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Doors to Your Future

“Forget the book of Revelation. We have all the facts about Armageddon.”‘

The CNN anchorwoman’s opening statement into the lead story some years ago was given with lighthearted inflection. Although her words undoubtedly were intended to grab the attention of viewers in preparation for the ensuing story about Armageddon, the movie sensation of that hour, the tongue-in-cheek lead-in nonetheless appropriately reflected the worldview of biblical prophecy. Hollywood, the facetious opening implied, knows better than the God of the Bible what the future holds for mankind.

Dr. David Jeremiah remarked at that time, “Satan hates the book of Revelation because it foretells his doom.” It should not surprise us that a worldwide news medium should broadcast with such lack of understanding because Satan, who is the prince of this world, conducts an ongoing propaganda campaign that presents near truths designed to keep fallen mankind on the broad way that leads to destruction.

Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13,14).

There are, Christ tells us, two roads or pathways through life in the physical body. Because of man’s nature, fallen since the rebellion in the Garden of Eden, people are on the wide, easy path of least resistance that leads to their eternal separation from God, their Creator. Jesus Christ represents the other pathway–the narrow Way–that leads people to eternal life in Heaven, forever in the presence of God who adopts them as His children because of their trust in His Son as the only atonement for sin.

Every heartbeat moves you one moment nearer to eternity. You will enter that infinite realm through one of two doors. You may choose which of those doors you will ultimately enter while life yet pulses within your breast. However, by not choosing, you are swiftly moving toward the door beyond which awaits torment and damnation that will never end (see Luke 16:19-31).

While such a view runs counter to this world system’s theologies and philosophies of “feel-goodisms” and salvation by “do-goodisms,” and as unpopular as it is to point out that man is a fallen creature that needs saving, ignoring the truth of God’s Word means souls lost forever. Thankfully, “the Lord is … not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

The Hissing Serpent

Satan’s all-consuming purpose is to plant in the minds of men, women, and children a big question mark about God. Because there is within each of us a God-shaped soul-space, the great deceiver knows he cannot convince mankind there is no God. His drive is to create doubt about the Creator of all things: Is God a being or just a force of some kind like that portrayed in the “Star Wars” fiction? Is God existential in His dealings with His creation? Has He simply created and set all things in motion, then moved on, leaving that creation to evolve and fend for itself like is presented by the deist view? Or is God a deity who can be trusted? Can He be relied upon to keep His word, to see those who trust in Him through the vicissitudes of life and bring them into His loving, eternal presence when physical life on earth has run its course?

The latter of these deceptive questions was used by the serpent in the Garden of Eden (read Genesis 3). “Yea, hath God said?” was the question Lucifer the fallen one implanted within the minds of the first man and woman (see Genesis 3: 1). “Ye shall not surely die” the devil told the couple. He was implying that God wanted to keep them ignorant and under His thumb because He didn’t want them to become as gods, which gaining the forbidden knowledge would accomplish. In essence, Satan planted in their minds the belief that God is a liar. His Word cannot be trusted.

The serpent hisses the same subtle propaganda today into the ears of this self-willed generation of earth dwellers. If we will look and listen attentively, we can perceive an incessant assault upon the voracity of God’s truth coming at us from every angle.

Media Manipulation

The CNN story alluded to at the beginning of this commentary is mild in comparison to the many attacks on God’s truth-particularly in the area of biblical prophecy–while human history moves forward. Some might say that it is a natural thing for there to be increased interest generated during such a dramatic, exciting period. Movies, TV programs, speculation within news journalism–these things are to be expected to exploit the hopes, fears, and hunger for spectacular entertainment while earth moves ever deeper into the millennium. And exploited they continue to be!

However, it is not a natural exploitation. It’s a supernatural exploitation that more and more becomes evident to the spiritually attuned eye and ear. Satan, who has never ceased his assault against God’s truth, continues to intensify his attack at every point within the arena of human affairs. People’s almost-fanatic desire to gain supernatural knowledge about the future is fertile ground for the great deceiver to work his nefarious, anti-God subterfuge. Like the pied piper, Satan enchants the majority of humanity, enticing people to follow him down the broad way to the open door into the eternal abyss.

Satan’s attempted undermining of God’s truth is more and more observable in these closing days of the Church Age. He slyly chooses not to completely omit biblical prophecy as he influences media to create programs catering to their audience’s voracious appetites for knowledge of what the future holds. He subtly weaves sparse, disconnective textual bits and pieces from Bible prophecy within the nonsense and lies of false prophets in order to give their false prophecies an air of validity and believability. Always the message from the mind of the deceiver is that man and his humanistic solutions can overcome the dire predictions for mankind’s future if everyone will come together as one in peace and harmony.

The great deceiver hisses convincingly into the already-inflated egos of the one-world builders that they are “as gods.” They must, he whispers, overcome all obstacles totally apart from the deity Christian fanatics claim is the only One who knows the end from the beginning. Satan’s voice whispers against the One who prophesies a time of unprecedented trouble for the world because of mankind’s rebellion against Him and rejection of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Revelation 19:10 says, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. ” The book of Revelation is not just a series of revelations of judgments, although it does reveal great details about the coming wrath of God and the reasons for judgment. The book is the revelation of Jesus Christ–the unveiling of the truth about who Christ is in His glorified magnificence.

Satan is presently mounting an all-out offensive in an attempt to pervert and thwart the truth of God’s prophetic Word. The nucleus of his attack centers around the lie that the book of Revelation is confusing, cannot be understood and, indeed, is not meant to be understood because it is a mishmash of symbolism and allegory that was never intended to be in the canon of Scripture. Tragically, many people in the body of Christ choose to fall for this satanic lie.

Even some Christian seminaries choose to ignore God’s revelation of His Son Jesus Christ by treating biblical prophecy, and the book of Revelation in particular, as symbolic or as history already accomplished. This despite the fact that Revelation 22:19 states, “If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Christians who fall for this luciferian deception not only are missing the blessing promised by God to those who read and heed the revelation (see Revelation 1:3), but they are unwittingly helping Satan in his full-fledged assault on God’s truth as he leads lost men, women. and children to eternity apart from God.

Consider the foreshadows of wrath inundating this world in profusion. From the rapidly spreading apostasy developing through ecumenism to the precise alignment of nations as predicted in God’s Word to the perilous times Paul warned about in 2 Thessalonians 3, everything foreshadows our redemption that thrilling moment as foreseen by John in his vision: “After this I looked and, behold, a door was opened in heaven; and the first voice that I heard was, as it were, of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up here” (Revelation 4:1).

In order to enter that door, you must first open your door, the door to your heart (your soul). Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). It is your decision to make. There will never be one more important than the choice you make regarding the doors to eternity. God’s Word says, “Be ye therefore, ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:40).

Right this moment, choose Jesus Christ, who faithfully promises “surely, I come quickly” (Revelation 22:20). Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

***Look for new book next week!***

Discerners: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs For the End Of Days is scheduled for release the week of September 2, 2019. We prayerfully hope our Rapture Ready family will be blessed mightily by this vitally important book for these closing days of this troubling though exciting age.

We say it is vitally important because each and every believer in Jesus Christ is commanded by the Lord to be watchful as the time of His return nears.

Jesus said: “”What I say unto one, I say to all. Watch.” (Mark 13: 37)

He said also: “When you see all these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your head, for your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21: 28)

Signs of His coming again are upon the horizon literally in every direction one looks. Yet, sadly, God’s people are without knowledge about the lateness of the prophetic hour.

Discerners is the book that draws all major signals together in a single, powerful volume that will help the believer be the watchman the Lord wants him or her to be during these critical times.

Eighteen of the top Bible prophecy teachers, preachers, broadcasters and writers in the nation cover in-depth yet in understandable language what issues and events of these strange days mean in terms of things to come.

You can know what to expect while God’s prophetic clock continues to tick through the last increments of this Age of Grace.

Look for Discerners: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs For the End Of Days the week of September 2.

Consider getting a copy for your pastor and Bible teachers. It is our prayer at Rapture Ready that this book will generate interest among those charged with rightly dividing the word of truth for their flocks during these prophetic hours.

Watch for further information and how to order beginning the week of September 2, 2019!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doomsdayers Diatribe

Only six days into the presidency of Donald J. Trump, the humanistic gurus of the community known as the” Atomic Scientists” raised a ruckus. They lamented that we were within two and a half minutes of nuclear midnight. This was supposed to mean that global catastrophe was closer, perhaps, than it has ever been.

The atomic scientists’ perception as the unthinking–bumbling, or perhaps deliberate evil–of the new president made the doomsday clock time-setters nervous indeed.

Their joint declaration stated that scant few days after his taking office, “Both his statements and his actions as president-elect have broken with historical precedent in unsettling ways. He has made ill-considered comments about expanding the U.S. nuclear arsenal. He has shown a troubling propensity to discount or outright reject expert advice related to international security, including the conclusions of intelligence experts. And his nominees to head the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency dispute the basics of climate science.”

I have written in these commentaries for years that the globalists’ key rallying point for trying to bring about the new world order they seek has been global warming. It is now called climate change. The luciferian rant is ratcheting up in every aspect of geopolitical atmospherics. However, we can expect, I have absolutely no doubt, an even more massive uptick in the assault. Climate change will continue to be the spear tip of the campaign against God’s order of things as we move deeper in human history toward the Tribulation hour.

The scientists in question collectively issued the accusation–highly disturbing in their view– that Trump, during the 2016 presidential campaign, talked about the need to increase and upgrade nuclear weapons capability. At the same time, they ranted that he spoke against their and the general, scientific community’s overwhelming consensus that climate change poses a threat beyond any other to the well-being of the planet.

All the while they said nothing of former President Obama’s trying to anger Russia’s Vladimir Putin in the last months of the Obama administration–a thing that gave Putin fodder to proclaim the need to further increase the Russian nuclear arsenal.

Like in every other instance of hypocritical treatment by media and by the humanistic, scientific community, Obama got a pass, while their collective ire descended full force on the one who defeated them in the American electoral process.

They ignored that international relations deteriorated dangerously during the Obama years, rather noted fawningly that the former president in 2010 called for a nuclear-free world.

At the same time, they pointed out angrily their convoluted and quasi-accurate assessment that Trump suggested South Korea and Japan might consider developing nuclear weapons since North Korea and even China represent growing threats. They berated Trump and his six-day-old administration for having no “firm plans” to extend the controversial “Iran nuclear deal.”

The doomsdayers further castigated Trump and laid out their great fear his winning the American presidency wrought.

“The political situation in the United States is of particular concern. The Trump transition team has put forward candidates for cabinet-level positions (especially at the Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Department) who foreshadow the possibility that the new administration will be openly hostile to progress toward even the most modest efforts to avert catastrophic climate disruption.”

Please believe me. Although we have heard week after week of such sophistry to this point, it is nowhere near the last we will hear of the climate change madness.

Those of the now antiquated million woman march” and the “if- it-feels-good-do-it” crowd lost their “political fast-track to succeeding” they were previously on. These sorts, as we have witnessed, are furious to the point of displaying mental instability. But, the globalists elite of this world, working to bring in Antichrist’s regime–even if unknowingly–are exceedingly more angry and determined that this president will be removed by hook or crook.

We know intimately of the volume increase on talk of impeaching him. There are absolute proofs that a coup d’état have been in the deep state plans of the angriest of the nation’s power brokers.

It does not, nor should it, surprise, that this level of rebellion is raising its ugly, serpent-like head. We only have to go to the great book of Revelation to understand the extremes to which fallen man will go when they don’t get their way.

There will be a rebellion of the most horrific magnitude ever at the end of the Millennium–the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ. This uprising will occur, we are told through prophecy, after the rule of the only perfect Ruler in all of human history.

And, this gets us back to the Doomsday Clock scientists’ forewarning of Trump causing the destruction of the earth because of his declaring as lunacy their climate change mantra. Well, maybe it’s I–not Trump–who call it lunacy, but he adamantly opposes it–and them nonetheless.

The fact that Revelation 20:7-9 tells us there will be this last, satanically led rebellion in an attempt to dethrone the Creator of all things lets us know that there will still be a planet earth, despite President Donald Trump, and even seven years of Tribulation.

Also, it proves, in my estimation, the lunacy of the doomsdayers diatribe.

 

On Observing the Times

Jesus looked directly and deeply into the eyes of the pious religionists and elitist-legalists (the Pharisees and Sadducees). His omniscient, penetrating, piercing, eyes saw into their very souls. These religious zealots and lawyers sought to disprove the claims by His followers that He was sent from God. They wanted Him to immediately perform a private miracle for them, thinking, no doubt, that He would fail, giving them fodder for their attacks against Him.

Jesus, in answer to their probing demands that He show them a sign to prove His commission from Heaven, said:

When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? (Matthew 16:2-3)

Thus begins the introduction to my latest book, Discerners: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs for the End of Days, to be released very soon. The Lord’s admonishment is one of the strongest given for those who are supposedly responsible for knowing what God’s Word, the Scripture, has to say about issues and events –about circumstances—of the times surrounding their lives.

The Pharisees, in particular, were supposed to know, in-depth, God’s Word to Jews. Yet, these not only didn’t recognize the fact that the Messiah was among them, they mocked Him and wanted to–and eventually did—kill Him.

Jesus had performed miracle after miracle. The signals were in every direction that He was who He was–the very Messiah for whom all of believing Israel longed.

Rather than embracing their future King, they mocked, harassed, and ultimately murdered Him, with the help of the Roman government.

They wanted a “sign” from Him, yet He had done wonders that everyone in Israel knew about except, seemingly, these Pharisees and Sadducees who confronted Him.

This man of Galilee represented a threat to their authority of being religionists and legalists who ran things. They couldn’t have their controlling apple cart turned upside down. Theirs was a very lucrative business, and they wanted no Messiah ruining their money-making enterprises.

Saul of Tarsus, of course, was, before his Damascus Road experience, one of the chief prosecutors/persecutors who sought to end the lives of those who followed Jesus–the one whom religionists and legalists considered an imposter, but whom His followers believed and claimed to be Israel’s Messiah.

We must wonder today about those, particularly among the so-called clergy—who cannot or will not discern the times. These totally ignore, or refuse to accept, God’s Word on things to come. They spiritualize or allegorize prophecy yet future concerning Christ’s soon return to put an end to this rebellious world system.

Would Jesus say the same to these today as he said of the religionists of that day?

“O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”

The Bible consists of–as my friend, the late Chuck Missler, used to inform—about 27 percent prophecy. Of that, approximately 14 percent is yet to be fulfilled. Yet only a very few pastors in the pulpits will touch on the prophetic portions. If they do, they spiritualize it or allegorize it to such an extent that they give their congregations little indication that these are things to come, in a literal sense. They certainly don’t examine the prophetic portions about prophecies yet to be fulfilled, checking on and including issues and events of the times that are unfolding–times that even a modicum of examination and exploration would divulge are absolutely ripe with prophesied things on the very cusp of taking place.

Such things to come are bulging at the proverbial seams, trying to burst forth.

Looking at the political situation in America today, as well as at the moral comportment of so many, what discerner from a believer’s perspective can deny that evil men and seducers are growing worse and worse?

Seeing the battles, with the nation divided almost down the middle, who with a discerning spirit can deny that rebellion against the God of Heaven is raging, or that that same God, the Holy Spirit, is acting as never before as Restrainer against the evil that is ramping up moment by moment?

Who that has been given discernment by that same Holy Spirit can but recognize that worldwide hatred for Israel is coming to a head, just as the prophet Zechariah foretold?

All prophetic signs are in process of converging at this very moment during these strange and troubling, although exciting, times; they are exciting because it all means the Lord Jesus Christ must be about to call all believers into the clouds of glory to be with Himself.

The believer that Jesus Christ is who God’s Word says He is must be dedicated to observing these matters unfolding so near the time of His return to establish His righteous kingdom on this rebellious earth. It’s time for Christians to be discerners.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)

The Times of the Signs – Part Three By Ed Wood

By way of a review, here are the prophecies from the Olivet Discourse already occurring that we looked at in Part One of this series:

1) The appearance of False Prophets.

2) Wars and rumors of wars (The Twentieth Century was the worst so far.)

3) Famine.

4) Earthquakes.

5) Natural Disasters.

6) People getting worse.

7) Christians being persecuted.

8) The access and preaching of the Gospel to virtually every part of the world.

9) Strife among families.

The second article covered what we can expect before the Tribulation:

10) The Rapture

After the Rapture, the Tribulation will begin with the pouring out of God’s Judgments upon the earth as listed in the Book of Revelation. As conditions become increasingly worse for those not taken in the Rapture, it is likely that these desperate people will be looking for an “Answer Man” in much the same way the post World War 1 Germans ultimately chose Adolf Hitler. This next time, though, the range and demonic power of the future leader will reach beyond a single country. This “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) will ultimately end up ruling the entire world. A major act of his will be the ratifying of a seven-year “covenant with many,” (Daniel 9:27). It will be a treaty he will also break after three and a half years.

The Great Tribulation Begins

THE ANTICHRIST MOVES INTO THE TEMPLE AND CLAIMS TO BE GOD

After the “son of perdition,” breaks the seven-year covenant “with many” he will move himself into the restored Jewish temple (Daniel 11:45) proclaiming the he is actually God in human form – the “messiah. He will be backed up in this outrageous lie by his henchman, the false prophet (Revelation 13:1-18). The “abomination of desolation” will set up in the temple and the last, worst years of the Tribulation period will begin.

The Jews, who have re-instituted the Mosaic system of the Old Testament in the rebuilt temple, will discover to their dismay that they have been betrayed and no doubt actively resist his claim of deity. Except for resistance from “the east,” the Antichrist would have probably moved immediately to crush the Jews with a Final Solution of his own (Daniel 11:44). The delay buys time for Israel to seek refuge in the wilderness at Petra and with the assistance of the descendants of Moab:

Isaiah {16:1-5} Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela* to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be, [that,] as a wandering bird cast out of  the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the Outcasts**; bewray*** not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler****: for the extortioner**** is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he***** shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness. *Petra, ** Israelite refugees, *** “betray”, **** The Antichrist, ***** Jesus – who has returned. (We will look at this in greater detail shortly.)

From the New Testament, we have what is appears to be Jesus’ warning to the Jews of when to make their move:

Matthew {24:15-21} When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 

Mark 13:14-19 gives us this same account but Luke’s version, though similar, has important differences:

Luke {21:20-24} And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Note that the “abomination of desolation” is not mentioned and that the Israelites either be cut down with the sword or dispersed across the world while their territory is taken over by the Gentiles. This sounds much more like the account of the invasion of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D. and its aftermath. The temple at that time was also not desecrated by a false messiah and his image. Instead, it was totally destroyed.

Today, the Jews are still dispersed and until 1948 had no country to call their own. In Matthew’s and Mark’s accounts, Israel has to be a nation because this is a necessary precondition for the temple to exist once more because the Antichrist cannot defile it if it isn’t there.

THE END OF THE TRIBULATION

The last three and a half years will see an increase of the severity of the judgments being poured out upon the earth by God. The Antichrist has usurped the temple and is dealing with opposition from “the east.” During that time, it appears that not all the Jews have sought refuge in the wilderness, that some have managed to hang on in Jerusalem. Perhaps it will be the Israeli army supported by willing civilians. By the end of the Tribulation, the situation will become completely desperate as the Antichrist, with demonic help, gathers together troops from the rulers of the whole world, including those from the east who have now become his allies.

Revelation {16:12-14} And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Here is a description of the invasion of Jerusalem:

Zechariah {14:1-2} Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

The Antichrist’s victory would be inevitable except that:

Zechariah {14:3} Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

Revelation {19:11-16} And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on [his] vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Jesus will banish the Antichrist and the False Prophet to the lake of fire and slay their troops (Revelation 19:17-21). Satan will be locked away for 1000 years and Jesus will reclaim the temple and begin his millennial reign.

Now there will be signs immediately before these events and the return of Jesus.

11) SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS

Matthew {24:29} Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.

It is quite clear from this and from Mark 13:24-25 that the phenomena in the skies will be universal and terrifying to the people who have managed to survive up until this point.

The gospel of Luke provides another look into what is coming.

Luke {21:25-28} 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; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Once again, Matthew’s and Mark’s versions seem to be totally directed to the time immediately preceding Jesus’ Second coming while the final sentence in Luke’s account suggests that there might be earlier indications as well. Let’s look at verses 27 and 28 again:

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

It’s true that those survivors who come to accept Jesus during the seven years of tribulation can expect their “redemption” when they see the signs listed above, but could it also be a warning to believers before the Tribulation even begins?

Could they be for us?

We’ve already seen the reasons in our past articles why the Rapture and the Second Coming are two distinctly different events. Remember that the former requires no prior conditions and is therefore unable to be fixed in time, while the latter must occur at the end of the seven-year Tribulation. The unexpected nature of the Rapture is consistent with what Jesus said here:

Luke {13:34-37} [For the Son of man is] as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

We are directed to be on “watch” and that suggests that there will be specific things that will occur even prior to the Rapture.

What kinds of early signs might we expect?

We’ve seen that Matthew 24:29 and Mark 13:24-25 provide us with several specific ones prior to the Second Coming:

The sun and moon darkened (also indicated in Revelation 18:12)

Stars falling from the sky.

The first sounds very much like what is commonly called “nuclear winter,” where the smoke and material ejected into the atmosphere by even a limited nuclear exchange obscures the light coming in from luminous objects in space along with the tainting of the water. A catastrophic asteroid impact or a huge meteor storm (stars falling from the sky) would have very similar effects, differing only in that the fallout from the latter would not be radioactive. This account from Revelation gives us an accurate description of what the results of either of these catastrophes would be like:

Revelation {8:7-12} The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. and the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

Looking at Luke’s passage, we see many other signs in addition to those from the sky which already have an eerie ring of familiarity to our Twenty-First Century world. Nations are increasingly in distress, racial tension is at an all-time high, and our seas are literally roaring with more storms and, earthquakes, and the resulting tsunamis with every passing year.

What we have not seen yet are any pronounced signs in the heavens. If Luke’s account is telling us to expect them in our own time along with those that are already happening, these should show up next. Exactly what they will be is open to speculation, but I think when they do begin to occur, they will be unmistakable. They will indicate that our time to be gathered together in the clouds with Jesus will be very near  (1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)!

Those signs that will occur at the end of the seven years will followed by:

Matthew {24:30-31} And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The Bible does not tell us exactly what it will be, but it is clear that it will be so spectacular and unmistakable (Matthew 24:27) that the whole Earth will recognize it for what it is.

In Part Four of this series, we’ll look at what is to follow after Jesus comes back.

Jerusalem Move Prophetic?        

One can sense prophetic movement afoot within this presidential election cycle. The globalist agenda, as mentioned a number of times in these commentaries, seems to have been put on hold, or at least slowed.

That is not to say that the forces wanting to set the stage for Antichrist’s rise to power–unwittingly no doubt in most cases–have by any means given up on their agenda. But, in America, for the moment, the people’s decision to put this particular man in the most powerful office on earth appears to have erected a wall of opposition.

It is God, Himself, who in actuality has put Trump in the office of U.S. president, just as He allows any potentate, prince, or president to come to power.

With this in mind, it is most interesting to consider developments as offshoots of the 2016 election–thus in light of the coalescing of prophetic indicators the issues and events of these times have wrought.

One such indicator I’ve written about previously that has potential prophetic overtones in my estimation is the possibility of a coming economic boom. This is the trend in every direction one looks in consideration of the financial markets of late. Most every indicator leading up to the 2016 election year pointed to dire outcomes in America and the world regarding economic prospects. Europe and much of the rest of the world, admittedly, continue to be steeped in somewhat dire such predictions. The United States prospects, however, are looking brighter and brighter as the presidency of Donald J. Trump proceeds.

I’m not deluded–nor should you be–that all is well. It isn’t. But, a boom, I believe, was prophesied by the Lord Jesus Himself. It will be a time of buying, selling, building, marrying, planting, and doing all the things that say good times are here again.

Jesus said as recorded in Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17:26-30 that times will be booming economically at the time judgment will fall. Anytime the Lord prophesied–such as in His Olivet Discourse foretelling–the things He foretold announced an especially accelerated or more pronounced state than normal circumstance would indicate. When He said people will be buying, selling, building, etc., “like in the days of Lot,” He was, I’m convinced, predicting a boom in wealth, etc.–i.e., economic circumstance well beyond business as usual.

We see, at this present hour, a movement into economic boom times for this nation. Trump is an acknowledged business whiz, and the financial markets almost without exception give indication they have confidence he will “make America great again”–at least economically speaking.

This optimism of the money changers of Wall Street and other echelons of fiscal power inspired me to meander a bit through the Revelation chapter 18 prophecy in which the entity known as Babylon the Great is described. The ruminating in my mind raises the question, despite the longstanding seminary declaration that this entity will rise from the geographical area of ancient Babylon. Is it possible the prophecy might involve the United States of America?

I’m not saying it will be thus–just that it is legitimate to raise the question. I’m aware that great theologically prophetic minds–some belonging to dear friends–say there is no such possibility.

Another such prophetic indicator flowing from this presidential election–the subject of this essay–is the matter of the president’s moving the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Actually, candidate Trump long ago made this declaration during many stump speeches. It is more than noteworthy, therefore, that his selection to be ambassador to Israel had at the center of his thinking the move of the American embassy from to Jerusalem.

Trump’s choice, David Friedman, an orthodox Jew, stated at the time that he looked forward to serving as ambassador to Israel at “the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

Former Republican National Committee chairman and, at the time, President-Elect Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, was told in an interview on the December 18, 2016 FOX News Sunday program by Chris Wallace, the show’s host, that Freidman has said he was against the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This, Wallace indicated, was against the international community’s determination to make such a “solution” part of a peace deal. The upshot of Wallace’s thought was that this was going to be a highly controversial stand by Friedman and Trump. This, it was implied, would prevent the peace from eventuating, which the globalists want to impose upon Israel and the region.

Zechariah’s prophecy might here come into play as we look forward to the coming months of the Trump presidency. The establishment of America’s embassy in Jerusalem, thus making recognition of that most controversial city on earth as Israel’s capital ironclad, it was feared, almost certainly would both drive the Arab-Islamists of the region into a frenzy and cause massive diplomatic headaches for the globalist, international community sort. It remains to be seen just what the ultimate effects will be.

The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.

And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. (Zechariah 12:1-3)

Like in the prophecy involving Jesus’ days of Noah, days of Lot foretelling, Zechariah’s prophecy regarding Jerusalem looks to be forming. Stay tuned…

 

***Powerful, new book coming soon! ***

Terry James’ new book: Discerners: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs For the End Of Days is almost ready for the presses.

You won’t want to miss this one! Eighteen of the most well known writers, broadcasters and speakers on Bible prophecy help the reader discern these times that look to be near the instant when Christ will call the church home to Heaven.

We believe you will agree that Discerners is an indispensable spiritual tool to assist in understanding these troubled although exciting times.

Watch for more about this important book as time for its release nears.

 

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