Among any group of human beings there always arises a bully. We’ve all experienced it since our days in grade school, even in kindergarten.
My wife and I sometimes kept nursery and toddlers in church on Sunday mornings so that the younger parents could enjoy church service without the worry of riding herd on their little ones. I observed the same behavior among the very youngest. There was always one or two who bullied the others—took away toys or did other obnoxious things.
These, of course, didn’t really think or know that they were doing anything wrong. It was just a natural, human trait.
And that’s the problem. The natural thing amongst humans is the part of us that has brought forth the troubles throughout human history.
The natural in this matter stems from the sin nature intrinsic to the fallen, human creation.
“Progressing” up through junior high and beyond the bullying becomes more serious. It is done knowingly and with purpose. The purpose—to lord it over someone else for the bully’s own ego and sense of power and control.
It becomes even more evident in the business world, as people joust and elbow to climb the ladders of success within corporate structures.
Then we come to the arena of politics and government. We have witnessed this in a profound way within the last four years, in my opinion. We are seeing it even now, as far as I’m concerned, in the way the swamp-entrenched medical “experts” within Washington, DC, officialdom have caused the rest of us to completely give up our livelihoods and altered, perhaps permanently, the American way of life.
These have bullied even this president, in my view. They walked into the Oval Office and extorted him with the threat of 2.2 million deaths from the coronavirus, if he didn’t shut down the nation’s close interaction.
I admire Mr. Trump and believe him to be God’s man for the crucial hour so near the end of the age, as many who read our columns know. However, even such a self-confident, “Make America Great Again” president like Donald Trump is intimidated by the “experts” saying that 2.2 million Americans will likely die unless he follows their “expert” advice.
Now, I sense he is realizing the mistake of listening to the veiled intimidation and is trying to finesse America’s way out of this national economic nightmare. The doctors still hold the intimidating authority, though. To me, it is obvious in the way these “authorities,” through using barely comprehensible medical jargon, step to the microphones and coyly contradict the president’s words about starting the nation back up.
So the bullying continues even within this so-called pandemic.
Bullying has been, of course, powerfully manifested by nations throughout history.
The ancient rulers of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, Egypt, and all the rest literally beat their subjects and nations around them if those victims didn’t comply with the bully-rulers’ demands. This is seen in modern times by the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and even lesser tyrants like Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot, Idi Amin and many, many others.
To my way of observation, today’s most pronounced national bully is China. This monstrous dictatorship from the far reaches of the Orient has, through accident or deliberate perpetration, shown itself to be clearly the leading bully on the international block.
China is now seen as the prime culprit in the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. They almost certainly, according to intelligence services from the UK and America, deliberately unleashed the disease after it, most likely, accidentally escaped biological laboratories near the Chinese city of Wuhan.
It is thought that the dictator-leadership of China determined that since it escaped, they would keep the fact from other nations—particularly from the Western nations, so their economy wouldn’t be the only one to catastrophically suffer if and when the pandemic developed—as it did.
Intelligence sources accuse Chinese President Xi Jinping of rounding up perhaps millions of coronavirus-infected Chinese people and having them murdered so that the disease wouldn’t appear to be so widespread in that country. This, of course, is the sort of thing that world-class dictators do.
We remember the more than 30 million murdered in the Stalin purges and more than 60 million killed in the genocide by Mao tse-Tung in the so-called Cultural Revolution.
So, the bullying by geopolitical tyrants continues—and in a big way. The following excerpt makes the case.
China is continuing to under-report the true levels of deaths from Covid-19, national security officials in London and Washington believe.
But European officials are wary about directly challenging China over the figures, sources told the BBC. That concern also extends to confronting Beijing over an information campaign to improve its standing and distract from blame in the crisis…
Governments in Europe have been wary of engaging in a diplomatic row with China at a sensitive time. One UK official, who like others declined to speak on the record, said there was a “nervousness” about confronting China and that relations were “delicate”. (Gordon Corera, “Coronavirus: Europe ‘wary of confronting China over deaths,’” BBC News, 23 April 2020)
Clearly, there are leaders in the European Union who are afraid to confront China. Governments and presidential administrations have shied away from confrontation from this behemoth state because of its feared military power and influence. Those same governments and administrations have given the Chinese dictators ever-increasing latitude to form and shape trade deals that have given the Chinese communists billions of dollars to build one of the world’s most powerful militaries.
Bullies must be confronted, and the United States now has a commander-in-chief who is doing exactly that. For the second time recently, American warships have sailed through the sensitive area known as the Taiwan Strait. This is an expanse of waters that separate the tiny island nation of Taiwan from mainland communist China.
The communist regimes in the mainland have always considered Taiwan to belong to China. It is an illegitimate government that rules in Taiwan, the Chinese government continues to declare, because rebels (in their view) broke away from China and fled to Formosa (the name of Taiwan at the time). The Chinese communists have been threatening since that break from mainland China to invade and take the people of free Taiwan back into their regime.
Bible prophecy, in my view of it, foretells—without mentioning the name of China—that this demon-possessed bully will be responsible for the deaths of fully one-third of human beings during the time of Tribulation. Almost without question, this evil state will be the king of “the kings of the east.”
And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. (Revelation 9:13–16)
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. (Revelation 16:12)
President Trump and others have said something to the effect that damage done by the coronavirus to society, culture, and the economy might be more horrific than the damage to health done by the disease in America and around the world. By this, I infer that the statement means that by completely shutting down society, culture, and business, the resultant damage will be far worse than if the COVID-19 pandemic was handled like other severe outbreaks of history. Those, for the most part, eventually killed many, but life went on pretty much as normal, and the diseases became much less virulent when the so-called herd immunity kicked in.
The herd immunity is, as I take it, when the point is reached in the spread of disease that human immune systems biologically learn to resist whatever strain of virus or bacteria is involved.
A growing, uncharted-in-America side-effect of the present epidemic crisis is the psychological stress suffered around the country. This nation has never been locked down to any extent, except in rare instances and isolated places. The closest the US has come to this sort of restrictiveness, enforced by government, was during the Civil War when President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and restricted other areas of life that run counter to the Bill of Rights.
At that time of the nation being at war with itself, it was argued that locking down civil and other liberties would lead to dictatorship. Many historians now agree that, had it been a president other than Lincoln, with his great, personal character at the time, the unthinkable would possibly have eventuated. We might now be living under dictatorship.
Governments, once they have been allowed powers to control, rarely relinquish that power when things return to normal. As Lord Edward Acton said, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Or. as one geopolitical figure of our time, Henry Kissinger, has said: “Political power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”
We can all, if we’re honest, attest to the veracity of those statements. We can, I believe, get a hint of the truth in those words by what is happening around the nation in some areas with regard to governors and their draconian steps during this “crisis.”
The Michigan governor, for example, has forbidden many things of normal life by shutting the facilities where people normally go for essential services. At the same time, she is keeping abortion clinics, bars, and even places to buy lottery tickets open, calling them “essential services.”
Protests are ramping up around her capitol, as American citizens are demonstrating against what they perceive as tyranny. Apparently, she is on a power trip, as Lord Acton or Dr. Kissinger would say.
The president has said that he feels these protests are in many cases justified. The nation must begin opening up. This shutdown to prevent the virus spread can’t go on without irreparable damage to the economy, thus, to the people of America.
Agreed. It is un-American. It is antithesis to the nation’s principles of freedom. The shutdown must be brought to an end. To do otherwise brings a genuine threat from ideologies that would bring Machiavellian controls that “the prince that shall come” will one day use in his Antichrist dictatorship.
I received the following excerpt of an article in the American Thinker. The thoughts expressed present a solid case for suggesting that all of us seriously consider what this crisis might mean in total context for future national life as we’ve known it.
When societies lose their freedom, it is not ordinarily because autocrats or tyrants have forcibly taken it away. It is usually the result of the population willingly surrendering their freedom in return for protection against an external threat. While the threat is oftentimes real, it is invariably exaggerated.
This is what we in the United States are experiencing. The general public has been stampeded by the fear mongering in the media into demanding action from the politicians at both the state and federal level. The politicians respond and do not pause to ask whether these actions will work—just do something! They do not ask if the financial and societal cost to the nation is worth the unknown and perhaps nebulous return.
In its 244-year history the United States has weathered seven of the worst pandemics in world history without the hysteria and loss of liberty and freedom. All indications reveal that the Coronavirus will be exponentially less life-threatening than any of these previous pandemics.
Is the Coronavirus pandemic serious enough to warrant putting much of the nation’s population into house imprisonment, or wreaking the economy for an indefinite period of time, or prohibiting worshipers from attending their churches, synagogues or mosques, or outlawing freedom of assembly and travel, or destroying businesses that have taken years to build up, or saddling future generations with unfathomable debt? The nation is choosing to plunge millions of people into depression, heart attacks, suicide and unbelievable distress, though they are not especially vulnerable and will only suffer mild symptoms or none at all.
This is what a police state is like. It is a nation in which the government can issue orders and edicts or convey preferences with no legal authority. Yet, it appears the majority of the American people are willing to sacrifice their freedoms and way of life in order to empower such a potential police state in the guise of conquering a pandemic. Governments never give up power once attained. They only seek to normalize it and now they have in their toolbox the knowledge that the citizenry will meekly acquiesce to any national emergency being declared an existential crisis which requires government to unconstitutionally impose its will on the people. (Steve McCann, “How a Police State Is Formed,” American Thinker, https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/04/how_a_police_state_is_born.html)
Such a police state—and much, much worse—is coming, according to God’s prophetic Word. However, we have the right to defend against (and especially to protest against) such tyranny before that time of Antichrist, a time that will be beyond our control.
Accepting Christ for salvation assures that one will not face that ultimate dictatorship.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)
The question at the top of my list is what’s this pandemic all about? As a matter of fact, the many emails I get and conversations I engage in seem to indicate that, in one way or another, this question is chief among topics on the minds of others.
And why not?
The pandemic struck with swiftness and devastation to our way of life, the likes of which nothing in our scope of experience has equaled. Things have been turned upside down because of the coronavirus.
I know it’s the same for you who have been readings these posts lately. We have a deep desire to know exactly what is going on, in light of everything else that’s been happening, in consideration of possible biblically prophetic meanings.
I, like you, have heard many different reasons this world-changing virus has been unleashed.
It’s all about setting the stage for Antichrist is one thought. I, myself, have expressed a number of times that I believe this is one element of the reason for things shifting so dramatically at this late hour.
God is judging this nation because of the murder of more than sixty-five million babies through abortion is another theory. Certainly, a scriptural argument can be made for this.
God is invoking the Genesis 12 curse on America because the Trump administration included dividing up Israel’s land in its Deal of the Century peace plan. This proposition is a growing speculation among some.
There are many more postulations coming forth in the quest to have the answer to the question: What’s this pandemic all about? It’s a question I believe God wants His people to ponder.
Another possibility proffered is that God is wanting to get our attention—not only the attention of the lost souls who are headed down the broad way to destruction, but the attention of true believers.
My own thinking is that there might be some degree—perhaps a large degree—of credence in this thinking. The whole world continues to be stunned by the blow struck by this microscopic entity we call COVID-19 or coronavirus. The staggering occurrence, certainly allowed by God to happen, has diverted our attention from the moment-by-moment activity of living life. Everyone with the capability to get information on what is happening with the disease is paying attention.
People, particularly in America, now hunker down in their homes and wear masks when venturing out for—well, for toilet paper in particular, it seems.
The churches now sit empty seven days a week instead of six. This, in itself, speaks something significant to the question: What’s this pandemic all about?
The world banishes God from public places. Has God now banished people from church sanctuaries?
I jest only to a degree. The second-most-televised governmental authority, just behind President Trump in numbers of hours on camera, seems to have weighed in on God and His place in the nation.
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, who is given substantial national television time every day to brief the world on the state of the battle against COVID-19, has weighed in on his view of God’s status in all of this.
He’s the Democrat governor who just recently signed the Reproductive Health Act into law, a law that allows for abortion up to the due date and removes all protections for any baby who somehow lives through the abortion procedure.
Cuomo said about the battle against the pandemic:
It [the plateau in the number of new cases] is directly a result of what you do today…. The number is down because we brought the number down. God did not do that, fate did not do that, destiny did not do that, a lot of pain and suffering did that.
One must at least wonder if such an attitude by the governor might be part of why New York City is ground zero for the coronavirus. To banish the God of all creation is a most serious—might I say “dangerous”?—matter for any people.
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. (Psalms 2:2–4)
Reading through a news article today, the title of an old song sung by Roger Whittaker came to mind, and then the melody of it running through my head caused me to listen to it on YouTube.
“I Don’t Believe in ‘if’ Anymore” begins with a driving beat, telling all the fearsome things of war and trouble the youth of this world face—how they fight the battles to save their nations, etc. The song then gets into a haunting rendition of how the dreams of children are built on “if”.
But the lyrics and melody state that “if” is for children. “It’s an illusion,” the lyrics say. “If’s an illusion. If is for children, building daydreams.…I don’t believe in if any more…” the song goes on to conclude.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have a grandfather’s heart for children. Some even think I, myself, am under an illusion by thinking that the Heavenly Father’s great plan in the Rapture is to include all children under the age of accountability—those who are too young to make the decision to accept or reject Christ for salvation.
But despite those who think I’m a bit too soft-hearted (and even some think, “soft headed”) in this regard have it wrong. In this case, I’m not thinking with my emotional heart, but with my belief that God’s Holy Word explains His Holy character.
The God who has given His love letter to mankind deals one on one with each person He has determined to be born into this fallen world. Salvation is an individual matter. It is not a corporate matter, in which He “grandfathers in” all who are born under a certain religious system or to a certain Christian parent or family and brings them into His heavenly family.
The only way we go into eternity to be in God’s heavenly presence following this earthly life is by accepting God’s Son and His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross. When we believe in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, then confess that belief with our mouths, we are instantaneously brought into God’s heavenly family forever (Romans 10: 9–10).
The Rapture is only for those who have made that simple commitment. Nonetheless, those who have never had the opportunity to believe, whether because of mental incapability or because they are too young to understand, will instantly go to Christ when He calls believers to Himself (Revelation 4: 1). Otherwise, God’s very character would be in question. His righteousness would be impeachable, and that is absolutely impossible.
So it was that I was cogitating a bit on all of this after reading some really depressing headlines, and I thought of that word: “if.”
What “if” the Rapture might, in large part, be about to take place for the sake of the children below the age of accountability of this world? Their suffering is unbelievably great in some parts of this increasingly evil sphere.
The news headlines can deflate the spirit of even the most optimistic. Some of them follow:
- New, Larger Wave of Locusts Threatens Millions in Africa
Weeks before the coronavirus spread through much of the world, parts of Africa were already threatened by another kind of plague, the biggest locust outbreak some countries had seen in seventy years. Now the second wave of the voracious insects, some twenty times the size of the first, is arriving.
- The Virus Vaccine Fetal-Tissue Question
It’s enough to make your head spin. In the midst of the worldwide deaths from the coronavirus, we find ourselves in the midst of another killing issue—that of abortion.
- Giant Asian Hornets That Can “Kill with a Single Sting” to Invade Virus-Stricken US—The US Sun
Giant Asian hornets that have begun to invade the coronavirus-stricken US may cost the economy millions of dollars a year.
- Awakening Volcanic Region in Iceland “Could Cause Disruption for Centuries”
There are other news headlines even more spirit-deflating. However, the above are some immediately surrounding the headline story that pushed my buttons on the “if” matter, in regard to children below the age of accountability. Here is that headline:
- Coronavirus: The Children Struggling to Survive India’s Lockdown
The sudden imposition of a twenty-one-day lockdown in India to stop the spread of the coronavirus has thrown the lives of millions of children into chaos. Tens of thousands are calling helplines daily while thousands are going to bed hungry as the country shuts down to battle the pandemic. With 472 million children, India has the largest child population in the world.
The number is staggering. There are more than 472 million children in India, alone! Many, the story tells, are totally on their own. Many are very young kids, having to find scraps of food when and where they can. These have little hope of salvation of their souls through the process given in Romans 10:9–10.
Some who confute my belief that these will go to Jesus when the Rapture takes place would say that these little ones will go to Him if they die under that age-of-accountability rubric. After all, millions have died in wars, and God hasn’t intervened. Thus they went to Him when they died.
The argument holds no spiritual water whatsoever with me. We are talking about two entirely different scenarios: physical death vs. spiritual separation forever.
We are talking about one thing more—the most important matter: the very character of God.
God has promised to keep believers from that hour of testing –the Tribulation that will follow the Rapture of the Church. These will not face that terrible time of God’s judgment and wrath.
Yet children don’t have the capability to “believe.”
The argument I’ve heard is that children below the age of accountability, like all other people, will have to come to the point that they can “believe.” If they don’t believe, they can’t be “saved.” They can die during the time following the Rapture and then go automatically to Heaven.
Nonsense, I say—and totally out of character for the God of our Bible.
If children of this young age go to be with God in Heaven when they die—and we know they do, as King David related upon the death of his and Bathsheba’s child—without first “believing,” why must the child first “believe” before being Raptured? David’s infant son never came to the point of “believing” for salvation.
Every child during the Age of Grace in this accountability category will go to Jesus at that glorious moment of Rapture.
“If” the children are too young to believe for their individual salvation, they will be rescued from the Tribulation storm that is coming. That rescue will include every child just conceived and those in the womb, including the millions on the very brink of being aborted.
People currently are in near-panic over fear generated by a microscopic virus. Just imagine, tragically, the “crisis” the disappearance of billions of children, even those yet unborn, will create for those left behind!
From my perspective of Bible prophecy in the stage-setting process for the wind-up of the age, three factors leap from current news.
These are in addition to the tremendous developments taking place in the socioeconomic dynamics brought on by the sudden appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic. That virus, coming out of the demonic world, it seems to me, was in itself enough to point to the nearness of the end of this dispensation.
The dire prospects for recovery from the effects of the coronavirus are, if one hasn’t faith in God’s complete control, at the very least emotionally debilitating.
Now, three additional developments bring into sharper focus exactly how near we are to the time when Christ calls for His Bride, the Church. This fact—that Jesus Christ is, for all born-again believers, soon to break through all the depressing news to take His own into Heaven—should excite us.
The first of the factors I see as profoundly setting the stage for the Tribulation era, thus for the Rapture of the Church, involves China’s sudden emergence to prominence on the geopolitical scene.
For centuries, China was a building giant that seemingly chose to stay sequestered behind the Great Wall. It had little major influence. Then the communist takeover gave the vast nation a presence that represented a threat, but one that could be controlled by the greater powers of the West—and even, to some extent, by a Soviet regime that didn’t want Mao Tse-tung to get too far out of line.
China has emerged, as we all know, to become an economic force that, in conjunction with its military presence, some say can nearly rival that of the US. It has become the great, hegemonic power of all of Asia. It is even building entire islands in the South China Sea just to establish a military presence to challenge anyone who dares to enter those waters.
America, it is sad to say, has provided much of the funding for that military burgeoning through insane trade deals of the past. And now, the communist leadership of China is beginning to assert its ever-increasing power. We see some of this through the following:
U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr warned of a range of threats from China including propaganda efforts surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and efforts to interfere in U.S. elections. In an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Barr described Chinese efforts as a ‘full-court blitzkrieg’ across multiple fronts, which he said includes meddling in US elections, exercising control over key supply chains and promoting disinformation about the coronavirus. (“AG Barr Says China in ‘full-court blitzkrieg’ to Undermine US Elections and Institutions,” Fox News, Rapture Ready News, April 10, 2020)
Many students of Bible prophecy have long viewed China as a leading part of the “kings of the east” army foretold to invade the Occidental world across a dried-up Euphrates River. This is prophetically scheduled to take place during the Tribulation era (see Revelation chapters 9 and 16).
I have termed China “the king of the kings of the east.” Certainly they are swiftly moving into position to fulfill this role.
The second element in the news today that I believe is setting the stage for the coming Tribulation involves Iran.
That nation, which occupies much of the territory of the ancient Persian Empire, is scheduled prophetically to attack Israel in “the latter days,” meaning, I take it, in the post-Rapture era.
Ezekiel the prophet, in chapters 38 and 39, calls it the “Gog-Magog” force, consisting, we believe, of Russia, Iran, and Turkey, along with lesser nations. The following brings to light Iran’s preparation for that assault:
The national security and foreign policy committee for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s parliament declared that Tehran will move forward with its uranium enrichment process, triggering sharp criticism from the US State Department on Thursday. (“Iran Defies EU, Declaring Continued Nuclear Uranium Enrichment,” by Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post, Rapture Ready News, April 10, 2020)
Iran’s defiance of demands by the US president, the European Union, and especially by Israel for that nation dismantle its nuclear weapons facilities puts the region on track for a prophetic fulfillment. The very mountains that reportedly house these facilities are foretold to suffer catastrophic destruction. Many of us believe it will be Israel that destroys the nuclear capability of its chief nemesis.
The third current new items that I believe shows the nearness of the Tribulation is seen in the following:
In light of the growing demand by the Israeli public, several major Israeli rabbis ruled on the subject and for the first time ruled that it was now permissible to begin the Passover Temple service. As a result of that ruling, the rabbis sent a letter to the Prime Minister requesting that he allow the korban Pesach to take place.
The Sanhedrin emphasized that the plan to bring the altar to the Temple Mount was entirely consistent with President Trump’s recently released Deal of the Century which recognized Israel’s full sovereignty over the site. (“Historic First: Israel’s Top Rabbis Call on Netanyahu to Allow Temple Service to Begin on Temple Mount,” Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News, Rapture Ready News, April 10, 2020)
The request was rejected because of feared ramifications of probable conflict with Muslim forces and complications presented by the coronavirus.
However, the demands by the Jews in the area that Temple worship be allowed are growing. The almost completed plans for rebuilding the Temple and the already-prepared instruments of worship assure that the prophecies concerning the Tribulation Temple is nearing fulfillment.
With prophetic stage-setting for the Tribulation in overdrive, the nearness of the Rapture of the Church can’t be overemphasized.
Depression, a deep mood of foreboding, is never far away in times like we’re enduring right now. There are so many different takes on COVID-19 that it’s impossible to form one’s own thoughts on matters involved. The claims and suppositions concerning prospects for the future are so varied—and, in most cases, so terrible—that some are driven to suicide.
Therefore, it’s difficult to get our brains around the severity, or lack thereof, of what we face. It is even harder to discern fact from fiction—or worse, truth from deliberate misdirection. But the information on coronavirus and all attendant to it keeps coming at us, and those informed are deeply affected by that information—psychologically, spiritually, and even physically, in some cases.
Anyone listening to the daily briefing by the Trump administration and its highly regarded medical authorities staff is hard-pressed to get a handle on which way this disease is headed. It is even more problematic to try to determine what the economic picture will look like in the coming weeks and months. Will the pandemic pass, or are we melting into a situation that will devolve into national and world depression—one from the likes of which there is no chance of recovery?
Will, as the president hopes, there be a turnaround by the middle of the year, with medical breakthroughs and the virus dying in the heat of the summer months? Will business rebound from almost total shutdown to people going back to work and the economy soaring again to a time of boom? Will social distancing and sequestering in our homes get rid of the virus?
Or will the disease be without cure or preventative vaccine for months and years, bringing death and economic devastation never before experienced by mankind?
It’s all out there in the minute-by-minute briefings and reports. It is there in the ever-present punditry on networks and through cable channels. It is, in playing with a line from Dickens, the worst of times that might once again be the best of times.
Also, the obverse is there in the blogs, news reports, and opinion pieces from many sources that cut pathways of information through the blogosphere and other alternative media. This is the worst of times, period, and the good times are almost certainly gone forever.
Just a cursory look at a couple of the worst-of-times forecasts—feared by some to never end—can indeed produce a near incapacity for hope of recovery.
- The coronavirus is all part of the Cloward-Piven Strategy to collapse America. COVID-19 is, the blog writer declares, part of an eight-step plan from leftists/socialists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven from 1966 that was designed to destroy the US from within.
The writer gives the eight steps of the plan, asserting that it is being currently implemented. He concludes, I take it, that all elements of the plan have either happened or are currently being exponentially exacerbated by this present crisis.
- Taking control of the nation’s healthcare
- Increasing the level of poverty so people must get assistance
- Increasing debt to an unsustainable level so taxes can be raised to meet the crisis
- Getting rid of private gun ownership so the police state can be created
- Massively increasing the welfare state, taking control of every aspect of US citizens’ lives (food, housing, and income)
- Taking over education, controlling what people read and what they learn about the nation (revision of history)
- Taking over in area of religion, removing prayer and any mention of God
- Dividing the nation into classes, pitting one against the other so one must provide welfare for the other. (Taken from Rapture Ready News, April 4, 2020, Geoffrey Grider, “Now the End Begins”)
The writer further declares:
[Steps] 1-5 and 8 are being executed right now in how our government is reacting to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, with steps 6 and 7 already having been implemented since 2008. The American economy is being split into pieces right now by the combination of a $2 trillion bailout with more coming, Americans under stay-at-home orders, and with more people right now on unemployment in two weeks of the coronavirus crisis than in the second year of the Great Depression of 1929.
America as we know it cannot and will not survive a three-month lockdown, it will fall and there is no question about that.
- The Coronavirus is part of China’s plan to defeat America. Another writer believes the COVID-19 crisis is a setup to bring down the much hated America and its leading role in the world. The writer writes that China accuses American soldiers of deliberately introducing the virus in China, as part of Chinese plans to give cover for the coming attack on the US.
The communist regime, so it goes, will soon attack infrastructure and other American assets in cyberspace and elsewhere. That government has begun, the writer declares, to blame America for the pandemic, thus to have a reason that justifies the inevitable attack when it comes. This, he believes, will then escalate into a military action, and this nation’s internal forces, who are traitorous to America as founded, will do all they can to prevent America’s defense against the Chinese assaults. This is because these revolutionists believe the United States is at the root of all the world’s problems in one way or the other.
It is certain that the dire, apocalyptic, warnings far outnumber the hopes for recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic—either the health effects or the economic effects. Many among those who study Bible prophecy believe the Tribulation, itself, has begun. The end of the world is upon us.
But, Jesus told His disciples—and us by extension—that for believers (such as those immediate disciples who were just about to go into the Church Age or Age of Grace) that the end wasn’t yet.
The Lord prophesied that before the era of Tribulation comes, believers will live during a time when all the signals He foretold will BEGIN to come to pass (Luke 21:28). He told believers to look up and lift their heads in anticipation when these things BEGIN to come to pass, because He, their Redeemer (the blessed hope). was coming to rescue them.
He even told us what that time will be like. It will be a time of buying, selling, marrying, planting, and building. He said nothing of worldwide depression. It will be just like the days of Lot when He will next “reveal” Himself in a spectacular moment. It will be a time of extreme wickedness, but with commerce and even hedonistic pleasures humming right along. That’s what Lot’s day was like, we know, from reading Genesis chapter 19.
It cannot be claimed, and I certainly do not say, that things right now look in any way rosy. They do not. I fully understand the reasons for many at this moment fearing the nation and the world will at any moment collapse into apocalyptic rubble.
But I prefer to believe Jesus and His promises over any news report, ideology, or religious wind of doctrine. He is our One, True Reliance.
He has promised to keep His own out of the time of Tribulation (Revelation 3:10).
I hope you, too, are comforting yourselves with these Words Jesus gave the Apostle Paul to write:
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)
Jesus chided the Pharisees and Sadducees of His time for not being able to discern the times and seasons of their Messiah coming upon that generation:
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)
Our book, DISCERNERS: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs for the End of Days, written by a number of outstanding writers and myself, points out that many people who are professing Christians today aren’t recognizing the lateness of the prophetic hour. This goes double for many of those who are pastors with responsibility of informing their flocks.
Even at this crucial hour, with many—as a matter of fact, most—church doors in America not open because of COVID 19, there are few warnings by Christian clergy of the storm that is approaching.
It is a tempest like no other. It is the time Jesus Himself foretold will be the worst in all of human history. He said it will be so terrible that if He doesn’t come back during that storm at the time He promises, all flesh on the earth will die.
He goes on to tell us what to do to avoid not knowing that great storm is approaching:
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (Mark 13:37)
That’s what we, as “watchmen on the wall,” dedicate ourselves to doing. We watch for signals of that great Tribulation storm that is surely coming.
In that regard, we’ve put out storm warnings—in the form of articles—for decades. As of late, the flags are waving—almost standing straight out—in winds blowing in from the seas Jesus spoke of in prophetic terms:
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. (Luke 21:25)
Most watchmen on the wall agree that the coronavirus is a storm warning, an indicator that that great end-times turbulence is upon us. Some, who don’t accept that the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation, are saying we’ve now entered the last seven years of human history that immediately precede the Second Advent as recorded in Revelation 19:11.
We have not entered that horrendous era. We know this because our very Lord has told us the following:
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. (Revelation 3:10)
Jesus, of course, was prophesying to the Church, and He promises that we won’t enter that great time of testing. Paul the apostle tells us how Jesus will keep us from that Tribulation storm. (Read 1 Corinthians 15:51–55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18).
While we are not in that terrible time that will wreak havoc on all of humanity, we are enduring precursor winds of that Tribulation era. This so-called pandemic is like a storm front of those hurricane-force winds that will soon blow full force upon the entire world.
Signals abound that those winds are increasing in prophetic velocity. For example, we can clearly see the economic system developing that Antichrist will use to enslave all the world with his mark-and-number system.
Talk of such a system is becoming almost routine among financial experts while economies of nations around the world plunge deeper into chaos. There must come a time when even the paper and metallic currencies must be done away with because they can transmit the deadly viruses that will continue to assault humanity. There must be developed—and soon—a system of buying and selling that will not threaten mankind with disease and death.
Antichrist, during the coming storm, will provide the supposed safeguard against the threat. But the cure will be many times worse than the diseases that might otherwise come against humanity. The Bible says the following about the Antichrist’s economic system:
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Revelation 13:16–18)
Specific signals that tell us the system of complete control is on the way are blowing in the prophetic winds. One example is the matter of one of the world’s most famous globalist-multibillionaires working toward injecting identification chips through vaccines to deal with COVID-19.
Bill Gates recently stated on Reddit that “digital certificates” will be used to identify who received the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine. And these certificates will also be used to identify who can conduct business or not.
On March 13th, about a day after COVID-19 began shutting down the entire Western world, Bill Gates stepped down from the public board of Microsoft to “dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and climate change”. As the pandemic spread across the world, Gates became an outspoken and authoritative figure on the pandemic crisis, appearing all over mass media to share his views and recommendations.
A Reddit user named RemoteControlledUser asked this question:
What changes are we going to have to make to how businesses operate to maintain our economy while providing social distancing?
Bill Gates’ answer:
The question of which businesses should keep going is tricky. Certainly food supply and the health system. We still need water, electricity and the internet. Supply chains for critical things need to be maintained. Countries are still figuring out what to keep running.
Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it…
This concept of a “digital certificate” to store medical information (including vaccines received) and to grant access to rights or services was not a mere suggestion. It is part of a massive project that is propelled by a powerful group called ID2020 which is backed by the United Nations, the Rockefeller Foundation and…Bill Gates’ Microsoft.…
Simply put, ID2020 is looking to create a digital identification system that would store a wealth of personal information and that would go beyond the limits of national governments. The official website of ID2020 states that a global digital identity is necessary to keep track of refugees and ID-less people in developing countries. Of course, people in developed countries would be ID-ed as well…
[According to ID2020] Everyone should have access to a digital ID that enables them to prove who they are across institutional and international borders and across time, while giving them control over how their personal information is collected, used, and shared.
In an article published by ID2020 in 2018, [it was proposed that] vaccines are the perfect way to introduce digital identity to the world—especially infants. (“Bill Gates Calls for a ‘Digital Certificate’ to Identify Who Received COVID-19 Vaccine,” https://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/bill-gates-calls-for-a-digital-certificate-to-identify-)
The Tribulation storm front is approaching. The prophetic winds are blowing in our faces. It’s time to look up! (Luke 21:28)
Rapture Ready note:
This article was written by my life-long friend, Freddy Burton, who served as Saline County Clerk, an elective position, from 1993 to 2012.
The article appeared in our local paper, the Saline Courier (formerly the Benton Courier) two years ago. Benton, Arkansas is the town in which Todd Strandberg, my partner in and founder of raptureready.com, and I live. I’ve lived here most of my life.
The article gives fascinating perspective, contrasting the current Coronavirus pandemic with the Spanish flu of 1918, which the article chronicles in-depth.
The “Forgotten Pandemic” of 1918
By Freddy Burton
“It is an oddity of history that the influenza epidemic of 1918 has been virtually overlooked in the teaching of American history…” National Archives and Records Administration.
More Worldwide Deaths than World War I
World War I, known as the “Great War,” ran from 1914-1918 and claimed an estimated 16 million lives. The influenza pandemic, known as the Spanish ‘Flu’ of 1918 attacked 1/5th of the world’s population and killed an estimated 50 million people. More than 600,000 Americans died; and 7,000 in Arkansas alone.
Greatest Medical Holocaust in History
Within months, it had killed more people than any other illness in recorded history. More people died of the Spanish Flu in a one year than in four-years (1347-1351) of the “Black Plague”. Some historians described this pandemic as “the greatest medical holocaust in history”.
Attacked Young and Healthy
One of the unusual features of this pandemic was that it killed mostly young adults. In 1918-1919, 99% of pandemic influenza deaths in the U.S. occurred in people under 65, and nearly half of which were in young adults 20 to 40 years old.
Unlike Other Strains / Summer and Fall
Another unusual feature of this pandemic that was unlike other strains of influenza, which are primarily active in the winter months; The Spanish Flu outbreak was strongest in the summer and fall, and especially in October of 1918.
Downplayed by Officials
Fearing panic, officials were originally reluctant to admit that the pandemic posed a serious threat. James C. Geiger, a commissioned officer for the Public Health Service who was stationed in Arkansas, downplayed the threat with reassuring statements even after he himself had caught the flu and his wife died from it.
The dire situation was clearly documented by the October 10th 1918 Benton Courier: “Benton and Vicinity in Grip of Epidemic of Spanish Influenza. Public Places Closed. No epidemic has had its grip on this country and county as has the Spanish influenza, which, during the past week has placed itself in almost every home… it has been announced that many churches will have no services Sunday…The American Bauxite had to shut down its plant on Tuesday on account of so many men being sick, and several have died in that section of the county.”
When I first ran across information on this historical event I was shocked, not only of the magnitude of this pandemic, but that I had never heard of it. Some historians have referred to the1918 Influenza pandemic as: “The Mother of All Pandemics.”
Scientists, doctors, and health officials could not identify the disease which was striking so fast and so aggressive. Some victims died within hours of their first symptoms. Others succumbed after a few days; their lungs filled with fluid and they suffocated to death.
BENTON COURIER October 17, 1918: “Influenza Has Our County In Its Grip: Nearly Every Home is Affected And More Victims Are Reported Each Day…Business is at a Standstill and Little Relief is In Sight…The doctors have had more calls than could possibly be attended to, and the druggists have had problems in securing medical supplies. There have been a number of fatalities, Benton undertakers having supplied thirty coffins in the past five days…”
The Undertaker’s Records from 1916-1928 indicate that in October of 1916 there were only 3 deaths for the month. October of 1917 there were only 8 deaths, but in October of 1918, the peak of the pandemic; there were an astonishing 72 deaths in that one month! Doug Hawkins, owner of Ashby Funeral Home told me recently that 45 burials are the most that he has ever done in one month. To put this in perspective, the population today of Saline County is 114,404. The population of Saline County in 1918 was 16,781.
BENTON COURIER: October 1918: “Sheriff Cox has received a letter from the State Board of Health advising him to see that all places where public gatherings are held in Saline County are kept closed…To open any place for the purpose of a crowd assembling is in direct violation of the law…”
Below are a few samples of the news in the Courier from different parts of Saline County:
CARMEL: “Heath isn’t very good in this section on account of influenza. We hear that the death angel visited the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ed McClain last Saturday and claimed for its own their darling little girl, Ruby.”
BAUXITE: “At this writing the Spanish influenza is about to take hold of everyone. Farry Corn has been quite ill…Lula Elrod has also been quite sick with this epidemic. Jesse Stuckey, son of Mrs. Emma Stuckey, passed away last Saturday… Dewey Hardin has been quite ill for several days…At this writing there are still lots of sickness around. Hardly enough well people to wait on the sick ones. The death angel claimed Susie Bryant from Mr. and Mrs. Joe Bryant last Thursday their oldest daughter.”
LIBERTY: “MR. Editor and readers, I have nothing to report that is bright, amusing or encouraging. All is sorrow, disappointment and dread. There is serious sickness in many homes, and the death angel visited two homes last Saturday. James Elliot, owner of the Rural Telephone system died Saturday, leaving seven small children. Also Dewell Green, about seventeen years of age, son of John H. Green, died Saturday morning. He will be greatly missed by his many schoolmates of Rural Hill School, especially by his class, the eighth grade. He leaves to mourn his loss his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Green one sister, Miss Ola and two small brothers , Ernest and Wilbur. There remains were laid to rest in Ten Mile cemetery Sunday evening. Elder O.C. Robinson and Will Daniels have been very sick for several days with the flu, as is also Miss Delpho Shockley, whose case has now developed into pneumonia. Whole families have been down at once, and many could not get the care and attention they needed. The doctors have gone night and day and have been behind with their calls most all the time. Most all who have escaped the contagion are worn out waiting on the sick.
I am wondering what the future has in store for us. Its best, of course, that we do not know. We should not borrow trouble, nor brood over things gone by. We should make the best of conditions as we get to them, but we never before had universal troubles as now…” (A.B. Stockley)
Cynthia Dunn recalls her grandfather, Paul Rucker, and grandmother, Cynthia Ramsey Rucker, telling her the way it was in the Shaw community in the fall of 1918. “My grandmother Rucker would begin cooking food early in the morning for those families that were sick, and my grandfather Rucker spent the entire day delivering this food. Funerals of the flu victims were cancelled because everyone was afraid to go to the church for fear of exposure and the other members of the family were often sick themselves.”
Although there were no cures, desperate times called for desperate measures. People relied on a range of different home remedies, including the wearing of garlic amulets. In some areas people turned to Tanlac; advertized as a “powerful reconstructive tonic.” None of these remedies helped.
Advertisement: Bush Drug Co. ad in BENTON COURIER October 1918: “Persons Weak and Run Down Easy Victims: Fortify Yourself Against Flu by Taking Tanlac…nothing on earth will strengthen you and build you up like Tanlac, the powerful reconstructive tonic, which contains the very elements needed by the system to give you fighting strength and ward off the influenza germ…In connection with the Tanlac treatment, it is necessary to keep the bowels open by taking Tanlac Laxative Tablets, samples of which are included with every bottle of Tanlac…Tanlac is sold in Benton by Bush Drug Co., the only established agency in town.”
Last Article in Courier / First Article October 10th
BENTON COURIER October 31 1918: “Influenza Situation Improving Rapidly: Although there are several cases of influenza over the county, it is believed that the epidemic has spent its force in Saline County, and the quarantine has been raised, so that churches may hold their regular services Sunday, and the schools of the county can resume Monday.
This has been one of the worst epidemics to strike this section for years, as there were but few homes that were not affected by the disease, and in many instances whole families were ill at the same time, with no one to care for the sick.
Now, that the danger of spreading has passed and the quarantine has been raised, it is expected that within a few days conditions will become normal again, and the business of keeping business moving will be as brisk as it was before our misfortune.”
In the years following 1918, Americans seemed eager to forget the pandemic. For several years after the pandemic children could be heard skipping rope to the rhyme: I had a little bird, its name was Enza, I opened the window, and in-flu-enza.
Given the devastating impact of the pandemic, the reasons for this forgetfulness are puzzling. It is possible, however, that the pandemic’s close association with World War I may have caused this amnesia. This has led some historians to call the 1918 Spanish flu; the “Forgotten Pandemic.”
Hurricane season brings the phenomenon known as a “steering mechanism.” I’m no meteorologist, of course, but know enough to understand that, in the United States, winds aloft blowing from west to east have an effect on hurricanes approaching our mainland from the Atlantic.
These winds can “steer” those massive storm systems away from the continent and back into the Atlantic. This is usually the case.
The news media plays these things for all they’re worth. They, with wind-blown reporters standing with their microphones on the shoreline, paint the worst-case scenarios each time there is a huge hurricane being generated by warm Atlantic waters as the storm heads eastward from the Horn of Africa or somewhere over that way. More often than not, then, the storm has less effect on our coasts than anticipated. The steering mechanism—these winds aloft—have done their job and lessened the severity of the hurricanes.
However, sometimes these steering currents can force storms up the coast. They then do severe damage to places in more northern latitudes rather than on the lower coastal areas where they initially were expected to make an impact.
It seems we are now in the middle of the most severe moments of an end-times storm. This isn’t the case, however. We are in the process of watching the Tribulation storm out in the proverbial roaring sea as it threatens to land full-force.
The full-blown hurricane will come. Bible prophecy makes that forecast abundantly clear.
But there are winds aloft, so to speak. They are the steering mechanism that will determine when the storm will become full-blown and where it will make its full impact upon the generation that will endure the storm and all the wrath its power will generate.
I think we can look at COVID-19, or coronavirus, if you prefer, as a major steering mechanism in this end of the Church Age. It is like that powerful wind aloft in meteorological terms, shaping things to come not only for America, but for the entire world.
One example of the way this pandemic is steering the great, incoming Tribulation storm is its movement being used by the globalists who are attempting to force America and the world into the model the globalists elite have been trying their best to bring about.
A news excerpt or two perhaps will illustrate.
A Rockefeller Foundation report produced 10 years ago imagined a viral pandemic as the perfect catalyst to implement “tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership,” eerily similar to what’s unfolding during the current coronavirus outbreak.
The report, entitled, “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development,” outlines several possible future global scenarios, including a “Lock Step” vision in which a “new influenza strain…infects nearly 20 percent of the global population…killing 8 million in just seven months…”
“In 2012, the pandemic that the world had been anticipating for years finally hit,” the scenario begins. “Unlike 2009’s H1N1, this new influenza strain—originating from wild geese—was extremely virulent and deadly.”
“The pandemic also had a deadly effect on economies: international mobility of both people and goods screeched to a halt, debilitating industries like tourism and breaking global supply chains,” the scenario continues, describing almost the exact events of 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.” (“Globalist Think Tank Laid Out Scenario Where Virus Outbreak Prompts Authoritarian Crackdown,” Rapture Ready News, March28, 2020)
Another news item further illustrates the effects the pandemic-steering mechanism is having in this present hour, eight years after the Rockefeller Foundation Report’s scenario for their globalist ambitions.
The United Kingdom’s former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called on world leaders to form a “temporary” global government to resolve both the medical and economic crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic reports the Guardian.
The ex-Labour prime minister stressed the need for a task force comprised of world leaders, health experts as well as leaders of the international organizations that could enjoy executive powers to execute the response.
A virtual meeting of the G-20 group of both developed and developing countries, chaired by Saudi Arabia, is scheduled to take place on Thursday. Brown lamented that the meeting didn’t include the UN security council. “This is not something that can be dealt with in one country,” he said. “There has to be a coordinated global response.” (David Sidman, “Ex British Prime Minister Calls on World Leaders to Form ‘One World Government’,” Breaking Israel News, March 26, 2020)
Yet another excerpt of today’s news even more dramatically illustrates the steering mechanism’s effects. It is a more profound example of the supernaturally generated winds aloft, I propose, because God’s prophetic time clock, the nation Israel, is directly in the path of the incoming, apocalyptic storm.
[Israel’s Prime Minister] Netanyahu put out a direct public appeal while dealing with an escalating coronavirus crisis on Tuesday, saying, “Benny Gantz, this is a moment which tests leadership and national responsibility. The citizens of Israel need a unity government that will work to save their lives and their livelihoods. This is not the time for a fourth election. We both know that the gaps between us are small, and we can overcome them. Let’s meet now and establish a unity government. I am waiting for you.” (Dov Lipman, “Unity Government Formed: Netanyahu Stays in Charge…For a Half Term,” Breaking Israel News, March 27, 2020)
The prime minister, in addressing the Israeli people, urged all to stay home, because, he said, “one who infects one person is akin to infecting the whole world.”
He said he doesn’t know when the pandemic will end. He reminded the people, however, that during past plagues, the Jews were stuck in exile. He said:
The coronavirus joins the family of other deadly plagues throughout history—the Black Plague, cholera, and the Spanish flu. When those plagues ran their course in previous centuries, we (the Jews) didn’t have a state. But today we do have a state.
He encouraged his audience by saying, “This gives us unlimited options to control our destiny,” adding, “we are one people, one country and now is the time for unity.”
[The Jewish] month of Nisan that begins tonight is the month of spring and of exodus from Egypt. It reminds us that our nation withstood intense storms. It gives us strength. It gives us hope. We overcame Pharaoh. And although the battle is difficult and challenging, we will overcome the coronavirus with God’s help and with your help, people of Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu is correct; with God’s help, the Jewish people—a remnant—will get past the storm to come. The storm the Israeli prime minister seems to anticipate isn’t yet here. It will be horrific, to be sure. The steering mechanism—the strange, supernatural winds that are blowing—are shaping things prophetically, precisely as God’s Word has foretold.
If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you won’t experience the most terrible storm ever to rage upon this fallen planet. Again, the following is the prescription that will protect you from the Tribulation pandemic storm to come:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10: 9–10)
This week I received a thought-provoking email and sense I should explore its contents with you.
We continue, of course, in the midst of this Covid-19 or coronavirus, or whatever you want to call it. That is literally all we can find in terms of news. If news providers or pundits move away from the topic at all, it is only for a brief moment. They are then right back to giving all the statistics and feared statistics. The pandemic’s effect on both the health of the populations of the world and the economies of the world are news-fodder 24/7.
For the prophecy student of the pre-Trib sort, many questions arise. Why was the economy moving upward as if it had JATO (forgive my old US Air Force term, for “Jet Assist Take Off”)?Then, why did that booming economy descend so dramatically as to make many believe a catastrophic crash is surely coming?
The depictions by even many of the prophecy prognosticators are so dire as to put forward that we are now into the Tribulation—the time of Daniel’s seventieth week.
And why should this not be the fear? The abject fear-mongering by mainstream news is at a near bloodcurdling level in some instances.
Here is a brief excerpt from a writer who analyzes and points to things posited by two major newspapers that can be designed to do nothing less than engender trepidation.
The New York Times claims that “the specter of death speeds across the globe, ‘Appointment in Samara’-style, ever faster, culling the most vulnerable.” Others are claiming Trump will cancel the election to rule as a Jim Jones. “Every viewer who trusts the words of Earhardt or Hannity or Regan could well become a walking, breathing, droplet-spewing threat to the public,” opined the Washington Post. (“Wake Up! Your fears are being manipulated,” by Peter Van Buren, AmericanConservative.com, Rapture Ready News, March 27, 2020)
This writer has received a number of emails expressing fear that all of this means the Rapture of the Church has somehow now been pushed back. Since I have written on numerous occasions that Jesus said that it will be like the days of Noah and days of Lot when He next catastrophically Intervenes in the affairs of mankind, the plunging economy and pandemic conditions around the world must mean the Rapture cannot be imminent.
Jesus prophesied that people will be buying, selling, building, planting, marrying, etc., when He next breaks in on this rebellious world. Just like in the days of Lot in Sodom, God’s judgment will begin falling the very day the people of the Age of Grace are called by Christ into His Presence (Revelation 4: 1).
Well, folks, guess what? People are still buying, selling, building, and marrying. The farmers will be planting this spring. While it is true that all of these things are on a frightening, downward trajectory, they are still taking place. This is not the time of Armageddon when none of these things will come close to being done as they are currently. The great Rapture event can literally happen at any moment. And it is my opinion that, despite the pandemic and the subsequent plunge of economy, the Rapture is more likely than ever to be at any moment.
The Rapture is still imminent!
My own view is that this economy will move back into the upward trajectory. But whether it does or not, we will still be buying, selling, and all of the other things mentioned by the Lord Jesus. His Words, like God, Himself, do not change. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever.
So we get back to the purpose of the thinking we are doing based upon the email I received. It was a missive that was meant to salve some of the hurting from the abrasiveness of the fear-mongering we’ve all been subjected to.
Like the Matthew 24:36–42 and Luke 17:26–30 passages about the days of Noah and days of Lot, the 2 Chronicles 7: 14 passage is declared by seminaries and their graduates’ scholarly commentaries to be for the Jews only, and for the time of Tribulation only. These, the “experts”—many of which are my good friends—say we must accept that these portions of God’s prophetic Word don’t apply to the Church. Nor are they for the Church Age, the Age of Grace.
I do not accept these interpretations. I believe these words of Christ in the Olivet Discourse are for the whole world, in every age, but particularly for the end of this present dispensation, in regard to the days of Noah and of Lot prophecy. The 2 Chronicles 7:14 directive from Heaven was indeed for the Jews, the emailer was pointing out. However, it is not exclusively to the Jews.
The Heavenly Father gives the prescription for how to deal with problems of a sin-nature that bring God’s correction and judgment on His people.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Murray Lorance, the emailer, wrote in part:
While some still argue this is a message directed at only the wayward Jewish people of the Old Testament times, that same theme is introduced from the start of the Christian era in Acts 2.
Verse 38 says, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 3 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
I interject here: The words of this Scripture about being baptized for your sins, remember, is preached to the new believers in Christ before Paul’s teachings of belief only in the death, burial, and resurrection for salvation (Romans 10:9–10).
This heart of this initial message is carried consistently through the gospels and the epistles, as well as the final Revelation Word from Christ Himself.
But, to completely appreciate the application of the Second Chronicles passage we have become familiar with, let’s reconnect the prior verse to suddenly see its application to today’s pandemic crisis.
II Chronicles 7:13–14 “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, of if I send the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Now, just to understand how earnest God is, back up to Chapter 6:28–31 for Solomon’s prayer of request to God.
“If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, if there is locust or grasshopper, if their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities, whatever plague or whatever sickness there is, whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or all of Your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own pain, and spreading his hands toward this house, then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know for You alone know the hearts of the son of man that they may fear You, to walk in your ways as long as they live in the land which You have given to our fathers.”
This prayer brought the response of Chapter 7:12 “Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, I have heard your prayer…”
So, will we repent to seek God’s relief, or will just a remnant plead for mercy? Could it be He is stirring hearts everywhere to seek Him? Will you be the watchman on the wall to guide that one back to truth, repentance and His righteousness? [I was delighted when I saw Franklin Graham on an advert on Fox Channel—a one-minute plea, and leading the audience in the sinner’s prayer! How bold! How badly needed in this secular culture.] “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest….! Be that faithful laborer!
If you know the Lord Jesus, you are His person. We are His People.
Let us pray the prayer of 2 Chronicles 7:14 as we look for the any-moment intervention of the Lord Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).