Jesus’ Olivet Discourse prophecies continue to come alive while today’s news flashes in lightning-like fashion across our television and computer monitor screens.
We most often consider the terrorism and pyrotechnics of Middle Eastern madness. We talk about Russia and Iran (Persia) preparing to fulfill the Gog-Magog prophecies as given in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.
Our efforts are often spent concentrating on what is happening with regard to the building one-world order in the areas of finance, religion and the many other ways such movement is manifesting.
We think in terms of the proliferating things happening within Europe –about the upheaval that seems to be rearranging for the prophesied revived Roman Empire. We look at monetary economic dynamics that are driving the world toward a global fiscal order that will eventuate in the 666 marks and numbers system of Revelation 13: 16-18.
Sometimes the natural order seems so disturbed that geophysical activity, such as earthquakes occurring simultaneously, floods raging and other phenomena erupting across the planet draws the attention of prophecy watchers. But, it is the creation called man that at present seems on the front-burner of prophetic progression –at least to this observer.
The Lord gave, during His prophecies of things to come as the time of His return in the Second Advent nears, a quite interesting description of the human condition at the very end of the age. The description seems to have a dual reference or application.
The particular prophecy of which I write is a foretelling by the Lord I believe we see developing at this very moment in time. It is building hourly in its virulence –in its evil, end times impact upon cultures and societies around the world. Here is Christ’s prophecy.
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.” (Lk 21: 25)
It is parts b and c of this prophecy that I wish us to examine. Jesus foretold that there will be “nations in distress with perplexity.” The “sea and waves” will be “roaring.”
We have looked a number of times in these commentaries at the fact that nations across the world are in distress with perplexity. The financial upheaval going on has Europe to the point of near-dissolution. The “Brexit” is one such manifestation. The great turmoil in Greece and now France as well as other EU countries make it clear that the western world is suffering a nervous breakdown of sorts. Our own nation is hard on the heels of the schizophrenia developing over there.
The next part of Jesus’ prophecy foretells that the “sea and waves roaring” will be a prime marker of the last of the last days. By the time the Tribulation is full-blown the disturbances will bring planet earth to the point of total destruction. Only Christ’s return will quell the “roaring.”
“Sea and waves” can indicate the geophysical disturbances forecast for that era. But, it is the symbolic application that is much more the meaning in this case, I’m convinced.
“Sea and waves” in this case are symbolic of the peoples of earth. Jesus was saying they will, as a result of the“distress and perplexity” be “roaring.”
Jesus indicated as given in Luke 21:28 that He will return (in the Rapture) when this indicator –and the others He gave as signals for His Second Coming at Armageddon– “begin to come to pass.”
John the revelator gave in the very first verse of the thirteenth chapter of Revelation the view of the Antichrist beast regime arising out of the “sea” of people that would be in tumult. It is the observation of a growing number of seasoned prophetic observers that the United States is now showing signs of being a part of this tumultuous“sea” of unrest that might soon bring history’s most ferocious tyrant to power.
The “Black Lives Matter” protests did much to ratchet up civil unrest within the nation. The nucleus of that disruptive organization, many say, is made up of rabble rousers who are career thugs, paid by the likes of George Soros, who has openly said he favors upsetting the order of things that communist-style socialism might be brought forth in America.
We have only to look at the turmoil going on south of our border and the havoc it is wreaking internally to see that our country is in distress with perplexity.
Many more than just the “conspiracy nuts” are wondering increasingly whether the current unrest being fomented might be the prelude to this president calling for martial law.
The many distresses involving Turkey punctuates Jesus’ prophecy. That part of the world in particular is in great tumult, rearranging for fulfillment of things to come. The terrors of illegal alien evil perpetrators invading from the south is but the tip of the iceberg of the coming anarchy and chaos in our own nation as the end times play out.
Whatsoever is the outcome of this up heaving sea of human unrest we see heating up toward the boiling point, we can see Jesus’ prophecy for the end of days percolating in these troubled times. I believe that this means Christ’s Call “Come up here!” is very near indeed.
Man himself is at the center of stage-setting as we continue to look at prospects for Bible prophecy fulfillment in this new year and beyond. We have looked at Israel as the second most focal area of prophecy. Mankind is, in my estimation, third on the list as we consider prophetic prospective for 2019.
God’s human creation is the only creature that has volitional choice. That is, only we can say yes or no to God in the matter of whether to obey or disobey–of whether to decide for good or for evil.
In this regard, fallen mankind is observably taking the precise prophetic path God’s Word foretells. Daily headlines tell the story. It’s as if the Apostle Paul’s prophecy comes into view moment by moment. The figure of the prophesied earth-dweller takes shape hour by hour as chips fall away while the evil sculptor carves mankind’s final, rebellious form during these end of days.
Some will criticize my assessment as greatly flawed because I present analysis only from the perspective of America’s part in the ongoing end-of-days developments. I’ll admit this is a valid criticism in some ways. However, the United States of America is, in terms of being materially blessed and even spiritually blessed, the apex nation of world history. All other nation-states are linked to America’s economic hegemony. And, America’s position in being spiritually blessed takes second place only to the nation Israel’s position as number one.
Israel is God’s chosen people to be example for all others. The Law was given through that nation to show all people how to comport themselves. The Ten Commandments, in God’s holy eyes, superseded the Code of Hammurabi, which was written under human authorship as a body of law for governing human conduct in Babylonia in ancient Mesopotamia around 1754 B.C.
The history of the Israelites, throughout the Old Testament, dramatically portrayed how the Hebrew children would be blessed of God when they obeyed His Law. When they transgressed, the Lord would, after periods of bidding them to repent, judge that people. In this sense, Israel is spiritually blessed beyond all peoples. The nation was materially blessed, as well. They possessed phenomenal physical riches during the reign of Solomon, one of the wealthiest kingdoms of history. Today, their breakthroughs in practically every technological area of endeavor is moving the nation toward another level of super-wealth attainment.
Sadly, that achievement will lead only to the greatest of all judgments–that of the Tribulation era.
Again, America has far surpassed in physical riches and opulence any nation of world history –including that of Solomon’s kingdom. The technological instrumentalities for living life on a plain beyond any other nation of history is undeniably obvious. –Thus even though that level of luxury has come to be treated as commonplace in the U.S.
We often wonder over the fact that even the poorest of America’s citizens, for the most part, live a lifestyle that is luxurious in comparison to the conditions endured by people in most all other parts of the world. Again, in this respect, America is the apex nation ever to exist upon this fallen planet. Yet this great blessing is taken for granted by those of us who live that lifestyle.
So, too, the spiritual principles of the Almighty Creator, the one and only God of Heaven, have been taken for granted.
Most in our nation today–including many of those who attend church regularly and consider themselves to be Christians, give little to no thought of the morally/spiritually deteriorated state of their nation and world. These matters are almost never addressed from the pulpits at this late, prophetic hour. We have moved deeply into the Laodicean time predicted by Jesus, the Ascended Lord, as recorded by John the Revelator in Revelation 3.
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Revelation 3:14-19)
This condemnation seems to be speaking almost directly to Christendom in America today. The malaise regarding lack of energy or desire to deal with the descent into societal and cultural evil is spiritually organic. It has spread like septicemia suffered in a biological sense.
Failure of resolve by the born-again to deal with this descent has wrought ungodly consequences. This lack of effort has permitted the development of the reprobate mindset forewarned by the Apostle Paul more swiftly than otherwise would be the case.
To get the full scope of what God’s Word says about what brings about His righteous judgment, we need to appropriate discernment from the only source of truth. We will begin our next week’s look at the prophetic prospective for 2019 by examining Paul’s Holy Spirit-inspired condemnation of a generation that looks very much like our own as we begin the new year.
Europe and the world continue to reel economically from the fallout of Brexit–the British pulling out of the European Union. Fear of financial free-fall into the abyss of global depression is igniting fires of protests that something must be done. One such protest at the outset of the chaos came from the very heart of Europe–the area of the world most associated with Bible prophecy and the reviving Roman Empire.
Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan warned that “The unthinkable is happening… A double reaction to Brexit is under way, one financial, one political. The financial one, at least until now, is limited. I am more worried about the political one…There is a cocktail of factors that can lead to various outcomes, including a further push towards disintegration.”
Padoan lectured that those in authority in Europe must begin to listen to the people and their worries over out-of-control immigration, unemployment, and increasing inequality. Austerity measures, he said, exacerbate the problems, and something has to be done to change those budget rules Rome considers to be fueling the crisis.
He said, “Inequality is growing in Europe because growth is weak.”
He said further, “We have had proposals on the table for months that say employment, growth, well-being and equality have to be the priorities… the situation we are in now is exceptional. We have to change.”
There is a sense that Mr. Padoan’s call for new leadership during those early times created by Britain’s announced pull-out is rising among the common people not only of Europe, but of the whole of the Western world. The message, it is equally observable, is being missed by those who hold the financial reins at the highest echelons of power. There seems to be rebellion building amongst the common folk against the elite who display a wanton disregard for the rest of us. For example, the current protests in France that forced President Emmanuel Macron to drop the carbon tax that dramatically raised fuel prices.
When thinking on what Bible prophecy has to say about the ultimate outcome of all of the machinations going on in the arena of international power politics these days, the prophet Daniel comes immediately to mind. He was given some very specific things to pass along to us by the messenger sent from the throne room of God. The message had at its heart a most directly pertinent point regarding world economic conditions that will produce history’s most all-controlling leader.
Here’s what the great prophet tells us about this prophetic message that seems to be particularly relevant to the days into which our world is swiftly moving. Daniel was given a profile of the one who will be Antichrist. That beast of Revelation chapter 13, Daniel was told, will be a king of fierce countenance who will prosper greatly.
“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Daniel 8:25).
It is the first part of the prophecy that is most notable for our purposes. This last and most powerful political/military leader will “cause craft to prosper.” He will apparently take a terrible economic situation that exists on a worldwide scale and turn it around. The economy will be caused, through his manipulations, to turn around in a mighty way.
Adolf Hitler did exactly this, students of recent history will recall. The German economy was in free-fall–actually had hit the bottom. Hitler turned it around.
But, we remember how he did it! All-out war-making–exactly how the angelic messenger told Daniel the final fuehrer–Antichrist–will accomplish the economic turn-around.”Through peace he will destroy many.” The red horse of war, you will remember, follows immediately the rider on the white horse (Revelation chapter 6).
We again remember the perhaps overly used words of Henri Spaak, Secretary General of NATO 1957-1960: “What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the alliances of all people and to lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he god or devil, we will receive him.”
The world–particularly the stress-torn EU–certainly appears to be in an economic morass. A central figure from the exact center of Rome is calling for leadership to again cause craft to prosper. According to all other signals that are everywhere the prophecy student looks today, that man–who really is a devil, must be awaiting in the shadows to step into the spotlight of history when the call comes.
That call will come just after another call resounds across the earth’s atmosphere. That call will be Christ’s shout, “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1).
We use the word “convergence” to express the urgency of the prophetic hour. That is, those who think and write about Bible prophecy from the Pre-Trib perspective use the term in trying to forewarn that Christ’s call to His Church looks to be very near.
The year 2018 drew into focus the convergence of issues and events that we believe have immediate prophetic significance. I hope to file through some of these things, with a bit of conjecture as to where it is all leading, prophetically speaking.
I, of course, cannot foretell the future precisely in terms of exact timing. Neither can anyone who draws breath upon this planet that is prophetically destined for judgment. However, following God’s Word on things to come, combined with careful analysis of the above-mentioned issues and events, and with prayer and Holy Spirit guidance, one can discern the direction the world is taking toward its date with supreme justice. And with the level of wickedness we witnessed developing throughout 2018 and seeming to increase hourly, the need for the date with justice dispensed by the True Supreme Court is becoming ever more understandable.
We will begin looking at what the year 2019 might portend by considering the number 2 signal of how near we are to Christ calling His Church to Himself. That sign is Israel.
Yes. I say the number 2 signal is Israel.
This is a departure from what we Pre-Tribbers have until the year just past considered the number 1 signal of where we are on God’s prophetic timeline. The year 2018 has, I believe, brought most of us to the point that Israel might have to take second place in our eschatological outlook. Explanation is forthcoming in a future commentary of the series…
Things happening in and around Israel are shaping in a profound way. The latest development is President Donald J. Trump’s seemingly flabbergasting decision to remove US military forces and some diplomatic influences from Syria and possibly from Afghanistan. Many believe this will leave the Jewish state vulnerable to hostile forces gathering to its north.
The American president said of such criticisms: “Israel is capable of taking care of itself.”
The rather strange thing about the ostensibly flippant remark is that, as far as I can determine, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has had little to say. It is if this has long been understood to be a course of action that is acceptable to the Israeli government. There is little doubt among those who truly understand the military power structure status in that region that Israel can indeed “take care of itself,” if it comes down to that necessity.
Any assault that might possibly be lethal to Israel’s continued existence would bring nuclear holocaust and utter devastation to all involved. Israel’s enemies, whether speaking of the many terrorist entities who hate the Jews, Syria, Iran, or even Russia–none harbors any realistic desire to join such an attack while Israel possesses the ability to destroy them in return. There will be no such attack against Israel–as long as their nuclear capability is in place.
With that as an absolute, so far as I’m convinced the present military stand-off exists, I believe strongly that we have definitely seen a shift that will lead to the Ezekiel 38-39 scenario. America’s withdrawal from the region is right in line with how the Gog-Magog prophecy should be shaping at this late, prophetic hour.
Israel will grow increasingly to be the number 1 troublemaker in geopolitical thinking. Zechariah chapter 12 is materializing an hour at a time through our headline news.
The volatility–the danger of all-out nuclear conflict involving the Jewish state–and America’s withdrawal are setting the stage for the great peace broker–Antichrist– to “disarm” the situation…disarm Israel, that is. I believe he will do this through satanic subterfuge, setting the stage for the now-gathering coalition–the Gog-Magog forces. These are certain to strike at Israel, once Israel has agreed to that Isaiah 28:15-18 covenant of false peace made with death and hell.
I believe 2019 will see Israel make some startling breakthroughs in several areas of significance involving geophysical resource discoveries and technology. These, I conjecture, will add to the “spoil” the prophesied leader called “Gog” will one day, perhaps very soon, consider in having his “evil thought.”
Before that “evil thought” can come into that demonically possessed leader’s mind, something eternally profound must take place: Jesus Christ’s call (see Revelation 4:1) to all born-again believers (see Romans 10: 9-10) will be heard by those who belong to God’s family. You don’t want to miss that call!
We will continue looking at prophetic potentiality for 2019 in next week’s “Nearing Midnight” commentary.
This one will likely land me in trouble. The commentary might be pointing the bony finger of condemnation in a direction many will possibly insist it has no right to be poked.
However, we are at the very end of the Age of Grace (Church Age). Every signal for the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ is becoming more visible by the hour. We are, when we see these things begin to come to pass, to look up and lift up our heads, because our redemption is drawing near. These words of the Lord Jesus, as recorded in Luke 21:28, are further affirmed in Mark 37:13 where we see His command: “What I say to one, I say unto all; watch.”
Therefore, in the spirit of “watching,” we must look at what God’s prophets tell us to watch for as the end of the age comes more and more into view. The apostle Paul, in that regard, gave some quite specific things that will mark the end of the age. He did so particularly as recorded in 2 Timothy, chapter 3.
I often refer to these many prophetic indicators as the characteristics of end-times man. Paul, in describing these signals, puts them within a time-frame he calls “perilous times.” He describes many of these characteristics in this prophetic segment of his second letter to Timothy. It is the very first of these characteristics of end-times man I will touch upon here. As I said, it will be more than enough to get me in some trouble, most likely.
The reason I say that is that I believe the most popular thing in all of our culture in America today is involved directly in this condemning characteristic. The younger generation–the Millennials-–are the most into exhibiting this characteristic, but they are by no means the only segment of the culture that is involved. The former president of the United States, for example, engaged in this end-times characteristic on a number of occasions as gleefully reported by his fawning press–and by that I mean most all of the mainstream news and entertainment media.
I’m talking about the phenomenon known as the selfie.
The selfie is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg in pointing out this end-times characteristic. The bulk of that iceberg is made up of the vast social networking services such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The selfie, if I really need to define it, is a self-photograph taken by one’s cellphone or other device–usually from above one’s head so that it presents what, I presume, the selfie-taker believes to be the most flattering angle.
The selfie then is disseminated through the above-mentioned social network services–thus to enhance whatsoever the total self-image and desired celebrity the individual wants to present to his or her, hopefully, geometrically progressing, cyberspace world.
See, I told you I would be in trouble–probably with you the reader.
I know that my view of this is just reaching for application of the apostle Paul’s perilous-times condemnation, in the opinion of many. I still believe this is a primary indicator of where we are on God’s prophetic timeline. People are becoming increasingly “lovers of their own selves,” as Paul prophesied. It might seem like an innocuous charge–even a silly one. But, I think it is relevant much more than any of us can imagine.
In my 2016 book, Rapture Ready…Or Not: 15 Reasons This Is the Generation That Will Be Left Behind, I point to the serious ramifications such self-love has produced and will likely further produce to a greater degree as Christ’s call to His Church in the Rapture nears. Here is an excerpt from that part of the book:
Psychologists and sociologists have for years planted in the minds of Americans that self-esteem is something that is important to making a successful life. These point to the fact that at the center of most every problem of the human condition resides the feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing.
We are told that the radical Islamists who attacked on September 11, 2001 did so because they felt inferior due to U.S. treatment that looked down upon them. The whole matter involving the attacks that took the lives of more than three thousand that day, therefore, convinced those in charge of the U.S. State Department to employ a study group designed to help determine how to make those who hate us, particularly in the Middle East, no longer hate us.
So ingrained is self-love in our nation that we in delusion covet the admiration of those who hate us with satanic rage born out of our support for Israel, not out of envy and low self-esteem on the terrorists’ part.
The terrorists, murderers, gang members, rapists, and all other of those who commit crimes these days are analyzed by the woolly-minded psychologists and sociologists based upon the premise that the perpetrators hate themselves, thus all others who they see as deserving of their victimization.
God’s Word says, “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh” (Ephesians 5:29a). In other words, self-loathing is not part of our DNA. Quite the opposite is true. The Bible says that those who have not the Holy Spirit are of their father, the Devil. Satan is the ultimate example of self-love.
The social engineers tell us the secret to ultimately producing a healthy cultural environment is high self-esteem. A sense of self- worth will make man live up to his own great expectations.
Rather than love of self, however, God’s Word tells us to love others, to esteem others more than ourselves, to humble ourselves before God. This generation is obviously doing none of these.
That we are in perilous times can’t be denied, except by the most willfully uncomprehending. I’m afraid that many of this selfie-immersed generation fits within that universe of those destined to be left behind when Christ calls the Church in the Rapture.
We are very near that time. The prophetic evidence is flashing in every direction one looks today. We must lift Christ at every opportunity so many will come to Jesus for salvation when the Holy Spirit draws them to the Savior.