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Monthly Archives: September 2017

Jesus Won’t Return After All

I once received a purported news item. The emailer wrote that he didn’t know if the report–actually, one that was nearly a month old–was legitimate. I could see that it most likely wasn’t, right off the proverbial bat. I asked Todd, my partner in raptureready.com, to check it out, as he is good at fact checking on phony-baloney news prompts we get. The story indicated that the Vatican had apparently gone completely bonkers. One of its highly positioned spokesmen had reported, according to the “news blog,” that Jesus was reneging on His promise to come back for his “people.”

Perhaps you saw this item long ago.

The “news source” reported that Cardinal Giorgio Salvadore told Waterford Whispers News (WWN) that Jesus was perhaps not coming back to get His people after all, although He had promised to do so as recorded in the Bible, John 14:1-3.

The Vatican defended Jesus’ broken promise, claiming “he was probably drinking wine” at the time when he made the comments. “Having the ability to turn water into wine had its ups and its downs,” added Cardinal [Giorgio] Salvadore. “We all make promises we can’t keep when we’re drunk. Jesus was no different.”

The church said it will now focus attentions on rebuilding its reputation around the world, but will keep an optimistic mind for the savior’s second coming. (“’Jesus Not Coming Back by The Looks Of It’” Admits Vatican,” Waterford Whispers News, April 18, 2014)

Now, I know that Catholics for the most part see nothing wrong with imbibing a bit on occasion–that includes the priestly class. However, for a potential pope to say that Jesus used His supernatural ability to turn water into wine, then saying that Jesus imbibed a bit too much, Himself, thus making Himself a liar, is something I knew was beyond the pale for even a Catholic. It would be especially astonishing for one of such high rank in that church to state–publicly, at least.

Sure enough, Todd informed me that this was pointed to in his research as a phony- baloney report. Of course, based upon the water-to-wine reference, where the Lord Jesus Christ was suspected of being drunk, promising to return, although He never intended to return, I was certain this was a false accusation against Catholicism. No one in such a position as a cardinal would ever publicly make such a charge, even if he himself was snockered. At least, I don’t think such a cardinal exists…

Another thing that rang hollow about the story was the so-called cardinal implying the church now believes Jesus won’t really return, and urging all parishioners everywhere to just live life in a satisfactory way, according to church dictates. The fact is that the Catholic system of eschatology has never expected Christ to return –at least not in the sense the Protestant Bible puts forth. It is up to that system–the Catholic Church—to build the kingdom for Christ to one day come back and rule. Jesus will just have to wait until then, is the way I take their belief system. That is why, they claim, Peter was given the “keys to the kingdom.”

Now, I know that some Catholics believe in Christ’s return in much the way that even we Pre-Trib adherents believe. Some even embrace the imminent coming of Jesus in the Rapture. But, these are by far in the minority within the Catholic system.

That system has infected Protestantism with the humanistic, Kingdom-Now theological travesty. Reform theology clutches tightly to this view of how God will, through the papal system and humanistic effort–bring all things to culmination and rid humanity of sin and death. And now, at this late hour in this Age of Grace or Church Age, it seems that every Protestant denomination, even the formerly most stalwart of the Pre-Trib Rapture-teaching churches, are, overtly or through attrition of sound doctrinal belief, beginning to deny that Christ might return at any moment. They are too busy building their elaborate edifices and multi-thousand-member congregations during this Laodicean generation to look up and recognize the signals of Christ’s return that are exploding around them.

We are in the time of denying that Christ will return as promised, as given in this most relevant Scripture for our day: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pet. 3:3-4).

 

Revelation 12 – Disappointment or Determination

Saturday, September 23, 2017, has come and gone by the time you get this. I’m writing this on Sunday, September 17, 2017. If you are reading this when it is posted on the evening of September 24, 2017, or later, and you know Christ for salvation, the Rapture hasn’t occurred. If you aren’t reading this because you are no longer on the planet, or it was never posted because there was no one here to post it, then my commentary is inconsequential. But if you are a believer and you invested heavily in the notion that the date, September 23, and the Revelation chapter 12 Scripture pointed to the Rapture of the Church, you might find the considerations herein worthy of your time.

This is not to point fingers of shame at those who were invested in the September 23 date as tied to Revelation 12. There were many chronological and astronomical/astrological statistics and postulations to support a case that the date and the signs in the heavens meant something of prophetic significance was afoot.

Many–including some colleagues and friends of mine–believe that the sign in the stars that converged on September 23 didn’t necessarily point to the Rapture. They believe these strange comings-together of astral bodies is a confirmation from the Lord that the end times are here and Christ coming to put an end to man’s rebellion is imminent. These same colleagues and friends, thus believe–and I agree–that they haven’t violated the “doctrine of imminence” regarding the unknown time of the Rapture of the Church.

I won’t attempt to defend those who did dogmatically predict that September 23, 2017, was definitely when the Rapture would happen. There is no pinpointing the exact day and hour of Christ’s coming for the Church. Jesus said so.

To make such predictions is to enter into the folly that so many down through the years have entered. The result is the same. The Rapture did not occur on September 23. What else can be said?

Their disappointment, if they were totally invested in the proposition of Rapture on September 23, is no doubt profound. I, myself, wish it would have happened on that date. As a matter of fact, I prefer that the Rapture happen right now while I’m writing this on September 17.

Now, what do we do from this point forward? I believe we go from disappointment to determination.

We don’t have to look at perceived astronomical, astrological, and other anomalous signs to know that Christ’s return is imminent. We don’t have to look longingly each year for the Jewish holy days–the feasts, etc.–in thinking on the Rapture of the Church.

There are signals of the prophetic stage-setting sort that make it crystal clear concerning the time and season in which this generation finds itself.

The Gog-Magog coalition is practically 100 percent formed. Russia (Rosh), Iran (Persia), Turkey (Torgomah), and all the Arab world of the Middle East are gathering north of and surrounding Israel.

China and the kings of the east are growing in strength and leering westward.

The globalists elite and their minions are in a rage to bring in the Antichrist regime, even though they perceive their quest as attempting to establish Utopia.

The nations of the world are in economic and civil chaos. They are in perplexity with great distress at the center of their troubles.

There is a developing religious universalism in which the pope and many so-called Protestant pastors are proclaiming many ways to God and salvation.

Nature seems to be spinning up as part of the great end-times storm that is most certainly on its way.

Rather than suffer in the throes of disappointment because dates and prophetic events don’t work out to fit human calculus, let us be determined to serve our individual and corporate–heavenly–purpose. Let us lift the Name of Jesus during the time between now and when He comes for us who are called by His Holy Name.

We are not left without understanding of the lateness of these last days.

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (1 Thessalonians 5:5)

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

God’s Character in Prophecy

Planet earth is a world fallen and in raging rebellion. Those who God’s Word in KJV terms “the earth dwellers” acknowledge His existence only to provide opportunity to mock and blame Him for the consequences of their own sinful proclivity to collectively destroy all they touch. Mankind was given immense ability to create, being made in the image of Almighty God, their Creator. Yet the ultimate result of that creativity since the Fall in Eden has wrought the ultimate ability to decimate. The proof of this fact of history is the discovery and unleashing of the atom.

We don’t have to think upon the great nuclear powers with their arsenals of mega tonnage and pinpoint missile capabilities to wage mankind’s final war. The world now hunkers under the fearful threat of the nuclear sword that might be swung by a half-crazed dictator in North Korea or in scimitar fashion by rogue terrorists literally everywhere we look within the Islamic world.

The question that truly amazes–astonishes—me is the fact that the God of Heaven obviously has His mighty hand upon that potentially planet-ending sword–even thus with the daily hatred that is heaped upon Him. As I often hear it expressed, if one or the other of those of us who are sorely vexed in this increasingly wicked generation had our way, we would have already have swung that proverbial sword ourselves.

That sort of swashbuckling short-sightedness shows our fallen foolishness in our anger and…well…vexation. It certainly doesn’t display the divine character of the Living God that indwells each of us who name the Name of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We can only thank Him that He–not we—is in complete charge. Our God’s divine character is indeed an awesome, majestic wonder to think upon. So, let us do just that for the balance of this commentary. We look upon that divine character at the very beginning of God’s love letter to His human creation called man.

“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Gen. 1:31). The Creator said everything was “perfect” –which is God’s only definition for “good” in His holy lexicon. Soon, the serpent entered the garden and that perfection was disrupted when Eve fell under Lucifer’s seduction and Adam partook of the forbidden fruit, bringing sin and death. Now there was only God who was “good” –“perfect.” “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God” (Mark 10:18). Jesus was and is God, and He was speaking of the Triune Godhead.

Man, who was made in perfection, in God’s image, changed from the perfect creature that walked in harmony with His Maker to a fallen creature that would soon shrivel, die, and return to the dust from which he was made. God’s holy character is unchanged these millennia later. That character is clearly seen throughout His Word. Nothing shows just how magnificently unassailable the changeless personality of the Creator is more clearly than do His prophetic promises. Bible prophecy thus takes on ever-deepening significance as we move toward the consummation of this age and the ultimate destiny of His creation. His character is all-important, in every respect imaginable.

His divine character is tied inextricably to His prophetic promises. The ultimate promise relevant to sin-infected mankind, which is shriveling, dying and returning to the dust from which man was made, is that God would send a Savior to redeem us fallen creatures. Prophecy goes on to promise that human life–as well as all of God’s creation—will be returned to its pristine, pre-Fall condition–that is, all but the fallen ones, both human and angelic who do not have Christ as redeemer. The human, unrepentant rebels have rejected god’s grace offer of salvation, and the angels who fell in the original rebellion gave up all right to the presence of Almighty God, thus are unredeemable–lost forever.

For our purposes here, I propose that no prophetic issue more profoundly points to God’s character and prophecy being inalterably linked than does the Rapture. This great event, scheduled next on God’s calendar of prophetic promises, is a salvation matter at its very core. The Rapture promises to keep us–saints of the Church Age or Age of Grace–out of the very time of God’s wrath and judgment against the rebels who have rejected His Son, Jesus Christ (read Revelation 3:10).

There is no greater point of faith in this regard, in my view, than to consider God’s embrace of children below the age of accountability. This age is known only to the God of all creation. It is the age, or spiritually cognitive level of functioning, reached when a person realizes he or she must accept or reject Christ for redemption from sin.

Until that point–with each individual it is different—the person’s name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. When the person understands and makes the decision to accept Jesus for salvation, that person’s name is written in permanently. If the decision is to reject, the name is blotted out, the Scripture says (Rev. 3: 5), until at some future time he or she accepts Christ as Savior. When the person does this, his or her name will then be written in the Book of Life forever.

This is all part of the divine character of God. He will let no person go into hell, into judgment and wrath, separated from Him forever, without giving opportunity to be saved from sin’s deadly ruin. Thus, the Rapture of children below the age of accountability is all-important in considering God’s prophetic promises. Each and every such child, even those just conceived and those growing in the womb, will instantaneously be in the presence of Jesus Christ at the moment of Rapture–just as they are if they die before reaching that age that only God knows.

I believe with all that is within me that when the Rapture happens, God is going to make a thunderous statement about when life begins. He will let this rebellious world know in that instant His holy opinion about the murder of the unborn that has been conveniently termed “pro-choice.”

Our own individual walk with the Lord should reflect that godly character at every moment of life. He has restored us to be conformed to His image, to strive to be more like Jesus moment by moment.

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6: 8).

Seduction in the Storm

We are currently writing a book called Deceivers: Exposing Evil Seducers and Their Last-Days Deception.” I say “we” are writing it, because it is to be one of my books that presents a compilation of chapters by some of the most recognizable names. These include Todd Strandberg, Jan Markell, Dr. Dave Reagan, Gary Stearman, Dr. Gary Frazier, and others.

Jesus, while sitting on the Mount of Olives with His disciples nearly two millennia ago, gave as His first forewarning that, in the last days, deceivers will be in abundance. Certainly, there is deception at every level at this present time in human history.

Ruminating over the book we are in process of writing, the thought came that we have on the front burner of headline news a storm-like combination of signals harboring seduction and deception that begs exposure.

The primary foretellings I would like to look at that Jesus gave while answering His disciples’ question— “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”–include the following:

1) There will be distress of nations with perplexity.

2) There will be wars and rumors of wars.

3) There will be earthquakes in various places.

4) The seas and waves will be roaring.

5) Nation will rise against nation.

During all of this last-days storminess, Jesus said, there will be deceivers and great deception. Again, this is the subject of our upcoming book. But, I would like to consider for our purposes here a peculiar seduction within the end-of-days storm that is assaulting this generation:

1)There will be distress of nations with perplexity.

We have only to consider recent news to validate this Olivet prophecy by the Lord.

The national and world economic distresses are phenomenal. America’s own national debt is right at $20 trillion. The unfunded liabilities for the nation exceeds $200 trillion. The world at large has economic circumstances that are maybe not so large, but just as perplexing to those trying to deal with the problem.

2) There will be wars and rumors of wars.

There exists at present, one of the most troubling confrontations since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

The North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un threatens to launch hydrogen bomb tipped ICBMs at the U.S. and our possessions and allies. Whether he has this capability is a matter of conjecture. But, the threat is there.

Other rumors of potential wars can be found without effort simply by thinking on Israel and those blood-vowed to remove the Jewish state from the planet.

The cold war might again become reality in the near future. This, with Russia and China building massive military forces even at the expense of Russia’s already-dire economic circumstances on the one hand and China’s desire to, for its own benefit, interact commercially with other nations on the other.

Rumors of war are everywhere one looks on the geopolitical horizon.

3) There will be earthquakes in various places.

Most recently, while hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastated portions of the U.S. mainland, an 8.2 earthquake struck Mexico.

Swarms of earthquakes up to 5.3 on the Richter Scale continue to shake the infamous Yellowstone caldera region, causing alarm even among seasoned, professional seismologists.

Earthquakes make much of the Middle East quiver on a regular basis. They are occurring in “various places” at most every hour of every day.

4) The seas and waves will be roaring.

There’s no question that the literal seas and waves have been roaring as of late. Again, Harvey and Irma were given 24/7 coverage on practically every news channel over recent days.

But, I believe the Lord was prophesying mainly about figurative seas and waves roaring in this particular foretelling while atop Mt. Olivet.

The peoples of the world are indeed in tumult. Europe is rioting because of economic turbulence. The Arab world is often in tumult against the hated Israel and against each other. America boils with clashes fomented in many cases by thugs paid to stir trouble in our city streets.

The seas and waves, both figurative and literal, are roaring.

5) Nation will rise against nation.

We have looked many times at the term “nation” in this prophecy Jesus gave.

The root of the word for “nation,” here, is the Greek word ethnos. This means that in the days just before Christ’s Second Advent (Revelation 19: 1) there will be great strife of one racial group against another.

Certainly, these kinds of conflicts exist at this very moment everywhere across the planet –including within our own borders. All we must do to understand this is to look at the groups known as the white supremacists and Black Lives Matter to see the reality of this prophecy taking place in our own time. –And we are at least seven years away from Christ’s Second Advent when Armageddon will be raging.

So, we can conclude that we are in the beginning of the great, end-times storm about which Jesus forewarned. Now, to look at the peculiar seduction that I believe is taking place as part of Satan’s deception that is, perhaps, at the eye of this prophetic storm.

The following news story, I hope, will help make the point I wish to make.

Sure, the US has a National Flood Insurance Program, but who’s covered by it? Besides, the Program was already $24 billion in debt by 2014 largely due to hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. With total costs of Harvey estimated at $200 billion or more, and Irma threatening to cause far more damage than that, where’s the money going to come from?

It took an actual fight just to push the first few billion dollars in emergency aid for Houston through Congress, with four Texan senators voting against of all people. Who then will vote for half a trillion or so in aid? And even if they do, where would it come from?

Trump’s plans for an infrastructure fund were never going to be an easy sell in Washington, and every single penny he might have gotten for it would now have to go towards repairing existing roads and bridges, not updating them -necessary as that may be-, let alone new construction.

Towns, cities, states, they’re all maxed out as things are, with hugely underfunded pension obligations and crumbling infrastructure of their own. They’re going to come calling on the feds, but Washington is hitting its debt ceiling. All the numbers are stacked against any serious efforts at rebuilding whatever Harvey and Irma have blown to pieces or drowned. (“After the Storms Are Over: America Can’t Afford to Rebuild, Zero Hedge,” By Tyler Durden, September 10, 2017)

The author paints the direst portrait of the results the storms will bring to America. (You must read the complete piece to get the full impact.) And, I would agree completely with his assessment of the situation–that is, if I didn’t know “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey used to say.

The world’s economies, as I have written many times, are intricately, inextricably linked to that of America. That’s why I build my thoughts on things that are likely to happen–prophetically speaking–upon the American model. If this nation implodes—comes crashing down–the whole world will be sucked into the vortex caused by the collapse.

Jesus tells us that, like in the days of Noah and of Lot, people at the time of his next catastrophic intervention into history will be buying, selling, planting, and marrying–doing all the normal activities of life. I believe, because it is Jesus who predicts the buying, selling, etc.,– that it will be far more than normal in its reality. I believe we are about to see an economic boom.

Somehow, some way–I don’t presume to know how–all of the destruction taking place now because of the hurricane damage might well turn out to be catalyst for the prophesied building, buying, and selling Jesus foretold that day atop the Mount of Olives.

The “seduction” I believe wrapped up in all of this might well reside within the good economic times that could result from the rebuilding—i.e., the economic boom that might be on its way might take people’s thoughts even farther from God. The seduction just might produce the think-not generation that Jesus prophesied will be doing anything but giving consideration to God and eternity:

Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 24:44)

Donald Trump is a builder perhaps unparalleled in history. Could it be that he is president of the United States for just this moment in regard to Jesus’ days of Noah, days of Lot prophecy?

Prophecy’s Puzzle Pieces

 

I thought it a good time to again look at how this generation shapes up with regard to the Bible prophecy puzzle. I define “prophecy puzzle” for purposes here as the agglomerate, major prophecies given for that portion of the wrap-up of human history prior to the Millennium.

Next, we must think on what prophecies are major and which are minor. This will doubtless be considered a judgment call by some measure, but it is nonetheless a distinction that should be attempted, even though yours truly might be branded as presumptuous by some for venturing into that arena.

I will, however, risk the obloquy.

I’m sent daily many news items or purported news items that are unfounded speculation. Most who send these—and I appreciate being kept informed by those who send pertinent items—believe the information relates directly to Bible prophecy being fulfilled in our time. For example, items referring to children and/or animals being micro-chipped for purposes of finding them in case they are missing frequently are such items of interest I find in my inbox.

While such electronic implantation is indeed of interest, it does not, in my view, equate to people who agree to this implantation saying they agree to receive the mark of the Beast prophesied in Revelation 13:16–18.

Such concern is legitimate to a degree, I agree, with regard to Bible prophecy yet future because it does show humanism’s progression toward the implementation of that Antichrist system of control. However, again, in my opinion, it does not rise to the level of being one of the major prophetic developments taking place in our day. It is not one of the prophetic puzzle pieces I am writing about here in our attempt to fill out the end-times big picture.

So, what are the major pieces of the end-of-the-age puzzle, and how do they fit within the picture we are seeing develop through our daily news headlines? Just where do we stand on God’s prophetic timeline late in 2017?

I will attempt to analyze these puzzle pieces from their ascending order as I view them—i.e., from the least significant to the most significant. Again, these are judgment calls that will no doubt engender not-so-gentle disagreement.

Daniel 12: 4 Every direction one turns, the explosion of technology greets the senses of this generation. Moore’s law observes that over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. I’m told by someone I consider a computer expert that this “law” no longer applies. The technology is rapidly reaching its limits at the “molecular level.” Now, whereas I fully admit to my ignorance of exactly what that means, I do know that this, if true, means the advancement of knowledge in this particular area of computer science is nearing its maximum development, barring unforeseen breakthroughs.

When considering this bit of information alone, the prophet Daniel’s words have never been more in view. The information age, with the basic knowledge of mankind doubling and redoubling every few months and years for a long time now, has been a part of this generation. It is a major puzzle piece of the big picture.

Ezekiel 38–39

We have written many times about how the development of the Gog-Magog coalition almost certainly seems to be in the making.

Russia, “Rosh,” as given in the KJV of the prophecy, is cozy with Iran, “Persia.” These entities are in cahoots to threaten Israel and many other nations in the Middle East and elsewhere.

“Rosh” even has an arrogant, ruthlessly ambitious leader that forever more seems to fit the “Gog” character prophesied to lead that diabolist horde in attempt to plunder the land to their south.

Putin, in particular, is in the headlines on an hourly basis, and seems to be pushing all nations of the world into the end-times milieu, most fundamentalist, Pre-Trib prophecy scholars agree.

The natural gas deposits that Putin controls give him leverage over Europe and all within his sphere of influence. Without the natural gas, Europe will quickly descend into hardships beyond imagining.

Israel is the one fly in Putin’s ointment. The Jewish state apparently possesses gas deposits greater than those under the Russian leader’s thumb. Problem is, they are under water, just off the coast, and as of now there is no practical way to get the gas to Europe and others who could benefit from the resource.

Want to bet that Israel will soon announce technology that can deliver that product to whomever wants to buy it?

Then, I believe, there will be some major action by their hostile neighbors to the north. Regardless, the Gog-Magog prophecy is a puzzle piece ready to fill out the end-of-the-age picture.

Revelation 13:16–18

Gog—the leader of Rosh, will think an evil thought. It will involve plunder—riches. It will be in large part about economy.

The whole world more and more today concerns itself, collectively, with matters of economy. It is only by God’s staying hand, in my and others’ views, that the world system, starting with the United States economy, hasn’t come crashing down.

Some leaders of this nation and the nations of the world seem to want to implode the economy of Planet Earth, as a matter of fact. But, this has not been allowed. I believe that is because it is the Rapture, not the devices and ambitions of the powers-elite that will bring the world system of economy—and everything else—cascading down around the ears of the rebellious earth dwellers, as God’s prophetic Word calls them.

It will be the Lord’s decision and timing, not theirs.

The tremendous angst portrayed daily in national and world headlines regarding monetary matters presents the picture of this major piece of the prophetic puzzle. The things involved are shaping for the moment when the world’s last and most evil tyrant will step onto the stage of history and institute the marks-and-numbers system that will somehow glorify his name and that of his father, the devil.

2 Thessalonians 2:3

That man of sin—the Antichrist—can’t appear to institute that devastatingly brilliant marks-and-numbers system of absolute control until the apostasy is full blown. That means the church of Jesus Christ will be first taken from the planet to receive rewards and to dine at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Apostasy, the Greek word apostasia, has two definitions, and I believe both are in play in this prophecy (I suggest you get our book published some years ago, The Departure, to ascertain the meanings offered here): 1) The “falling away” means the departure of the church from earth; 2) The “falling away” means the departure from the truth as given by God. The Bible is the prescription for living by which man should comport himself in order to live in true, godly peace.

Sadly, even a large part of the true church is caught up in apostasy in these closing days of the Age of Grace. We have only to flip through the television channels at any given hour to see devotion given not to God, but to the individual. The “prosperity” message rings from practically every “Christian” channel. God promises prosperity to His children, especially for dollars sown to the ministry clanging out the message.

The perversion of the truth regarding God’s provision is ubiquitous. The gospel message is on the very back burner—ahead only of Bible prophecy. Such anxiety-producing thoughts as sin and coming judgment for a wicked world does not facilitate the euphoric sense of self-help the wealth-and-health purveyors slyly present in their slick, God-is-Sugar-Daddy stream of gobbledygook. The world’s love of money is thus validated by the twisters of truth within the church structure. It is a key puzzle piece of the end-times picture.

Zechariah 12:1–2

Israel is the most profound end-of-the-age puzzle piece. This tiny state, although hounded and threatened with extinction and surrounded by the hatred of not only its immediate Islamic enemies, but by the entire world in a growing anti-Semitic campaign, stands strong even as its once-staunch ally, America, backs away, even embraces, those who would eliminate the nation if they could.

But, they can’t. The God of Heaven is on their side, despite the Jews’ blindness to His Son, Jesus the Christ.

Zechariah the prophet gives us the greatest single puzzle piece that tells us precisely where this generation stands with regard to the nearness of Christ’s return.

Daniel 9:26–27

Daniel further presents the single most amazing element within Zechariah’s great prophetic message. The peace process that will ultimately produce that “covenant made with death and hell” (Isaiah 28:15, 18) is, at this late hour, on the drawing board of history for all to witness. The no longer mentioned Roadmap to Peace isn’t the final product, but it is at the heart of formulating the process that will produce, I believe, the instrument Antichrist will use to, “through peace, destroy many” (Daniel 8:25).

That covenant will be the final puzzle piece to bring the age to a close. It will finalize man’s rebellious antagonism to the God of Heaven and will initiate the worst era of human history, according to Jesus, the greatest of all prophets.

 

Putin Predicts Coming Prince

One would almost think that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been pouring over prophetic Scripture in the Bible. He has predicted that the entity that becomes the ultimate leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI) will rule planet earth. His is a most interesting prognostication. Here’s an excerpt from the news item laying out ol’ Vlad’s foretelling.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says that whoever reaches a breakthrough in developing artificial intelligence will come to dominate the world.

Putin, speaking Friday at a meeting with students, said the development of AI raises “colossal opportunities and threats that are difficult to predict now.” (Source: Putin: Leader in Artificial Intelligence Will Rule World, Houston Chronicle, 9/2/2017)

The former KGB operative turned dictator/oligarch of the nucleus of what was the Soviet Union before perestroika, glasnost, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and finally the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., said further that “the one who becomes the leader in this sphere will be the ruler of the world.”

The Russian warned that “it would be strongly undesirable if someone wins a monopolist position.” He pledged that Russia would share its know-how in artificial intelligence with other nations.

Putin predicted that drones will fight future wars. He said, “When one party’s drones are destroyed by drones of another, it will have no other choice but to surrender.”

The Putin prediction would be amusing, if not so much on the eerie side—kind of like Gog of Ezekiel 38–39 “prophesying” the emergence of the prince that shall come of Daniel 9:26–27.

We have mentioned numerous times that Vladimir Putin displays characteristics that the future leader of the Gog-Magog attack will possess, according to the prophet Ezekiel. Putin, here, is delving into perhaps not the characteristics of Antichrist, but certainly into the technological realm Revelation seems to indicate that future fuhrer will have at his disposal.

The Russian says that the leader in such advanced technology will eventually rule the world. To be sure, Antichrist is prophesied to rule over most of the world at a point during the seven-year Tribulation era. His rule will be brief and chaotic, but it will be brutal and, according to Jesus Himself, will bring a time upon the people of the planet worse than any before or after.

Artificial Intelligence will mark his despotic control. He will, through the most advanced computer (AI) technology, do the following:

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16–17)

But AI is, perhaps, prophesied to go much deeper than Antichrist’s 666 computer controls. Some would say there will come a destructive military force that appears to be completely robotic, commanded through AI to assault Jerusalem during that time known as the Day of the Lord. It is a terrifying description of a superhuman—or perhaps hybrid or robotic—force destined to riffle the city and ravish its women, according to prophecy.

Read about what some call Joel’s Army (Joel 2: 1-11).

(I wrote a short story of a fictional nature about Joel’s Army years ago for a filmmaker. That story can be linked below.)

http://www.raptureready.com/2017/09/09/joels-army-a-short-story

AI is a hot topic, causing an uproar even among some of the well-known leaders in its development.

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk got into a spat recently on Twitter with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg over the dangers of artificial intelligence.

Musk urged a group of governors to proactively regulate AI, which he views as a “fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.”

“Until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal,” Musk said.

Zuckerberg shot back, saying fearmongering about AI is “irresponsible.” (Source: “Humanlike Robots Provoke Questions about our Humanity,” Rosalie Chan, Religion News Service)

Many scientists and futurists are declaring that from some point in the near future, major wars will be waged by beings of intelligence superior to that of mere mortals. However, Bible prophecy tells that, ultimately, it is human blood that will flow to the bridle reins following the fighting at Armageddon. It is the corpses of millions of human beings that will have to be buried following the battle of Gog and Magog.

Isaiah’s End -Times Earth: The Human Condition – By Ed Wood

In the previous article, we took a look at the physical conditions that would characterize the planet as history comes to its inevitable conclusion. It seems that to get a more complete picture, we should take a look at what kind of people will populate this disintegrating world.

Where it Began

Isaiah {5:20-21} Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto [them that are] wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

Human beings are great at self-justification ever since the Fall in the distant past. Way back when, God gave the first two people an entire world, perfect in every way. Death, hardship, disease, and pain was unknown. They needed only to reach out their hands to get fruit from the trees which God had caused to grow in Eden. Only one thing was off-limits – the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

I’ve often wondered about why God would have even put this tree in the garden in the first place. Wouldn’t the subsequent history of the human race been so much better if it hadn’t been there in the first place? To be sure, it would be presumptuous for me to give you a definitive answer, but I can’t help to speculate all the same. I believe it has everything to do with free will. It would have been easy enough for God to hard-wire his first pair of creation to always follow his dictates. But he did not. Perhaps the reason for this is that forced devotion is nothing but a lie and the Bible teaches us that Satan is the father of all lies (John 8:44), not the God of All Creation. God wanted people to be able to make a choice – to genuinely choose him or not. But more often than not, we still don’t and the world and society we wake up to every day is the sad result.

Adam and Eve made the first bad choice in human history and immediately tried to justify it:

Genesis {3:6} And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and ave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

It’s even better if there we can find someone else to blame, as Adam and Eve did when God caught them:

Genesis {3:12-14} And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest [to be] with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Adam blamed Eve for giving him the fruit, no to mention God for giving him Eve in the first place.  Eve blamed the serpent. Any of this reasoning sound familiar? It should in a time where standard procedure is to blame someone else for messing up, rather than ourselves.

The results of our initial fall have plagued the human race making much of its history the dark tale that it is. Over and over empires have risen and fallen in a process that has hitherto been inescapable. The United States which was founded on Judaeo-Christian values is certainly on its way to collapse as it increasingly turns away from God and his biblical principles. Behaviors and lifestyles which were once considered aberrant are either now embraced as a new norm or excused by reclassifying them as a psychological or physical disorder, thus relieving those who perform them of personal responsibility.

Let’s look at some particulars which apply to the fall of societies of the past:

Moral Inversion

Of course, we already have seen Isaiah’s short but profound assessment of End-Times society. The kind of world he saw in the future is hauntingly familiar to those which  preceded him in the distant past. Genesis, chapters 6-10 gives us an account of the status of the kind of society that existed during the time of Noah:

Genesis {6:5-6} And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

The dire situation of those days was no doubt aided and abetted by the half-human, half demonic giants (Nephilim) that existed at that time (Genesis 6:1-4). Apparently Earth itself was affected, as we have seen in a previous article:

Genesis {6:11-12} The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

In fact, it was so bad that the only remedy was for God to totally erase it and start over with Noah and his family. Interestingly Jesus said:

Matthew {24:36-37} But of that day and hour knoweth no [man,] no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe [were,] so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Since we can rely on the absolute certainty of Jesus’ words, this kind of society will exist once again at the end of history. Let’s see where we already are in reference to those of the past.

The Acceptance of “Alternate Lifestyles”

Perhaps one of the most glaring examples of morality gone awry today is the growing acceptance of homosexual behavior in most of western civilization. For example, in the United States alone homosexuals are being accorded hate crimes protection which heterosexuals do not have, being allowed to marry and adopt children, serve in the military, and in many protestant denominations be ordained clergy people.

Though not speaking specifically of the acceptance of same-sex relations, this has indeed been a problem throughout the human race’s tenure on Earth, and the Bible has many references to it and its eventual results of a moral reversal upon any civilization, the most prominent being the account of the conditions characterizing Sodom and Gomorrah:

Genesis {13:13} But the men of Sodom [were] wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

It is very likely this wickedness was broad-spectrum, not confined to any one failing, but rather to a multitude of evils. Peter once said:

2 Peter {3:9} The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God is a God of patience, holding back on judgment in hopes that a person, or collectively, a society, will turn back onto the right path. He’ll also spare it to save a righteous remnant as we can see in this discourse:

Genesis {18:23-32} And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that [are] therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the  righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which [am but] dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for [lack of] five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy [it. ] And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do [it] for forty’s sake.  And he said [unto him,] Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do [it,] if I find thirty there. And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy [it] for twenty’s sake. And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy [it] for ten’s sake.

We all know how this turned out. God couldn’t find any righteous souls in these ancient twin cities of evil other than Lot and his family. In an exchange between Lot wishing to protect the visiting angels the Lord had sent to survey the situation from his neighbors we discover one specific evil which afflicted this society:

Genesis {19:4-5} But before they lay down, the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know *them.* The term “know” here is used in the same context as in Matthew 1:25, which means have sexual intercourse.

It is sad, but true, that this same acceptance of perverted behavior prevalent in Sodom and Gomorrah, and such great empires of the past as Greece and Rome is now being repeated in Europe and the Americas. It is certainly not occurring in a vacuum, but rather is but one symptom of many. For the two cities of Abraham’s time its end came as a result of direct divine intervention once Lot and his family were told to depart:

Genesis {19:24-25} Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Sometimes God employs the tools at hand as we see him use the Hebrews to execute judgment on the evil original inhabitants of Canaan, of the Assyrians to bring it to the northern kingdom if Israel which had become corrupted, and Babylonians to do the same thing to the southern kingdom of Judah for the same reason. If powerful empires like those of the past can fall, there is no reason to think the even one as strong as the United States is immune. The common denominator is that no society can call “evil good and good evil” forever, be it from thousands of years in the past or right outside the door today.

Genetic and Electronic Manipulation

Technology has reached the point where the separation between the organic and inorganic is quickly fading. Implantable devices to aid failing ears, eyes, and hearts are already commonplace. Advances in genetics are creating modifications to existing life. Though many of these have positive benefits, as with any technology they can be misused for evil purposes. Adolf Hitler engaged in research to create a master race and it may not be long before the first trans-humans created by mechanical and genetic means walk the Earth in a terrifying replication of the Nephilim super beings of Genesis, adding yet another element to the scenario Jesus himself revealed which we mentioned in the beginning of this article – that of the days of Noah revisited. Now we’ll look at more examples from the New Testament.

1) Idolatry and Apostasy

Luke {21:8} And he* said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ;] and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. 

I Timothy {4:1} Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.  *This is now the case in much of Western Protestantism. Such departures from biblical doctrine such as pluralistic salvation, acceptance of homosexual behavior even among the clergy, and even the incorporation of pagan practices have become commonplace in many of the mainstream denominations today.

2) Persecution of Christians

Matthew {24:9} Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and yeshall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.  

3) Family conflicts

Luke {21:16} And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and [some] of you shall they cause to be put to death.  Jesus is the speaker here. 

4) Wars

Luke {21:9-10}But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end [is] not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 

5) People become heartless:

Matthew {24:10,12}And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. . .  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 

The words above are all from Jesus himself. Below, we get Paul’s words:

6) The increase of the acceptance of homosexual behavior and the reason for it:

Romans {1:21, 26-27}Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 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 meet.

7) A summary of end-times humanity:

Romans {1:29-32} Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

2 Timothy {3:1-5} This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Concluding Thoughts

When we read all these words written thousands of years ago, it is both striking and chilling just how familiar they sound to we who reside in the Twenty-first Century. One cannot pick up a newspaper or listen to the news on radio or television and not know that something is clearly wrong. Attending this realization is another that it all appears to be totally out of our control, and on a large scale that’s certainly true. Those of us who read and believe the Bible know the path history must inevitably follow – and we are seeing it happen before our eyes.

On a personal level the situation is very different. God created each of us with a free will, giving each one of us the ability to decide where we will spend eternity. This all depends on whether we accept Jesus’ offer of salvation or not. As he explained to the apostle Thomas, he is the only way to achieve it:

John {14:6} Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

But be warned – the Bible tells us that this opportunity will not last forever:

Isaiah {55:6} Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.

2 Corinthians {6:2b} . . . behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.

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