Pre-Trib belief antagonists are on the rise. Rapture critics, even among those who claim to believe in the eventuality of a Rapture, just not the pre-Tribulation view of that event, purport to present evidence on every side that our times trumpet the obvious: The world is about to enter the Tribulation. Christ’s call to believers, they say, just isn’t going to happen before Christians suffer at least part of the terrors of that beastly era.
They offer that anyone with knowledge of issues and events going on should recognize that the New World Order bunch is transforming America and the world into the kingdom of Antichrist. All is about to come together for the Gog-led invasion into the Middle East. As a matter of fact, many hold that World War III has already begun.
Advanced computer and other control technologies and instrumentalities are in place for locking everyone on the planet into fiscal bondage and physical slavery to the final empire as prophesied by Daniel.
Those of us who believe there is coming a supernatural Rapture-escape from these judgments on sinful mankind are just living in fantasy land is the collective message I infer from emails and articles that increasingly assault my senses. That I, and all of you, should begin prepping with food, water, gold, silver, and finding a good bunker in which to hunker down during these upcoming days seem to me to be the things these Rapture naysayers are presenting. Seldom do I hear coming from our opponents on the question of the Rapture the admonition to be trying to witness with all our might the gospel of Jesus Christ. I guess there will be plenty of time for that once the Antichrist regime is firmly in place.
While the Pre-Trib proponent holds at the heart of his effort winning as many souls to Christ as possible so those saved won’t go through that time of horrors, many of the anti-Rapture antagonists want to do things to make sure they are more comfortable while trying to survive that hellish time.
Coincidentally–or perhaps not–these just happen to, in some cases of TV and other ministries who openly disdain the thought of Rapture, offer for sale all of these things for survival. The packaged food items invariably are proclaimed to have shelf lives of three decades or longer. So, we can, if we survive, have these supplies to partake of well into the Millennium, I suppose. This, based upon the general theme that they believe the seven-year Tribulation, not the Rapture, is imminent. There have been over the past few years a number of debates taking place on whether there will be the Pre-Trib Rapture or not. The best I’ve heard was the one at the Pre-Trib study group meetings when Dr. Mark Hitchcock completely destroyed the anti-Rapture arguments of the Bible Answer Man.
There are some such debates scheduled for prophecy conferences in the near future. These will perhaps offer new food for thought, but I doubt whether they will change minds on either side of the controversy.
Personally, I believe the time for debate on this matter is past. It is time now to just offer the assurance of that soon to come exhilarating moment when Christ will say “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1).
There are so many scriptural assurances of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture that we could fill many articles with them. As a matter of fact, we have done just that on the Rapture Ready website.
I wish to mention only one Rapture factor here, because I believe it is the most reassuring of all truth in God’s telling His children that they are not appointed to His wrath. Here we interject the question proposed in our title: Where’s the Comfort? By that we ask: What comfort is there in the argument that Christians will go through the Tribulation?
Paul the apostle first assures us of this fact: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). But, it is the next thought from the mind of God that should cause warm reassurance in the spiritual heart of every believer: “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Get it? We are to “comfort” ourselves, not wring our hands looking for these things to destroy us or to look for Antichrist. We are to be looking for our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13).
There is no comfort –nor is there directive in God’s Word–to be had in anticipating going through the time of God’s wrath and almost certain martyrdom (probably by beheading). There is no comfort in looking for the worst dictator in the planet’s history to hunt us down and lop off our heads.
Here is what God’s Word promises instead of the dreaded scenario proposed by the Rapture antagonists:
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 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)
News moving a headline at a time today is like an army of angry marchers intent upon tramping the most friendly society and culture to humanity ever to exist into oblivion. Beats anything I ever saw, to put it the way my old Daddy used to say.
I’ve chosen a few news items in my attempt to make the point. We are in the strangest of times, if we apply rationale to existential lunacy assaulting us not just daily, but hourly.
The first might seem innocuous enough. But it is a sort of pet peeve with me and I can’t help but comment to waiters and waitresses every time they bring a Coke or glass of water to the table. I tell them, if you were in California you would be fined a thousand dollars…and possibly put in jail for a month or two.
They, of course, think they have a crazy old guy on their hands. But, they politely and patiently smile and ask with incredulity in their voices–as if they were genuinely interested in my nonsense. “Why?”
Then I explain that such is the penalty in California for those serving customers plastic straws with drinks, etc. Well, the Governor Moonbeam-type infection has spread and now includes our nation’s capital as part of the serve-straws-at-your-own-peril insanity.
Here’s a brief excerpt of the story”
Washington, D.C., will begin enforcing its ban on plastic straws on Jan. 1, which would penalize churches for offering free coffee if it comes with a stirrer.
The Department of Energy and Environment tweeted Thursday that Mayor Muriel Bowser has a “list of recyclables and compostables” banning plastic straws and stirrers. [Mayor Bowser‘s list of recyclables and compostables now requires the use of compostable and/or reusable straws and stirrers when selling food or beverages in the District. Enforcement begins January 1, 2019!…] (“DC Bans Churches From Handing Out Straws With Free Coffee,” Washington Free Beacon, by Elizabeth Harrington, November 17, 2018)
Now, if you are a cantankerous old guy like me, you might wonder what is a church doing handing out coffee in church in the first place–but, that’s probably just “back-number” thinking, as ol’ Dr. Vernon McGee used to say.
The next news item also touches upon a matter that ruffles my feathers. I’m referring to the climate-change mantra that gets more invasive by the hour–that is, it has evolved from the global-warming push by the globalists elite. These are the one-worlders who want to rob the U.S. Treasury–a thing that has within its mostly empty vaults IOUs, not true wealth these days.
Man-made global warming has been proven a hoax, and now man-made climate change is well on its way to being proven the same, according to some experts.
Researchers who were attempting to prove evidence of climate change recently published a study claiming that ocean temperatures were increasing at a dramatic rate, much higher than previous estimates.
The study was blindly accepted by believers in the climate change/global warming theory.
But the researchers have had to retract their bold claims after a mathematician studied their findings and immediately debunked it, spotting errors that called the legitimacy of the entire study into question. (“Mathematician Exposes Global Warming Study Inflating Temp Rise By 600%,” Rapture Ready News, by Neon Nettle, November 17, 2018)
The first news item referenced–about the plastic straws–is somewhat whimsical. But it gives hint of more serious things in society and culture. Concern over plastic straws that might affect the environment in deleterious ways should be analyzed in light of other concerns these same environmentalists hold.
I’m thinking particularly of their concern for what human beings are doing to the environment. The radical among them claim that people are polluting the planet. Humans are over-populating Mother Earth.
These, therefore, are among the strongest of supporters of women’s right to choose in the matter of whether to abort their babies. The thinking is, among the more adamant, that the fewer people on the planet, the better. So there are legitimate reasons for babies to be thus gotten rid of…more than 60 million of whom have indeed been removed since Roe v Wade in 1973. The straw of plastic that would otherwise go into your Coke, you see, is intrinsically of like non-value to the unwanted child that will never see the light of day.
But, the environmentalist –whether radical or less so–will put the egg of the spotted owl or a field mouse and its habitat on a list of protected species. This is what the Apostle Paul called “reprobate thinking” (Romans chapter 1).
This is a generation of reprobate thinking. That mindset has led to problems wrapped up in the second word in the title of this commentary: rebellious.
A third news item shows, I think, an example of reprobate thinking spawning rebellion in our nation.
A report in the Christian Post contends that the number of witches (and Wiccans) has dramatically increased since the 1990s, to the degree that there may be at least 1.5 million witches in the United States, which is higher than the 1.4 million mainline Presbyterians.
“[The practice of witchcraft has grown significantly in recent decades; those who identify as witches has risen concurrently with the rise of the ‘witch aesthetic,’”reported the Christian Post in October, citing data from Quartz, a Trinity College study, and the Pew Research Center.
Between 1990 and 2008, the number of Wiccans in the United States grew from 8,000 to 340,000, according to three religious surveys conducted by Trinity College in Connecticut. In addition, the Pew Research Center reported in 2014 that 0.4% of the population — 1 to 1.5 million Americans — “identify as Wicca or Pagan.” (“Number of Witches in U.S. on the Rise, May Surpass 1.5 Million,” CSN News, by Michael W. Chapman, November 18, 2018)
You might remember the bizarre story of a Los Angeles writer saying she had joined with thousands of witches to put a “hex” on Donald Trump. Diana Wagman said on May 23, 2017, that she and others intended to join forces ” to cast a binding spell on President Donald Trump “under the waning crescent moon.” She said, “It was not meant to physically hurt him, only to keep him from succeeding at his tasks…. I found an orange candle in a box of multicolored ones we use for our Hanukkah menorah. I printed the required tarot card off the Internet and propped it up. I cut an unflattering photo of POTUS out of the newspaper, and I burned it while chanting the words of the spell…. I plan to complete the ritual again.”
Such might be humorous in some sense, but it is profoundly indicative of rebelliousness that has taken root in society and culture.
God proclaims such rebellion is ruinous to any people. His example people, the Jews, fell into such rebellion–and their rebelliousness led to a ruinous future that reached its most heinous manifestation with the Holocaust of Hitler’s day. Moses reported the following in warning the Jewish people about such rebellion:
When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)
With the abortion infanticide since the implementation of Roe v Wade, we have, in effect, condoned the passing of children through the fires, just as the pagans did. It is abomination, the Lord says. We have reached the point of reprobate thinking that has spawned rebellion against God. He is a God that does not change. He is the same today as when He had Moses warn these things those millennia ago.
Thinking on the rise of Adolf Hitler to power in the Germany of the 1930s immediately produces realization that the bringing together of ruthless enforcement entities was key to establishment of der Fuhrer’s dictatorship.
It started with the brown shirts, headed by Ernst Rhome, a homosexual thug who did Hitler’s bidding in creating chaos and fear in a failing German republic. When the future Fuhrer began to consolidate power through eliminating opposition, the German Wehrmacht (Germany’s army) soon had to share controlling authority with the Waffen-SS, the black-uniformed, select group of supposedly Aryan troops assigned as Hitler’s personal body guard. The brown shirts were eliminated, and the SS, headed by the now infamous Heinrich Himmler, began the implementation of the final solution—the genocidal war on all Jews in Europe.
At the same time, the civilian police establishment was turned into the dreaded Gestapo, the police force that locked the Nazi regime into place. The Nazi military and civilian policing establishment became, in effect, a single force against which there was little resistance.
And, this brings us to the crux of things going on in that same geographical area from which Hitler terrorized the world.
There is seen by some the development of a movement to establish similar tyrannical controls within the European Union (EU) at the present hour. An article of recent vintage frames the growing threat the concerned observers fear. It states the following to begin the piece.
As the European Union and the establishment behind it become increasingly totalitarian, paranoid, and unstable, the EU super-state is raising up and training its own transnational military-police force. According to reports and its own propaganda material, the EU “Gendarmerie,” as the force is known, will apparently be charged with putting down protests and civil unrest, raiding illegal political meetings, propping up foreign governments, and even confiscating weapons. (“EU Building Potentially Tyrannical Military-Police Force” by Alex Newman,http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/23163, May 10, 2016)
The article states that the EU’s military-police force is merely one component of the broader transnational police-state apparatus being quietly imposed on the formerly sovereign peoples of Europe. The force includes the bringing together of “transnational police” with “transnational army units” and “EU air and naval operations.”
The bringing together of the forces has all been accomplished in the shadows, but is now being thrust into the light of geopolitical reality, according to the concerned observers reporting–those of Breitbart’s U.K. operation.
It was a controversial training operation taking place in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia in April that sparked concern and alarm within Europe and beyond.
Media reports stirred fears of the rise of a tyrannical, controlling force. According to those reports, the training consolidated 600 troops and police officers in order to prepare for crises of the international and civil war sorts.
The EU military-operation information branch reported about its training scheme that the aim of the [April 15, 2016] Comprehensive Live Exercise will be capacity building of police and gendarmes who will participate in international stabilization missions and projects with a police component. The force is aimed at preparing the hybrid military-police force for “future” missions.
The troubling reports said that forces from Islamic Turkey, and Tunisia, as well as the African nation of Cameroon, participated in the “scheming.”
There remains, of course, considerable resistance to the reuniting of Europe. There is at the same time all of this is going on, a strong trend toward nationalism. The threat from the Islamist world, with deadly attacks in places such as Brussels, make the populations, if not the one-world order leaderships of EU nations, deeply concerned about a reviving, unified, European empire that takes protection against dangerous, Islamist, “migrants” out of the hands of local and national authority. Yet, crises that loom, particularly involving Greece-type financial meltdowns and rioting, make probable over-arching EU police controls and military involvement inevitable.
Remember, it was severe fiscal crisis that brought Hitler to power, along with and through his all-controlling military/police monstrosity. There are those who agree with George Santayana that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
God’s Word foretells that history repeats time after time. Every empire has eventually fallen, even, arguably, the greatest of all world empires, the Roman Empire. The same basic ingredients have constituted most every such collapse.
While Santayana’s bit of philosophy has been proven true time after time, he left out a key element in phrasing his thought. It should be: “Those who do not acknowledge God and cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Every world empire has ignored the true God of Heaven. Prophecy tells us that the final empire–that of Antichrist, the Roman prince of Daniel 9: 26-27—will be the most God-hating empire of all history.
Along with all other signals of Christ’s soon return on the world-scene today, the reviving of the Roman Empire is more and more coming into view. It is a sure signal that this generation is at the end of the Church Age and that Christ’s call to His Bride must be near indeed.
With America’s midterm elections done, except for all the shenanigans going on in Florida and Arizona at the time of this writing, focus of President Trump’s agenda seems destined to soon turn to Israel. His friend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has election problems of his own looming. Trump’s actions and reactions with regard to Israel, therefore, present intriguing potentiality.
The intrigue involves a primary matter of Bible prophecy set for fulfillment in the near future. The peace process involving the Jewish state and its enemy neighbors is at the heart of the intrigue, of course. There is, it is well known in diplomatic circles, a “deal” in the works.
The Trump administration is holding the key elements within this brewing deal close to its presidential vest. But, the man who is known for the “art of the deal” is obviously operating in his interaction with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the same way he always deals. He is a master of keeping his counterparts in negotiations off-balance, most often coming in with proposals at the most crucial time, forcing decisions that leave interlocutors within negotiations without recourse but to agree.
There is no more important negotiation in which Trump could possibly be engaged than this one. We are talking about the very heart of Bible prophecy yet future. This matter involves getting dangerously close to what God, Himself, calls “the apple of my eye.” The nation–the people called Israel–is a most sensitive matter in God’s holy view.
The Israeli prime minister has for years now been subjected to much the same sort of accusation and innuendo Donald Trump has faced. He is embattled on all sides by opposition politicians and by both Israeli national and international news media.
Still, according to polls, it looks like Netanyahu will be reelected in the upcoming election.
He will almost certainly be forced to dissolve the present government and call an election. The question is whether the election will be called next year or sometime very soon–before the end of the year.
One opinion piece explains:
Two clocks are ticking, one in Jerusalem and one in Washington. The problem is that for the time being, they are not synchronized.
With the midterm elections over in the US, President Donald Trump now has the bandwidth and time to shift his focus back to foreign policy issues, including the so-called “deal of the century” that he longs to broker between Israel and the Palestinians. The finishing touches are being put on the plan, and it could be rolled out as early as next month or in January.
The US schedule doesn’t seem to match up with Israel’s schedule, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is apparently toying with the idea of moving up the elections, scheduled now for November 2019. No one in the coalition believes the government will last until then, and almost everyone thinks something – either the haredi draft bill or Netanyahu’s criminal investigations – will prompt the prime minister to dissolve the government in the coming months.
This is important because if the government is dissolved in December, there would be no point in rolling out a peace deal that Israel will not be able to embrace…
This is important because if the government is dissolved in December, there would be no point in rolling out a peace deal that Israel will not be able to embrace. (What will come first – Israeli elections or the U.S. peace plan rollout? by Yaakov Katz, Opinion – Jerusalem Post, November 10, 2018)
Benjamin Netanyahu wants to show the world that he wants to say yes to Israel’s good friend America in the matter of a peace deal. He has most always answered “no” to pressures by American presidents. This is understandable, because these pressures have been brought about by the likes of President Clinton and President Obama. These–and even George W. Bush, with the likes of James Baker pushing matters–have wanted Israel to give up too much to enemies blood-vowed to push all Jews into the Mediterranean.
But now Netanyahu has a president to deal with who has demonstrated both a love for Israel and the ability to accomplish what few, if any, have been able to accomplish.
Does the Trump plan, held closely to the presidential vest, include giving the Palestinian Authority the state they want? Will this mean dividing God’s most beloved city? These are intriguing–and dangerously so- questions to be sure.
Proceed very cautiously, Mr. President.
We come to the question “Israel Betrayed by U.S.?” The article’s title is in the form of a question because like so much treachery that has gone on within American presidential administrations’ dealings with Israel, Washington’s overall disregard for that nation well-being continues to be troubling.
The “transparency” presidential candidate Barack Obama and then President Obama promised was never forthcoming. Obama’s intended dealing with Israel for 8 years was wrapped in an impenetrable fog of political doublespeak throughout.
Mr. Obama began his administration almost from the very first day by treating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu like a White House exterminator–having him come in a door other than the front entrance reserved for dignitaries who are honored with official reception by the president.
The president, shortly after that first meeting with Netanyahu, abruptly left the prime minister and went to have a private dinner, presumably with his family. It was an undeniable snub.
If this was meant to be within keeping with his promise to have “the most transparent administration ever,” It was certainly transparent that Obama had an utter disregard for Mr. Netanyahu and for Israel, our number-one ally in the Middle East, if not our top ally in the entire world.
Subsequent snubs and disrespectful attempts to bully the Israeli leader and the Jewish state were too numerous to get into. Obama’s attempts to intervene within the sovereign affairs of Israel did not abate throughout his years as president. In fact, they increased dramatically as that administration moved forward.
With 9 months left in his presidency left, he doubled down on attempts to intervene into the sovereignty of the Jewish state.
In an audacious display of intrusion into the affairs of Israel’s dealings with its internal enemies–many of whom plot and carry out deadly attacks against Jewish citizens– Obama’s diplomatic enforcers were at work. Ordered to do so, America’s State Department minions joined with those determined to force Israel to bow to international demands in the matter of housing construction in volatile areas of contention at the time.
One news item reported at the time:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Diplomats say the U.S. will endorse a tough new tone with Israel in an upcoming international report. The report is to take the Jewish state to task over settlements, demolitions and property seizures on land the Palestinians claim for a future state…
The harsh language marks a subtle shift. Washington has traditionally tempered statements by the so-called “Quartet” of mediators with careful diplomatic language…(Source: Matthew Lee and Bradley Klapper, “US to Take Tougher Tone on Israeli Settlements in New Report,” Associated Press, 5/7/16).
Early on in the first Obama administration, the pressure to force Israel to give in to diplomatic pressures of land for peace became a driving force in U.S./Israeli relations. The effort ramped up from that time. It is as if Obama had an obsessive compulsion to impose his will before his time was ended in the White House.
My personal sense was at the time, and is now, that it was indeed the president’s compulsion that was in play. Because it is the nation Israel we are considering, however, there were then and now are far more powerful intrigues involved. Ephesians 6:12 is at the center of this last minute drive to make the rearrangements that Israel’s greatest hater wants accomplished, it seems to me.
But, my personal sense of prophetic importance of what all of this vitriol pointed toward Israel means is of little consequence. What matters is what the prophetic Word of God says about His chosen nation and its destiny, both near-term and in the ultimate sense.
In that regard, the things we are seeing –like the movement of the American Embassy to Jerusalem –like pressure ratcheting up to force a 2 state solution as part of making a peace covenant can be of profound significance. And in the world vs Israel struggle, we can find little reassurance that anything good can come forth.
America has entered a most dangerous time. Our nation is at risk, based upon the upside-down thinking that is increasingly observable within Washington, D.C.
President Trump, I feel, is a reprieve, but the future beyond the next 2 years indeed looms ominously.
Satan, the great deluder–the infernal illusionist–has muddled one of God’s most wonderful promises. As a matter of fact, it is the second most wonderful promise in God’s Word. Both promises, numbers one and two, are inextricably linked.
Paul the apostle reveals that second promise as follows: “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).
Paul further elucidates this tremendous promise of God to those who belong to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ: “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 4:16-17).
Again, Satan–Lucifer, the fallen one–has used every nefarious tool in his bag of tricks to muddle this great promise from the Almighty. He has particularly done so during the last several centuries.
Muddling this promise fits into the devil’s scheme to strike at the very heart of God’s redemptive plan for mankind. That plan–the salvation of the souls of lost human beings–is the first of the two great promises from the heart of God. This first is linked to the second by the one and only way to receive redemption, explained by none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is that link. The Lord answered His disciple, Thomas: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14: 6).
Man’s understanding of how to “cometh to the father” is the matter Satan desires to muddy. He has done a dangerously good job of doing so.
Even the current pope of the Roman Catholic Church preaches that there are many ways to Heaven. This is in direct violation of what the Lord Jesus Christ said. He is the perfect, sinless, Lamb who died, was buried, and resurrected for the redemption of mankind and should know. Yet the religionists of the world promote their own particular ways to attain salvation.
Again, Pope Francis has said that everyone–even atheists–will one day be redeemed. Satan has indeed managed to darken humanity’s pathway to redemption.
So, it is no wonder that there is such controversy–so much misunderstanding and deliberate confounding–about this second most important promise so closely linked to salvation itself. Sadly, in my view, even Christian theological seminaries join in the corruption of truth regarding this great “mystery” Paul unveiled in that 1 Corinthians 15 account of the Rapture of the Church. These institutions for the most part hold that Jesus’ own words about this great promise to God’s people–the Church–have nothing to do with the Rapture.
Paul called this event a “mystery” that he was revealing. He was, he said, showing the facts surrounding that promise to all believers of this Church Age (Age of Grace). The seminaries for the most part say that this was the first unveiling of the Rapture–that Jesus or the prophets never previously revealed this promise of snatching believers from Planet Earth, both living and dead.
I beg to differ–dogmatically.
Paul the great apostle was revealing a mystery that was, until that point, wrapped up in the words from the lips of the Creator of all things–Jesus, Himself. The Lord told His disciples about His coming death and going to the Father. But, they understood none of it. It was a complete mystery to them. Paul unveils the truth of what Jesus was promising. That is the “mystery” the apostle was showing all believers who were to come afterward.
Here is the mystery the Lord Jesus pronounced that Paul was later to reveal: “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).
Jesus plainly laid out His next intervention into the affairs of mankind, as we have seen a number of times by examining the “days of Noah, days of Lot” prophecies of Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17:26-30. It should be noted that most seminaries hold that this has nothing to do with Christ’s coming in the Rapture, just as they that deny John 14:1-3 has anything to do with the Rapture.
These teach that, in both instances, the Scriptures involved allude to Christ’s Second Advent (Revelation 19: 1), not the Rapture. Again, I adamantly disagree.
Jesus says in John 14:1-3 that He “receives” believers to Himself and goes with them directly to the Father’s House, where He, Himself, has prepared places for them. In the Second Advent, He comes all the way to Planet Earth, bringing the saints with Him from Glory.
In the “days of Noah, days of Lot prophecy,” He says that business on earth will be going along in a rather brisk fashion–indicating, perhaps, even a “boom.” At the Second Advent, when He comes back with the saints from Heaven, as many as three-fourths of humanity will have died due to the great wrath and judgment that will come upon the planet during the Tribulation, the last seven years preceding Christ’s Second Coming. That certainly will not be a time of “business as usual.”
We are in a time of economic “boom” at this very moment in America–although the evil in the world is raging and growing worse. That “mystery” taught by Paul the apostle, unveiling the words Jesus issued in prophecy as recorded in John 14:1-3, I believe, is “even at the door” (Matthew 24:33).
Mid-term elections 2018 are over. Civility is the talk of the pundits. Both sides of the great divide are calling for America to find common ground. Only one side, however, is serious about the proposal, in my view.
Political dynamics make it impossible to bring the incivility into a non-polarized, American kumbaya. One side has become so sin-sickened that rationality no longer applies to the discourse – nor can it. The reprobate mindset foretold by the Apostle Paul is nearing the saturation point in American culture.
The similarities to ancient Sodom came into focus, I think, following this election. The radical elements of the opposition to the Trump Administration – to the president personally – didn’t settle down with winning control of the House of Representatives. They doubled down. The mob became an even more determined force. They started acting much like the description of the mob in Genesis chapter 19.
The mob enragement reached new levels of the already incendiary assault on domestic tranquility. The attackers moved from the more public environs where protests have always been confined – to the quiet, suburban, private family setting.
I wondered just how the wife and children of Fox program host Tucker Carlson must have been traumatized when the door to their home was being pounded on by the mob. Was it similar to the way Mr. and Mrs. Lot might have felt on that night in ancient times when the insanely lustful, enraged mob banged on their door, demanding that they give up the strangers who had entered the home?
The society and culture have been building toward this moment for some time – since the 2016 election in particular.
We have observed news of senators, of White House workers and many others being assaulted verbally in restaurants and in public places. We have seen one political party’s congressional members attacked with semi-automatic gunfire while readying to have a baseball game. Now the hordes, driven to unhinged frenzy by some unseen force are, like the depraved mob that assaulted Lot’s home in Sodom, trying to break into the private residence, threatening the safety of his wife and kids.
Jesus foretold it would be this way, did He not? He said it will be like in the days of Noah and the days of Lot when He next breaks into this sin-sickened world of Sodom-like rebellion.
Paul wrote that evil men will grow worse and worse. Is there any doubt we are witness to these prophecies beginning to come to pass in these volatile times?
It is somewhat heartening that some within the leftist ideology have called the Sodomite-like attempt to crash the door of Tucker Carlson’s home a “monstrous thing.”
Comedian Steven Colbert said something to the effect that those in opposition to Trump and his Make America Great Again agenda should not “feed” the monsters who try to break into private homes. He said that to feed monsters just makes them bigger and more violent.
Those are wise sentiments. Let us hope his words are sincere and not proffered merely to make political hay as America proceeds toward the 2020 presidential election.
As Robert Bork wrote, society and culture seem to be slouching toward Gomorrah. We are indeed nearing the time like it was in the days of Lot.
Jesus promised that He will intervene catastrophically into the world of incorrigible rebelliousness at just such a time. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Upon clicking through the religious channels at any given hour of the day –and there are many on my Direct TV set up– there are certain catchphrases I hear consistently.
The most prominent, I’ve found, is the term “plant a seed.” Another is “seed faith brings harvest.” The phraseology is issued forth by the prosperity propagandists, as I term them. These invariably twist and convolute scriptural truth in pursuit of their gullible followers’ contributions.
While there is usually a “seed” of factuality in their pontification that claims planting financial seeds will bring increase, the whoppers I’ve heard some of these “preachers” tell are far beyond anything promised in God’s Word.
For example, I heard not long ago one man with whom most would be familiar because of his constant presence on the fund-raisers say that he once sowed $100,000 into a ministry. This greatly pained him at the time because of his amazement that the Lord would “tell” him to do such a thing.
He complied, despite his pain, and the result was a return of $100 million within a month or so. That’s right. The man said he received $100 million for his $100,000 seed.
That was the only reference I’ve heard to this phenomenal “harvest,” so I presume this sort of return isn’t all that unusual in the prosperity circles…or else such claims are just part of the pitch. Looks like, though, that this amazing sort of miracle return on investment should have made the financial news or something.
Another phrase the prosperity preachers are prone to issue on a rather regular basis is that, in the name of Jesus, they “bind Satan.”
Now, this is even more amazing than the $100,000 being turned into $100 million within a month. This implies not a promise based upon biblical return for faith in planting a financial seed, but claims for any human being who is a Christian direct, supernatural power to completely paralyze almost certainly the most powerful being God ever created.
There have been books sold by the hundreds of thousands telling of how this “binding” can be done. Most all of the prosperity ministries hold this teaching close to their statements of faith. This is often a declaration I’ve heard made as a reward for one ministry or the other receiving a large “seed faith” contribution. The on-air person will declare that he or she binds Satan in Jesus’ name for the benefit of the contributor.
Only–I can find no place in Scripture where Christians can “bind Satan.” The old serpent certainly doesn’t seem to be bound these days–does he?
The Bible tells us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5: 8).
There is no chain on our adversary, according to God’s Word. There is restraint, to be sure, upon the old devil’s activity, but that comes from one source and one source only. The Bible reports the following incident, which gives clue to this restraint on our great enemy.
“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee” (Jude 1: 9).
There will come a time when a chain will be used to bind Satan. We learn of this future binding in the following account which is prophecy yet future:
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” (Revelation 20:1-3).
So, that we can “bind Satan” is a false teaching. But, we are confronted constantly by the serpent and his minions. Here is the Scripture that tells about this constant confrontation. How then, can we deal with this powerful enemy in the biblically-prescribed way? God’s Word has the answer, of course.
First, we are told how to deal directly with that roaring lion–the devil.
“Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (1 Peter 5: 9).
We are to do certain things to prepare for this “resistance” against that old serpent, the devil. Here are our instructions:
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:11-17).
We as God’s children cannot and must not claim to “bind Satan.” This is the most powerful instruction for the battle in which we find ourselves the nearer we get to Christ’s call to His Church.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4: 7).
It was somewhat shocking, what happened while “watching” the Lou Dobbs program on Fox Business Network a week or so ago. (Technically, being blind, I was “listening” rather than “watching.”) I heard Lou’s guest say the words “I am as mad as Hell!”.
Now, even Mr. Dobb’s wife, he has confided on the program, has gotten onto him for using during the broadcast what we might consider the milder cuss words in today’s vernacular. But, it wasn’t the show’s host who used the word this time.
Lou’s guest was Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of the megachurch, First Baptist of Dallas, who uttered the word. That it was Dr. Jeffress who said it was slightly jolting.
As I recall, the topic revolved around the upcoming midterm elections. Specifically, it was about the vitriol the mainstream news conglomerate continues to spew against President Donald J. Trump. The host and Dr. Jeffress agreed that every effort was being made by the leftist cabal, consisting of the mainstream news and entertainment media and the Democrat Party, to demonize the president and all who adhere to his Make America Great Again agenda.
The pastor said something along the lines of, “The voters are angry. In this election, they might say, through their collective vote, something like was uttered in the old movie, Network. Like when the guy said, ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.’”
I’m not here casting a condemning glance at Pastor Jeffress. I have said worse–like the other morning when I knocked the “I Love New York” coffee mug given me by my much beloved, honorary, granddaughter from my desk and broke the handle. So, I certainly have no room to cast aspersions.
The quotation Dr. Jeffress used to express the need for voters to fight the political evil going on, ironically, was made by the character who was a network news anchor, Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch. He had become somewhat senile and was being removed as anchor. The character, during his broadcast, urged all to take action. He shouted, “I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell, ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change!”
There is a lot wrapped up in that term, ”mad as Hell.” To be in that state of mind is, I am certain, beyond any mindset one can conjure.
To be that angry implies that the mindset has been reached like that of those who are in that eternal, infernal place. To anyone who has read Inferno by Dante Alighieri, the briefest glimpse of the madness might be achieved. But, being of human authorship, the descriptions of that fictional Hell can provide fodder for but the slightest imagining of what must be the reality.
The ultimate madness that is the final result of turning away from the God of Heaven comes to fruition in that place called Hell. But the mindset that determines to turn one’s back on the Almighty begins at birth. We are born sinful creatures–lost from our very conception because of original sin. When we mature to the point that we can know we must accept or reject God’s offer of redeeming grace, and when we choose the latter, the madness–spiritual and eventually mental–begins to fester. It incubates growing sinfulness–rebellion against Heaven and all that is righteous. Turning one’s back to the Lord of Heaven moves one down the road of madness as framed by the Apostle Paul.
We have looked at the scriptural condemnation before. Here it is again to reinforce with biblical description where I’m convinced this generation of the anti-God rebels is positioned:
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful. (Romans 1:28-31)
We have witnessed these anti-God characteristics grow and play out within American society and culture in recent decades. The madness has increased and the reprobate mindset Paul alludes to truly dominates the national political landscape at this very moment. For whatever time is left in this dispensation of grace, we must wrestle–God’s way–against the powers and principalities, against the wickedness in high places, as given in Ephesians 6:12.
The specific, God-ordained way to do so as we face this time of determining which way the United States will choose is to earnestly pray according to 2 Chronicles 7: 14–then to vote against the madness assaulting America.
Road rage has always been something that has confounded me. My first exposure to the phenomenon came in a humorous fashion. It was presented on The Wonderful World of Disney in animation. One of Mickey Mouse’s close pals–the floppy-eared, buck-toothed Goofy–was the featured character.
The narrator talked about the Goofy character, while the human-like canine went about preparing for work one morning. The narrator told the viewer that this was the gentlest of creatures–a person who wouldn’t harm a fly.
Goofy was polite to his wife and children; he peacefully read his newspaper at the breakfast table while sipping his coffee at a leisurely pace.
Goofy got up from the table, wiped his mug with a napkin, folded the newspaper, and put it beneath his arm. He grasped his briefcase, put his fedora on his head, kissed Mrs. Goofy goodbye, hugged the little Goofies, and opened the door to his garage.
All the while the narrator was telling the viewer just how soft-hearted and, indeed, how wonderful a husband, father, and citizen was our about-to-be work-commuter. Mr. Goofy opened the driver-side door to his sedan, sat in the seat–all the while a tranquil, most pleasant half-smile on his mug.
Then it happened! The moment he grasped the steering wheel, a profound transformation took place. His mug contorted into a vicious, snarling countenance. His smile became a fang-bearing scowl of evil. His eyes widened and became red with bulging blood-veins popping to the surface, his black eyes shifting angrily while drool seeped from the sides of the jowls and he snorted flames and smoke from his big snout.
Goofy became the supreme picture of rage. The narrator described the transformation and gave the viewer the complete account of Goofy the maniac’s trip into the city of his workplace.
Soon after that program aired, I became a regular driver, having reached the age of getting a driver’s license. However, I can’t recall at the time having experienced road rage myself, or even having seen it take place in the real world. But, the creators of that Disney program obviously had experienced the phenomenon.
A little later in life I certainly witnessed the fact that road rage exists. The phenomenon seems to be less and less a phenomenon–rather, has turned into a “new normal” for driver comportment.
One such incident we might recall is when a former NFL football player was shot to death while he and a female passenger were on a city street. The former player apparently bumped a car in front of him for blocking him from proceeding. He then steered the car around the car he had bumped.
The driver of the car that was bumped sped after the offending vehicle. When he caught up with the former player’s car, the offended driver fired several shots into the other car, resulting in the former player being fatally wounded.
Such reports are not at all uncommon today. It’s as if the human mind has lost all control of reasoning ability while behind the wheel. I believe the phenomenon–now the new normal–might be part of the apostle Paul’s perilous timesof 2 Timothy chapter 3. There seems little doubt that today men (and women) drivers are increasingly “fierce” and “incontinent,”as the KJV puts it. That people are without ability to govern their tempers is a bottom-line characterization of the human condition that could legitimately be concluded. Angers flare out of control over the slightest perceived personal disrespect. Too often, such incidents end with bloodshed.
All of the above is but representation in microcosm of the larger manifestation of the ferocity and incontinence (lack of control) that is raging across the world at present.
On a much more profound scale of uncontrolled fury, a corpulent little tyrant In North Korea, even while being pressured by President Trump to change his ways, starves his people, while pouring money into military and nuclear technology with which to threaten the world. The mullahs of Islam incite hatred, encouraging all-out jihad against Israel and all who won’t bow the knee to Allah. In American inner cities, organizations devoted to anarchy and mayhem for the sake of acquiring and/or maintaining power over their ethnic masses go about tearing down the societal fiber of America’s culture. The political left have lost their collective mind as anyone who has been observing the madness can attest. Total chaos appears to be but a major crisis away–perhaps in the very near future.
Economic conditions on a national and global scale are greatly improved since President Trump took the reins of control in the U.S. However, the global elitists who want to bring all peoples back to Babel and a one-world order of absolute rule search for avenues to reach their Utopian goals. The lengths to which they are willing to go to get their way is insane.
This world, with its myriad building troubles, should have by now imploded from untenable, economic pressures or else exploded in nuclear fire because of road rage-like insanity in planetary conflict.
But, planet earth wags on. The uncontrollable is for some reason still under control.
God raises up kings and nations, and He brings them down. Nothing within all of creation is ever beyond His controlling hand. The presidential election of 2016 is absolute proof.
Whether considering worries about fear of North Korea and its nukes, Iran and its nuclear program and barbarous terrorism, or the fearful diagnosis of a devastating illness or loss of those we love on a personal basis, all is under control at all times. There is no situation, no matter how profound or how personal, that the Lord of Heaven doesn’t control.
The key to being at peace within the safety and assurance of God’s control of all circumstance is to be within the heavenly Father’s family.
This relationship is achieved, of course, only through acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior (Romans 10: 9-10). The Lord appeals to all of mankind to consider the matter of His absolute control and authority over all that exists.
“Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.” (Isaiah 40:21-26)