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Thief in the Night 

No scriptural proof-text in God’s Word more clearly points to the first of the two phases of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming than does the following: “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2). We who hold to the pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint are often accused of being deceivers. We are condemned by our detractors as leading astray Christians alive now–if they live to see it–who will be required to endure the tribulation, thus to wash their robes clean in preparation for inheriting God’s Kingdom.

We are castigated for foisting upon innocent, gullible believers a “secret rapture” that will somehow lead these Christians to take the mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:16-18).

I’m not precisely sure of their “reasoning,” but I think they claim this because they are convinced that the ones who fall for the Rapture viewpoint won’t be able to recognize Antichrist when he comes to power. We who teach the pre-Trib rapture, so the accusation goes, would have falsely led these people to think the Church would not be here when Antichrist is on the world scene.

Almost all who are antagonistic to the pre-Trib Rapture doctrine teach that the “elect” will have to endure part or all of the seven-year tribulation era. Those who hold to a post-Tribulation Rapture, or a no-Rapture position, believe that Christ will come back at the end of the Tribulation, at Armageddon. They hold to the notion that that is His only return in the Second Coming. Other views have Christ returning when the earth is perfected and made ready, but we won’t go there in this essay.

Let us look at only the pre-Trib Rapture and the post-Trib Rapture positions for the purpose of exploring what is meant by the “thief in the night” references in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 and 2 Peter 3:10.

These two viewpoints–the pre-Trib, and the post-Trib–offer the greatest contrast to examine in consideration of the second advent of Jesus Christ, within the overall belief that Rapture will, according to Bible prophecy, happen before Christ’s foot actually touches down on Planet Earth.

The pre-Trib view of Rapture says that Christ’s Second Coming is in two phases, separated by at least seven years. The post-Trib rapture view says that the Rapture and Christ’s coming back to the Mount of Olives will occur almost simultaneously–certainly with no more than a matter of days separating the two events. The post-Trib position says there is no “secret” Rapture. Christ’s coming again will be fully seen in the heavens by all, including Christians who will be watching for Him to break through the darkness of that hour.

We agree that the Rapture of the Church (all born-again believers in Jesus Christ for salvation since the Church Age began at Pentecost) will be anything but a “secret.” The world will instantly go into cataclysmic chaos at the moment that stunning event takes place. The imagination is hard-pressed to fathom the ramifications of what will happen when millions suddenly vanish. Every child below the age of accountability will be gone in that mind-boggling instant of time. I am convinced that all babies (including those in the wombs of their mothers) will be instantly in the presence of Christ in the clouds of glory.

Every corpse of every dead Christian will be raised to join with his or her soul to meet Christ in the air in that atomos of time. The Rapture will be mystifying, and to some an inexplicable phenomenon, but it will not be a secret. It will happen before the eyes of a stupefied planet of left-behind earth-dwellers. This declaration that Jesus will call His Church to be with Him seems audacious to many. But, it didn’t seem so to the Apostle Paul. He was quite confident–even adamant—in his prophecy concerning the “mystery” he had been given by the Holy Spirit to instruct all believers down through the Age of Grace (Church Age).

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

He explains what will take place next, in that stupendous fraction of a second:

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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 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 4:15-17)

Jesus Himself told of this “mystery” Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 15:51. The Lord explains what happens after believers–both the bodies of the dead and those who are living–are caught up in the air to be with Him:

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3)

So, the Rapture will take place. Believers and the bodies of those who died during the Church Age will be “caught up” in one single moment of time. “ALL,” not “some,” will go instantly to be with Jesus, who will then take them into heaven, where He has been preparing their dwelling places since He ascended from the Mount of Olives.

Again, the pre-Trib position on this joyous event is that it is imminent (could happen at any moment), and will happen before the Tribulation Period begins. The post-Trib position says that it happens at the end of the most terrible time in human history, just as Jesus Christ is returning from heaven at Armageddon.

The pre-Trib view holds that it will occur at an unknown time. It will be a stunning, sudden, and unannounced-to-the-world-at-large break-in upon business as usual on Planet Earth. The post-Trib proclaims that it will occur following all of the horrors of the judgments outlined in Revelation.

The pre-Trib view says that the world at large (left-behind earth-dwellers) won’t see it coming. The Rapture will cause all left on earth to wonder what has happened. The post-Trib view says that all eyes will behold Christ’s coming again to a hellish planet, and the living and dead saints will then be gathered to Christ.

The defining thing to consider in thinking on the two diametrically different views of the Rapture and Second Coming is wrapped up in the term “thief in the night.” The Apostle Peter again uses this mysterious term, first used by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:2:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (2 Peters 3:10)

Peter is saying here that the day of the Lord–that time when God and His Christ, His Son, takes over this fallen planet—will begin like a thief in the night. It will be a sudden, catastrophic break-in upon a world doing business as usual. (Read Luke 17:26-29 to understand how things will be going along as usual when Christ comes back.)

This description hardly fits the post-Trib view, or any other view that says Christ will Rapture His Church during a time of unprecedented trouble (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:21). This indicates that it will be a total surprise, because a thief in the night doesn’t announce his coming with great, cataclysmic fanfare. The break-in is swift, stealthy–a totally unexpected event.

Peter foretells in these passages that the “day of the Lord” will then run its course, until the remaking of the heavens and the earth. The Rapture will begin this “day of the Lord,” which will then run at least 1,007 years.

This is the first phase of Christ’s Second Coming. The Rapture occurs like a “thief in the night.” The second advent, when Jesus’ foot touches down on the Mount of Olives, is the second phase.

There are those who say with vehemence that it is blasphemous to equate Christ’s coming again as being like the break-in of a thief in the night. How dare we liken their Lord to a “thief”!

Really? Here’s what Jesus, the Creator of all things, said about this matter:

But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 24:43-44)

Looks like a pretty good case for the Lord’s sudden intervention into the nefarious affairs of this increasingly wicked world, does it not? That thief-in-the-night moment could happen, literally, at any moment. Certainly, signals of the Tribulation are beginning to come to pass.

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)

Tribulation Light

Regarding the title above, I don’t mean to imply light being shed on the Tribulation–although that is part of what I hope will be done. By using the term “Tribulation light,” I mean we are now seeing issues and events occur in this Age of Grace much like, but not actually those prophetically scheduled for, the seven years of worldwide horror leading up to Christ’s Second Advent–i.e., those issues and events are but similar to those much more horrific, apocalyptic events; foreshadows of things to come.

There are several specific prophecies expounded upon by Jesus while giving His Olivet Discourse that I would like to examine as being “Tribulation light” events in our headlines today.

The Lord gave these as recorded in the following prophecy:

Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21: 20-21)

I would like to probe a bit into the less-prominent “Tribulation light” prophetic indicators within the above Scripture before getting into that which I view as most pronounced in these days so near the end of the Church Age.

Jesus was foretelling that these troubles will be unprecedented in their ferocity during the Tribulation era when God’s wrath will fall upon incorrigibly wicked mankind. He exhorted that when those with discernment see these things begin to happen, they are to know that His return is drawing near. Note, the Lord said when these things “begin” to come to pass, those with discernment are to “look up…for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28).

Jesus said as recorded in other places that these issues and events will be like birth pangs. They will come upon end-time’s mankind like pains a woman experiences during the incrementally increasing contractions of having a baby. That is, these pains will begin in a milder manner than they will become the nearer the moment of birth.

Earthquakes, Jesus said, will mark the beginning of “sorrows” (birth pangs). Again, these, obviously, staying within the birthing analogy, will be lighter in severity than they will become during the full-blown Tribulation when Christ’s return is about to happen. We are told in Revelation that there will occur the ultimate earthquake as Christ is breaking through the black clouds of that terrible time. Every mountain will fall. That describes a mighty earthquake indeed!

Anyone who reads the news as presented in our Rapture Ready News section knows of the reports of tremblers from around the world. There seems no geographical region of the planet that isn’t experiencing seismic activity on an increasing scale. All of these quakes are light in severity when compared to the Revelation description of the final quake that will bring every tall structure on earth crashing down. However, the cumulative effects have prophetic evidentiary significance, it becomes ever more obvious.

Within recent times, covering a very brief number of hours, we have the following posts:

  • 5.7-magnitude earthquake felt in New Zealand capital
    New Zealand’s capital city Wellington was rocked by 5.7-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday (Feb 9), according to the country’s earthquake monitoring service.
  • Massive earthquake hits near Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville
    A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit near the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville early on Tuesday morning. The undersea quake struck at 3.19am local time…
  • Taiwan Quake Kills at Least 18 as Search for Missing Continues
    A strong earthquake rocked a region of Taiwan that’s a hub for chipmaking suppliers to the likes of Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc., killing at least 18 people
  • 5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Nepal, Tremors Felt In Bihar
  • Earthquake shakes Tokyo, no tsunami risk
    An earthquake has struck close to Tokyo, shaking much of the metropolitan region. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, and no tsunami
  • Chile earthquake: Strong tremor strikes near Tongoy and La Serena
    A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 has struck off the coast of central Chile, centered off Tongoy and La Serena, seismologists say.
  • Strong earthquake hits Solomon Islands
    A magnitude 6.4 earthquakes hit the Solomon Islands at 12.19am today, according to the Malaysian Meteorological Department.

Such reports continue in a never-ending cyberspace headlines crawl. The tremors are coming with increasing frequency and intensity.

The second “Tribulation light” indicator I pluck from the Luke 21:20-21 Olivet prophecy Jesus gave is the matter of “pestilence.”

To be brief, I bring to your attention the things we have seen develop in this regard. Remember the Ebola scare. Think of the HIV natter that was on the front pages and growing, seemingly, uncontrollably. And now it is the Zika virus that is apparently spread by mosquitoes and which has no medical defense to combat it. There is growing concern among the medical research community that many of the pestilences are in the process of mutating–developing resistance to antibiotics and other forms of combating disease.

The Tribulation era will see these diseases become full-blown. The toll in human life will be beyond comprehension.

All of these above-mentioned developments are but sidebars to the real story regarding signals that show how near this generation is to the Tribulation era.

“Nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom”: This is the real scriptural crux of proof in thinking on where we stand on God’s prophetic timeline.

“Nation” in the Greek language, as used here, is “ethnos” or “ethnic” in English. Jesus was predicting that the very end of the age would produce great ethnic upheaval. People will be raging against each other for reasons of race. Likewise, the Lord said that “kingdom against kingdom” will mark the era leading up to His Second Advent.

Is there any doubt whatsoever that these indicators are in our headlines today? In the very streets of America, there is ethnic rage that sometimes boils to the uncontrollable level. The rioting in places like Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, leap instantly to mind. Such rage is at the heart of problems around the world. Religious fervor, inciting ethnic hatreds, mark this generation as the one Jesus must have had in His omniscient mind when giving this prophecy.

We are experiencing today “Tribulation light” prophetic birth pangs on a moment-by-moment basis. It will be fascinating, as watchers on the wall, to see what the rest of 2018 and beyond will bring. We, as born-again believers, hope it brings the shout of the Lord Jesus: “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1)

Missing Dave Hunt

Circumstances involving an email arose the other day,  revolving around a request that I address a question in Bible prophecy. A dear ministry friend had just received the email asking what I meant by something I wrote in a commentary that my friend posted on her website. The question was about Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24 regarding the days of Noah and days of Lot–Matthew 24:36-44.

This prophecy is one I consider most relevant to this very moment in which we find ourselves. I believe the Lord was talking specifically to the present generation. We have covered the prophecy a number of times in recent weeks. I am convicted in my spirit that we stand upon the very precipice of its fulfillment.

Here is that prophecy:

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)

Jesus followed up the exhortation to be watchful with a second exhortation reinforcing the first: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).

After responding to the emails from my friend and her website follower, I began to think back on one of the great prophecy teachers I’ve been privileged to call friend and Christian brother. It is Dave Hunt to whom I refer, as the title of this commentary suggests. I’m sure that most all who read this article know about this superb speaker, writer, and teacher of God’s Word.

Dave went to his heavenly home a few years ago. His ministry is The Berean Call, which continues today.

The question of whether the Rapture of the Church is in Jesus’ Matthew 24 Olivet Discourse has long been a somewhat contentious matter among students of Bible prophecy. Most often, the seminary line has it that there is no reference whatsoever to the Rapture in that account, although some within that high realm of Bible academia believe the Rapture is within the prophecy Jesus gave.

I, of course, don’t belong to that high realm, but do believe with all that is within my spirit that Jesus was foretelling not only the Rapture, but a pre-Trib Rapture, meaning that the Rapture will happen prior to the Tribulation era, that great time of worldwide judgment and wrath prophesied by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse, Paul in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, the prophet Daniel in 9:26-27, and John in the Book of Revelation.

The preachers and teachers of this present day continue to neglect Bible prophecy, and almost never express any thoughts whatsoever on the Rapture of the Church. These spend even less time presenting their parishioners with any teaching on the pre-Trib view of the Rapture.

It is with this lament weighing heavily that–upon dealing with the above-mentioned email–Dave Hunt came to mind.

Dave conducted a session at the Pre-Trib Study Group in Dallas on the Matthew 24 prophecy in 1998. I sat in on that early-morning session and was validated in my spirit by Dave’s facing the study group head-on with his lecture.

Many there that morning were of the higher academic sort–good brothers, sisters in Christ all. But, many–probably most–believed the Olivet Discourse held no mention of the Rapture. That prophetic utterance by the Lord, most held, was and is for Israel only.       

I looked into my computer and found my files on that session. I have both a transcript of the session and the audio file. I’ve had fun going over both since entertaining the email interaction mentioned above.

Dave Hunt gave a masterful rendering of  Matthew 24 that morning in 1998. He began with his terrific sense of humor in full force, although most of us were still trying to come to our senses as we sipped on black, caffeine-soaked coffee.

Dave said:

Well, if the truth were to be known, which is not easy, Tommy [Dr. Thomas Ice, Pre-Trib study group director] scheduled me at this early hour, hoping nobody would show up to here my heresies, and I was hoping the Greek scholars wouldn’t be here, to bombard me with errorist indicatives and that kind of stuff. Furthermore, I knew Tommy was throwing me to the lions this morning, and my name isn’t Daniel, so I got cold feet and decided to change the topic. He said the 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.

Dave defended his–and my- belief that Jesus was indeed speaking of the Rapture and even more so to the pre-Trib Rapture in the days of Noah, days of Lot portion of His Olivet Discourse.
We are at a time in human history that Jesus described perfectly, as only the God of all creation could. Again, I believe that Donald J. Trump was put in the presidency of the United States for just this hour. We are, I believe, entering a time of building, buying, planting, socially intensive activity like marrying and giving in marriage, unprecedented in the annals of mankind. It will be just at such a time–a time you think not”- that the “Son of man is revealed.”

Jesus Christ’s “revelation” to this rebellious world will come in the form of the Rapture of all born-again believers, both sleeping in death and those alive, when He calls, “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1).

God Bless America Again

A country song from way back in the 1960s and 1970s, during the Vietnam War era, plays through my mind these days. The chorus goes as follows:

God bless America again. You must know the trouble that she’s in. Wash her pretty face, dry her eyes and then,… God bless America again.

The war was raging while Walter Cronkite read the mainstream view of the news to us at dinnertime. Film of bloodied American GIs and corpses of black-pajamaed Vietcong projected from our TV screens while we downed our evening meals.

B-52s dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of explosives, carpet-bombing an unseen enemy many thousands of feet below. Rolling Thunder, as it was called, churned up killing fields of earth mixed with flesh and blood night after night–day after day.

More than fifty thousand American soldiers and airmen went through the horrific, grinding process of becoming casualties of war their country’s leaders, it turned out, never intended to bring to total victory–giving their last measure of devotion for America the beautiful. At the same time, the ugliness of political warfare was being uncovered and displayed in a news media orgy of, in my view, pro-Communist gleefulness.

A U.S. president of the United States was turned out of office in disgrace–and, rightfully so. Watergate became forever an ingrained term within the American-English lexicon.

Would America ever recover? Would the curse that had descended since the time of Korea, with America’s young men and women dying in a “police action” purposely fought to stalemate rather than to complete victory, ever lift from our nation?

There have been moments of seemingly possible national egress from the plunge into the abyss of political corrosiveness. It looked like the nation might pull away from the cultural rot begun in earnest during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the legitimization of murdering babies in their mother’s wombs.

The Moral Majority appeared for a brief, shining, moment to be making headway in engendering movement toward moral sanity. Somehow, however, a national, cultural darkness began descending following the Reagan years. An almost tangible veil separating America’s formerly flawed but Judeo- Christian-governed morality from a new immoral malignity fell with the Clinton years, the White House intern’s stained, blue dress and all the rest.

Jeremiah Wright, Barack Hussein Obama’s black-liberation theology ”pastor,” from his Chicago pulpit, spewed a venomous rant that America’s chickens had come home to roost and implied that the Lord of Heaven should damn America–using God’s name in vain with the invective. Wright was, I infer, talking about the Islamist attacks on the Trade Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

As much as I detested “Reverend” Wright’s hate speech against the United States, I must admit that indeed, America’s chickens appeared to have come home to roost, suffering on that September 11, 2001, Tuesday at least some degree of God’s judgment. In my view, the eight – years of Wright’s best-known parishioner’s time in the Oval Office brought an intensification of that judgment.

The year 2016 was  a truly pivotal year for this nation and the world. it was proper, I believe, to wonder whether God’s judgment was on track to preclude that of the corrective sort, such as in the past. I’m thinking of times like the Great Depression of the 1930s, following the debauched era of the Roaring Twenties, as it was called.

It was within reason to consider that  God’s judgment might be entering a destructive rather than another corrective phase. Was America entering a time such as when Sodom and Gomorrah came to their end–i.e., was it possible that God would never bless America again?

Like that country song tells throughout its lyrics, I, too, love America and don’t want to ever let it fall because of my not doing my part in helping keep it upright in every sense.

All of this said, spiritually enlightened Bible students know that neither the leaders of this nation nor of any other will rectify the rapidly mounting problems. Only Jesus Christ will solve the otherwise unsolvable, sinister evil that is at humanity’s core.

There are, within the community of Bible prophecy observers, those who wonder whether America is the most likely candidate for being the Babylon of the eighteenth chapter of Revelation–according to the Bible, the country that will be the most materially accomplished of all nations of earth’s history. I am one of those who pondered this possibility more seriously with each passing news headline involving the Obama Administration and State Department dealing with Israel.

God, it is abundantly clear, has through His dealing with America more than lived up to His promise to bless those who bless the progeny that would come from Abraham through Isaac. America, acting as midwife in the rebirth of the Jewish state into modernity in 1948, has been the recipient of bountiful material blessings beyond measure. God has truly blessed America.

Conversely, God has promised to curse those who curse His chosen nation, Israel. The cultural war is observably causing the loss of America’s former striving to promote Judeo-Christian values the Founding Fathers infused into the Constitution. Just as troubling was the obvious disdain the most previous president and those around him had for Israel, even choosing to champion Israel’s enemies at every diplomatic opportunity, it seems to me.

Such continued folly would not perhaps, but would certainly, bring national disaster the likes of which our previously blessed nation has never experienced. If indeed forgiveness of our national sins is possible, given the lateness of the prophetic hour, let us who name the matchless name that is above every name implore God to bless America again. This must be done, however, not with vain repetition in the idle words “God bless America” often used by presidents and politicians when ending their meaningless speeches.

There is but one heavenly Rx for obtaining an answer to such a prayer:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

God does not change. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That call to repentance to His people is still in effect–and it is for Church Age saints, just as it was for His chosen people of ancient Israel. But, time is swiftly fleeting.

“We will make America great again!” is a current presidential politics proclamation. No, “we” won’t. We have proven, through our actions and lack thereof, that as a people, we want to take America in the other direction. “We” didn’t make America great in the first place, and we certainly can’t make it great in the future.

“God bless America again,” when offered in genuine spiritual, obedient humility–not in politically-prideful demand–before the throne of Almighty God, is the only petition that has a prayer of a chance to save our nation.

Thankfully, we seem to have been given a chance to make America great again God’s Way.

The Enragement

There are many in America, it is more than obvious, who are only minimally aware or not aware at all of the enragement spawned by the 2016 presidential election. Because I am so intensely aware of the rage ripping at the heart of the nation, those who don’t seem to even notice the damage being done irritate me to distraction. My only comfort comes from the knowledge that God has it all under control. –That, and the conviction that a reconstituted silent majority will manifest its own enragement when it’s time to enter the voting booths during this year’s mid-term elections.

Then, I come to my spiritual senses and realize that politics are of a temporal nature that render effects on the human condition fleeting at best. Only investment in things of God will triumph at the end of the day. Humanistic influences—be they constituted of political or any other man-centered ingredient—are of no lasting consequence.

Still, we must endure present circumstance, so it’s best to do so by, as calmly and thoughtfully as possible, analyzing things as they exist.

Always, it is our purpose at Rapture Ready to probe with the sharp, revealing Word of Bible prophecy. Doing so makes possible the understanding of even the absolute insanity exhibited by the political left, pumped up in its enragement by ideological steroids injected by mainstream news and entertainment media.

It takes no more than a modicum of effort to get to the very center of the anger. The winner of the 2016 presidential election is the object of rage for hatred central—the political party which, it seems, becomes more radical by the day.

To get right to the proof of the pudding, as the term goes, we look at an individual party member that more than most others represents the radicalized left in the matter of hatred for the duly elected president.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is the apex mover and shaker in the so-called resistance. We remember her inflammatory rhetoric upon her learning of White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders being ejected from a Washington, D.C., restaurant because she worked for the Trump Administration.

Waters said, “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them! And you tell them that they are not welcome, anymore, anywhere.”

Despite some within her political party making limp attempts to distance themselves from Waters’ lunacy, the enragement just continues to mount. Waters, rather than back down from her incitement, continues to throw fuel on the fires started by the so-called Antifa movement, an organized group of haters equating the Trump Administration to the fascist government of the days of Benito Mussolini, axis partner with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis of World War II.

The enragement will soon reach a dangerous level, it is feared by those who observe from the perspective of students of history.

World Net Daily (WND) columnist Dennis Prager said the following:

“Because of the ever-descending moral and intellectual state of the mainstream news media, there has been no outcry against the leftists who call President Donald Trump and all Americans who support him Nazis. Indeed, members of the media now regularly do so.

“Without that outcry, this labeling will only increase; and this steadily increasing drumbeat of hysteria is likely to lead to one result: violence against conservatives,” he warned.

“It is not plausible to foresee any other outcome of left-wing normalization of the terms ‘Nazi’ and ‘white supremacist.’”

A WND report presented the following regarding the political rage that is building. Veteran political adviser and longtime columnist Pat Buchanan warned inflammatory rhetoric sometimes is followed by very real violence.

“The left, to the point of irrationality, despises a triumphant Trumpian right and believes that to equate it with fascists is not only legitimate, but a sign that the accusers are the real moral, righteous and courageous dissenters in these terrible times,” he explained.

It has happened before, he pointed out.

“After Dr. King’s assassination, a hundred cities, including the capital, were looted and burned. Scores died. U.S. troops and the National Guard were called out to restore order. Soldiers returning from Vietnam were spat upon. Cops were gunned down by urban terrorists. Bombings and bomb attempts were everyday occurrences. Campuses were closed down. In May 1971, tens of thousands of radicals went on a rampage to shut down D.C.,” he said.

And Buchanan cited the left’s frequent comparisons of Trump to Nazi Germany, which “are absurd.”

“Does anyone truly believe that the centers where the children of illegal migrants are being held, run as they are by liberal bureaucrats from the Department of Health and Human Services, are like Stalin’s Gulag or Hitler’s camps?” he wrote. (WND.com, July 3, 2018)

Again, while humanistic rage and political enragement are troubling, it is incumbent upon the spiritually-attuned to consider the real battle being waged. We find that battle in Ephesians 6: 12—We struggle not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

We get right to the heart of the cause and effect by considering the following:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Pet 5: 8)

Satan—the devil—is enraged. So, too, are his minions, both demonic and human. However, we are not to fall victim to the enragement of minions who want to throw off the bonds of Heaven’s governance. Jesus is our strength and our fortress. We are told: “Greater is he who is in you, than he who is in the world.” (1 Jn 4: 4)

Rapture-Resistance Reasoning

While those who truly grasp the lateness of the hour and what the issues and events of these strange, troubled times mean, there is the overwhelming majority that hasn’t a clue. This is neither surprising nor unexpected, because the vast part of the world’s population is in spiritual darkness–without Christ, therefore without the Holy Spirit to guide thinking and comportment.

There are millions upon millions of others who are within Christendom–that is, who claim to be under the umbrella of Christianity. Most of these, statistics bear out, would not qualify as “Christian” under the definition of being “born again.” That is, they haven’t truly “believed” as given in Romans 10:9-10:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

It is not my place–nor the place of any other person to say who is and isn’t “saved” on an individual basis. However, we are to definitely hold to what the Bible tells us are the qualifications for becoming a child of God who will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. In the sense of discernment, we can say that those who hold to those biblical qualifications are “saved” and those who do not hold to those qualifications are not.

We will deal in this essay with those who fit within the category defined by the above prescription for being born again. I would like to get even more specific.

Among those who are truly born again, there are many views of how things will play out, prophetically speaking. At the same time, there are also many who don’t know and many who don’t care about prophecy–what God has foretold about their future. They are too busy living out their increments of life one heartbeat and breath at a time.

Sadly, the latter by far constitute the majority. That is, most don’t know about Bible prophecy, and most don’t care. They are aided and abetted in their willful ignorance by the pastors and Bible teachers within their church bodies in this disregard for the prophetic portion of God’s Word. That prophetic Word is almost one-third of the Scripture the Lord has given us through His Love Letter to mankind.

Even more specifically, I want to concentrate for the moment on the doctrine of the Rapture of the Church–that twinkling of an eye moment Paul wrote about as recorded in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:52-55.

Of those who have truly been born again, there are few in number who know about the Rapture in concrete terms or who grasp that there will come that moment of being called into Heaven by their Lord. In America, even those who do understand that the Rapture is an event prophetically scheduled according to the Bible resist embracing the promise intrinsic within the doctrine of that imminent call from Christ. That is, rather than desire to hear Christ’s call, “Come up here,” (Revelation 4: 1) these want to first live life on earth and fulfill all of the anticipated pleasures it offers. It is primarily this group of believers to whom I address the thoughts that follow.

Notice, please, that I wrote as a qualifier, “in America.. It is in America that this attitude of not embracing the Rapture among Christians is most pronounced. Proof of that statement is made clear through the thousands upon thousands of sermons that are preached each week. The number of prophetic messages amongst those thousands of sermons are infinitesimal. People don’t want to hear that Christ’s call is imminent. The pastors–in overwhelming numbers–demonstrate that they don’t want to delve into that portion of Bible truth–even if, indeed, they in fact believe that the Rapture is an imminent event.

Not desiring the Rapture is, for American believers, as natural as breathing. Life in the United States is not bad, and for the most part, pretty comfortable. Compared to living as a Christian in, say, the Middle East, Africa, or other parts of the world, being a Christian requires that no heavy price be paid. That is what I mean when I say it is as natural as breathing.

Christians in America, unlike their counterparts in less blessed, heavily oppressed, persecuted parts of the world, rather than worrying about whether they will be able to provide food for themselves and their children for the day, look forward to their upcoming marriages, vacations, or new purchases that will satisfy their latest comfortable lifestyle aspirations. These physical and psychological wants and needs are the natural outflow from abundance. Longing for the Rapture is a spiritual–supernatural–exercise that requires, for most, effort that seems to offer no tangible, immediate gratification. Such effort is just too taxing for most of America’s Christians and their pastors. It takes them out of their comfort zone, much as does prayer and Bible reading.

When American Christians in this category do think of the Rapture–which, again, they in fact believe is a thing that will happen, but somewhere in the hazy years of the future–they fear it will take them away from the pleasures of this earthly life. That event will, they think, snatch them from their comfortable American lifestyle. It will present a completely changed paradigm–one that will cause them to lose homes, family closeness, friendships, other relationships, and their “stuff”–all of which provides familiarity and pleasure.

This is especially true among the younger people. Their disinterest in prophecy in general and in the Rapture of the church in particular is more than obvious in the make-up of prophecy conferences. I can’t see any longer, due to a retinal disease, but am told that the conferences are almost without exception attended nearly exclusively by those with gray hair.

Now, I’ve been perhaps too harsh on Christians in America. However, we are approaching the very end of this Church Age. The perhaps overly stern exhortation is to focus attention on the reality that we might within months, weeks, days, or even hours, look our Lord in His holy, omniscient eyes. He said He was going to prepare a place for us and would come again and take us there with Him (John 14:1-3). That “place” is something we can’t even begin to fathom in its wonders and luxuriant surroundings. All of the relationships in this life we thought we might lose in the Rapture will be magnified in their joy and intimacy a million times over. We are going to find that all earthly treasures we so valued are as refuse compared to things the Lord has prepared for those that love Him.

I sense that the newlywed couple who belong to Christ will find their relationship with each other dazzlingly more intimate than anything planet earth could have nurtured. The “stuff” left behind will be instantly forgotten when we behold the heavenly treasury that holds us spellbound. The best days of our lives in this earthly confinement will seem as a time of terrible, debilitating paralysis. The Rapture will instantaneously bring life unencumbered by gravity and all laws of what we know as physics. The Lord put us here to enjoy the many good things He provides. There’s nothing wrong in living life to its absolute fullest. But, this is not our home. We are but travelers in a foreign land. We are here for, at best, 70, 80, 90, or 100 years, then we slip these surly bonds.

We, as God’s children, should not resist the doctrine of Rapture, but anticipate that glorious instant when the whole purpose of our being born into this universe reaches fruition. We will at that incomprehensible moment understand what it means to be joint heirs with Christ. Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!

Revelations – By Terry James (and Tyce Greyson)

Terry James novel is on sale at Amazon at a tremendously low price. Only $7.99 for a book of more than 300 pages!

Below is the opening of the story that is based in facts from Bible prophecy. God’s prophetic Word continues to unfold at a phenomenal pace. This novel reflects Truth as it might scroll across our news and social media headlines over the days, weeks and months just ahead.

We hope you will read, then write an Amazon review of this story –a book that presents prophetic truth from uniquely entertaining perspective that we believe will rivet your attention to its pages. 

REVELATIONS  – By Terry James (and Tyce Greyson)

Prologue

Part I

“You’ve chosen the bottom-of-the-barrel profession in the eyes of those who will read your stuff.”

His journalism professor’s words echoed in his thoughts while Tyce Greyson checked his camera.

“News media types rate below politicians,” the remembered words continued.

Melodious, Middle Eastern chants in the late afternoon brought an eerie sense of not belonging. Greyson felt far out of his element, even though he had, during the last three of his twenty-seven years on the planet, occasionally covered stories in Jerusalem as an independent journalist.

His next job was already a done deal. He would work as a staff reporter for a Little Rock, Arkansas, television station.

This would be the last such assignment as an independent writer he would undertake for the foreseeable future. He approached the Western Wall—the so-called Wailing Wall. He wanted to get as many shots as possible while the sunlight remained. The piece would be written for a Jewish magazine based in Washington, D.C. He was anxious to get the job done and eventually fly back to New York, then into HillBilly Airport, as those of his circle called the Little Rock airport named after Hillary and Bill Clinton.

“Maybe we are out of touch with our audiences like they say. Maybe that’s why the low rating,” he considered.

He took several quick shots of people in Mid-Eastern garb and let the thought drop.

Greyson entered a crowded area of worshippers. He angled for the one spot he saw that afforded the least-restricted camera view of the holiest worship site in Judaism.

When the worshippers began crowding around him, the view of the wall became blocked. He cursed beneath his breath and held the camera above his head to keep it from being bumped. The worshippers advanced, and he turned sideways to escape the milling swarm. Finally, he found himself free and was pleased to have a better view of the wall than before.

Greyson took a number of shots while moving around the newly found open area. He checked each photo before taking another series of shots.

He began studying the last of the photographs, his attention disrupted when he was touched by a hand on his left arm. He looked at the shorter man, whose eyes were wide and glistening in the late afternoon sunlight that slanted from the horizon.

The man lifted himself on tiptoes to get to a point nearer the taller younger man’s face. His aged, bearded face beneath the kippah he wore projected extreme urgency. He spoke in heavily accented English.

“Israel is the sign,” he said in a near whisper.

The eyes seemed to thrust the words into Greyson’s brain with laser-like intensity. “Israel is the sign,” the man repeated in a whisper, but with more passion.

After a moment of glaring, the religiously robed man shuffled to a few feet away. He turned to again look into Greyson’s puzzled expression. This time, his words thundered into the journalist’s thoughts.

“Israel is the sign of the end.

Prologue

Part II

I’ve been blind for decades due to a hereditary retinal disease called retinitis pigmentosa. My occupation is that of a writer. Public relations in corporate settings was my work until the blindness became total. Books dealing with dark, mysterious themes became my passion once the disease took my eyesight completely.

Foretelling of things to come has dominated my writing life, tugging my creative juices in directions I neither can nor want to control. That is all held in the hands of a higher power. There’s nothing that can change the truth of that reality, and I wouldn’t want it changed if there was a way.

Proof of the control of this higher power—to me at least—came on a Good Friday. My heart stopped and I was suddenly confronted by an otherworldly gallery of young, jubilant beings.

They were human in appearance but exuded unearthly, I guess you would say “ethereal,” even “heavenly,” radiance.

They were beckoning. They wanted me be to become a part of them—to tell me their astonishing, secret things. Their allurement was mesmerizing. But, everything faded to black and I was again under the human hands of the physicians. They frantically worked to keep me among the living.

The doctors said it had been the “widow maker.” They were amazed that I lived, since my heart had stopped three times to be restarted each time by defibrillation paddles.

Thoughts of that dynamic throng of young, glowing beings and what it all meant kept me up into the early morning hours for months. Answers began to trickle into my understanding one Friday morning nearly a year later.

The interview for my latest book had been hastily arranged by the publicist for my publisher. I stuck my hand out to shake the reporter’s hand when he was ushered into my study.

“It’s great to meet you, sir,” he said, then introduced me to the camera operator who had come with him.

Our interview was wrapped up in less than twenty minutes, and the reporter, after thanking me for my time, said, “I’ve read not only this book…”

Being unable to see his action, I presumed he held up the copy of the book about which we had just interviewed.

“…but I’ve read a number of others.”

“I’m honored,” I said.

“I’ve read yours and they inspired me to pick up some other books on prophecy.”

“Oh? So you’ve become interested?” I probed.

“More like obsessed,” he said. “I’ve been reading the Book of Revelations—”

“—Revelation,” I interrupted.

“Sir?”

“It’s Revelation…singular, not plural,” I instructed.

One of my pet peeves.

“Oh, yes. Revelation.”

“Lots make the mistake,” I comforted.

Revelation, not Revelations. I’ll have to remember that,” he said, chuckling.

“I’m reading the Bible in conjunction with your books and others on Bible prophecy…also, other books by authors writing from perspectives not particularly biblical.”

“What do you plan to do with this…research? Any particular project you have in mind?”

My question unleashed thoughts that obviously he had kept bottled within.

“I was in Israel less than a year and a half ago,” he said. “Do you have a few minutes ?”

“Sure.”

“Let me send my camera guy back to the station.”

He did so, then turned his thoughts back to where he left off.

“I was taking some shots of the Temple Mount area in Jerusalem. This strange, Jewish guy—I guess he was a Jew, based on the get-up he wore—he, just out of nowhere, came up to me and said, ‘Israel is a sign of the end.’”

A moment of silence caused us both to reflect upon the words.

“Did he seem like a kook, do you think?”

“Could’ve been. His eyes were wild-looking. But, I’ve been kind of haunted, I guess you could say, since he said it. ‘Israel is the sign of the end.’”

“So, that’s what set you on this course of research?”

“Yeah. I guess that what has poked at my curiosity about all this prophecy business,” he said after a moment of considering my question.

“Where do you think your…curiosity…is taking you?” I asked.

He laughed. “I came to interview you, and you’re interviewing me.”

“Sorry,” I said, “A writer’s curiosity. You know what that’s like.”

“Yes, sir. I’m glad you’re curious. Maybe I can get some direction.”

We each awaited the other’s next words. He spoke finally.

“I’ve been with the Little Rock station since the encounter at the Temple Mount. CBS wanted me to get that experience before going to network.”

“That’s quite an opportunity…”

“Yeah. It’s kind of intimidating, though.”

“Oh? Sounds like you’ve made it.”

“Well, not if you look at it from my vantage,” he said. “You’re always under the microscope. Or that’s how I feel, anyway.”

“You’ll do fine,” I said, not really knowing anything much about his business except that I viewed all mainstream media with a high degree of skepticism.

“Wish I shared your confidence,” he said.

I started to give my opinion on mainstream news media, but held my tongue.

Again there was a pause before he spoke.

“I’ll begin working at network in about two weeks. But, first I’m going to pursue this…this prophecy itch I have.”

“How so?”

“I’m going to Patmos. I’m booked on a flight there next Thursday.”

“Patmos, huh? Well, that’s a heck of a good place to begin thinking on things prophetic,” I said. “Ol‘ John did pretty well considering things to come from that island.”

When the young reporter left my study with a handshake and my well wishes, I sensed in my core being something profoundly spiritual pass between us. I envied the future toward which he was moving.

It was like the torch being passed. There was no way of knowing that torch would be coming back my way.

REVELATIONS

By Terry James

Only $7.99

Amazon

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