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Spiritspeak and Unholy Peace

In George Orwell’s 1947 novel, 1984, the dictatorship that controlled much of Oceania rearranged news to fit the moment. The propaganda machine rewrote history on a daily, even hourly, basis to fit the narrative Big Brother wanted the hapless victims of the regime to receive. I believe one of the terms used for this journalism was “Newspeak.”

There was inflicted upon the citizens of this regional superpower the technique called “doublethink,” in which everything that was reasonable and good was to be thought of as bad and evil, as long as it fit the Big Brother model for life in Oceania.

I’m getting the same feeling as when I read that novel for the first time so many years ago while in college. We are being fed, it seems to me, a line of Newspeak aimed at creating doublethink, while this generation closes in on the very end of the age.

The term that comes to mind for what is being foisted upon a dumbed-down world of those who would rather be entertained than informed is something like “Spiritspeak.” The world continues to be moved toward a time of an unholy peace–peace that Daniel the prophet called “peace that destroys many” (Daniel 8: 25). Isaiah the prophet calls it a “covenant made with death and hell” (Isaiah 28: 15).

Not to long ago the world’s most noted spiritual leader spoke into the ear of the world this Spiritspeak. He gave his personal if not papal blessing to one of God’s chosen people’s proven enemies. The pronouncement came upon the Vatican’s decision to formally recognize Palestine as an independent state. Although not a “spiritual” dictate from Pope Francis, it was issued in Spiritspeak language, with the Pope, in a warm embrace, declaring the Palestinian Authority head, Mahmoud Abbas, an ”angel of peace.”

The pronouncement was given as the Vatican is making moves to align with the European Union in getting firmly into the peace process in the Middle East. While the Obama administration and State Department tried to make it appear that were stepping back from that process, the Pope and the EU were bringing pressure to bear on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept the proposed two-state solution to the millennia-long conflict.

President Obama, practically at the same time Pope Francis was calling Abbas an “angel of peace,” was again undercutting the newly-re-elected Israeli prime minister as was his usual way. In his own Newspeak way, Obama at that time said the following in speaking to Al-Arabiya, the Saudi-owned, pan-Arab television station:

“What I think at this point, realistically, we can do,” Obama said, “is to try to rebuild trust – not through a big overarching deal, which I don’t think is probably possible in the next year, given the makeup of the Netanyahu government, given the challenges I think that exist for President Abbas – but if we can start building some trust around.”

One doesn’t have to be expert at reading between the lines; Obama put it right out there when he was president. Abbas was the one who has to put up with the subterfuge and with the sabotage against peace by Netanyahu. But, the president interjected, he hoped trust could be established, despite the Netanyahu government’s evil mindset.

Both the pope and the U.S. president attempted to rewrite history in this Spiritspeak that is from direction other than from Heaven. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). The Pope and president tried to dupe us all into accepting the equivalent of Orwell’s literary device known as doublethink.

God says such a phony peace as they want established will end up destroying many throughout the world. These “leaders” tell us such peace is man’s salvation.

We can know of the unholy Spiritspeak taking place that calls good evil and evil good, simply by understanding the real history of the PA leader, Mahmoud Abbas. Although admittedly presented from a pro-Israel viewpoint, the following opinion piece from the time surrounding the pope and president trying to rewrite history  is true, as an examination of real history of what is written here will verify:

The only path forward for a two state solution to the conflict is for the Palestinians to be given statehood only after they have made peace with Israel and not before. Abbas and his predecessor, Yasir Arafat, have repeatedly refused Israeli offers of peace and statehood.

To this day, he refuses to sign any deal that recognizes the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. That alone should be enough to deny Abbas the title of “angel of peace.” But that isn’t the only reason.

Abbas was a longtime deputy to arch-terrorist Arafat and played a role in organizing and financing many acts of brutal terrorism. But unlike other world leaders who might have employed violence in his youth and then became a statesman, Abbas has never really changed. He is the same man who wrote a doctoral thesis that centered on Holocaust denial at Moscow’s Patrice Lumumba University that was published in 1984.

Just as important, though he occasionally makes statements about wanting peace when speaking to Western audiences or the international media, his official PA media incites hatred against Jews and Israel on a regular basis. (Jonathan Tobin, “Sorry, Your Holiness, You Are Dangerously Wrong,” Jewish World Review, May 18, 2015)

It seems beyond ironic that Abbas, in the year 1984, had published his thesis denying the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews. It seems that Spiritspeak was particularly active that year, in preparation to the lead-up to the end-times unholy peace.

Commiserating with Lot

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is the story of a man–but it is much more. It is a story of mankind.

The man is Abraham’s nephew, Lot, who chose to take the greener pasture when his uncle gave him the choice. That greener pasture was, of course, the land of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was much more appealing in lushness and the entertainment and other attractions it apparently offered.

The story of Lot, of Sodom and Gomorrah, is also a dramatic picture of all of mankind in its fallen state. The story foreshadows how the human race always chooses the ways of the world that take people farther and farther from their Creator.

Lot, despite being among the lost, debauched thousands of Sodom, was nonetheless considered righteous in the eyes of that Creator -the God of Heaven. There is one thing more we know about this nephew of the great progenitor of the people that would become Israel. Lot was sorely vexed. The story of the sorely vexed Lot can be found in the 19th chapter of the Book of Moses–Genesis.

There, we remember, God sent two angels, first to Uncle Abraham, then to Lot in the debauched city of Sodom.

Here is what the Apostle Peter wrote in regard to our vexed protagonist, Lot. The context is God dealing with egregiously rebellious mankind in righteous judgment.

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. (2 Peter 2:1-10)

Now, Peter points out–under divine inspiration and without any doubt–that ol’ Lot was indeed vexed. The definition of vexed in one instance is the state of being extremely irritated or frustrated to the point of a sense of being oppressed.

I use the word sorely, because it has always been a KJV term that amuses me. Some in biblical stories, for example, have been described as “sore afraid.”

I have no doubt that Lot, living among these ravenously homosexual men who threatened the angels who came into Sodom, was not only vexed, but sorely vexed.

Now, I want to say here that while watching things going on all around us in today’s society and culture I am sorely vexed.  It seems that fully half of the American people are immersed in activity that can be construed as anti-God. Government, media–both news and entertainment–seem bent on tearing down most every moral pillar to which our national life used to be tethered. And, we who oppose that tearing down are called the irrational, ignorant morons that are holding up progress.

We who think boys, not girls, should be Boy Scouts, who believe males should not be allowed in restrooms that are designated for females, who hold that God knows best when saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman, not a man and a man or a woman and a woman, are hated and vilified. Those doing the vilification and hating see themselves as the supreme moralists. And, their side has the public airwaves for the most part. They have Satan’s propaganda machinery that, without ceasing, preaches their Sodom and Gomorrah-like comportment as being the way life is meant to be lived.

This being the case, all of my vexation instantly turns to a shudder of realization when thinking on the future for those in such rebellion. The words issued by Peter above are yet–perhaps very soon–to once again come to fulfillment.

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.

Terry and Todd’s Interview with Dr. David Reagan and Nathan Jones – Lamb and Lion Ministries – June 22, 2018

Pre-Trib Rapture Unfair?

Emails continue to come to my inbox that in effect put forth that the view of the Pre-Trib Rapture of the Church is leading people to be unprepared to face what all evidence around us plainly indicates is coming. “New developments,” as one writer puts it, now show that our Pre-Trib view is wrong and we are doing God and those who come to the website great disservice by teaching such error.

We who teach the Pre-Trib Rapture are ignoring those frightening threats to our families and nation, this emailer charged. Such threats as things we see  government agencies doing aimed at usurping our liberties, for example, obviously intended  to  one day put martial law into effect. They plan to do this, the emailer believes,as soon as a false flag event of sufficient magnitude can be created to make such intrusion upon our liberty seem justified.

My email correspondent then recommends numerous teachers I should seek out, those whom he has found to have the truth. I recently interviewed with one of these teachers on his TV program. (We discussed the Rapture to some extent, and the host seemed in agreement with me at the end of our interview, by the way.)

We have always received diatribes against our belief in the Pre-Trib view of the Rapture. But, recently, the “new evidence” slant on the rants has increased significantly. One particular element of the “new evidence” is interesting enough that I sensed it should be made the nucleus around which to build this week’s commentary.

Although the interesting element wasn’t framed by the exact term “unfair,” that was the tenor of the accusation against the Pre-Trib view of the Rapture. The Pre-Tribulational Rapture is an unfair proposition–rather, would be so, if the Pre-Trib view were true, which, of course, it isn’t, according to the “new evidence” that is now overwhelming against that possibility. That was our emailer’s proposition.

The writer said he had studied the accumulating evidence and now must admit that he agreed with his new teachers. He believes that “the pre-trib rapture needs a new and updated research. At this point it seems to me that to hold to this doctrine would suggest that the people in the very country that are supporting and directly or indirectly are causing some of the greatest calamities upon the face of the earth are the people who have not as yet suffered tribulation for Christ’s sake, yet feel imminently prepared to be raptured.”

He asked rhetorically: “What if the Christians in Iraq, Syria, and Northern Africa subscribed to the pre-trib doctrine? They were beheaded, martyred, not raptured…How do we reconcile this to the doctrine, I humbly ask?”

Although a bit confused by the expression of his thought –and I don’t mean to ridicule or be unkind–I presume he means that Christians in America who believe in the Pre-Trib view of the Rapture support an American government that is causing most of the problems in the world. He goes on to imply (I infer), like such anti-Pre-Trib emails always do, that since believers in the rest of the world are dying martyrs’ deaths or at the very least suffering great persecution, Christians in America cannot expect to be Raptured. This –again, I infer that he believes based upon his words–would be unfair–that is, run counter to God’s righteous character.

He apparently now believes that all Christians must suffer during at least part of the coming Tribulation–the last seven years of what Jesus called the most terrible time in human history (Matthew 24: 21). His premise about the nature of the Rapture of the Church, like all other such railing against the Pre-Trib view I’ve received, demonstrates misunderstanding of the believer’s position in Christ.

The following was, in part, my reply to him. I’ve edited it to some extent for making the point of this commentary.

I’m responding because I want to–for the thousandth time at least—say that the Rapture of the Church is not a matter of rescue from physical troubles so much as it is a salvation issue. The Rapture is directly linked to belief in Christ for one’s salvation during this Church Age. We are not to be called to be with Christ because we are deserving of rescue from a planet headed into Tribulation. We will be called to Him because of God’s prophetic program. He will call the Church –His Bride—to Himself, then God again will begin dealing with Israel in all of His covenant promises to that people. This is what the Bible teaches about this prophetic truth.

Always the questions emailers such as you bring up is this: Why should American Christians not suffer, while the rest of the world’s Christians are suffering greatly –even to the point of martyrdom?

Let me turn it around. Why is it necessary that any Christian suffer martyrdom or tribulation in order to be in God’s good graces in terms of eternal security? Does the fact that millions of Americans have lived and died as believers in Christ mean that because they have not suffered through the seven years of Tribulation and martyrdom they will have to come back to life and go through those terrible things in order to be worthy to enter Heaven?

Millions of believers have suffered and died, and are doing so even now, and it is terrible–tragic. However, that suffering has nothing whatsoever to do with the Rapture. The Rapture is a positional matter for the Christian. His or her position in Christ as Savior–as Redeemer- during the Church Age (Age of Grace) is what the Rapture is all about. The Rapture is a salvation issue, not an insurance policy of some sort against physical hard times and/or physical death. It is a matter of the soul.

Christians in America might yet suffer persecution and death. There are no promises in that regard. But, there are promises that Christians –in America and all over the world–will never suffer God’s wrath or the seven years of His judgment. Wrath and judgment and dealing again with Israel is what the Tribulation entails.

You mention that “new developments” have you rethinking that these indicate Christians will go through at least part of the Tribulation. God’s Word – His truth — is unchanging, no matter current circumstance. His prophetic program remains the same as He planned in eternity past.

This blog web site and our Rapture Ready website, raptureready.com, has many articles on the Rapture, containing all of the Scriptures relevant to the fact that the believer will be kept out of the very time of God’s judgment that is surely coming to a world of wickedness and rebellion. (See Revelation 3: 10.) The Pre-Trib Rapture isn’t unfair; it is truth from the Word of God.

Enemies of the Chosen

Dynamic issues and events continue to move and shake the world at a torrid pace. Central to all going on that presents danger to the world is the North Korean matter. That’s the take by most of the news punditry panels I’ve heard, at any rate.

The North Korean talks and economic trade talks are at the top of the heap of things to worry about, according to the talking heads. Even Russia and China have for the moment been moved, at least temporarily, to lesser positions in the order of things.

Of course, the specious matter of Russia-Trump collusion is at the very top of mainstream news and entertainment media, as it will be until the next presidential election. But, at least they have to weave the fake news narrative in between the truly historical things this president is bringing to the world diplomatic table.

With that understood, it is nonetheless impossible to consider those things top priority to cogitate upon when the Bible’s prophetic focus and the news of the day converge as one. I’m referring to God’s chosen  nation as being in the reportorial crosshairs every hour of every day.

Israel’s enemies seem to be in every direction one looks, as we’ve covered many times. It is a satanic hatred that rages, just like it continues to rage in the matter of the 2016 presidential election. That election disrupted the new world order builders’ plans to continue to move the United States into their globalist plans.

The hatred builds toward a crescendo because the new American president and God’s chosen nation are joined at the hip, diplomatically speaking. Never has the Jewish state had such a friend in the White House.

Israel’s enemies in the EU made their threatening anger known in recent days.

Spain has, as well as have most all of Europe, in one form or the other, joined in the Boycott-Divestment-Sanction (DBS) movement.

Following a major Spanish city’s vote to boycott Israel, the leader of Spain’s third-largest party called the Jewish state a “criminal country” during an interview aired by public television broadcaster.

Pablo Iglesias Turrión, leader of the Podemos far-left party, said this in an interview earlier this week on RTVE.

“We need to act more firmly on an illegal country like Israel,” said Iglesias Turrión, whose party in 2015 won 20 percent of the votes in the general election just one year after its creation. (Spain’s third-largest City Valencia officially declares Israel an illegal country,  JEWSNEWS, June 10, 2018)

Israel has only to look northward a few miles to find a threat that is one packed with deadly military virulence.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani  warned Friday that Israel “can never” feel safe, as thousands of Iranians marched in an annual day of protest against Israel.

Protesters took to the streets in the capital and other cities for Quds (Jerusalem) Day, held every year since the early days of Iran’s Islamic revolution to show support for the Palestinians. Iranian media said millions marched in hundreds of cities. Iran relentlessly encourages the destruction of Israel, and it finances, arms and trains terrorist groups on Israel’s borders.

“Israel can never feel that it is in a safe place,” Rouhani told reporters in Tehran. (Rouhani says “Israel can never feel safe” as thousands in Iran mark Quds Day, by Agencies and TOI staffTimes of Israel, June 2018)

God’s chosen nation has a diminishing  number of friends and a burgeoning number of enemies of every sort. The most worrisome of the enemies, to my way of thinking, is the “Christ at the Checkpoint’”global effort to, in its own way, destroy Israel.

Known as the CatC movement, the organization has declared its intention to “go global” in its activity in opposition to Israel and to Christians who support the Jewish state. Until recently, the movement has been in the Palestinian-controlled city of Bethlehem.

One enemy against which they have declared themselves is “Christian Zionism.” Basically, that includes any Christian who, on the basis of moral and biblical convictions, stands with the Jewish state of Israel.

CatC official Alex Awad said  Christian Zionists worship the modern state of Israel instead of God.

He added further the night CatC 2018 began that those of the Zionists in the U.S. are responsible for “electing Trump and dashing hopes for Palestinian peace…. Why should Christian Zionists coming to the Holy Land—where they worship Israel, not Jesus—why should they draw tens of thousands and we not get those kinds of numbers?”

The rhetorical question was posed in the closing hour of the fifth anti-Israel Christ at the Checkpoint (CatC) conference in Bethlehem.

CatC counts among its friends some familiar names, according to the article from which I gleaned the information. For example, the following is stated therein.

At the CatC conference in 2016, the hired gun to assault Christian Zionism was the so-called “Bible Answer Man,” Hank Hanegraaff from the US.

Not only is the ethnicity of today’s Jews dubious, said Hanegraaff, Christian Zionists are directly responsible for what he called Jewish Zionism’s “murder, terrorism and ethnic cleansing in 1948.” Moreover, he asserted, all talk of a third Temple (as per the prophet Ezekiel) is “nonsense.” (For the full article, go to http://jerusalemjournal.net/news-and-views/7-ways-to-counter-the-global-assault-of-christ-at-the-checkpoint-conferences-by-brian-schrauger-photo-all-text-edited-out-for-facebook-censor)

Observers of Bible prophecy from the Pre-Trib view of eschatology shouldn’t be surprised or overly alarmed at these developing, incendiary actions against God’s chosen nation. It should, rather, reassure that Israel’s returning Messiah and King is soon to appear to rescue the believing remnant of that people.

We who are believers this side of the Rapture will return with our Savior and Bridegroom!

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (Revelation 19:11-14)

Listening for the Midnight Cry

The section of our website www.raptureready.com in which we put our weekly commentaries is “Nearing Midnight.” Our purpose is to chronicle issues and events of the current times in order to forewarn that the call of Christ to His Bride, the Church (all those who are born again –John 3:3) is near.

We can say this with certainty because of the many signals given off by those issues and events. These look to be the prophetic signs of the coming Tribulation period–human history’s last seven years leading to the return of Christ to planet earth at the time of Armageddon. Jesus said: “And when you see all these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your head for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21: 28).

Paul the apostle wrote about this moment of redemption: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4: 4: 16-17).

John, “the beloved disciple,” wrote from his exile on Patmos about his vision of that moment of redemption:

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. (Revelation 4: 1)

This shout from Christ, Himself, is likened to the moment when the midnight hour of human history has been reached. The black, boiling clouds of the Tribulation will have shrouded the whole planet in a veil of God’s wrath because of man’s rebellion. We see that moment as represented in the parable of the ten virgins.

And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. (Matthew 25: 6)

Despite all the seminary-degreed protests to the contrary, this is the same moment Jesus prophesied in the Olivet Discourse, in what I believe is the most profound declaration about this midnight hour at which time He will next catastrophically intervene into man’s history. I refer to the Lord’s foretelling the coming judgment at the time of the Rapture, as given in the following. Note that Jesus prefaces His prophecy by saying:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36)

The Rapture is an unknown time; it is imminent–can happen at any moment. The Second Advent can be counted down, because a precise number of days are given to the time Christ returns at Armageddon. The Lord then gives a description of what the world will be like at that unknown hour–unknown by anyone but His Father.

But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (Matthew 24: 37-42)

Most of my theologically degreed friends–and I love them as my Brothers in Christ–say that Jesus was addressing the Jews, not the Church. This, therefore, has to be His addressing the time of His Second Advent at the end of the seven years of Tribulation. However, I believe, as did my good friend Dave Hunt, that the Lord would not speak confusion into prophecy. At the time of the Second Advent at Armageddon, as many as three-fourths of the world’s population will have been killed through the terrible judgments given for that era. People will not be doing the things people in societies and cultures do during normal times. And, the time of Tribulation will be by far the worst in human history, according to the Lord’s own words (Matthew 24:21).

Dave Hunt spoke to these matters many years ago at a forum I attended. He started his presentation by talking about the title of the topic he was assigned.

[My] topic is “Is the Rapture in the Olivet Discourse?” Well, I’d like to talk on the topic “The Pre-Trib Rapture in the Olivet Discourse.” I couldn’t quite handle that question. I couldn’t justify why there ought to be any question at all. Why the Pre-Trib Rapture, or the Rapture, or the Church, or anything else was in the Olivet Discourse. (“The Pre-Trib Rapture: Is It in the Olivet Discourse?” Dave Hunt, Pre-Trib Study Group, Dallas, Texas, December, 1998)

Dave Hunt, one of the most thorough and brilliant students of the Bible of my acquaintance, talked then about how the Olivet Discourse is declared by the seminary doctoral hierarchy to not address the Church or the Rapture in any way whatsoever. He went on to say that the Olivet Discourse, as he understood it, came about in response to specific questions the disciples asked Jesus. They wanted to know when the destruction of the temple and city would take place, and what would be the signs of His coming, and of the end of the age. Dave said Jesus responded with the many signals He gave. Jesus didn’t say that He was referring to His Second Coming at the time of Armageddon. Dave asked: Why is it necessary to adamantly say that it couldn’t be the Rapture Jesus was talking about in answer to their questions?

A common reason given for the Rapture not being referred to in the Olivet Discourse, Dave Hunt said, was that the disciples there with Jesus couldn’t understand about the Rapture, because they didn’t understand about even the Church at that point.

Dave reminded that Jesus told the disciples at another time that He would go away, but would come again and receive them unto himself, and take them to Heaven, where He will have prepared dwelling places (mansions) for them (John 14: 1-3). The disciples didn’t understand this, either, but it was about the Church, and Jesus told them about it. Dave said this coming for the disciples (the Church) couldn’t be the Second Advent, because He will return at that time of Armageddon with the saints–including the disciples to whom He was speaking. The disciples didn’t understand that, it is true, Dave said. But, Jesus was nonetheless speaking about the Rapture. The common sense of the things Jesus was saying fit perfectly–as Jesus’ teachings always did.

Dave Hunt concluded:

I don’t believe that His response had to be limited to what they understood. But I think He could tell them things that they didn’t understand, and not necessarily in a way that they would understand… I can’t think of any reason—rule of logic or exegesis—that would say the rapture can’t be in the Olivet Discourse.” (Ibid.)

Jesus expanded on His “days of Noah” analogy to the time when He would return at the Rapture:

Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17: 29-30)

Be alert! Keep your head up and senses attuned to what the headlines are saying to your spiritual ears. The midnight cry might be the next words you hear.

Stage-setting for Prophetic Protest

In thinking on what is going on to  Jerusalem’s north, with Israel’s primary enemy, Iran, coalescing with Russia and other nations, I was looking through some of the documents in my computer. I wanted to get some sense of developments in prophetic stage-setting regarding Ezekiel 38-39. I’m referring, of course, to the Gog-Magog assault predicted for “the latter days.”

I found some quotes by some prophecy observers, their names with which you will be familiar. Two of these well-known men are now with the Lord, and the third has probably one of the most-watched television programs at the present time.

Hal Lindsey is the man, of course, who has a weekly TV program. He continues to analyze and present matters involving prophetic stage-setting all these years later after writing the foundational book on current issues and events in light of Bible prophecy–The Late, Great, Planet Earth, published in 1970.

I found in my documents surprisingly up-to-date forewarnings of things to come. Some might even call Lindsey’s words prescient in their analysis. I must admit that I’ve not thought too highly of the briefing service known as DEBKA-Net-Weekly Briefing over the years. I’ve found the information this service dispenses prone to be hyperbolic, that is, greatly exaggerated in many instances. However, Hal Lindsey’s own intelligence briefing from some years ago shows the source as having value I missed.

Hal wrote:

For students of Bible prophecy, even the title of this communiqué should set off alarm sirens. I just received some electrifying intelligence data – first, from the DEBKA-Net-Weekly briefing, and second, from some personal intelligence sources (which I carefully guard) that confirm Debka’s report.

Russia, Iran and Syria have entered a defense pact that is in the process of altering the balance of power in the entire Middle East. Russia’s part in the pact has been kept relatively secret for a long time. But the facts reveal a long, steady Russian commitment to the Iranian nuclear program and arms supply to Syria. (“Russian-Syrian-Iranian Axis” by Hal Lindsey, September 2006, Personal Update News Journal)

That information, presented in 2006, has proven to be extremely accurate. We have watched this relationship between the key Gog-Magog players blossom into the next major diplomatic crisis.

President Trump has said that Iran will not develop a nuclear capability, and Iran has declared that it will destroy both Israel and America.

Russia’s government, under a Gog-like leader, Vladimir Putin, has declared it will consider an attack on Iran as a most serious violation of Russia’s own interests in the region. So, the tension builds.

Two prophetic factors, when brought into the mix of unfolding history, present interesting questions, some of which we’ve considered previously.

1) The Gog-Magog attack on Israel as given in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 indicates a most basic, conventional, not nuclear attack. Question: What happened to Iran’s nuclear program presently under development and so hotly contested?

2) The nations of the presently powerful Western alliance, according to the Ezekiel prophecy, do nothing to try to stop the Russian-Iranian and coalition partners attack against the small Jewish state when it occurs. Why is this so?

Certainly there appears to be no president of the unwavering mindset like that  of Mr. Trump on the scene.

The other prophecy experts I mentioned had the following observations, as I discovered when delving into my computer documents.

Chuck Missler:

God apparently sends ‘fire’ down, not only upon Magog and his allies, but on some distant people living in the ‘isles’ or ‘coastlands.’ Who are they who dwell carelessly [securely} in the Isles? The word for isles could be an idiom for remote continents. Could this be an allusion to the United States? Is the ‘fire on Magog’-and these others-a result of a nuclear exchange? (2)

Grant R. Jeffrey:

When Russia is defeated by God’s miraculous power, the newly united European Union will emerge as the greatest economic, political, and military power on the planet. These pivotal events will set the stage for the rise of the new European super state

and the emergence of the new leader who will ultimately assume the role of the Antichrist, the final world dictator who will rule the planet during the last seven years leading to the climatic battle of Armageddon. (Duck, Daymond R., and Richards, Larry Ph.D, God’s Word for the Biblically-Inept Series, Starburst Publishers. 2000. p 89)

The possibilities exist, based upon the prophecy by Ezekiel, that nuclear “fire” will fall upon, perhaps, the nations of the western alliance, while the attack on Israel is taking place. The destruction of the Gog-Magog forces (all but one-sixth completely destroyed) would create a power vacuum for Antichrist.

My own thought is that the one who will be Antichrist will know and believe the Ezekiel prophecy. He will perhaps be content to watch these forces be destroyed, knowing that the world will be “easy pickins’” after the Russian threat is gone. But, we know that tidings out of the east will soon add to his worries (kings of the east).

It is all fascinating to consider as we watch these things shape in rapid fashion toward the climax of the age.

Now, we look at the latest addition to matters involving that future attack from the hordes to Israel’s north.

The prophecy is most interesting in light of the news item that follows it below.

Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezk. 38:13)

The head of NATO said the alliance would not aid Israel in the event of an attack by Iran, according to reports.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general, told the German magazine Der Spiegel that because Israel is not a member of NATO, its “security guarantee” doesn’t apply to the country, according to the Associated Press.

NATO is also not involved in conflicts in the Middle East or peace efforts there, Stoltenberg added.(“NATO Chief: No Assistance for Israel if Iran Attacks,” by Melissa Quinn, Associated Press, June 02, 2018)

It looks as if the international community is already setting up for the mere diplomatic protest that will be issued when the much-hated Israel is assaulted.

But, the God of Heaven–and of Israel–will have the last word.

Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. (Ezekiel 39:1-4)

Rethinking Babylon the Great

The hour is late, according to practically every biblically prophetic indicator. Most every geographic region, and in many cases specific nations, are coming into sharper focus in lining up for prophetic fulfillment.

The Gog-Magog coalition (Russia, Iran, Turkey, etc.), China as king of the kings of the east, and, of course, Israel, all stand poised as if on some strange starting line. These are like tense athletes ready to launch into full competition, yet they stand at that starting line, with tremendous tension building, as if awaiting the starter’s pistol to fire. When it fires, it will be a deadly competition that will end at Armageddon.

That seven-year course of murderous interaction leading up to the finish line seems as near as the next major crisis. The Tribulation could begin at any time, it seems. Only the lack of a peace agreement with Israel at its center stands as somewhat of a time constraint, preventing Daniel’s seventieth week from initiating.

All of that said, it is more than just odd that end-times Babylon of Revelation 18 is nowhere to be seen. Babylon–the ancient place in Iraq where the great city once stood–is there, of course, but, rather than being built as we thought when Saddam Hussein began a small restoration project on the site, it, in fact, has been threatened by the likes of ISIS and other disruptive forces. Those forces have already destroyed much of the antiquities near the site, with no apparent resistant force to stop them.

It could be, of course, that the fulfillment of the final prophecies involving this region is far off yet. However, the Lord, I’m convinced, is telling those who are paying attention that all of these things are on the very cusp of fulfillment, not somewhere in the distant future.

There must be a land (nation) and a city of unprecedented power, influence, and opulence on the scene by the end of that prophesied seven years to wrap up history prior to Christ’s Second Advent.

I’ve read Mark Hitchcock’s book on the topic, as well as a number of other books on the subject of the city known as Babylon the Great. Most have it that the city will be quickly built with modern building methodologies and equipment. This, to me, is becoming less likely every day.

Yet that nation and city must be there before Christ’s return, as given in Revelation chapter 18 and other places. There is nothing “spiritual” about the prophecy. The land and the city will be “literally” destroyed in an hour, the prophecy says. To me it is doubtful that building such a city of great opulence and influence could be accomplished during the Tribulation–as the tremendous geophysical destruction from God’s judgment and wrath, it seems logical, will make such construction prohibitive.

The one factor that is a big unknown is the amount of time that will elapse between the Rapture of the church and the signing of the covenant that will initiate the seven years of Tribulation. If this is an extensive period of years, it is possible, perhaps, for a city such as given in Revelation chapter 18 to be constructed. Still, logic dictates that it would take a very long period to have the merchants of the earth grow rich from the delicacies that Babylon the great will offer.

I think it is time to reconsider whether it has been America the whole time that this prophecy references.

Despite every economic and other problem that has been thrown at America–even with the Obama presidency, the most destructive (purposefully, I’m convinced) in its history–America stands far above the rest, $20.5 trillion deficit and all. Like the earlier prophecy says about that ancient city and land (Jeremiah 51:7), America has been a “golden cup” in the hand of God–i.e., this nation has seen to it that the gospel has been disseminated to the world. It has served as midwife in the rebirth of Israel into modernity, and has acted as its earthly protector (realizing, of course, that God, Himself, is its ultimate protector).

Sadly, however, America has also become–like that doomed land and city–the most sinful in all of mankind’s history. Like it or not, the United States fits the model, and there seems no such other that has even the most remote chance of one day fitting the model, if we are talking about a relatively near-term fulfillment of the prophecy in which Babylon the Great is involved.

Let us think a bit more about this nation that alone fits the description of the region in which resides Babylon the Great. The United States stands at the center of the world, whether the other nation-states of the planet acknowledge or deny the fact. America is the envy of the world community for the materialistic good she possesses and produces, thus giving her great wealth and great power. It seems the globalist elitists of that world community are determined to do incrementally what they can’t do any other way short of all-out nuclear war, in which there can be no winners. They want what America has. They want the wealth redistributed, to create for themselves a power base of working class to support their needs to establish a worldwide humanist empire.

Does this sound like the ravings of a conspiracy nut? Maybe so. But if it’s a conspiracy theory, my rave is biblically based. It is not a conspiracy, in my view, of a group of world leaders from around the globe who seek to create a world order dictatorship. I’m of the opinion that most of these people believe they have altruistic intentions. They sincerely believe, for the most part, that building such a world, totally controlled by the globalist-elite thinking they can provide, is the way to world peace and prosperity.

However, the real maestro in this plan to create the new world order we heard the first President Bush talk so much about is none other than the greatest of all deceivers–the father of lies. His moving through the minds of men to build a world apart from God is not without precedent. We see that influence in the following:

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. (Genesis 1:1-4)

This account of civilization that developed in due time following the great Flood reflects the fallen mind of mankind. It is a mindset that has not changed over the many thousands of years since. It is an early attempt at one world order, without consideration for God the Creator’s input in determining the governance of culture and society.

The Bible records God’s dealing with that early rebellion of the globalist-elites’ attempt to establish their humanistic kingdom:

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:5-9)

The Creator dealt with these one-worlders by confounding their language. He erected instant language barriers between the people working on the tower of Babel and other projects in the area so that they couldn’t complete the projects. God then supernaturally scattered the people who had become as one culture into the whole world.

The God of Heaven is on the brink of again intervening into the murderous affairs of rebellious mankind. The destruction of Babylon the Great, like the destruction of the Tower of Babel, will lead to the end of man’s attempt to usurp the throne of God. But, this time it will be a fix that will install the Prince of Peace on His earthly throne.

I know I’ll be in trouble with the seminary types, but, based upon evidence in view and Scripture, I have to be open minded to the possibility that we are living in that mysterious place whose chief, doomed, city is called Babylon the Great. One thing sure: We shall see, perhaps sooner rather than later. I find the following most interesting, upon considering Revelation 4:1. (And, keep in mind, the book of Revelation is not strictly chronological in its presentation. The call might refer to a time considerably earlier than this city’s destruction.)

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18: 4-5)

Elam Prophecy in View?

Israel, always in the news while planet earth closes in on Christ’s Second Coming, again is drawn into the center of stage-setting for prophetic fulfillment. I’m referring specifically to prophecy involving ancient Persia–modern Iran.

We’ve looked at the prophecies involving these end-times players over the past number of years. Dynamics generated from things going on in the region have increased in intensity as of late. It is therefore worthwhile to catch up with developments involving Israel and its biblically foretold enemies.

Iranian leaders are angered over the Trump administration’s taking the U.S. out of the “nuclear deal.” They are threatening the Jewish state and vowing that soon Israel will feel their wrath.

Development of nuclear weaponry is at the heart of the threat. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump have both vowed that Iran will not have nuclear weapons. However, it is known that they already possess missiles thought to be capable of carrying nuclear payloads. And, their centrifuges and nuclear laboratories, deeply ensconced within Iran’s mountainous regions, are beyond inspection by the people who came up with the “worst deal in history,” according to President Trump.

A primary reason Trump considered the “deal” as such is because the inspectors could neither “trust” nor “verify,” as President Ronald Reagan insisted in the case of dealing with the Iranian’s chief ally, Russia.

Jerusalem Post article reports Israel’s present mindset.

Netanyahu said he spoke over the weekend with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and expressed Israel’s appreciation for the strong and determined position the US administration is taking against the Iranian nuclear agreement and the Islamic Republic’s aggression in the region.

“The regime in Tehran is the main factor undermining stability in the Middle East,” he said. “The campaign against its aggression is not over, and we are still in it.”

Netanyahu said that Israel is working against the Iranian regime on three fronts: preventing it from acquiring nuclear weapons, working against its military entrenchment in Syria, and working against the transfer of game-changing weapons from Syria to Lebanon, or the manufacturer of that weaponry in Lebanon.

“Those weapons are intended for use against Israel, and it is our right – by virtue of the right of self defense – to prevent its production or transfer,” he said. (Netanyahu says campaign against Iran ongoing on three different fronts, by Herb Keinon,  Israel News – Jerusalem Post, May 27, 2018)

As mentioned, we have previously, and on several occasions, covered the threat to Israel from its prophesied enemy, Persia (Iran). That nuclear threat hasn’t gone away since we last paid attention in one of these commentaries. It has, as a matter of fact, progressed toward becoming not just a threat, but, possibly a real assault. The former U.S. presidential administration aided and abetted that ratcheting-up of Iran’s eventual achievement in producing atomic weapons. Israel’s military posture as of late, combined with Netanyahu’s elevated words of concern, illustrate, I think, just how near might be some action to neutralize Iran’s growing danger to not only the Jewish state, but to other nations as well.

I wrote the following in a commentary on June 14, 2014:

My friend, Bill Salus, has just released an especially fascinating book relative to our time. NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN IN IRAN: The Ancient Prophecy of Elam points to a particular prophecy in the book of Jeremiah that the author believes foretells a devastating blow to a certain part of Iran–the area of ancient Elam.

One of my own burning questions has been: Why does Persia (modern-day Iran) seemingly intend to attack Israel alongside Russia in the Gog-Magog attack of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 without apparent deployment of nuclear weaponry? –Thus, since Iran is obviously developing such weapons as fast as it can.

That prophecy that both Bill and I had and still have in mind is the following:

Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might. And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come. For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the Lord; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them: And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the Lord. But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the Lord. (Jeremiah 49:35-39)

The title of Bill’s book–NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN IN IRAN: The Ancient Prophecy of Elam–might itself prove to be prophetic, as things wind up for the end of the age.

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