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Evil Pressure vs. Heavenly Restraint

I’ve written elsewhere that I once heard an evangelist back in the mid-’70s preach during a city crusade that he believed the unthinkable would happen in America. It would take place just before the Rapture of the Church.

The evangelist believed that, just as the debauched society and, by then, totally anti-God governmental agencies would be about to grab Christians around their throats, the Rapture would occur.

A significant puzzlement to me is that so many who are truly born again (John 3:3)don’t seem to concern themselves with the tremendous evil that is building. They don’t seem to even notice that in the freest nation on the planet, the powers and principalities of Ephesians 6:12 are grasping to clutch and strangle believers.

Those who faithfully read articles such as those on Rapture Ready and other such forums exhibit concern for the evil pressures that are building. But God’s people in general–and I’m talking about those who are born again(and only God knows those who are in His family)– show little concern, it seems to me, while the anti-God forces do their nefarious work.

This is attributable in large part to neglect in the pulpits of America. Pastors and Bible teachers would rather not touch prophetic topics–particularly not prophecy yet future. We’ve noted before that they find those biblical areas too frightening to their flocks, too difficult to understand, or just of no importance for these modern times. Besides, such troubling messages might drive down attendance, thus dry up offerings.

And the evil pressures build…

Again, all we have to do is to look at the political scene in the nation. One party has all but publicly committed to abandoning anything to do with the God of the Bible. As a matter of fact, that party is seeking to totally debauch our society and culture. This is obvious, yet the pulpits for the most part remain silent on the fact that this very condition for the end of the Church Age was prophesied. God’s Word, through the Apostle Paul, forewarned and instructed those responsible for overseeing God’s people in the last days:

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

Evil pressure builds within the church itself. Just a cursory glance at what’s going on in some areas of a growing number of religious bodies that claim to be Christian lays bare the truth of Satan’s assault.

One such organization claiming Christianity as its belief system shows the lateness of this Laodicean hour:

The Vision Church of Atlanta, Georgia, a progressive congregation, has added a psychic medium who claims to commune with the dead to their staff.

Lakara Foster, who holds a doctorate of ministry from the Interdenominational Theological Center, is now a licensed minister at the Vision Church of Atlanta, Rolling Out reported. She is also the creator and star of the YouTube series “The Gift,” which she argues God told her to do. It follows her life as a medium, minister, and spiritual teacher.

“God told me to do the show. Honestly, I was reluctant at first because I felt very vulnerable and thought I would get a lot of pushback and negative feedback being a minister and a medium. I thought people wouldn’t understand but I knew I still had to do it. I knew I had been called to do it. When I asked God, ‘Why this gift? Why not singing?’ God said, ‘I promised my people eternal life. How will my people know that I’ve kept promise if you don’t demonstrate your gift?’” she told Rolling Out. (“Vision Church of Atlanta adds psychic medium to ministerial staff,” By Leonardo Blair, Christian Post reporter , Friday, May 24, 2019)

That the church medium is surprised she has received little to no pushback is itself surprising. The changes taking place within various denominations are becoming a ho-hum part of the quickly evolving reality.  It would be a good bet, if a gambler, to wager that most Christians in the pews today would see little to nothing wrong with what this “psychic” said.

Pastors in the pews of Bible-believing churches are silent for the most part, for example. They just don’t want to get involved in these extrabiblical machinations–only they’re not extrabiblical. Read 2 Timothy 4:1-4 above once again. It is the minister’s God-ordained commission to fight against such heresy, especially as the last days of the Church Age manifest.

After considering the evil pressures and actions assaulting this generation, it is true that there is opposite and equal reaction. This comes from God, Himself, it is obvious and provable through watching things going on, particularly within the American political war being waged. To my way of thinking, the fact that this president remains alive–that is, not assassinated because of the hatred cast his way–much less that he continues to work hard for the American people–is nothing short of miraculous. Every evil influence has been brought to bear in trying to destroy Mr. Trump and his family. The mainstream media, the entire entertainment industry, the increasingly reprobate opposition party, America’s top intelligence agency heads,  nearly half of the American populace, and even members of his own party who hate him spend 24/7  feverishly trying to remove him from office in whatsoever way possible.

The spiritual war going on is made obvious, too, by the fact that Christian leaders like Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress, and many others have called for prayer for the president and for the nation. This call is as desperately needed as at any time in human history.

God, alone, is holding back the evil that is assaulting. This is undeniable to the Christian who believes in God’s Word and applies himself or herself to study of the Word.

Why more Christians are comporting themselves as if in a stupor is extremely troubling. Don’t be one of those who refuse to look up from your life’s routine in order to see that Christ’s promised redemption is drawing near (Luke 21: 28). Take part in the Lord’s heavenly restraint through prayer and study, in order to discern the signs that Christ is about to return.

The Snare Is Set

Hal Lindsey, of The Late, Great, Planet Earth fame, called it “the great snatching up.” The mental picture is of one of those old Jungle Jim films starring Johnny Weissmuller in his post-Tarzan days.

A leopard or other big cat would be stalking through a thick jungle and suddenly it would be violently snatched up when it hit a certain trip mechanism on the snare. A thick net would grab the beast and it would spring upward with the enraged cat, keeping it encased while it flailed mightily above the jungle floor. Jungle Jim would then have captured a leopard for a zoo or he would have rid the area of a man-eater. It was all very exciting for a boy of ten or so sitting in an air-conditioned  movie theater munching popcorn back in those days.

Before those beasts could be caught up, of course, much preparation was made by the one doing the capture. Jungle Jim would usually order natives of the area to carefully place the net flat in a jungle pathway, then camouflage it. The sapling or thick branch was then bent to provide the tremendous spring the trap would need to capture and hold a 150-pound or larger leopard. With the big cat captured, the people left on the ground would be safe from its prowling about and possibly its attacking the most vulnerable inhabitants of the African countryside.

Hal Lindsey, of course, was talking about “the great snatching up”in reverse, so to speak. He, in his biblically prophetic study of times surrounding his writing The Late, Great, Planet Earth, was talking about the prophecy given by Jesus as recorded by the Apostle Luke:

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:34-36)

In this case, as laid out by the Lord, Himself, the viciousness of the beast world will be left on the earth, and the people to be protected will be snatched into the air to safety. Peter the apostle says this about the one who is even now on the ground that surrounds us, looking to attack us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

The Apostle Paul tells us in great detail about this “snatching up.” Here is the prophecy most directly pertinent:

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)

Harpazo, as many know, is the Greek word to express being “caught up.” People who live to experience the Rapture and Christians who have died during the Church Age (Age of Grace) will be “caught up” or “snatched up.” It will happen in the “twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians15:52).

This instantaneous event that removes God’s people from deadly conditions on earth, unlike ol’ Jungle Jim’s snare that leaves people safe on the ground from the leopard while removing the evil, takes no preparation by any human agency. Jesus finished all preparation on the cross at Calvary when He said, “It is finished.”

All one must do to be removed in that twinkling-of-an-eye moment is to believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ according to Romans 10:9-10. While no preparation needs be made beyond simply accepting that call to salvation, the snare is set that will soon leave the world of rebels against God to face the roaring lion described by Peter.

We have, in these commentaries over the years, gone over in depth all of the signals Jesus and the prophets foretold will be in view at the time of this snare-like intervention into the affairs of rebellious earth dwellers. Those indicators are literally everywhere we look upon the planet’s end-times horizon. The spiritually attuned believer can know when that end-times generation will appear at the very end of the age.

Israel, the fig tree in prophetic symbolism, is the key sign.

Again, we look at Scripture to see that the snare is now set that will catapult Christians to Heaven.

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 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: 25-36)

Discernment All-Important

This world has gone crazy–completely nuts!

How many times lately have you thought or said that, or heard someone else make such an observation? I, myself, make it on an almost daily basis these days. I discern that these are the most out-of-control times I’ve observed in 76 years of life. I really mean that. There are things happening today within this nation the likes of which I’ve never witnessed.

  • Things like a former pediatrician, now governor of a state, approving and even pushing that babies scheduled for abortion be legally murdered if they survive the procedure and are born.
  • Things like men marrying men and women marrying women, with approval and even smiles of elation by many in the nation.
  • Things like grown men being allowed to use public toilet facilities at the same time little girls and women are using the same facilities–all because the man supposedly is conflicted about his gender.
  • Things like an 18-year-old young man with his underage transgender friend who is trying to turn into being a male shooting up a public elementary school because he hates Christians and President Trump.
  • Things like the mainstream media that totally ignores this hate-filled act against Christians, yet engages in 24/7 coverage if such murderous hate is directed at Muslims.
  • Things like sanctuary cities giving every amenity through tax dollars to illegal aliens, even those who murder citizens of those cities.
  • Things like people, because of political ideology, who are so-called comedians or entertainers being allowed to talk about wanting to assassinate a president and not being arrested.
  • Things like drug users and others being allowed to defecate and urinate on public streets in San Francisco and strew used drug needles in children’s playgrounds, all the while receiving protection from those cities’ governments that allow them to do so.
  • Things like allowing a few Millennials who think America is the cause of all the world’s problems, because they have been taught this insanity through a now-perverted educational system, to change a major political party from one merely liberal to completely reprobate and anti-God.
  • Things like a congressional committee chairman who hates the president demanding that the attorney general of the United States break the law and give him information that the law forbids him receiving–else holding the AG in contempt of Congress.
  • Things like the Democrat speaker of the house being at the head of the party who has broken constitutional law at every juncture as part of the Trump Derangement Syndrome and yet accusing the president as being one who acts contrary to the Constitution of the United States.
  • Things like the entire mainstream media, both news and entertainment, being totally against a president based only on the fact that he beat the candidate they wanted to be president.
  • Things like that same media, the Democrat Party and even a number of those who claim to be part of the president’s party so hating him that they supported, and continue to do so, outright lies and a vile, fake dossier they themselves cooked up to try to ruin his presidency.
  • Things like the top echelon of America’s FBI, CIA, and others of the intelligence services going along and even being complicit in these efforts to try a coup against a president who has inarguably lifted the nation economically, militarily, and, I’m of the opinion, in other ways.
  • Things like those who mention the name of Jesus Christ and the need for the lost of the world to receive the grace of His redemptive act on the cross being called “haters”–and even being prosecuted for hate speech.
  • Things like the tiny nation of Israel being assaulted by enemies all around, yet world opinion blaming the Jewish state for the hatred against it.
  • Things like today’s rise of anti-Semitism, with the Holocaust and the anti-Semitism that spawned the Nazi regime not far back in the world’s collective memory.

I’m sure you can think of even more egregious examples of the madness of this strange age.

All of this is to make the point that we are at a time where those who name the name of Christ should strive to appropriate discernment as never before. This generation is observably bumping up against the very end of the Age of Grace–the Church Age.

Jesus said the following to the Judaizers–the Pharisees and Sadducees who mocked Him and asked for “a sign” that He was the Messiah even though Jesus had performed and was even then performing miracles and wonders prophesied by Israel’s prophets long before Christ’s time on earth.

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)

All Christians have within themselves the ability to discern the signals of Christ’s soon bringing an end to this world system. This is a gift from the Creator to those who love Him. It is a distinguishing mark that separates the believer from the nonbeliever. Again, Paul wrote under inspiration of the Holy Spirit who indwells each and every believer.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

This is why Bible prophecy–eschatology, the study of end things–is so important. God has provided a road map of generally what to look for as we travel the course toward the end of the age. The Christian–the spiritually-attuned believer–can discern these weird, troubling times unfolding around us.

It is with this preface that I herein announce my next book. The title will be Discerners: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs for the End of Days.

We are working hard to produce this volume. It will be what I believe–based upon the brilliantly written chapters by the authors I’ve read so far–a book that has been given us by the Lord to present at this crucial time. I’m greatly inspired by what the sixteen authors–some of the best known writers, broadcasters, teachers, and ministers–have to say about discerning these times in which we are privileged to live.

We hope to have the book ready by July and will keep you informed. We will ask for as many preorders as possible. We want to get this book into the hands of many, many pastors and teachers as well as into the hands of each of you who want to be discerners like the Lord Jesus Himself obviously exhorts us to be.

Never again!…?

While platitudes flow from the political left, claiming that their ideology as the most compassionate, the most tolerant, it’s U.S. Mecca is showing otherwise. As a matter of fact, the city that never sleeps has apparently awakened in ways thought headed for extinction.

Antisemitism is manifesting significantly in New York City, according to a report by the New York Police Department. The report claims a tremendous rise in crimes against Jews and in acts involving crimes of hate in general.

The New York Police Department has reported a massive increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city, with the data showing an 82% increase in such incidents in the first three months of 2019. The Anti-Defamation League’s 2018 audit of anti-Semitic incidents published earlier this week found that there was an even bigger rise of anti-Semitic hate crime in New York State – an increase of 170% from the third to the fourth quarter of 2018.

In the latest in the ongoing series of incidents of harassment and assault against Jews in New York, a passerby spat at and cursed a Jewish man in Brooklyn on Wednesday, an incident which was captured on video and published on social media.

“The data released by NYPD today is deeply disturbing and should serve as an important reminder to all of us that we must continue to be vigilant in the face of hate,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL NY/NJ Regional Director. (“Massive 82% spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York City, NYPD finds,” by Jeremy Sharon, Jerusalem Post, May 3, 2019)

Such rise of antisemitism is not unique to New York. Our news sources have been parading such reports for years across our daily headlines. The percentage of incidents have ratcheted up in hockey-stick fashion across the globe during recent weeks.

The breakout of hatred for Jews, not coincidentally, comes during time of a tremendous rise in Islamic populations across Europe and other places. All one has to do is to consider the dynamics taking place within the U.S. House of Representatives to understand that America and the world face troubles just ahead. They are troubles that are prophesied in God’s Word.

Rants against Israel and, tacitly, against the Jewish race by a newly elected Muslim congresswoman give focus to the mounting evidence of the coming time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). The rants come from an elected representative whose constituency views Israel and Jews as the central catalyst for most all the problems across the world. The Democrat Party Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi–and, for that matter, all of those in Congress–can’t or won’t govern the Muslim woman’s caustic rhetoric against Israel and Jews.

They, instead, do everything to accommodate her wants and needs as a Muslim–for example, throwing out rules against headwear while in session, allowing her to wear her Islamic headdress.

They tolerate her vitriolic spewing of hate, while they and the mainstream media do their best to cover up any mention of Muslim involvement in the many jihad attacks that have been inflicted on thousands throughout the recent decades. We are castigated by those media types anytime we mention the words “Islam” or “Muslim” in conjunction with such hate crimes. We remember recently when both Shepard Smith and Neil Cavuto of FOX News cut off guests when they mentioned Islam as a problem within this context.

American presidents and American congressional members throughout the years since the conclusion of World War II in 1945 joined the Israelis in echoing their declaration, “Never again!”

So, what is happening? The dynamics have changed. The tolerance seems only for those who are adamantly against the Jews–and, for that matter, against Christians. The left goes deafeningly silent when Christians across the world are persecuted, tortured, and murdered. These same “tolerant” within Washington officialdom go ballistic when Israel does what is necessary to protect its people. Muslims should, these anti-Israel political ideologues shout, be allowed to do whatsoever they wish to the Jewish military forces defending the country, because they are being oppressed and kept from taking over their rightful homeland–though Israel’s right to the land is based on longstanding biblical and historical facts.

All of this points to the coming second holocaust–the one that will be instituted by Antichrist, planet earth’s final and most terrible tyrant.

The pledge “Never Again!” in regard to saying genocide against the Jewish people will never again be allowed will be overruled for a short time by the beast of Revelation 13. But, the God of Heaven says “Never Again!” too. We can be assured that pledge will be kept. Israel will never again be removed from her land. Israel will survive and thrive to become the head of all nations for Christ’s millennial reign.

“Behold, he that kept Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalms 121:4).

What Secret Rapture?

One of the invectives employed to denigrate the pre-Trib Rapture view continues, and grows more angry in expression. The charge is that we who believe the pre-Trib view as truth from God’s Word claim there will be a secret Rapture.

We are, those who oppose the pre-Trib view say, ignoring the prophecy that “every eye shall see him” when Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation (Daniel’s seventieth week). It is clear, they proclaim, that God will gather the elect from the four points of Heaven upon the Second Advent. There is, they adamantly declare, only one Second Coming of Christ, not two phases of that great event as we believe Scripture teaches.

While listening to a TV preacher the other day, I heard this charge and a number of others. But the scriptural basis for his accusation that we who believe and teach the pre-Trib Rapture are false teachers came primarily from  one premise. We, he–like others of the post-Trib teachers–proclaimed that we “pre-Tribbers” have no understanding of the use of trumpets in prophecy yet future.

These who clutch the post-Trib view on the Rapture of the Church angrily propose that we who hold the pre-Trib position say the Lord will quietly slip into the clouds above the planet. He will then, in a very stealthy manner, sneak believers into His presence. This would be, they inveigh, totally in contradiction to the “every eye will see” Christ prophecy, regarding when He returns in power and glory at the end of Armageddon.

Like those who hold to the mid-Trib view (that the Rapture will occur at the midpoint of the Tribulation) and to the pre-wrath view (that the Rapture will take place immediately before God’s wrath in the great Tribulation begins), the post-Trib purveyors declare that those of us who teach the pre-Trib view endanger Christians. We are false teachers and will cause them to not recognize Antichrist when he comes to power. Christians, therefore, will be in danger of falling for the beast’s lie of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. They might then accept his number-and-mark system and take the mark of the beast of Revelation 13:16-18.

Of course, the question in all of this first comes to mind, as expressed in the title of this commentary: “What Secret Rapture?”

Jesus, Himself, we are told, will shout “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1). His voice will be like the voice of an archangel. It will be like a trumpet or shofar. Every living believer–and even the dead believers of the Age of Grace (Church Age) will hear the Lord’s call.

There is nowhere in Scripture regarding Paul’s prophecies on the Rapture where this call will be without loud acclamation. The world of rebels might not know what it means, but no Scripture says it will be a secret.

Much more than this, I am persuaded in the deepest reaches of my spiritual heart that Jesus speaks to this very fact in His Olivet Discourse. Christ will make His insertion into the affairs of mankind known! We have looked at it many times. Here are the most relevant scriptural references in trying to make the point.

Jesus foretells precisely the conditions at the time of His next intervention into human history. He first instructs believers about the “twinkling of an eye” moment when He will intervene:

  • “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36).
  • “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42).

Notice that this intervention into human history will be completely different from the Second Advent (Revelation 19:11) when “every eye will see” Him. For this great event (the first phase of Christ’s Second Coming), there is no notice. No one knows the time of its occurrence. In the case of the Second Advent (the second phase), the exact number of days until its occurrence can be calculated.

Then, Scripture records Christ’s most profound prophetic indicator to prove the point that this will not be a secret Rapture:

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)

Again, notice that this could not be the Second Advent at the end of Armageddon. Things are going along relatively normal at the time  described in Jesus’ prophecy in this case. The horrors as described in the seals, trumpet, and bowl judgments are not in view. People are going about business as usual.

Jesus says this will be a time when the Son of man is revealed.

Get it? This is not a secret Rapture! It is a tremendously explosive time in human history–like when Sodom and Gomorrah were judged! Here is how we know the pre-Trib Rapture is the truth and not the demonic, imaginative figment of some young witch in the 1800s. God, Himself, tells us precisely that this removal of His people–believers–will happen an instant before His judgment falls.

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 17:29-30)

It will be just like that judgment, Jesus forewarned. There will be great, planetary troubles beginning at the very time of the Rapture of the Church. Judgment will begin falling that very day. While it will become increasingly more destructive as the time approaches the confirming of the covenant of Daniel 9:26-27 and beyond, God’s judgment will begin at the moment (twinkling of an eye–atomos of time) He next reveals Himself to this rebellious planet of earth dwellers.

And, about the pre-Tribbers–as the TV preacher I heard called us in a scathing tone–who are, he says, ignorant or deliberately misleading in consideration of the term “last trump,” I will add a few concluding words. 

The charge is that there is only one “last trump” or “trumpet” in prophecy yet future. The post-Trib view most often concludes that it is found in Revelation 11:15-19. This, they declare, is the same “trumpet” found in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52–even though the word “trumpet” isn’t mentioned in Revelation 11:15-19.

In fact, that passage says:

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

I will let you, the reader, look these up for brevity’s sake. Just consider that this is the chief point of their argument against the pre-Trib view, which is based upon many scriptural references, all within specific context.

Dr. Thomas Ice has quoted Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost in tearing apart that post-Trib argument regarding the last trump. He first presents facts about Biblical trumpets.

Throughout the Bible there are a number of trumpets being blown. For example in Numbers 10 there are trumpets being used in order to give commands to the people of Israel. For example, a trumpet is used to assemble the people for their journey and another trumpet that signals the start of their journey. There were trumpet sounds that would tell the people to stop and another sound telling them to assemble. Depending upon whether the people were moving are getting ready to move, the last trumpet would signal them to move or if moving, a second last trumpet sound would tell them when to stop. So even in this context, for example, there are multiple “last trumpets.” (“The Last Trumpet,” by Thomas Ice, raptureready.com)

Dwight Pentecost cites the following reasons as to why the “last trumpet” in 1 Corinthians 15:52 is different from any of the trumpet judgments in Revelation.

There seems to be a number of observations that make it impossible for one to identify these two trumps.

(1) The trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15:52…sounds before the wrath of God descends, while…the chronology or Revelation indicates that the trumpet in Revelation 11:15 sounds at the end of the time of wrath….

(2) The trumpet that summons the church is called the trump of God, while the seventh trump is an angel’ s trumpet….

(3) The trumpet for the church is singular. No trumpets have preceded it so that it can not be said to be the last of a series. The trumpet that closes the tribulation period is clearly the last of a series of seven.

(4) In 1 Thessalonians 4 the voice associated with the sounding of the trumpet summons the dead and the living and consequently is heard before the resurrection. In the Revelation, while a resurrection is mentioned (11:12), the trumpet does not sound until after the resurrection, showing us that two different events must be in view.

(5) The trumpet in 1 Thessalonians issues in blessing, in life, in glory, while the trumpet in Revelation issues in judgment upon the enemies of God.

(6) In the Thessalonians passage the trumpet sounds “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” In Revelation 10:7 the indication is that the seventh trumpet shall sound over a continued period of time, probably for the duration of the judgments that fall under it, for John speaks of the angel that shall “begin to sound.”…

(7) The trumpet in 1 Thessalonians is distinctly for the church. Since God is dealing with Israel in particular, and Gentiles in general, in the tribulation, this seventh trumpet, which falls in the period of the tribulation, could not have reference to the church without losing the distinctions between the church and Israel.

(8) The passage in Revelation depicts a great earthquake in which thousands are slain, and the believing remnant that worships God is stricken with fear. In the Thessalonians passage there is no earth quake mentioned.

(9) While the church will be rewarded at the time of the rapture, yet the reward given to “thy servants the prophets, and to the saints” cannot be that event. The rewarding mentioned in Revelation 11:18 is seen to take place on the earth after the second advent of Christ, following the judgment on His enemies. Since the church is rewarded in the air, following the rapture, these must be two distinct events. (J. Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1958), pp. 189-91)

The trumpet blast (Christ’s voice) that calls us into His presence for an eternity of joy and glory will be the most profound ever heard! It will not be a secret, but Jesus Christ being revealed as the Savior who keeps promises without fail.

Trump’s Portentous Peace Planning

While news media laser-stream goings-on in the post-Mueller report intrigues, truly portentous things are unfolding, initiated by this White House. Prophetically speaking, matters involved couldn’t be more significant in pointing to just how near this world must be to having unleashed upon humanity history’s most terrible time.

The most powerful signal of where this generation stands on God’s prophetic timeline is the nation Israel. The very fact that it is front and center in the fear of possible thermonuclear war being initiated validates the truth of Bible prophecy. Within that reality, the primary element indicating the nearness to the Tribulation (Daniel’s seventieth week) is that a peace covenant involving the Jewish state will almost certainly be forthcoming.

As anyone who reads our commentaries knows, I support this president. I believe, along with Dallas First Baptist pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress and others, that Donald J. Trump was put into office by the Lord of Heaven. The election was a result, I’m convinced, of the prayers of God’s people, according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Trump’s election was, in a real sense, miraculous.

The ensuing eruption of hatred toward Trump and all of those who support his presidency was and is Hell-spawned, in my view. It has not abated, despite Mueller’s finding no collusion in the Russian interference matter. The minions, both spiritual and human, continue to falsely accuse Mr. Trump, wanting to generate enough lies to bring about his impeachment. It is satanic rage that drives the anti-Trump rhetoric and subterfuge.

So, as stated, I support this president and his efforts in most every area of endeavor to try to “make America great again” (although I think God’s intention is more that of restraining evil for the moment). I believe much of it is God-directed, even if the president himself might be somewhat an unwitting administrator of God’s will at this time in human history.

That being said, I, like others who support Trump, based upon his being God’s man for this hour, am quite wary about reports regarding Israel and the peace process. We get a feel for what might be in the offing through this brief news excerpt.

[President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said all should keep an] “open mind” about President Donald Trump’s upcoming Middle East peace proposal and said that it will require compromises from both sides, a source familiar with the remarks said…

The proposal has two major components: A political piece that addresses core political issues as the status of Jerusalem, and an economic part that aims to help the Palestinians strengthen their economy.

Unclear is whether the plan will propose outright the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians’ core demand. (Source: White House adviser says peace plan to be unveiled by early June, Reuters Published: 04.17.19)

The concern of those who watch this process, of course, is that the peace negotiators are treading on dangerous grounds. To do anything in regard to trying to bring about peace, through a process involving Israel giving up land for that peace, gets to the heart of Bible prophecy for the end of the age (Church Age).

Daniel 9: 27 is at the center of this concern.

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.   

It is heavily rumored that the proposal being considered for Trump’s making the “deal of the century” includes the dividing of Jerusalem. This is known as the two-state solution where the Palestinians would be given some of Israel’s land and part of Jerusalem in order to bring a solution to the centuries-long hostilities between Israel and the Islamic nations. A “covenant” would thus be produced assuring peace.

It is a “covenant” that the Scripture tells us Antichrist will one day “confirm.” It is reasonable to conjecture whether this “deal” might have something to do with that Daniel 9: 27 “covenant.”

It is with this in mind that we who support the president offer our advice that his administration not go down that roadmap to so-called peace. It would be the wrong course–and a most dangerous one (read Isaiah 28:15, 18).

He who touches Jerusalem–and Israel by extension–touches the “apple of God’s eye,” according to His Word. It is with this prophetic, scriptural forewarning that we advise against any such portentous peace planning.

The Departure

Author’s note: This article has appeared in this and other forums previously. The heads-up it represents to the Christian who should be looking for the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13) has never been more relevant than now. Because the spiritual falling away is so pronounced, the literal (spatial) “Departure”–the Rapture of the Church–has never been more in immediate prospect!

The Scripture is haunting. It echoes and reverberates throughout the spiritual hallways of the Church with each passing hour.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1).

This forewarning fits into the last-days pattern, also given by the Apostle Paul, in the familiar prophetic passage:

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of Perdition. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

The “falling away,” apostasia in Greek, means a “departure from.” Paul prophesied in the 2 Timothy 4:1 passage that there will come a time at the end of the Church Age when people will depart from the “faith.” He foretells in 2 Thessalonians that this will be a general “falling away,” the apostasy of the end time. What is this “faith” from which people will fall away, and who are the “people” who will fall away? Another crucial question is: Can the departure that God forewarned be recognized when it occurs?

“Faith,” as here defined, must by context be the faith in the One who is at the heart of the Gospel–faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, chosen from the foundation of the world to be the propitiation for the sin that separates fallen man from God. It is the faith you and I must have in order to confess with our mouths that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, and to believe in the deepest part of our spirits that God raised Him from the dead.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)

A person can’t fall from a position (doctrinally speaking in this case) he never has attained. The “people,” then, whom Paul the apostle is writing about in his prophecies of 1 Timothy 4:1 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3 are those who have believed in Jesus Christ for salvation of their souls.

This brings us to the question: Can the departure God, through Paul, foretold be recognized when it occurs? To recognize that “falling away”–that apostasia, or apostasy—when it begins to happen will almost certainly give the Christian attuned to God’s will a heads-up on the nearness of the Tribulation era, thus to the nearness of the Rapture of the Church.

We have looked at the “faith” as faith in Jesus for salvation and at the “people”who will “depart” from the faith as being the Church–that is, the true Christians who are alive at the time of the end, when the apostasy takes place.

Although there are those who think this departure includes the possibility of one losing one’s salvation, the “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 cannot include that meaning. A quick look at Romans 8:38 and 39, to name just one security-of-the-believer passage, shows that God’s Word teaches that the believer can’t depart from the Heavenly Father to the point of losing his or her family status. Jesus, in John chapter 17, makes that absolutely clear. I suggest that if you have questions about this, read the Scriptures I just mentioned.

What, then, is meant by “departing from the “faith”? Glad you asked. The “faith” mentioned in 2 Thessalonians and 1 Timothy 2:3 is a collection of faith principles wrapped up in the Lord Jesus Christ. These principles are doctrines put forth by the Word of God. The Word of God is none other than the Lord  Jesus:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

“People” at the time of the “falling away” will “depart” from the “faith”–the doctrines put forth by the Word of God, who is Jesus Christ. This departure will mark the generation of Christians at the very end of the Church Age.

The question that applies most relevantly to us today is: Are we seeing signals of the departure about which Paul forewarned?

We have analyzed, dissected, examined, and inspected every end-time signal found in God’s Word many times in these commentaries: Israel again in the land of promise; the EU looking to be the reviving Roman Empire; Russia, Persia (modern Iran) and other nations looking to be a nucleus that will one day form the Gog-Magog force of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. These, plus, all of the other end-time characteristics of this generation.

However, I believe the most insidious of all the things taking place under the clever, devious hand of the devil–Satan—is the falling away, the departure from the faith being currently orchestrated by Lucifer, the fallen one.

This departure is evident to the spiritually discerning when looking at the church growth movement. This “seeker friendly” approach to both the saved and the lost (all who don’t know Christ) through New Age, corporation-type seminar seductiveness and brainwashing techniques that water down or completely eliminate true Bible doctrine is leading in a profound departure from the “faith once delivered” (see Jude 1: 3).

The new paradigm instituted by the champions of the church growth movement is the shift from New Testament Christianity to “New Spirituality-Driven Christianity.” Like in the modern corporate organization, invented in large part by German economic guru Peter Drucker, who mentored some of the leading designers of the church growth movement, the system is more an organism than an organization–adopting Drucker’s model based upon Freudian psychology and Darwinian evolutionary principles. The individual is assigned a value, and must fit in or be removed from the system. To put it as I heard one person of the movement say: “Pillars just hold things up. So, they need to be moved out of the way.” So, those who hold to doctrine must get out of the way so no one will have their feelings hurt by talk of sin, blood atonement, and eternal punishment in the place called Hell, if repentance is not forthcoming.

Again, the Apostle Paul wrote God’s view of this watering down of doctrine:

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8)

Are we at the point of departure from the faith that is prophesied for the very end of the Church Age? Maybe we can get a better sense by looking at one more area of Scripture pertaining to the matter:

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

There is another prophetically scheduled departure to consider. It’s the one we should be looking forward to. It is a God-ordained one that will remove every child of God of the Church Age–living and dead—from Planet Earth in one millisecond:

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)

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