred for true Christianity, whose God wants only peace –real peace—for mankind.
5. A most disturbing ramification of the attack on 9/11/01 has been the changing mindset of both government and citizenry about protection against dangerous, liberty-suppressing movement toward Big Brother technology implementation. Fear of future terrorist attacks, even worse than occurred on September 11, 2001, has seriously eroded American’s vigilance against those tendencies that might produce freedom-damaging measures that will eventuate in enslavement.
Again, using Dr. Hitchcock’s words: “Since 9/11, there’s been a dramatic increase in surveillance, searches, and security. Almost immediately after 9/11, all kinds of talk erupted about national ID cards, biometric scanners, etc. This situation is ripe for a person to come on the scene and adapt this developing technology to exercise iron-fisted control over the world” (Prophecy Update, 9/13/06).
6. Globalism is another side effect of the breach that was created when the planes struck in New York City, Washington, D.C., and in that Pennsylvania field. International anxieties and fears have begun bringing the world together in a rush of cooperative initiatives. We saw these in action when the threats against the London subways occurred. Instant global restrictions were instituted when it was learned that as many as 10 passenger jetliners were the targets for terrorists, who intended to destroy them while they headed for the United States.
Daniel was given the prophetic preview of a coming final world kingdom with King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 2) and with his own vision (Daniel 7).
The humanists are determined to circumvent language and cultural barriers, as well as erase national borders in their drive to go back to the tower of Babel (Genesis 11). Ten kingdoms are prophesied to be formed, with powerful heads of each, who will give their power and authority to the beast –Antichrist (Rev. 17:11-12). One world is Satan’s goal, over which he intends to establish his demonic rule. He has his minions –both supernatural and natural—hard at work to bring his supreme tyrant to that throne.
7. Peace is the issue that has been thrust forward on the world diplomatic stage as never before, due to the prophetic shift that took place on 9/11, unleashing Daniel’s last-days flood. The tyrant mentioned above, which Satan will, according to Bible prophecy, put on his throne for a brief time (2 Thessalonians 2; Revelation Chapter 13) will offer that peace the world is so desperately searching to find. Whether it’s the “Roadmap to Peace” proposed by President Bush and Tony Blair or some other formula that will be the nucleus of this endtime peace, a peace is coming. But God says it will be a peace that will be destructive beyond any war of history, save Armageddon itself (read Isa. 28:15, 18). Actually, this peace brought by the rider on the first horse of Apocalypse (Rev. 6:1-2) will set in motion man’s final war, which will climax at the place called Megiddo. It will bring about Armageddon.
The attacks of September 11, 2001 seem the first salvo by General Satan against all that is godly in this world. Christians –all who believe in Christ, and Him alone for salvation of their souls—are God Almighty’s royal ambassadors while living here on earth. There is coming a moment in time when the King will withdraw his royal diplomats who preach and teach true peace from the Prince of Peace. Then, the Lord will make war against the godless. I didn’t say this; God says it in His Word. You can count on what He has said in His Word, the Bible, because He cannot lie.
Almost certainly this generation looks to have entered the last of the last days.