While news media laser-stream goings-on in the post-Mueller report intrigues, truly portentous things are unfolding, initiated by this White House. Prophetically speaking, matters involved couldn’t be more significant in pointing to just how near this world must be to having unleashed upon humanity history’s most terrible time.
The most powerful signal of where this generation stands on God’s prophetic timeline is the nation Israel. The very fact that it is front and center in the fear of possible thermonuclear war being initiated validates the truth of Bible prophecy. Within that reality, the primary element indicating the nearness to the Tribulation (Daniel’s seventieth week) is that a peace covenant involving the Jewish state will almost certainly be forthcoming.
As anyone who reads our commentaries knows, I support this president. I believe, along with Dallas First Baptist pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress and others, that Donald J. Trump was put into office by the Lord of Heaven. The election was a result, I’m convinced, of the prayers of God’s people, according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Trump’s election was, in a real sense, miraculous.
The ensuing eruption of hatred toward Trump and all of those who support his presidency was and is Hell-spawned, in my view. It has not abated, despite Mueller’s finding no collusion in the Russian interference matter. The minions, both spiritual and human, continue to falsely accuse Mr. Trump, wanting to generate enough lies to bring about his impeachment. It is satanic rage that drives the anti-Trump rhetoric and subterfuge.
So, as stated, I support this president and his efforts in most every area of endeavor to try to “make America great again” (although I think God’s intention is more that of restraining evil for the moment). I believe much of it is God-directed, even if the president himself might be somewhat an unwitting administrator of God’s will at this time in human history.
That being said, I, like others who support Trump, based upon his being God’s man for this hour, am quite wary about reports regarding Israel and the peace process. We get a feel for what might be in the offing through this brief news excerpt.
[President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said all should keep an] “open mind” about President Donald Trump’s upcoming Middle East peace proposal and said that it will require compromises from both sides, a source familiar with the remarks said…
The proposal has two major components: A political piece that addresses core political issues as the status of Jerusalem, and an economic part that aims to help the Palestinians strengthen their economy.
Unclear is whether the plan will propose outright the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians’ core demand. (Source: White House adviser says peace plan to be unveiled by early June, Reuters Published: 04.17.19)
The concern of those who watch this process, of course, is that the peace negotiators are treading on dangerous grounds. To do anything in regard to trying to bring about peace, through a process involving Israel giving up land for that peace, gets to the heart of Bible prophecy for the end of the age (Church Age).
Daniel 9: 27 is at the center of this concern.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
It is heavily rumored that the proposal being considered for Trump’s making the “deal of the century” includes the dividing of Jerusalem. This is known as the two-state solution where the Palestinians would be given some of Israel’s land and part of Jerusalem in order to bring a solution to the centuries-long hostilities between Israel and the Islamic nations. A “covenant” would thus be produced assuring peace.
It is a “covenant” that the Scripture tells us Antichrist will one day “confirm.” It is reasonable to conjecture whether this “deal” might have something to do with that Daniel 9: 27 “covenant.”
It is with this in mind that we who support the president offer our advice that his administration not go down that roadmap to so-called peace. It would be the wrong course–and a most dangerous one (read Isaiah 28:15, 18).
He who touches Jerusalem–and Israel by extension–touches the “apple of God’s eye,” according to His Word. It is with this prophetic, scriptural forewarning that we advise against any such portentous peace planning.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1
The Song of Solomon talks about the bridegroom (my beloved) coming for His bride (my love, my fair one) after “winter is past” and when “the fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell” (SOS 2:10-13). The book of Luke tells us that “the kingdom of God is near at hand” when “the fig tree, and all the trees…shoot forth” and “summer is near at hand” (Luke 21:29-32).
The Season of His Coming
The statement “winter is past” lets us know that summer has probably not yet arrived, while “summer is near at hand” implies that winter has passed, and summer is close, but has not yet arrived. After winter but before summer is a period called “seedtime” in the Bible but is referred to as spring in modern usage. Spring is generally regarded as beginning in the month of March and ending in the month of June, depending upon the calendar system used.
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22
As summer draws near, the first three spring feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits) have passed, and the fourth feast, Pentecost, is quickly approaching. Christ’s ascension into Heaven was forty days after He rose from the grave on the feast of Firstfruits (resurrection day, traditionally called Easter). The feast of Pentecost, which is ten days after Ascension Day, occurs during the months of May and June each year, and is always fifty days after resurrection day. The anniversary of Christ’s ascension and the feast of Pentecost occur during spring time; after winter but before summer.
Spring is the season when Jesus Christ was crucified for the sins of mankind, buried in a borrowed tomb and rose from the grave. His death, burial and resurrection were on the feast days, and He literally fulfilled the first three feasts of the Lord (Lev. 23:1-44). Spring is the season when Christ ascended into Heaven and “two men…in white apparel” (angels) standing near, asked the apostles: “Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus…shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11). Spring is the season when “the day of Pentecost was fully come,” and “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:1-4).
Spring is the season when the bridegroom, in the Song of Solomon, says to his future bride: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away” (SOS 2:10-13). Spring is the season when “the fig tree putteth forth her green figs,” “her branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves,” “summer is near” and “the kingdom of God is near at hand” (SOS 2:10-13, Mark 13:28-29, Luke 21:29-31). We are told, “when ye shall see all these things,” you are to “know that it (the bridegroom and the kingdom of God) is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:32-33).
Modern-day Israel, sometimes symbolized by the fig tree in the scriptures, was absent from its land for nearly 2000 years before beginning to come back from its dispersion throughout the world (the Diaspora) in the mid 1800s. Then, through several miraculous events, the Jewish people acquired national status (statehood) on May 14, 1948. Is it coincidental that the season (spring) of Israel’s birth date, over seventy years ago, corresponds with the season in which the fig tree buds, puts forth green leaves and begins to develop green figs? Is it pure happenstance that spring is also the season that the bridegroom comes for His bride, as pictured in the Song of Solomon?
Although no one knows the “day and hour” the Lord will return, will the bridegroom arrive at some future date in the spring to whisk away His ecstatic bride to the ultimate, consummate, wedding ceremony, as hinted at in the Song of Solomon? Is spring the season, before summer arrives, when the Lord will return to earth, in some future year, to set up His kingdom on earth?
The Lord has not given us concrete evidence of the time of His return; however, spring is the season for new life and new beginnings, and the Lord fulfilled much of His redemption plan for mankind during the spring season. Spring, after winter but before summer, is an important season to be watching!
Is the Day of His Return Approaching?
Although no sign is given in the Scriptures concerning the time of the Lord’s return, some believe Hebrews 10:25 implies that we will be able to see the day of His coming (the rapture) approaching:
“…Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is: but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.”
Believers would not be excited to see “the day of the Lord” (judgment) approaching, unless they were confident “the day of redemption” (rapture) would occur before “the day of the Lord” began, and they would not be present here on the earth when “the day of the Lord” was taking place.
That is exactly the scenario set forth by the Apostle Paul (1 Thess. 4:13-5:11), with the “resurrection” and “catching up” of the saints preceding “the day of the Lord,” and both events surprising the unbelievers as “a thief in the night” (Matthew 24:43-44, Rev. 3:3, 16:15; 1 Thess. 5:2-4; 2 Peter 3:10). The description given by the Apostle Paul is also the order of events that we may see emerging today.
Prophecies that will take place during “the day of the Lord” are beginning to assemble themselves on the world stage and cast their shadows backward into today’s news headlines. Anticipation of the approaching rapture of God’s saints seems to be implied in Luke 21:28 as the day of redemption nears: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
The Times and Seasons of His Return
Christ told His apostles, as recorded in Acts 1:6-7, that it was not for them “…to know the times or the seasons…” for the restoration of the kingdom to Israel. Understanding the mystery of “the times and seasons” of the kingdom’s restoration was not for the apostles to know, but it was to be reserved for and revealed to a future generation. However; Christ called the Pharisees and Scribes hypocrites for not being able to “discern the signs of the times” and for not recognizing “the time of their visitation” (Matthew 16:1-4, Luke 19:41-44).
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Luke 13:34,35).
Knowing “the times and seasons” of the Lord’s return is similar to knowing Thanksgiving is near when the merchants start putting up their Christmas decorations. The appearance of Christmas lights and ornaments in the marketplace prior to Christmas, heralds the time and coming of the Christmas season and signals the approach of Christmas day; however, we know that the arrival of the Thanksgiving holidays is even closer than the advent of Christmas day.
In like manner, when we see the prophecies that will take place during “the day of the Lord” beginning to assemble themselves on the world scene, we can know confidently that “the day of redemption” is even closer, and the season for the “catching away” of the ‘bride of Christ” has finally arrived. Christ told us “when these things begin to come to pass,” we are to “look up and lift up your heads,” for the day of our redemption is almost here (Ephesians 4:30, Luke 21:1-28).
Are You Awake or Asleep?
When the Lord returns for His saints, many will be distracted by the daily routines and pleasures of this world and will not be watching the signs that point to His soon return. Jesus told His disciples to be watchful and pray that they be accounted worthy to escape the judgment coming on the earth, for it will happen suddenly, like a trap that closes quickly on its prey.
“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:34-36).
The Apostle Paul admonished the saints in Rome to “wake up” because the time of their salvation (glorification at the rapture) was closer than when they first believed (justification salvation). The sanctification salvation process, which begins immediately after we confess our sins and trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (justification), includes our daily walk with the Lord and is a work in progress until our death or the Lord returns in the air for his saints (glorification).
“…now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and…put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day… and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:11-14).
The guidance given by the Apostle Paul “to awake out of sleep” was an admonition “to set your house in order” and start watching “the signs of the times.” Do not fall asleep spiritually, but stay awake, be alert and pay attention to the signs. Paul’s reason for wanting the saints to wake up was because their salvation (glorification) was getting closer, and they would soon be standing in the presence of the Lord to give an account of their life.
A Thief in the Night
The timing of the rapture, also called the “blessed hope” in Titus 2:13, will be as “a thief in the night” to those not watching, but “the times and seasons” of the rapture will not be a surprise to those who are looking for His return (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6, Matthew 25:1-13, Luke 21:34-36, Rev. 3:3). Those who are “caught up,” or raptured, will receive their glorified body and complete the glorification salvation process (Phil. 3:20-21, 1 Cor. 15:51-58).
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:11-14
When the Lord returns in the air for His saints, there will be two categories of people on the earth: the saved and unsaved; also called believers and nonbelievers. All of the nonbelievers will be caught off guard when the Lord returns for His saints “as a thief in the night.” Some of the nonbelievers are also “scoffers” who mock and make fun of those who are watching the gathering signs of the Lord’s return. Even among the believers, there will be those “watching,” “those not watching,” and a few “not watching but scoffing” (2 Peter 3:3-18, Jude 14-19).
“If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee” (Rev. 3:3). “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Rev. 3:10-11).
Those who are watching will be “caught up” and will know when the Lord returns. Those who are not watching will be “left behind,’ as when a thief comes unexpectedly and takes the valuable treasure, but leaves behind that which is worthless in value to him
Those “left behind” will not know when “the great theft” takes place, unless they are near believers who are taken, while those “caught up” will immediately “stand before the son of man” and know they have been removed from the earth and have “escaped” the coming judgments (Matt. 24:21, Luke 21:34-36, Rev. 3:10-11, Rev. 22:12-14).
That is why Jesus and His disciples exhorted the saints over a dozen times to “watch” for the signs of his return and commanded them to “watch” and be “ready” when the “son of man cometh.” Those who are watching will be rewarded for their faithfulness and will receive a “crown of righteousness” given to “all…that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). Whatever your priorities may be, make sure you are ready and not one of those left behind, like the five foolish virgins whose lamps went out, and they lacked oil (Holy Spirit) in their vessels (Matt. 25:1-13).
In the Twinkling of an Eye
When the time of His coming arrives, “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 Thess. 4:13-18).
After laying out the events of the resurrection and rapture, the Apostle Paul states boldly that his brothers in Christ were not in darkness, and the day of the Lord would not include them (children of light and the day) as it would the nonbelievers (children of the night and darkness), who would be overtaken as a thief in the night. Rather, Paul’s brothers in Christ were told to be spiritually awake and to watch and be sober, while continuing to grow in faith and love, knowing they had the hope of salvation.
“But of the times and the seasons (of the resurrection and rapture), brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you…But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day (the day of the Lord) should overtake you as a thief (they would not be part of the day of the Lord). Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober…For God hath not appointed us to wrath (during the day of the Lord), but to obtain salvation (be caught up) by our Lord Jesus Christ…Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do” (1 Thess. 5:1-11).
Paul told his brethren to be comforted and to comfort one another concerning both “the day of redemption” and “the day of the Lord.” Being comforted and comforting others, knowing “the day of the Lord” was coming, would only make sense if they (Paul’s listeners) knew they were going to be “caught up” (raptured) before “the day of the Lord,” and they were confident and assured they would escape God’s wrath that would be poured out during “the day of the Lord” (Luke 21:34-36, Rev. 3:10).
The evidence is overwhelming that we are living in “the times and seasons” of the Lord’s return, when they (U.S. and other Gentile nations) are saying “peace and security,” in reference to the Israel/Palestinian peace process (1 Thess. 5:1-3). As the day of our redemption draws near, each of us should be asking ourselves: Are we “watching” for the Lord’s return, and will we “be ready” when He returns “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” (Luke 21:34-36, 1 Cor. 15:52, Rev. 3:3)? Don’t be like one of the “foolish virgins” and be left behind. Make your reservation today!
Henry Kissinger once said that political power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. He should know. He was for many years at or near the very top on that political leadership chain that wields such power. Some believe he remains so today, even into his nineties.
Power is the one thing for which the global elitists lust. It has been that way since Nimrod first thought to establish one-world order on the plains of Shinar those millennia ago. The constant, incessant drive since the time God intervened and scattered the would-be globalist government architects at Babel has continued to be construction of humanistic world order under the absolute authority of a small number of power brokers.
Daniel the prophet and John the revelator both saw the same composite beast coming out of the sea of humanity at the very end of history. Each vision represented a single-governing, global entity. Daniel, in particular, saw that the monster was the composite of great world empires of the past.
Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. (Daniel 7:2-8)
John prophesied the following through his Patmos vision:
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. (Revelation 13: 1-2)
It is clear that the great prophets Daniel and John were given almost identical visions of the monstrous hybrid entity that will one day crush all of humanity under its massively destructive power. Representing all of the great humanistic empires of history, the satanically driven final world empire will have at its head a single mouth–that of Antichrist–the first beast of Revelation 13. That mouth will speak “great things,” meaning it will propagandize the world’s inhabitants to such an extent that they will believe a great lie that will deceive all but the very elect of God–those saved during the Tribulation era (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).
To anyone with eyes to see and especially with ears to hear, we are witness today of the development of that great power to deceive. The globalists are shouting with the all-in assistance of the world’s media and through actions that are louder than mere words. They want to transform the world into the new Babel–a neo-Nimrod platform upon that will erect, at least symbolically, a tower even more powerful and all-encompassing than that Tower of Babel of antiquity.
This, to me, is what is the most troubling in this whole, deep-state generated Trump-Russian collusion lie. There was a clear distinction between the directions the two major candidates intended to go with regard to how America would be governed for the next four years.
The power struggle was and continues to be immense. The winning candidate claims that he wants to return the United States to the leadership of the world of nations, with maintenance of traditionally distinctive borders and ways of dealing internationally.
The losing candidate’s driving imperative –and her political party’s intention– clearly was and is to continue taking America down the path of deconstructing national boundaries and forcing slavish adherence to more and more internationalist regulations. This party adamantly determined to bring this nation into compliance with the globalist, one-world design.
I say that to me this is especially troubling because Bible prophecy clearly presents that a beastly composite, world order will one day come to pass, if but for a short time. National autonomy and sovereignty will therefore have to at some point diminish and ultimately vanish.
Those of us who want to see America and other nations maintaining–or I should say returning–the international order to like it has been in the recent past seem on the wrong side of Bible prophecy. The globalists seem on the winning side, in that sense.
The 2016 election and the 2020 election will supposedly determine whether we will go one direction or the other with regard to whether we will live under the U.S. Constitution or under Global Agenda 21 or 30, or whatsoever it’s called now.
Lucifer lusted after God-like power (Isaiah 14:14). All of fallen mankind since the time of the Garden of Eden has clamored for God-like power, which Satan promised through his original deception to Eve. Today, with a U.S. president that threatens to disrupt their one-world agenda, there is a desperate effort to hold to power in Washington, D.C., in the U.N., and in the echelons of principalities and powers in high places (Ephesians 6:12).
The die is cast, as Shakespeare would put it. The new world order is coming. It’s just a matter of when. Will it come during this presidential election cycle?
I believe the answer to that might depend upon the born again of this nation.
According to Paul’s prophecy in 2 Thessalonians, the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit resident within each individual believer in Jesus Christ) will restrain until He (the Holy Spirit) is taken out of the way. Then all-out iniquity will fill the vacuum left in the wake of His removal as Restrainer.
The Church–all born-again believers–just might have at its prayerful fingertips the power to hold back or restrain absolute evil until Christ’s Body–all born-again believers–is removed.
It is incumbent upon each of us as believers, therefore, to appropriate that Power of restraint against those who would bring about the Antichrist, globalist power base for as long as we serve as Royal Ambassadors upon this judgment-bound planet.
The power of prayer is beyond anything the finite mind can fathom. Let us use the privilege we have been given to exercise this great weapon against the ultimate evil Satan plans for humanity.
Author’s note: This article has appeared in this and other forums previously. The heads-up it represents to the Christian who should be looking for the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13) has never been more relevant than now. Because the spiritual falling away is so pronounced, the literal (spatial) “Departure”–the Rapture of the Church–has never been more in immediate prospect!
The Scripture is haunting. It echoes and reverberates throughout the spiritual hallways of the Church with each passing hour.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1).
This forewarning fits into the last-days pattern, also given by the Apostle Paul, in the familiar prophetic passage:
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of Perdition. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
The “falling away,” apostasia in Greek, means a “departure from.” Paul prophesied in the 2 Timothy 4:1 passage that there will come a time at the end of the Church Age when people will depart from the “faith.” He foretells in 2 Thessalonians that this will be a general “falling away,” the apostasy of the end time. What is this “faith” from which people will fall away, and who are the “people” who will fall away? Another crucial question is: Can the departure that God forewarned be recognized when it occurs?
“Faith,” as here defined, must by context be the faith in the One who is at the heart of the Gospel–faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, chosen from the foundation of the world to be the propitiation for the sin that separates fallen man from God. It is the faith you and I must have in order to confess with our mouths that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, and to believe in the deepest part of our spirits that God raised Him from the dead.
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. (Romans 10:9)
A person can’t fall from a position (doctrinally speaking in this case) he never has attained. The “people,” then, whom Paul the apostle is writing about in his prophecies of 1 Timothy 4:1 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3 are those who have believed in Jesus Christ for salvation of their souls.
This brings us to the question: Can the departure God, through Paul, foretold be recognized when it occurs? To recognize that “falling away”–that apostasia, or apostasy—when it begins to happen will almost certainly give the Christian attuned to God’s will a heads-up on the nearness of the Tribulation era, thus to the nearness of the Rapture of the Church.
We have looked at the “faith” as faith in Jesus for salvation and at the “people”who will “depart” from the faith as being the Church–that is, the true Christians who are alive at the time of the end, when the apostasy takes place.
Although there are those who think this departure includes the possibility of one losing one’s salvation, the “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 cannot include that meaning. A quick look at Romans 8:38 and 39, to name just one security-of-the-believer passage, shows that God’s Word teaches that the believer can’t depart from the Heavenly Father to the point of losing his or her family status. Jesus, in John chapter 17, makes that absolutely clear. I suggest that if you have questions about this, read the Scriptures I just mentioned.
What, then, is meant by “departing from the “faith”? Glad you asked. The “faith” mentioned in 2 Thessalonians and 1 Timothy 2:3 is a collection of faith principles wrapped up in the Lord Jesus Christ. These principles are doctrines put forth by the Word of God. The Word of God is none other than the Lord Jesus:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
“People” at the time of the “falling away” will “depart” from the “faith”–the doctrines put forth by the Word of God, who is Jesus Christ. This departure will mark the generation of Christians at the very end of the Church Age.
The question that applies most relevantly to us today is: Are we seeing signals of the departure about which Paul forewarned?
We have analyzed, dissected, examined, and inspected every end-time signal found in God’s Word many times in these commentaries: Israel again in the land of promise; the EU looking to be the reviving Roman Empire; Russia, Persia (modern Iran) and other nations looking to be a nucleus that will one day form the Gog-Magog force of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. These, plus, all of the other end-time characteristics of this generation.
However, I believe the most insidious of all the things taking place under the clever, devious hand of the devil–Satan—is the falling away, the departure from the faith being currently orchestrated by Lucifer, the fallen one.
This departure is evident to the spiritually discerning when looking at the church growth movement. This “seeker friendly” approach to both the saved and the lost (all who don’t know Christ) through New Age, corporation-type seminar seductiveness and brainwashing techniques that water down or completely eliminate true Bible doctrine is leading in a profound departure from the “faith once delivered” (see Jude 1: 3).
The new paradigm instituted by the champions of the church growth movement is the shift from New Testament Christianity to “New Spirituality-Driven Christianity.” Like in the modern corporate organization, invented in large part by German economic guru Peter Drucker, who mentored some of the leading designers of the church growth movement, the system is more an organism than an organization–adopting Drucker’s model based upon Freudian psychology and Darwinian evolutionary principles. The individual is assigned a value, and must fit in or be removed from the system. To put it as I heard one person of the movement say: “Pillars just hold things up. So, they need to be moved out of the way.” So, those who hold to doctrine must get out of the way so no one will have their feelings hurt by talk of sin, blood atonement, and eternal punishment in the place called Hell, if repentance is not forthcoming.
Again, the Apostle Paul wrote God’s view of this watering down of doctrine:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8)
Are we at the point of departure from the faith that is prophesied for the very end of the Church Age? Maybe we can get a better sense by looking at one more area of Scripture pertaining to the matter:
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:1-4)
There is another prophetically scheduled departure to consider. It’s the one we should be looking forward to. It is a God-ordained one that will remove every child of God of the Church Age–living and dead—from Planet Earth in one millisecond:
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)
To preface this article is all-important. This is because I’m fully aware that many who read it will be skeptical of the validity of things herein represented.
I, myself, have been among the most skeptical when entertaining such reports as I am revisiting in thinking on the eighth anniversary of this profoundly strange event – an event that is constantly in the forefront of my mind.
The matter I am about to address is intensely personal, and I have striven over many years to keep the personal pronoun – “I” – out of my commentaries as much as possible. It is an especially difficult struggle to keep from insinuating one’s-self as a commercially published writer, because the writing process itself is such an intensively personal endeavor. But, in the case of the eighth anniversary of my visit to somewhere on the periphery of Heaven, it isn’t possible to avoid use of the “I” word.
So, off-putting as it might be, let me proceed with the most prayerful hope that the reader will consider things expressed here in the first person as not self-aggrandizing, rather as intended to give Glory and Honor to the only Person deserving of such adulation – that is, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dreams, visions and delusions
While not a secessionist in the purest sense, I have always viewed dreams and visions that are extra-Biblical (not in Scripture itself) with a very critical eye. That is, I have been most often prone to think of those reports as ingesting too much pizza before dropping off to sleep, overactive imagination, or deliberately manufactured stories to get attention for one reason or another. In the case of near-death experiences, I have most often thought of these as brain glitches caused by the dying process, not as true spiritual encounters.
So, it is with realization as I address this personal anniversary that you, the reader, might think of this in a way mentioned just above. Having been Prompted, I believe, by the Holy Spirit to write this, however, I do so without hesitation or apprehension that my motive will be construed as in any way impure.
Resurrection Day drama!
The approach of Easter this year is at the heart of the Prompt for revisiting my Heavenly visitation’s eighth anniversary. In addition to Easter as central to my writing are the consistent emails and other messages we receive that rail against the PreTribulation Rapture view we hold.
Recently, those rants have been mostly of the pre-wrath view. This is the belief that the Rapture will occur basically at the halfway mark of Daniel’s seventieth week. That is, God’s wrath will begin three and one-half years into that seven-year period that we term Tribulation. We, of course, believe and teach that the Rapture of the Church (all born-again believers of the Church Age) will take place before the seven-year Tribulation period begins. This is because God’s Wrath and Judgment begins when the Antichrist (prince that shall come) confirms the covenant of Daniel 9:26-27. This action sets in motion the entirety of Daniel’s seventieth week which then runs to the end of the seven-year Tribulation era that concludes at Armageddon.
God’s Word promises that He will keep Church-Age believers out of the time of His Wrath (Revelation 3:10).
Easter (Resurrection Day) 2019 falls one day short of 8 full years since Easter 2011. This was the time that I believe God Intervened in my life in a way so profoundly that I suspect even some of my closest colleagues and friends will have difficulty embracing the things I’m here writing regarding what I believe God Performed that Good Friday, leading up to Easter 2011. While I sense this will be the case, I nonetheless must relay the Message I believe is what the Lord wants told.
One of the key criticisms I have heard most frequently from those who attempt to debunk the preTrib view of eschatology is that we who know the preTrib to be the Biblical view are too clinical. That is, we interpret scripture too literally in believing that the Rapture will occur before the opening of the first seal of Revelation chapter 6. We are also accused of twisting that scripture to fit our preTrib needs.
Some of these pre-Wrath proponents in particular tell that they have had dreams and visions that the pre-Wrath view is correct – while we of the preTrib view believe all such extra-Scriptural enlightenment has ceased. Thus, they have been supernaturally given the Heavenly heads-up that their view is the right view. They accuse those who teach the preTrib view of being false teachers, who are causing Christians whom they say will go through the first half of the seventieth week of Daniel to be misled into possibly accepting the 666 mark of Revelation 13:16-18. These Christians, therefore, will lose their chance for ever going to Heaven according to Revelation chapter 14.
I.e., the pre-Wrath position, by its very nature, denies the Eternal Security of the believer in Jesus Christ. Christians, they say, must face either accepting or rejecting Antichrist’s marks and numbering system. They must reject it during Daniel’s seventieth week – prior to the time of God’s Wrath at the midway point of that 7-year period.
We of the preTrib Bible Truth believe that the Christian of the Church Age (Age of Grace) will be kept out of that 7-year period (Revelation 3:10.)
Again, the pre-Wrath teachers as of late have made the comment that their group’s personal experience in having dreams and visions advocating for the pre-Wrath position and condemning the preTrib view confirm for them that theirs is Truth and ours is falsehood. Their views, using their carefully chosen scriptures, confirmed by their dreams and visions, should supersede any scriptural gymnastics we of the preTrib ilk might employ to confute their position.
It is with this as preface that I will forego the use of scriptural proof of the preTrib view to some extent. I, personally, and those who know the preTrib view to be the Truth Given in God’s Word, have gone over these scriptural proofs many hundreds of times. All one must do is go to our website, raptureready.com, to find precisely – through careful, scriptural presentation – why we know the preTrib view to be the Biblical View of eschatology.
Instead, I want in this article to meet the pre-Wrath and other anti-preTrib view antagonists on their own dreams and visions level.
Let me make it clear that the following exposition in no way supersedes scriptural proof. My words are simply to explain that I am absolutely certain the preTrib view of the Rapture of the Church was, for me, Validated on Good Friday in 2011.
Like indicated earlier, I am aware that even colleagues will likely glance with a wary eye at this experience. I can say this because some who are close friends have chosen to make no reference to what I’ve written about my trip to somewhere on the periphery of Heaven on that strange day. These ministry friends are understandably reluctant to acknowledge in any way my telling of what happened, despite that they, I believe, trust me implicitly as one who has a solid understanding of Biblical issues we mutually teach and preach.
I am not miffed or disturbed by their remaining silence in their ministry commentary in this regard. I would have, before having actually experienced what I experienced, likely have remained silent, too, upon hearing such a thing from one of them.
All of this does not negate the fact that what happened to me, in fact happened. I awake most every morning with the experience as fresh in my thoughts as the time right after it happened those 8 years ago.
While I can’t present visible, tangible evidence that my Heavenly experience actually happened, the medical evidence that something strange happened is plentiful. I will explain in the following account – as I have written about in depth in my book HeavenVision: Glimpses Into Glory and in numerous commentaries over the intervening years.
I want to make clear to the utmost degree that my visit to the Heavenly Realm on that Good Friday is not explained here in order to prove that the preTrib View of the Rapture is absolute Truth from God’s Word. What I present in this article is intended only to say that the visit to that place on Good Friday 2019 validates in the deepest reaches of my own spirit what scripture has to say about the preTrib Rapture. It is Scripture from the Bible that contains absolute Truth, and I am Assured by that scripture that the preTrib view of the Rapture is God’s View. The Lord Validated that Truth when I visited that Heavenly Realm on 3 separate occasions – each time my heart stopped and the heart monitor showed the flatline.
As a caveat, I note here that I realize many who read this believe that the crucifixion did not take place on a Friday. Nonetheless, this happened to me on what is traditionally called Good Friday.
I have absolutely no doubt that the Lord was, on those 3 glimpses into Glory on that Good Friday of 2011, Validating that the preTrib view of eschatology we teach and preach is Truth Presented in His Holy Word.
The moment my heart stopped that Good Friday, I was in a Spiritual Dimension. The Apostle’s words are absolutely true in every sense.
“Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him” (2 Corinthians 5:5-10).
The very instant my heart stopped – and I know, upon reflection, exactly when that happened – I was in front of a cheering group of young, beautiful, Heavenly beings. Vibrant young men and women, looking to be in the prime of life, bid me to join them. Their jubilance was infectious. I never wanted more to be a part of something than at that moment.
But as I began to move toward them, things faded to black, and I was again on the heart cath lab table. Someone said, “I had to hit him with the paddles.”
My heart stopped 2 more times during a 45-minute period, I was told, and each time I was again in front of that same, wonderful group of cheering young people.
The third time I was among them, we were running. They were looking over at me and laughing with great joy. They had their hands raised at full-arm’s length in a signal of victory. It was like running a victory lap, I thought at that moment.
The Holy Spirit has shown me that it was Hebrews 12:1-3. We were running toward the Throne. Great Rewards Awaited.
Because I have written in depth before a number of times about this Good Friday Heavenly experience, I will repeat here some of the previous report I believe the Lord Gave me to present. Much of it is excerpted from portions of my book HeavenVision: Glimpses Into Glory.
There are no coincidences in God’s Dealings with His children. And, the only children He has, in terms of human family, are those who are born again, as Jesus explained. Jesus said: “Ye must be born again.” (Read John 3:1-21 for the full explanation of what it means to be born into God’s Family.)
As mentioned previously in this book, God’s Word says further in regard to God’s dealing with His Family:
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1 Cor 2:9-10).
So it was that God, my Heavenly Father, has Dealt with me through the clinical death I experienced Good Friday, April 22, 2011. I went through that ordeal, and I am here, now, writing about it for Purposes He has Determined. It is not a coincidence that brings me to this point of writing what I am about to write and your being here at this point, reading what I have written. God has shown me, without the slightest doubt in my spirit and mind about these matters, exactly what the near-death experiences when my heart stopped three times mean. Therefore, without any reservation whatsoever, I am putting down for the record the message I know my Father in Heaven wants me to deliver at this time – in this book.
I write these things with a profound sense of humility, however. I am nobody special, other than a child of God through the shed blood of my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
On second thought, I guess that does make me someone special –in God’s Holy Eyes. But only because of what Christ did for me on that old rugged cross. Like the apostle Paul framed his own relationship with God, the same applies to my case. Terry James would be the chief among sinners if not for the Righteousness God the Father Sees when looking at His Son, Jesus the Christ, in evaluating my life now that I am His child.
Believe it or not
There is a scripture that many who major in teaching and preaching miracles and wonders today use to launch into stories of great ecstatic pronouncements:
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28).
The time spoken of by Joel the prophet, as recorded in this passage, has not yet been reached. The word for when this era will be reached is in the Hebrew achar, afterward in English. This prophecy of miraculous visitations, when old men will dream dreams and young men and women will see visions, is scheduled for after Israel, God’s chosen nation, will as a people recognize that God is their strength and their Provider. The people of Israel today do not look to the God of Heaven. They haven’t received Reconciliation through Repentance as yet. This prophecy is for when King Jesus Rules and Reigns upon the throne of David atop Mount Zion during the Millennium. (The Millennium – 1,000-year Reign of Christ – is in view in Rev 20:1-5.)
The world certainly hasn’t reached the time of the Millennium. Jesus is still at the Father’s Right Hand upon the Throne. So, I did not have a dream or vision because we have not reached that spectacular future time prophesied for the Millennial Reign of Christ. However, the Lord can and does reach into any and all time-frames (dispensations) He desires to reach into; and God, the Holy Spirit, it is Affirmed in my spirit, did so on April 22, 2011.
I could, in order to sound self-deprecating, tell you that the Lord just on the spot decided to use my widow-maker heart attack – when it happened in the course of unfolding time in my life – to say, through the experience I had, what He wants to say. But, I can’t tell you that was what really happened. It was much more specific and pre-ordained than that description.
God reached down and took my spirit into…where…I’m not certain…but for sure from this earthly dimension, and stood me in front of those young, beautiful, wildly cheering, jubilant young beings. It was no coincidence of timing. It was done for an absolute Divine Purpose. God chose the likes of me –a blind, aging sinner Saved by His Grace— to go through this extremely brief, but spectacular visit to the fringes of Heaven.
Some of what this all means came to me almost immediately upon being hooked to wires leading to monitors and tubes of intravenous apparatuses while in the cardiac intensive care unit. Other aspects of what the heart stopping those 3 times and being instantly in the presence of those Heavenly beings is all about were, in some cases, revealed much later while thinking in directions totally unrelated to the experience. It has been confirmed in my spiritual heart that it was the Voice of the Holy Spirit I heard, almost audibly, on each and every occasion.
Believe me, I am among the most reluctant of people to embrace in any sense metaphysical, experiential expressions of the Christian Faith. By that, I mean stories of supernatural intervention by God into the lives of believers today through such things as dreams, visions and miraculous healings – like missing limbs being replaced, or…well… people brought back to life after being dead and embalmed.
Do I believe God performs miracles today? Absolutely. He performs them every hour of every day. But, they are very rare in the truly spectacular sense of performing miracles. For example, I have never read or heard of a single case in modern history – a documented case – where someone whose arm was totally withered –atrophied to the point that it was a useless blob of flesh – was restored to full size and usage like the person’s other arm, simply by a faith healer or other person touching it and praying over it. I’ve never seen documentation verifying that one born without a leg, foot or eyes suddenly have those miraculously added to his body through a faith-healer’s touch.
I’ve heard a lot of stories about this happening, told by those who teach and preach miracles as the centerpiece theology of their belief systems. But, not one case has been recorded by medical documentation or through scientific empiricism. I’m a Believer, and Trust my Lord implicitly. But, I’m also a rational being who finds it prudent to, when it comes to dealing with human beings, do what President Ronald Reagan said about dealing with the Soviets: “Trust, but verify.”
So, with spectacular Miracles from on High being rare to the point of being almost undocumentable in these days, why should you – or anyone – believe me and my recounting the wonderous visit to that Heavenly Dimension on Good Friday of 2011? All I can say is that I know it happened, because I was there among that Throng of Heavenly beings each time I heard the computer-like blip and my heart stopped. The Lord has told me in the deepest reaches of my spirit to report to you that visit. He has also given me what it means – and in remarkable detail, considering the brevity of the trip to and from that Realm.
Believe it or not. Do with it what you will. The following is my faithful execution of the commission I’ve been given – that of reporting what my HeavenVision means to this generation.
HeavenVision – the interpretation
Near the end of the year 2010, two projects came into my thought processes. The first was for our raptureready.com website – a series of articles I soon gave the title “Scanning a fearful future.” The second project that came into my mind was, as stated earlier in this book, a book on Heaven my mother and her sister wanted me to write.
I began writing the series for our Nearing Midnight column – 10 articles in all – the last one which I completed and we posted January 24, 2011. Sometime in Late December of 2010 or early January 2011, I decided to soon start the book project. My subsequent notes indicate I actually named the book HeavenVision: Glimpses of Glory. The date in my notes for beginning the book project was February 4, 2011.
I also made the note to consider building the HeavenVision book around near-death or clinical- death experiences of individuals –if we could find some that rang true, according to what the Bible has to say about life, death, and Heaven.
One of the primary reasons I wanted to write the “Scanning a fearful future” series was to try to help provide answers from the prophetic Word because so many who visit our raptureready.com website were concerned about where the national and worldwide economic upheaval was leading.
Also, we were getting an increasing number of emails accusing us of being heretics who were leading people to hell with our preTrib teaching. Christians should be prepared to face the coming Tribulation and Antichrist, we were told in the scathing diatribes. By not preparing Christians to face the beast of Revelation 13, they would not know to reject Antichrist’s mark and number. We were leading people to Hell with our false teaching of the preTrib Rapture.
As a matter of fact, we were already in the Tribulation, many of the quite excoriating emails were telling us.
Along with the two projects going through my mind were the thoughts, which became persistently prayed requests: Lord, I know what your Word says. The PreTribulation view of the Rapture is the correct one, I believe. But, nonetheless, please give me absolute confirmation of this Truth. We don’t want to lead people astray.
The second thought was: I have written the “Scanning a fearful future” series. I would also like to have affirmation in my spirit that what I believe You gave me to write, I have faithfully written.
These were matters I took before the Throne constantly. One other was in my thoughts, if not my prayers. I’ve mentioned it before in this book. It went something like: “Wouldn’t it be interesting to have a near-death or clinical-death experience, myself? Just die briefly, then be brought back to tell the story of a spectacular experience the Lord allowed. That would really give the book credibility!
The Lord has a Sense of Humor – I now have no doubt. The old adage “Be careful about what you wish for…” definitely applies.
The fact that I clinically died, not once, but three times – on Good Friday, no less, was in that other place with the cheering young people, then was Resurrected in a manner of speaking, was the Lord making a Statement, I’ve been shown.
The first thought to penetrate my realization while lying in the hospital bed was that the throng of beautiful, joyful, cheering young people that greeted me each time my heart stopped was –and is – the cloud of witnesses of Hebrews 12:1-3.
The second thing that pierced my spiritual understanding, several days later, was that the cheering that greeted me in that Heavenly setting was Approval of my writing and teaching Bible prophecy in these end of days. But, it was burned deeply into my understanding that all of this cheering was Affirmation from the Heavenly Father, not just for me, but for all of His children who believe and disseminate Bible prophecy in these last of the last days before His Son’s calling His Church to Himself (Rev. 4:1; as He Promised as recorded in John 14:1-3).
My commission, it was seared into my realization, is to pass along that God, through the cloud of witnesses I saw, was Giving His Nod of Approval to His people for getting out His prophetic Truth whenever and in whatever way opportunity is presented to us.
Later, over the weeks and months of recuperation, I’ve been given deeper understanding of those Good Friday Glimpses of Glory.
My series of articles, “Scanning a fearful future,” – concluded with the January 24, 2011 article – is key to the HeavenVision, the Lord continues to Impress upon my spiritual understanding. The articles were begun to, I prayerfully hoped, help allay the fears that were coming to my email inbox fast and furiously around the time when America’s and the world’s economic collapse looked to be imminent.
The question that was in every email on the topic of the “coming economic collapse” was based upon a well-known TV pundit’s declaration that Americans could awaken on any morning and find that the world had changed completely. The U.S. dollar would be no longer of any value. Worldwide depression would quickly bring changes that would in its course bring Martial Law and imprisonment for all who didn’t toe the mark of what Big Brother demanded.
I was prompted, I’m convinced, by the Holy Spirit, to write the series, examining carefully what the Bible prophecies for the end of the age have to say.
Most all emails at the time expressed fear that Christians in America would be put in FEMA interment camps—which were said to be proliferating around the country, according to many blogs and conspiracy-laden websites.
Would Christians in America face martyrdom – maybe even have to face the Antichrist regime? Maybe the preTrib Rapture view wasn’t prophetic Truth after all. Maybe we were already in the Tribulation!
The series covered 10 weeks, so there isn’t room in this section of the book to put all that was presented over the course of those articles. However, the bottom line in answer to the fear-filled emails was and is the following – the conclusion to which the series came.
Jesus Provides Answer
The series of articles, “Scanning a fearful future,” in examining Truth about where the apparent building economic cataclysm will lead, and what will cause the world-shattering bubble to burst, brought me, in the final analysis, to the Words of the greatest of all prophets – the Lord Jesus Christ:
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30).
Another Gospel account expounds further upon Jesus’ Prophecy about conditions that will be prevalent at the moment He next Intervenes into human history:
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 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 24:36–42).
The conclusion reached in the “Scanning a fearful future” series – based upon the above prophecy by Jesus – was that there will be no catastrophic man-made or natural event that will throw the nation and world suddenly into the time of apocalyptic chaos. It will be Christ’s sudden Call to His Church—His Bride—that will bring on God’s Judgment.
It will be business as usual according to Jesus’ Words in this prophecy, with people buying, selling, building, marrying, etc., right up until the moment when born-again believers instantaneously go to be with their Lord, when He calls them in the Rapture.
Jesus could not have been prophesying about the time of His Second Advent (Rev 19:11). At the time He returns, as Armageddon is raging in the valley of Megiddo, it will not be business as usual, as is indicated by Jesus’ Foretelling in Luke 17:26-30 and Matt 24:36-42. At the time of Armageddon, as many as two-thirds of humanity will have been killed by the events of the Tribulation era (the last 7 years of human history before Christ’s Second Coming).
I have had confirmed in my spirit through the cheering of the cloud of witnesses that what I wrote in “Scanning a fearful future” is the way things will unfold. The Lord of Heaven, Himself, is preventing the total collapse of the world economic system, as He is keeping all-out war from breaking out in the Middle East.
When Christ steps out on the clouds of Glory and shouts: “Come up here!” (Rev 4: 1), Judgment will begin to fall upon America and the world that very day.
Not long after Angie and I began the writing of this book, I was totally engrossed in listening to a television program. I don’t remember what the program was about, probably a ballgame of some sort. Out of seemingly nowhere, the inner Voice Spoke almost audibly:
“Terry, you remember praying all of those months, before the Good Friday experience, asking to have confirmed in your spirit that the preTrib view of the Rapture is the absolute Truth from my Word? Well…what do you think that cheering group of youngsters was all about?”
It was all I could do to keep myself from leaping through the ceiling from my sitting position, even without any assistance from the Rapture experience! The epiphany was stunning! I could almost hear the smile of Holy Amusement in that revelation.
The next moment brought the humbling realization that the Lord of all creation would be so Loving as to spend such an intimate moment with someone like me.
I was being cheered for teaching, specifically, the preTrib Rapture view. The PreTribulation Rapture, I was thus Assured, is the True meaning of the apostle Paul’s prophetic writing to the Corinthians in 1 Cor 15:51-55 and to the Thessalonians in 1 Thes 4:13-18.
Again came the prompting in my spirit that the cheering wasn’t for me alone, but for all who hold to and teach and preach the preTrib Rapture in these final hours of the age.
Sometime before that, another Holy Spirit Epiphany had illuminated my spiritual understanding of my Good Friday visit to what I believe must have been somewhere near the portals of Heaven.
While standing before that throng of vibrant, cheering young people each time my heart stopped beating, one face stood out from among them. Her smile was wide, her face beaming with joy, while she was thrusting her arms upward as if celebrating victory at a sports event. On the third and last visit to that other-worldly place of stunning beauty, and absolute peace, the young woman looked over at me while we were all running as if in a race, her hands raised in victory. She was laughing, her beautiful facial expression bursting with unbridled exultation.
That face was constantly with me for more than a month following the trip to that Realm. The image never left my conscious thoughts. The identity of the young woman emerged suddenly into my mind at a rare moment when I wasn’t thinking about my near-death event.
While the last vestiges of my eyesight were in process of fading to darkness, I had begun my first book of Bible prophecy. I called it Storming toward Armageddon.” During that time, I became friends with an elderly woman who could no longer attend our church because she had reached the advanced stages of Osteoporosis.
She was a great Christian lady who loved Bible prophecy, and also was a very good poet. Many of her poems involved prophecy from God’s Word, as a matter of fact.
Additionally, she taught several classes of young women each week in her home. They would sit on the floor surrounding her while she taught the Bible studies.
We talked on a regular basis by phone, and I visited her at her home from time to time. She was excited about the fact that I was about to become an author of a prophecy book. I asked her if we could use one of her brief poems in that book. She readily agreed, and we put the poem at the beginning of Storming toward Armageddon. We also put her poems in my next two books, and she lived to see them in print.
My friend began to lose her ability to see, so we could commiserate over our mutual eye problems. Her health declined quickly, and she died before she lost her eyesight totally.
The Lord has confirmed in the deepest reaches of my spirit that the dynamic, joyfully cheering young woman of my visit to the outskirts of Glory, whose beautiful face continues to be etched in my mind’s eye, is Arbra Carman – my wonderful friend and Christian Sister.
So, it is at this time of Resurrection Day 2019 that I reflect on the fact that the blessed hope of Titus 2:13 is on His way to fix this broken world. it will happen in less than a heartbeat!
Our news as Christians today is filled with trepidation. It seems all is bad news.
Every aspect of life at present appears on the brink of contributing to the bringing forth of the dreaded Tribulation predicted by God’s Word.
Geopolitically, the world is on the verge of war and freedom seems on the cusp of being snuffed. Even the great bastion of freedom–the United States of America–appears subject to a future of such oppression.
Sociologically and culturally, evil men and seducers are growing worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Paul’s 2 Timothy chapter 3 “perilous times” are front and center in the news during our every waking moment.
Religiously, even the evangelical body of believers seems to be defecting–moving at breakneck speed into the apostasy of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 and beyond.
Economically, while the national situation in fiscal matters is pointed out by “experts” as going “great guns,” one doesn’t have to look too deeply beneath the surface of financial/monetary matters to know there is serious trouble brewing. With a national debt of $22.1 trillion and climbing exponentially, how can future prospects be described as looking other than bleak?
In every direction we look on the future’s horizon, we see the last seven years of human history quickly approaching.
So, the news is bad for the most part; there is no other way to put it.
It is with this fact in view that it was brought to mind the good news/bad news plethora of jokes that have assaulted the ears through my life. Here are a few of the clean ones just to give an idea of those similar to the ones I’m sure you’ve heard, too.
These are jokes aimed at pastors for the most part:
Good News: You baptized seven people today in the river.
Bad News: You lost two of them in the swift current.
Good News: The Women’s Guild voted to send you a get-well card.
Bad News: The vote passed by 31-30.
Good News: The Elder Board accepted your job description the way you wrote it.
Bad News: They were so inspired by it, they also formed a search committee to find somebody capable of filling the position.
Good News: You finally found a choir director who approaches things exactly the same way you do.
Bad News: The choir mutinied.
Good News: Mrs. Jones is wild about your sermons.
Bad News: Mrs. Jones is also wild about the “Gong Show”, “Beavis and Butthead” and “Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”
Good News: Your women’s softball team finally won a game.
Bad News: They beat your men’s softball team.
Good News: The trustees finally voted to add more church parking.
Bad News: They are going to blacktop the front lawn of your parsonage.
Good News: Church attendance rose dramatically the last three weeks.
Bad News: You were on vacation.
Good News: Your deacons want to send you to the Holy Land.
Bad News: They are stalling until the next war.
Good News: Your biggest critic just left your church.
Bad News: He has been appointed the Head Bishop of your denomination.
Good News: The youth in your church come to your house for a surprise visit.
Bad News: It’s in the middle of the night and they are armed with toilet paper and shaving cream to “decorate” your house.
When people approach with these good news/bad news matters, they usually ask: “Do you want the good news first, or the bad?” Most, I believe, answer: “Give me the bad news first.” –At least that’s most often my answer.
So, looking through Rapture Ready news recently, I found these headlines that fit in the bad news category. We will have a brief gander at these first.
* Diplomats at the U.N. commit anti-Semitic acts . Global anti-Semitism can best be observed at the General Assembly of the United Nations.
* Mystery E. coli outbreak sickens 72 people in 5 states, CDC says a multistate outbreak of E. coli has raised alarms and questions: As of Thursday, 72 people in five states have become ill, yet the cause of their infection remains unknown, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.
* China is ‘threat to world’ says dissident writer. A dissident writer…said…that his homeland is a “threat for the whole world”. Liao Yiwu, who was jailed for writing a poem called “Massacre” about the Tiananmen Square protests, told AFP that it would be better for mankind if the economic superpower “splits up.”
* Sources: UN nuclear watchdog inspects Iran ‘warehouse’ Netanyahu pointed to the UN atomic watchdog policing Iran’s nuclear deal has inspected what Israel’s prime minister called a “secret atomic warehouse.”
* Convention at major U.S. hotels showcases extreme sexual depravity That weekend, major Cleveland hotels will host CLAW, the Cleveland Annual Leather Weekend It’s a large orgy of homosexual males focused on “sado-masochism.”
Well, we could have found even more significant signs of the approaching apocalypse. But you get the picture. Bad news is everywhere we look–and in every area of life.
Now for the Good News! Good News, of course, is the definition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is that Jesus came to die for the sins of mankind so that all people, if they individually accept God’s grace offer of redemption, will not die apart from God, but will have abundant life for all eternity.
Those same Christians are promised that they will not have to endure the Tribulation that is sure to come. They will be kept out of that time of God’s wrath (Revelation 3: 10). –And that’s the entire seven years of Daniel’s seventieth week (Daniel 9: 26-27).
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3: 16)
The past number of weeks has brought a ramping up of vitriol against the doctrine of the pre-Trib Rapture to my inbox. The assault seems spearheaded by one blog thrust in particular. I receive as many as three long diatribes from this source in a single day. The accusation is that those who believe in the pre-Trib Rapture are part of what this blog entity calls the Rapture Cult.
A number of emails pour in from various individuals who, close examination uncovers, are likely in cahoots with the blog-entity initiating this latest strategy against pre-Trib Rapture teaching. These emails, without exception, use the “Margaret McDonald” accusatory proclamation. They claim that we who believe the Bible presents a pre-Trib Rapture have been taken in by the hellish vision of the nineteenth century false prophetess who is said to have also caused John Darby to fall for the lie of a pre-Trib Rapture. C. I. Scofield, the DeHaans, and the rest of us have joined and perpetuated this ” Rapture cult.”
The anti-pre-Trib blog writer points an anger-tinged condemnation of the ancient writings such as that of one called Pseudo-Ephraem. This writer from antiquity has been studied by prophecy scholars such as Grant Jeffrey and others in order to find extra-biblical validation that the pre-Trib view of Rapture was held by the early church fathers and by the early church in general.
The blogger insinuates that the very use of the title “pseudo” indicates this is a false teacher. The “genuine” Ephraem, he writes, apparently lived in the fourth century, while the “pseudo” lived in as late as the seventh. Yet he confuses his attempt to make his case by using both Ephraems to claim that they both, in the final analysis, write a firm denial of the pre-Trib Rapture.
The blogger writes of both Ephraems: “Both said the only thing ‘remaining’ is the arrival of Antichrist”–i.e., they both believed, according to him, that the Antichrist coming to power is the next prophetic event to take place. No Rapture is in view.
Grant Jeffrey plainly refutes that claim through his research. Jeffrey wrote the following in a chapter for one of my books:
- Ephraem’s manuscript lays out the events of the last days in chronological sequence. Significantly, he began with the Rapture, using the word “imminent,” then he described the Great Tribulation of three and a half years duration under the Antichrist’s tyranny, followed by the second coming of Christ to earth with His saints to defeat the Antichrist.
- Significantly, at the beginning of his treatise in section 2, Ephraem used the word “imminent” to describe the Rapture occurring before the Tribulation and the coming of the Antichrist. “We ought to understand thoroughly therefore, my brothers which is imminent or overhanging.”
- He clearly described the pre-Tribulation Rapture: “Because all saints and the Elect of the Lord are gathered together before the tribulation which is about to come and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins.”–Grant Jeffrey, “Rapture, Three Fascinating Discoveries”
The writers of those earlier times used the term “pseudo” as merely a literary device in order to not have their names made public for one reason or the other. The same devices are used today in modern literature, of course. And, there are other factors involved in why such pseudonym devices were employed, but that’s not relevant here.
The point is that very meticulous scholarship examining the writers of that ancient period has proven beyond doubt–to me and many others who study Bible prophecy–that there were many students of God’s Word amongst the early believers who held to a pre-Tribulation Rapture of the church.
Yet the blogger calls the writings by Ephraem the Syrian (A.D. 306 to 373) “false witness” and refers to the writer as a “forger.” This he does without actual proof of his charge, but with high-sounding, pseudo-scholarly phraseology, in my opinion.
The danger in all this is that these assaults on the Rapture deflect the study of many of the true children of God who have a desire to look into Bible prophecy these days. Believe me, these seem to constitute a group that is diminishing in number.
The bloggers that are virulently against the truth about the pre-Trib Rapture brought to us by Paul the apostle in his letters to the Thessalonians and the Corinthians, and indeed by Jesus Himself as given in John 14:1-3, send their seemingly well-studied dogma in mass mailings on an ever-increasing basis. People are all too quick to take the sophistry thus delivered, usually unsolicited, as factual. Like those who get their news from cyberspace venues who twist truth that is not news at all, but fable, those marginally interested in Bible prophecy often take the lazy way and choose the blog presentations from the purveyors of anti-pre-Trib Rapture propaganda.
This is a primary reason I wrote my book, Rapture Ready…Or Not: 15 Reasons This Is the Generation That will Be Left Behind. My prayerful desire was and continues to be to get the book into the hands of as many as possible in order to counter such satanically spawned attacks. My special prayer is that we get the book to as many pastors and teachers within churches that are still of the Philadelphian rather than of the Laodicean sort.
My thanks to all who have seen to it that your pastors and teachers now have this book in their possession. For those who haven’t yet seen to it that these ministers of your acquaintance have copies, I ask that you consider providing each a copy.
Time looks to be running out in this Age of Grace. Pray, if you will, that these will begin using their pulpits and teaching opportunities to deliver truth about Christ’s imminent coming for all believers. As chapter 1 of Rapture Ready…Or Not puts it: “The end isn’t near, it’s here.”