Study of powerful leaders throughout history has always fascinated me. The fact that such study intrigues others, too, is demonstrated, I think, by the obsession with Adolf Hitler my cable TV system seems to harbor. It’s all Hitler, all the time–or so it seems.
I can’t seem to pull myself away from the presentations, despite the fact that I have “viewed” these same documentaries multitudinous times–and me totally blind since 1993! Perhaps that is one reason they still fascinate. Most of the documentary film of the rise of Hitler and his diabolical regime, up to and including World War II, replays in my mind’s eye almost like I was physically seeing it all again.
So, you see, I’ve been “fascinated” with this most terrible tyrant, literally, for numerous decades.
However, it isn’t just the grisly history of der Führer that piques my interest. It is leadership throughout history, from the times of Nimrod and the building of the Tower of Babel, to Nebuchadnezzar, to Alexander the Great, to Julius Caesar and all of the beastly Roman emperors, to the more modern era of Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Tojo, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Nasser, Hafez al-Assad, Saddam Hussein, Khomeini, Vladimir Putin, et al, that draw my interest.
My fascination is not with the horrors of war. These are heart wrenching and not in any way intellectually stimulating or edifying–at least not for me. The intrigue that enthralls comes from the fact that these human beings are allowed power over the people. This power is given to them by the people themselves, through acquiescence.
But, it is the fact that the Lord of Heaven allows that they attain such power that continues to truly spellbind me, I think.
Allowing the millions upon millions of people enslaved and murdered by these seem incomprehensible to reconcile with the great character of the one and only God I know and love through the Lord Jesus Christ–His Son—who made my own soul’s reconciliation possible. The question that most of us who name the name of Christ have when considering the evil of this world is: Why does God allow such to take place?
How can the Lord of Heaven seemingly sit by and watch while these atrocities–this genocide—take place throughout the eons of history? We sometimes forget when thinking on such things that our God has provided leaders of the sort that are people after His own heart, as the Bible puts it. David comes to mind, as do some of the “good” kings of Israel and Judah during the alternating times of good versus bad kings throughout certain periods of the history of those Northern and Southern kingdoms of the Jewish people.
Other great leaders of the world’s nations, who were not necessarily people after God’s own heart, have ruled the people under their authority with benevolence. Such societies and cultures have thrived, most often, under such rulers.
Certainly, in these modern days when nuclear weapons could end civilization with the press of a few buttons, God’s staying hand on the leadership of the nations of planet earth is all the more important to recognize. To place the blame on the Almighty is to place blame wrongly. He has kept us from destroying ourselves, despite our best efforts to do so, restraining evil that comes from our own sin-blackened hearts.
There is coming a time, and I believe very soon, when that restraining influence will remove–according to 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2. We can see indications that our collective rebellion has already caused the Lord to somewhat take his Mighty Hand of restraint off this world. We can see it through the more than obvious confused thinking that this end-times era has wrought among the leaderships of the nations on a global basis.
In my view, our own nation demonstrably manifests this restraint being removed. There are many instances of the apparent reprobate (upside-down) thinking I could mention. I will mention only the fact–to reiterate for the hundredth time—the former US president and his secretary of state moving heaven and earth to placate the blood-vowed enemies of America and Israel whom they call the “Great Satan” and the “Little Satan.” At the same time, the Obama Administration moved ever farther away from Israel, our staunchest and most trustworthy ally on the planet.
Sin-insanity has infected the highest echelons of US and other earthly governments. Leaders can’t seem to find their way to their cocktail parties, much less to the table of common sense, while they interact diplomatically in these strange times, which are almost certainly near the very end of the age. So, why has the Lord allowed such leaders in such high places–those who are showing themselves in most cases to be the very minions of Satan? I believe that at least part of the answer resides within what God has told us as follows:
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (Romans 9:17-24)
The shooting down of an Israeli military jet over Syria as it apparently attacked an Iranian military site seems to have exposed a long-held fear of Israel’s enemies of the region.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, following a statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chided that the shooting down of the fighter jet on February 10 had shattered the myth of Israel’s “so-called invincibility.” It is thought to be the first loss of an Israeli military plane to hostile fire since 2006.
Zarif, in his glee over the shoot-down, said, “Israel uses aggression as a policy against its neighbors,” accusing Israel of “mass reprisals against its neighbors and daily incursions into Syria, Lebanon.” He added, “Once the Syrians have the guts to down one of its planes it’s as if a disaster has happened.”
His caustic remarks came following Netanyahu’s holding up a piece of what he called an Iranian drone and accusing Iran of desiring to impose an empire across the Middle East.
The Israeli engagement with Syrian and Iranian military as of late has some quite astute prophecy watchers speculating that the Isaiah 17 destruction of Damascus, the Psalm 83 war, or even the Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel 38 might be in the making.
Bill Salus of Prophecy Depot Ministry, for example asks: “an Israeli F-16 was shot down by the Syrian Air Defense Force after conducting an air raid on Iranian-backed positions inside Syria. Does this set the stage for the fulfillment of the Isaiah and Jeremiah prophecies concerning the doom of Damascus?”
Many who write are concerned about Israel and its precarious position amongst the Mid-East haters. Particularly, there are concerns about Benjamin Netanyahu and the political intrigues by which he is surrounded.
Not unlike in the case of our own president, it seems the enemies of sound thinking, democracy, and sanity are assaulting Netanyahu at every turn. So far, the globalists and all the others who come against these men are failing in their attempts to bring them–and their nations as democracies–down so that the world order can become reality in order to achieve their evil desires.
The Iranian’s snarky remark about the myth of Israel’s invincibility having been shattered betrays a deeper-seated anger. It involves the same sort of resentment the so-called “deep state” and Swamp “establishment” harbors for Donald Trump and Bibi’s hate-filled enemies have for him.
The resentment and hatred seems to me to marinate in anti-God vitriol. Satanic fury is at the bottom of the rage.
It’s as if Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif knows–or at the very least strongly suspects–that God has provided Israel with some degree of invincibility. The loss of a single plane to anti-Israeli, military fire in 12 years is reason to jubilantly proclaim Israel’s invincibility is smashed. They mockingly call that invincibility “myth.” But you have to know that down deep in the Arab-Islamist psyche, they sense that it’s not a myth.
The devastating Arab forces losses of the 1948 war at Israel’s rebirth into modernity, the 1956 war and 1967 wars led by Gamul Nasser, and the 1973 Yom Kipper war led by Anwar Sadat amount to strong evidence. Israel’s seeming invulnerability to defeat must make invincibility seem far more to them than “myth.”
I’m convinced that Egypt’s Sadat came to the conclusion that Israel’s God indeed assures Israel’s invincibility. He thus wisely made peace with Israel’s Prime Minister Menachem Begin while President Jimmy Carter looked on all those years ago.
God does assure that Israel will be a nation forever. But, at the moment, the Jewish state is not God’s nation in the sense of being the eternal Israel, as promised. Israel is the Lord’s chosen nation–chosen to one day be His people and His nation. This will happen when the remnant of surviving, believing Jews at Christ’s return look upon their Messiah.
There is coming a time before then when they will seem anything but invincible. The Tribulation –the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7)–will be the worst time ever for Israel. Satan, through his tyrant Antichrist, will wreak more devastation on the Jewish race and the nation Israel than have all the tyrants down through human history.
But, in the truest sense of the word invincible, the Jewish race–the nation Israel–is the one national entity God-guaranteed to never perish from the earth.
“This is what the Lord says, ‘He who appoints the sun to shine by day, Who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar — the Lord Almighty is His Name; Only if these ordinances vanish from My sight,’ declares the Lord, ‘will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before Me.’” (Jeremiah 31:35-36)
It is not out of the realm of possibility to wonder whether we are witnessing the empowerment of a force that will one day kill one-third of the world’s population.
I’ve conjectured a number of times in this column about developments in China we have seen taking place over the decades since the Cold War supposedly ended. Remember that as part of the era when the Berlin Wall was removed when President Ronald Reagan told the leader of the Soviet Union, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” the brutal murder of many Chinese protesters took place in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
While the cameras of the world’s news services were focused on that scene, with the mostly college-age people mounting their protest, the Chinese government had its thugs smile, put up their hands in front of the cameras, and force coverage to cease. The massacre then began.
Too easily–too quickly–the news organizations dropped the matter and moved on to other stories they could better manage to control. They certainly have never been able to successfully make headway with the communist Chinese regimes since the time of Mao Tse-tung. Mao, himself, told the international news conglomerate that his massive nation could easily field an army of two hundred million troops. The boast never held water in the eyes of many because that number of troops could never, because of the tremendous cost, be outfitted with modern war armaments. At best, they would have to fight–at least most would have to fight–with sticks and stones.
Yet, Scripture tells us the following:
And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. (Revelation 9:15-16)
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. (Revelation 16:12)
There will be a two hundred-million-troop army come from the East–the Orient–which China dominates more with each month that passes. We can count on it. God’s Word says so.
The argument that the Chinese could never have the wherewithal to outfit such a gargantuan force is out the window. As I’ve questioned before, guess who has made it possible for that regime to completely militarize? Guess who has made it possible for the thugs who gave us the Tiananmen Square massacre to now fully arm a force of two hundred million?
The answer is still the same. America, through its trade imbalances and other economic and diplomatic malfeasance, has given the most dangerous regime on the planet carte blanche to build its military power to the point it can fulfill the Revelation prophecy. One of the theories is that if we just bring the inscrutable Chinese dragon into the civilized world of international commerce, it will begin acting like a good global citizen. Some even say it is working.
former President Barack Obama is one who apparently believed it is working. He went to Beijing courting Chinese President Xi Jinping, offering him more US wealth if he would just put aside hostilities against the occidental world and become a good, global, economic citizen. It was a characteristic of this president–he offerd to make love to our most dangerous enemies, while treating our most loyal and honorable ally–Israel–with his utmost disrespect. We recall that during those days his secretary of state, John Kerry, was reported by sources to have called Israel’s prime minister a “chicken ****.” It was one of the rare times this administration truly lived up to its promise at its outset of being “transparent” for all the US citizenry to see. The White House denied the allegation, but Kerry nonetheless apologized for the remark.
It is also transparent–to this writer, at least–that Mr. Obama was part of setting the stage for the “kings of the East” assault force to, during the Tribulation, invade across the dried-up Euphrates and lay waste to one-third of the earth’s population.
Do I think he knew this prophetic scenario will be the outcome of his bending over backwards to provide the economic power necessary to generate that sort of military power? No, of course not. He, like most of today’s world leaders, was being used as a pawn as he was moved around on Satan’s chessboard as the devil prepares to do final battle with the returning Lord of Lords.
Thankfully, the outcome of that conflict is a foregone conclusion. Jesus wins!
All the beautiful pageantry was there. Excitement and joy were on the faces of the colorfully clad athletes from around the globe. Attention of the world’s media focused on how wonderful was the fact that the two Korean youths were marching together and getting along as if peace and love had overruled hatred and division–all in all, a kumbaya moment in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Not far into the ceremony, a familiar anthem to the brotherhood of man swept everyone involved into a euphoric high. The music invited us all to Imagine all the world as one…
Neo-Babel builders construct even their music in a way that clearly demonstrates the luciferian desire to usurp God’s throne. John Lennon’s universally popular song could easily be mistaken as portraying the biblically prophesied millennial reign of Jesus Christ. But Lennon, like Lenin, preached man-made heaven on earth–an imitative mockery of the true Messiah’s coming kingdom. The words and melody are infectious.
Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one…
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.
Lennon, who once assured us that the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus Christ,” is a bit off in his assessment given through his lyrics. He says “no religion too.” He wanted us to “imagine” a world without religious restraint. Only then could we all “be as one.”
That particular sentiment–“no religion too”–will have to be rewritten if it is to fit what is coming when the first beast of Revelation chapter 13 and the second beast bring their version of heaven on earth to the planet.
It will be a religious system of the most intrusive sort. Here is a brief look from Scripture about that system:
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. (Revelation 17:3-6)
The angel who showed John the Revelator these things told him–and us–that this whorish woman who rides the beast sits upon seven mountains or hills. The beast she rides is a composite of world kingdoms of the past and one that is yet to come. The last kingdom and the one who rules it will be Antichrist.
We know from Revelation 13 that his sidekick will be a false prophet–a religious leader–who will orchestrate the worship by everyone on earth of this eighth king who will come up from the bottomless pit.
My friend Dave Hunt wrote all about this eventuality in “A Woman Rides the Beast.”
All of this said, it is more than interesting that the world’s most lauded religious leader in Christendom has waded in on how America needs to be brought under the world community’s control if there is to be heaven on earth at any time in the future.
Pope Francis told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that the United States of America has “a distorted vision of the world” and Americans must be ruled by a world government, as soon as possible, “for their own good.”
The Pope made the observation in an interview with La Repubblica reporter Eugenio Scalfari.
“Last Thursday, I got a call from Pope Francis,” Scalfari reported. “It was about noon, and I was at the newspaper when my phone rang.”
He said Pope Francis had been watching Putin and Trump at the G20 and had become agitated. The Pope demanded to see him at four that afternoon, according to a Google translation of the Italian report.
“Pope Francis told me to be very concerned about the meeting of the G20,” Scalfari wrote.
As translated into English by Agence France Presse, which picked up the story, the Pope said “I am afraid there are very dangerous alliances between powers who have a distorted view of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, Russia and Assad in the war in Syria.”
“The danger concerns immigration,” the Pope continued to La Repubblica. “Our main and unfortunately growing problem in the world today is that of the poor, the weak, the excluded, which includes migrants.”
“This is why the G20 worries me: It mainly hits immigrants,” Pope Francis said, according to AFP.
Pope Francis’s idea that Americans would be better off under a world government doesn’t stop there. The radical leftist pontiff also went on record stating that Europe should become one country under one government. (“Pope Francis: World Government Must Rule U.S. ‘For Their Own Good,’” JEWSNEWS, Rapture Ready News, Feb. 11, 2018)
As we near the midnight of world history on God’s prophetic clock, we see the four horsemen of Apocalypse getting set to ride. Might we be seeing the woman that rides the beast of Revelation chapter 17 getting ready to sit upon its back?
There is increasing talk lately of fears of nuclear exchange. Critics of increase in nuclear armaments are also ramping up their rhetoric.
Russia has been found to have violated several elements of various nuclear anti-proliferation treaties and agreements. The latest is development of a nuclear-tipped torpedo weapon that can be launched into the shores of a country. North Korea is known to be acquiring technology that will speed up and greatly enhance their nuclear weapons capability. They are being aided and abetted by the likes of Russia and China, who have promised to act in concert with the international community to prevent Kim Jong-un from obtaining such technology and material.
Yet with all the illegal weapons procurement by America’s antagonists and enemies, the criticism is of the Trump administration. The diatribe is aimed at the president because he has determined the U.S. must play catch-up in the arena of weapons development. This is because the previous president was on an eight-year-long campaign to decrease America’s nuclear armaments–thus to, it was supposed, lessen the chances of a future nuclear conflict.
While America decreased in nuclear capability, the other side went on a tremendous building program, increasing their stockpiles and technological capabilities–even while having entered into agreements and treaties that were supposed to bind them to cutbacks in line with America’s decreases and those of other Western nations.
Trump’s decision to go in the opposite direction of Obama in the arena of nuclear development has, of course, evoked resistance just as has everything else he has done since the 2016 election.
President Trump’s Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette explained at a Pentagon news conference why the United States is changing course.
“Over the past decade, while the United States has led the world in these reductions, every one of our potential nuclear adversaries has been pursuing the exact opposite strategy…. These powers are increasing the numbers and types of nuclear weapons in their arsenal.
“The president, during the State of the Union address Tuesday, February 30, declared that the U.S. will build a deterrent force “so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.””
Mainstream news media are accusing the president’s actions–increasing the nations’ nuclear forces–as reckless. They say, in addition to other things, that he is deliberately bringing the prospect of nuclear war back into the American psyche for the first time since the Cold War.
Those mainstream outlets are almost as one in declaring that it is dangerous for this particular president to have the sole authority to launch nuclear war. But, thankfully, Mr. Trump forges ahead, assuring that America’s security, with strength through deterrence capability, is sufficient.
All that said, this is a dangerous world–as our current president recognizes. It is more than prudent to maintain such strength. It is absolutely crucial.
But, in the final analysis, it is the God of Heaven who continues to hold the key to the lock on the trigger to nuclear Armageddon. The Lord of all creation has determined that the most horrific of all weaponry hasn’t been unleashed. If one studies the many near-accidents involving nuclear weapons, it is astounding that catastrophe hasn’t resulted. Only God’s staying hand has spared us.
In 1980, for example, a missile in a silo in northern Arkansas exploded because a wrench was dropped and ruptured the missile’s thin metal skin. If the weapon at its tip had been armed, yours truly might not be here to write this piece.
There are still unexploded nuclear bombs off the eastern coast of America. Some were never found. These were deposited there because of accidental drops or aircraft accidents.
There have been false missile launches indicated on America’s NORAD radar screens. Those with the launch codes had less than 10 minutes to decide whether to launch a retaliatory attack.
A Russian crew once came within minutes of launching a nuclear strike based upon a false command accidentally issued.
The Lord is still in control. He will be right up until all of the weapons in the nuclear stockpiles are released. Yes. I do believe they will be used–practically every one of them.
Descriptions within the Revelation and the Old Testament books of prophecy indicate death on a sudden and massive scale. The effects of nuclear horror on the human body, some scientists believe, is graphically given by Zechariah: “And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (Zechariah 14:12).
The kings of the east as given in Revelation chapters 9 and 16 will kill one-third of all people living on the planet. This can be done only by employing nuclear weaponry.
Jesus said that if He doesn’t return when He does, “there will no flesh be saved.”
Further indication that the nuclear stockpiles will be used is something I heard Hal Lindsey say. It makes sense, although it could result from a supernatural rather than a nuclear event.
Hal said that during the Bikini tests in the 1950s, they put in the test areas old navy ships to be sunk because of their obsolescence. The military and scientists wanted to see the effects of an H-bomb on these vessels. In addition to the devastating explosion causing massive damage, huge chunks of ice, like hailstones, fell from the tremendous heights the nuclear cloud reached. These weighed 100 pounds and more, falling into the ocean and denting the solid, steel hulls of the ships.
Hal then reminded that the last great judgment of the twenty-one given in Revelation will be 100-pound hailstones falling upon mankind.
He believes–and I concur–that these falling on the millions of military personnel at Armageddon could well be the reason blood will flow to the height of bridle reins and for so many miles. The melting hailstones, having fallen from the sky because of nuclear explosions, mixed with the pulverized human carnage, could make such a “winepress event” exactly like God’s Word describes the Lord’s punishment for rebellious earth dwellers at that time as being.
Planet earth is destined for nuclear devastation, I have no doubt. But there is no need for anyone alive to have to endure that hell-on-earth experience.
Again, here is the divine formula for protection against such a destiny: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
Most have heard the saying: “What goes around comes around.”
This has, for example, been the philosophizing mantra for those on the losing end of sporting events and political contests. The notice is given to let the winning side know they shouldn’t gloat. They might soon be the losers rather than the winners in a subsequent contest, so they shouldn’t be too boastful lest they suffer obloquy equal to that which they are dishing out to their defeated foes.
Another application of this saying is to give a stern heads-up that if you treat someone badly, the same thing will come around to you in the same manner.
In Bible prophecy, this saying might also well be applicable–but with a different nuance of meaning. What goes around comes around can be said of some specific, recurring prophecies I would like for us to consider. For our purposes in this commentary, I want to mention one particular area in the matter of Bible prophecy that has stirred controversy on a number of occasions.
Some who are adamantly–even angrily—against the notion of the pre-trib rapture have often thrown fiery darts my way. The darts are laced with reasons that the pre-trib view cannot be correct. The dart throwers usually add that I’m leading someone to Hell by telling them about a pretribulation rapture.
These angry flame-throwers’ accusations–saying that we who hold that God’s Word put forth that the Church will be taken out of this rebellious world before God’s wrath must fall—utilize Scripture in ways that confuse the reader. This confusion, however, is the fault of the under-studied reader-student–never the fault of God’s Holy, Inerrant Word.
(I’ve never figured out what, exactly, teaching the pre-trib rapture could have to do with “leading” someone to Hell, but the charge is often there, nonetheless. And, they sometimes include that I, too, am going to Hell for teaching false doctrine.)
The example of this “confusion” I will address is Jesus’ words given in the Olivet Discourse, about the time He terms “great tribulation” (KJV). The following is the Lord expounding on this prophecy.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand 🙂 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24:15-21)
This is one of the primary cases in Bible prophecy in which the principle of dual reference is employed. Dual reference, as I define it, is when a prophecy has an immediate–and sometimes a later–future application.
Those flame-throwers I mentioned very often use the above prophecy to point out that we “pre-tribbers” are totally mistaken in our dispensational view of things. This prophecy, they say, was fulfilled in AD 70 when Roman Emperor Vespasian sent his son, General Titus, to destroy Jerusalem and the Jewish temple. It does not, they proclaim, indicate that there will be a time at the midpoint of the Tribulation when the forces of Antichrist will attack the city and sanctuary and make the Jews flee for their lives. We are full of prunes, they charge, because this is a prophecy long ago fulfilled.
Jesus did indeed predict and describe a time that would come within thirty something years when the Jews would have to flee for their lives. We don’t deny that in any way whatsoever. However, the dual-reference principle employed by the Holy Spirit-guided writers of the Bible–in this case, His disciple, Matthew–to look down through the ages and dispensations to prophetically offer an end-time fulfillment of Jesus’ words through this account.
The prophecy was fulfilled in 70 AD. The second application of this dual-reference prophecy will also be fulfilled in the middle of the seven-year era we know as Daniel’s seventieth week, the last of the prophesied seventy weeks of Israel’s playing out its divine destiny (Daniel 9:24). Each week within the seventy weeks equals seven years in prophetic terms, for a total of 490 years. When Jesus was crucified, the 490-year prophecy for Israel’s destiny to be fulfilled was interrupted at the sixty-ninth week (at the 483rd year). The seventieth week will begin to complete the last seven years of the 490 years when Antichrist confirms the covenant with Israel and her enemies.
Daniel the prophet foretold this end-time application of this midpoint-of-the-Tribulation assault by Antichrist as recorded in the following passage:
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9: 27)
The principle of dual reference is easily discernable by the consideration of history. Just a couple of instances come to mind where this principle can be ascertained.
John wrote as recorded in Revelation 13:16-18 that there would be a mark on the hand or forehead as part of an economic system of buying and selling that will, during Antichrist’s regime, enslave most if not all the people of the world. Such a system was in place at the very time John was writing the Revelation while imprisoned on Patmos.
The ancient Roman Empire economic model was to stamp the hand and the forehead of people interacting within the marketplaces of commerce. When the shoppers had their hands full, the mark plainly showed on their foreheads that they were approved for transacting business. When they exchanged coinage with the merchants, the mark was visible on the hand as the exchange of coinage for goods was made.
The Holy Spirit obviously inspired John to note that what goes around comes around. The revived Roman Empire of Daniel chapters 2, 9, and other prophetic places in God’s Word will have characteristics of the ancient form of that would-be world order. The principle of dual reference can be sensed in such historical detail.
The final thing I would like to mention in regard to this principle that flows throughout Scripture is the matter that has long been a point of interest. Jesus said that the gospel will be preached into the whole world before the end comes–meaning the time just before His Second Advent (Revelation 19:11). There are arguments amongst the great academicians–the seminary scholars—and even among laypersons about the meaning of the Lord’s prophecy. That foretelling is as follows:
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)
The word “kingdom” in this prophecy constitutes, in my view, a matter the more erudite among us have squeezed into an overly examined term. These seemingly want to define the term “kingdom” very narrowly so as to exclude the Church Age or Age of Grace.
I don’t believe this is the case. I see here the principle of dual reference at work yet again.
We of the pre-trib camp sometimes mention that the gospel has literally been preached to the whole world. Thus, in that electronic means from short-wave radio to the most sophisticated satellite technologies have been beamed to every place on the globe, the gospel being part of the information disseminated.
We say that, therefore, Jesus’ words have been fulfilled. The academic purists say that this isn’t what Jesus meant, and use Greek and Hebrew to dazzle us to prove we are wrong.
However, it is clear to a plain ol’ layperson such as myself: This is yet another case of something akin to dual reference. The prophecy, in my opinion, is for this dispensation–the Church Age. It is also for the time of Tribulation–Daniel’s seventieth week.
We have the satellite technologies and other means. The Tribulation-era people will have an even more sophisticated mode of getting the Gospel. It is God’s supernatural technology that will reach every nook and cranny of that devastated world.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:6-7)
God’s Word lays out, in detail in many instances, how things will be as the time of Christ’s Second Advent (Revelation 19:11) nears. We are given specific characteristics of the human condition leading up to the time of Tribulation. This is the time in which this present generation finds itself. We call it the Pre-Tribulation era. We also know it as the Age of Grace, or the Church Age.
As a slight preview of things to come from the James quarter, I’ll announce here my next book, presently scheduled to be released March of this year. I say “my” book, but it is also “our” book.
I and my colleague/friends have put together a volume of fourteen chapters by some of the most outstanding writers, broadcasters, speakers and prophecy experts from the Pre-Trib viewpoint. These are colleagues and friends of many years who have combined their Holy Spirit-inspired thoughts and analyses on a most important topic.
It is the first prophetic indicator Jesus, Himself, gave as He sat answering His disciples’ question: “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus, of course, told them–and us by extension–to not be deceived. He went on to say that great deception and many deceivers will mark the very end of the age.
Our book’s title is, therefore, Deceivers: Exposing Evil Seducers and Their Last-Days Deception.
Authors such as Dr. David Reagan, Jan Markell, Dr. Gary Frazier, Gary Stearman, and ten others have combined their talents and insights. They present a truly important work on what is possibly the most discernible signal in view today that we are on the precipice of Christ catching up believers in the Rapture.
Jesus began by forewarning of deceivers. He went through a litany of other signs that would be appearing as the wind-up of the age drew to a close. He then went into what the Tribulation itself would be like, explaining in considerable detail in some parts of the Olivet Discourse. A little later, He folded back into the mix things to come. He gave how prophecy would shape up and lead to that exact moment when He would say to the Church, “Come up here!”
That moment of Rapture will happen, I’m convinced–as I have alluded to on many occasions–when things become like they were in the days of Noah and of Lot (Matthew 24:36-42, Luke 17:26-30). The Lord included in all of this that there will be wars and rumors of war. The nations will be in distress with perplexity. The seas of people will be in a state of constant unrest.
Yet, this greatest of all prophets–because He is the very Creator of all that is–said that at the same time things are building toward the climax of the age, people will be conducting life in an economical uptick. They will be buying, selling, planting, building–doing all the things that are indicative of prosperity.
Folks, with the advent of the Trump presidency, we are, it seems to me, at the very point Jesus said the generation will be that will experience His next catastrophic intervention into the affairs of fallen mankind. The national and world economies are poised for boom, according to most every indicator. Even the mainstream media is beginning to very reluctantly concede this fact. It wants to give credit for it starting with President Obama, not with the actions of Donald Trump. Regardless, the media is reluctantly beginning to admit that America and much of the world are headed into an unexpected boom. This is exactly the condition the Lord prophesied will be prevalent at the time of Rapture, the way yours truly reads it.
The fact that deception is at the forefront of practically every facet of life today adds fuel to the fires of approaching apocalypse. The apostle Paul’s foretelling of how end-times human beings will comport themselves is all the proof we need to point to the deception saturating this generation.
Paul said men (human beings) will be “lovers of themselves.”
There are a number of ways deception can be seen in this end-times characteristic. I point to only one. Forgive me, Facebook fans, but a vast number who use the various social media spend time lying about who they are, their achievements, etc.–so much so, that some psychological studies indicate troubling cultural ramifications from the deceiving going on.
Many take “selfies” to add to self-aggrandized perceptions they wish others to form about them. These can be considered “lovers of self” and deceivers.
Paul prophesied that mankind will be “without natural affection.”
I’ve often dissected this characteristic of end-times man as being involved in both homosexuality and abortion. Neither of these characteristics, championed by the progressives of our time, are “normal.” Or, I should say these used to be considered abnormal.
We remember the deceivers within this end-times characteristic. The doctors and technicians within Planned Parenthood secretly were shown on hidden cameras to be harvesting organs from these tiny, helpless human beings. They were doing so, in some cases, while the hearts of the unborn were still beating. These are deceivers of first order!
Paul foretold that end-times man will be traitors, heady, and high-minded.
To me, all of this can be seen as wrapped up in these thousands and thousands of emails that are electronic conversations within government agencies talking about trying to disrupt the Trump campaign and the Trump presidency. Those responsible then tried to deceive Congress by telling congressional oversight people that the emails couldn’t be found. A deception and a lie.
The 50,000-plus emails have since been found, but not without deep, technological probing and congressional threatening.
One man involved in all of the email intrigue wrote, or was heard saying, that they shouldn’t be released because the American people wouldn’t understand. This is heady high-mindedness and deception of unbelievable magnitude. These deceivers believe they are far above the average American citizen in knowledge and intelligence as to say what’s best and what is not in keeping us ignorant. They are traitorous, heady, and high-minded.
The never-ending Russian-Trump collusion story has been proven a false accusation. The lie–the deception–that generated the special counsel investigation is based upon the so-called Russian dossier that was purely fiction. It was prepared and presented to and by American governmental services like FBI in order to begin the probe. Trump’s political opponents were at the core of the lie. These were and are false accusers.
All of the above proves, to me at least, that we are at the very end of this Church Age. Jesus’ words are appropriate here, like when we’ve used them over and over many times: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).