An email from a long-time visitor/friend to raptureready.com sparked this commentary. His concerns as he laid out in that email, I’m convinced, fester in the thoughts of many who read this column and others that often deal with Bible prophecy overlaid by the issues and events of these volatile times.
My dilemma in presenting his concerns is that I find it difficult to select only portions in order to keep the total number of words as few as possible. So much of what he presents is what I believe is in the minds of so many these days. Admittedly, some of it certainly dwells within the deepest crevasses of my own thoughts.
The emailer writes the following, in part:
I believed that God put [President] Donald [Trump] in there to be effective for at least four years.
But with the Democrat sweep of almost everything in the Virginia state elections (where I live) last November, the Roy Moore disaster in Alabama and now the failure in a Republican district in PA, I am troubled that the Democrats will take back one or both houses in November. There is so much insanity and deception going on in our country … that I wonder if our Heavenly Father does not want me to be focused on this anymore.
The President is hated by most of Washington, including many Republicans, and I see and hear it every day as I work there. The Washington Post is the bible to so many of the people here. I’m really distraught now after all these setbacks since Donald’s election. The Lord has not been answering my prayers. I’m sure there are many in the country who are like-minded with me and spend a great deal of their prayer time focusing on these elections. And I’m sure they’re as disappointed in these results as I am. And maybe wondering what to do now like I am.
I heard J Vernon McGee say we are not to be focused on cleaning up the town or creating good government. I don’t really like to hear that as I think that is part of our mission to be salt and light. But maybe I’m putting too much emphasis on it. And God is telling me to let it go or back off on it with all of these dismal results.
I’m left to wonder why God put Donald in there if he only gave him two years to accomplish anything. He accomplished a lot for sure including the American embassy move to Jerusalem. I didn’t want Donald and the Republican Party to just hold Satan at his line of progression where he was stopped in Nov 2016. I want them to roll back a lot of Satan’s progress and restore some of what we’ve lost before his time ends and the next Obama and that party inevitably take control again.
I know this is just a brief respite from the scourge of evil that has overtaken us, and I am ever thankful for that. But I was hoping it would last for at least four years and even eight years, if the Lord tarries and He is willing to let Donald continue into a second term. Now it seems like it will only last two years. I’m starting to wonder why God even bothered if this was all we were going to get!
So please give me your thoughts on how much emphasis I should place on this in my prayer life. Why is God allowing evil to take back over again so quickly? How are you approaching this area since Donald was elected?
Again, my apologies for using so much quoted material this week, but you can see, I think, the raw emotion in the emailer’s words is best left as is in order to get across his concerns. They are representative of many such concerns I’ve received as of late.
I preface this by first addressing one statement this dear brother writes. He says, “God has not been answering my prayers.”
Let me say that I believe from the perspective of a great number of years of living that God answers the prayers of His children. I hold to the statement that He sometimes answers “yes,” He sometimes answers “no,” and He sometimes answers “wait.” But He always answers the prayers of His children.
God answered the prayers of His children who prayed fervently leading up to election day 2016. He gave His people the results they prayed for, most of you reading this will agree. At the same time, the answered prayers of His people were in keeping with His foreknowledge of history as it continues to unfold–i.e., neither His prophetic foreknowledge nor human volition has been violated in any of these strange, often perplexing, developments.
God’s prophetic plan for the ages continues to roll out unabated, unaffected in any way whatsoever by Satan and His minions–neither demonic nor human. What we are witnessing is Daniel, chapter 2, playing out on a daily basis through hourly headlines. The pace is observably accelerating in prophetic stage-setting–particularly in that involving Nebuchadnezzar’s dream-image.
The summation in answer to the concerns wrapped up in our emailer’s words seems to be God saying ”Wait.” The Lord is perhaps saying to keep praying and watching the His Mighty Hand at work while end-times prophecy continues to unscroll–not unlike when Moses told the Israelites to watch the Mighty Power of God while Moses held the rod stretched in the direction of the Red Sea.
Globalist “Progression” Predicted
Our emailer writes, “I didn’t want Donald and the Republican Party to just hold Satan at his line of progression where he was stopped in Nov 2016. I want them to roll back a lot of Satan’s progress and restore some of what we’ve lost before his time ends and the next Obama and that party inevitably take control again.”
Now I want to say respectfully to our friend that neither President Trump nor the Republican Party is going to–or even can–“hold” Satan’s “progression.” Globalism’s progress is a foregone conclusion. It is predicted in a number of places in God’s prophetic Word. One such place is in the aforementioned Daniel 2.
Daniel the prophet gave Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar the answer to his dream of the gigantic image of a man. The image was composed of four metals and indicated five successive world kingdoms. The feet and toes of the man-image represented the final world humanistic kingdom. That kingdom, Daniel prophesied, would be a revival of the fourth kingdom, which, in history, turned out to be the Roman Empire.
The revived form of this fourth empire would, according to Daniel 7 and John 13, be a composite beast-kingdom (a combination of all world kingdoms that preceded it). It would be more evil and world-rending than any that went before or would come after. Jesus even said that this kingdom will produce the worst conditions for Israel and for all of humanity that has ever been in world history (Matthew 24: 1).
This is the kingdom we have been watching develop, particularly over the last decade. It was on a very fast track to reach the moment Daniel prophesied, when it will dominate most all people on planet earth.
Like I am convinced–and like our emailer-friend believes–the election of this president slowed that progression significantly. But, remember, it was God’s intervention, not ours, that did the slowing. The results have been demonic enragement on a global scale, the likes of which have never been experienced. The spiritual warfare described by Paul in Ephesians 6 starkly manifested for all who have spiritually attuned eyes to see and ears to hear.
There is a growing anxiety among such Christian observers that it is but a matter of time before the temporary roadblock God put in the way of the globalists’ progress will be removed. This is also something prophetically scheduled to happen. The platform for launching the most terrible regime of all history is still being constructed. Antichrist is waiting in the shadows for his time to step into the global spotlight.
But, the roadblock the Lord so obviously placed in the path of the globalists building Antichrist’s power base will NOT be removed until God says so.
The reason it is in place is so the Holy Spirit can speak to the hearts of those who are lost–those who haven’t accepted Jesus Christ for the slvation of their souls.
So, what are we to do now, as our emailer asks? We are to pray and witness while there is time to do so. This is the primary reason we are here on this planet. We are to lift the name of Christ so the world will be drawn by the Holy Spirit to His saving grace.
If we concentrate on doing our job–our primary job–our worries about the politics of today and what might happen will fade. After all, we are not appointed to God’s wrath (Revelation 3:10), which is the future time ruled by Antichrist. We are to look for Jesus, our “blessed hope (Titus 2:13).
When the time of the Gentiles is completed, God’s next phase for fulfillment of His prophetic plan will be put into effect. The last person to accept Christ during this dispensation, the Church Age (Age of Grace) will be received into God’s family. Jesus will call all living believers into His presence, along with all believers of the Church Age. The cares of this judgment-bound world will be left behind.
While we see the globalist monstrosity–the so-called new world order–continuing to rage toward its fulfillment as the power base of the Beast of Revelation 13, let us remember for Whom we are watching (Luke 21:28).
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Can there be any doubt that this generation is under assault by deceivers of every sort? The deception being perpetrated in government and politics today would be more than enough to say we are suffocating in lies, seduction, and deception each and every hour. But far beyond that deception taking place in the daily news cycle, religionists, in the name of Christendom, lie through false doctrine and the false teaching that the Church has replaced Israel in God’s prophetic plan.
Souls are being seduced into falling for the satanic deception that there are many ways to God and Heaven. The present Catholic pope leads the way in this hellish doctrine of devils. Media, in all its forms–news, entertainment, social media venues–observably runs counter to God’s will for conducting life on the planet He created. Deceivers lead the way in corrupting the young, in tearing apart America’s moral fiber, in perverting every family principle established by the One who created the human race.
Jesus, the greatest of all prophets, as well as Creator of everything that is, began by forewarning of the deceivers that will mark the end of days. The Lord promised that when this prophetic indicator, followed by the many others He gave, begin to come on the scene, His coming will be very near indeed.
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Early one morning a few years ago I was listening to a television program on one of the cable networks while at the same time going about my before-dawn activities. The guest on the program was the niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She was asked what Dr. King, her father–who also was active in the 1960s civil rights movement–and others would think of the protests then taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, and other cities around the United States.
She said that they would be appalled at the destruction and hatred involved within the ranks of those destroying property that in many cases belong to black people. She said Dr. King and the others of that sixties movement to win freedom for black people and others believed in and taught peaceful protests and constitutionally appropriate civil disobedience–i.e., they believed it God-sanctioned to engage in disobedience to unfair, unjust laws as they perceived them.
She offered that all people have freedom under the Constitution. She said in so many words that what they need are jobs and an economy that will support the quality of life her uncle and the others envisioned. She said that love, not hatred, is the answer to injustice and to all of mankind’s problems, ultimately. And then she really won my heart with the next thought. She said that that love comes from only one source: the Lord Jesus Christ.
Her expression of truth found in God’s Word rings loudly and clearly in these days where the terms “love” and “hate” have somehow become twisted and intermingled, so that it takes the voice of God, Himself, to straighten out the sophistry we endure hourly.
I’m certain that the likes of the “reverends” Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson considered those thoughts by this dear woman traitorous to the cause. They doubtless see her as an enemy for putting down the riotous methodologies they use to foment hatred for wrongs, perceived or actual.
There has been developing for millennia, I believe, a diabolical engine–a dynamo–that generates destructive supernatural energy that will one day–perhaps very soon–bring all mankind to the brink of extinction. I call it a dynamo because it is an unseen, but powerful, entity-machine that produces a vortex of hate-filled turmoil whose resultant carnage is in every direction one looks on today’s end-times landscape. It is a luciferically spawned instrumentality we are given insight into within the Ephesians chapter 6 exhortation.
We have looked at this passage many times, as it is one of the clearest on just how dangerous a foe we face, especially in these, the last of the last days leading up to the rapture of the Church.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13)
This evil dynamo, I repeat, will one day bring the creation called mankind to a point very near extinction. Be assured, however–this extinction Satan and his minions intend will never happen. We have the very Word of the Creator of all things on that promise. Jesus said:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22)
So, we find ourselves at this time in history caught up in a great, hate-generating vortex created by a luciferic machine of destruction. There is, however, a counter force even more powerful available to those who name the name of Christ–all born-again believers. This force is precisely what Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, niece presented with such clarity of reason on that early morning program. That omnipotent force is wrapped up in the words of the Lord she recommended to the world that day.
Jesus said in answer to a question about what is the greatest commandment:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31)
The love of God, resident in the believer, is the spiritual dynamo, the only counter to Satan’s machine of destruction, while this rebellious world runs at breakneck speed down the broad way that leads to eternal oblivion. That otherwise inevitable destruction can be neutralized by the most recognized Scripture issued from the heart of the Living God.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
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One of the prophetic Scriptures most poured over by those who hold the pre-Millennial, pre-Trib view of eschatology is the following.
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:32-35)
Despite the fact that the seminaries more often than not teach that Jesus, in the Olivet Discourse, addresses only the Jews (Israel), many, including this writer, believe Jesus is speaking not just to Israel. He is speaking here to all, Jews and Gentiles alike, who will accept Christ for salvation down through the ages.
Although there are differences of opinion in precisely what the prophecy means, most agree that the fig tree in Scripture refers most often to the nation Israel.
This prophecy, given by the Lord Himself, is thought by many to be among the strongest scriptural reasons to believe that this present generation will experience Christ’s return to planet earth. Israel, as is said, is God’s prophetic timepiece. The view holds that this generation will see the prophecy fulfilled within the definitive timeline framed by Israel being back in the land God gave them.
Certainly, recent history, in combination with current events, seems to present a strong case that gives this view credibility.
That case is built upon the following:
1) The Bible gives the definition of a generation as 70 years.
2) The nation Israel was reborn–in a single day, as prophesied–in 1948.
3) We are in the year 2018–70 years since Israel came back into the land as a nation following World War II.
4) America is scheduled to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, letting all the world know that we consider Jerusalem the Jewish state’s capital.
5) This is scheduled to happen May 14, the exact anniversary of the month and day of Israel’s rebirth into modernity.
These factors are not all to consider in thinking on Jesus’ prophecy. There is strong reason to believe that this foretelling speaks clearly to a pre-Tribulation Rapture, admittedly the view held today by fewer and fewer pastors and professing Christians.
The Lord next said the following:
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36)
Jesus is here talking of a specific day and hour that no one will know. It will be an unannounced event, so far as timing is concerned. This cannot be the Second Advent when Christ returns as given in Revelation 19:11. There are precise number of days when that great event will take place, as measured from the midway point of the 7-year Tribulation. This unknown day and hour Jesus talks about is, rather, the first phase of His Second Coming–the Rapture of the Church!
Immediately after Jesus talked about the generation that would see all the prophecies fulfilled, He spoke of the human condition that will be prevalent at the time of His return. In fact, He spoke of several conditions that will mark that last generation before the first phase of His Second Coming.
We have been over these conditions many times over the past number of years. I refer to Christ’s “days of Noah, days of Lot” prophecy.
The Lord spoke with precision as to what that generation will be doing with regard to carrying on life in general. This is all outlined immediately following Him saying that no man knows the day or hour when His next intervention will take place into the affairs of mankind.
Read again Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17: 26-30 to understand the time of His sudden, catastrophic intervention into life on earth.
My contention has been for many years that this time when he suddenly comes for His Church will be in the middle of an economic boom. Economists and others have for years been predicting an economic downturn–even another Great Depression. And, admittedly, by all fiscal principles one can bring forth from economic physics, the world should have long ago fallen into depression.
Then came Trump. He came out of the prayers of those called by the Name of Jesus Christ, who implored the Lord to act leading up to the 2016 presidential election. The miracle occurred. The nation was given, as I’ve said before, not a godly man, but without a doubt–in my mind at least–God’s man for the hour, a president who has put in place policies and structure for a profound economic uptick.
All of this appears to be God’s preparation for bringing this generation to very near the moment of Christ’s shout: “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1)
Suppose your friend remains unconvinced by the arguments we examined in the first article that the odds that life could have come into existence by chance are so fleetingly small as to be impossible. Now what? Let’s therefore regroup and come at the problem from another direction.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that there is no God and see what that premise does to the things most people take for granted in everyday life.
I went to college way back in the 1970’s majoring in Earth Science, a time still characterized by the uncertainty and turmoil of the decade preceding it. Though the unrest was on the wane, it was still a time of questioning many pillars of our society such as how the government was being run, capitalism in general, and whether or not God was dead or even if he ever existed at all.
I remember as if it were yesterday when an upperclassman told me in my first freshman weeks something to the effect of, “By the time you’re done here, you won’t believe in God.” I disagreed with him but I can’t for the life of me remember whether I made a good case for my point of view or not. As it turned out, college did not turn me into an atheist and I’m hoping that over the course of the intervening decades I can better defend my beliefs.
Where Science Leaves Off
I’ve always been fascinated by science, ever since the day my mother had sent away for a map of the solar system back in 1959 (I know the date because I discovered its copyright year on the Internet). The sun, planets, and other celestial objects were presented in full, vivid color, and totally captured my attention. From there I went on to getting books on astronomy and the other sciences, an activity that has lasted up through today! Truth is, not being the scholarly type by nature, science is about the only subject I consistently “aced” in school.
I came to appreciate the ability of science to explain how things were put together and how they work, from atoms to stars, single cells to people. I’ve also learned its limitations, the things it couldn’t explain. There are two categories of the latter: things presently unknown which the future likely would resolve and those that are unquantifiable that which will forever lie outside its grasp. Let’s take a look at some of those of those “immeasurables.”
A Pound of Trust
Ever trust anyone or anything? At some point in your life you must have, though a lot of people would strongly deny they ever did. Here are some simple examples: When you go to the grocery store every week and buy a can of soup, aren’t you trusting that what’s inside isn’t actually a lethal poison?
How about when you got into your car to go to the store in the first place? Didn’t you trust that your vehicle was designed in such a way that it would get you there without falling apart en route? Or that the guy with the red light wasn’t going to T-bone you when you drove through the intersection when you had the green?
Admittedly, it gets more complicated when it comes to trusting in any kind of relationship because you’ve probably noticed by now that no one is perfect – including the owner of the face that looks back at you in the mirror every day. Unless you have some level of trust, life pretty much becomes impossible. You might not realize it, but you trusted the total strangers who filled the soup can and those who designed and assembled your car.
Trust is not something science can handle because it can’t be measured or seen. Show me a pound of trust, or any other emotion, for that matter, but it exists all the same. Science is even more at a loss to demonstrate where it came from in the first place.
It’s time now to explore some other “immeasurables” in the context of a universe with or without God.
Why Get Upset?
Unless someone is a sociopath, just about everyone in every culture has a capacity for outrage under some pretty universal circumstances. For example, harm coming to a family member or friend at the hands of someone else. Little kids getting horrible diseases and having to suffer through no fault of their own. Watching a hardened criminal get released on a technicality to commit crimes again. Grappling with someone close to us dying. I’m sure you can make your own list.
The question here is, what is it that gets us so upset about these things? Is it just a matter of self-interest in hoping that the bad things we see happening to others won’t happen to us or is there something more that we can’t quite put our fingers on but is an integral part of our natures? If it is, why is it so?
Putting God into the picture makes the answer a lot easier because we who believe humans are made in his image. The Bible shows us the same sorts of things also outrage God. The evidence of this lies in what Jesus did when he was here. He cured the sick, stood up for the downtrodden, raised the dead, and finally in the greatest of all miracles, was raised from death himself. God makes the concepts of “good” and “evil” genuine because he was the one who defined them in the first place.
Removing God from the equation nullifies everything the Bible teaches as well as the reason we should be indignant about anything because from the atheistic point of view whatever happens is nothing more than a roll of the dice.
Isn’t it therefore interesting that most atheists will still be just as upset over the same things that believers are? Their problem is, unlike those who accept the existence of God, they have no logical reason for their dismay because whatever happens is all the product of random chance.
One’s point of view regarding the existence of God means everything when it comes to good or evil, right or wrong. For the believer, God is the ultimate lawgiver who defined these things in absolute terms even before he made the universe. These standards are clearly seen in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), Jesus’ summary of the moral law expressed in the Commandments (Matthew 22:34-40), and his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew, chapters 5, 6, and 7). Since believers accept that God made the absolutes of the physical laws on which the cosmos operates, absolutes of morality are certainly consistent with his character.
But what do we have if there is no God?
In this case, the concepts of right or wrong are totally in the eye of the beholder. The problem is that if everyone freely “did their own thing,” no stable society could ever exist. Since it was necessary for people to be able to live together cooperatively, they had to come up with some rules to make it possible, some means of governing. Across the span of history right into the present, we see all manner of variations of government ranging from reasonably free kinds where its citizens have a voice in how they are governed to rigid autocracies like North Korea where only the voice of the guy on top matters.
For a country like the United States which was founded by men who believed in God (despite what the modern historical revisionists would have you believe) many of the biblical principles of right and wrong found expression in its original founding principles and laws, a legacy which reaches up into the present, yet is no doubt under challenge in our present times. Even so, we are still a lot better off than those atheistic dictatorships where one man and his underlings call the shots. One need look no further than Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, or Kim’s North Korea to find examples of a state-defined morality those of us in free countries find totally repulsive.
If God does not exist, however, none of these systems or societies is better or worse than any other in absolute terms because right and wrong are defined by whatever the respective society says they are. If one decides that killing some of its residents simply because they are of a certain ethnic group is okay while another society finds this abhorrent, so what? Nothing is intrinsically evil or good because there is no ultimate “Lawgiver” to define these terms in the first place.
Despite this, I would wager to say that most people, even atheists, function as if there really are some kind of universal standards that operate at a level beyond civil law and at times supersede it. That was certainly Dr. Martin Luther King’s premise in his letter from a Birmingham jail in 1963:
“One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’ ”
As we all well know, his premise was based entirely on his belief in God who defined what was just and unjust in absolute terms right from the start – or, in our case, before the universe ever came to exist.
But Dr. King is only right if his premise of God’s existence is correct. Otherwise, his views on racism being evil are nothing more than his personal opinions, not better or worse than the opinions of a leader of the KKK or neo-Nazi group.
To sum it up, a believer in God can logically argue what is right and wrong based on his or her premise that he established the standards. An atheist lacking this basic premise cannot logically claim anything being intrinsically good or bad, even though most of them go through life acting as if this is the case.
Ever watch a particularly striking sunrise or sunset? Or see the arch of a rainbow in the summer sky after a thunderstorm? Or gaze up into a perfectly clear night at a sky speckled with thousands of stars?
How did it make you feel?
If you’re like most of us you experienced a sense of awe, even if you know the science behind what you were seeing. There is just “something” about experiencing such things that touches one in a way that words cannot describe. We don’t know if other creatures we consider to have a reasonably high order of intelligence are also capable of feeling what we call “awe,” but we know for certain that we can.
Why do we have this ability? It certainly isn’t required to help us find food, shelter, or to procreate. Could it be related to the universal tendency of humans throughout history to develop some kind of religion which goes beyond just an attempt to understand or perhaps even control aspects of nature that are at the time unexplainable and uncontrollable?
It seems that for some reason we humans seem to have wired into our being some kind of impulse to seek out something much greater than ourselves. I might be wrong but I’m of the opinion that it takes a real struggle for someone to turn into an atheist because they have to make a concerted effort to go against this basic drive all humans seem to have.
Perhaps the best evidence of that is just how vehemently atheists defend their point of view when challenged by someone who does believe in God. Why is that? After all, if God doesn’t exist, aren’t they making much ado over . . . nothing? Seems like an atheist has to work awfully hard at denying God, as if trying to shut out a persistent inner voice that keeps telling them that they are completely wrong! (See 1 Kings 19:9-12)
Bigger than Us
According to Genesis, the first two people knew right from the start that there was “someone” else besides themselves who was much greater than they were. It is likely in their sinless beginning that this relationship with God was on a level far beyond any which was possible after separation caused by the Fall, although there are many incidents of “close encounters” of various kinds afterward throughout the Bible (e.g. Genesis 28:10-17; 18:1; Exodus 3:1-4:16; Ezekiel 1:26-28). When Jesus came to live among us, mortal humans once again could talk to God face to face but even then only Peter, James, and John, got to behold the merest a glimpse of his true glory (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8 ).
However, for most of history since the expulsion from Eden, our knowledge of the one True God has been limited (1 Corinthians 13:11-12) which led to just about every society developing some kind of religion. The earliest were usually some kind of nature worship. In the midst of something like a powerful storm, a total solar eclipse, or the aurora borealis (or australis in the southern hemisphere), this is perfectly understandable. Most of the things in the natural world are much bigger than we are and still remain beyond our ability to control even with the technology of the Twenty-first Century. Nature-religions such as Wicca still exist today and are even finding “scientific” incarnations in the more extreme elements of the environmental movement.
Generally, though, many cultures moved from worship of nature to the “deities” they believed to be controlling it. Only comparatively recently has the idea of “one God” become predominant, with variations amongst them. The one true God has repeatedly made himself known directly across early history to men such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, to name but a few, right up into modern times, most clearly as Jesus of Nazareth, the record of these encounters faithfully preserved across the millennia in what we now call the Bible.
If we accept the existence of God as revealed in this Bible, then it makes a lot of sense that he would instill a trait to seek him out in every human who has ever lived. Unfortunately this quest has all too often led to what in some cases have become bloody confrontations among peoples of varying views across the ages, right up to the present.
Even conflicts which are not overtly termed as “religious wars” have religious underpinnings. In the Twentieth Century, World Wars 1 and 2, the Korean War, the Viet Nam War were between free societies based on Judeo-Christian principles against those in which the “state” (or its respective leader) was the object of worship, as was the Cold War of the century just past.
Today, the increasing rise of Islamic terrorism against Jews and Christians is a particularly ugly, escalating and clearly religious conflict, though it seems that the politicians and media just aren’t seeing it in these terms. I have no doubt the inability to see this reality is but one component of our age that will ultimately bring about the war of Armageddon as the Antichrist tries to take over the world claiming to be “God” and demanding worship as such. With that in mind, it’s time to consider what may be the most important question of all.
A Plan for Humanity?
From the perspective of the pure evolutionist, humans, whales, trees, or algae evolve only in response to their respective environments. If they fail to adapt successfully, they become extinct. There’s no “plan” for any of them, no predetermined destiny. If something ends up going extinct, then it either failed to adapt or was at the wrong place at the wrong time like the dinosaurs when the asteroid hit Earth 65 million years ago and killed off most of them.
If it happens again while we’re still here, we could share their fate. We could even do it to ourselves in a global nuclear war or in developing and turning loose a lethal virus into the environment. An Armageddon is now a real possibility. But if the atheists are right, it doesn’t matter because nothing – including us – has any real purpose anyway. We’re only here as the product of totally random chance
Yet if one instead subscribes to a universe designed and run by God, then humans were created in his image and he has an overall plan for them. Many religions of the world have their own concepts of where we will eventually end up, but for our purposes, we’ll stick to the one that the Bible reveals since it is, in my opinion, reliable to a much higher degree than any of its competitors (a vast subject of study and commentary in itself). That plan is to bring those who believe in him into his presence for all eternity by the atoning sacrifice of his Son Jesus and to one day recreate the entire universe and come to dwell among us in the New Jerusalem on a new Earth.
Without God, there is no plan. On an individual level, once one takes his or her last breath, as far as they are concerned, it’s the end of the line. As a species, our future would continue to unfold in a random manner until it ceases to exist just like the countless other species that came before us Barring divine intervention even if we manage to hang on for a long haul, our sun’s increasing output will one day make life on Earth impossible, evaporating our oceans and turning our planet into a second Venus. But it gets worse because billions of years from now the sun will expand into a red giant and swallow up Mercury, Venus, and possibly Earth itself.
We might be smart enough by then to figure out how to make a mass exodus to Mars to escape the solar fires, but even that will be temporary. Presupposing we did manage to survive the flames, the sun will eventually contract and cool off. The problem will then become one of dealing with the intense cold instead of the searing heat.
If we are then advanced enough technologically to travel to another star system to escape our dead one, it will only delay the inevitable once again because no star lasts forever, nor will the universe itself. There are even some theories that matter itself will be torn apart as the fabric of space continues to expand leaving only an unimaginably cold, dark, nothingness behind.
Just as death is an inescapable fact of life for the individual, so it will be eventually be for everything if there is no God to intervene. (Personally, I like the ending of Revelation 21 and 22 a whole lot better!)
I hope this article and its predecessor have provided something for both believers and non-believers to ponder and hopefully discuss, should the opportunity arise. If you, like me, are a believer, then you have real reason to hope for the future. Perhaps the arguments here may help in convincing others that our hope is a genuine one and one in which they, too, can share.
Special Notice to Grandparents: My first thought in wanting to do a series of fantasy on Christ’s 1000-year reign was that this would be a great way for grandparents to get their grandchildren interested in what being a Christian ultimately means. –To teach them who Jesus truly is in all of His Honor and Glory.
Douglas Hirt, my long-time friend and one of the best novelists in the nation and a devoted Christian, and I have teamed up to produce the” Dream Doors Adventures” series.
These stories are set in the time of the Millennium, the most wonderful time of all human history, according to the Bible. Doug and I truly believe the Lord’s Great Hand is in the writing of these adventures of the children who populate that future time.
We prayerfully hope that through these stories the young ones you love so much will get deeper understanding of the Sunday School stories they are taught at church. Our intent is to ignite their imaginations through Holy Spirit Influence when you and their parents read to them –or they read for themselves– the actual Biblical accounts of the stories these tales of fantasy represent.
The first story is “Adam’s Apples”. More about which, below…
I’m confident that you will enjoy these adventures as much as will your Grand kids.
The books are available in both paperback and in Kindle. The links to order are at the bottom.
“Dream Doors Adventures, Book one: Adam’s Apples”
The children live in Glorania, the capital city of New Eden, where the Great King rules an almost perfect planet.
There are no dangers to face in this new world. Adam’s pet, Toby, for example, is a Siberian tiger weighing 1000 pounds.
Adam and Zonia go through a “Dream Door” into the past, as part of Adam’s “Explore Time” (school classroom) adventure, the method by which children of New Eden Time learn history.
They pass in and out of Dream Doors by means of the “Dream Doodler,” a marvelous instrument that can draw a picture in midair. The children can jump into the picture they draw, to take them wherever they want to go.
They use the Dream Doodler by imagining the scene, then pointing and waving the Dream Doodler, thereby creating the other dimensional “Dream Drawing.”
Each child chooses which historical era he wishes to explore. He chooses who will travel with him. Adam chooses his sister and Toby, his pet tiger, to go back to the “First Time”.
There they meet with a variety of ancient dinosaurs, and dragon-type beasts. Since these are vision-experiences more than reality, the children are never in actual danger, but can be recalled by Explore Time teachers, or can Dream Doodle themselves out of trouble at any moment they choose.
Adam and Zonia are directed in their adventure by a “Brighton”, supernaturally endowed people of New Eden time, and by “a “Lighton,” a magnificent, huge, glowing figure who can appear when necessary, but who, for the most part, communicates cerebrally with Adam, and sometimes his younger sister.
They are given a mission, to retrieve a sack full of apples, which have supernatural purposes, but which have been stolen by “Evols” and “Slegna”, who are evil counterparts of the Brightons and Lightons.
Adam and his sister meet children of the era, all of whom are terrified, at first, of the tiger, who quickly wins their confidence and affection.
The children of New Eden Time, and of The First Time, soon meet with Grandfather Adam, who tells them of the apples. Adam Beam and Zonia go on a quest to find Grandfather’s lost apples.
There’s never a moment during the Millennial Reign of King Jesus that’s not filled with adventurous excitement!
To purchase “Adam’s Apples” by Terry James and Douglas Hirt:
Holocaust was approaching, and nobody seemed to notice. It was 1936 and Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime was putting forth its best public relations efforts through the Olympics, held that year in Berlin.
The Führer’s rhetoric and Josef Goebbels’ glowing propaganda presented a dichotomy to the world’s diplomats. On the one hand, there were growing armaments and militarism within the German industrial complex that caused potential Nazi victims to cast a wary glance Germany’s way. On the other, the world was–on the surface–welcomed with open, though swastika-banded arms to partake of the growing glory of the rising Third Reich.
Journalists of the world for the most part were swept up in the vacuum of movement into modernity that promised bigger, greater things through technological wizardry. The Hindenburg flew dominantly and majestically above the landscape of earth, and Germany welcomed all to a transparent view of life in Deutschland. Only, things were not so transparent, as promised to the duped, journalistic world.
War debt–reparations for the havoc the German aggressors wreaked in World War I hyper-inflation–and the fear of a Communist takeover of government had long broiled and brewed just beneath the surface. The German people were ready for their savior. They believed they had found him. The Führer needed a scapegoat to bring the national psyche into a synthesis of sorts–an internal enemy upon which to focus. The choice he came up with consisted of two antagonists: 1) the communists and 2) the Jews. The communists represented an ideological and militaristic threat that came from regions east of the homeland. The Jews represented an economic threat, and a threat to the purity of the Germanic race.
The house of Israel, like in so many eras of mankind’s anti-Semitic history, drew the attention of demonically inspired leaders. Under Heinrich Himmler’s evil scheming–aimed at centering hatred of the Jews around which to rally the Nazi regime–the Final Solution was formulated and its implementation begun.
Six million died in the genocide we know as the Holocaust. The resultant national battle cries of the reborn Jewish state–“Never again!”–have again brought God’s chosen people to growing world hatred of them. Their stance of defending their right to exist enrages enemies and even supposed allies the world over. Anti-Semitism is literally exploding across the planet. Hatred by Muslim nations across the world is a foregone conclusion. Therefore, its most troubling growth is found in the geopolitical West.
We remember a time not long ago that in a single week eight synagogues were attacked in France. A mob of more than four hundred enraged thugs firebombed a synagogue in Cacelles. A Jewish supermarket and pharmacy were attacked, looted, and greatly damaged. Those who attacked shouted slogans and carried placards. They chanted the same slogans written on the placards, which read “Death to Jews!” and “Slit the Jews’ throats!”
Stone-throwing protesters burned Israeli flags in the Barbes neighborhood of the capital that same weekend. In Germany, Jew-haters threw Molotov cocktails into the Bergische Synagogue in Wuppertal. It was the same synagogue previously destroyed during Kristallnach, the Nazi’s all-out assault that was the beginning of the attempt to eliminate the Jewish Race in November of 1939.
“These are the worst times since the Nazi era,” Dieter Graumann, the then president of Germany’s Central Council of Jew [said]. “On the streets, you hear things like ‘the Jews should be gassed’, ‘the Jews should be burned’ – we haven’t had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticising Israeli politics; it’s just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else. And it’s not just a German phenomenon. It’s an outbreak of hatred against Jews so intense that it’s very clear indeed.”
There are so many reports of such hatred against Jews that it would take several articles to list them all. And, America has experienced vandalism and other acts of anti-Semitism, such as the destruction of headstones in Jewish cemeteries and worse incidents.
The point is that anti-Semitism is growing at an alarming rate while the world lurches toward man’s darkest time. Jeremiah the prophet called it the time of Jacob’s trouble: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:7).
Indeed, the Lord will preserve Israel. It will be the apex nation during the Millennium! Today, however, holocaust is approaching, but not many seem to notice. Jacob’s Trouble is definitely simmering, and soon it will boil over to scald all who are left behind when Christ calls the church home to Heaven.
Recently channeling through my TV channels, I heard more than one preacher say that we are to get ready for the “anointing” in these last days. The anointing to which they referred, I found out by listening further, meant, according to the speakers, that a special ability will be placed upon the Church (all within the Body of Christ). The anointing will bring about a great revival and a massive move of the Holy Spirit that will bring a tremendous number of souls to salvation.
The preachers I heard didn’t say where in the Bible this promised anointing is found. At least I missed it if they did give scriptural references.
And that’s the problem I have with this last-days great revival I’ve heard about for years. I can’t find a scriptural proof-text that makes such a promise.
There are references that there will be many saved during the Tribulation. For example, Revelation 7:9-17 foretells a time when a tremendous multitude of saints will bow before the throne of God along with the angelic billions. John the Revelator is told that these are the martyrs who came out of Great Tribulation. God will wipe away all their tears and will comfort them forever in his majestic presence.
There are other references to a multitude of souls being added to God’s Kingdom. All such references, however, are to the time following the Church Age. I can find no specific prophecy that there will be either a great end-of-this-age revival, or of a massive number of souls being added because of such a revival.
Now, there might come a revival and an addition to the Kingdom of the magnitude these preachers proclaim. But if so, it isn’t announced any place in the Bible that I can find.
On the other hand, there are prophecies of the times leading up to the Tribulation that tell quite a different story than the prediction of a last-days revival. Jesus, Himself, said that the love of many will grow cold. People will be like they were in the days of Noah and of Lot–i.e., they will be doing evil and thinking only evil thoughts, while business goes on as usual.
The Apostle Paul tells us that “evil men and seducers will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived,” and that even within the Church, people will be falling for false teachers and doctrines of devils. Not only will these be following “strange winds of doctrine,” but they will “heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”
In other words, they won’t endure sound doctrine, but will follow fables. Much of this very thing is going on in the world of Christendom even as I write this.
Paul lists a litany of the characteristics of end-times man as recorded in 2 Timothy 3. Men will have a “form of godliness” but will “deny the power thereof.” Nowhere does Jesus, Paul, or any other of the prophets tell of a time when men would be turning to the Gospel message en masse for the salvation of their souls.
John implies that in the last days, the “spirit of Antichrist” will dominate the human condition. Here is what he writes under Holy Spirit direction:
1 John 2:18–Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
1 John 2:22–Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
1 John 4:3–And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
2 John 1:7–For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
Many of the largest church assemblies today fit the portrayal of the Laodicean church. These most dramatically manifest their Antichrist spirit through their 1) turning more and more toward universalism, and 2) embracing replacement theology.
Universalism is the burgeoning belief system that teaches that there are many ways to God the Father and Heaven. It is a direct turning away from Jesus Christ as the only Way, Truth, and Life (John 14:6).
Replacement theology is the satanic lie accepted by more and more so-called mainstream Christian ministries that hold that the Church has replaced Israel as recipient of God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This, of course, is a massive part of the very satanic ploy that will ultimately bring all peoples of planet earth to Armageddon.
We don’t have to hear of ABC’s The View host Joy Behar mocking Vice President Mike Pence’s hearing Christ speaking to him to know the spirit of Antichrist is surging. Mocking anything and everything to do with the Name of Jesus Christ is rampant, even within much of a large percentage of those who claim Christianity as their spiritual platform. One great example of this is Catholic Pope Francis, who has a number of times proclaimed that there is more than one way to heaven.
This is a blatant display of the Antichrist spirit surging in these closing moments of the Age of Grace.
Planet earth is again in an era much like that time leading up to World War II. Beyond that, one senses that the time of the thawing of the Cold War era is at an end and that the prospects for nuclear winter, as John F. Kennedy once proposed was setting in to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, is again in the offing.
Author Herman Wouk wrote about the time leading up to the Second World War in his novel, The Winds of War. A 1983 television miniseries based upon that book chronicled, through a fictional family and others, the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. The nearly fifteen-hour-long productions captured the essence of the geopolitical atmospherics of the time. The Winds of War was the perfect title for Wouk’s novel and for the miniseries.
Such a story could be written about these times presaging the buildup to an even more troubled time of human history. Much of our news today deals with North Korea and potential nuclear conflict in the part of the Middle East where Israel must deal with hate-filled enemies. There still seems a general sense that the truly dangerous powerhouses of potential war-making are still in the Cold War thaw. Nothing could be more misunderstood.
Actually, thanks to the totally out-of-control former American presidential administration, the United States is the only nuclear powerhouse which was continuing the Cold War thaw. While Russia, under a macho, ego-driven former KGB thug, was and is going at breakneck speed to increase Russia’s nuclear arsenal–and every other element of their military complex– Mr. Obama wanted America’s total nuclear stockpile reduced to around 300. This, he strove to do unilaterally. China, at the same time, was and is developing a nuclear submarine force and many other military assets–funded, may I say, by the US Treasury.
Both Russia and China have been flexing their burgeoning military muscle power. Russia has sent nuclear bombers near borders of northern Europe and along some coastal areas of Alaska, to test, it is thought, 1) defensive warnings and capabilities of those military powers Russian planners consider top enemy; and 2) to see just how far they can push, as is Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin’s proven way of being a bully.
China is constantly making incursions into areas of the Pacific and other places that the Chinese leadership and military strategists know are considered territorial waters that represent danger zones for producing potential conflict. Russia has built and continues to upgrade a huge complex in preparation for command and control in case of nuclear war, according to experts on such matters.
The National Defense Control Center (NDCC) replaces (is an upgrade of) the central command of the general staff, a nerve center that monitors all military threats to Russia and utilizes state-of-the-art technologies to deal with such concerns. The facility is the counterpart to the US National Military Command Center, the Pentagon’s monitoring and response center to military nuclear threats.
I attended the twenty-third annual Pre-Trib Prophecy group gathering at Dallas several years ago. Current events were top priority in the discussions and presentations during those sessions. Dr. Thomas Ice, the group’s director, gave a presentation in which he addressed things going on in the Middle East as they might portend things to come.
I inferred that Dr. Ice believed that while modern nations aren’t mentioned by their contemporary names in the Ezekiel 38-39 prophesied Gog-Magog war, developments in the region involving Russia, Iran, and other present-day national entities are almost certainly preparation for that end-times invasion. We are witnessing the winds of war–the Gog-Magog War, and the war called Armageddon. That is what I took from Ice’s presentation. And, I concur completely, as anyone who reads these commentaries is aware.
A major point I took away from those meetings is that we are to understand our roles as Christians in today’s world as we see these wars and rumors of war in our headlines. It is God’s desire that we play a most important role, collectively and individually. To do less is to shirk our responsibilities. Sadly, many within the Church are asleep. We are in the “think-not” time about which Jesus forewarned as recorded in Matthew 24: 44.
The banquet speaker for the Pre-Trib group that year was Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas. He summed the purpose we as believers are to serve as these winds of war blow across this end-times landscape.
He used the analogy God’s Word uses, and with which most are familiar. He said we must be salt and light. There’s nothing new in that exhortation.
However, his in-depth explanation was most interesting–particularly the part about being salt.
Dr. Jeffress said that there is no hope–humanly speaking–for America, or for the world. All is dying, decaying. That is, there is nothing any politician or political process can do to save this nation or any other. All are passing into the dust bin of history. Salt, he said, cannot “permanently preserve” food–for example, meat. All it can do is to “delay” the decay of the meat. The meat is destined to desiccate.
Our purpose in the case of the Church–all born-again believers–is to act, individually and collectively, as a preservative agent. We can act only to delay the decay, the degeneration into the sin-darkness of mankind’s eventual, God-rejecting, human history.
This is the answer to the question: Why should Christians get involved in the political process? Why even bother to vote? The answer is that we are commanded to stand in the struggle against the gathering darkness. We must fight to the very last second just before we go to be with the Lord, whether in death, or in the Rapture. We are to act as preservative against immorality and all other evil, taking on the whole armor of God as given in Ephesians chapter 6.
We are to be light in this darkening sphere. We are to preach and teach the gospel and all other principles within God’s Word. The Founding Fathers implanted much of that Word within our Constitution. It is therefore, a Christian’s duty to stand for those founding principles, always putting God’s holy letter to mankind–the Bible–at the center of all our thinking and actions.
The winds of war are blowing. It’s time to be good soldiers of the cross in every respect.