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Should Christians celebrate Halloween? Two Views – By Michael Hile

Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

 (View # 1)

Whether or not Christians should celebrate Halloween can be a very controversial topic.  Some Christians celebrate Halloween simply by dressing up in a costume and having fun, seeing it as innocent and harmless. Other Christians are equally convinced that Halloween is a satanic holiday established to worship evil spirits and promote darkness and wickedness. So, who is right? Is it possible for Christians to celebrate Halloween without compromising their faith?

Halloween, no matter how commercialized, has almost completely pagan origins. As innocent as it may seem to some, it is not something to be taken lightly. Christians tend to have various ways to celebrate or not to celebrate Halloween. For some, it means having an “alternative” Harvest Party.

For others, it is staying away from the ghosts, witches, goblins, etc., and wearing innocuous costumes, e.g., little princesses, clowns, cowboys, super-heroes, etc. Some choose not to do anything, electing to lock themselves in the house with the lights off. With our freedom as Christians, we are at liberty to decide how to act.

Scripture does not speak at all about Halloween, but it does give us some principles on which we can make a decision. In Old Testament Israel, witchcraft was a crime punishable by death (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27). The New Testament teaching about the occult is clear. Acts 8:9-24, the story of Simon, shows that occultism and Christianity don’t mix. The account of Elymas the sorcerer in Acts 13:6-11 reveals that sorcery is violently opposed to Christianity.

Paul called Elymas a child of the devil, an enemy of righteousness and a perverter of the ways of God. In Acts 16, at Philippi, a fortune-telling girl lost her demon powers when the evil spirit was cast out by Paul. The interesting matter here is that Paul refused to allow even good statements to come from a demon-influenced person. Acts 19 shows new converts who have abruptly broken with their former occultism by confessing, showing their evil deeds, bringing their magic paraphernalia, and burning it before everyone (Acts 19:19).

So, should a Christian celebrate Halloween? Is there anything evil about a Christian dressing up as a princess or cowboy and going around the block asking for candy? No, there is not. Are there things about Halloween that are anti-Christian and should be avoided?  Absolutely! If parents are going to allow their children to participate in Halloween, they should make sure to keep them from getting involved in the darker aspects of the day.                                                                                                                                                                                  If Christians are going to take part in Halloween, their attitude, dress, and most importantly, their behavior should still reflect a redeemed life (Philippians 1:27). There are many churches that hold “harvest festivals” and incorporate costumes, but in a godly environment. There are many Christians who hand out tracts that share the Gospel along with the Halloween candy.

The decision is ultimately ours to make. But as with all things, we are to incorporate the principles of Romans 14. We can’t allow our own convictions about a holiday to cause division in the body of Christ, nor can we use our freedom to cause others to stumble in their faith. We are to do all things as to the Lord.

Excerpted from:  https://www.gotquestions.org/Christians-celebrate-Halloween.html

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Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

(View # 2)

If the Bible is our Guide, then “No” is the Simple Answer.

Ephesians 5:8-11 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:8-11).

1 Thessalonians 5:22— “Abstain from every form of evil.”

Some good questions you should ask yourself:

Does Halloween fill me with faith or fear?

Yes; Halloween celebrates fear—the theme of darkness, graves, blood, skulls, vampires, witches and wizards infuse fear into our life.  If God does not give us a spirit of fear, but tells us 365 times in the Scriptures not to fear, why would we invite fear into our lives by a celebration that breeds fear?

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”                                                                                                                                                                

How am I honoring God in this celebration?

1 Corinthians 10:19-22— “What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything?  Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.  Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?”

Excerpted from:  https://wordmissionchurchinternational.org/should-christians-celebrate-halloween/ 

WALK IN THE LIGHT

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:17-21).

“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.  You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness” (1 Thess. 5:4-5).

The fact is, Halloween and all its practices are associated with witchcraft. The bulk of the world has been desensitized to witchcraft evidenced by record breaking sales from movies like the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series. Almost every young person on the planet has seen Twilight.

What is Twilight about?  Vampires, and sorcery, and witchcraft and yet it is one of the highest grossing series in America movie history. And in the movie industry, it is second only to Harry Potter.  And think, that’s amazing that this Christian society has spent so much money, along with the Brits, watching vampires, sorcerers, and witchcraft on the big screen and eating it up.  Excerpted from:  https://arthurbaileyministries.com/biblical-teachings/happy-halloween-q/ 

CAN EVIL SPIRITS DISGUISE THEMSELVES AS OTHERS?

 The answer is “Yes.”

2 Corinthians 11:13-15—For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.  And no wonder!  For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”

1 John 4:1—Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

CAN EVIL SPIRITS POSSESS PEOPLE?

 The answer is “Yes.”

Luke 11:23-26—   “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters. When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’  And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order.  Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”

SHOULD I TRY TO CONTACT THE DEAD OR DISCERN THE FUTURE? 

The answer is “No.”                                   

Don’t Play Games with the Devil

The Bible does not mention Ouija boards specifically, but it does have a few things to say about divination and attempting to contact the dead:  Playing with Ouija boards should be avoided as one should avoid a physical threat: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).  Excerpted from:   https://www.gotquestions.org/ouija-boards.html

Tarot cards come in a deck of 78 individual cards. They are associated with divination—unlocking the secrets of the future by occult, supernatural means.  Some mystics, psychics, and occultists use the cards for divination, and the ability to “read” them is seen as elements of fortune-telling. To receive a tarot reading is to attempt to find out things about one’s life or future through the occult.  Divination is strictly prohibited in the Bible.  Excerpted from:  https://www.gotquestions.org/tarot-cards.html

Leviticus 19:30-31   “‘You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord.  Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God’ “

Deuteronomy 18:9–14—  “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,  or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.  For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God.  For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.”

Isaiah 8:19-20—   “And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

Galatians 5:19–21   “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication [sexual immorality], uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 21:7-8— “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.  But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

(Unless specified, all Scriptures are from the New King James Version of the Bible—NKJV)

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Author’s note about MESSIAH: The Prince That Shall Come

41KpGtWtTWLWe face today, as anyone aware of things going on in our nation and the world knows, a future that would be bleak indeed if not for the promises of Bible prophecy. But our God does not want us to be ignorant of the future—not a future of gloom and doom, but of wonder and brilliance only He can assure.

It is with this magnificent future in mind that I choose to present what is coming at this judgment-bound planet through what I believe to be Holy Spirit-influenced storytelling.

My third in the REVELATIONS series, MESSIAH: The Prince That Shall Come, is a novel I envision will bring to the reader understanding that the world today faces not fiction, but truth imparted by the source from whom truth comes. The story told within its pages is fiction only in that details of what is coming upon planet earth are formed around Bible prophecy that hasn’t yet unfolded, but is, in reality, on the brink of coming to pass.

The first novel of the series is REVELATIONS.

The second novel is MICHAEL: Last-Days Lightning.

The third novel—being released this week—is MESSIAH: The Prince That Shall Come.

A brief overview of the series

The story begins when Tyce Greyson, a journalist, encounters the supernatural realm after he receives a snake bite while in a cave on the Aegean island of Patmos. He experiences visions that grow increasingly revelatory, leading him into dimensions inhabited by enraged demonic entities and powerful, heavenly beings. His mind-boggling, although uninvited, adventures/exploits thrust him into prophetic times of great peril and magnificent promise.

Greyson moves through one inexplicable intrigue after another throughout the three novels, accompanied at various times by love interests who seem destined to help him fulfill Heaven’s chosen destiny.

Israel is at the center of powerful providential dynamics affecting Greyson’s life while history’s most despotic tyrant rises to global dominance.

I hope you will be entertained by viewing things to come through my fictional scope, the storytelling overlaid with the prism of Bible prophecy truth. And it is especially my wish that you receive enlightenment concerning prophetic fulfillment while you read this continuing saga.

The times and events fictionally portrayed are prophetic, thus are real, and are beginning to storm upon this generation at a roaring pace.

MESSIAH: The Prince That Shall Come dramatically projects the approaching evil one whose foreshadow casts across the world a time of wickedness that Jesus Himself forewarned will be the worst of all human history. I sincerely and prayerfully hope the telling of its coming in fictional form through the three novels of the series will awaken those who read them to spiritually prepare to seek God’s shelter from the approaching prophetic, end-times storm.

That shelter is available to all who will enter into its protective embrace. This place of Invincible safety is Jesus Christ—the True Messiah.

So, at the end of this saga we are all living through at this moment is a breakthrough into the most glorious eternal existence imaginable. The storyline, I hope, portrays in courage-stimulating fashion the struggle we face against the wicked “powers and principalities” of Ephesians 6:12. The reader will, I prayerfully hope, see Heaven’s assignment for each believer as a directive for our trust in and obedience to Christ, who will stand on that day of Rapture to reward the overcomers whom the Holy Spirit indwells.

I truly believe the three books will serve as worthy gifts for those you wish to introduce to things to come from a Bible-prophecy perspective. My hope also is that these stories will induce young people, particularly young adults, to explore insights on why things are shaping up in our culture as they are at this sometimes-troubling moment.

To preorder the newest novel MESSIAH: The Prince That Shall Come, visit this link:

https://geni.us/gjowKX

On Being Rapture Worthy

Author’s note: With most every indicator of the advance toward the Tribulation era in view upon the prophetic horizon, Christ’s call to the Church stands brightly against the darkening gloominess. Thus it is time to again consider what God’s Word has to say about being Rapture ready–to be worthy of Christ’s call to that great event.

This article, written some years earlier, stands more than ever as a reminder of the fact we might at any moment appear before our Lord to give an account for our lives spent here on this fallen planet.

On Being Rapture Worthy

Lately, emails and articles I’ve been receiving are trending toward the thought that Christians not living exemplary lives as believers will miss being taken in the Rapture of the Church, should they not be fully “repented up” and ready to go. These will be “left behind,” as the LaHaye and Jenkins novel title puts it. First, it is perhaps best to consider what is meant by the “exemplary life” in terms of prerequisites for making it to Heaven in the Rapture.

Those who insist that one must be living the exemplary life usually frame that as “living a life of holiness” or “living righteously.” By this, I presume they mean for the most part that one must be doing “good works” rather than living life in the “broad way” along which the pedestrian world moves. I would, of course, agree that the born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ should be doing exactly that every day. There’s no question that God’s Word calls us to that model for life while upon this fallen planet.

However, the question is now raise—and it is closely akin to the question raised whenever the declaration is made that one can lose one’s salvation: At what point does one “lose” his or her salvation? What particular “sin-point” is reached that causes the salvation meter in Heaven to go “TILT,” removing the sinner’s name from the Lamb’s Book of Life? Or, for our purposes here, at what point does one sin enough to be taken off the list of those who hold tickets into Heaven, who will be lifted to be with Jesus Christ in that millisecond of time known as the “twinkling of an eye” when Jesus calls: “Come up hither!” (Revelation 4:1–2)?

Those who believe that the names of the redeemed can be removed from the Lamb’s Book of Life, of course, use the following Scripture as one that prove their position is true: “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Revelation 3:5).

This is proof, say the “conditional security proponents,” that one’s name can be removed from the Book of Life. But, let’s have a closer look to examine whether this is true.

Those who hold that believers’ names can be erased from this blessed Book of Life insist that the born-again must “overcome” sin. In their belief dictionary, this means we must stay sin free—that is, either live above sin or stay continually “repented up” in order to keep our names in the Book.

They miss the point entirely as to who actually does the overcoming. It isn’t the believer who overcomes all sin, but the Lord Jesus who died in order to take sin away from those who believe so that we are no longer separated from God the Father in the eternal sense. This is seen, for example, in the following: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5).

It is simple belief in the Savior who takes away the sins of the world that makes us overcomers. We still sin and come short of the glory of God, but His precious blood shed at Calvary covers all of our sins—past, present, and future. We overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil–all sin in this earthly sphere—only by belief in the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16). Our overcoming is only through God’s great grace, through faith. We can never overcome by our own power.

When we sin, we break fellowship with our Lord, but we never break the eternal, family relationship. We do the following to take steps toward making right the sinful break in fellowship that we have caused. First, we must realize and admit that we are not sinless, because repentance cannot truly be made unless we confess that we have sinned. Upon such confession and repentance there is given blessed remedy: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).

God’s Word shows us that our salvation and our ability to overcome is totally based on what Christ did for us and our faith in Him alone. This brings us to the matter of being “Rapture Worthy.”

Going to Christ when He calls, as Paul outlines in 1 Corinthians 15:51–55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, and given by John in Revelation 4:1–2, is a salvation matter. We know that from the overall gospel message and from the total context of God’s dealing with His family. Remember when Jesus prayed that beautiful prayer to His Father, as the Lord faced the cross (John 17)? Read it again, and you will see that it is absolutely clear that born-again believers are forever secure in the Father’s hand, based upon what Jesus did on the cross.

We know with absolute certainty that we are once and forever in God’s family because of the words of the One who created all that exists: “My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:29).

Paul confirms that the Rapture is a salvation matter as follows: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11).

The Rapture will be Christ keeping us from the hour of temptation or Tribulation (read Revelation 3:10). The Tribulation is the time of God’s wrath–to which Paul tells us we are “not appointed.” However, there are many who insist that Christians who haven’t properly confessed their sins will go through that time of God’s wrath (and the entire seven years of the Tribulation will be God’s judgment and wrath). These use the following verse to make their case: “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36).

The key word they hold forth as relevant here is the word “worthy.” Does this word not mean that we as born-again believers must be good enough to stand before Jesus in that raptured throng? Does this word not mean, therefore, that if we fail to live up to God’s standards while on this Earth, we will (at some point in God’s holy view of what it takes to fall from being Rapture ready) lose our ticket in that translation moment, thus not be taken when the shout is heard, “Come up hither!”?

Like in examining the issue of salvation, in looking at the term “overcoming,” we now look at the word “worthy.” What does it mean to be “worthy,” as given in this Rapture example? Again, the answer is wrapped up in the same name as before: “Jesus.” Jesus is the only person “worthy,” in God’s holy eyes, to be in the heavenly realm.

Remember what Jesus said to a man who addressed Him as “Good Master”? “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God” (Luke 18:18).

Jesus, the second person of the Godhead, was not seeking to chastise the man for addressing Him in this way. The Lord was confirming through this question that He is indeed God, the only good, the only righteousness. Righteousness is the only ticket to Heaven–either through the portal of death, or through the Rapture. Only through Jesus–being born again into God’s family through belief in Him–can a person enter the heavenly realm.

Jesus spoke to this all-important matter by addressing Nicodemus: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

God’s Word says about fallen mankind: “As it is written, There is none righteous no not one” (Romans 8:10) and, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 8:23).

So, Jesus is the only person “worthy” to enter Heaven. It is through Him that any of us are worthy to stand before Him in that heavenly realm. That is the truth found in the Scripture in question.

On a less magnificent scale, the word “worthy” in this passage means that we should be in a constant mindset of prayerful repentance. We should always want to be found “worthy”–cleansed of all unrighteousness, as stated in 1 John 1: 9, so that we will hear our Lord say to us on that day, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).

Jesus Longs for Rapture

Wish I could claim the thought within this commentary as my own, but I can’t. The realization comes from the Holy Spirit, as do all thoughts that truly glorify our God. But, humanly speaking, I must give credit for sparking my thinking to Dr. David Jeremiah, whose program Turning Point I try to catch at 5:00 or 5:30 (Central Time) on either A&E or The History Channel each week day morning.

So it was the other day that Dr. Jeremiah began talking about the compilation of evils we are now witnessing. How, if attuned to things going on in our nation and around the world, those who aren’t believers could easily be in a constant state of depression, or worse.

Those not paying attention to things going on—the majority of people going down that broad way along with all of humanity—have little awareness of the signals of catastrophe just ahead. They are busy going through the routines of life and don’t even want to understand why we are now supposed to believe, according to godless cultural corruptors, that man created God, rather than God created man.

We are told that we, not God, must determine which gender we think we should be (or parents think we ought to be). Biblical order is now supplanted by political correctness and woke directives derived from social media acolytes who now more and more demonically govern from their basements and other dark, safe places.

Kindergartners should be taught the perversions of sexual activity by transvestites and outright pedophiles. Men, under the guise of transsexual metamorphosis can interact with teenage girls in locker rooms and restrooms, and anyone who says otherwise is persecuted and even prosecuted as being phobic and haters.

Boys’ restrooms now must, by public school administrative rules, have tampon dispensers. Men must be acknowledged as being capable of being pregnant; else those objecting can be hounded, harassed, and even legally charged with hate speech.

Our top leaders within the US government try at every legislative and judicial level to turn the greatest nation in history–in terms of liberty under our Constitution—into a third-world dystopia. The sellout to the New World Order minions, such as those of the World Economic Forum, continues to be a never-ending assault on this once God-blessed republic.

So it was that Dr. Jeremiah was painting the picture and pointing out that it’s no wonder that Christians who see and understand these things are praying that Jesus will call us home.

I, and many I know who have prophetic ministries, hear from those who want more than anything for the Rapture of the Church to occur. I get many such thoughts through email each week, and the numbers are increasing.

Prayers are going up incessantly to the throne, imploring that Christ step out on the clouds of glory and call believers to Himself. Yes. I frequently pray the same.

There are those who see, in every event reported, intensive hope of the Rapture taking place within days or weeks at most. These begin postulating on whether this or that event will be the proverbial straw that breaks the back of the camel. Will this event or that bring into God’s holy nostrils a stench from the corrupt world that will make His cup of filling wrath finally overflow?

Yes. I’ve had some of those thoughts as well…

Or will this or that happening with regard to Israel cause the Lord to call the Church out so He can again begin dealing with the Jews, where things left off with Christ’s crucifixion—thus bringing in Daniel’s seventieth week–the Tribulation?

Like, for example, do the five red heifers that are in the news at present indicate the Rapture can happen at any moment? Or the train that is being constructed to deliver Jews swiftly and en masse to Jerusalem–is this precursor to the building of the Third Temple, thereby showing how very near we are to the Rapture?

These things, I took it, were cocooned within David Jeremiah getting to the point of the many prayers going up to the throne imploring that the Rapture take place.

But it was when he brought into the message the words of the Lord Jesus that really caught my attention. Dr. Jeremiah said something like: “Even as much as we want the Rapture, did you know that Jesus wants that time of bringing us home even more than we want it?”

He then gave an eloquent dissection of perhaps my favorite portion of all Scripture. It is the section that most touches me. He went through Jesus’ Words in the Gospel of John, chapter 17.

This, of course, is Jesus’ prayer to His Father for each and every believer who will ever live. And, I agree with David. He said that this section of the Bible, of all portions, is truly holy ground, and we must take off our shoes here (symbolically equating this time of Christ’s prayer to Moses’ time before God when receiving the Commandments.)

The pastor pointed, then, to Jesus’ most profound expression of desire to God the Father, and urged us to consider how much Jesus loves those who are His own–all believers. David spoke of how intensely Jesus desires to have us with Him—not to Indwell us, as He already does, but to have us in the place He spoke of as recorded in another part of John’s Gospel.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1–3)

Jesus implored His Father:

“And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:22–24)

Jesus’ capacity for love, for intense desire, is far above any human love or intensity of desire. Jesus wants us with Himself even more than we are capable of wanting it. This is the message in this portion of His magnificent prayer directly to His Father. Is there any doubt that God the Father will honor the request of His Son in this regard? There is no doubt whatsoever from this quarter.

Like so many of you, I believe the moment of Christ’s call is very close. To go to the Savior, our Brother, our Bridegroom, our Lord and God when He calls, you must be willing to do the following.  

“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)

Peter Lalonde Update

Peter and Paul Lalonde and their productions are among my fondest memories during my earlier days upon entering Bible prophecy ministry. Theirs were among several programs I wouldn’t miss on any given week. So, I’m more than pleased to be given notice that Peter is again ready to join the pre-Trib prophecy community of ministries.

In the seventies, Peter Lalonde became fascinated with the prophecies of the Bible.

In the eighties he began writing, ultimately penning a dozen books.

In the nineties he spent a decade co-hosting an international television program called This Week in Bible Prophecy with his brother Paul.

By the two thousands, they had produced eight feature films including Left Behind: The Movie.

Lalonde remembers it this way: “We didn’t really do anything, it seemed like we were just along for one thrilling ride.”

Pointing out that the Bible contains 228,000 words of prophecy, not one word of which can be wrong, Lalonde notes “if it’s supposed this important, it can handle our best challenge.  That’s why it’s in there.”

His next venture is to put Bible prophecy on trial in a real courtroom with evidence presented to a global interactive jury in which anyone can participate. He shows jurors the evidence and they cast their vote right on their desktop or phone in real time as they watch.

“It’s not what I can show you about what I believe,” he says, “it’s about an honest presentation of facts that allow the jurors to decide what they believe.”

Knowing his excellence of presentation and past performance in laying out God’s prophetic Word, overlaid upon issues and events of these days so near the moment of Christ’s call to His Church, this is exciting news.

We should all look forward with great anticipation to what Heaven’s directive has for Peter Lalonde to present in these closing moments of this Age of Grace.

I, for one will do so with intensive interest.

Terry James on The Schilling Show Unleashed: The Approaching Tribulation Storm

Terry James, Bible prophecy watcher and author, is general editor of the new book, Trajectory: Tracking the Approaching Tribulation Storm.

In this exclusive Schilling Show Unleashed Podcast interview, James discusses how COVID-19, technology, racial anarchy, and trans-humanism play into end-times prophecy.

Peace and Safety Ponderings

Do you find it odd, at the very least, that while there are direct threats of nuclear attacks by the leader of Russia, here in the US it is pretty much business as usual? I mean by that there is nothing during this hour like the fears in America I remember as a 20-year-old back during the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hinted at the possible use of tactical nuclear weaponry to achieve victory in the war against Ukraine. Now he has announced in his recorded message that there will be a major call-up of Russian men in a draft, Russian style. They are even taking prisoners from their gulag camps to flesh out their military muscle.

Putin threatened the US directly saying the nuclear winds could “blow your way.” This, even though winds blowing this direction would not be the case if Ukraine was the focus of his assault with nuclear weapons. The “winds” would blow into Russia, because of prevailing dynamics of weather, etc.

He meant, obviously, for Americans to infer that there might be nuclear missiles coming our way if he began using them against his Ukrainian enemies and if we dared to try to intervene.

Dmitry Medvedev, former president of Russia and now a top Russian governmental official, has backed up the Russian dictator’s threat by saying they don’t rule out the use of tactical nukes, or even strategic nuclear weaponry–which includes ICBMs.

Have you noticed that there seems relatively little pushback or even significant rhetoric coming from the American State Department or this presidential administration against the Russian threats?

In 1962, the Soviet buildup and move into Cuba was met with tremendous counterthreats. President Kennedy even warned directly on television that any launch of Soviet missiles against the US or against any other nation would bring immediate retaliatory response against the Soviet Union.

Now, with Putin’s threats ratcheting up, the present occupant of the White House has gone before the UN to talk–not about possible nuclear war, but about the so-called climate crisis.

There seems no major concern within the ranks of Western diplomacy that Putin might initiate the world blowing up in nuclear conflict.

All of this started me pondering about the prophetic warning given through Paul the apostle.

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:1–3)

Why, I ask myself, is there no cry for peace and safety, like in the days of yore? There should be. But I find in my observations that the people of the US seem oblivious to Putin’s threats for the most part.

For those of you who were alive and old enough to remember during the Cuban Missile Crisis, you will recall how it was a nerve-wracking time. Now, such threat seems just another ho-hum news story.

My own thinking is that an all-out nuclear exchange just won’t happen this side of the Rapture of the Church. Such a scenario simply doesn’t fit God’s prophetic Word from the pre-Trib view of Bible prophecy. Such a monstrous event would certainly take the world out of the time of “business as usual” that is indicated by Jesus’ prophecy as given in Luke 17: 26–30, as I’ve often parsed in these columns.

Such a scenario does fit, however, what I believe Jesus prophesied regarding His intervention in that Luke 17 passage.

The very day that Lot went out of Sodom (taken out by God’s angels), judgment fell. Jesus said it will be just like that when He next catastrophically intervenes.

In Sodom that day, that judgment completely obliterated everything and everyone left once Lot and his family were removed. Certainly nuclear explosions would do likewise when striking cities.

There seems no concern, no cry for peace and safety regarding this threat by Putin, who certainly holds sufficient nuclear power to carry out such judgment as Jesus prophesied. And that prophecy will be fulfilled at some point.

Maybe by the time this article circulates, that cry for peace and safety will be running wild. But as of this writing, the people of America, in particular, seem relatively quiet.

Russian people, on the other hand, are at of this moment leaving Russia en masse. Their roads and airports are said to be inundated with people trying to flee. They seem to have no doubt that there are about to be major nuclear exchanges–or some such military conclusion to the war Russia is waging against Ukraine and threatening to wage against the Western world, particularly the United States.

God’s Word foretells a cry for peace and safety that brings sudden destruction from which the peoples of the world will not escape. Jesus says it will be business as usual right up until, like in Lot’s time, His Church is removed. I must conclude, therefore, that a Russian nuclear attack, at least on a massive scale, just won’t take place–for now, at least.

Such a cry for peace and safety will no doubt be forthcoming when there are such nuclear explosions taking place. As a matter of fact, there will be a great peacemaker–a false peacemaker the world will accept to the point of worship, who will make that covenant Israel will accept. It will be the covenant of death and hell described in Isaiah 28, verses 15 and 18.

He will be viewed as history’s great peacemaker. He will, in fact, be history’s most vicious tyrant, and will bring humanity to the brink of extinction.

We have recounted in these columns the many things shaping for that time of Tribulation. No need to recount them again here in detail. However, here are some in brief.

Culture and society within America and much of the world have become like in Sodom at the time Lot and family were removed. The globalists are constructing their one world order from which Antichrist will destroy mightily. These are bringing in a monetary/economic order that will fulfill Revelation 13:16–18, the marks and number system of 666. The religions of the world are proposing to come together somewhat, with the one whom they claim as the head of Christendom, the Catholic pope, preaching that there are many ways to God.

God has obviously, observably, turned America’s current leadership–and much of the nation—over to the reprobate mind of Romans 1: 28 because of those people turning their backs on Him.

Israel is in rapid-mode preparation for reinstituting Temple worship, with the recent five red heifers and rail preparation for train transport, etc.

With most people treating as ho-hum signals that point to the trajectory toward the Tribulation this doomed world is swiftly moving, Paul’s further prophetic warning is central in my ponderings.

“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” (Luke 21:34–35)  

Here’s how to make sure to be kept out of the fear-filled hour described above.

“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)

Gaslighting Gog

Author’s note: This article was written a week earlier, so didn’t include my thinking on the most recent sabotage of the Nord Stream Pipelines that carry gas from Russia to Europe. This action adds further to the things shaping for the Gog-Magog prophecy as presented in this commentary. 

“Gaslighting” is considered a form of psychological abuse whereby a person or group manipulates one or more people into questioning their sanity and perception of reality. People who gaslight may intentionally or unintentionally use this form of abuse to exert power or control over others, with the goal being to manipulate them.

The above is the precise definition I got from the Internet. Certainly “gaslighting” is a term used to paint those who do it in a bad…well…a bad light. We often hear it used in politics when one side accuses the other of gaslighting–through fear or intimidation—in order to gain advantage over an opponent.

Manipulation is itself an unattractive thing in most cases, as it implies twisting in a deceptive way in order to get one’s way. But in the case of this commentary, I believe “gaslighting” and “manipulation” are absolutely righteous things. That is because that is exactly how I see our God is positioning one of Bible prophecy’s most heinous actors yet future in order to achieve the desired goal of that character’s judgment.

Of course, I use the term sort of tongue-in-cheek, because the Gog-Magog assault described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 involves the force led by the leader possessed by the Gog spirit. And, I and others believe, the spoil Ezekiel says Gog will seek with the invasion into Israel might be well in view at this very moment.

That spoil the invaders will want might well be oil–petroleum. And, of course, natural gas–thus the perhaps the not-so-clever title of this article.

The Lord Himself will manipulate—will gaslight—the leader we believe will be from the land of Rosh (Russia). God will, according to the prophet Ezekiel, make manifest Gog’s evil intention.

“And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.” (Ezekiel 38: 3–4) 

God’s Word predicts further:

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” (Ezekiel 38:10–12)

Amidst all of the phenomenal things we see developing in regard to stage-setting for prophetic fulfillment, God’s gaslighting the Gog-Magog forces gathered above Israel today is most significant in my view. The fact that most all nations of Europe are facing a winter without sufficient fuel to heat homes and even to power electrical necessities is nothing short of profound in figuring all of this, prophetically speaking.

And, while our God hasn’t caused this stage-setting for one of history’s most focal, end-times judgments, His omniscience has certainly controlled mankind’s sinful proclivities to the point it might be called heavenly manipulation.

Russia has all but cut off Europe from critical natural gas supplies, knowing the winters are brutal and European leaders are at his mercy. Or so Mr. Putin must think…

But God’s chosen nation (although they most often act as anything but these days) Israel, is also being used in a supernatural “gaslighting” way, if I might use the term again.

Israel, it appears, is now on the threshold of being able to fulfill all of Europe’s needs in this regard. As of this moment there are still matters to be manipulated and worked out. But one can almost tangibly feel the setting-up of the situation that might–and I believe will—bring about that enraged attack from Israel’s north.

Israel is cutting into Vladimir Putin’s money-making—power-grabbing—business. My question, of course: Will this be primary in acting as the “hooks in the jaw” of whoever will lead that Magog force over the mountains of Israel?

Here are brief excerpts of developments in the matters involving Israel and European fuel needs.

“Israel is not part of Europe, the theme of this issue of in FOCUS. But Israel’s trade, political and social relations to the continent are central to its thinking – and to that of Europe. As European countries – particularly Poland and Ukraine – worry about their reliance on Russian gas during frigid winters, Israel has forged an energy future that may challenge Russian leverage over European policy.

“Amidst the almost unbroken gloom and doom (mostly well-justified) about just about everything in our fracturing world it is a pleasure, for a change, to write about a development that is almost entirely good news. Israel, for the first 50 years of its existence, was almost totally devoid of natural resources, with the exception of some potash exports from the Dead Sea area. This was the basis of the joke that God promised the Israelites that he would lead them to a land of milk and honey, but he neglected to mention that all the oil and gas would go to others.

“Finally, in 1999, Noble Energy of the United States and the Delek Group of Israel began to plan and then carry out exploration and development of natural gas reserves off the coast of Israel.  Ten years later the Tamar commercially-viable gas field was discovered and development began.  Two years later the massive Leviathan field was also discovered and is now in the course of development. (Natural Gas: What it Means for Israel and Europe, Norman A. Bailey, PhD, professor of  economic statecraft at The Institute of World Politics, 2018)

“One of Israel’s major concessions when it signed the Camp David peace agreement with Egypt was giving up the Alma oil field in the Sinai Peninsula. Discovered and developed by Israel, the field seemed to be Israel’s only hope of becoming energy-independent.

“Rather than becoming independent, Israel depended on other countries like Egypt, Russia, and Azerbaijan for oil.

“Since then, Israel was known as one of the only countries in the Middle East with no natural resources. But that all changed in 2009 when a large natural gas reserve of 311 billion cubic meters (BCM) was discovered off the coast of Israel.

“Today, Israel’s gas reserves are so rich that they can supply not only Israel, but Europe as well. And that’s precisely what happened on Wednesday when Israel, and the European Union signed a natural gas agreement. The agreement was forged in Cairo as Egypt as the gas will flow via Egypt’s pipelines. Signing this trilateral agreement is Europe’s solution for replacing the Russian gas imports it has relied on for decades.

“Western Europe is trying to distance itself from Russia including economic boycotts. This phenomenon provided Israel with a rare opportunity to provide natural gas once provided by the Kremlin.

“Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission said in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem on Tuesday: “With the beginning of this war and the attempt of Russia to blackmail us through energy, by deliberately cutting off the energy supplies, we decided to cut off and to get rid of the dependency on Russian fossil fuels, and to move away from Russia and diversify to trustworthy suppliers,” adding that “It is an outstanding step bringing our energy cooperation to the next level.” (“Israel to supply natural gas to Europe and its connection to a blessing from Deuteronomy,” David Sidman, June 16, 2022,  Biblical News)

There seems no other prophecy we can see developing in clearer fashion than the Gog-Magog attack. There are differing views of when it will occur. Some believe it will take place before the Rapture of the Church, some after, and some simultaneously with that great home-going. But to the truly attuned Bible prophecy observer, preparations for that assault are shaping dramatically day by day, even hour by hour, proving, to my way of belief, that this world is on the brink of the Tribulation.

Before that most terrible time of history, Jesus will step onto the clouds of glory and call His bride, the Church, to Himself so His judgment and wrath can fall on the rebels of planet earth.

If you want to be part of that glorious leap from the planet when Christ calls, to be taken out of harm’s way, here is how.

“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)

Tribulation Temple Clock Ticking…

The believer’s pathways toward the future are illuminated through the prophetic Word of God. Many specific signs are posted along those pathways. God’s prophets—of whom Jesus, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Godhead, is greatest—foretells things to come with unerring clarity.

The Third Temple, the subject of this commentary, is one such prophetic sign. That Jewish house of worship is prophetically scheduled to be constructed atop the most volatile piece of real estate on the planet. That rocky plot of earth is feared by world diplomats to present the greatest threat to Mideast and world peace.

Mount Moriah, known as the Temple Mount, is a focal point for adherents of the world’s three most prominent religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Only worshippers within Islam, at present, are allowed to worship upon this promontory at the southern area of Jerusalem. Merely the hint of the other religions’ attempts to conduct worship atop Moriah is met with violence from Muslim militants. It seems inconceivable that a Jewish house of worship can ever be built there.

Yet, there is more than a concept—the matter of wanting to build a Jewish Temple on Moriah. In the thinking of some, it is as good as already done. That’s because the God of Heaven has declared that it will be built. His prophetic Word never fails to produce fulfillment. The nation in the midst of which Moriah sits is absolute proof in the thinking of those who believe the Third Temple is as good as already placed there.

Modern Israel is a miracle entity, guided by the very hand of God through more than 1900 years of dispersion. The Jewish people endured enemies and persecutions of every description while being brought to return and reestablish their nation on the very ground where ancient Israel surrounded the Temple Mount.

This fact is proof that God’s Word is truth. Bible prophecy foretold that Israel would be punished as a nation and removed completely from the land God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

We remember that Jesus told His disciples while they sat on the Mount of Olives that not one stone of the Temple would be left upon another. This dismantling took place in AD 70 when the Romans, under General Titus and his father, Emperor Vespasian, destroyed the Jewish Temple. The people were scattered throughout the known world and, as prophesied, were brought back into their own land and reestablished as a nation on May 14, 1948.

Jesus also prophesied that someday there would be a Temple sitting on Moriah and that the deceptive man of sin the Jews would accept—rather than Jesus Christ, their True Messiah—would sit in that Temple and declare himself to be God and demand worship. This would be right in the middle of the last seven years of human history before Christ will return at Armageddon. We call this horrendous time, of course, the Tribulation.

With all of the other signals that point to that time shaping up for fulfillment, the Temple in which Antichrist will sit must be somewhere upon the end-times horizon.

Those who visit Jerusalem can go to the Temple Institute near Moriah and view all of the implements for Temple worship that are already prepared for such worship to begin. It’s more than rumor, we believe, that a Third Temple sits in modular form somewhere nearby and can be quickly assembled, once the go-ahead is given to place the Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount.

And most recently we see the reason for this commentary’s title.

Certain cleansing rituals must take place for the sacrificial system demanded by Torah. This involves the burnt ashes of a perfect red heifer, which are to be mixed with water to do the cleansing practices.

There have been searches over the years for the “perfect” such red heifer. We remember a number of years ago those responsible for the search thought they had found such an animal. Her name was Melody, as I recall. But hairs colored other than red were found, and the search went on.

Now they believe they’ve found five candidates for the red-heifer ritual cleansing requirements. The following, although the Hebrew language can’t be understood by most, I realize, gives information about the red heifer matter.

“The Temple Institute launched its  Red Heifer program about a decade ago, led by Rabbi Azariah Ariel. But even in Temple times, an animal that fulfilled the Biblical requirements was exceedingly rare. Failing to produce a suitable candidate from ranchers in Israel, The Temple Institute began investigating alternative sources for a red heifer.

“Boneh Israel, an organization that connects Christian lovers of Israel to the Holy Land, stepped in to help. Led by Byron Stinson, a native Texan, Boneh Israel understood ranchers.

“ ‘I didn’t set out to do this, but right now, I am probably the best red heifer hunter in Texas,’ Byron quipped. ‘The Bible says to bring a red cow to purify Israel, and I may not understand it, but I am just doing what the Bible said.’

“ ‘The prophecies came true, and the Jews are back in Israel,’ Byron said. ‘Now they need to build a Temple. But it’s like buying a really nice car. If you don’t have the key, you aren’t going anywhere. The red heifer is the key to making the Temple work like it’s supposed to.’”

The cows [Byron found and acquired] were between 5–8 months old. To be suitable for the red heifer ceremony, the cow must be two years and one day old so these heifers will be raised in Israel until they reach the proper age.

Chanan pointed out that last year was 5781 in the Hebrew calendar.

“ ‘In Hebrew numerology, this is תשפא. That is an acronym for תהיה שנה פרה אדומה (it will be the year of the red heifer). The cows we are looking at now were conceived last year,’ Kupietzy said. ‘This year is תשפ,ב 5782, an acronym for תהיה שנה פרה בישראל (It will be a year for the heifer in Israel). In two weeks we will begin תשפג, 5783, the year in which the ceremony of the Red Heifer will be performed. This is an acronym for תהיה שנה פרה גאולה (It will be a year of the Red Heifer of redemption).’ (ISRAEL365 EXCLUSIVE: Red Heifers arrive in Israel, by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Israel365news 202, 9/16/22, Rapture Ready News, 9/17/22)

Sadly, all this is preparation for what Jesus called the worst time in all of human history. The prophetic clock is ticking swiftly toward that time of unimaginable horror.

But those who know Christ are promised to be kept out of that time (Revelation 3: 10). Here, again, is how to be assured that you are in God’s family and kept from the time of Tribulation.

“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)

Scanning a Fearful Future XI

“Scanning a Fearful Future Part 10” (the conclusion of the series) was completed early in 2011. We’ve revisited that series of articles on two additional occasions, I believe. I am convicted that here, in September 2022, it’s time again to look ahead—“scan”—into the ever-deepening march of humanity toward the consummation of this Genesis 6-like age.

Many prophecy watchers won’t agree with my take on the matters I present in this addendum because it’s not scripturally provable. But I don’t claim it is; admittedly, the thoughts I put forward are conjecture rather than necessarily Holy Spirit-prompted.

I do believe, however, that my thinking is legitimately evidence-based, considering my long-time Bible-centered observation and dissection of these wicked times.

My only reluctance in dealing with these matters stems from the frequently expressed realization that my thinking—like that of many of my colleagues—is too often—Amero-centric. That is, we too often consider our nation to be at the center of everything when we look at prophetic progression.

With all that as a preface, I nonetheless must once again say I see America as perhaps key to the wrap-up of the Church Age (Age of Grace).

Is America in Bible prophecy? That, of course, is among the questions often asked. Always, my answer is: No—not by name.

Is America the Babylon prophesied in Revelation chapter 18? My answer to that has evolved over much study to be “perhaps.” But, again, it can’t be proved to be that condemned city/system of evil that has afflicted all the world with sin. However, America is, almost undoubtedly, a part of that commercial and cultural system.

My belief that America fits within the final system of wickedness is confirmed with each news report. As stated on several occasions, considering the use and abuse of the most vulnerable among humanity is evidence of how far from the heart of God mankind has “progressed”.

The fact that such upside-down thinking and conduct are said to be “progressive” proves how culture in America has the “reprobate mind” of Romans 1:28. Those who claim to be “progressive” are in fact moving in the direction opposite of Heaven’s command to the human race. This mindset is inflicting on the very young the evil that can be churned only through minds attuned to the god of this world.

As stated before, history attests that every major civilization on record has come to its inglorious end while engaging in child sacrifice and unspeakable abuses by the adult generations during those times of collapse and demise.

Time and time again we’ve looked at abortion in America today and have concluded that murder in the mothers’ wombs is, in the majority of cases, used as contraception to cover for sexual misconduct and/or irresponsibility. The practice can be likened to sacrifice upon the altar of convenience—like the pagans, and even Israel, once sacrificed infants upon the white-hot, stone hands of Moloch.

And now parents are dressing children as young as age 4 as transvestites and parading them in honor of LBTQ… etc., etc., rainbow, Genesis 6-like activities.

We have reports of all that went on with the Jeffrey Epstein island evil involving under-aged girls, and even of pedophilia among younger children who were abused in horrendous ways by well-known people. Yet the national media has swept all such reports under the proverbial rug of forgetfulness. And America has been at the direct center of all this anti-God activity. The most blessed nation in history—in terms of material blessings and perhaps second (only to Israel) in spiritual blessings—has become perhaps the most debauched, lascivious, licentious nation ever.

This brings me to the crux of this subject.

As some know, I believe Jesus prophesied the time of Rapture. I don’t mean, of course, that He told us the day or hour, as He Himself said only the Father knows that. But I’m more convinced than ever that He gave conditions precisely as they’ll be when He calls believers into His presence.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

And here is where I know I’ll receive some degree of resistance regarding my Amero-centric perspective on Jesus’ words of Luke 17: 29-30.

“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” (Luke 17: 28-30)

Here Jesus likened the time He will next intervene into the affairs of mankind to the days when Lot lived and worked in Sodom. The very day Lot went out of that wicked city (out of which the angels led Lot and his family), judgment from God fell and totally destroyed both Sodom and its sister city, Gomorrah.

In this Luke passage, Jesus was referring to that moment–the Rapture. As we’ve looked at many times, He couldn’t be referring to the very end of the Tribulation, when as many as three-fourths of the earth’s population will have died during the seven years of God’s judgment and wrath. At that time—the time of His Second Coming (Revelation 19: 11)—it won’t be business as usual, as given in this prophecy. The few rebels left on the planet will be hiding in caves from God’s King who is coming through the scrolled-back blackness on the bright clouds of glory.

Now, to bring it down to our present closing hours of this age, I propose that the Lord might have had in mind a particular people and nation as He described how things will be at the moment of the Rapture.

Here goes my Amero-centricism again.

America today is the greatest nation in all of recorded world history in terms of spectacular advancements and achievements. It is the apex nation in this regard. No other has come close—that we know of…

We hear constantly that all the world is about to collapse in financial catastrophe, and even perhaps explode in nuclear war. These predictions have been around for years. Yet the world is buying, selling, marrying, planting, building—all the things Jesus prophesied for the time when, like in Lot’s time, God’s people will be removed from the earth.

While Europe is quickly dissolving in energy-crisis mode and the financial systems of the world seem about to collapse, Americans are still, like the folks of Sodom, living in ways Jesus described: we’re buying, selling, building, etc.

I maintain the Lord might well have had in mind this very nation we call America as the model for the future time of the removal of God’s people.

Our nation fits as the super-achieving, productive society and culture of Christ’s analogy. And, certainly, at the same time, our society and culture align with the wickedness of Lot’s day.

Scanning a fearful future, to the Christian, is really to be scanning a fantastic future! All of this points to the blessed hope of Titus 2:13: Believers are on the very cusp of coming into the joint heirship with the Son of god we are promised.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2: 9)

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  

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