Category: Prophecy


What Happens When America Shuns God?

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Hallelujah Diet

There have been numerous instances lately where cities, schools and other civic organizations are being threatened unless they remove the 10 commandments monument, no longer say “Bless You” to someone who sneezes, and many other instances because there is a select group that seems to be the watchdog over anything “Christian” that appears to “offend them” or may offend someone else.

America was founded on God and has a long history of giving Him praise for the many blessings our country has received as it has continued to received His protective covering. The constitution purposely states there should be freedom to worship.  This strong desire to keep God as the number one priority in this country led to addressing Him in our Pledge of Allegiance and even adding the phrase that is on our currency “In God We Trust.”

For hundreds of years, this country has been unashamed and unafraid to voice publicly it’s alliance with God.  Churches have been erected without fear of retribution or violence.  God has even been allowed in chambers of judges and politicians with the knowledge that they will need Him as they make life-changing decisions that affect the rest of the country and the world as they pledge “So Help Me God.”

It is with great sadness and trepidation that we have begun to see the unfolding of what the final book in the Bible, the book of Revelations has prophesied:  America has begun to shun God!  It has become apparent in everything.  From decisions to no longer allowing the Pledge of Allegiance, to removing any reference to God in public offices and no longer allowing Bible studies in schools, the list has become long and languishing.

We have also begun to see the results of removing God:  As we begin to turn our backs on the Great I AM, there is now more turbulence in this world with greater potential to create harm whether it is in the form of biological warfare, artillery, disease, or prejudice.

As these events continue to churn and instill true fear into our hearts, still more are on the horizon.  Whether it is the return of the Black Plague or Leprosy that is now being found in certain parts of the world, or the plague of cancer that has affected all parts of the world, or even Ebola that has threatened every part of the world, we are beginning to see what happens when we turn our backs on this powerful One who can save us from all of that if we just acknowledge Him.

We are grieving that those whom we vote to represent us have found their way into the hands of the Deceptor who has deceived them. They believe that his agenda will make them more powerful, wealthy and invincible. They then make decisions on our behalf that place our families and us at great risk.

Is this the kind of America that we want to be known as?  Do we really believe that without REAL action, these atrocities can still be avoided?

Our God is a loving God, we know that because He has not been vengeful as He sees what is happening to His name. He must be standing by watching this, grieving and in real pain.  He gave up His Son for us and this is what He gets in return?  How quickly we forget.  Yes, we are reminded during Easter and Christmas of what God has done for us, but sadly, those events are marred with the commercialization and commerce of the Deceptor.

There have always been natural disasters that is true.  But, if we truly want our country to continue to be divinely protected wouldn’t it make sense for us to gather together and create the revivals of old where people would be peacefully assembling to cry out in prayer for forgiveness and healing?  Shouldn’t we begin to publicly show that He is still our God and that although we are giving to “Caesar” what is his, we must not allow God to be forgotten.  Our God is a jealous God.  We must entrust in Him our faith and not forget that He still holds the reigns to the future of this country, no matter what the deceptive efforts are of those who want us to believe otherwise.

Let’s take our churches outside of the brick and mortar.  Let’s become the church of God that is a power to be reckoned with.  Let’s refrain from becoming so busy “in” the church that we neglect the very influences “outside” of the church that will slowly but surely permeate those walls.

It is time to build upon the rock that was started years ago.  This rock should not look like a large, glamorous building; rather this is the rock of faith that we stand on and with the “armor” that we have been promised,we become the soldiers who PUBLICLY, profess His name, our worship and His glory.  It is only then, that we can stop the continual eroding of this great country that could soon be turned into rubble.

Matthew 23:37

Matthew 23:37
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

Why God’s Purpose for the Tribulation excludes the Church

Why God’s Purpose for the Tribulation excludes the Church – by Thomas Ice – www.pretrib.org
 
"And the LORD your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. And you shall again obey the Lord, and observe all His commandments which I command you today."
-Deuteronomy 30:7-8
 
God’s purpose for the tribulation (i.e., the seven-year, 70th week of Daniel) revolves around His plan for Israel and does not include a earthly presence for the church. Why? Because God’s plan for Israel is unfinished at this point in history. When the role of the church is completed she will be taken as a completed body to heaven in an instant-at the rapture. This will clear the way for a restoration and resumption of progress toward the completion of our Sovereign Lord’s plans for His elect nation-Israel.
 
The Tribulation Focuses on Israel
 
The Bible teaches that the tribulation is a time of preparation for Israel’s restoration and conversion (Deut. 4:29-30; Jer. 30:3-11; Zech. 12:10).1 While the church will experience tribulation in general during this present age (John 15:18-25; 16:33; 2 Tim. 3:10-13), she is never mentioned as participating in Israel’s time of trouble, which includes the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord, and the Wrath of God. Gerald Stanton explains:
 
The Tribulation does not deal with the Church at all, but with the purification of Israel. It is not the "time of the Church’s trouble," but the "time of Jacob’s trouble." The emphasis of the Tribulation is primarily Jewish. This fact is borne out by Old Testament Scriptures (Deut. 4: 30; Jer. 30: 7; Ezek. 20: 37; Dan. 12:1; Zech. 13:8-9), by the Olivet Discourse of Christ (Matt. 24:9-26), and by the book of Revelation itself (Rev. 7:4-8; 12:1-2; 17, etc.). It concerns "Daniel’s people," the coming of "false Messiah," the preaching of the "gospel of the kingdom," flight on the "sabbath," the temple and the "holy place," the land of Judea, the city of Jerusalem, the twelve "tribes of the children of Israel," the "son of Moses," "signs" in the heavens, the "covenant" with the Beast, the "sanctuary," the "sacrifice and the oblation" of the temple ritual. These all speak of Israel and clearly demonstrate that the Tribulation is largely a time when God deals with His ancient people prior to their entrance into the promised kingdom. The many Old Testament prophecies yet to be fulfilled for Israel further indicate a future time when God will deal with this nation (Deut. 30:1-6; Jer. 30:8-10, etc.).2
 
The Church is Absent from the Tribulation
 
Not one Old Testament passage on the tribulation refers to the church (Deut. 4:29-30; Jer. 30:4-11; Dan. 8:24-27; 12:1-2), nor does the New Testament ever speak of the church in relation to the tribulation (Matt. 13:30, 39-42, 48-50; 24:15-31; 1 Thess. 1:9-10, 5:4-9; 2 Thess. 2:1-11; Rev. 4-18), except as present in heaven. Such silence speaks loudly and supports the pre-trib position, especially when combined with clear, explicit statements that promise her exemption from that time (Rom. 5:9; 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 3:10). Note the clear promise to the church of Revelation 3:10:
 
Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.
 
If pretribulationism is indeed the teaching of Scripture, then we would expect that passages dealing with the tribulation would consistently make no mention of the church. This is exactly what we find. However, Israel is mentioned often throughout these texts. Dr. Robert Gromacki has studied the New Testament book of Revelation, chapters 4-19, which gives the most detailed overview of the seven-year tribulation in all the Bible. He has shown the following:
 
However, there is a strange silence of the term in chapters 4-19. That fact is especially noteworthy when you contrast that absence with its frequent presence in the first three chapters. One good reason for this phenomenon is the absence of the true church and true evangelical churches in the seven years preceding the Second Coming. The true believers of the church have gone into the presence of Christ in heaven before the onset of the events of the seven year period. The church is not mentioned during the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments because the church is not here during the outpouring of these judgments.3
 
Tribulation on a Christ-Rejecting World
 
Another purpose for the tribulation is that it is a time of God’s wrath upon a Christ-rejecting world and a time of revenge for Gentile treatment of Israel.
 
Moreover, it is evident that the Tribulation also concerns God’s judgment upon Christ-rejecting Gentile nations. Babylon, which "made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (Rev. 14:8), shall herself "be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her" (Rev. 18:8). The "cities of the nations" shall fall, after which Satan shall be bound "that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled" (Rev. 20:3). God’s judgment falls likewise upon the individual wicked, the kings of the earth, the great, the rich, and the mighty, every bond man and every free man (Rev. 6:15-17). It falls upon all who blaspheme the name of God and repent not to give Him glory (Rev. 16:9). Wicked men, godless nations, suffering Israel–these may all be found in Revelation 6-18; but one looks in vain for the Church of Christ, which is His body, until he reaches the nineteenth chapter. There she is seen as the heavenly bride of Christ, and when He returns to earth to make His enemies His footstool, she is seen returning with Him (I Thess. 3: 13).4
 
Such a time of judgment does not require the church, who has not rejected Christ, to be present. With the church in heaven during the tribulation, it enables God’s focus to be on Israel as His Divine instrument through which He acts. This program was predicted by the Lord before Joshua and Israel ever entered the Promised Land. Notice the predicted pattern:
 
1) then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. (Deut. 30:3)
 
2) And the LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it . . . (Deut. 30:5a)
 
3) And the LORD your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. And you shall again obey the LORD, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. (Deut. 30:7-8)
 
Zechariah speaks of the Lord’s retribution upon the nations as a time when "the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem . . . in that day that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." (Zech. 12:8-9) Once again the focus is upon Israel, in this case Jerusalem, not the church.
 
The book of Revelation provides a graphic depiction of God’s judgment upon an unbelieving world, often called "earth dwellers." As God prosecutes His judgment upon the "earth dwellers," John records periodic pauses by our Lord as He evaluates the response of mankind to His judgment before going onto the next phase. It is as if the Lord inflicts a series of judgments and then surveys the landscape to see if, like Ninevah in the days of Jonah, there is repentance so that He can suspend prosecution of the war. Un like Ninevah in the days of Jonah, the "earth dwellers" do not relent in the wake of "the wrath of the Lamb" (Rev. 6:16), so our Lord proceeds to the next phase of His battle. Every step of the way, the "earth dwellers" would "not repent of the works of their hands" (Rev. 9:20) Instead of worshipping Christ, "the earth and those who dwell in it . . . worship the first beast" (Rev. 13:12). Instead of repentance they "blasphemed God" (Rev. 16:21). Finally, "all the nations were deceived" (Rev. 18:23) resulting in the satanic notion that the armies of the world must march against Jerusalem-God’s city-and Israel-His people. This results in the basis for the second coming of Christ, which is to resue Israel from the world’s armies who are striking out at God by invading His people. Such a scenario does not demand or require the church and so she will not be there. We can see that the purpose of the tribulation revovles around God’s plan for Israel, not the church.
 
Conclusion
 
Only pretribulationism is able to give full import to tribulation terms like "the time of Jacob’s trouble" (Jer. 30:7), as a passage specifically stating that the tribulation is for Jacob (i.e., Israel). John Walvoord concludes,
 
Never are tribulation saints given the special and perculiar promises given to the church in the present age. The nature of the church in contrast to Israel therefore becomes an argument supporting the pretribulation viewpoint.5
 
Since God’s purpose for the tribulation is to restore Israel (Jer. 30:3, 10) and judge the Gentiles (Jer. 30:11), it is clear that this purpose does not include the church. This is one of the reasons why she will be taken to heaven before this time. The church’s hope is a heavenly one, not participation in the culmination and restoration of God’s plan for His earthly people-Israel. Maranatha! W
 
Endnotes
 
1 These arguments are adopted from John F. Walvoord, The Rapture Question, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976), pp. 270-71.
 
2 Gerald B. Stanton, Kept From The Hour: Biblical Evidence for the Pretribulational Return of Christ, 4th edition (Miami Springs, FL: Schoettle Publishing Company, 1991), pp. 35-36.
 
3 Robert Gromacki, "Where is ‘The Church’ in Revelation 4-19?" in Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, editors When The Trumpet Sounds (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1995), p. 355.
 
4 Stanton, Ibid., p. 36.
 
5 Walvoord, Ibid., p. 65.
 

Tensions in Lebanon Hinder Mideast Peace!

Tensions in Lebanon Hinder Mideast Peace! – By Bill Salus  – www.ProphecyDepot.com   
 
This article is a postscript to a recent article called Israel, Iran, and the Ishmaelites, which emphasized the present desperate Saudi push for Mideast peace. In a nutshell, Saudi King Abdullah took his Mideast peace plan of 2002 out of the archives and pitched it to the Arab League in Cairo on July 28, 2010. As a result of his stature and salesmanship, the Arab League pledged their support to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to enter into face-to-face "Direct (peace) Talks", should he desire, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
 
This geo-politically expedient Arab League decision came on the heels of Netanyahu’s July 6, 2010 comments that he is willing to conduct "Direct Talks" with the Palestinians. All of the above came as good news to U.S. President Barack Obama, who from day one in the oval office has advocated a Mideast foreign policy of "Engagement." His aim is to have all adversarial parties in the Mideast talk through their territorial and ideological differences. Some have criticized his "Engagement" policy calling it naïve; however, volatile Mideast conditions seem to be pressing the need for final diplomatic discussions.
 
Departing with a sense of accomplishment, Saudi King Abdullah left Cairo and headed for a historic Beirut conference with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Lebanese President Michel Suleiman. King Abdullah had not visited Beirut since March of 2002 at which time he had pitched his peace plan to the Counsel of Arab States. This extremely pro-Arab peace plan was accepted by the Arabs at the time. However this trip, somewhere in the 363 mile shuttle between Cairo and Beirut, Abdullah’s previously endorsed peace plan lost its importance and sense of urgency as the Saudi King was forced to abruptly shift his focus toward mounting tensions in Lebanon.
 
The Beirut summit primarily ended up addressing genuine concerns that Sunni-Shiite violence could erupt as soon as the results are made public of the UN court probe into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri in 2005. The UN court is apparently preparing to implicate members of the powerful Hezbollah in Hariri’s murder. Hezbollah is not expected to respond favorably to any assassination indictments from the UN. In fact, recent increased Hezbollah troop buildup in Southern Lebanon has caused Lebanese villagers in the area to clash with UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) soldiers.
 
Furthermore, Hezbollah has essentially disqualified the role of the UN in Lebanon over the past four years by defying UN Resolution 1701. This UN resolution called for the disarmament of Hezbollah in the aftermath of its 34-day conflict with Israel in the summer of 2006. Presently Hezbollah has assembled an arsenal of approximately 60,000 more advanced rockets, inclusive of Syrian Scud Missiles, and they have accomplished this during UNIFIL’s watch.
 
The Saudi King was requested to support Syrian and Lebanese wishes to discourage the possibility of any Hezbollah involvement in the Hariri assassination. The King’s peace plan was overpowered by this Hariri matter and other more pressing issues currently developing inside Lebanon. These matters included the following:
 
·         July 8, 2010 – Israel posted aerial photos on an official website inclusive of detailed maps and 3-D simulations locating Hezbollah deployed troops into Southern Lebanon. Reportedly 20,000 Hezbollah troops are presently positioned in hiding in hospitals, homes, schools, and other civilian locations in Southern Lebanon.
·         July 9, 2010 to present – UNIFIL forces clash with villagers in Southern Lebanon who are concerned that UNIFIL’s increased patrolling, the result of the Hezbollah troop buildup, would hinder Hezbollah’s ability to protect the villagers in the event that Israel attacked Lebanon.
·         July 11, 2010 – Hezbollah’s commander in Southern Lebanon, Sheik Nabil Kaouk declared Hezbollah has a "bank of targets" located inside of Israel and that presently they can "strike anywhere inside of Israel."
·         More recently on August 3, 2010 – Lt.-Col. (res.) Dov Harari, 45, from Netanya, was shot dead by a sniper from the Lebanese Armed Forces and a company commander from his battalion, Capt. Ezra Lakia, sustained a gunshot wound to the chest.
 
Peering through the smoke screen of the Middle East peace pipe it becomes alarmingly possible that the international community, including the Arab League and their Persian nemesis Iran, is headed for a war wake-up call in the very near future. Direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, should they occur, are headed for high hurdles for the following reasons:
 
1.    Abbas has expressed on several recent occasions that he is not interested in direct talks with his Israeli counterpart unless certain preconditions are met. Namely, he wants Israel to freeze all settlements and allow a third party, like NATO, to be the guardian of territory Israel acquired in 1967. Abbas wants Israel to provide this land for the creation of a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital. Although the Saudi Peace Plan calls for this, it is unimaginable that Benjamin Netanyahu and his current right wing coalition will ever agree to it.
 
2.    Abbas is merely a propped up figment figurehead of the international community’s imagination. He, nor his Fatah party, represents the majority will of the Palestinian people. The Hamas party and its leadership are the democratically elected party of the Palestinians as of January 2006. Hamas is not interested in a Two-State solution. The Hamas charter calls for Israel’s destruction through Jihad and for the consecration of a final Arab State in the Middle East called Palestine.
 
3.    The Arab League has made it clear that they believe peace cannot be achieved with the present Netanyahu Administration. This implies they don’t expect a viable peace is currently achievable and therefore all present negotiations are essentially meaningless.
4.    The Arab League’s new position forces the Obama Administration to pressure Israel into accepting the preconditions of President Abbas before direct talks can begin. This is not likely while the Netanyahu right wing coalition reigns sovereign over Israel.
4.
5.    The Israeli–Palestinian conflict represents only a segment of the overall complex Mideast peace predicament. Israel is also at odds with Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran. Additionally, Turkey has recently become adversarial toward Israel complicating the entire Middle East peace process.
 
6.    The Arabs have internal geo-political and religious conflicts amongst themselves. For instance, Sunnis and Shiites have Islamic ideological differences. Additionally, the Saudis are very concerned about the proxy relationships, sealed by bonafide war pacts, between Hezbollah, Syria, and the Hamas with Iran.
 
7.    The Arabs have conflicts with Iran in addition to Israel. As pointed out in the Israel, Iran, and the Ishmaelites article, Saudi Arabia is very concerned that Iran’s nuclear aspirations may extend into a war between them and Iran.
 
These are just a few of the reasons Middle East peace continues to allude the grasp of the international community. King Abdullah’s peace plan has mustered up Arab League support for "Direct Talks" between the Israelis and Palestinians. Additionally, it has encouraged President Obama that the Arab League seems to appreciate his Mideast foreign policy of "Engagement". However, the current content of the Saudi Peace Plan will prevent Israel from accepting it as a legitimate plan for Mideast peace. Tensions in Lebanon may push the Saudi Peace Plan back into the archives where it had been collecting dust for over 8 previous years.
 

The Second Coming

The Second Coming – This Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley – www.gracethrufaith.com
 
At the time of the 6th Bowl judgment, Satan will send 3 demonic emissaries with miraculous powers to persuade all the Kings of the Earth to gather their armies at Har Megiddo, known to us as Armageddon (Rev. 16:14,) Mt. Megiddo overlooks the plains of Jezreel in central Israel, where the world’s armies will come together for the battle of Jerusalem, less than 100 miles to the south. The anti-Christ will invade Israel and set up headquarters in Jerusalem (Daniel 11:41.45). According to Zechariah, the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. (Zech 14:2)
 
 
Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations as He fights in the day of battle (Zech 14:3). In Rev. 16:14 John called this the battle on the great day of God Almighty, and it will all be over in less than one day. But which day? Jesus said, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matt. 24:42) Let’s see if we can piece the various scripture references together to make some sense of the chain of events.
 
Lights Off
 
He told us that “immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” (Matt. 24:29)
 
480 years earlier He had Zechariah say, “On that day (the day of the battle) there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light.” (Zech 14:6-7) That tells us this battle will follow on the heels of the Great Tribulation and occur during the time when there’s no light on Earth, on a day only the Lord will know. I think this time of darkness will be a brief one, perhaps just a few days long. It only has to last long enough to make the Lord’s statement that no one would know the day or hour of His return come true.
 
Picture the armies of Earth gathered in Israel knowing they’re going up against the King of Kings in the final round of the battle for control of Planet Earth. Babylon the Great will have just been destroyed (Rev. 18) and you’d think they would have had enough. But obviously they’ve been emboldened by Satan’s demonic emissaries. The miraculous signs these three display will convince them they have the necessary force to prevail. Then without warning the whole world will be plunged into absolute darkness with no Sun, no Moon, no stars to illuminate the endless expanse of the night sky. Everything will come to a standstill. Where is their enemy? Why doesn’t He come out and fight?
 
Suddenly the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. (Matt. 24:30) At that moment they’ll realize their mistake, their confidence will evaporate, and they’ll wish with all their heart they hadn’t listened to Satan’s emissaries. But it’ll be too late for that.
 
John described the ensuing battle this way.
 
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. (Rev. 19:11-15)
 
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. (Rev. 19:19-21)
 
The Armies of Earth will quickly discover that their worst fears have become reality. They’re no match for the Lord. The sword that comes from His mouth is obviously symbolic, standing for His Word. Having spoken the universe into existence, defeating this army with the word of His mouth will be no challenge. The armies of Heaven won’t even get their robes dirty. But the Kings of the Earth will realize they’ve been misled by Satan once again, and this time it will prove to be a fatal mistake.
 
On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea (Dead Sea) and half to the western sea, (Mediterranean) in summer and in winter. (Zech 14:8)
 
From Ezekiel 47:2 we learn that the water comes from the Temple, flowing south into a great ravine formed by an earthquake that will occur when the Lord’s foot touches the Mt. of Olives (Zech 14:4). This ravine will run west to east from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea, forming the bed of the mighty River of Life (Ezek. 47:1-12, Rev. 22:1-2). Splitting the Mt. Of Olives means it will go straight through the current Temple Mount, eliminating all traces of it. Since the water flows south it means the Temple built at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week will have been located to the North of the current Mount. Last time we identified its location as Shiloh, 20 miles north of Jerusalem.
 
The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. (Zech 14:9)
 
This is a long awaited fulfillment of prophecy. Within a few short days, everyone on Earth will stand before King Jesus and agree that He is Lord of all the Earth. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11) Tragically, many will not have confessed Him as their Savior, and now it’s too late. As they depart to begin an eternity of torment they’ll have to admit that as Lord, He has the right to banish them. Even worse, they’ll know that He died for their sins, but they refused the pardon His death purchased for them, and the time for claiming it expired with His Coming.
 
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. (Rev. 20:1-3)
 
Lights On
 
The anti-Christ and false prophet will have been cast into the Lake of Fire, and Satan will be bound. Finally peace will come to Earth. Zechariah said that in the evening of that day there will be light (Zech. 14:7), but Jesus said the Sun would go dark to mark the end of the Great Tribulation. Where will the light come from?
 
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. (Rev. 21:2-3)
 
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. (Rev. 21:23-25)
 
Believers who died before the Church age will rise from their graves (Daniel 12:2), accompanied by Tribulation Martyrs (Rev. 20:4). Together they’ll witness the Glorious Appearing of the Lord and join the grateful multitude in welcoming Him to Earth. The Creation itself will have been waiting in eager expectation of this day, when it will finally be liberated from it’s bondage to decay. (Romans 8:19-21)
 
The Lord’s first order of business upon returning will be to summon all the survivors of the Great Tribulation to determine their disposition. First the Jew,
 
Jesus said to them (the Disciples), “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matt. 19:28)
 
Then the Gentile.
 
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (Matt. 25:31-32)
 
This prophecy first appeared in Joel 3:1-2. “In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.”
 
The parables of the Faithful Servant, the Ten Virgins, and the Talents in Matt. 24-25 also describe this time of judgment that I believe will consume the Lord’s first 30 days back on Earth. The net result of these events is that surviving Tribulation believers will be welcomed into the Millennial Kingdom, while unbelievers will be taken away to begin an eternity of torment (Matt. 24:51, 25:30, 25:41)
 
Next will come the business of establishing His Kingdom. The Temple, defiled by the abomination of desolation, will be cleansed and made fit for service again like its predecessor of Maccabean days. The new levitical priesthood, led by the descendants of Zadok, will be installed (Ezekiel 44:10-16) to officiate therein. The promised Land will be divided and re-distributed to the Jews (Ezekiel 48:1-29) while believing Gentiles will be sent to re-populate the nations. Governmental and administrative systems will be put into place.
 
This will require an additional 45 days. These two periods were hinted at in Daniel 12:11-12.
 
“From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.”
 
The Great Tribulation will be 1260 days long. 30 days to judge the survivors brings us to 1290 days and 45 more to set up the Kingdom totals 1335. Blessed is the one who reaches this time because he will be counted among those who’ve been judged worthy to inhabit the kingdom. Every one of them will be a believer.
 
So as the Millennium begins there will finally be peace on Earth, a peace so real they’ll be able to feel it. The Lord will be King of all the Earth and His name will be the only name (Zech 14:8). More next time.

Israel, Iran, and the Ishmaelites

Israel, Iran, and the Ishmaelites – By Bill Salus  – www.ProphecyDepot.com  
 
As Iran’s nuclear development program nears completion, the rogue state draws dangerously close to possessing sufficient military power to control the OPEC Oil Cartel and the Islamic Crescent. Iran’s apparent quest to obtain overwhelming power in the Mideast region justifiably concerns Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, who has recently ratcheted up his support for the destruction of Iran’s nuclear sites and implementation of his Saudi Mideast Peace Initiative of 2002. King Abdullah’s latest geo-political actions tell a timeline tale of sincere concerns the Middle East is about to go apocalyptic.
 
His present politicking evidences his fear that Iran’s nuclear aspirations are much more expansive than wiping Israel off the map, but also include forcing Sunni subservience of Shiite Islamic theology throughout the Fertile Crescent. Additionally, his haste to motivate Mideast peace seemingly demonstrates his awareness that Israel is preparing, pre-emptively or otherwise, to protect itself with Godspeed from all existential threats emanating out of Iran and/or its proxies, Hezbollah, Syria, and Hamas.
 
Listed below is a chronology of Abdullah’s recent geo-political actions evidencing his concerns that a shift in the balance of Mideast power could be forthcoming:
 
June 12, 2010 – Saudi Arabia opens up a thin strip of strategic airspace to Israel for a potential strike against Iran’s nuclear site(s). This was an extraordinary out of character development considering Saudi Arabia doesn’t even recognize Israel’s right to exist as the bonafide Jewish State. Both Saudi Arabia and Israel officially denied this airspace became available, but coincidentally about the same time the Saudi military conducted wide scale exercises intended to prevent friendly fire from striking Israeli bombers in the event they crossed Saudi airspace on route to attack Iran. In fact, it was reported about the same time Egypt independently conducted military exercises of a similar nature.
 
June 13, 2010 – The Israeli Air Force (IAF) reportedly landed aircraft in Tabuk, Northwest Saudi Arabia. Supposedly all Saudi commercial air traffic shut down at the time for the deployment of these Israeli aircrafts. Iran Fars News reported at the time that Israel intends to use Tabuk as a pre-emptive launch point to attack Iran’s nuclear sites. Interestingly, King Abdullah won’t allow the existence of a Jewish synagogue anywhere in his kingdom, but now invites the IAF to deploy upon Saudi soil.
 
June 29, 2010 – Abdullah travels to Washington to discuss volatile Mideast events. Reportedly Obama enlisted Abdullah’s support to end the American–Afghanistan war. Abdullah promised he could exert such influence in the region and, in turn, requested Obama’s assurance that Israel would accept his Saudi peace plan of 2002.
 
Supposedly, Obama said he would force Israel, if need be, to accept this entirely Arab initiated peace proposal. This peace plan, among many things, calls for Israel to forfeit land acquired in the aftermath of their 1967 war victory, allow the return of millions of Palestinian Refugees, and afford the Palestinians a state of their own with East Jerusalem as its capital. For more information on the Saudi Peace initiative accepted by the Counsel of Arab States in Lebanon in 2002 (click here).
 
July 28, 2010 – King Abdullah is scheduled to visit Egypt. Egyptian President Mubarak, recently diagnosed with cancer, has recently been actively encouraging direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a significant meeting that starts a Mideast tour for the Saudi King. One of the expected goals of this meeting in Egypt is to pressure Palestinian President Abbas into engaging in direct peace talks with Benjamin Netanyahu. Abbas, has expressed serious reservations about direct talks without pre-conditions. Abbas wants Israel to freeze all settlement construction before he entertains any such talks.
 
July 29, 2010 – Abdullah then travels to Syria to meet with Israel’s arch enemy, President Bashar Assad. The Saudi king hasn’t paid a visit to Syria since 2002, the year the Saudi Peace Initiative was approved by the Counsel of Arab States. It appears at least one of the round table topics will be how Syria can reclaim title of the strategic Golan Heights, which is included within the stipulations of the Saudi Peace Initiative. Interestingly, Syria has bonafide war pacts in place with Iran and Hezbollah that came into being between 12/2009 and 2/2010. One can imagine these war-pacts are of serious concern to Abdullah who is vehemently opposed to Iran’s developing nuclear program. Additionally since 2004, Jordan’s king Abdullah II has been warning of the formation of a coming Shiite Crescent through Iraq, Syria, and the Hezbollah of Lebanon.
 
July 30, 2010 – King Abdullah is slated to travel to Lebanon, which is another country he hasn’t visited since the Saudi Peace Plan of 2002 was sanctioned there. He is scheduled to meet with Lebanese president Michel Suleiman who has publicly hinted in the past that his armed forces will support Hezbollah in the event of another Israeli–Hezbollah conflict. Meanwhile, around July 8, 2010, Hezbollah reportedly deployed approximately 20,000 troops along the southern borders of Lebanon.
 
Current Middle East events are extremely alarming and observably King Abdullah appears to be gravely concerned. His proactive involvement in Mideast affairs underpins a sense of urgency and desperation. Abdullah has pulled his peace plan of 2002 out of the archives and is seriously promoting it in both Washington and the Middle East. It seems evident his enthusiasm to bring about Mideast peace is driven by selfish, secular, and spiritual motives.
 
Abdullah, the head of the house of Saud, has reigned over the largest and wealthiest Arab State since his half brother King Fahd had a major stroke in January of 1996. His Kingdom presently possesses the number #1 ranking in OPEC and one-quarter of the world’s oil reserves. Additionally, his country hosts Islam’s two most sacred holy sites located in Mecca and Medina.
 
He presides over an untold fortune driven by oil production and mandatory Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca. According to Bible prophecy Saudi Arabia will not dwell in this status quo condition indefinitely. Someday soon Saudi Arabia will be involved in Psalm 83 and subsequently burdened by Ezekiel 38 & 39. These are two distinctly different end time’s Israeli War prophecies that many eschatologists believe are soon and sequentially forthcoming.
 
Saudi Arabia appears in the climatic concluding Arab–Israeli War prophecy of Psalm 83 under the banner of the Ishmaelites. Ishmael was promised to father a nation in Genesis 17:20 and many bible scholars recognize him as the father of the Arabs and thus the predominant patriarch of the modern day Saudis.
 
Ezekiel 25:13-15 states the Saudis and several of their Psalm 83 Arab cohorts are defeated by the Israeli Defense Forces. Ezekiel alludes to the Saudis as Dedan, which was located in Northwestern Saudi Arabia in ancient times. Coincidentally the Tabuk airfield, presently hosting the Israeli aircrafts alluded to above, is relatively nearby ancient Dedan.
 
In the subsequent massive invasion of Israel described in Ezekiel 38 & 39 the Saudis lift their voice in apparent protest as a contingency from Dedan (Ezekiel 38:13). The Ezekiel invaders, inclusive of Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, Ethiopia and several others, form a coalition seeking to destroy Israel and capture plunder and great spoil. Due to Iran’s and Turkey’s hatred of Israel, many end time’s experts believe Ezekiel 38 & 39 is about to find final fulfillment.
 
For some reason the Saudis, Yemenites, and a group of merchants from Tarshish, possibly parts of Europe and America, abstain from enjoining the Ezekiel confederacy. Some speculate that the Saudis along with the merchants seek to conduct international commerce with Israel and publicly protest the genocidal motives of the Ezekiel 38 invaders.
 
In conclusion, Saudi King Abdullah’s present haste to create peace in the Middle East could be another indicator that the days of Mideast diplomacy are winding down and the Holy Land is about to go apocalyptic in fulfillment of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 & 39.

Judging Planet Earth

Judging Planet Earth – This Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley – www.gracethrufaith.com
 
The combination of the Rapture and the Battle of Ezekiel 38 will fill the world with anguish and uncertainty as Daniel’s 70th Week begins. Where did all those Christian people go? How did Israel so utterly destroy that massive invasion force all by itself? Who caused the nuclear exchanges in various places? How did all these things happen so suddenly? Why didn’t somebody see this coming and do something to prevent it?
 
The Seal Judgments
 
In the midst of the chaos and confusion a man with an incredible ability to restore the world’s hope for the future will emerge, promising to bring peace. (Rev. 6:2) The frightened populace will listen and will quickly persuade themselves to follow his lead. He’ll agree to Israel’s demand for a Temple, not because He wants to help them honor God for securing their victory but because he has plans of his own for the Temple. (Daniel 9:27)
 
From their own Scriptures (Ezekiel 48:1-10) he’ll show Israel why their new Temple shouldn’t be built where the old ones had stood. Instead it should be located a few miles north, in ancient Shiloh, where the Tabernacle had been located. This will leave the Moslem facilities intact for a time on the current Temple mount. After the disappearance of the Church Islam will fast become the dominant religion of the world and they believe their third most holy place is on that mount. With this bold stroke he’ll bring a semblance of peace to the region, demonstrating that Jew and Moslem can live in peace as neighbors in a brave new world (Dan 8:25). The people of Earth will breathe a collective sigh of relief.
 
But all too soon wars will start to break out in various places (Rev. 6:3) because this leader’s ultimate goal is world domination and some nations will resist. He’ll convince people it’s only a necessary inconvenience and assure them that everything will soon be all right again. But the combination of wars, food shortages, and runaway inflation will begin taking their toll (Rev. 6:6). The deadly effects of this combination will be felt across one fourth of the Earth.
 
Though it’s often called a religion of peace, Islam offers the world only two options, submission or death, as the martyrs among believers of other faiths will soon learn. For the multitude of new Christians who witnessed the disappearance of friends and family in the rapture and know from firsthand experience the truth of the gospel, conversion to Islam will be impossible and the number of those who will die for their faith will mount rapidly and steadily. (Rev. 6:9) They’ll cry out to the Lord for vengeance but He’ll caution them to be patient for a little while longer because many more will die just as they have (Rev. 6:10-11).
 
A great earthquake that will be felt worldwide will trigger volcanic action spewing millions of tons of ash into the air, blotting out the Sun and bringing the Blood Moon (Rev. 6:12-14). Some will blame the earthquake on a unique planetary alignment predicted by the Mayans long ago. Others will say it’s due to the return into the Solar System of a long lost planet. The upper atmosphere will literally burst into flame because of the simultaneous magnetic polar reversals on the Sun and Earth.
 
The world’s leaders will run for cover, some intuitively knowing that the Wrath of God they were warned about by the Christians who’ve all disappeared has already begun and they’ll be shown no quarter. (Rev. 6:16-17)
 
The Trumpet Judgments
 
As if to confirm the worst fears of these leaders, a storm of hail, fire, and blood will rain down upon the Earth burning up a third of it. A third of the trees and all the green grass will go up in smoke. (Rev. 8:7) A meteor-like object the size of a huge mountain will crash into the sea. The resulting contamination will turn a third of the world’s oceans to blood killing all the marine life in the affected areas. The tsunami this causes will capsize and destroy a third of the ships in the world. Over 50,000 commercial ships will disappear in a single day. (Rev. 8:8-9)
 
Then another star will fall to Earth and when it does a third of the fresh water will be contaminated. It will be toxic and foul tasting and many people will die from drinking it. (Rev. 8:10-11)
 
Both the day and the night will lose a third of their light due to the smoke and ash from the fires and volcanoes. Through the smoke and haze a messenger will bring a warning from the Lord, “The worst is yet to come.” (Rev. 8:12-13)
 
A fallen angel will open the shaft of the Abyss and smoke will billow forth, further contaminating the already toxic air. Creatures resembling locusts will fly from the smoke and for 5 months will inflict scorpion like stings on the people. These stings will be so painful people will wish they could die, but there’ll be no escape (Rev. 9:1-11). The only people on Earth who will be immune from their venom will be the 144,000 evangelists the Lord will have commissioned from among 12 named tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:1-8).
 
Four angels who’ve been bound at the gateway to the East (the Euphrates) will be released to kill one third of the Earth’s remaining population with plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur. (Rev. 9:13-19) The East is far different from the West and because of Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Eastern religions the Far East will be the most difficult to bring under the Islamic one world banner. Since 40% of the world’s population lives there the number of casualties will be enormous.
 
Between the Rapture, the martyrdom, the wars and the judgments well over 2 billion people will no longer be found among the living on planet Earth as Daniel’s 70th Week approaches the mid point. And yet the Bible gives no indication that the unbelievers who remain will see the error of their ways and change their minds. This is the hardest core of the unsaved, the ones who refused to believe the truth of the Lord and accepted the lie of the anti-Christ instead (2 Thes. 2:10). In their deluded state they’ll think they’re on the side of light not darkness, and right not wrong. They’ll see God as the invading enemy and Satan as their leader. Spiritually, everything will be upside down.
 
But at the blowing of the 7th Trumpet, the Lord’s reign will begin (Rev. 11:15). Having used every device at His command to persuade the people of Earth to change their minds and accept His offer of pardon, He will now take action to unseat the usurper from the throne that’s rightfully His and claim for Himself that which He’s purchased with His own blood, Planet Earth. Those who’ve sided with Satan will now face the worst time of judgment in the history of mankind. Were it not for a remnant of the Lord’s people among them, not a single soul would be left standing when this is over (Matt. 24:21-22).
 
The Bowl Judgments
 
The Bowl judgments make up the 3 1/2 year period of time we know as the Great Tribulation. The Seal and Trumpet cycles of judgments were partly for the purpose of demonstrating evidence of God’s existence to the undecided among the people of Earth. But that will have come to an end with the Bowl judgments. They’re strictly for the purpose of bringing judgment upon those who’ve rejected Him. In the process the Lord is going to completely destroy all the nations to which His people have been scattered (Jeremiah 30:11). Today there are nearly as many Jews in America as there are in Israel, so you know this country will not escape.
 
By now Satan will have been expelled from Heaven (Rev. 12:9), taken up residence in the body of the anti-Christ (Rev. 13:4) and unleashed his full fury on those who refuse to bow before him. Three angels will have delivered God’s final messages to mankind. The first one will offer one last chance to accept the Gospel, the second will announce the coming destruction of Babylon and all the city represents, and the third will warn mankind against taking the mark of the beast. (Rev. 14:6-11)
 
People who will have disregarded the warning against taking the mark will be treated to a dose of ugly and painful sores (Rev. 16:2) All the water on Earth will turn to blood, whether in the sea (Rev. 16:3) or in springs and rivers (Rev. 16:4). All sources of water will now be contaminated. The angel in charge of the waters reminds us that God is just in doing this because those He’s judging have shed the blood of God’s saints and prophets. Now He’s giving them blood to drink. (Rev. 16:5-7)
 
The Sun will go super nova at this point becoming so hot people will burst into flames just by going outside. Again they will curse God but refuse to repent. (Rev. 16:8-9)
 
Then the Sun will go totally dark turning day into night, and still the people of Earth will curse God but refuse to repent (Rev. 16:10-11).
 
The anti-Christ will gather the armies of the world to Armageddon in a final effort to repel the Earth’s “invaders”. From Heaven a loud voice will shout, “It is done!” and the full fury of God’s wrath will be loosed on Earth. Lightning, thunder, and the worst earthquake man has ever experienced will be followed by a torrent of 100 pound hail stones. (Rev. 16:17-21) The punishment for blasphemy is stoning, and the blaspheming people of Earth will suffer the most extreme form of this punishment for their behavior.
 
Then God will turn to Babylon, headquarters of the forces who’ve defied Him since the time after the flood. There are three components involved, governmental, commercial, and religious, and among them they have enslaved the people of Earth for several millennia.
 
First God will use the governmental component to destroy the religious one.
 
“The beast (anti-Christ) and the ten horns (ten kings who assist him) you saw will hate the prostitute (religious Babylon). They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled.” (Rev. 17:16-17)
 
Then He’ll turn to the commercial component. It will be so totally destroyed that Earth’s leaders will stand aghast scarcely believing what their own eyes are telling them.
 
They will weep and mourn and cry out, “Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!” (Rev. 18:16-17)
 
Finally the governmental component.
 
The beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. (Rev. 19:20-21)
 
For six thousand years God has worked tirelessly to reconcile Himself to man, even giving His own life in exchange for ours, and all of His efforts have ended in failure due to man’s unfaithfulness. Covenant after covenant was instituted and broken. The only one that wasn’t is the one the Father made with His son to save us. But even then man, given the choice to participate as a beneficiary, refused. Soon, His patience exhausted, God will remove the remnant that chose the pardon He offers, and judge the rest. Can you blame Him?

Getting the Peace to Fit

Getting the Peace to Fit – David Jeremiah – www.davidjeremiah.org
How wonderful to know that through the sunshine and shadows of time and history, God keeps watch above His own. We shouldn’t let the headlines trouble us because behind them is the hand of God, His mercies are new every morning. We shouldn’t let breaking news vanquish our peace of heart; we should instead break out in song that our Lord reigns. The Bible says we will "have no fear of bad news" if our hearts are steadfast, trusting in Him (Psalm 112:7 NIV).
If you want to know what to expect from God in the future, study the "I wills" of Jesus:
•           "Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son"—John 14:13
•           "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"—Matthew 11:28
•           "Everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day"—John 6:40
•           "I will come again and receive you to Myself"—John 14:3
•           "I will give you the crown of life"—Revelation 2:10
While world history is in the throes of its God-ordained concluding chapters, the Lord Jesus is busy building His church, giving His people words of witness, answering their prayers, giving them rest in their innermost hearts, and preparing to return to receive them unto Himself.
How should we then live? Expectantly. Jesus said we should be waiting and watching for His return. And we should also be busy. Those who are focused on the return of Jesus Christ have a deep sense of urgency about maximizing their life impact for Him. They realize time is short, and they recall the words of Jesus in Luke 19:13: "Do business till I come."
We’ve never been closer to the Second Coming of Christ than we are now. Time is short and the task is huge. Our one pursuit in life should be loving and laboring for Christ, doing His business until He comes. It’s easy to get sidetracked, isn’t it? I get letters every week from people wanting me to become involved in a variety of programs, commissions, projects, boards, and tasks. I try to read these queries with a prayerful heart, and I could easily get caught up in many worthwhile projects and programs. But I must always ask myself, "What exactly does God want me to do until Christ returns? What has He called me to do for His kingdom?"
What does God want you to do? As long as He leaves you on earth, He has a plan for you, a purpose, a personal ministry. It might be sharing the Gospel with family or friends, or being involved in your church’s outreach program. It might be working with the rescue mission in your city, or using your voice in song for Christ. Perhaps it’s working with children and leading them to Christ.
Whatever it is, Jesus commanded: "Do business till I come." And He also told us to be of good cheer. Don’t let your heart be troubled, but live with expectancy of what will happen on this earth. Live confidently in the light of Christ’s return. If you have put your faith in Christ and have spent significant time in the Word of God, even the tough times can be a magnet that draws you closer to the Lord Jesus. Nothing is going to happen to you—ever—that will catch Jesus Christ by surprise. He is able to help His children work through anything, and not a single event will happen in the future that can change that.
So while we want to study biblical prophecy and understand the details of coming events, make sure that it isn’t just an academic pursuit. Draw from it peace and purpose for your life now, and get to know Christ better each day. Then when the future becomes the present and the Lord Jesus returns for His own, you’ll enjoy hearing His glorious words: "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:23 KJV).
 

The “Great Whore” is Here!

The “Great Whore” is Here! – Joseph R. Chambers – jrc@pawcreek.org
 
In one generation, the modern church has become the harlot woman of Revelation chapter seventeen. There are uncompromising saints everywhere and the distinction is that they know something is terribly wrong. A multitude of these Bible-believers have tried to stay in those churches and help turn them back, but that is hopeless. That is not what the Lord Jesus wants us to do. He said, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins” (Revelation 18:4b). You are going to do that or you are going to be judged with “her.”
 
This “Great Whore” is soon to be judged. In fact, you can see judgment already at work. Effeminacy has gripped the ministers and a great part of the male leadership of the church world. The women have utterly forsaken feminine characteristics and godly living. It’s amazing to watch the men becoming effeminate and the women becoming masculine. The only word for such a dominating turn is the judgment of God. The Holy Spirit is giving them up to their distorted, carnal ambitions and passions. The worse is yet to come.
 
Let’s look at the judgment that is soon to fall on this “whorish” church world. At the command of Jesus Christ, which He received from the Father, an angel spoke to John, “Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters” (Revelation 17:1b). God’s Bible is infallible and every ministry, denomination, or local congregation that has forsaken any part of truth is ripe for the judgment. The Son of God left no room for carelessness. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4). We are without excuse!
 
Drunkenness has become the dominating mood. Not drunkenness from strong drink but drunkenness from the love of this world, its pleasures, and its perceived success. You must understand that conviction of righteousness and holiness has been withdrawn. This is the first sign of judgment. The Holy Spirit has been distorted, grieved, maligned, and imitated until at the Lord’s command He has withdrawn from almost the entire church world. If you try to tell those involved this has happened – almost the entire church world — they will hate and destroy you if they can. Nothing is more evident in this “Great Whore” than total drunkenness and obliviousness to the developing judgment and God’s call back to the Holy Word of God.
 
Not only is she drunk, but she is blind. The great hope of the Church has always been the return of Christ to Rapture us and to remove us from the judgment to come. This is a New Testament theme. Those church groups that claim to still believe in the Rapture have become incapable of preaching the truth. Constantly, the good saints that are trying to remain with this blind church world are begging the ministers to preach the Rapture, but they only get crumbs. The ministers will say little nothings that sound good to these thirsty souls, but they are only crumbs to keep the saints fooled.
 
The worship has turned from spiritual to soulical. The music excites the base desires for fleshly satisfaction instead of a sacred longing after Christ and His sweet Spirit. Watching contemporary musicians do their thing is like watching unsanctified flesh bouncing and gravitating. This new music will stir religious people to go ballistic emotionally but leave the godly feeling empty and depressed. Contemporary music is an imitation of spiritual music and worship. Watch the people — singers or worshippers — and their lives will be a perfect picture of the downward spiral from Biblical godliness to utter compromise.
 
This Spirit said, “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication” (Revelation 17:3-4). The “Great Whore” church is “full of names of blasphemy.” Here are the seven blasphemous characteristics in her name:
 
Full of Names of Blasphemy:
1. Denies the absolute authority of Holy Scripture.
2. Blasphemes the single source for the cleansing of human sins.
3. Rejects the fear of God, which is God’s lasting means of wisdom.
4. Denies the absolute demand of holiness in the human temple (our body).
5. Blasphemes the created sacredness of male and female.
6. Forsakes the great depth and beauty of the human spirit.
7. Transfers the center of human life from the spirit to the soul or the fallen nature.
 
Do not be fooled! At the beginning of the embrace of soulical music, the theology seems intact. It will only take a few months and then the drastic changes will begin. The change is called a paradigm shift and there is seldom any possibility of a return to the Biblical mindset.
 
The “Great Whore” is going to be judged at the conclusion of the seven years of this Great Tribulation. Most of the church world, where this woman reigns, has either forsaken the Book of Revelation or in the process of forsaking it. Preaching or teaching on these strong prophecy trends is utterly absent or given only lip service. Any emphasis on separation from sin and worldliness has been deserted. The distinction of male and female is lost. The attire is effeminate for men and Jezebel-like for women, and they consider me insane for saying such things.
 
She will be burned with fire, “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled” (Revelation 17:16-17). Even John the Revelator was impressed with her magnificence and had to be rebuked. You may have the same emotions, but now the cover is blown.
 
“Come Out of Her!” Quit hanging around a church world that God, by Jesus Christ, called “the Great Whore.” Unless you give up your bondage to this Antichrist system, you will be judged with her. “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4). Do not repeat the worn out excuse, “I’m waiting for God to tell me to get out of my compromised church.” He already has. You must obey Him or you will suffer the judgment that is soon to fall.
 
Joseph R. Chambers
 
jrc@pawcreek.org

Between First Fruits and Pentecost

Between First Fruits and Pentecost

This Week’s feature Article by Jack Kelley

For some time now, I’ve been puzzled about the time between the resurrection and the ascension. What was the Lord doing during that time? It was certainly different than His Ministry before the resurrection. He had already accomplished everything He came to do. It seems like He would have been more anxious to return home.

Lack Of Specificity In The Olivet Discourse

My curiosity was first aroused during a review of the Olivet Discourse. To show you what I mean we’ll have to do a quick review of the first 34 verses of Matt. 24. I’m particularly interested in the way the Lord answered the disciples’ questions about the signs of His coming and the End of the age. In Matt. 24:4-14 He began by mentioning a handful of general signs that don’t appear to have any clear relevance to time.

First He warned them that many false messiahs would come claiming to be Him. Next came wars and rumors of wars, but He said not to be alarmed by such things, they wouldn’t be signs of the end. Then He gave the “birth pang” signs, famines, earthquakes and, in Luke’s account, pestilence. These are signature signs of God’s judgment that Jesus said would lead up to the end.

He said Jews would be persecuted and put to death, hated by all nations. This would cause many to turn away from the (Jewish) faith to hate and betray each other. False prophets would also appear and deceive many people. The love of most would grow cold but he who stood firm to the end would be saved. I believe the love He was talking about here is the love of God, because this is the love that saves us.

I wonder what the disciples thought about all of this so far. Remember they were under the impression that Israel was 483 years into a 490 year period that would see the culmination of God’s plan for mankind (Daniel 9:24). A few hours earlier they had assumed that the magnificent Temple King Herod was building was part of the preparation for restoring their Kingdom to its former glory. Then Jesus had told them it was all going to be torn down. Now He was giving them vague and general answers to their specific questions.

Finally, in Matt. 24:15, He gave them the first clear sign. An abomination that causes desolation would be set up in the Holy Place. They had heard about one of these. Antiochus Epiphanes had set one up almost 200 years earlier as part of his demand that they worship him as God. It’s the only time it had ever happened. Jesus said when they saw that happen again, they should immediately flee into the mountains.

Then he told them about the Great Tribulation that would bring a terrible time of judgment, the worst the world had ever seen or would ever see. He said if he didn’t bring it to an end at the appointed time no one on Earth would survive, but for the sake of the elect He would bring it to an end. He said when He did the sun and moon would stop shining and the stars would fall out of the sky (Matt. 24:29). Then they’d see His sign, the only source of light in the dark sky, and finally they’ see Him coming in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory (Matt. 24:30).

In all this He never mentioned the Church. ( In fact in His entire earthly ministry, He only mentioned the Church twice, in Matt. 16:18 and Matt. 18:17.) He didn’t even hint at the fact that there would be a 2,000 year gap of time between their time and the first specific sign. He spoke of everything as if it was going to happen to them, and in fact everything He said could have happened within what they believed was the remaining 7 years. It’s also clear he was addressing them as representatives of Israel.

Looking back through history we can see He had a number of opportunities to be more specific with earlier signs. One of the best examples is the prophecy He had James give at the Council of Jerusalem 20 years later. “Israel is being set aside until the Lord takes from among the Gentiles a people for Himself. Then He’ll return to rebuild David’s fallen tabernacle” (Acts 15:13-18).  But He made no mention of any span of time between the Disciples’ day and ours.

What Was He Waiting For?

Then there’s the issue of the apparent dead time between the resurrection and the ascension. What was that all about? He didn’t do any public teaching or healing, and there were no other miracles either. After His meeting with the disciples on Resurrection Sunday there were only 6 more recorded appearances. 4 were to the disciples (John 20:26-31, John 21:1-23, Matt. 28:16-20, Acts 1:3-8), one was to James (1 Cor. 15:7) and one was to about 500 others, his only public appearance (1 Cor. 15:6) between the resurrection and the ascension.

Otherwise the Bible is silent about how He spent His time. There’s no account of discussions on how to launch the Church, and He didn’t fill in any of the blanks from the Olivet Discourse. We know why He didn’t go back to the Temple. He told the leaders there they wouldn’t see Him again until they said, “Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 23:39).

The Unmistakable Sign

Before the cross they had asked the Lord for a sign to prove He was the messiah. He told them the only sign He would give them was the sign of the prophet Jonah. He said He’d spend 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the Earth (Matt. 12:40) and then He did just that. Surely they knew of His resurrection, but none of the officials sought Him out. What do you suppose they were thinking? We overlook this, but here is the most unmistakably miraculous sign He could have given them. It didn’t take any faith to interpret, and it couldn’t have been fabricated. It’s as if He had looked them in the eye and said, “I know you’re going to kill me. But after three days I’m going to rise again, and that’s how you’ll know I’m your Messiah. That sign will prove it to you beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

Acts 1:3 confirms that He appeared to the disciples from time to time over a 40 day period as we saw above, and says He told them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. Then He ascended into Heaven. I believe those 40 days were Israel’s time of testing. Jesus had given them the sign He promised, one that no one else could ever give them, and they didn’t respond. Even so, I think His offer of the Kingdom was still on the table. He was waiting for them to accept, knowing they wouldn’t, but waiting just the same.

And consider this. The three day-three night sign may not have been the Lord’s only reason for comparing Himself to Jonah. Remember how the Lord sent Jonah to preach destruction to the Ninevites, but Jonah went the opposite direction instead.

Running away to sea, Jonah was thrown overboard in a storm and swallowed by a whale. After three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, Jonah returned and preached a simple but devastating message to Nineveh. “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” (Jonah 3:4)

Jesus had repeatedly warned Israel of the consequences for rejecting Him. In Matt. 21:43 He said, “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”

And remember that first Palm Sunday? “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19:41-44) (Note that He called Himself God.)

As it had been with Jonah, this was a straight forward pronouncement of judgment. There was no indication they could change things. But in Nineveh the people repented anyway, from the lowest to the highest. When God saw this He had compassion on them and did not bring the destruction He had threatened (Jonah 3:10)

Could the judgment on Israel have been avoided too? What if after Jesus had given them the “sign of Jonah” they had repented like the Ninevites had? Could they also have stayed the hand of God?

Obviously, God knew the Ninevites would repent. Jonah even accused Him of knowing this and said that was why he ran away instead of warning them of the coming judgment (Jonah 4:1-2).

Just as obviously He knew the Israelites would not. But as I’ve said before, knowing the future is not the same as controlling it. God has given man free will, after all. Had the Ninevites not repented they would have been judged, but when they did God demonstrated His mercy and stood down. (About 100 years later Nineveh reversed its spiritual course again and was judged after all.)

Like wise had the Israelites repented, perhaps they could have avoided the judgment that sent them into exile for 2000 years. After all, God will forgive them as soon as they ask Him, and will restore their Kingdom as well. I just wonder if it was His decision to wait 2000 years. Maybe it could have happened within that 40 days of testing after the Resurrection.

Let Me Make This Perfectly Clear

Please don’t misunderstand me. Jesus had to die. Right from the Garden it’s been known that it would take the Messiah’s death to redeem us from our bondage to sin, so I’m not talking about that. Neither am I talking about the judgment of the nations for those who would have rejected God’s remedy for their sins regardless of Israel’s response. That is also a certainty. I’m just thinking that Israel could have made the last 2000 years of national suffering unnecessary.

But at this point all that is just speculation. The fact is that after the 40 days had expired, Jesus fulfilled the words of the prophet Hosea. “I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me.” (Hosea 5:15)

Zechariah 12:10 says the time will come when they will admit their guilt, and according to Joel 3:21, when they do God will pardon them. After all He’s been waiting 2000 years to do it. There’s more to come, but think about this. 07-10-10

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