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Gates of Hell Prophecy

Often we overlook much prophetic truth when we read and study God’s Word. The Bible is without limits in its rich wisdom available to be mined. The Creator’s purpose in giving His Word to the human race is to provide direction for living in the most abundant way possible.

Jesus Christ is that WordThe last book of the Bible—Revelation—is the unveiling of Jesus in all His power, glory and majesty.

Prophecy—telling of the future—resides at the heart of that Word. The promises issued from the holy pages guarantee eternal life for each person ever to be born who genuinely accepts God’s grace-given redemption from sin through belief in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Godhead, whom God the Father sees as the nucleus around which all things hold together:

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16–17)

So, with it established that the Lord Jesus is preeminent in all things, we come back to the opening statement to add that one truth we often overlook deals most directly with the next prophecy to be fulfilled—the Rapture of the church.

Jesus spoke about this commentary’s primary topic—the gates of Hell. Although the disciples He was speaking to really had no concept of what He was referring to, the prophecy and its details have been coming to pass ever since—and are now set for fulfillment.

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:15–18)

They didn’t understand the concept of “the church;” at that point they were totally ignorant of that “structure” Jesus prophesied to be built. But built it was, and it is still under construction as each person who comes to salvation is added.

The specific part of this prophecy I want to look at in perhaps a new way is wrapped within the phrases “my church,” “the gates of hell,” and “shall not prevail against it.”

My study of how God deals with people–including believers—in different dispensations leads me to conclude that there are entirely different fates awaiting believers in Christ. And I’m talking about physical fate, not spiritual/eternal fate.

In terms of eternal fate, the gates of hell cannot and will not prevail or win against any believer in Jesus Christ. All believers, of every dispensation, will enjoy the bliss and exultation of Heaven forever. But in terms of physical fatebelievers are prophetically scheduled to meet differing destinies.

Here is something we’ve looked at before, but still is not the primary point I wish to address.

Jesus said in Matthew 16, as we’ve read above, that He will build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. That has turned out to be the dispensation we call the Church Age. This began at Pentecost, as recorded in Acts chapter 2, when the Holy Spirit came to indwell believers. (I’m aware there are those who believe the church began along the shores of Galilee when Jesus began His ministry.)

On the other hand, the same Jesus, in His ascended form, gave the following prophecy to John to write in the Revelation.

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)   

So it is plain that in the physical sense, Satan (his Antichrist) will overcome—prevail against—the saints (believers in Christ). But the gates of hell, referring to Satan’s evil domain, will not prevail over the church. The devil will never be able to physically or spiritually totally overcome or destroy Christ’s Bride, the church.

Now to get to that nuance of examination I hope will help make clear just how important this promise to the church—all believers of the Church Age—really is.

My friend Jonathan Cahn, in his most recent book, The Return of the Gods, points to the spiritually and even physically observable reality that portals of the demonic sort have been somewhat opened in these obviously manifest times of insane, anti-god activity. We’ve examined many of the bizarre manifestations over and over in these columns, but I will only repeat that it looks like God is in the process of turning rebellious human beings over to a reprobate mindset—to demented, upside-down thinking, as Paul prophesied in Romans chapter 1:

I’m in agreement with Jonathan. And I believe these portals equate to Jesus’ reference to the gates of Hell. Those gates are opening wider by the day, it seems. The demonic minions from those portals, as well as the human minions that are anti-God, intend to completely erase all vestiges of the true Christian church from the planet.

That will never happen. The very God who created all that exists has said so: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it”—the church Jesus Christ is still building.

I’m convinced that the moment the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit) lifts His hand of restraint against these hellish forces, all believers will go to the Lord Jesus when He says: “Come up hither!” (Revelation 4:1). 

The church cannot and will not be on planet earth when those gates of Hell are fully opened and allowed to overcome the saints of the Tribulation era (those saved following the Rapture). We have Christ’s Word on that wonderful promise.

With all the wickedness deluging this time on earth, the end is about to come like a flood (Daniel 9:26). The gates of hell will soon swing fully open, bringing the most horrible, deadliest time of human history, according to the Lord (Matthew 24:21).

But you and I, if we know Christ for salvation, don’t have to worry for a second about being here to face that time. Jesus said He will keep us out of that hour of horror (Revelation 3: 10). To be sure you are a part of the church that will be taken out before that Tribulation era begins, follow Paul’s Holy Spirit-given instructions.

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)

Foreshadowing Foretellings

Again we consider the words of the greatest of all prophets. He is the greatest of all prophets, of course, because He is God.

The words of Jesus Christ are reverberating today to all who are familiar with end-of-the-age signals. And one instruction the Lord Himself gave for this very generation, I’m convinced, is the most significant. It is the “heads-up”  we’ve looked at continually for months and even years.

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)

Jesus had just stunned His disciples, telling them that the beautiful Temple they were looking at would be completely thrown down. The Lord then addressed the questions Peter, James, John, and Andrew had asked: Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?” (Mark 13:4).

We’ve gone over the Olivet Discourse many times, learning all of the things Jesus said would come to pass. He told of the horrors of the coming Tribulation, the arrival of Antichrist, and the plight of the Jewish people at the time of the Great Tribulation.

But let’s remember that Jesus wasn’t limited to only prophesying things that were scheduled for fulfillment. Concerning Jesus Christ, we are told: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).

Every single prophecy in God’s Word, no matter the prophet through whom it is given, is a foretelling by the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Word! So whether we’re considering the prophecy given under Ezekiel’s watch, or those given under the Apostle Paul’s, or those presented by anyone else in Scripture, it is the same as the Lord Himself speaking.

When Jesus left us with the command to “look up and lift up your head” when “you see all these things begin to come to pass,” He was saying that we should pay close attention to every prophecy for the end of the age. He was directing believers to carefully observe all prophetic signals when we know these things are beginning to happen, because, at that time, He is on the very cusp of calling all of His children to Himself.

So we look now at the title of our commentary: “Foreshadowing Foretellings.”

Jesus said we will “see these things begin to come to pass” (Luke 21: 28). He didn’t say “if” we see them come to pass. He was telling obedient believers who “watch,” as given in Mark 13:37, that we will know He is drawing near when we see things prophesied for the end of the age “begin” to come to pass.

Observation of these signals involves “foreshadowing of foretellings” found throughout the Word of God. We’ve looked—in practically every blog, article, and book I’ve written—at how things are precisely setting the stage for fulfillment of prophecy.

We’ve looked at the events and issues of these times that foreshadow the formation of the New World Order; we’ve seen the forming Babylonian beast that both Daniel and John said casts a darkening cloud of coming horrors upon the geopolitical landscape at this late hour.

We’ve gone over Israel’s rebirth into modernity and the prophecies surrounding that miracle. We have examined the headlines involving Israel’s enemies to the north as foreshadowing the Gog-Magog attack Ezekiel foretold.

The man of sin’s platform of world power seems almost ready for Antichrist’s ascendance.

We recently looked at the world’s governmental and religious leaders now coming together at the traditional Mount Sinai (Sharm El Sheikh) in Egypt—to pay homage to the planet by bringing their unholy machinations to bear in their insane efforts to save Mother Earth. We thereby see the foreshadowing of the false worship system of Revelation chapter 17—the whore that rides the beast foretold by Daniel (chapter 7) and John (Revelation chapter 13).

Time and time again, we ‘ve gone over the cultural and societal wickedness that has saturated our nation and the world with Sodom and Gomorrah-like evil. These blasphemous, debased developments foreshadow Jesus’ prophetic words of Luke 17: 6–30.

A number of personalities arising in world leadership seem to foreshadow entities foretold to appear at the end of the age.

Vladimir Putin of Russia, for example, seems to have the characteristics of the one who will be the “Gog” Ezekiel described. And all circumstances surrounding what’s going on in the Middle East and with Mr. Putin add to the intrigues regarding the possible soon fulfillment of the Gog-Magog prophecy.

And now I find most interesting the 33-year-old Jewish rabbi who is praised and even worshipped in some Jewish Orthodox circles. Rav Shlomo Yehuda is believed to be a miracle-worker who can quote the Torah and other Jewish holy scrolls with instant and total recall. He has been filmed performing healing and other miracles, according to reports.

Whether or not he might turn out to be the False Prophet—the second beast of Revelation chapter 13—his appearance at this time certainly is a false Messiah-type foreshadowing. That is, it seems to foreshadow Jesus’ foretelling about deceivers who would come in His name as the time of His return nears.

Jesus told Israel that they would reject Him, but would accept as Messiah another who would come in His name.

When I began my novel a number of months ago—MESSIAH and the Prince That Shall Come, this candidate for that end-times partner of Antichrist wasn’t in view.

Jesus’ words about these things beginning to come to pass are now on a fast track. Let us follow his directive!

But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (Mark 13:32–37)

Prophetically Appointed Day and Hour

Each passing second, advancing history goes deeper into the unknown for much—maybe for most—of the world’s population. From that unknown boils fear. The fear Is steeped in self-conjured premonition that the evilest things imaginable will soon engulf life, bringing devastation and even death.

It is the feeling of impending doom, of something dreadful lurking just ahead. In terms of Greek mythology, it’s the sword of Damocles hanging overhead threatening to decapitate the fearful.

Probably you’ve had that feeling, but maybe not as intensely as described above. I’ve certainly had moments when I had a sense that something bad is about to happen.

For me, the dread, thankfully, has never played out. The anxiety soon passes, and sometimes even a sense of joyful anticipation resides where the fear sat just a short time before.

For others, the premonitions have seemed to play out in worst-case scenario.

At this moment, even for those who are Bible-believing, born again people of God, the times are producing such fear. I know this because I get emails in which people share their worries about what’s on the horizon that will affect their lives and the lives of those they love.

Usually the alarm is expressed through questions such as: Do you think there will be a time of martyrdom for Christians before the Rapture?

Of course, what most writers really mean by that question, I suppose, is: Do you think Christians in America will face martyrdom before the Rapture?

Another question I often get is: Do you think there will be a World War III before we are raptured?

With all the reports of some of America’s powerful enemies preparing for war, we’ll think about that last question in particular a bit more deeply.

As we’ve looked at more than once in this column, it looks like the current American government and the so-called Western allies are doing much to provoke such a nuclear conflict. Rather than looking to ask Mr. Putin to sit down with the Ukrainian leadership—which itself seems to be a complicit partner in poking the nuclear bear—the United States is sending elite forces such as the 101st Airborne into places near the bear’s cave.

And, while that once-unthinkable move—provoking toward war rather than toward peace—brings the world closer to unleashing the nuclear genie, China leers Westward.

As amazing as this administration’s actions are in seeming to make Russia do something Putin obviously doesn’t want to do at this time, even more amazingly, the entire US diplomatic machinery all but totally ignores the threat China poses.

The US Navy has a presence in the South China Sea and purports to be a buffer against China invading Taiwan. But, in reality, with Taiwan being just miles from the Chinese mainland, it would take nothing short of nuclear weapons to offer any hope of dealing with such an assault. And, in that regard, China is as equipped as American forces. So it is feared that the US couldn’t win such a conflict due to having to confront China in its own backyard.

There’s good reason for many of us to be anxious, as that deadly sword is indeed hanging over our heads, based upon just these geopolitical realities. It seems as if everything is out of control—as if even the top leaders on both sides of the nuclear threat have little interest in a peaceful resolution to prevent WWIII.

But for those who know what God’s Word has to say about how things end up, the fears of nuclear holocaust this side of the Rapture don’t need to reach the level of trepidation I described earlier. That’s because of the thought wrapped up in the title: “Prophetically Appointed Day and Hour.”

We’ve incessantly gone over the Gog-Magog war prophesied by Ezekiel and how Russia is destined to lead that assault. There has even been speculation that Putin might be the one who will be indwelt by the Gog spirit at the time of that invasion against Israel. Although I have to say here that while he is a known dictator and a KGB operative from the Soviet days, Putin seems in many ways more honorable than a number of the Western leaders who foment globalist surreptition.

If there is all-out nuclear war, neither Putin nor Russia would be available to take part in that Gog-Magog attack—that is, not if the assault is scheduled to take place soon. God, Himself, is going to take care of that invasion force. And, while He could use nuclear force to take care of business, the description given by Ezekiel seems to be that God has scheduled a supernatural fire from Heaven, like in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah.

God’s schedule is key in considering why believers don’t need to sense that dreaded sword of destructiveness.

We see this by looking at the great book of prophecy that God has given us so we can know how things play out.

China is at the heart of God’s final dealing with humankind’s rebellion, I’m convinced. We can see clearly that the massive nation continues to build in every way toward becoming the head of the hegemonic force that will kill a third of the world’s population during the Tribulation. John, the prophet chosen to present the Revelation, terms this force “the kings of the East.

I call China the “king of the kings of the East. That nation is, I believe, scheduled to gather all others within its Oriental orbit for the movement to the Euphrates—the apparent barrier separating the Oriental and Occidental worlds.

Their 200-million-man army will, John said, be possessed by demons that have been kept beneath that area for a certain prophetic moment. It will be the time appointed by God, who knows and controls all things from beginning to end. Here is what He says about that horrendous army from the East:

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. (Revelation 9:13–16)

John also said:

And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. (Revelation 16:12)

The reason believers shouldn’t fear all-out nuclear war is tied up in John’s statement in Revelation 9:15:

And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year.

Just as Russia is scheduled to come against Israel, the kings of the East have been scheduled by God Himself to cause—because of His righteous judgment—massive deaths across the world. He has appointed the “hour,” “day,” “month,” and “year” when it will happen. It is the God of all there is, not human warmongers, who will control when death and destruction on a massive scale will occur.

Meantime, we have been promised that we’ll be kept from that appointed time:

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:10)  

It becomes more evident by the hour that the world is quickly headed toward the Tribulation storm. That’s what our new book, TRAJECTORY: Tracking the Approaching Tribulation Storm, is all about HERE

You don’t want to be left on this judgment-bound planet when that storm begins. Here’s how to go to Jesus Christ and heavenly shelter before that judgment falls.

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)

Endure Unto the End

Author’s note: This article, written some years earlier, perhaps more than when written puts focus on the times God’s Word speaks to in regard to being faithful to completing the mission and the assignments the Lord has placed us here to accomplish.

Vince Lombardi, the famous Green Bay Packer coach of the 1960s, known for his draconian training regimen in preparing his players, said: “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” He put his observation to practical use against his opponents by making sure it was the opponents, not his team members, who were fatigued by game’s end. Each Packer player was totally spent at the end of each practice session;  the coach and the players left all they had on the field of preparation.

When strength was returned and fully pumped up on game day, there was more than enough to overpower those not as intensively conditioned. The result was a championship team that continues to be memorialized in sports lore all of these years later. There was no team that could match Lombardi’s Packers when the fatigue set in during the later stages of the games they played during the height of their power. There were teams that could match their natural athletic abilities, but none could match their endurance.

The game was won by the intensive time of preparation as much as it was won on the actual field of play.

The use of the above sports analogy is not far-fetched. Paul, the great champion for taking the gospel of Christ forth, used just such an analogy to describe his life, death, and glorious future in God’s kingdom:

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6–8).

Paul, it is obvious by studying his writings, was a sports fan. He used things like running a race, beating the air, finishing the course, and other terms that give us insight to the fact that he at least took interest in the society of his day. That society was one filled with sports activities, and would have been a natural area of subject matter for the great teacher to interject as he presented the gospel and matters of Bible doctrine.

The games of the day included Olympic-type events. The races in particular turned on the cheers of fans of the day. Crowns of laurels (formed from leaves) were placed upon the victors’ heads by the judges.

Paul made the linkage of the races of his time to the bema (judgment seat of Christ), at which children of God will receive  crowns of victory based upon how they ran the race in Christ’s cause during their lifetimes. The very nature of such a race indicates the necessity of enduring–of persevering—through the long, sometimes uphill miles of living a life of righteousness.

Most often, Paul used such analogy to indicate, as in the verses above, the fact that the Christian should be willing to endure. In many places, he taught how to build endurance. That preparation most often was wrapped around prayer, Scripture study, and practical action–witnessing and teaching truth to others.

God’s Word telling us to endure is one topical area of Bible prophecy that has caused anxiety-ridden questions among some.  It seems to those who question that the command to endure, according to the language used, is a requirement in order to assure that salvation is achieved. One must “endure unto the end” to be saved–to win in the game of life, thus to secure one’s place in heaven for eternity.

Endurance is one of the things God requires of His children. As a matter of fact, He demands it. But, what does the term “endurance” used in the scriptures, causing anxieties among some believers, mean, exactly?

A close examination of the key verses involved is necessary to understand the term “endurance” in God’s prophetic lexicon. One such reference is found in the Apostle Paul’s foretelling about departure from Bible doctrine in the end of the Church Age:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:3–5).

Paul was prophesying a time—indeed, I am convinced we are in that time—when many within the very heart of the Christian church will move away from preaching and teaching that man is lost and needs the Savior, who is Jesus Christ, alone (John 14: 6). This failure to endure the sound doctrine taught by Jesus, Paul, and the other apostles would, Paul indicated, be a fatigue that would make cowards of many, causing them and those they teach to turn to lies.

We see today this very thing. The gospel that man is lost in sin, thus must turn to the shed blood of Jesus Christ for remission of that deadly sin, has been changed to give the feel-good message that God is love and would never condemn those He knows to be less than perfect. The fable makers teach and preach the do-good message that we must go along with the world of philanthropists who preach a social gospel to feed, clothe, and, in general, show the have-nots that humanism is their savior.

Much of the Church today thus has failed to “endure until the end.”

Jesus pronounced, in strong language, the role “endurance” will play in the days leading up to His second advent:

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matthew 24:11-13)

Jesus even asks in one instance whether He will find any faith on earth when He returns. And, this is where the anxiety comes in for some. Is Jesus saying that those who do not hold to absolute Bible truth until the very end won’t be “saved”? Must we—and those of the Tribulation era—never slip up and sin, thus departing from truth, or else suffer the eternal damnation of hellfire?

The answer is found within the character of the One who issued the solemn statement. Jesus, who said “It is finished” when He completed the redemption plan of God on the cross at Calvary, also said:

My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:29)

Saints “endure” through Christ. We haven’t the ability to resist this fallen world apart from the strength found only in our Savior. The supernatural endurance required to “endure unto the end” is not in us, but in Jesus, who paid the full price for our eternal souls:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8–9)

When we are “in” Christ, we will “endure,” because Christ “endures.” He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

Now, this does not excuse the Christian from remaining faithful to God. In that sense, “endurance” is our responsibility. It is our responsibility to the very end—of our lives, or until the Rapture of Christ’s body, the Church. We are to strengthen ourselves for spiritual battle in order to not become fatigued through prayer, Bible study, and exercising our witness before our fellow man. We put on the whole armor of God as we are directed to do in Ephesians, chapter 6.

God equips us. He doesn’t demand such a hard thing without providing the ability—even the absolute guarantee—of that sort of “endurance” that takes His child “unto the end.”

Those who fail to exercise their witness, in whatever way God directs, become flabby, ineffective ambassadors in Christ’s royal service. There is always a heavy price to pay for such sloth. Not loss of salvation for those who are truly in Christ’s grip, but a loss of position within the kingdom of God.

Those who fail to endure in the center of God’s will suffer loss of rewards when kneeling before their Savior at the judgment seat of Christ.

That is one primary reason we at Rapture Ready and this blog exhort Christians to join in our efforts in these closing days of the Age of Grace—the Church Age. There are many, many opportunities to labor, to “endure,” during these trying times that are presented by the dynamic Rapture Ready website and this blog’s efforts to reach the lost world for Christ.

Many are writing articles, many are writing encouraging emails, and some are giving in other ways to God’s work on raptureready.com.

One area we very much need help in is finances. Donations have dwindled, yet the ministry-associated needs of Christ in these closing days of the age have never been more pronounced. Enduring to the end also means supporting Christ-centered ministries with our financial offerings. If hundreds of millions can be contributed to the prosperity ministries who teach that false message of giving to get, why do not those who hold to Bible truth not support faithful ministries with greatly abundant offerings?

Jesus said: ”For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).

Holding Back Iniquity

Incessant assaults against all that used to be considered saneness and biblical holiness brings into focus a particular end-times Scripture.

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:12–13)

The word “iniquity” is defined as “lawlessness” in scriptural terms. Jesus Christ was saying in His Olivet Discourse that one of the primary markers of the very end of the age would be an increase in lawlessness.

Because of this, He said, the love of many inhabitants of earth would grow cold. But those who will endure to the end will be saved.

Now we have some serious dissecting to do to “rightfully divide” this truth, as God’s Word directs us to do.

We don’t have to go too much in-depth to understand the kind of lawlessness the Lord was warning about. We see it abounding within activity and actions no matter which direction we look.

However, the term “lawlessness” can, I believe, be broken down into both the physical realm and the spiritual. And the two often overlap. I will try to make clear my meaning.

A number of my great friends in prophecy ministry and I wrote a book in recent years that had at its heart the words of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 24:12–13. The book, perhaps you will remember, had the title LAWLESS: The End Times War Against the Spirit of Antichrist.

I can do no better than to recount what I wrote about the book effort those few years ago:

Today, chaos and turmoil inflame daily life within the fever of uncertainty. Geopolitical, cultural, and societal upheaval rip at the heart of America and the world.

Much of humanity is in a state of uncontrollable anger, while an infinitesimally small enemy—visible only under powerful microscopes—holds populations in its fear-paralyzing, pandemic grip.

LAWLESS: The End-Times War Against the Spirit of Antichrist is an intensely focused volume that answers questions about what’s really going on in these volatile, inexplicably strange times.

What does it all mean? Why such a divide? Why such anger and hatred? People want to know answers, and the answer is spiritual. It’s all there in Bible prophecy. The tumult altogether constitutes a major indicator of how near we are to the end of this age—the Age of Grace.

I said above that the term “lawlessness” can be broken down into both the physical realm and the spiritual. And the two often overlap. Again, as promised, I will try to make clear my meaning.

The iniquity–the lawlessness—abounding in every direction is physical. By that, I mean our very way of life is more and more affected by the insidious and more overt assaults.

For example, within cities governed by leftist officials, Christian groups have, while peacefully and legally protesting in authorized areas outside abortion clinics, been physically attacked by thugs–some paid by anti-God forces bent on changing America to fit their Marxist blueprint. Law enforcement and judicial offices have allowed these attacks in a growing number of cases –without action being taken against the attackers.

Additionally, the peaceful Right to Life protesters have themselves been prosecuted by the so-called justice system. This sort of lawlessness is taking place in an increasing number of instances, while violent protests by the likes of Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa, as well as other lawless groups, perpetrate anarchic destruction without suffering consequences of their iniquitous actions.

On the spiritual side of the lawless equation, school boards in these leftist-run districts, for example, institute rules that go against biblical commands. These declare Christian values to have no place within today’s culture and society. They stack the school board panels with those who champion the LGTBQ+, etc., agenda. They even have managed to get the FBI involved in charging parents who oppose such anti-God activity with being domestic terrorists worthy of fines and even incarceration.

And this is where the physical and spiritual iniquity–the lawlessness—overlap. We see this in story after story of how not only older children, but very young ones as well, are affected and infected by the spirit of lawlessness –the Antichrist spirit, as John the apostle said was prevalent even in his time.

Iniquity is indeed abounding, and wickedness is bleeding from the governing authority into the religious entities that purport to represent Christianity. The following gives a clue as to what all this has wrought.

Pastor Andy OIiver…in a children’s sermon Oct. 2, 2022, with drag queen “Ms. Penny Cost” at Allendale United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida…

“We have a special guest,” Oliver told the children.

“Are you always dressed up like this?” the pastor asked.

“I wish!” replied the drag queen, Isaac Simmons, who is undergoing the process to become ordained in the United Methodist Church. (Art Moore, “Renewal of our minds: Church features drag queen in kids’ sermon; Pastor applies Romans 12:2 to approval of transvestism,” WND, October 12, 2022)

One can only imagine the lawlessness that will abound in the nation and world beginning the second after believers leave the planet when Christ calls (1 Corinthians 15: 51–55; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; Revelation 4:1–2).

The Holy Spirit’s restraining influence is the glue holding together any civility and order the Lord is seeing fit to continue in this quickly darkening moment in human history. Can there be any doubt that love is disappearing as these wicked times continue to allow hatred for God and fellow man to intensify?

About the prophetic statement within Matthew 24:12–13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”: I believe it might have dual meaning. First, that those alive at the end of the Age of Grace (Church Age) who are believers will be saved (physically) from entering the Tribulation to come. Second, those who accept Christ during the Tribulation and live to the end of that seven years of horror will be brought safely (physically) into the Millennium at Christ’s return.

You don’t want to be on this judgment-bound sphere when the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit) –and all Christians He indwells—departs the earth in that spectacular event called the Rapture.

Here is how to avoid being left behind.

“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)

On Poking a Nuclear Bear

For those believers who understand that the PreTrib view of eschatology (study of end things) is truth presented by God’s word, seeing movement toward initiation of World War III should be especially pertinent. Not only is evidence of such movement front and center at the moment, but astoundingly dramatic movement it indeed is, by my way of analysis, at least.

The prophetic heart of the matters involved revolves around the Gog-Magog prophecy of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39.

We have looked at Gog-Magog numerous times from most every angle. And many top prophecy ministries have done the same. So, it isn’t necessary, I sense, to delve again here into the nuts and bolts of Ezekiel’s greatly detailed foretelling of that assault that will come against God’s chosen nation, Israel. Rather, let’s take a look at most recent developments that, collectively, almost certainly are precursor issues that seem to be late-date stage-setting for that devastating invasion.

Most who are of the PreTrib view believe there are two prophecies leading to the Tribulation (some believe these might be fulfilled perhaps in the early days of the Tribulation). That is, there are likely, we consider, two prophecies in the immediate future that could happen soon following the Rapture of the Church, which ends the Age of Grace.

One of those prophesied events, I believe, might even precede the Rapture of the church. But I think it not likely. That is the foretold destruction of Damascus, Syria.

The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” (Isa 17: 1)

The other prophecy that most PreTrib students believe is probably next for fulfillment on God’s prophetic timeline is the Gog-Magog attack on Israel found in Ezekiel chapters 38-39.

What I hope we will look at with intention to gain insight is the reality that the Gog-Magog primary actors are in the headlines each and every news cycle. The nation prophetically scheduled, according to God’s Word, to bring Ezekiel 38-39 to fulfillment –the nation Rosh (Russia) has been dominating the news for some time now. Not only has it been dominating the news, but it is at present feared to at any moment bring man’s worst nightmare to fruition. Russia and its nuclear capability –either ranked 1 or 2 so far as numbers of stockpiled nuclear weapons— is positioned to initiate World War III at any moment.

This is the nation, according to most who study the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecy that will lead the coalition over the mountains of Israel to take great spoil, as the scripture says.

Russia has at present, as its leader, a man that fits the profile of Ezekiel’s description of Gog. Gog, as we have seen, is the demon-spirit from the abyss that will indwell an end times leader of Rosh.

Therefore, with these facts in mind, it is more than prudent to look at the man Vladimir Putin, president of Russia. It is important to think on the profound threats and other relevant statements surrounding Mr. Putin and his actions of late while his forces zero in on his objective –taking over at least part of Ukraine.

Whether Putin is in fact the one who will become Gog is beyond our knowing for certain. But he, as stated before, seems to fit the profile Ezekiel provided for us to consider. And issues and events surrounding Russia and this leader point to dangers that portend perhaps war that could engulf the world in nuclear holocaust.

Russia, as configured as the Soviet Union, was often characterized as a bear. Soviet dictator Leonid Brezhnev, as some will remember, seemed to personify that bear, so intimidating was his appearance with the bushy eyebrows and his frowning, hulking figure.

The Russian bear still, I think, is a proper caricature of present-day Russia. And this American presidential administration –and the military-industrial complex controlled by the globalist powers-that-be are poking that bear. It is as if they are wanting Vladimir Putin to unleash the bear’s destructive power from its nuclear cave.

Although a smaller figure of a man and not as physically intimidating as Brezhnev, Putin none-the-less is possessor of a nuclear arsenal more powerful than his Soviet   predecessor commanded. And it is the Putin version of the bear that is being gouged in ways not done in any era of the cold war.

There are so many examples of this poking going on that there isn’t room to begin writing them here. So, I will just give the most recent as of this writing. It is a profound indicator of the globalist war mongers’ trying to goad, thus provoke an “evil thought” from the Russian bear.

Former White House national security adviser John Bolton is now taking to the networks to call for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assassination. “I think we should make it clear publicly so that not just Putin but that all the top Russian leadership… that if Putin authorizes the use of a nuclear weapon, he’s signing his own suicide note,” the well-known neocon hawk said to CBS in a Friday appearance.

Describing that Putin is head of command and control for all Russian – including nuclear – forces, Bolton continued by stating what he says should be official US policy: “He’s a legitimate military target… he needs to know that he’s on our target list at this point.” Bolton essentially called for the US to assassinate the Russian leader if the opportunity ever arises. Bolton went on the discuss an op-ed he penned days prior in the online military journal 1945 wherein effecting regime change in Russia was the focus.

“There is no long-term prospect for peace and security in Europe without regime change in Russia. Russians are already discussing it, quietly, for obvious reasons. For the United States and others pretending that the issue is not before will do far more harm than good,” Bolton spelled out in that op-ed.  (Watch: John Bolton Calls For Putin Assassination, Regime Change, by: Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge)

Why the insanity –to call for an already angry bear’s assassination? Many observers of the globalists –like those within the World Economic Forum (WEF)– believe the new world order minions are willing to bring on nuclear conflict and World War III in order to accomplish the Great Reset those such as Karl Schwab and George Soros desire.

Other than that explanation, one can properly conclude that it’s all part of the reprobate mind-set of Romans 1: 28. It is because of the Ephesians 6: 12 human minions’ turning of their collective back on God. They are sin-infected with satanic insanity.

All this said, the Russian bear and his hordes as foretold in Ezekiel 38-39 will have the hooks in the jaws only when God does the hooking.

Before that time, when the nukes, I believe, will be unleashed, Jesus Christ will Call His Bride to Himself. That very day of Rapture, Jesus said Judgment will begin to fall like it did on the wickedness and evil of Sodom and Gomorrah of Lot’s day (Luke 17: 28-30).

Don’t be left on this Judgment-appointed earth when God’s Wrath must do its Righteously destructive work. Here is how to avoid that time of Tribulation.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9–10)

On Being Rapture Worthy

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

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

On Being Rapture Worthy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus Longs for Rapture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus implored His Father:

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

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

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

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9–10)

Peter Lalonde Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I, for one will do so with intensive interest.

Gaslighting Gog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Word predicts further:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9–10)

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