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Assurance against Alarmism

Dire predictions saturate the blogosphere these days. That cyberspace landscape seems loaded with things forecast to come that will, if believed 100 percent, depress even the most optimistic among us.

For example, I heard the past week that China has troops stationed at America’s southern border and is working with Mexican cartel units to invade the US when the time is right. Not only this, but the present US government under the Biden administration is in on the planned action, it is claimed.

On another blog, it is said that both Russia and China are in cahoots and are just biding time to make their moves.

The American cabalists in all of this—the Deep-State types—want this to happen in order to bring the nation down so that the vast American assets can be absorbed by the globalist regime that, I guess, is, putting this whole attack scenario together.

China, so this thinking goes, wants America’s land in order to relieve the overcrowding of China’s 1.4 billion populations.

The assault will supposedly begin with a more virulent biological weapon attack than COVID-19 or any other biological entity to this point. That will be joined by a debilitating cyber destruction of America’s communications infrastructure.

There will then be nuclear attacks on specific military installations within the US and abroad. This is what the drones that have been seen flying about in certain areas are about—to scope out vulnerabilities of US military installations, etc.

In addition, the Biden administration will declare martial law and begin taking away all civil liberties. Somewhere in all this dystopia will be mixed-blue-helmeted United Nation troops to go to every home to confiscate the guns of those who have them. FEMA, of course, has, it is said by the alarmists, long been prepared to incarcerate misguided American patriots who cling to guns, free speech, and Bibles. Such will be escorted to these detention camps in swift and certain lockdown of the nation.

All of this, according to the bloggers, is to fulfill the demonic aspirations of the globalists elite. The so-called New World Order will then, presumably, be able to move forward. It will be unhindered by resistant, gun-toting Bible thumpers and their evil against the change that is necessary to bring peace and prosperity through redistribution of the wealth, thus to spread America’s wealth equally to all peoples and to stop the human (especially the American) carbon-emissions decimation of planet earth.

Best I can figure, the blogger alarmists expect all of this to begin in earnest by no later than the fall. They expect “false-flag” events to precede such action. False-flag events are those in which a government concocts a danger to the public, who then perceives the danger and will therefore be less resistant to, or even accepting of, draconian, governmental actions to save them.

There are so many such predictions in every direction that it’s not possible to include them all in this limited space. And, where there is smoke there is fire, as is said. So there is bound to be at least a miniscule degree of truth in all of the alarmism. Certainly we’ve been forewarned by the Lord through the Apostle Paul, as we have pointed out on numerous occasions. We struggle not against flesh and blood, but against powers, principalities, etc. (Ephesians 6: 12).

The primary blog hosts’ alarms to which I refer claim Bible prophecy as part of their background for their forewarnings. One, in particular, name a couple of anti-Rapture Bible prophecy teachers as mentors in their predictions for Tribulation-level events to come. They believe God’s people will be here to suffer through—and even fight through—these coming terrible times.

These, therefore, are “preppers.” They want you and me to prepare for these bad times, these times of Great Tribulation, so that we can survive the evil about to be unleashed. We can, I infer they’re suggesting, survive that time of Tribulation if we set aside enough food, weapons, gold, silver, etc.

This is why I—rather, God—can assure that these alarmists are wrong.

Jesus Himself said that if He didn’t return as He has said at the end of the Tribulation period, all flesh on earth would die—no amount of prepping could possibly suffice for such a thing!

God’s Word also tells that the kings of the east will be held back from invading the occidental world until the Euphrates is dried up. This will happen late in the seven-year Tribulation era (read Revelation chapters 9 and 16).

Russia, it has now been proved, at least to my satisfaction, will be led by the Gog-spirit-filled leader as he brings the Magog forces against Israel. At that time, the Western alliance of nations—including America (“young lions”)—will apparently be present in a coalition of some sort to protest that movement toward Israel (read Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39).

America is in the occidental world. China is divinely forbidden from making any sort of massive invasion of such a powerful nation as America currently is, according to Bible prophecy. Likewise, Russia isn’t so foolish as to think a land invasion of the United States is possible without, first, complete nuclear devastation taking place. That destruction, in such case, would take place in both Russia and America—and, almost certainly, to the rest of the world as well.

Now, am I saying that the United States is safe from severe ramifications of the geopolitical evil going on? No. America is likely overdue for heavenly judgment. But that judgment, we can be assured, will take place in God’s timing, not in timing predicted by perhaps well-meaning Internet bloggers.

Before the horrific, worldwide collapse of the human condition takes place as these would have it, the greatest of all events is scheduled by the timing of the One—the only One—who knows the end from the beginning.

That, of course, will be the Rapture of all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

Again, I will never stop using the Scripture that is the heavenly formula—the only formula—for salvation of the soul:

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)  

Acceleration toward Tribulation

We can talk all day and all night about our time on the planet being like it was during the days of Sodom—i.e., the days of Lot. We can mull over constantly and consistently that the world is becoming “as one,” as John Lennon would have it. That is, the last world empire is forming exactly like Daniel was given to prophesy. The Antichrist kingdom is almost surely forming before our eyes while the minions, both supernatural and Deep-State types are coalescing to bring everyone on earth into conformity with their directives.

We can watch with spiritually attuned senses while Christianity is, like God’s creation called man, being transmorphed by evil forces into something ungodly—changed into the opposite of what God intended. Reprobate thinking, as Paul the apostle pointed out, is the order of the day. Light is called darkness, good is called evil, and there isn’t much left of our daily life that seems to any longer indicate that we’re surrounded by sanity.

Yet with all these factors that “vex” us, as ol’ Lot might have put it, none point more precisely to where we are at this moment on God’s prophetic timeline than anything and everything to do with God’s chosen people and nation—Israel.

Just as everything seemed headed in the direction opposite of what Bible prophecy predicts—Israel beginning to benefit from the Trump administration’s support—things have again reversed course. Hamas and all of the Israel-hating neighbors in that region are again on the attack. Most all nations are again turning their hate-filled glares toward the Jewish state.

Deals are being made again to restore the billions of dollars to Iran and other anti-Israel diabolists that were taken from them by the Trump government. The sanctions and other restrictions that were just a year or two ago inhibiting Israel’s enemies from building arsenals and coalitions against the Middle East’s lone democracy now are being taken down.

This reversal must, I think, mean that the Lord has taken His hand of restraint somewhat off the entire matter. America, under the new administration, looks to be genuinely beginning to curse Israel, in directly opposite manner to blessing that nation when Mr. Trump was in charge.

With that increasing curse has slithered from the darkest abyss the devilish, venomous serpent called anti-Semitism. Just in the past several weeks, a growing, gestating process of hatred of the Jewish race has grown into near 1939 levels in some parts of the world—including parts of the United States of America.

It is a sure sign that the Tribulation period, when God will begin pouring wrath on this rebellious world, must be near indeed. Jesus, Himself, prophesied that this hatred against His people will, in that future era, be far worse than at any time of human history. Let’s look again at what He told His disciples on the Mount of Olives that day:

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. (Matthew 24:15–22)

The elect Jesus was talking about, of course, is Israel, the Jews of that Great Tribulation period—the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7)

By that time, at three and one-half years into that seven-year period of horror, Antichrist and the whole world will be turned against Israel. God will be judging the world with His wrath and Antichrist will be waging war to the extent that all biological life on the planet would die if Jesus didn’t stop the carnage. He says He will do so for the elect’s sake—on behalf of the remnant of Jews at that time.

Jesus was later recorded by Luke as saying that when we see all of these things begin to come to pass, we are to look up because our redemption—Jesus—is drawing near. I believe this is referring to believers of both the Pre-Rapture era (Age of Grace) and to believers who are alive –particularly Jewish believers—at the time of Armageddon and the Second Advent (Revelation 19:11).

Both groups of believers are to be “looking up” for the approaching redemption, who is Jesus Christ!

With regard to this era—this pre-Rapture era—can we see this hatred for the Jews beginning to come to pass? Has the level of anti-Semitism hatred prophesied for the end of days begun to take place?

I believe so. I believe the hatred for the house of Israel has been gestating within the incubator of barely-contained satanic rage. I believe the restraining hand of the Holy Spirit is being lifted to a degree, letting the spiritually attuned see that end-times anti-Semitism as it begins to crawl from that abyss-incubator.

One news item illustrates things to come in this regard, I think.

The recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks that swept across the US was sparked by the conflict between Israel and Gaza. But the underlying basis of the attacks having nothing to do with Israel was evident on social media in which the message “Hitler was right” peaked.

The conflict between Israel and Gaza led to spike in anti-Semitic attacks.

The ADL recently reported that concurrent with the conflict in Israel, acts of harassment and vandalism, and violence surged in cities with large Jewish populations but also in less urban areas. They claimed a 75% increase in anti-Semitism reports to the agency after Israeli-Palestinian fighting began. The figure jumped from 127 incidents in the two weeks prior to fighting to 222 in the two weeks after violence broke out. Though couched in terms of anti-Zionism, previous Israel-Arab conflicts did not generate such a rise in anti-Semitism.

This was most evident on Twitter where variations of the phrase “Hitler was right” were posted more than 17,000 times (according to the Anti-Defamation League) in just a one-week span in May. In addition, the anti-Semitic hashtag #Covid1948 trended on Twitter in several countries, being shared up to 175 times per minute for over four hours on May 13. The hashtag, likening the birth of the state of Israel in 1948 to the COVID-19 virus, was frequently accompanied by blatantly anti-Jewish content…

Anti-Semitism is far more prevalent in the US than most people would think. A recent survey by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which tracks incidents of anti-Jewish violence and bias, recorded that 63% of American Jews had experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism over the past five years — a marked increase from the 53% of respondents who expressed the same view in last year’s ADL survey. 59% of the respondents in the survey said they felt Jews were less safe in the US today than they were a decade ago, while 49% expressed fear of a violent attack at a synagogue.  (“75% increase in anti-Semitic attacks spark fears of new Holocaust in America,” by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz,  June 2, 2021, Israel365 News.)

The profound uptick in anti-Semitism, in my view, indicates that there is a speeding up in the rage toward the Tribulation era. That should inspire us as believers in Jesus Christ to expect at any moment His shout, “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1).

Will all children be Raptured?

Most always the confutation over the issue of children and the rapture of the church is wrapped around the scripture: “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy” (1 Cor. 7:14).

The Character of God

The very character of God, himself, is at the heart of the issues involved in the question that is raised quite often. “What about children and the rapture? Will they stay on earth, or go to be with Christ?” And there is nothing of more profound eternal significance than the individual human being’s consideration of God’s character. The all-importance of that consideration is cocooned within the words of Jesus Christ, himself, at the center of whom God’s great character is made manifest for fallen mankind.

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets” (Matt. 16:13-14).

Jesus’ question was straight from the heart of God. Jesus was God come to the earth in the flesh. Therefore, He, of course, knew what the people were saying about Him. He wanted His disciples to consider the question through spiritual eyes and ears, regarding themselves, individually. His follow-up question asked plainly: “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?” (Matt. 16:15).

The totality of scripture which went before Jesus asked the question, and all scripture that came after He asked the question, encapsulates –attests to—the holy, loving, merciful character of mankind’s Creator. His question is directed not to corporate mankind, however, but to each and every individual who has lived upon earth since He asked it. How each one of us answers that specific question Jesus asked will determine each and every individual’s position in Jesus Christ. The individual answer you and I and every other person give to that specific question Jesus asked will determine where you, I, or any other individual spends eternity. And, make no mistake, each and every person who has or ever will live –and that means from conception onward—will spend eternity in one of two places: either in hell, or in heaven.

The coming into existence of the creature called man, and the fall from walking perfectly with the Creator is a matter for another study. Suffice it to say that a quick perusal of any newspaper or a quick listen to any news story will attest to man’s fallen state. We human beings do not walk a perfect walk. We sin and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). The fact is that we need redemption –we must have reconciliation with God, our Creator, or we remain lost forever. And, keep in mind, the matter is based not upon a corporate or collective relationship, but upon an individual relationship with God. And, this is where the awesome, loving grace – the very character of the Lord God– comes into view. God’s Word says,” The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).

We are each fallen. We need God’s grace gift of salvation. It is an individual need. Each of us must come to repentance for the sin into which we were born because of the fall of our father, Adam. God’s holiness requires blood sacrifice for remission of sin (Heb. 9: 22; 10:18). And, this is why God, himself, in the form of His Son Jesus Christ –the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world– came to die on the cross at Calvary. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16).

About each of us –you, me, and every other person—God’s Word says further: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jn. 3:18). Remember this verse; it is profoundly important to looking at the matter of children and the rapture of the Church.

Belief Essential

Man is born into sin because the first man (Adam) disobeyed or rebelled against his Creator. The human blood line has been, since that time, polluted, contaminated by the horrible thing called sin. Because of Adam’s fall, disease, deterioration, decay, and death entered the world, God’s Word says. God has provided reconciliation with himself for human beings –redemption, through the blood sacrifice of His holy, perfect sacrificial lamb, His Son, Jesus Christ. Now, all can be saved through belief in Jesus as the only way back to God the Creator. Jesus is the way –the only way, truth and life. No one comes to God the Father (the Creator) except through belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, and what He did on the cross at Calvary (read John 14:6). Belief is absolutely essential.

This is the sort of faith Jesus spoke to Thomas about, when Thomas doubted that Jesus had resurrected after the crucifixion. When Thomas saw Jesus stand among the disciples, the Lord, having passed through solid matter to be with them, and Jesus bid Thomas to touch His wounds, Thomas believed, and could but mutter, “My Lord, and My God!”

Jesus then said: “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (Jn 20:29). Jesus, with that statement, was, I’m convinced, looking not only at the disciples who were in that room, but down through time to all who would believe in His death, burial, and resurrection for salvation.

So, “belief” is absolutely essential–the kind of belief that saves, in order to be “born again” (John 3: 3) into God’s eternal family.

The Apostle Paul gave the precise formula required by God for the salvation of the individual soul: “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” (Rom. 10:9-10).

This is what is required to assure salvation for the individual soul. This places the person in God’s family through Christ Jesus–i.e, when the individual believes in the way Paul, through divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, plainly tells us, that person is saved. That is, God no longer looks at the person as fallen, as rebellious, as a sinner, but now looks at the individual through His Son Jesus. God now sees the “believer” through the prism of the shed blood of His precious Son. About that, God’s Word says: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1).

It is obvious beyond any rationale to the contrary that this sort of belief –belief that brings one into the very family of God for all of eternity—must be a belief that requires understanding that Jesus is the way –the ONLY way to such a position in God’s family. And, it is clear, according to God’s Word, that that position is gained through belief in Christ, totally, with no other prescription as antidote to the soul-destroying venom called sin. In other words, each individual’s soul owes his place in God’s family for eternity to what Jesus –alone—has done for that individual.

So, it is the person’s position in Christ –through his or her belief—that God looks at in the matter of whether the individual is “saved.” To come to this “salvation” position, the individual must “believe.” There must be a cognitive decision to achieve the position in Christ that saves the individual’s soul. Remember the Scripture: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jn. 3:18).

Position in Jesus Christ

The soul of the individual comes into existence at the moment of conception –the moment the Lord gives that life within the womb. I won’t argue the point. God’s Word says without reservation that life begins at conception. We could go into a study of that truth, but that’s for another time and space. Suffice it to say that God gives the soul at conception, and it becomes more than obvious when studying records of children in the womb. Two examples are Jacob and his twin brother, Esau, struggling within the womb of their mother. Another is the account of John, who would become the baptizer, who recognized the Messiah, Jesus, who was in His mother’s womb when the two women were in the same proximity. Children in the womb are living beings –with God-given souls.

These babies have certain abilities to think, and, in John’s case, certainly, a supernatural understanding about the fact he and his mother were in the presence of God, himself, come to earth in the flesh. However, it is a fact understood by anyone, with any common sense whatever, that a child in the womb, or for the first, formative years of life, are incapable of coming to comprehension of anything like making a decision about where his or her soul will spend eternity. These little ones are sinners every bit as much as any adult human being. The difference is the adult –presuming he or she hasn’t a severe mental incapacitation– can understand and make decisions about things like whether to accept Christ for salvation. These are therefore “accountable” for their belief or lack thereof. The child, whose reasoning powers haven’t reached that conceptual level of functioning, are not yet “accountable” for whether they believe to the point of salvation.

The adult whom the Holy Spirit has called to salvation through Jesus Christ is “accountable” for his or her own soul at the point he or she then accepts or rejects. The child is not called to salvation because he or she hasn’t, at that point in his or her young life, achieved through growth the cognitive ability to make such decisions. These are not “accountable.” The child who hasn’t reached the “age of accountability” has a position in Jesus Christ, the same as the adult who has “believed” unto salvation. If the child were to die before becoming responsible for his or her own decision to accept or reject Christ, that child would go directly into the presence of God, for all eternity.

Remember King David. He put off his robes of mourning for his baby when the son died, because David said that the baby couldn’t come to him, but that he, David, would go to the child. The baby was in heaven with God, for all of eternity, where King David would surely go upon his death. We know this is where David would go, because God called him “a man after my own heart.”

So, the position we, as individuals (not collectively) have in Jesus Christ, is the determining factor –the all-important matter—in considering where you or I –or any person will spend eternity. All children before they reach the age of accountability are positioned securely in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose shed blood is the only remission for the soul-destroying thing called sin.

Rapture a Salvation Issue

The rapture of the Church is a salvation issue. These realities –rapture and salvation–are inexorably linked in God’s great economy. This truth is based upon a vast body of scriptural proof text, but is wrapped up by the Apostle Paul in one particular scripture, I think: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ…”(1 Thes. 5:9).

Paul, again through divine inspiration, had just gone through the facts surrounding the rapture of believers (the Church). He used the personal pronouns “we,” “us,” “your,” etc., as opposed to “they,” “them,” etc., to separate believers from unbelievers. Believers (Christians of the Church Age) were not, Paul said, appointed to wrath, because they were children of the day (the light found in Christ). The unbelievers were children of the night –the sin-blackened darkness of the fallen realm. Paul prophesied that the day of the Lord will begin like a thief-in-the-night experience. The children of the night would be taken by surprise, but the children of the day (believers) would escape the coming wrath of God, which the day of the Lord will bring upon a rebellious world of earth-dwellers.

This escape from God’s wrath will come, Paul said, through salvation, which is in Christ Jesus. The individual’s position in Christ will provide the escape. This is the same escape foretold by Jesus –through John—in Revelation 3: 10: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10).

Children below the age of accountability are individual souls within Christ’s salvation –the salvation that keeps the individual believer out of hell, eternally apart from the Creator –out of the time of God’s wrath, which will come upon the whole world of rebellious earth-dwellers –unbelievers. Again, God does not deal with human beings collectively, or corporately, when it comes to salvation of the soul. He, mercifully, deals with us one on one. Jesus asks each of us: “Who do you say that I am?” Unbelievers are those who, individually, have rejected the Holy Spirit’s call to salvation. Each will be left behind at the time of the rapture. Children, like all of lost mankind, are sinners, but those who haven’t reached the age of being able to understand God’s grace gift are not unbelievers. They are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. They are, individually, in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Lamb’s Book of Life

Let us look for a moment at this all-important volume God calls “The Lamb’s Book of Life.” This book is crucial to your and my souls, and to the soul of each and every individual human being who has ever been born –or who has died in the womb, before having a chance to draw a first breath. Here are two relevant scripture passages on that Book.

“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” (Rev. 3:5).

“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:27).

God’s Word is telling us here that there is a volume in which every human being’s name is written at some point. None whose name isn’t written in this book can enter into God’s holy presence for eternity. The word “Life” in the title of this book is “eternal” life. Every human being who has been conceived in the procreation process has his or her name written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life.”But, there is obviously the chance that one’s name can be blotted out of that book, according to Revelation 3:5. Since it is not possible for one to lose his or her salvation once the person has “believed” in the only begotten Son of God, the term “blot out” in Revelation 3:5 needs to be explained. The meaning becomes clear, when thinking on the fact that each and every individual’s name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. The name remains there until the person is shown that he or she is a sinner, and is convicted or called by the Holy Spirit to repent of sin –to “believe” in the Lord Jesus Christ. When the person fully realizes that call, and that Jesus is the ONLY way to reconciliation with God the Father, but refuses or rejects God’s grace gift offer, that name is “blotted out” of the Lamb’s Book of Life. The individual who rejects that grace gift offer of salvation until his or her death will die in sin and spend eternity apart from his or her Creator. That person who has reached the age of accountability for his or her soul will also be left behind, when the Rapture occurs.

The name will be written back in that book when the individual subsequently accepts the Lord Jesus as the Savior of his or her soul. Jesus Christ’s shed blood is the only payment God the Father accepts. But, once a person accepts that free gift from the Lord Jesus, the individual is a member of God’s family–forever.

So, your and my position in Christ is the all-important thing, whether considering going to heaven when we die, or going to heaven at the rapture, when Jesus comes for us to take us to our home, which He, personally, has prepared for each of us, individually. (Read John 14: 1-4.) This is the only collective family gathering that counts in God’s economy, in consideration of the matter of the rapture and Salvation. We will, collectively at the rapture, go home to be in God the Father’s house. Here on earth, our relationship with our earthly parents is tremendously important, of course. But, it is our place in our heavenly family, and in our heavenly home that is absolutely crucial. This is an eternal matter. And, it all relies upon our position in Jesus Christ, not upon our position in our earthly home, or upon the spiritual condition of our parents.

Yes, but what about this?

A number of questions about the rapture and children crop up consistently. I thought it good to look at a couple of them.

  1. Why do you believe children will be taken in the rapture, when God hasn’t intervened for them in wars, and other horrible things that have happened to the children throughout the centuries? Why do you think God will keep them out of the tribulation, when millions have died, and continue to die?
  2. These are two different matters entirely. This question involves physical death versus spiritual death (the second death, as the Scripture puts it.) It is the death of the flesh versus the death of the soul of an individual. Sin brought death to the flesh and to the soul (physical and spiritual death), but Christ brings eternal life. That is what I’ve spent the bulk of the article addressing. Wars and other terrible things on earth indeed take physical

life –especially, it seems, the lives of innocent children. Unrepented sin takes the soul in death (eternal separation from the soul-giver –God, the Creator). It is comforting to know –according to God’s Word—that all children who have perished over the millennia have gone directly to be with the Lord. Not one single one of them has died in the eternal sense. Again, these are two separate issues –physical death versus spiritual death. The rapture is in the realm of the spiritual or the eternal sphere.

  1. But, won’t there be children in the tribulation? Jesus says so in His Olivet Discourse.
  2. Yes, the Lord does prophesy there will be children during the time of tribulation. He foretells the following: “And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!” (Matt. 24:19). Notice carefully. Jesus issues a special “woe” for the parents of children in the time of tribulation. But, the Lord specifically gives two ages of children, here: 1) children who are nursing, and 2) children still in the womb. There is absolutely no mention of older children. These children will be those born AFTER the Rapture. And, there will doubtless be millions upon millions born. Sexual debauchery will explode, as the Holy Spirit withdraws from governing the consciences of men and women (read 2 Thess. 2). No doubt, most of these little ones will perish in the horrors of that time. As many as two-thirds of all mankind will die during that period.

Not fair of God, you say? Consider this: Every single child who is born after the rapture will spend eternity with God the Father. None will have reached the age of accountability by the time Jesus Christ brings this decaying, dying world to an end as recorded in Revelation 19:11. For those who are thinking ahead of me, I realize that children who go into the millennium under the age of accountability will have to make the decision to accept Christ for salvation at some point.

As stated in the beginning of the article, God’s very character is at stake in the matter of whether ALL children (below the age of accountability) will go to be with Jesus at the electrifying moment of rapture. What, exactly, is wrapped up in 1 Corinthians 7:14 is a matter for another study. But, this much the overall context of God’s Word, when speaking to salvation matters—plainly, and loudly proclaims. The Bible teaches that the individual’s position in Christ, not his or her position in the physical family here on earth, determines the final disposition of the eternal soul. The rapture is an eternal matter, wrapped up in God’s salvation guarantee. And, it is a guarantee to the individual, not to the corporate –even though the collective will go as the Bride of Christ, the Church.

Every child below the age of accountability –including those in the womb—will go to be with Jesus when He steps out on the clouds of glory and shouts: “Come up here!”

A Millstone Milestone

As regular readers perhaps know, I ‘m convinced that all children below the age of accountability will go to be with Christ at the Rapture of the Church. My contention isn’t based upon my having a grandpa’s heart for children, and I can prove that I’m in very good company when it comes to that soft spot for little ones.

The very character of our Heavenly Father is at stake in the matter of all children below the age of accountability going to be with the Lord when He calls at the moment of Rapture. We see this magnificent character through God made manifest in the flesh, His Son, the second member of the Godhead. Consider what Jesus said:

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:3–6)

The words of the Creator of all that is, while in His earthly flesh, makes it clear beyond question of His love for those who are too young to be aware that they are born sinners and separated from God, thus need a Savior to reconcile them to their Creator.

These humble little ones have the very spirit of innocence God requires in order to inhabit Heaven. They’re in this state until they’re convicted by the Holy Spirit that they need that Savior and are capable of accepting or rejecting the offer of God’s grace through the salvation process.

Those who harm—offend—such innocent ones and keep them from coming to the Lord reserve for themselves the most severe of punishments, according to Jesus, Himself.

The “millstone” reference is an indicator of how those who prey on children, abuse them, or do anything to hinder them from learning about Jesus and His love for them are destined for the most hellish eternity imaginable.

My thoughts go to one well-known actor of past years—one of the most famous.

I remember his actress daughter, also one of Hollywood’s most famous, saying in an interview that her father mocked her when she was a small child for wanting to go to Sunday school with a neighbor family. He ridiculed her, saying that she was a fool for believing in all that Jesus stuff.

I do believe that woman is saved, but still totally confused, being still a Hollywood icon with no substantial Bible education by a Christ-centered body of believers.

What a punishment such a now-deceased father must be receiving, given the precious gift of a child, then to have “offended” that child in such a way.

We as a nation have now reached the point where Hollywood and all of culture are “offending” the children of America. And this, it seems, is an offense taking place worldwide as well.

We have, as a world generation, reached a “millstone milestone, if you’ll allow the attempt at alliteration in the commentary’s title.

A news excerpt makes my point:

The boom in LGBT content for children has continued, with yet another classic getting a Pride makeover.

According to Christianity Daily, the fairy tale Cinderella will be coming to Amazon Prime in September with a “LGBTQ sexless godmother,” played, unsurprisingly, by male homosexual Billy Porter. Porter told CBS that the new version will be “a classic fairy tale for a new generation.”

The BBC is also plugging a new children’s book called My Daddies, the story of a motherless little girl adopted by two men. This book was newsworthy not because there is any shortage of this sort of thing lately, but because it is “the first book of its kind to be written and illustrated by same-sex adoptive parents” and “the first picture book about two gay dads with both an LGBT author and illustrator.” (“Queer Is In, Christian Is Out—Boom In LGBT Content For Children,” RR News)

Daily we are barraged with the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah-like evil, like what is represented by the above. This is “offending” little ones at a level probably not seen since the time of Sodom and Gomorrah.

With the murders in their mother’s wombs—and even after birth—by the abortionists, and with the approval of governments, we have indeed reached a millstone milestone, in my view.

The Tribulation will see that millstone of condemnation placed around the necks of all who have participated in such treatment of children, as part of a deliberate turning of their backs on the God of Heaven.

Perhaps this evil will be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. Maybe the time of that millstone milestone has been reached as the stench of this world enters the nostrils of our God.

The Rapture of the Church and the removal of such little ones out of harm’s way might be very near indeed, as in Christ’s words as recorded in Luke 21:28.

And when you see all these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your head, for your redemption is drawing near.

Antichrist a Reincarnation?

My just-released novel, MICHAEL: Last-Days Lightningwhich all too briefly, but nonetheless, thankfully, went to number one in Christian fiction on Amazon, has sparked the beginning of a follow-up novel. I’ve tentatively given the next novel the title MESSIAH: The Prince That Shall Come.

The story will build on the protagonist’s experiencing Bible prophecy fulfillment while in a state of having dreams and visions as the result of a serpent bite he received while he was on the Island of Patmos. MESSIAH will deal with Antichrist coming to power as the world’s greatest deceiver.  This understanding is based upon Jesus’ words:

I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (John 5:43)

Lord willing, the novel will be the third of the books that began with REVELATIONS: The Rapture Generation, in which Tyce Grayson received that snake bite.

The purpose of mentioning all of that—along with, of course, admittedly hoping to promote the novels—is that while researching for writing the third novel, I cogitated on some things about the Antichrist I’ve often wondered about over the years.

One of the primary things that has piqued my thinking—and imagination—is that there are two people in God’s Word who are given the title “son of perdition.”

British theologian Arthur W. Pink (1886–1952) more or less framed the idea that provided impetus for my thinking.

As we have seen, in John 17:12 Christ termed Judas “the Son of Perdition,” and 2 Thess.2:3 we find that the Antichrist is similarly designated—“That Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition.” These are the only two places in all the Bible where his name occurs, and the fact that Judas was termed by Christ not a “son of perdition,” but “the Son of Perdition,” and the fact that the Man of Sin is so named prove that they are one and the same person. What other conclusion can a simple and unprejudiced reader of the Bible come to? (from The Antichrist, by A. W. Pink, https://www.ccel.org/ccel/p/pink/antichrist/cache/antichrist.pdf)

Pink went on to write that he believed Antichrist, the son of perdition, will be a reincarnated individual. There isn’t sufficient space in this commentary to totally explain his thinking, but I recommend that you read at the link given above if you’re interested in why he believed this.

I can’t fully embrace this notion because of my bias against the belief in reincarnation by those held by Hindus in India and other places, and the fact that God’s Word says it is appointed unto man once to die, then comes the judgment.

That steels the notion against reincarnation in my mind, but leaves open the possibility for a return from the dead in the case of this one man—Judas Iscariot, who was apparently lost from the beginning, according to Jesus Himself in His prayer as recorded by John:

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (John 17: 12)

I, nor anyone, can fully explain to my satisfaction why Judas went to “his own place” upon death, or why he was apparently instructed by Jesus to do what he was supposed to do at the Last Supper—i.e., go betray the Lord to the Judaizers and the Romans. We see these strange things in the following verses:

And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. (John 13: 27)

After Judas committed suicide, the disciples sought to replace him as the twelfth member of their group with one of two other men. They wanted the now resurrected and ascended Jesus to tell them what to do.

And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. (Acts 1:24–25)

We come then back to Arthur Pink’s statement that both Judas Iscariot and the one who will be Antichrist are called not “a” son of perdition, but “the” son of perdition. These are the only two who are so-designated as this evil individual.

Pink goes on, in depth, to point out that Judas was called by Jesus “devil.”

Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve. (John 6: 70–71)

This, Pink believed, meant that Judas was so possessed by a supernatural evil spirit–by Satan himself—that he was lost without chance of redemption. This certainly seems to be the case, considering the total context of what we know about Judas Iscariot and about salvation as given in God’s Word.

The key word in the matter seems to me to be the word “men.” Was Judas a “man” at the time of his accepting the sop given by Jesus,? Or was he something other?

We look again at the Scripture verse about death and judgment:

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. (Hebrews 9: 27)

Yet Judas Iscariot died, by his own hand, and went to “his own place.” Still, he is “the son of perdition”—same as Antichrist’s designation. Not “a” son of perdition, but “the” son of perdition.

Further, Pink writes the following.

It is hardly necessary to say that in the Greek there are two different words for “Devil” and “demon.” There are many demons, but only one Devil. Further, in no other passage is the word “devil” applied to any one but to Satan himself. Judas then was the Devil incarnate, just as the Lord Jesus was God incarnate. Christ Himself said so, [as recorded in John 6:70–71] and we dare not doubt His word. (Ibid.)

Pink then refers to the following Scripture to round out his thinking on the matter of Judas Iscariot being one and the same as the future Antichrist—a reincarnation, of sorts.

The Beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the Bottomless Pit, and go into perdition. (Revelation 17:8)

He points out that most expositors of his time held that Revelation 17:11 referred to the final form of Rome as the last world empire over which Antichrist will rule. But his implication was that they denied that an actual being will come from the bottomless pit as that Antichrist character (verse 8). Pink maintains that it is Judas Iscariot in a reincarnation. But it is a supernatural man, indwelt by an evil spirit like no other.

He writes:

In Matt.12:43 the Antichrist is called “The Unclean Spirit,” not merely an unclean spirit, but “the Unclean Spirit.”…

[In] the writer’s mind there is no doubt whatever that none other than the Beast is here in view. If this be the case, then we have further evidence that the coming One will be no mere man indwelt by Satan, but a fallen angel, an evil spirit, the incarnation of the Devil. (Ibid.)

I’m not at all sure about the term reincarnation in this case. There certainly is something profound connecting Judas Iscariot and the one who will be Antichrist, however. This “beast” will be wounded as unto death, then supposedly brought back to life at the midpoint of the Tribulation—another strange element to consider.

My own thinking revolves around the prophecy that foretells the first and second beasts of Revelation being thrown directly in the lake of fire. They apparently get no time of judgment before the Great White Throne as do men of the human sort. These are apparently already judged. This, to me, means they might not be or any longer have human, redeemable traits, so are summarily cast into that final place of the damned. Nephilim? I don’t know, but it’s interesting to contemplate.

Bottom line is that if you don’t know Jesus Christ for salvation of your soul, you will end up in the place where these two beings, the Antichrist and the False Prophet, will spend all of eternity.

Here’s how to avoid their fate as well as the fate of Satan, who will be the third being thrown into that place of eternal punishment.

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 Revisited 

We re-posted this about one year ago because I sensed the time to do so was at hand.

My spiritual senses prompt that it is time to again present this series. I wrote the series of ten commentaries beginning in late 2010 and concluding in early 2011.

I’ve been asked over the years whether I still hold the same view as when I wrote these articles. My answer is that my thoughts haven’t changed at all. As a matter of fact, I’m convinced within the deepest part of my spirit that this series was Heaven-sent.

Whether my experience of April 22, 2011, on that Good Friday afternoon is believed or not, I know that it is indeed true. It was that event, when the widow maker heart attack and my heart ceasing to beat on four separate occasions, according to hospital records, sent my soul to the periphery of Heaven that validates this truth.

This series, “Scanning a Fearful Future,” was one reason for that spectacular visit. As I’ve related a number of times since, I was met by a large throng of young men and women. They were handsome and beautiful and full of ecstatic vigor and welcoming dynamism. They were, I’ve been shown, the “cloud of witnesses” of Hebrews 12:1-3.

On the third visit when my heart had again stopped, I was among them and we were running in a joyous race toward something. I believe it was toward the very throne of God (as indicated by the Hebrews 12 Scripture).

A major part of my being allowed the experience, I now know, was to validate the series of articles.

The tremendous number of things of worldwide importance that have unfolded since I was brought back into this life–brought back much to my doctors’ amazement—have proved these commentaries to be accurate.

Ten years after that Good Friday trip to somewhere on the edge of Heaven, the world, although about to be ripped apart by Satan’s powers and principalities, is still being held together–to the amazement of observers, secular and religious. It is time to revisit those commentaries on observations and thoughts that are perhaps even more relevant now than when they were offered back then to those fearful about the future of this judgment-bound planet.

The Rapture is ten years nearer than when these words were written!

Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 1 

Commentators, secular and religious, weigh in incessantly on all aspects of the issues of greatest concern for these angst-ridden times. Those issues of most profound worry are collapsing economy, loss of personal liberty, and what is going to happen in the immediate and long-term future.

One can almost physically feel the fear in the emails I receive daily. Worries over what the future holds fill the articles and, more to the point for this commentary, dominate the personal missives that search for answers that might provide some degree of comfort.

One of the more mildly fearful emails I received this week says in part, “I watched the Hal Lindsey Report yesterday in which he said that he believes before the Rapture that Christians were going to be persecuted. After reading your nearing midnight article today I can see that Christians becoming more and more isolated for their support of Israel is just another sign that he is right. If Hal is right, with the rapture being as close as it is then persecution for Christians has to be very close. What is your take on this?”

I listened to what Hal Lindsey had to say in that particular program, and he did paint a bleak picture for the immediate future of planet earth. He correctly pointed to even more terrible times for the world a bit further out–during the Tribulation. I had so many urging me to watch Glenn Beck’s program that I tuned in to that show on the several days he painted a frightening picture of what he says he believes George Soros and the New World Order minions have in mind for the world –particularly for the citizens of the United States.

Mr. Beck, like Hal Lindsey, gave as part of his view of things the prescription he thinks necessary to help with curing the sickness from which the United States and the world suffer. It is interesting that both Lindsey and Beck–one Christian, the other secular (in that he is a FOX News pundit)–give faith turned toward God as a major part of any such remedy.

Now, I am aware Glenn Beck is a Mormon, and that this fact makes the difference between the views of the two men and their recommendations quite distinct from one another. But the intensive urging of both to look more deeply into the crush of troubles weighing heavily on the minds of most everyone is more to the point. Both see what is happening in these strange times as emanating from dark, spiritual forces.

I know that Hal’s analysis is correct because he realizes that the source against which humanity–particularly Christians–struggles is found in God’s Word. I honestly don’t know exactly what Glenn Beck sees as the chief opponent against which humanity must be protected. He points to George Soros and his ilk, but never seems to get to the root of the evil we face.

Lindsey knows–as do you and I who try to be attuned to God’s Word in these prophetic times—that, according to the apostle Paul, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Paul wasn’t writing about the George Soroses of the world. He was forewarning of the dark powers behind the earthly megalomaniacs who would be our masters. Maybe Mr. Beck sees those darker powers, too, but he can’t bring himself about to cast God’s light upon that unseen realm. Perhaps that is because he sees us, the American people, as the answer to our own spiritual problems. If we will just summon the same patriotic grit of the founding fathers, we can overcome the human diabolists like Soros. To aspire to vanquish “spiritual wickedness in high places” –the dark, satanic forces of the spiritual world—would not be possible. When all is said and done, Beck’s viewpoint is inclusive of only the humanistic elements of the struggle mankind faces today. In this, sadly, he seems in lock-step with the world order builders that God laughs sarcastically at as recorded in Psalms 2.

I won’t go further about Glenn Beck so far as concerns his acumen in pointing the way to overcoming in the struggle we face as the apocalyptic storm nears. His religion’s prophetic beliefs dictate outcomes drastically different from those found in the Bible. Since he hasn’t overtly introduced those to his viewing/listening audiences–at least, not yet–I won’t address those here.

However, the biblical scenarios are the ones Hal Lindsey does introduce on a weekly basis to his audience. It is this view we will look at when thinking on the prospects you and I face, considering all of the bleak economic and societal news on the immediate horizon.

But, we’ve run out of column space for this week. We will begin scanning our darkening prophetic landscape through God’s radar next week, God willing.

Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 2       

Terrible times like no other in American history lurk somewhere in the future, according to FOX News Channel’s Glenn Beck. He is joined in his stated apprehension for what is coming by thousands of American citizens. Many of these are fear-filled Christians who look to Beck and others to inform them of the proposed terrors to come, and to tell them what to do about it. I continue to hear from some of these through email on a weekly, even daily, basis.

I would like us to look briefly at developments across today’s socioeconomic landscape, thus to examine as analytically and as fairly as possible the portentous matters that give Beck and others fodder for their doomsday scenarios.

Economics-minded forecasters great and small watched the stock market bubble build during the days preceding the Lehman Brothers collapse of 2008, speculating wildly what the bubble’s burst might bring. That financial aneurysm, they determined, would certainly rupture–and, of course, it did. Governmental insanity created by ultra-liberal politicians saw to it that people with champagne tastes and beer drinkers’ budgets for years received home loans they didn’t have much more than a prayer of ever repaying.

We are now familiar with the terms “Freddie Mac” and “Fannie Mae.” We are equally acquainted with names such as Barney Frank, Charles Schumer, and others, who–in the name of “fairness” to those who couldn’t afford housing like the more affluent–demanded these be given the loans anyway, despite the fact the recipients didn’t have the income or collateral to support that level of debt.

Rather than govern the housing industry responsibly, the elected officials invested with the responsibility to oversee things, in concert with their Wall Street cohorts, foolishly threw caution to the fiscal winds. A banking crisis of unprecedented magnitude was thus created, with the housing bubble rupture setting in motion bank failures and threats of even greater crises.

Calls for massive bailouts to avert what the president of the United States and others in government and media speciously screamed would otherwise be world-rending calamity brought about the most devastating crisis of all. Trillions of dollars were, in effect, created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve Bank to save entities “too big to fail.”

The totally irresponsible sleight-of-hand accomplished only the creation of an exploding national debt that most likely can never be repaid. Decisions made by some of the same people who help create the problems strapped on the back of American citizens financial burdens with which generations far into the future will have to deal.

The resulting economic uncertainty deepened an abyss-like recession that more soundly thought-out measures would have surely lessened in severity. Jobs, as we know, are being lost; businesses are closing their doors; deflation or hyper-inflation–the experts can’t figure which—might collapse the American economy within a near-time frame (which the experts can’t predict, either).

The stability of the global economy hangs in the balance, with the other nations and their monetary gurus wondering about the financial fate of the U.S. and its all-important dollar. And, make no mistake: Under present world economic structures, the fate of the American dollar is absolutely critical.

Enter Glenn Beck at the tip of the gloom iceberg. And “iceberg” is a viable term here because the things he and others are forewarning are indeed chilling. Statements the TV and radio show host make almost daily send shivers down the spine of many of his viewers and listeners. He says things like (I paraphrase), “Change is coming, and when it happens, you won’t recognize your country. You will wake up next day, and it will no longer be America as you’ve known it. And, it will happen just that fast. I can’t tell you when that transformation is coming, but it’s coming.”

Beck forecasts the same astonishing change for the entire world in his proposed overnight transformational moment. His words sound almost out of the pages of Bible prophecy from the Pre-Trib view, don’t they? But the change he predicts is tied almost exclusively to the earthly, not to the ethereal–almost, but not entirely, as we will soon find.

Economic collapse, thus societal rearrangements of apocalyptic dimension, is at the heart of his fearful forecast. He implies that we will, perhaps, awaken that morning to a monetary cataclysm–our dollar as worthless as the deutsche marks of the Weimar republic of Germany just before Hitler’s meteoric rise to power in the 1930s. The FOX program host often raises the real probability, in his view, that inflation, which is on the rise, will skyrocket to astronomical levels when the great transformation he fears takes place.

He gives some key commodity future dollar amounts for what he claims the experts tell him will be exponential price rises. A small bag of sugar could be as much as $60 or $70. One ear of corn could be $11 or higher. A loaf of bread will likely be $24. Just under a pound of coffee could be $77. Fifteen ounces of orange juice will likely be $45, according to Beck’s forecasters.

A Hershey chocolate bar, standard size, will cost $15.50, his experts say. Now, that is certainly a crisis in the making if it is an accurate prognostication. Chocolate lovers I know would probably join the rioters Beck believes will rage in the streets once cuts to federal government give-away programs have to be made.

Next week, we will think a bit on what a changed America might look like if truly effective remedies to deal with Mr. Beck’s fearful vision of a new socioeconomic paradigm are ever implemented.

Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 3 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has internment compounds placed strategically around the United States. These will be used as concentration camps when anarchy reaches a critical point in America and the world. This sort of warning has been at the heart of fear-filled emails I’ve been receiving for the past seven years, at least.

Today, the trepidation concerning the likelihood of the collapse of America and the world issues daily from a populist mouthpiece. There are others, but Glenn Beck fills the role as chief forecaster of impending doom. He says frequently that we will awaken one morning and find that America has changed. We won’t recognize the nation. It will happen just that swiftly, and the transformation will involve, among other things, probable hyper-inflation that will make money valueless for most people in America. This means that the entire world will follow suit. Global depression, we infer, will be the plight of all but the ultra rich of the world–the George Soroses, etc.

Based upon Beck’s dire suppositions, we consider things to come. Just how far into the future all of this evil lurks, Beck doesn’t know. However, based upon the rapid movement in economic uncertainties, it is likely, he implies, that it will happen sooner rather than later. That new dawning–or perhaps “nightfall” is the more apropos term–will be bleak, he predicts. The dollar will have fallen as the reserve currency for most of the world’s economies. Entire bank accounts will be wiped out, in that their contents likely won’t be sufficient to feed a family for a day, much less for longer. Governments will be forced to cut social programs of every sort–completely eliminating them in most cases. Rioting will explode while those on welfare roll and others used to government largesse will turn violent. The big inner cities will be particularly hard hit.

If the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans can serve as example, looting and violence might well be the order of such changed way of life on that terrible day after the transformation forecast by Glenn Beck occurs. The sorts who looted during the devastating hurricane will almost certainly spill into the suburbs, then into the countryside, pillaging for food and anything else that strikes their fancy.

Riots in the streets of Greece, Spain, and most recently in London, brought about by governments imposing austerity measures on money spent on social programs, present a foreboding picture of how things in the U.S. might look within twenty-four hours of an economic collapse such as Beck and others fear. In the United States, the very thought of what might take place when government handouts are cut off caused Indianapolis, Indiana, city officials to bring in greatly increased law enforcement when officials were about to announce that unemployment payments would not be extended.

So daunting are the prospects that even Beck stops short of delving too deeply into what such a changed world–catastrophically lacking in food, electricity, appropriate sewage treatment, and clean drinking water–would mean to Americans. But such change, he forewarns, is coming…and soon. It is coming, he says, because of the internationalist elitists who want that transformed world through which to rule over the rest of us–a “New World Order,” as George Soros, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and even George H. W. Bush and other champions of globalism have termed it.

Presidents have for decades been leading America into the globalist economic arena. No chief executive has observably been more determined to meld the U.S. economy with the rest of the world than Barack Obama. He said in a speech in Mumbai, India, regarding his desire to take America into the global economic model, “This will keep America on its toes. America is going to have to compete. There is going to be a tug-of-war within the US between those who see globalization as a threat and those who accept we live in an open, integrated world, which has challenges and opportunities.”

Obama stated further that unemployment within the U.S. that might result from global economic integration is going to be the “new normal.” It is just something we are all going to have to get used to.

Most every proponent of this move into globalism comprehends that the process of merging the American economy into the one-world configuration they desire will be painful for U.S. citizens. Wages will go down. America’s living standard will fall, according to the globalists. Americans will face a struggle in the course that must be taken to reach parity for all of the world community. This is just a fact of life, according to those who know best. President Obama himself says that the nation’s economy might “not be fixed for quite some time.”

Again, if I hear him right, Glenn Beck believes this change will be, for Americans, an instantaneous fall into an abyss of economic depression, not a slow slide into the poor house. He presents an almost fatalistic scenario, concerning our not being able to stop it from happening overnight. He urges all who will listen to prepare for the coming, contrived collapse of the American and world economies.

He says, at the same time, that he believes Americans have what it takes to thwart this drive toward New World Order–this effort to return to Babel. He indicates that he believes fervor for patriotism at the level of that of the founding fathers can reignite a foundational movement to restore sanity to government, economy, and culture/society.

At a rally in Washington DC, he threw some spiritual/religious verbiage into the mix of his exhortation to take back America: “Something that is beyond man is happening. America today begins to turn back to God. For too long, this country has wandered in darkness.”

Sounds like Beck is onto something there, doesn’t it? Let’s look more deeply into where that might be leading next time.

Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 4 

America is on the precipice of economic implosion, according to Glenn Beck and others. A sudden, catastrophic transformation will jolt us one morning upon awakening to the fact that the way of life we’ve known is gone. The Fox News show host pronounces the nation’s doom if his prescription for cure isn’t followed.

If the cure is not taken, George Soros and his ilk, the New World Order titans, will march America’s citizenry into global gulag–on the broad way back to Babel. There, all of mankind will, like John Lennon once sang, “Be as one.”

Beck’s biblical allusions flow soothingly, once the dire diagnosis and prognosis for America’s socioeconomic illness are firmly grasped by his audience. And, a growing number of people seem mesmerized by the host’s descriptions, illustrations, and analyses.

The Lord God knew that being “as one” was a humanistic recipe for disaster, Beck pontificates. The Almighty rushed to the plains of Shinar–as recorded in Genesis chapter 11–to spread humankind throughout all parts of the planet to avoid exactly what Soros and his buddies are again planning to foist upon earth dwellers. After laying out instructions and suggestions about how to survive some harsh, even terrifying, interim times just ahead by storing foods with long shelf lives and making other prudent preparations against the devastation the dollar’s demise will assuredly bring, Beck shifts to spiritual counsel. He leads into this phase with his words at the rally, as mentioned earlier: “Something that is beyond man is happening. America today begins to turn back to God. For too long, this country has wandered in darkness.”

Almost tearful with emotion in his voice, Beck pleads for Americans to go to our knees and pray for the nation’s salvation. Then, with a great inhalation of patriotic resolve like that of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and other of America’s founders, Beck, with Patton-like motivational rhetoric and steel in his voice, fortifies his troops for the battles ahead.

America will triumph through all the assaults against the republic, he declares with vigor, “because we are Americans.” Americans always do whatever it takes to overcome evil.

Glenn Beck exhorts Americans to invoke God’s name and help in the “take-back America” campaign. Good–so far as it goes.

With his next declaration, the Fox host frames his proclamation about the cure he envisions. He declares that the American people–those like the patriots in his audience–will do the necessary sacrificing and make the political and economic changes essential to set the U.S. ship of state back on course to a sound moral and socioeconomic mooring.

America will survive the great crash that is coming and, he implies, it will again become the greatest nation–although perhaps smaller, he adds–because of the goodness intrinsic within the American people. We are, he says, about to “witness miracles.”

And, this is the point where emotionally hyped fervor and patriotic resolve—no matter how sincere—depart from truth that resides within the heart of God’s prophetic Word. No matter how well constructed or intensive the efforts to implement it, Beck’s blueprint–or any humanistic blueprint—for saving the republic is doomed to failure.

To this point, Hal Lindsey’s view of Bible prophecy and Glenn Beck’s analyses and forecast for America’s destiny have run relatively parallel. Both Lindsey and Beck see a time coming in the near term when America will suffer financial collapse. It will be, they each predict, a time of national and worldwide societal darkness worse than the bleakest years of the Great Depression. Based upon the staggering debt of the U.S. and of most every other major nation on earth, theirs is the only conclusion that can reasonably be reached using informed rationale.

Lindsey and Beck also envision a singular moment when America and the world will change forever. It will be an instant so calamitous that it will, in effect, eventuate in a totally transformed global order for every facet of human interaction.

This, however, is where similarities in their view of the future end. Now the views diverge as dramatically as the difference between the eternal places called heaven and hell.

As I wrote in the beginning of “Scanning a Fearful Future,” Glenn Beck hasn’t overtly interjected his Mormon beliefs into his foreboding predictions. Therefore, I won’t address his pronouncements in regard to his religious beliefs–that is, except to again point out that the Mormon view of the end of human history differs greatly from what the Bible says about the consummation of all things encapsulated by this thing God created for man called time.

I feel justified in mentioning this because Beck himself more and more brings the name “God” and the need for the exercise of “faith” into his presentations. However, his consistently stated viewpoint makes it obvious that he believes the fate of us all will play out in an all-earthly scenario, with America winning the day, if we all follow his prescription for dealing with the coming calamity.

Hal Lindsey, like me and those who believe that Bible prophecy clearly speaks of what conditions will be like at the very end of the age, also sees America and the world headed into an economic morass. Unlike Glenn Beck, however, we are of the conviction that if indeed we are at the end of this dispensation–the Age of Grace (Church Age) as we believe is the case–this nation is beyond anything human intervention can do to save it. Next time we will look at what I’m convinced is God’s view of things to come in the very near future.

Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 5 

I must preface what follows by saying that I use Hal Lindsey in this look at the future because I and so many others hold him in high regard as the most widely recognized apologist for the pretribulation Rapture view of Bible prophecy. His book, “The Late, Great Planet Earth,” is of course the work that vaulted him into prominence. His continuing efforts over the decades to forewarn of things to come–with his current TV program serving as an excellent Bible prophecy platform–puts him at the top level of those who watch for Christ’s return, in my view.

Lindsey has indicated on his television program, The Hal Lindsey Report, that he believes America and all other nations of the world are headed into the darkest of socioeconomic times. American Christians, he believes, face persecution unlike any that believers in the United States have experienced. He recommends, as does Glenn Beck, that people store food and make other preparations against possible hyper-inflated times to come.

While Lindsey advocates–as does Beck—that we strive to be good citizens and fight the staunch, patriotic fight through the ballot box in order to return the nation to one centered in morality and freedom, he says in practically the same breath that this world system is doomed. There is no hope, apart from the hope that is in Jesus Christ. His seeming dichotomy of thought evokes concerns that must be addressed.

We began looking into prospects for the near future by considering an email I received from one such concerned Christian. Again, he wrote the following, in part:

I watched the Hal Lindsey Report yesterday in which he said that he believes before the Rapture that Christians were going to be persecuted. After reading your “Nearing Midnight” article today, I can see that Christians becoming more and more isolated for their support of Israel is just another sign that he is right. If Hal is right, with the Rapture being as close as it is, then persecution for Christians has to be very close. What is your take on this?

This writer’s perspectives carry much weight. It is Dr. Lindsey’s view of things that impressed the emailer to write. Since I am asked for my “take” on Hal’s position regarding severe persecution for believers being imminent, I must be true to my study of prophecy and risk going somewhat counter to his stated belief that Christians in America are necessarily going to suffer such intensive, satanically engendered travail.

I mean no disrespect for this man, certainly a special servant chosen for the Lord’s prophetic ministry for these closing hours of the age. However, my assessment differs from his forecast to an extent that I sense it needs to be presented here.

We have spent time thus far looking into the eerie, troubling changes taking place across the socioeconomic landscape of America and the world. Mostly, we have tried to get our brains around the apparent insanity of our leaders and why they have created crises then printed trillions of dollars to throw at those crises–all of this sleight-of-hand chicanery done to stave off supposed national and world cataclysm those leaders warned would otherwise destroy civilization as it has been known. Their supposed attempts to preempt economic Armageddon now threaten to bring about the collapse of every economy on the planet.

The foundation had to be laid thusly in order to begin answering the question so many people want to know. Our emailer framed well the fears of many who worry what the near future might hold. Since world conditions are in configuration that includes issues and events much like those for the Tribulation given in Bible prophecy, will Christians in America face severe persecution before Christ returns to this desperately wicked planet? That is among the most expressed concerns in email correspondence I receive these days.

Hal Lindsey, like Glenn Beck, states that he believes there will be a cultural and societal breakdown due to an economic collapse that is surely about to take place in the United States. I infer from his strongly stated position that he believes Christians in America will face severe persecution as a part of the social and economic upheaval about to erupt in this nation.

In the final analysis, however, whether I accurately understand and expound upon Dr. Lindsey’s thoughts in these matters is of minor consequence to the treatment at hand. The fact is that many Christians who do observe these times from a prophetic perspective need answers to questions like the one posed by the emailer. Trying to look at what lurks just ahead in the foreboding mist and haze of the coming days is the proposed objective of what follows.

Next time we will attempt to accomplish this, staying within the confines of what God’s Word actually has to say about the very end of the age.

Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 6 

There are so many ominous signals of stage-setting for fulfillment of Bible prophecy in every direction we look that even secular fascination with things to come is piqued. One such example is the History Channel’s “Nostradamus Effect” series in which I was asked to participate. One of the most immediately troubling signals that threatens apocalyptic disruption of world stability is the very probable collapse of the global economy, which we’ve been examining. There is little doubt, using even a modicum of rationale, that monetary madness infects the entire planet. We will now peer through God’s prophetic lenses into the portentous future nearest us.

The title I’ve chosen for this exploration, “Scanning a Fearful Future,” envelops all of Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey’s thoughts about the dire immediate future for America and the world. If their extremely similar assessments of what this generation faces is truly about to take place, my answer to the recent question to the worried email sender–representative of many such trepidacious emailers–must be given quickly. The emailer, after prefacing his question by saying that Lindsey stated persecution is coming for Christians, asked: “…persecution for Christians has to be very close. What is your take on this?”

First, I must rephrase his question to get to the heart of what he and so many others are asking. The question they mean to ask is: “…Persecution for the church in America has to be very close. What is your take on this?”

Believers in Jesus Christ–the born again (John 3:3)—are being persecuted around the globe at this very moment. Many are suffering torture and martyrdom. Members of the true church of Jesus Christ have always suffered and died, and will do so right up until Christ’s call, “Come up hither!” (Rev. 4: 2). So, what American Christians are concerned about in regard to this question is whether Christians in the United States will suffer the level of persecution endured by believers like those in, for example, the Sudan. For that matter, the question implies asking whether American believers will suffer to a major extent in any way whatever. Hal Lindsey expressed in several of his TV programs that he believed Christians in America will suffer persecutions, and, I infer, he was speaking of persecutions of the fearful sort–those that might include loss of life in martyrdom. This fearful future, again I infer, will likely be part of a severe societal/cultural breakdown brought about by economic cataclysm. This, as pointed out previously, is much like Glenn Beck’s forecast for Americans in general.

My answer to the emailer and others who continue to ask similar questions is that I don’t believe Christians in America are prophetically scheduled for severe persecution like that being experienced by those in Sudan, China, and other such places around the globe.

Now I can almost hear the clicking of emails being typed. Some are already conjuring the questioning flames of retort. “Do you think American Christians are too good to suffer persecution?”; “Do you think America is God’s pet nation? –That the U.S. doesn’t deserve judgment?!” Please…save your fingers the pain from the white-hot irritation shooting from your keyboard. I agree completely with you. American Christians are NOT too good to be persecuted. The U.S. does deserve judgment. There is no argument there. Now, please allow me to give my scripturally based reasoning in disagreeing with Dr. Lindsey on these matters.

I begin by inserting this caveat about my assertion that American Christians won’t suffer persecution of the most heinous sort. My belief in this regard is predicated upon my prayerfully studied understanding that the world as we know it would have to first come tumbling down, then rearrange to be configured exactly as it is now in order to accommodate American Christians going into such persecution as feared by my emailer.

That world crash, then turn-around, just isn’t going to happen. Everything is in place for Bible prophecy to unfold. Based upon this reality, my case follows in presenting why I’m so sure that what I believe about things to come in the very near future correctly diverges from what Dr. Lindsey and Mr. Beck say they believe is about to happen.

Each is certain that the United States is facing economic catastrophe that will bring about food and other shortages, thus will engender rioting that will bring anarchy and collapse. Lindsey’s fears are less adamantly presented than Beck’s, but the implication that such is in the very near future is there in Hal’s TV program narratives. While Beck doesn’t consider anything regarding true Bible prophecy at all, Hal Lindsey believes that severe persecution for Christians is also in that bleak future.

To briefly state my “take,” in answer to my emailer, I believe that America will not suffer catastrophic collapse while Christians (true believers in Jesus Christ) remain on planet earth. You and I–whether believer or nonbeliever–are, I’m firmly convinced, members of the most privileged generation in history. We are alive at the very end of this fascinating moment in human advancement. For believers, however, the privilege is magnified beyond imagination.

Believers in Jesus Christ are alive during this end of the Church Age for a divinely appointed purpose. We are witnesses to and participants in the very time the Lord Jesus Christ Himself prophesied would see Him revealed in spectacular fashion. The prospect for those who name the name of Christ is truly glorious.

While “Scanning a Fearful Future” is an accurate title for purposes of this examination of things to come, an equally appropriate title for those who are born again would have been “Scanning a Fabulous Future.” We will  continue next week with specifically what I believe the near future holds for believers and nonbelievers alike.

Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 7 

America and the nations of the world, as we have explored, are–according to Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey–moving quickly down the road that leads to global socioeconomic cataclysm. I agree. Such a destiny lurks in the murkiness of the not-too-distant future. However, exactly how that destination will be reached and who among the planet’s current population will suffer the disastrous fate predicted by Beck and Lindsey are matters for much closer scrutiny. Two questions we will try to address are in view as we look at the near future through the prism of Bible prophecy:

1) Will America and the world suffer Beck and Lindsey’s feared versions of economic collapse, thus societal catastrophe? 2) Will Christians in America suffer severe persecution as part of any such catastrophic breakdown?

Now, here’s where things can get quite confusing, if careful attention isn’t paid to the thoughts I’m trying to convey. I am of the conviction that America and the world will suffer Lindsey and Beck’s predicted economic, thus societal, catastrophe. Persecution and martyrdom will coalesce to make life for believers even in the U.S. region hell on earth as a result of that immense calamity.

I am at the same time equally convinced that there will neither be national and worldwide economic and societal collapse nor severe persecution and martyrdom for American Christians. Lunacy? Not if one views things to come through Bible prophecy as it is truly given for us to understand.

God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isa. 55:8). Believe it or not, like it or not, God’s Word demonstrates that He deals with mankind in dispensations–distinctive eras that He alone determines. This generation is part of the dispensation of grace–the Church Age. This dispensation will morph into the Tribulation, a period of seven years of God’s judgment and wrath also known as “Daniel’s seventieth week.”

My seemingly irrational claims, viewed in light of dispensational truth, are on sound biblical footing. Please consider slowly and carefully. Putting forth that I believe America and the world both will experience and will not experience apocalyptic socioeconomic collapse makes sense from dispensational perspective. Holding that American believers in Jesus Christ will not go through such persecution that includes martyrdom, all the while proclaiming that believers living in this nation will suffer persecution and martyrdom, is a biblically correct dispensational pronouncement.

These paradoxical proclamations are made understandable by the words of the greatest of all prophets–the Lord Jesus Christ. His astonishing prophecy about the end of this dispensation in which you and I are living addresses the two questions for which we seek answers.

Bible prophecy’s answers to these are as follows, I’m firmly convinced:

1) Neither America nor the world will suffer societal and monetary catastrophe that will bring about apocalyptic collapse due to man-made accidental bungling or contrived manipulation. However, there will be a crash of the world’s socioeconomic system, which will cause chaos of unfathomable scope, brought about by the God of heaven in an instant of time.

2) Christians in America today will not face persecution of the sort suffered by martyrs in past ages and by believers in parts of the world at present. But, following God’s next catastrophic intervention into earth’s history, believers in North America–as well as all other believers in Jesus Christ–will suffer persecution even worse than that inflicted upon believers of previous times.

Most Relevant Prophecy

When thinking on prophecies that are stage-setting for the wind-up of history, we most often point to prophecies involving Israel being back in the land of promise as most key to where we stand on God’s end-of-the-age timeline. The peace process and Jerusalem being at the center of the world’s spotlight show precisely the lateness of the hour.

That said, I believe no prophecy is more relevant for this moment in history than that given by Jesus Christ Himself, which encompasses not just the future of Israel and Jerusalem, but of the entire world:

And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17: 26-30)

This prophetic declaration by the Creator of all things is about the generation that will be alive at the dénouement of the age. Specifically, it refers to one catastrophic moment in the present dispensation when all of this world system will come crashing down. We will next look in-depth at the details wrapped up in Jesus’ foretelling of planet earth’s near future.

Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 8

Planet earth is on the brink of what both Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey have stated they believe will be monetary and societal collapse of unprecedented magnitude. We also looked previously at a prophetic declaration by the Creator of all things, which is–I believe I can verify–about the generation that will be alive at the very end of the age.

Specifically, Jesus’ prophecy refers to one catastrophic moment in this present dispensation–the Church Age (Age of Grace)–when all of this world system will come crashing down.

Again, here’s the prophecy from Christ himself:

And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17:26-30)

Are the two cataclysms–the one Beck and Lindsey talk about on their TV programs and the one Jesus foretells–related to each other? If so, how?

We will now try to answer the questions about world collapse, whether persecution for American Christians is imminent, and how it might all be tied together prophetically. We will do so by looking in-depth at the details wrapped up in Jesus’ forecast for earth’s near future.

Jesus gave what I am convinced is the premiere end-of-the-Church-Age prophecy in Luke 17:26-30. He describes in considerable detail world conditions and activities at the moment He breaks in on things of this present age.

He tells in His prophecy just the opposite of what Glenn Beck says is on the brink of happening to the people of America and the world. That is, the Lord’s description of how the worldwide catastrophe will happen differs greatly from the Fox host’s prediction of the cause of the calamity he says is just around the corner.

Remember, Mr. Beck is predicting for the near future the direst of socioeconomic collapses. He recommends that we prepare for, quite likely, hyper-inflated times to come, at the very least. He indicates that he fears that from the collapse will spin draconian governmental measures to quell the rioting that will occur when those millions who are given government hand-outs no longer receive the largesse. There is more than enough evidence of unchecked government today to prove Beck’s fears are well founded. The phenomenal growth of federal intrusion into practically every facet of the citizen’s life today portends grave consequences for liberty in the months and years just ahead. For example, bureaucratic regulation such as the move of the unelected FCC apparatchiks to invoke “net neutrality”–a Big Brother-like regulatory process that could eventuate in establishing dictatorial power over Internet usage–threatens anyone who would express opinions that run counter to state-approved language. The current administration intends to implement this despite the fact that a federal appeals court has ruled the administration doesn’t have the authority to do so.

Hal Lindsey sees the same cataclysm approaching, basically for the same reasons. He also recommends that we prepare for possible food shortages, and he says he believes Christians in this country will face severe persecution, which I infer to mean persecution of the sort suffered by martyrs for the cause of Christ. I must add here that I agree with both of these gentlemen–to some degree. And I disagree, also, with both–for differing reasons. But I reserve my thoughts in that regard for the biblically based logic I hope will make itself manifest as I analyze the words of the greatest of all prophets.

We now are basically familiar with what Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey say about the two questions involving the probability of American and world socioeconomic collapse and, in Lindsey’s case, about Christians in America facing imminent, severe persecution.

Let’s dissect carefully what Jesus predicts for the times just ahead. I say with confidence that Jesus tells the future from this moment forward, based upon what I’m convinced His words are speaking to this generation at this very hour. He prophesied in the Luke 17:26-30 passages that in the “days” He, the “Son of man,” is about to break into earth’s history, mankind will be doing certain things. It will be a time like the days of Noah before the Flood and the days of Lot while he was still in Sodom.

People, the Lord said, will be eating, drinking, marrying, building, buying, selling, and planting. Things will be going along pretty much as normal for the time. The Lord indicates no catastrophic, worldwide socioeconomic breakdown of any sort in this time immediately before “the Son of man is revealed” (Luke17:30)–the time He breaks into human history.

This time cannot be the Second Advent of Revelation 19:11. At the time the Lord of Lords and King of Kings breaks through the planetary darkness of death and destruction at Armageddon, perhaps as many as three-fourths of all people on earth will have died as a result of wars, pestilence, and geophysical disasters brought about by God’s judgment and wrath upon an incorrigibly wicked, unrepentant world of earth-dwellers.

In other words, planet earth’s living conditions at the time of Christ’s return in power and glory at Armageddon will not be anything like living conditions at the time of His intervention into human affairs as He describes in the days of Noah, days of Lot prophecy. At the end of the seven-year Tribulation period, it will be anything but business as usual. It will truly be hell on earth when Jesus comes to destroy all human government and the soul-rending carnage it has produced.

So, Jesus, in the Luke 17 account, was foretelling the days leading up to the time when He calls His church to Himself–”His church” meaning all born-again believers who have lived and died during the Church Age (Age of Grace). This is known as the Rapture. To learn more about this stupendous event, read 1 Corinthians 15:51-55, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, John 14:1-3, and Revelation 4:1-2.

To repeat, Jesus was not describing His coming back to earth in the Luke 17:26-30 prophecy. He was telling about His coming to above the planet to receive His people–Christians—to Himself. Christians–the Church—then will accompany Him back to the heavenly places He has prepared for them in the Father’s house–heaven.

Again, we have reached the limits of our space for this commentary. We will next further examine Jesus’ telling us about–I’m convinced—this very hour in which you and I inhabit planet earth.

Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 9

Jesus Christ–God in the flesh—foretold that the time just before God’s judgment and wrath befall rebellious mankind at the very end of the Church Age will be like it was in the days of Noah and of Lot. Although those times were wicked and all thoughts were focused continually on evil, people of the earth were carrying on with normal activities like eating, drinking, planting, building, marrying, buying, and selling.

In the days of Noah, earth dwellers were carrying on business as usual right up until the moment that Noah entered the ark and all who were left on earth were swept away by the Flood. In the days of Lot, there was an air of civility, with Lot even serving as a judge at the city gates during the day. At night, however, the depravity ran rampant when homosexual lust turned to voracious, predatory assault. Lot and his family members were removed, and all people who were left behind in the city were consumed by the holocaust from heaven.

Jesus said He will be revealed when conditions are like they were during those times. We have seen that the time when He intervenes into the affairs of mankind as described in Luke 17:26-30 will not be His Second Coming at Armageddon (Revelation 19:11). It will be another, earlier intervention–but catastrophic, nonetheless.

We have pointed out many times in these commentaries the strangeness of the dynamics of our times. Crises are building in many critical aspects of human interaction. We have wondered in amazement at the insanity of the dastardly mismanagement of economic matters by governments around the world. How, we puzzle over, have the economies of America and the world avoided crashing?

Why, despite threats of the destruction of Israel by the likes of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has a preemptive attack on Iran’s nuclear production facilities not occurred? Why, with the tremendous buildup of arms by the many Islamic Israel-haters in obvious preparation for an attack on the Jewish state, has there not been a major blow-up in the Middle East that would disrupt world stability?

Yet the anxieties about the world sitting on a number of powder kegs afflict only a few people, relatively speaking. Except for those who are unemployed in America, for example, it’s business as usual. The majority of people just don’t worry about the precarious position of the nation and the world. The masses are buying, selling, marrying–even men with men and women with women, I might add. And building continues, despite the housing debacle and trillions of dollars of debt wrought by monetary madness such as that found in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Most troubling, the church in America–and I am referring to those who are born again (see John 3: 3)—is, for the most part, oblivious to world conditions that present strong evidence that we are on the brink of the prophesied apocalypse. This makes this generation of Christians precisely the generation I believe Jesus was speaking prophetically to when He said, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).

But, as we have been examining, there are those who are scanning the fearful future. Glenn Beck, the Fox News program host, says he sees coming a man-contrived world economic collapse, hyperinflation, and societal collapse that only patriotic, sound-thinking, even spiritually-inclined Americans can begin to fix. He doesn’t know when it will happen, but, he says, it will happen almost overnight. We will awaken the next morning to a world totally different than what it was before we went to sleep.

Hal Lindsey, the author of The Late, Great Planet Earth, says much the same thing. He foresees, as a part of that feared socioeconomic collapse, severe persecution for Christians in America at some point. Jesus’ words, which I believe speak directly to this generation, present a different picture than Beck’s forecast (and to some extent, than Lindsey’s) regarding things about to break upon a mostly unsuspecting world. My own thoughts that follow are based upon what I believe is wrapped up in the Lord’s forewarning to our generation in Luke 17: 26-30.

Two statements are necessary at this point. First, it is God’s staying hand that prevents the impending calamities outlined in this essay from collapsing America and the world into the worst times in history. Second, if things continue on their present course geopolitically and socioeconomically–and if God takes His hand of control off developments–the collapse feared by Beck, Lindsey, and many others will certainly come at some point. The longer the rebellion-engendered crises build, the more devastating will be the crash when it comes.

I begin my analysis of what lies just ahead in that fearful future about which Beck, Lindsey, and others have conjectured, and over which so many emailers have fretted. Again, I believe that the answers reside cocooned within Jesus’ “days of Noah, days of Lot” prophecy. Now, we apply His analogy to the present generation.

Jesus foretold that human activity will be going along in a business-as-usual manner. God, in one day, will take His family–believers—out of harm’s way. That very day, His judgment and wrath will begin falling on those not taken. To reiterate because the point can’t be overemphasized: If one accepts Christ’s words as true, and as literal, as I do, one must agree that things must be going along as normal for the time when the sudden intervention happens. Jesus plainly says that the generation alive at the time of that divine intervention will be removed to safety before the devastating events of judgment take place.

Both Beck and Lindsey say they believe a world-rending socioeconomic collapse is imminent. Beck, at least, believes the crash and totally changed America and world will be brought about by the diabolical efforts of New-World-Order types like George Soros. Both Beck and Lindsey are recommending that we make preparations to survive that coming time of devastating collapse.

Yet Jesus tells us that it will be business as usual right up until the moment He removes believers from the planet. There is no man-made, worldwide catastrophe in Christ’s prophecy. As a matter of fact, Jesus says all will be relatively normal, in terms of human activity, until that removal. Then He will be revealed by way of His cataclysmic judgment that begins to devastate planet earth. It is God who causes the cataclysm, not George Soros or any other human or other entity. Mankind’s involvement in the whole matter is that of displaying total rebellion and refusing to repent of sin, thus bringing on God’s righteous judgment. One era–the Church Age—comes to an end with the removal of believers. The next era then begins at some point with the confirming of the covenant with Israel, as given in Daniel 9:26-27. That period will be the seven years of Tribulation, the last three and one-half years about which Jesus said: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew24: 21).

Next we will look into the fearful future, specifically as it relates directly to America’s near-term financial destiny and to whether believers will face deadly persecution.

Scanning a Fearful Future: Conclusion 

My disagreement with Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey regarding their statements that they believe America is about to suffer economic, thus societal, collapse is only one of degree. There is absolutely no doubt that collapse is coming. It is how that implosion will eventuate and who will be caught in the carnage that are at the heart of my disagreement.

My divergence from Dr. Lindsey’s fears about the immediate future for America and Christians is of the very mildest sort. I look to God using him in a mighty way during the past decades as validation of his mission being God-ordained. Thus confutation is entered with all due respect. That stated, I must give the reasons I believe Beck and Lindsey’s fears for the immediate future are somewhat off the mark, as far as Bible prophecy is concerned.

Every signal across the geopolitical, socioeconomic, and religious spectrum–even signals involving the geophysical and astrophysical— scream through the sirens of forewarning. We are at the very end of the Church Age–on the brink of the Tribulation. Yet most in America–including most believers in Jesus Christ—are going about business as usual. Except for the relatively few voices forewarning of the impending cataclysm, there is no recognition of or interest in the end-times storm warnings.

Jesus, as we have seen, said human activity will be like it is at present when He next breaks into earth’s history like a thief in the night. Again, we look at the Lord’s words in the book of Matthew:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (Matt 24:36-42)

As we have examined, this break-in upon mankind’s history cannot be describing the Second Advent. It will not be business as usual at that time, when the planet is decimated by wars and God’s judgment and wrath. Jesus is here speaking of the Rapture–His imminent, catastrophic break-in upon earth’s history.

So, we come to our present hour. America is the apex nation of the world. That is, it is the most materially blessed nation and one of the most spiritually blessed nations ever to exist. This, despite the fact that it has degenerated in many ways to become perhaps the most wicked in human history. The United States is so blessed with material wealth that every nation on earth is inextricably linked to its economy in one way or another.

It is true that its dominance is under threat and is eroding quickly. The economic meltdown and unavoidable implosion of America’s monetary hegemony is imminent. But everything of global financial significance still hinges on the health and fate of the American dollar. This is to the great consternation of the people Glenn Beck rails against as wanting to bring the dollar down so that a new monetary regime can be brought to bear on the hapless citizens of what they envision as a Babel-like, one-world order.

Despite incessant assaults, the American economy hasn’t collapsed. It should have by now, but it hasn’t. It is, despite ominous signs ahead, business as usual–just as Jesus said it would be at the end of the age. If America’s economy crashes–as Beck says it will very shortly— the entire world will collapse to rubble. The business-as-usual element of Christ’s prophecy about it being like the days of Noah and Lot would be out the proverbial window.

If the U.S. economy collapsed, taking the world’s buying and selling capability into the darkest times in history, it would take years–if ever–for everything to recover so that things would again come into business-as-usual configuration. Yet the devastating, world-rending collapse is coming. It cannot be stopped. I completely agree with Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey in seeing that coming economic catastrophe in the immediate future. However, I disagree that the folly of man or the deliberate manipulations of human diabolists will bring the fearful disaster. And the disaster will not happen until God’s prophetic timing allows. It will continue to be business as usual despite increasing harbingers of economic calamity. Perhaps conditions will even look like they are improving. But if so, it will be smoke and mirrors–a sham “recovery.” The damage is done. Recovery is impossible.

This all means that Jesus Christ is poised to do exactly what He foretold. The prophetic signals and conditions prevalent in America and the world should have the attention of every believer. Jesus is about to fulfill His glorious promise as recorded in John 14:1-3.

The Rapture, I believe Jesus is telling us, will be the sword of judgment that pierces the building, festering boil of humanistic rebellion. When the Church is taken to heaven, the minds of those left behind who want to control will no longer have restraint on their thoughts and ambitions. There will cease to be a governor on man’s conscience, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8, because the Holy Spirit will allow the evil within mankind to do its dastardly work.

This will be the time–during the chaos of the days immediately after the Rapture—that all of Mr. Beck’s fears will come to fruition. Neither patriots nor anyone else will be able to save America and the world.

Now to try to answer my emailer concerning whether Christians in America will suffer severe, even deadly, persecution, as I infer Hal Lindsey believes. Christians of America in this pre-Rapture time certainly are not immune from persecution–even from the persecution like that suffered by the Christian martyrs of history. However, it would take a horrendous catastrophe–such as the one Beck predicts—for American society to totally turn its back on Christianity, thus to begin physically attacking Christians in the way Lindsey fears might happen.

The Church, with the Restrainer resident within each believer, will continue to be salt and light–to exert influence over America’s societal and cultural conditions. That influence, although observably becoming less and less effective, will be sufficient to prevent all-out, Nazi-like persecution against Christians in this nation.

When the Church-Age saints go to Christ upon His call to them (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 4:1-2), America and the world will be devoid of the Church’s buffering influence. Those who accept Christ during the Tribulation will undergo the most horrific persecution of human history.

Again, if a calamity like the one Beck forecasts were to befall this nation before Christ’s foretold intervention into earth’s history, such a collapse would take the U.S. and the world out of the time of business as usual Jesus said will be in place when He pays the earth that surprise visit.

Jesus was telling us in Luke 17:26-30 and Matthew 24:36-42 specifically about His coming for the Church, and the general time-frame of that event. With all that is in alignment precisely as Jesus and the prophets described, I am convicted in my spirit that now is that time.

Those who haven’t become part of God’s family–believing in Jesus Christ for their personal salvation—face a fearful future indeed. They will be left behind in an instantly changed world gone mad with chaos infinitely worse than even Glenn Beck predicts.

There is still opportunity in this Church Age for the person who hasn’t accepted the Lord Jesus as personal Savior to do so. But time is fleeting. The Rapture could take place at any moment.

Here is what God’s Holy Word, the Bible, has to say to you, if you want to escape from this world that is soon to suffer God’s righteous judgment. Truly follow these instructions from the heart of the God who loves you and wants you to be safe with Him forever. You will then be assured not of a fearful future, but of a future that is fabulous beyond description.

“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).

Early Warning: A “Head’s Up” Before the Rapture? – By Ed Wood

Amos {3:7} Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. 

In the Left Behind series, as well as in many other similar works of both fiction and non-fiction, the Rapture occurs totally by surprise. As a result, airplanes, ships, cars, trains end up being uncontrolled with horrendous results. Of course, this is just the beginning of the terror that sweeps over humanity as millions of people and all of the children before the age of accountability suddenly vanish in the manner that Paul described as such:

1 Corinthians {15:51-52} Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

The word rendered as “twinkling” in English is from the Greek “rhipe” (pronounced “hree-pay”) according to Strong’s Concordance. It compares it to “a jerk of the eye” in the sense of its rapidity.

Taking a quick look through the internet gives various estimates as to how fast that is, all come in at less than a second. At the time Paul wrote his letter, there were no devices capable of measuring small amounts of time accurately as the ones we have today, so it might actually be instantaneous.

Needless to say, the sudden disappearance of millions will be the most universally frightening event humankind has ever experienced up to that point. But will some people be given an early warning shortly before this happens? That’s the possibility we’ll consider in this article. From the opening quote from Amos, I believe it might be the case.

Adam and Eve

From the very beginning of the Bible, God always let someone know what he had in mind. Adam and Eve were told to be the stewards of his creation and to procreate (Genesis 1:28). He also gave them more details including the rule regarding the Tree of Knowledge and the consequences if they did. Well, we all know what happened, right? Adam and Eve could not plead ignorance of the rules. This made their acts those of willful rebellion.

Noah 

Genesis {6:5-8} And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

As we reflect on God’s interactions with the human race, he always let someone know what the deal was before dramatically stepping into history. Let’s take a look at Noah and the Flood. Noah was somewhere between 500 (Genesis 5:32) and just over 600 years old (Genesis 7:11) when God told him to begin working on the Ark. If we consider just how big this ship was (450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall), how much construction material required, and the very basic nature of the tools available, the time required to complete it must have been great. Add to this a steep learning curve because it is unlikely Noah, or any member of his family were professional shipbuilders so this project could have taken decades.

Perhaps just as difficult as the task at hand was dealing with the neighbors. Recall that the society at that time was so bad that God determined it was necessary to wipe it out and start over. I suspect that it was even worse than today, although it seems we are well on the way toward replicating those conditions. Noah and his kin must have had a truly dreadful time dealing with the taunts, maybe even occasional sabotage of this project. (You can get something of the idea by seeing how the world deals with believers today.)

In this instance, God let Noah know what was coming a long time before the Flood was to occur and it seems certain Noah passed the message on, rejection of it notwithstanding. Significantly, God also followed it up with a final alert right before the Deluge was to come. (Genesis 7:1-10) Let’s keep that in mind.

Abraham 

Genesis {18:17, 20-21} And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do . . . And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

The Genesis narrative which follows the above quotation recounts the discussion between Abraham and God concerning the latter’s decision to destroy those two cities. That the Lord would consider sparing them if only ten “righteous” people were found in them is a clear demonstration of his mercy and reluctance to inflict a “scorched earth” policy (literally, in this case) even upon people who so richly deserved it. Yet he also knew, in his omniscience, that there was one man and his immediate family who would not roll over for the evil of their society. Out of all the people in those desperately wicked cities, only four were found to be worth saving.

Lot

Genesis {19:15-16} And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.  And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. 

Lot and his family got advanced notice about the destruction God was about to send on Sodom and Gomorrah, just a matter of hours ahead of time. Lot even warned his sons-in-law, but it appears they had the same attitude about it that Noah’s contemporaries did. As a result, only Lot, his wife, and their two daughters got out. Unfortunately, only three were to ultimately survive because Lot’s wife paused to look back upon the destruction and was killed in the process. Once again, there was a warning right before the event. 

The Israelites in Egypt

Exodus {11:1} And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague [more] upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let [you] go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. 

For over 400 years, the Israelites had resided in Egypt, initially as a small family of refugees welcomed by its pharaoh because of his high regard for Joseph, Jacob’s son who had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. Over the centuries, their descendants “lived long and prospered” to such an extent as to cause great fear concerning them to arise in the mind of the increasingly hostile Egyptian ruler of Moses’ time. To deal with this perceived threat, this pharaoh imposed harsh labor upon the Israelites for beginners, culminating in infanticide as his paranoia grew.

Moses miraculously escaped the pharaoh’s edict and was adopted into his household. After learning of his heritage and killing an Egyptian in defense of a fellow Hebrew, he escaped into the desert and ended up in a land where he received his assignment from God to return and free his people – a task he only reluctantly accepted. I’m sure his reticence was further reinforced when he found that even his own people didn’t initially believe him when he got back to Egypt. (Exodus 5:20-23).

Nevertheless, he persisted with them and, at the same time, warned the pharaoh what would happen if he refused to let the people go – backing it up with unmistakable supernatural signs as evidence. Now if one wants to find fault with the Egyptian leader’s obstinacy, recall that such stubbornness was to be a recurring theme on the part of his own people as Moses led his people for forty years across the wilderness.

Oh, by the way, don’t forget that God did give Moses a final “heads up” in Genesis 11, telling him that after one final plague (the one that would kill all the first-born in Egypt, human and animal) the pharaoh would at last yield and let his people go.

A Pattern of Disclosure

The Bible itself is an on-going revelation of God, first to the Jews, and then to the rest of the human race. It words and warnings have persisted across thousands of years of history. But it doesn’t stop there because it also shows us what’s ahead of our own time. We’ve already seen the God provide long- term warnings and often short-term ones in the examples above. The Bible contains many more such occurrences, but I think these fairly disclose the pattern. Regarding the way the world will be in the Last Days, we’ve already been given a long-term look ahead in both the Old and New Testaments, but will there also be a more immediate warning just before the Rapture itself?

The Big Question 

Joel {2:28} And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

This exact line was quoted by Peter at the very beginning of the Church (Acts 2:14-17), and I am certain this has continued in the intervening 2000 years. Will our “sons and daughters” prophesy and our old men “dream dreams” to a much greater degree as we watch our world slipping ever faster into the darkness which promises to intensify into the worst time in human history (Matthew 24:21)? Will extraordinary times produce extraordinary experiences? It is my belief that they very well might.

It seems that, for the most part, the world rolls along in a manner of “sameness” much as wise King Solomon described in Ecclesiastes:

Ecclesiastes {1:5-9} The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea [is] not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. All things [are] full of labour; man cannot utter [it:] the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.  The thing that hath been, it [is that] which shall be; and that which is done [is] that which shall be done: and [there is] no new [thing] under the sun.

Except for changes in technology and specifics, we humans pretty much travel the same route across the centuries. People are born, live their lives, have families, and die. Their descendants do the same thing. Yet every once in a while, we see something unprecedented during which God needs to directly intervene and make possible the “impossible,” such as in the examples given earlier.

Yet those events all pale in comparison to that one-time God literally stepped onto our world as one of us in the man, Jesus Christ. From that miraculous event, the world has never been the same. I think it is very possible that in the very near future, the world will again be profoundly changed when Jesus himself steps into history again to take his own off this disintegrating planet when he calls us to meet him up in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Once we are safely gone, God will initiate on those left behind the kind of judgment and justice this fallen race has earned by continually ignoring all the warnings God has provided by those chosen across the ages to be his messengers.

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

End-of-the-world predictions have probably been going on since the first humans encountered something drastic occurring in their environment. Volumes could be written on these alone. Limiting our range to “end of the world” date predictions, here are just three examples of “fake prophetic news:”

William Miller: October 22, 1844 (Nope!)

Harold Camping: End of 1994, May 5, 2011 (Sorry, Mr. C. – wrong on both counts!)

Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses): 1925 (Obviously not!)

Jesus himself warned us of this sort of thing in the Olivet Discourse. False prophecy and prophets were the first items he listed. Some of these deceivers would even claim to be him:

Matthew {24:4} And Jesus answered and said unto them*, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. [*His followers.] 

Mark {13:5} And Jesus answering them* began to say, Take heed lest any [man] deceive you: For

many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ;] and shall deceive many. [*His followers.]

Luke {21:8} And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ;] and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

How, then, do we determine which, if any, modern messages and those delivering them concerning the coming of the Rapture itself will be valid? Here is my own two-step litmus test:

1) Does the prediction go against anything Scriptural? If it does, then it fails the ultimate test. ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). In this regard, be a Berean! (Acts 17:10-11)

2) Has the person or organization made an inaccurate prediction before? If it does, then he, she, or it is unreliable. Pay no attention. (Deuteronomy 18:22)

Feel free to add more qualifiers to your own list, but I suggest that the two above are a good place to starting. 

Conclusion 

As we can see, God always makes sure that his messages and warnings find their way to those to whom he intended. Whether or not they are accepted by the general populace, and, tragically, often they are not, is totally up to each individual.

Significantly for us, Jesus specifically warned that the condition of the world again be like those of Noe (Noah) and Lot (Luke 17:26-29). The growing and accelerating immersion of society into evil echoes the former, and its acceptance of sexual deviancy replicates that of the latter. Furthermore, research into the genetic manipulation of living organisms brings forth a very real potential of replicating the kind of Nephilim hybrids which lived on Earth just prior to the Flood (Genesis 6:1-4).

Does this mean that we are presently on the verge of a time when God will find it necessary to once again intervene? If this is so, isn’t it possible, more than that – probable – that he will choose modern-day messengers to receive and disseminate a final warning just before the that intervention, namely, the Rapture?

Jesus said:

Luke {21:28} And when these things* begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. *Refers to all the signs he himself and the Bible told us about the Last Days.

Last Question 

Are you ready to receive and accept such a message today?

Jacob’s Trouble 666 – Life Imitates Art

Going through the news, the headline jumped at me in a startling jolt. Life does indeed imitate art—for certain when it comes to Bible prophecy.

“Whole Foods Ushering in Mark of the Beast with New Palm-Scanning Payment System”

The headline instantly took my thoughts to my first novel, which I started writing in about 1977 and was initially published much later, in 1999. Jacob’s Trouble 666 is the title, and it’s still available on Amazon.com in reprint.

The book was an attempt to portray through fiction what life might be like for the world and particularly for Jewish people during the earlier time in the Tribulation era. Even though the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7) is about the last half of the Tribulation, my story covered basically the first half of the seven-year Tribulation period, following the Rapture. I envisioned—or tried to—the technologies as they might develop by the time that cruel moment of horror inflicts Antichrist rule upon the planet.

Here is a portion of that story written sometime around 1979, as I recall.

An old man shuffled tentatively into the checkout lane, avoiding the gaze of the checker. His broad head was bowed as if he sought to hide beneath the upturned collar of the ragged gray coat he wore. “You got an IN, mister?” Her question cut the air in a tone of disgust.

“Yes… Yes… See here.” The man let his eyes meet hers fleetingly while he pulled back the sleeve on his right arm and moved his hand to a position beneath the countertop Decode scanner, activating an ultraviolet light which made visible a bar code tattooed on the back of his hand. At the same time, the number appeared on the INRU screen:

5DD197920- J

Looking at the screen, the checker pushed a button, and data was added to the display.

5D019792O-J IN5DR – O – CREDIT LINE – D

“You don’t have any drawing rights, Jew! Take these and put them back where they belong!”

The little man shrunk deeper into the oversized coat, although he made a meek protest. “Please— but madam, I…”

“Just get these things back on the shelves, Jew!” She shoved the items roughly at him, cursing beneath her breath. Her outburst drew the attention of others in the Product Center and caused the controller to stiffen to alertness from his position near the exit.

While all eyes were on the frightened man, he moved from the counter and nervously replaced the foodstuffs on their various shelves. His face taking on the bloodless look of a man terminally ill, his only wish was to be gone from the Product Center.

“Are you Jew?” The controller collared him, snarling the question through clenched teeth.

“Answer me, old man!”

He slammed the smaller man hard against a nearby wall, then pushed his elbow into the captive’s throat. Unable to answer and growing dizzy because of pressure exerted on his windpipe, the man ceased to struggle against his powerful captor, who jerked and ripped at the overcoat, sending buttons flying when the coat tore open.

The controller pulled the coat apart, exposing a yellow, thread-stitched Star of David on the gray, tattered shirt.

“Why are you hiding this?” the angry policeman demanded, jabbing his finger into the center of the symbol. “You know it’s forbidden to conceal being Jew!”

Here’s the link to the novel.

JACOB’S TROUBLE – 666

The news item, then, as I say, jumped out and smacked my realization. We are at a point no doubt even past the technological development stage of the AI and other advancements which I tried to imagine back then. The following news item excerpt maybe will further enlighten.

Thanks to its acquisition by Amazon, Whole Foods Market is quickly morphing into the grocery store of the New World Order with a new cashless payment system that allows customers to wave their palm over a scanning machine in order to pay for their food.

Instead of having to hand over cash or a credit card, Whole Foods customers can simply wave their hand (and maybe soon their forehead?) through the machine and voila: purchase made.

According to an Amazon FAQ, the palm-scanning technology analyzes “the minute characteristics of your palm – both surface-area details like lines and ridges as well as subcutaneous features such as vein patterns” in order to identify a customer and allow for rapid purchase.

This biometric scanning tool is branded as a faster, easier alternative to paying with a credit card or cash.

The system is officially called Amazon One and it allows for Amazon Prime users to link their accounts and receive discounts and other promotions every time they opt to wave their palm through a kiosk at Whole Foods rather than pay with cash or a credit card… The ultimate goal is to completely phase out paper and coin currency and replace it with a cashless system. Amazon via Whole Foods is paving the way for this by testing out the new system at its Seattle locations. (“Whole Foods Ushering in Mark of the Beast with New Palm-Scanning Payment System,” NaturalNews.com, RR News  April 30, 2021)

Technology has caught up to and surpassed my imagination, it is obvious. Bible prophecy manifests for all who are willing to believe God’s truth that the Creator of all things knows the end from before the foundation of this now-fallen world. Life doesn’t really imitate art. Bible prophecy presents life in a story filled with truth only the God of Heaven can foretell.

The end-times electronic economic system of controlling the masses was written about by the Holy Spirit-inspired pen of John the Revelator on the Isle of Patmos.

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Revelation 13:16–18)

Let’s pay attention to developments all around us. It is only upon doing this that we can truly anticipate the call we who belong to Christ can expect to hear soon.

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) 

The Great Awakening?

Recently, a well-known evangelist was saying on the TV program he and his wife host that a Great Awakening is comingThis is what I’ve heard over the months since the time the 2020 presidential election approached. “The Great Awakening is on its way” continues to be the declaration by many of the conservative ilk in the arena of government, politics, and the ideological arena of societal and cultural thought.

By this, these proponents of that belief, I infer, mean that the people of the world—particularly those of the United States—will awaken en masse to the evil the radical leftists of the world and nation are perpetrating.

This was the first time, however, that I heard a person I considered to be a truly believing Christian leader of his spiritual magnitude say that a Great Awakening is on the way. I must be fair and tell you that I didn’t listen to the program, so can’t say for certain what he meant by the term; I can only say that he and his wife had as their guest that morning Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas. They were going to talk about Dr. Jeffress book involving Bible prophecy, so I presume the term the host used in his promotion means the same Great Awakening in general, as predicted by the secular proponents of the matters involved in that term. Whether the TV show host was referring to a geopolitical/cultural/societal awakening or one of a spiritual nature, I don’t know.

The fact is, though, that the term “the Great Awakening” is used more and more often in venues outside of mainstream media. The people favoring things proposed by the term look for there to be an uprising by the vast majority. These will, it is believed, grow in such resistance and opposition to the so-called “woke” movement and all attendant to that insanity that the evil it all represents will be forced back into the proverbial box that restrains such deviation from normalcy.

In the world of those who are Bible believers, I perceive a mindset that equates the term “Great Awakening” with the matter many believe is a coming, worldwide revival. These declare that before Christ’s return at Armageddon there will be a tremendous turning to God. In some cases, they declare that a great multitude of souls will be saved in this predicted revival movement.

Many among those who believe that we are seeing a “Great Awakening” in the spiritual sense thought that Donald Trump’s election and subsequent support for faith-based causes was the onset of this “revival.” The economy and many social and cultural changes were, it seemed, poised for things improving to the point that America would be made great again in the sense the Founding Fathers intended. We were to again become a “Christian” nation, as in America’s founding. We wanted to get back to thinking more of the good of everyone rather than the uplifting of the few who rule rather than govern.

That altruistic outlook was a noble one. That was something worthy of longing for, even though the nation has never been truly a “Christian” nation in the purest sense. There have always been the bad and ugly to go along with the good. But the Make America Great Again movement came to a jolting halt with the sudden appearance of COVID-19.

Suddenly, the globalist agenda continues to be on the rise. The insanity represented by the proposals and demands the radical left envisioned for America—which we thought could never be accepted by normal people—became the track the nation seems be following to its perhaps fatal detriment.

So it seems that whether considering the term “the Great Awakening” or the term “great end-times revival,” either’s trajectory is on track to eventuate as thought. The movement is in the opposite direction.

The way things are tracking, however, is in sync with Bible prophecy for the end of the age.

Again, for those who are new as readers of our commentaries, the pre-Trib view of Bible prophecy is that before the Tribulation (the last seven years of this Age of Grace, or Church Age) arrives, Jesus Christ will call all believers to Himself in what is called the Rapture.  Paul the great apostle foretells this in 1 Corinthians 4:51–55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18. Jesus first gave indication of this great event in John 14:1–3, and later gave the promise to us through John in Revelation 3:10.

Jesus, while on the Mount of Olives, just before His crucifixion, answered His disciples as to when He would return and the signs of His return. He gave a number of signals to look for, which we have covered many times.

He said that when we see these things (stage-setting signs) begin to come to pass we are to look up and lift up our heads for our redemption is drawing near.

We’ve given details over and over about the Tribulation (Daniel’s seventieth week). It will be a terrible time, Jesus forewarned, such as never was before, nor will ever be again.

These issues and events are literally in every direction and are proliferating exponentially. We are not witnessing things that look as if we can anticipate a “Great Awakening.” Things don’t in any way appear that people, either the lost or believers in Christ, are turning en masse to God in complete repentance, obedience, or worship.

I wish I could report that I observe otherwise, but I cannot. Just as Paul foretold, evil men and seducers are getting worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. The reprobate mindset prophesied by Paul in Romans 1:28 is front and center through our headlines.

All that said, there is good news, however. God the Father in Heaven and God the Holy Spirit, who is everywhere all the time, is at work restraining wickedness at every level throughout this evil sphere.  As bad as it seems, all is being prepared for God the Son—the Lord Jesus Christ—to make His appearance and put an end to the madness into which the world is devolving.

Heaven’s Great Awakening is just around the corner of Bible prophecy. For believers in Christ, that much-wished-for end-times revival is but one twinkling-of-an-eye moment away. The Rapture will bring for each and every child of God an awakening the likes of which is beyond fully knowing at this darkening, earthly moment.

Every believer of this Church Age who has died will, in that glorious moment, awaken to new life that is everlasting. Those who are alive at that instant will have all senses awaken to fantastic vistas that were beyond comprehension while in these earth-bound bodies.

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)

Golden Cup or Cankering Cesspool?

Disturbing statistics about the nation I love bring again to mind the question: Why is America not mentioned in Bible prophecy?

It is the apex nation of history so far as concerns achieving material wealth and moving forward technology that defines the term “modernity.” America has been, as we’ve noticed on many occasions, among history’s most spiritually blessed and God-centered nation-states. Of course, we’re quick to recognize and state the obvious. That seems now a thing—for recent generations, at least—of the distant past.

Every day and in most every way it can be said that the US as currently constituted has turned our back on God and most things of the Heaven-directed sort. We watch on an hourly news-cycle basis while the political power wielders who committed electoral larceny work incessantly at trying to take apart this nation one constitutional safeguard after another. And they do so without seemingly significant push-back from all but a very few.

Sadly, it appears that a majority of we the people, rather than oppose things going on to destroy this once-great republic, just fall in line like proverbial lemmings. Evidence of this acquiescence is the very large number of people who accept an almost totally unproven and non-FDA approved vaccine. With government-engineered, fear-engendered COVID-19 at the center of the coercion, they are willing to give in to government directives to comply, if they want to be able to be American citizens in the same sense as before the so-called pandemic. Only, there is little chance of that ever being allowed to happen. Implied in this government demand that all be vaccinated with an unproven injection is that a vaccine passport is forthcoming. All will have to have it—or else stay sequestered within the confines of one’s home, I presume.

I don’t intend by this rant to advise in any way that one should or should not take the vaccine. That is a personal decision (at this point at least.) I’m more than implying, however, that I object strenuously to government, by proxy, forcing us to be jabbed, as it is termed by some.

I say “by proxy” because the politicians, very wise in their end-times deceit and treachery, are in league with big-business interests. They will, no doubt, let the business entities take the blame for requiring the vaccine passports that are undoubtedly on the way.

This is to say that in the near future you might not be allowed to go to Walmart or any other place to shop, or ride in public conveyance without your papers—yes, much like Nazi Germany began the Reign of Terror during der Führer’s rise to dictatorship.

The papers of vaccination are the new normal the powers that be want us to accept. And this while Dr. Anthony Fauci says we need to keep the masks on in public and avoid gathering.

All this, in my view of Bible prophecy, demonstrates the terrible effects of turning one’s back on God, which we mentioned at the beginning.

Is America the Babylon of Revelation 18? This is a query we’ve been over many times here, and others have explored on many occasions in Bible prophecy studies. I’ve indicated that I believe there are parallels that are hard to dismiss between that doomed, future city-state that will be destroyed in one hour and our beloved America. Time factors show, in my view, that it would be hard for another all-dominating empire-type state such as America has been to develop in the area of ancient Babylon—if Christ’s return is close.

I don’t hold that America and the prophesied Babylon are one and the same. I simply weasel out by saying it looks to me like there is a possibility that they are.

And when I see the description in Revelation chapter 18—“has been a golden cup in God’s hand”—I think of this Heaven-blessed nation.

As stated many times, we have spread the Gospel—carried out the Great Commission—as no other nation to ever exist. We have been blessed with the technology and travel capability to do so.

America has blessed God’s chosen nation Israel as no other nation has blessed that people. The US was instrumental in bringing about Israel’s rebirth in 1948 and has stood as a sort of big brother to protect the Jewish state since.

This blessing of Israel, too, is now on the dangerous side of down-trending with the Biden administration and a seeming increasing hostility toward Benjamin Netanyahu and the Jewish state.

The “golden cup” nation called America, it seems, is now cankering—rusting and deteriorating by the day. As a matter of fact, it has become rather a cesspool of Sodom-like activity in a significant way.

The following somewhat frames this truth.

There are a lot of things that we want America to be great at, but spreading sexually-transmitted diseases is not one of them.

And the numbers tell us that cases have been rising at a particularly frightening pace since 2015…

For 2019, health departments across the U.S. reported 1.8 million cases of Chlamydia, an almost 20% increase since 2015; 616,392 cases of gonorrhea, more than 50% higher than 2015, and 129,813 cases of all stages of syphilis, a whopping 70% increase, the CDC said.

So why is this happening?

Well, an NPR article on this subject is pointing out that dating apps have made finding casual sex easier than ordering a pizza…

There are many factors that contribute to the rise of STDs, and syphilis in particular.

In the gay community in San Francisco, for example, the rise of mobile dating apps like Grindr and Tinder made finding a date “faster than getting pizza delivered to your home,” says Dan Wohlfeiler, an STD prevention specialist and co-founder of Building Healthy Online Communities, which uses these apps to improve gay men’s health.

These dating apps are particularly popular among young people and in the gay community, and this is clearly showing up in the case numbers…

Additionally, gay and bisexual men and younger people also faced an increased burden. According to the report, gay and bisexual men made up nearly half of all 2019 primary and secondary syphilis cases and had gonorrhea rates that were 42 times higher than heterosexual men in some areas, whereas people aged 15 to 24 years accounted for 61% of chlamydia cases and 42% of gonorrhea cases.

It is important to keep in mind that chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are just three pieces of a much larger puzzle.

According to the CDC, there are dozens of STDs currently spreading in the United States.  Approximately 20 million new STD infections occur in the U.S. every single year, and at any moment in time approximately 110 million Americans are dealing with a sexually-transmitted disease. (“We’re #1”: Yet Another Ignominious All-Time Record High Is Established In The Late, Great United States,” by Tyler Durden (article by Michael Snyder), ZeroHedge, April 15, 2021)

America, in significant, wicked ways, has now become like the sexually debauched days of Sodom of Lot’s day. There seems no turning back, although we should pray and work toward that changed trajectory.

This all means that Jesus, and His time for stepping out on the clouds of Glory to call His Church to be with Him, might be even at the door of Heaven. We who are called by His Holy Name can take comfort from His own Words. We can take comfort because all we are seeing might mean that things are now like they were in Lot’s day when God intervened. The next Intervention, I believe Jesus is saying, will be the 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 17:28–29)

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