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We can see on the prophetic horizon a monstrous beast lumbering in this direction with a woman astride it. Dave Hunt, you might recall, wrote the provocative—even controversial—book on the subject by the title The Woman Rides a Beast. The woman, most literalists (including Hunt) believe, represents the apostate religious system that will be Antichrist’s mistress, as a counterfeit of the church, the bride of Jesus Christ.
The matters involved present a terrifying specter—a foreshadowing of bloody things to come, given John to record on the Isle of Patmos almost two thousand years ago.
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. (Rev. 17:3-6)
Historicists—those who believe that most prophecy, including this one, has been fulfilled historically–say this all took place during the Roman-based persecutions throughout early church history. The prophecy, they say, has nothing to do with things to come, except in the most general sense. Certainly, the prophecy has nothing specific to do with an end-times persecution leading to the most terrible time in human history. Such a view presents a torturous task for historicist adherents who try to explain the Revelation 17 prophecy of the wicked woman on the hideous beast .
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. (Rev. 17:12-14)
This powerful ten-nation entity and the beast have no historical basis as accomplished fact. Any dealing with this part of the prophecy from the perspective of any but the futurist view—that there is much Bible prophecy yet to be literally fulfilled—requires spiritualizing, allegorizing, or else applying pure sophistry to everything to do with these Scriptures.
Contemporary headlines, as they do for so many prophecies yet future, make the case for the Revelation 17 prophecy coming into view in our time. It is literally shaping up for fulfillment before the eyes of those with prophetic discernment. We have written in these commentaries many times dissecting and examining news stories that show the governments of the world re-configuring into what George H. W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Barack Obama, and many others have termed “New World Order.” The dire global economic crises that have moved toward critical mass just within the past couple of years have shown the inextricable national fiscal inter-linkages. It has become obvious that the world is being forced into a monetary mold that could easily morph into something like the ten-kingdom power bloc God’s Word says will give its power and authority to the beast.
So, it is reasonable to expect the harlot who rides the beast—the agglomerate ten kings and kingdoms that comprise the beast of Revelation chapter 17—to be somewhere in the prophetic picture, if indeed we are witnessing that ten-kingdom monster in the making.
This brings home to my thinking how many of the mega-churches within Christianity today are contributing to setting up platforms that will produce the woman who will one day ride upon the back of the beast government of Revelation 17. More and more often there are “summits” on religious amalgamation—-get-togethers—during which there is compromise at the heart of these mega-efforts at man-made salvation.The methodologies employed by such churches include the idea to bring together the saved and unsaved in a sort of “summit.” The idea is one of thesis (Christian faith) and antithesis (the lost or unsaved), with the objective of producing synthesis. The “summits” in these cases aim to bring about dialogue between the two opposite world views to produce answers (synthesis) that both sides can live with.
The process is satanic at its core, denying that God’s way to redemption and reconciliation is necessary. Apostasy is the result—the Laodicean model for the end of the age.
Be sure that you are not a part of helping that woman of wickedness climb upon the back of the beast that will one day be scarlet with the blood of the Tribulation saints.
A woman who emailed from the Netherlands proposed I address a troubling thought she lives with as a Christian. It is a paradox I believe many Christians who look for Christ to come for believers in the rapture have considered, at least to some extent.
The writer sent an article for me to read about the growing Islamic population in Europe and the threat Islam represents not only to Israel, but to the rest of the world that is not Islamic. She recognizes that Israel being at the center of world controversy indicates the lateness of the hour, prophetically speaking. She puts it this way in her email:
Every time I see these articles, I am on one hand horrified at the treatment of the Jewish people but on the other hand full of anticipation as I know that with each event that pushes the Jewish people back to their homeland of Israel, the closer the rapture is for Christians. I do feel badly that I am excited for the rapture though as I know what that means for those that will be left behind… Should we be as excited as I am to know that we can (I believe “will”) be raptured any second? I know this gives me an urgency to share the Gospel with friends and neighbors, but I still always feel guilty for the anticipation and excitement I get when I see the current events played out daily.
This dichotomy within the believer’s thinking is, I believe, not unusual for those who truly look for Christ’s any-moment call as prophesied by Paul the apostle:
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 Thess. 4: 16-17)
Christians who believe the pretribulation rapture is truth from God’s Word, yearn—without need to apologize—for the blessed hope that is found in Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). At the same time, they know that when that call from their Lord comes, those left behind will soon endure a time of horror, about which the Lord Himself foretold: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:21).
Those left behind will, the Christian knows, include perhaps close friends and beloved family members. So, the paradox of wanting the rapture to take place, and at the same time dreading it for those who will stay on this planet that will endure God’s judgment and wrath is, to some, troubling.
The article this writer sent with her email encapsulates just a small part of the building evil that the Lord of heaven will judge with His righteous wrath. The matters the article involve point to the satanic rage represented within Islam, the number-one Israel-hating entity on the planet. Hatred for Israel, and the desire of the international community to force the Jewish state to divide the tiny portion of its God-given land in order to come up with a formula for peace with its Islamic neighbors will lead to Armageddon, God’s Word says:
For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. (Joel 3:2)
The article the emailer sent contained a speech by a Dutch Member of Parliament for the Netherlands. He synopsized with stunning description how Israel’s Islamic enemy is systematically infecting Europe, thus threatening world stability—or what little of it that remains.
The speech included the announcement that Europe is in dire straits as it undergoes Islamization. America and the world, he warned, face the same fate as Europe if the threat isn’t confronted and defeated everywhere it exists.
The official said that entire city sections throughout Europe are taken over by Islamics one street at a time. Local governments and police forces are often so intimidated that they dare not go into those areas to govern. Women, treated no better than slaves, according to the speaker, are covered from head to toe in tent-like attire, sharia law takes precedence, and women in sections of the cities not part of the Islamic communities more and more hear hate-filled shouts of “Whore!” from those of the Islamic populations.
He said that Jews are fleeing France in record numbers, on the run from the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II. He added that many in Europe argue in favor of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of the Muslim minorities. But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not bring any solace to the West It would not mean our Muslim minorities would all of a sudden change their behavior, and accept our values. On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam. They would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West is weak, and doomed. The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems with Islam, but only the beginning. It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination. If they can get Israel, they can get everything.
Israel and its being targeted for extinction is the sure sign that the tribulation is in view. The rapture of the church is, therefore, an event that must be very near to occurring indeed. That being the obvious case, what should be the Christian’s foremost priority? The answer is that it should not be considered a paradox for the believer, but an exhortation, a call to duty.
There is nothing anyone can do to hurry or delay the coming of Christ for His saints in the rapture. The timing of that great event is out of our hands. Therefore, longing for the blessed hope (Titus 2:13) to rescue us from the terrible time to come (Revelation 3:10) doesn’t conflict with our concern and compassion for those who will be left behind if they don’t come to Christ for salvation. It is time for those who name the name of Christ to recognize the lateness of the prophetic hour; witness to those around us of the truth that Jesus Christ is the one and only Way to salvation; and live in such a way that we can earn our Lord’s commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Try as I might to get away from thinking on the stupefying swiftness with which the world’s monetary crises are reshaping our existence, I cannot. I consider only the so-called peace process being foisted upon Israel by the American administration and, now the Pope and the European Union in exerting new and increased pressures on the Benjamin Netanyahu government to be of slightly more profound prophetic importance than the current economic chaos. So, please indulge me yet another commentary-swipe at the matters involved.
Most who have the ability to receive news reports are aware that the Western world in particular is in unprecedented economic turmoil. While the Great Depression of the 1930s was terrible in its ramifications for the planet’s inhabitants, the crisis was relatively simple in its cause-and-effect dynamics. Relatively simple, that is, compared to the complexities that the decades have wrought with the evolution of interlinkage between banking institutions and governments.
Computers, satellites, and a myriad of other technological wonders have intertwined the fiscal health of continents in a way that was impossible to imagine before the advent of such technology. Actions taken in London, Berlin, Paris, New York, or other such disparate financial centers can instantaneously cause reverberations globally. This intimate linkage can and has included mechanisms to use in averting–perhaps better put, in postponing–disastrous monetary crises. Manipulation by the wizards of finance have worked to this point. But now it seems their magic has fueled a gathering economic storm that is about to break upon a world ill-prepared to cope with what is coming.
Now for the conspiracy-theoritician within your essayist. The question that leaps to the forefront is how much of the economic storm that is ready to break upon the world was fueled by the stumbling, bumbling machinations of those at the monetary controls, and how much was deliberately and masterfully contrived.
What follows–-a news account from several years ago of early manipulations by the world financial gurus–provides a glimpse into the eye of that cyclonic economic turbulence:
BRUSSELS – European Council President Herman Van Rompuy has said he is looking to establish a clearer “hierarchy” among the EU institutions and member states to make it easier to deal with any future crises in the eurozone…
“We are working in order to have some crisis cabinet because we are a lot of players in the field–certainly when you are in crisis–and there is not much hierarchy or organic links between the main players and the main institutions…Really, this is a problem,” he told a gathering organised by European Movement International on Tuesday [May 25]…
The tentative proposal comes after the EU’s often torturous approach to the Greek debt crisis–a protracted response that widened the problem to the eurozone and almost made it a global crisis.
As market-induced panic looked set to gain a foothold, and following the intervention of US President Barack Obama, the sixteen-member eurozone agreed on a €750 million EU/IMF package earlier this month.
But it is widely agreed that this is only a stop-gap measure and that the EU’s budget discipline rules need to be tightened. (“Van Rompuy Wants Clearer ‘Hierarchy’ to Deal with Future Crises,” EUobserver,5/26/10)
Since that time, the manipulations have only made things worse–-much worse.
Bible prophecy again asserts its truth into our daily headlines regarding breaking developments. Like the peace efforts that pressure Israel to give the international community and the Jewish state’s enemies their way dominating news headlines, powerful global economic rearrangements involving the reviving Roman Empire at the heart of the process now also command top headlines above the front-page folds of the world’s newspapers.
Reunited Europe, and its demands to have greatly increased powers to act in the present European and global financial meltdown, hammers home the point. This generation almost certainly is witnessing the groundwork being laid that will assure Antichrist’s eventual elevation to supreme authority prophesied in the thirteenth chapter of Revelation. The pace with which things are shaping makes one wonder whether that man of sin might step onto the stage of history quite soon.
As has been said before, one of the most-often asked questions we get at prophecy conferences is: Is America in Bible prophecy?” We most always answer in one form or another, “No, it is not mentioned by name.” Then, I, at least, must add that this, certainly the most materially blessed nation and one of the most spiritually blessed countries to exist on earth, is in Bible prophecy by implication. Our current president is at the very heart of influencing the two most critical news headlines of these troubled days, both of which are at the top of the list as being Bible prophecy indicators for comprising world conditions at the very end of the age. The U.S. thus seems to be in the lead in helping pave the way for the world’s final führer.
A friend who has written to say he is in agreement with my view on most things says he must take exception with my opinion on the matter of the insurance program that has come to be known as Obamacare.
I haven’t addressed to any great extent in this forum what I indeed consider a program that moves America down a dangerous road. The loss of individual freedoms will be—indeed, already is—the result, to say the very least—but there are deeper considerations I want to address here.
The following is part of my friend’s expression of concern regarding my opposition to this, what I see as a great debacle the American people will one day regret profoundly:
I respectfully take issue with [your] stance on healthcare reform. Perhaps the health bill will [be] repealed by Republicans, and you’ll probably see that as a godly action, but lack of insurance leads to early death for many. If biblical social justice means that elderly widows get Medicare, it also should mean that orphans and the children of the poor get insurance that the rest of us have. For insurance to work, the healthy must have it as well as regulating insurers so they cannot deny it or cancel it when it’s needed.
The key words in this friend’s objection to my view are “biblical social justice.” There is simply nothing biblical about this grab for power and control by a government inebriated on the dollars it can print and spend almost by presidential fiat. If it truly were a biblically correct–rather than a politically correct–effort, I would have no problem with it.
Now to look more deeply into the reason Christians shouldn’t support this or any such grab for control that ultimately will enslave.
Human governance, we must remember, is not God’s Idea. It is man’s idea–to do things apart from the Creator. We see this from history given us in the Bible—and that’s the only history that counts in God’s dealing with us, in my understanding of the matters involved.
Adam’s first decision to disobey God and instead accept Lucifer’s way was rebellion against God’s governance, and it came to a crisis point when the whole world became filled with violence and was corrupted in every other way—producing total anarchy. The Flood provided a new beginning.
Then came the crisis on the Plain of Shinar with Nimrod and the tower of Babel. Again, God dealt with the crisis, and the whole of humanistic government was destroyed and the people scattered—Peleg and the peoples of earth were geographically redistributed, and all of the rest…
Israel was the next example. The chosen of God—the Jewish people—wanted human government, not God’s reign over them. The Lord let them have Saul. That is because He is a God who gave mankind volition. He wants His creation to love Him unconditionally; He doesn’t want robots engineered to adore Him.
Humanistic government is again building to a supreme crisis point. It has always built to crises points. Every civilization, empire, etc., has come apart, dissolved, or been destroyed because of the rebellion and determination to live apart from God.
This time, it is building like the Vesuvius of all rebellions. America is the apex nation of all nations, and is the head of this gargantuan boil that is filling with explosive corruption that will one day blow. All nations of the world are tied inextricably to the U.S.—the most materially blessed of all nations to have come to power upon the planet’s surface.
All of this corruption constitutes the Babylonian system, which Daniel and John prophesied in presenting the strange beast that comes up out of the sea in Revelation 1 and lumbers about in Daniel 7.
America is bound to Israel in a supernatural way, and it is all tied together by the incessant call for peace–not God’s peace and the Prince of Peace, but humanistic peace. The result is going to be exactly as God gives it in Psalms 2, then the “kings of the earth” will achieve the “peace” they desire, as given in Isaiah 28:15 and 18.
Man will get his humanistic government; the ultimately “evolved” man will be earth’s master for a brief time, God letting man have his desire to do what is right in his own eyes.
This current bubble of humanistic effort to build utopia, which supposedly can be achieved through a drive for humanistic socialism (that’s the only kind of socialism there is), will explode when the rapture occurs and the top is knocked off the boil. Only God’s staying hand has kept things from imploding—economic collapse, etc.
So, I am against man-made efforts in wanting to micromanage our lives. Such efforts comprise the grist for tyranny. You see where it’s going. It is nothing more or less than a luciferian grab for power–a voracious lust for control by his human agents and agencies.
God gave man, through the Bible, the formula for living life the way He intended. His Word says in effect that we should “let those who won’t work, not eat” (see 2 Thes. 3:10, 12). He gave us the way to take care of the widows, orphans, and the infirm–even the legitimately indigent. This is to be done through the largesse of God’s people, those who fully accept His way of governance. The Lord Jesus Christ is that only way. Man long ago decided to dispense with God’s prescription in dealing with matters of societal interaction. Burdensome, enslaving government seeks power through promising deliverance from social ills it can never produce. What it will produce, however, we can see in Bible prophecy’s description of humanistic government’s final attempt to usurp the throne of God. (Read Revelation 13:16-18.)
There is coming, according to God’s Word and the Apostle Paul, a particular deception that will ensnare the world of people who oppose the Creator of all things. When thinking on 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 about “the lie” Paul mentions, it seems to me there can be but one sort of “lie” that Satan would be so determined to foist upon humanity left behind after the Rapture of the Church. Here is the prophecy:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess. 2:9-12)
Lucifer, the fallen one, has always sought to separate man from the Lord and His governance. Satan was successful in accomplishing his goal when, in the Garden of Eden, Eve fell victim to the serpent’s seduction and then Adam willfully joined her, thus believing Satan rather than the Lord.
God then promised the supernatural seed through mankind that would eventually produce a Savior who would ultimately destroy the serpent and overcome his great lie that separated God and man. Jesus is that seed, the Redeemer of mankind. He said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
Jesus is the only Way to forgiveness of sin, which separates man from God. This is what is meant by the first Scripture I and many other young children learned in Sunday school: “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” (John 3:16).
Paul, the great apostle and prophet, foretold in the 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 account that the “lie” the Antichrist regime will impose upon those left behind on earth after the Church is taken to be with Christ forever will involve the refusal to believe “the truth.” They will reject God’s way to redemption. They will deny that Jesus Christ–the Truth–is the way to salvation.
The “lie,” then, will be wrapped up in a grand deception that Christ didn’t truly come–in Jewish flesh–to die for the sin of man. This, after all, is the “spirit of Antichrist” about which John warned:
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)
That “spirit of antichrist” lie was intrinsic within Hitler’s Nazi regime. The Jews were painted as “Christ-killers and the scourge of mankind,” not as the chosen people through whom God brought His Only Begotten Son into the world to seek and save lost mankind. That future Fuehrer–the satanically empowered son of perdition–will likely mesmerize the post-rapture world with a lie that denies Jesus Christ ever came to be the sacrifice for mankind. As a matter of fact, Bible prophecy paints him as the one who comes in place of the real Christ. He will claim to be the Savior. He will sit in the temple of God on Moriah in Jerusalem, declaring himself to be God! (See 2 Thess. 2:4; Matt. 24:15.)
I believe the groundwork is being laid today for the “lie” that will doom much of the world’s population after the Rapture. The lie will have to be part of a fearful crisis of some sort. The disappearance of millions will certainly provide a crisis that will have the attention of the peoples of the world. Any leader who can answer the question of what on earth has happened will get the instant attention and the adulation of a panicked world.
As mentioned above, Planet Earth is being prepared, I’m convinced, for just such an answer as the great world leader that will be one day recognized as Antichrist will concoct. A news story of a number of years ago, but which is still quite relevant today, gives more than an inkling of the groundwork being laid for that “lie,” I believe.
It has been the subject of movies for decades–but what would REALLY happen if aliens visited earth? This may sound like a topic for conspiracy theorists or mad UFO obsessives, yet this week, science’s finest minds gathered in London to debate that very question. The conference, The Detection of Extraterrestrial Life and the Consequences for Science and Society, was held at the high-brow Royal Society HQ in central London.
It is often said the discovery of other civilizations would shatter world religions. Delegates were not so sure. Professor Ted Peters, a theologian, briefed the meeting on some survey results that suggested that rather than undermine religious beliefs–whatever the faith–it would strengthen them, by making God’s creation seem even bigger and more wonderful.
Not everyone agreed. British physicist Paul Davies thought Christians would have a problem, given the central belief that Jesus died to save us. If we discover other civilizations, it would raise the awkward question: Why just us?
(Nick Pope, “If the Cosmic Phone Rings…Don’t Answer,” 1/28/10; http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/ufos/2828017/Should-we-be-offering-hand-of-friendship-to-ET.html).
The “lie” of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 could well bring into its orbit and make totally believable 1) universalism–the deception that all people are God’s children, and there are many ways to salvation; and 2) the notion that Jesus Christ couldn’t have been the Savior, else He would have to die on other worlds for those inhabitants and for others in other universes.
With the way psychologically and demonically paved for there to be a massive UFO invasion during the Tribulation, millions looking for explanation of why their world is upside-down will undoubtedly readily believe such a lie–the lie telling them that the ETs who have just removed millions of rebels from earth are now come to rescue the world from oblivion.
I believe the prophecy that tells of this very event might well be found in the following description given in God’s Word:
And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. (Rev. 13:13-14)
Our world is filled today with great deception. Lies come from many governmental leaders, media sources, and even from many people in the pulpits of America. It is incumbent upon each who names the name of Christ to be discerning in these closing days of the Church Age. Lost souls hang in the eternal balance.
Jesus said in His Olivet Discourse, as recorded in the Gospel according to Luke: “And there shall be…upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity” (Luke 21:25b). Moving forward deeper into 2015, it becomes increasingly obvious that peace in the Middle East is foremost on the minds of the leaders of the major world powers. Distress over the possibility, even the probability that nuclear conflict might eventuate in the region causes perplexity of the most portentous sort.
Absence of peace in the world, and particularly in the region surrounding modern Israel, creates at this late moment in the fleeting age a vacuum into which the prophesied end-of-days leader will one day vault to power. Antichrist will climb a platform of peace upon which to launch his most terrible campaign of conquest. We get some idea of this supernaturally imbued man’s spectacular rise and reign through the Old Testament prophet Daniel:
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many.” (Daniel 8:23-25b) It is a strange, deadly peace that is prophesied to serve as launching pad for the beast, as he is termed in Revelation chapter 13. Paul, the apostle and prophet, gave dire warning about that esoteric peace that will pervade in the days approaching the time of the end: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
Paul foretold that this murderous peace will come immediately following the “thief in the night” break-in upon an unsuspecting world of earth’s inhabitants. (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7.) This refers to the resurrection and translation of the saints of the Age of Grace–the Rapture. The apostle, as he did in speaking of the rapture in 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, used personal pronouns to indicate exactly the people about whom he was prophesying. Concerning those alive at that future time, Paul used “we,” “us,” and “our” to indicate Church Age saints and “they,” “them,” and “those” to indicate the lost–the unbelievers–who will be left behind when the stupendous event–the Rapture–takes place.
There will be a cry for peace and safety leading up to this time of world-rending intervention by Christ, and an even more urgent demand for peace and safety following that calamitous event. I infer from my study in the matter that the left-behind people who “say peace and safety” seem to be saying also that “now we have peace and safety.” I’m convinced that this is the peace of Daniel 8:25 perpetrated upon planet earth by the king of fierce countenance, who will by peace destroy many.
Today, leaders of the planet’s most powerful governments consistently fret over the boiling pot the so-called Holy Land presents in threatening to again bring the nations into world war. Other potential conflicts are cause for concern. But it is the building potential for all-out war between Israel and its Islamic antagonists that has the premiere diplomatic powers-that-be in “distress” and “perplexity.”
Particularly, it is the building potential violence between the Jewish state and a soon-to-be nuclear Iran that brings forth the cry for peace and safety. European Union (EU) leaders, for example, are frustrated over the peace that eludes all efforts.
EU leadership, as well as all other leaderships, have solid ground for concern that the volatility could boil over at any time and ignite conflagration in the region. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, once declared that Islamic nations will one day watch the destruction of its most hated enemy, Israel. He has been quoted on his website for years as saying: “Surely, the day will come when the nations of the region will witness the destruction of the Zionist regime…when the destruction happens will depend on how the Islamic nations approach the issue.”
Concerns about Iran’s nuclear development and the nations’ diplomatic elite’s frustration over not knowing what to do about the threat might remind the student of Bible prophecy of another predicted situation. The current angst over Iran’s threat evokes thoughts of an apparent note of diplomatic protest that will be issued during a future Iranian (Persian) military action against Israel.
Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? (Ezekiel 38:13)
The powers of the West, and even Saudi and others in the Middle East, will send a weak note of diplomatic protest. There will still, apparently, be an inability to deal with the Iranian (and the accompanying coalition of nations’) threat to world peace. The indecisiveness and the cry for peace and safety will ultimately bring the beast to power. He will have the answers to foment the deadly peace people want. It will be such peace that will serve as Antichrist’s launching pad to absolute power.
Israel today stands in the bull’s eye of rage. This is true in the case of being targeted by the Jewish state’s perennial antagonists, the Arab and Persian Islamist enemies. It is true in the case of the entire international community, whose constituent nations see Israel as the congestive blockage to regional and world peace. But it is the growing antagonism by United States presidential administration operatives that is most disconcerting while this beleaguered planet wobbles toward a time of unprecedented trouble.
As a matter of fact, that coming time of unparalleled strife that will bring all nations to Armageddon is termed “the time of Jacob’s trouble” by Isaiah the prophet: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7a).
And, it is Jacob’s trouble–the prophesied end-of-days dastardly treatment of Israel by the nations of earth–that will cause the God of heaven to bring them to Armageddon. This is what the prophet Joel foretells: “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land” (Joel 3:2).
This will be the gathering of the nations of earth predicted in the book of Revelation:
“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty…And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:14, 16).
This will be the culmination of mankind’s dealing treacherously with God’s chosen people, the Jews. The promise made to Abraham by the Lord includes severe repercussions for anyone who would curse the progeny of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).
God’s declaration is most dramatically validated by looking at twentieth-century history. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime made hatred of and genocide against the Jew their focus of the unalloyed evil they spewed. The ashes of the Fuhrer and of his Nazi colleagues are scattered in ignominious disgrace across the landscape that Josef Goebbels and the Nazi propagandists arrogantly boasted would be über alles the all-powerful homeland for their thousand-year Reich.
Any consideration in research of Germany’s history involving the last two years of World War II and the years immediately following that most terrible of earth’s conflicts to that point must acknowledge that it was as if the very wrath of God was upon the nation. Such documentation includes black-and-white film footage of German men and women forced by Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower to walk by the skeletal remains of thousands of Jewish corpses–thus, Eisenhower stated, so that the German people and the world would never forget the Holocaust. Its aftermath would forever be recorded.
Yet today, even mainstream news journalists are observably fuzzy-minded in consideration of the genocide that took perhaps six million Jewish lives as well as the lives of other peoples. They show their loss of memory by not jumping full-force down the throats of diabolists like one-time Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who when president of Iran regurgitated the lie that the Holocaust is a fable conjured by the Jews of the world. Rarely is there a repudiation of such blatant lies coming from the would-be destroyers of the Jewish state and the Jewish people.
Tragically, the refusal to educate generations subsequent to the time of World War II on the truth about the insane treatment of the house of Israel is leading to a future time of even greater atrocities, thus judgment, according to God’s prophetic Word. The God of heaven will react violently–according to Bible prophecy–more violently, even, than He reacted to the death-dealing of the Nazi demoniacs:
“The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it… it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:1-3, 29).
We come to the question posed by this article’s title: “Israel Betrayed by U.S.?” The article’s title is in the form of a question because like so much of this American administration’s dealings, the “transparency” presidential candidate Barack Obama and then President Obama promised is not forthcoming. Obama’s intended dealing with Israel is wrapped in an impenetrable fog of political doublespeak.
It is becoming clear, however, that this president is not moving America closer to Israel, but farther away with each day that passes.
By not providing push-back against such betrayal, Congress and the Church, and the American people are complicit in the betrayal. It’s past time to provide such push-back, along with prayers for this once great nation.
Ezekiel’s Gog-Magog prophecy continues to form before the eyes of a world of geopoliticians and media, who are, for the most part, oblivious to just how seriously should be taken matters concerning the oil riches of the Middle East. Central to present day exigencies, relative to those Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecies, is the complete lack of belief or understanding that ALL of the region given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob remains now and forever the land of Israel. This refusal by the nations of the world to accept that this land belong to , in God’s Holy View, His people, the Jews, will be the catalyst that will ultimately bring about the Gog-Magog attack, and, as a matter-of-fact, the war called Armageddon.
The scriptures I would like to examine for the moment are the following:
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. “Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. 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.” (Ezek. 38: 8-12)
God was foretelling, through his prophet, that this leader from the north of Jerusalem—Gog—would lead a coalition of tremendous numbers against God’s chosen people, the Jews of Israel. Now, the important thing to see, for our purposes in this brief essay, is the designation “the land”.
God has Ezekiel prophesy that the people of the land of Rosh (Russia) will be led by this end time general into “the land”. God also calls it “the mountains of Israel”.
You see, this is All—every bit—the land of Israel, in the View of the Creator of all things. Likewise, the ”great spoil” this end time general called “Gog” will think an evil thought to “take,” belongs to Israel—every bit—according to the land Grant God gave Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
This tells us that Gog is coming to take the riches of the Middle East, which we know to be, primarily, the vast oil reserves of the area.
I’m quite aware that Israel presently possesses very little of the oil reserves. How could it, as that land is presently configured, contain much of the oil of the region? Currently, it is but a few dozen miles long, and a few miles wide. But, this is not God’s view of Israel. Remember –Israel is ALL of that vast region outlined in His land grant. And, Gog, and his hordes will—I think it has become obvious—want the oil that pools beneath the whole region.
Today there are indications that the leader of the land of Rosh—Vladimir Putin at present—is eyeing the region God considers “the mountains of Israel. The Russian president is leading his nation to form relationships that might, in the not-too-distant future, become tempting beyond his, and the others of his kind’s capability to resist. Oil just might be the fuel that fires up the prophesied ambitions of the Gog-Magog juggernaut.
On-going news accounts present constant reminders of Putin’s ambitions for the region and beyond. Energy is the topic, and dynamic rearrangements are swiftly taking place. The Russian bear is taking a hard look at where to go next to satiate its voracious appetites. Likewise, China will be a major force in the Mid-East invasion toward Armageddon, I’m convinced, according to the kings of the east prophecy found in Revelation, chapters 9 and 16. It is an oil-thirsty behemoth, with it’s burgeoning industrial base and ambitions. Russia wants to be at the center of controlling its own destiny, in regard to securing fuel for its own ambitions. Vladimir Putin now seems permanently ensconced in the Kremlin, with no internal opposition to thwart his megalomania.
One thing sure, a future leader from the land called in ancient times, “Rosh,” will look southward and think to garner for himself the grand prize of oil reserves. Whether it will be Putin, or a successor, who will get that “evil thought,” oil seems the ingredient for the latter times that will fuel Gog’s ambition.
A friend e-mailed some time ago with a statement I found quite interesting. The person, a citizen of Australia, first reported catastrophic wildfires burning in her country. She informed that many of these were set by arsonists. The few and far between rains had, she wrote, been mostly along the coasts, and when the rain fell further inland, most missed the catchment areas, the basins for catching and storing rain water. The situation was dire, due to many months of drought-exacerbated fires. Much prayer was needed to bring God’s intervention into the situation.
She then said the following, which particularly got my attention:
“We are not only facing a water and fire crisis and a future food shortage. The increase in violence has been great in the last few years. Regular home invasions, street killings and drive-by shootings were not heard of over 5 years ago here in Sydney. The increase in terrorist threats, racial hatred, etc., all add up to an uncertain and unstable future. Despite all this, people have still been flocking to the New Year’s store sales and going on holidays. (School resumes here at the end of January). There is little fear of God or desire to return to godly morals. It is disturbing to me how blind and rebellious, are the people of this nation…”
My friend then thanked me for prayers for her country, then said:
“I’m now praying Lord Jesus please come soon. I’m more than ready to leave. I’m spiritually tired and I am constantly upset by the wickedness that surrounds me each day…”
My thoughts turned immediately to one word that is seldom used in modern times to describe total exasperation with life’s circumstances. The word was used in reference to Lot, during his time living in the infamous ancient city of Sodom. My friend’s words: “I’m spiritually tired and I am constantly upset by the wickedness that surrounds me each day,” were substantially the feelings of Abraham’s nephew, Lot, just before the Lord rained wrath upon Sodom.
The Apostle Peter wrote about this, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (2 Pet. 2: 4-9).
Jesus prophesied that it will be just like those days of Lot in Sodom, just before He comes to take His Church to Heaven.
“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” (Lk. 17:28-30).
My friend in Australia is not alone in the frustration she feels. Looking around us today, I certainly do get vexed, don’t you?
Horror stories inundate our hourly news. More and more those reports involve the most heinous type of activity. Pedophiles and other perverts seem to be proliferating within our supposedly “civilized” society. Terrorism is on the rise, while most Americans seem to be happy with their shopping trips and living in their bubbles of relative affluence. Children are murdered in the womb for convenience, then their remains are sought for use to prop up the rest of us lucky enough to have survived the abortionists.
Israel is at the center of world controversy –even hatred—and no one seems to make the correlation between the fact and the lateness of this prophetic hour.
The name of Jesus is becoming hated and mocked, while false teachers and false gods are aggrandized by Satan-controlled news and entertainment media. It’s all, well, vexing. This is a sure sign we must be nearing that moment Christ will call us to be with Him forever. Certainly, while we must be reaching those around us with the message that Jesus Christ is the only salvation for them, it is time that those who belong to Christ look for the Blessed Hope (Titus 2: 13).
Jesus’ words of forewarning ring in spiritually attuned ears today as never before.
When His disciples came to Him on the Mount of Olives and asked the Lord when He would come again, and what would be the sign of His coming, the very first and second indicators He gave in answer were the following: “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” (Matt. 24:4-5).
I’m sometimes teased by my family –those closest to me–when I get on a soapbox to talk about Bible prophecy, world conditions, and what the Bible says about this or that. Perhaps, sometimes, my pontification is espoused just to be heard, rather than being of any spiritual good. We are all human, and we say things that mean little. We sometimes waste our and others’ time with our verbiage.
Jesus’ words were powerful every time He spoke. He wasted none of His or others’ time, like we do with our verbosity on occasion. So, when the Lord who created all that is –who IS the Word (John 1:1) says that the first sign to look for in terms of watching for His return is those who come saying “I am Christ,” we had better take heed. Thus, because what follows is the second sign –deception of an unusually virulent sort.
Jesus, by forewarning that people would come in His name, saying “I am Christ,” is, I believe, saying two things we should carefully analyze. First, He is saying that people will come in His name. They will invoke the name of Christ to get the ears and minds of many interested and to encourage belief in what they are claiming. Second, Jesus meant, I am convinced, that these people will be saying: 1) they, also, believe in Jesus Christ; and, 2) some will also claim that they are actually Jesus. These will claim to be Jesus, the Christ, returned to earth.
The first of these indicators are in abundance, in my view. As a matter of fact, those signs are right in front of us every time we channel through our television programming. The false teachers and false prophets are there every night. They claim Christ as being at the center of all their ministries’ activities. In the name of Jesus Christ, they preach and teach false doctrines that feed on viewers who believe the lies that God is like a genie in a bottle. He will give us anything and everything we want, if we but use the power that is in our tongues. We speak it, and God must fulfill our fondest desires. We put our “faith” into action by sowing a seed –usually dollars in significant amounts—into their ministries. They claim we are guaranteed healing, no matter what, if we just believe strongly enough in our own “faith” that God will heal upon command. They sound for real, because they use the name of our Blessed Lord Jesus.
They make merchandise of the foolish in their audiences, just as the Apostle Peter forewarned:
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (2 Pet. 2:1-3).
The second of the first two forewarnings Jesus gave involves evil ones who will, the Lord said, say, “I am Christ.” The first meaning of that statement is, I believe, that these will say –in their deceptiveness—that Jesus is indeed Lord. They will be deceivers, nonetheless. But, the application to Jesus’ prophecy I would like to consider here is the other meaning wrapped up in the statement “I am Christ.”
There have been many who have claimed the title of “Christ” down through the centuries. However, that claim has become particularly pronounced in these latter times, as we see all the other end-time indicators simultaneously developing, and coming wave after wave –like convulsing birth pangs of a woman in labor. The following excerpted pieces of an article from a number of years ago well illustrates the point:
“At first glance, the congregation gathered in a warehouse in Doral, Fla., seems like a typical Hispanic evangelical group. There’s the 10-piece band, the singing and swaying, the whooping and hollering. But look a little more closely. There’s not a cross in sight. The lectern is emblazoned with a near replica of the U.S. presidential seal, except that it reads in Spanish, government of god on earth. Off to the side stand three burly guys in dark suits with Secret Service-style earpieces. When a door by the stage opens, the guards leap into action. They surround the man with slicked-back hair who emerges and escort him to his seat. When the crowd spots him, it goes wild. People chant, ‘Lord! Lord! Lord!’ It quickly becomes clear that they’re referring to him. ‘It’s Jesus Christ himself!’ a preacher on stage announces. ‘Let’s welcome Jesus Christ Man!’ In the rapturous eyes of his flock, Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is, in fact, the second coming of Christ. As the head of the Growing in Grace International Ministry, he presides over a sprawling organization that includes more than 300 congregations in two dozen countries, from Argentina to Australia. He counts more than 100,000 followers and claims to reach millions more through a 24-hour TV channel, a radio show and several Web sites…” (Arian Campo-Flores, “Meet the Minister Who Says He Is Jesus Christ,” by Newsweek, Feb. 5, 2007).
Jesus foretold that these two things –counterfeit Christians and counterfeit christs—will mark the days just before His return. He told believers how to react to such deception: “And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mk. 13:21-22).
Point is that, just as the Lord predicted, these deceivers are among us –and are right up in the face of this generation. Sadly, rather than following Jesus’ instruction, “Believe him not,” regarding any person who makes these false claims, huge numbers within Christianity are embracing the deceivers and the feel-good gospel they proclaim.
A sure signal –among all the others—that we are nearing the moment when we hear the shout: “Come up hither!”