By Matt Ward
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
I have recently read a significant amount of material about the supposed fallacy of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. Some Christian commentators are saying quite openly that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture as a doctrine has now been fundamentally discredited.
The argument seems to be that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a doctrine that has only been taught and believed since the 1800s. Ostensibly, the argument is that a Pre-Tribulation Rapture is false because it is a “modern invention.”
Proponents of this view teach that before 1800 and J. N. Darby (1800-1881), the Rapture was not taught in the Christian church at all. They wrongly go on to state that a young Scottish women called Margaret MacDonald is the true originator of the modern Pre-Tribulation Rapture belief system and that she received this information through independent spiritual revelation. The unspoken assertion here is that this revelation was in fact demonic in origin.
Some even going so far as to argue that the concept of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture was completely unknown and unheard of before 1800, therefore lacking any legitimate creditability for today’s Church. These objections have, in these last days, become harsh and bitter.
There is however, a solid biblical basis for believing in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church.
“Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke21:36).
“Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth” (Revelation 3:10).
“By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: ‘He could not be found, because God had taken him away.’ For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5).
The biblical basis for the Rapture of the Church is a subject that has been well-covered elsewhere; this is but a sample.
There is also a wealth of biblical teaching that has from the very beginning been used to teach of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, using metaphors and imagery from Scripture.
But what did the earliest ancient Church fathers believe regarding a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church? What did these men, some who were taught personally by the Apostles of Jesus Christ, believe? Were these men who became pillars of the early church Pre-Tribulation, Mid-Tribulation or Post-Tribulation Rapture believers?
Or did they not believe in a Rapture at all?
While we need to be remember that the writings of these ancient Church fathers are not on par with Scripture, it is nonetheless important that we know what the early church believed, especially about the Rapture of the Church.
Irenaeus (130 A.D. – 202 AD)
Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp. Polycarp learned his Christian faith from the apostle John, “…the disciple whom Jesus loved…” (John 21:7) As well as writing the gospel that bears his name and a number of early letters, John wrote the Book of Revelation. There could be no better tutor other than the Lord Jesus himself. Both Polycarp and Irenaeus knew John personally.
Irenaeus later became bishop of the church in Lyons, France and is famous for his five volume treatise, Against Heresies, which described and challenged all false teaching from the emerging cults of his day.
Irenaeus believed in the three and a half year reign of the Antichrist as ruler of the world before the Second Coming of Christ. He also believed in a literal millennial reign of Christ on earth following the Second Coming and in the resurrection of the just. Irenaeus also believed in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. In Against Heresies 5:29 he wrote:
And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, “There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.” For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption.
Note Irenaeus’ use of the , “caught up.” It is the exact same Rapture terminology used in 1 Thessalonians 4. The word used is 1 Thessalonians 4, is “harpazo”, meaning to be “caught up.” Irenaeus believed that the Rapture of the Church occurred prior to the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
Cyprian (200 AD – 258 AD)
Cyprian, the bishop of the early church at Carthage was beheaded for his faith in 258 AD and was a great pillar of the early church. He shepherded his church through intense Roman persecution and was well known for his eloquent treatises in defense of the faith. In his work Treatise of Cyprian he wrote:
We who see that terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent, may regard it as the greatest advantage to depart from it as quickly as possible. Do you not give God thanks, do you not congratulate yourself, that by an early departure you are taken away, and delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters that are imminent? Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us hence, and sets us free from the snares of the world and restores us to paradise and the kingdom.
Like Irenaeus, Cyprian, a highly prominent early church father believed in a “…early deliverance” for believers who would be “delivered” from judgments which would be devastating and global in nature. He taught that the Body of Christ would be delivered from the Day of the Lord.
Cyprian taught his followers that, “God has not appointed us to wrath, but salvation…” (1 Thess. 5:9), and joyfully encouraged his church to expect to be “taken away” before the Tribulation begins. Indeed, he exhorted his church to eagerly anticipate the mansions Jesus had gone to heaven to prepare for them individually, as detailed in John 14.
Ephraim the Syrian (306 AD – 373 AD)
There is a genuine sense of urgency about Ephraim’s writings. A deacon in the large church in Syria he later became the bishop of the church at Nisibis. In his work, The Last Times – Two, Ephraim wrote:
See to it that this sentence be not fulfilled among you of the prophet who declares: “Woe to those who desire to see the day of the Lord!” For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins. And so, brothers most dear to me, it is the eleventh hour, and the end of the world comes to the harvest, and angels, armed and prepared, hold sickles in their hands, awaiting the empire of the Lord.
And we think that the earth exists with blind infidelity, arriving at its downfall early. Commotions are brought forth, wars of diverse peoples and battles and incursions of the barbarians threaten, and our regions shall be desolated, and we neither become very much afraid of the report nor of the appearance, in order that we may at least do penance; because they hurl fear at us, and we do not wish to be changed, although we at least stand in need of penance for our actions!
Ephraim believed that all Christians should know that the Day of the Lord approached and should be able to recognize the signs of the times. He also clearly linked to Old Testament Day of the Lord with the New Testament forthcoming Great Tribulation.
This is just a flavor of early church teaching. Each and every church father, where their writings exists, testify to a belief in a Rapture of the church. Each of these fathers all place this Rapture of the church before the Day of the Lord, or the Great Tribulation.
These writings on their own do not prove the existence of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, nor can they be regarded in any way as authoritative as Scripture. They do, however, clearly demonstrate that the teaching of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture is not a “modern invention” that supposedly began in the 1800s.
What their writings also prove, without doubt, is that the teaching of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture has been a part of Christian beliefs since the earliest days of the Apostles.
Jesus is coming soon…
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3).
“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
Category Archive: Rapture
By Matt Ward
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7560
Time for another Tommy Settipani original!
Do you want to know the most overused and often used out of context phrase in the Scripture concerning the end-times: it is that He will come like a thief in the night. When coupled with we will not know the day or hour when He will return we can see how most Christians are being either intentionally or unintentionally misled by those in ministry positions.
The subject is either being outright ignored or is downplayed by those in leadership roles within the church either from lack of Scriptural knowledge on the subject and therefore they are afraid to teach it or a genuine lack of focus on what is the church’s blessed hope! If it is the latter then shame on those who ignore what makes up 30% of our Bible and our Lord’s word to us! We should be teaching this topic with the passion it deserves and what our Bible requires us to do! When you take the role of leader or pastor on in the church you are accepting a higher level of accountability before God. It is just that simple. You are required to teach your congregation the whole Bible, especially when it is focused on a message that is given to provide us with hope, joy and love. While it may not affect your salvation pastor/leader, you will stand before the Lord of Lights at the Bema Judgment. If it is taught correctly bible prophecy is a message that motivates and focuses the body on the things it needs to be doing before His return! It creates an active and motivated body to be His arms and legs.
If it was the former, then you need to get up to speed and learn the information. You are a teacher of the whole Word not just pieces and parts. You must be able to defend the whole faith! Scripture tells us in 2 Peter 3:3 that in the last days there will be scoffers concerning the return of Christ asking where He is. These people that are the scoffers are those in the church. It is a dead church like the church at Sardis in Revelation chapter 3. This church was not focused on understanding and putting into practice what they had received and heard from the Lord’s chosen messengers. Jesus tells them to first remember. He tells then to keep it and repent for not doing the first two things. He then goes on to tell the dead church what the consequences will be if they do not listen and obey. Jesus tells them that if they do not wake up He will come like a thief and they will not know the hour that He will come. A well known but little used Bible study technique is that in order to understand a subject or reference in Scripture then you need to look at the passage, chapter, book and then the whole Bible in order to fully understand what is being said.
If you focus on what is being said by Jesus to the church which by the way is the dead church it is to them that He will come as a thief in the night. This is not for the true believing bride! This whole concept is again backed up pretty clearly by Jesus again in Matthew 25 in the parable of the ten virgins. Jesus had just finished answering His disciples’ questions concerning His return and the end-times. He goes right into this parable and describes ten virgins. They are all virgins, they all are His in name supposedly and they all have the same focus and mission. When the bridegroom comes 5 are ready because they understood the times and seasons they lived in and had believed and were ready. The 5 foolish virgins were not ready, not focused and did not have their lamps ready for the bridegroom’s return. Again they were all virgins but some were not looking or ready for His return! This seems pretty straightforward to me to this point. Again what is the result for the dead, unready church: Jesus tells His disciples that when the 5 foolish virgins show up they find the door to the feast shut. They ask Jesus to open it up for them and He responds I do not know you. He then tells this group that they will not let them in. Jesus goes on to tell His disciples there fore the church to watch because you do not know the day or the hour but the will not know the day or hour. You have to be watching to be ready. If you are not even looking then you will not be ready and miss it!
In Luke chapter 12 Jesus tells us to be dressed for actions and to keep our lamps burning. We are to be like men who are waiting for their master to come. We are called blessed by Christ if the master finds us ready. Jesus then commands us in verse 40 to be ready!
For the day and the hour we will not know only the Father in heaven knows that but we do know the times and seasons in which He will return. He gave us more than enough information to be ready! He gave us the super sign of Israel becoming a nation again. This started the last day’s time clock. It is found in both the Old and New Testaments. It is the parable of the fig tree in Matthew 24 and is also found in Ezekiel chapters 36 and 37. We have seen the fulfillment of these Scriptures in 1948 when Israel was back in the land never to be removed. Then in 1967 they went on to recapture all of Jerusalem. The holy city was back in Jewish hands.
Jesus in Matthew 16 scolds the Pharisees and the Sadducees that they could read the sky in order to tell the weather but they could not interpret the signs of the times. Again the religious leaders who knew the Scripture the best were scolded for not knowing the times and seasons of their visitation! As a matter of fact He called them an evil and adulterous generation!
The most conclusive passage on this topic is actually found in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 verses 1-10. Paul is talking to the church at Thessalonica after he has finished telling them in chapter 4 about the mystery of the Rapture and our blessed hope! He says to the brethren, the true believers, and the true church that we have no need of anything to be told to us regarding the times and epochs we live in. We are ready and know that the Lord will return and it will be like a thief in the night for some! He tells us in verse 3 that His return will be like a thief in the night for some. Those He clearly describes as sons of darkness. He tells us again in verse 4 that we, the brethren, are children of light and the return of the Lord and the Tribulation period will not come upon us like a thief. It is on the dead church and also on unbelievers that it will come upon them as a thief does. In verse 6 Paul says for us to be alert and sober and not like those who sleep! In verse 9 he tells us, the brethren, and the true church that we are not destined for wrath but to salvation. He finishes in verse 10 with the command to encourage and build up one another with these words!
So the easy question right here is: if we are not being taught the topic of the Rapture and the end-times how can we encourage one another and build one another up!
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6226
Just days after Pope Francis was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, recent polls reveal that Americans are losing trust in their clergy and that belief in the existence of God is on the decline. CBS/DC and the Associate Press reveal that researchers at Gallup found that 53 percent of Americans have lost trust in the clergy – the worst ratings in 40 years.
When a nation loses trust in clergy compromised through scandals, the people lose faith in God and government. The nation suffers spiritually, politically and economically when its clergy are compromised. The latest Harris poll confirms this.
Susan Jones of CNSNews.com, reporting on the Harris findings, writes, “A strong majority (74 percent) of U.S. adults say they believe in God, but that’s down from the 82 percent who expressed such a belief in earlier years. Belief in miracles, heaven and other religious teachings also declined in the latest poll, as follows:
- 68 percent believe in heaven, down from 75 percent;
- 68 percent believe that Jesus is God or the Son of God, down from 72 percent;
- 65 percent believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, down from 70 percent.”
Gallup’s polling also revealed that Darwin’s theory of evolution had a resurgent of new converts – up 42 percent from 2005. When God is profaned by His priests, people turn to pseudoscience to find meaning to life. The societal fabric is not evolving but dissolving into an unfit culture in which no one can survive – fit or unfit.
Evolution is biological relativism – the antithesis to the absolute of divine creationism, which designed natural selection to be “after its kind” (Genesis 1:24). This is the expected natural outcome when society abandons the absolutes of God’s Word, both physical and spiritual, for moral relativism. This abandonment comes in the vacuum of sound reason created by a clergy who refuse to stand in their pulpits and the public square proclaiming the immutable Law of God.
As a result, God’s numbers are backsliding, the president’s numbers are in the tank – the lowest of any since Nixon (Washington Post/ABC poll released Tuesday) – while Congress is sharing the “bottom of the honesty and ethics ratings with lobbyists and car salespeople, the only three job professions to receive a single-digit rating.” Nicki Rossoll also reports that “Americans view members of Congress as some of the least honest and ethical professionals. But there’s a bit of good news for congressional lawmakers. One profession does rank lower: lobbyists.”
Any wonder the culture is in crisis, the economy collapsing and no one seems to have any solutions? America is being fundamentally changed, but who’s really to blame? No polling necessary here.
As the clergy goes, so goes the nation. It’s not the White House, Congress or Hollywood that’s responsible for America’s mess. The fault lies squarely at the foot of her pulpits. In the past 60 years, their voices have been silenced in the public square and their influence upon public policy absent – all in exchange for 30 pieces of tax-exempt silver proffered by the unconstitutional Johnson Amendment to the 1954 Senate tax overhaul bill.
America’s clergy have abdicated their roles as God’s “grand vindicators of the government of God.” They have perverted their prelacy to the role of executive administrator and CEO of their bi-coastal mega-churches, lording over their kingdoms from their private jets and fleets of limos while living in mega-mansion parsonages and feasting on the dainties of Babylon. Totally blind to the biblical worldview of their place and purpose for the nation, America’s clergy are no longer “sons of lightning and thunder,” but fair-weathered favorites on the talk-show circuit and friends to society’s darlings.
The Cross of Christ is the only hope for America. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recently said, “The only hope for America is for her clergy to start preaching the Cross of Christ again.” He is right. If America is to be fundamentally transformed, it will be through the preaching of the hope found only through the Cross of Calvary. America’s next awakening will come at the foot of the Cross.
Rev. Charles Finney, the voice of the Great Awakening, challenged America’s clergy to proclaim the Cross 140 years ago. “Has the offense of the Cross ceased, or is the Cross kept out of view? Has the holy law of God, with its stringent precept and its awful penalty become popular with unconverted men and women? Or is it ignored in the pulpit, and the preacher praised for that neglect of duty?”
Finney’s answer for America is not bipartisan cooperation on the debt-ceiling crisis, but rather that “we need more sons of thunder in the pulpit. We need men that will flash forth the law of God like livid lightning and arouse the consciences of men.”
Finney described the pulpiteers of the Great Awakening as “those old, stern, grand vindicators of the government of God (who) would have thundered and lightened till they had almost demolished their pulpits if any such immoralities had shown themselves under their instructions as are common in these days.”
Finney feared neither the press nor politicians’ reactions to his preaching. Political correctness, according to Finney, was biblical correctness. “Let us thunder forth the law and Gospel of God until our voices reach the capital of this nation, through our representatives in Congress. … Let us give the reporters of the press such work to do as will make their ears and the ears of their readers tingle.”
In response to today’s “seeker-friendly” gospel, Finney’s thoughts: “Away with this milk-and-water preaching of a love of Christ that has no holiness or moral discrimination in it. … Christ crucified for the sins of the world is the Christ that the people need. Such a collapse of conscience in this land could never have existed if … our preaching had not in great measure fallen out.”
Finney summed up his message, “The Decay of Conscience,” in New York, Dec. 4, 1873, to America’s clergy: “Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”
If America’s clergy neglect their role to government and society, we will have lost any hope for America’s next awakening.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5928
By Donna Wasson
I honestly wonder how many more of these articles I’ll have a chance to write before life as we know it changes forever. Christians everywhere are sensing that the time of God’s judgment on this earth is upon us. Even unbelievers instinctively ‘know’ in their gut something BIG is about to happen.
The Lord is going to shake this earth with Holy fury. The wickedness of mankind is a stench in His nostrils and He’s had enough. Mankind has ignored the warnings of impending judgment that He has broadcast the last several years. They include an undeniable increase in the number and severity of earthquakes, animal deaths, record setting storms, devastating tsunamis, destructive tornadoes, bizarre sinkholes, not to mention volcanoes all over the world that have lain dormant for centuries, are erupting. And to top it off, don’t forget the sharp degradation of morality in every society.
Only those of us who are diligently watching for His coming recognize the significance of all this. Most of the world including the majority of professing Christians, is oblivious to the signs of His return. Scientists have tried to account for these things and people are more than happy to accept their lame explanations, so as to not disrupt their lives.
No one wants to face the apocalypse. Those whose hearts don’t belong to Jesus have no desire to face the fact that they will one day stand before Him and give an account of their earthly lives. Besides, they think the Bible is just some old book filled with fables and myths, concocted by men who wanted to exert power and control over others.
There are many in mainstream churches today who don’t believe the Word of God was inspired by the Holy Spirit, or that every word can be counted on to be true! Why these Christians-in-name-only bother getting up on Sunday mornings to drag their family to church, is beyond me. I’d rather stay in bed. They don’t believe what the pastor is saying anyway, unless he’s reassuring them of what wonderful people they are.
I guess they figure if they put in some time attending services, God will be happy with them because they’re trying to be a good person. They don’t realize God isn’t the least bit impressed with what they’re doing. Our Creator looks on our hearts to determine who our god is.
It makes me very, very sad that there are billions of lost souls walking this earth, wandering around in darkness, thinking only of the cares of this temporary existence. Some are deceived by false gods who demand good works, offerings of food or even the blood of their enemies to earn his favor.
Others don’t believe there is a god at all. They view themselves as a mere biological species that lives only to provide food and shelter for their offspring. They figure when they eventually die, their body will return to the earth, and their consciousness will cease to exist. *Poof*—they’re gone.
Well, they’re wrong. There IS a God. Only one, in the persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whose only begotten Son, Jesus, was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, was crucified on a Roman cross for OUR sins, resurrected back to life on the third day and returned to the Father.
Angels stood with His disciples when He ascended back to heaven, telling them in Acts 1:11 “…Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
Since that time, mankind and civilization has toddled along, exploding in population and technology. Human beings are spirits who possess a soul, and live in a physical body. We are not physical bodies who are capable of having a spiritual experience. We are spirits who are having a physical experience.
What most people don’t understand is that we will ALL live forever. Although these bodies will wear out with time and die, the essence of who we are lives on. God designed us in His image, as a spirit with a soul, which is our mind, will and emotions. Because God is eternal, we are eternal as well.
Since God gave us free will, our final destination is the most important question all of us must decide. We have the choice between door number one and door number two; Heaven, with the One who created us, or Hell, forever separated from His presence.
Believe it or not, there are actually people who are stupid enough to believe Hell will be a fun place featuring nonstop partying with their friends. Duh! Uh no, it will be an existence of utter darkness, unrelenting heat, loneliness, terror, hunger, thirst and endless agonizing pain, with absolutely NO hope of leaving or having even one moment’s comfort or rest. No kind words. No break. No one with whom to commiserate. No 72 virgins. No love or light at all. Forever. Yeah. Sounds like a real gas.
On the other hand, God’s kingdom, Heaven, will be a place of unspeakable beauty, sumptuous luxury, endless joy, laughter, fine foods, music, activities, exploration, satisfying, exciting work and the company of family and friends who accepted the pardon Jesus purchased for them on the cross. Forever.
All this, and much more; so much more that the Bible tells us in Isaiah 64:4 “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him.”
Your ticket to Heaven has already been paid for. Jesus bought it with His blood and waits every moment of every day for you to simply accept it from His hand. It’s so easy. All you’re required to do is admit that you are a sinner, incapable of earning your way into God’s good graces. Tell God that you believe Jesus is His Son, that His blood is what’s required to cover your sins and that you understand that Jesus died for you, and rose from the dead to bring you eternal life. Repent, turn away from your sinful lifestyle, and ask Jesus to come into your heart and be your personal Lord and Savior.
It’s just that simple. Once you do this, you can face any circumstance in life because the Holy Spirit will live inside of you, and will never leave or forsake you. You can even face death without fear, because you know where you’ll be the moment you die; in the presence of God.
I highly advise you to do this soon, as you’re running out of time. God doesn’t guarantee that any of us will live to see tomorrow. When you die, that’s it. Game over. No second chances. No reboot. You will spend eternity with the master you serve, either Jesus or satan.
The Bible makes it very clear that we are living in the last days of human civilization as we’ve always known it. Very soon, the Lord will call those of us who belong to Him, up to Heaven. This will leave the unsaved here to face the Tribulation; the worst time mankind has ever experienced.
This will be when God pours out His wrath on the wickedness of man. It will be so horrible that the Bible says men and women will seek to die, but God will suspend their ability to kill themselves. They’ll be forced to live through the torment and judgments unleashed on this earth. Jesus said that unless He cut those days short, no human being would survive.
That time is about to start, people. The signs are screaming louder every day and unless you belong to Christ, you will be left behind to suffer beyond your wildest nightmares. It will happen sooner than most people expect, so I beg you…please, PLEASE accept the Lord right this minute, before it’s too late. I wouldn’t wish what is coming on my worst enemy.
I am not kidding. This is not a joke. God is about to shake this earth! His warning alarms are sounding and His patience is gone. Please don’t put off surrendering your heart to the Lord. You’re running out of time!
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5871
“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” Revelation 3:10 NIV
The Lord Jesus Christ promises His bride, the Church, that He will keep us “from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world.” The word “from” in the Greek is “ek,” and it means: out of, from, by, and away from. It doesn’t say that He will keep us through it, but He will keep us from it.
In John chapter fourteen Jesus tells us that He is preparing a place for us in Heaven and will come again to receive us unto Himself.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 He tells us by the Apostle Paul how this will take place. He will come for us before the seven years of Tribulation starts. He will call for us to meet Him in the air. Those who have already died at that time will precede those who are alive when He comes for us and we will all meet Him in the air and be taken to Heaven.
Revelation 4:1 is clear that when the Church age ends the Church is no longer on earth but in Heaven. Chapters two and three of Revelation speak of the Church age from the first century to the end of the Church age. Chapter four verse one begins, “After this” and ends “I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” In other words, after the Church age ends the seven years of Tribulation begins. He will show the Apostle John things that will happen after the Church is removed. The Church (the bride) is not mentioned again until chapter nineteen of the book of Revelation, at the end of the Tribulation period.
Many have said that we who look forward to the Rapture simply want to escape. We are accused of wanting to throw in the towel and bail out. So let’s just call this commentary “The Great Escape.”
An old song called “This World Is Not My Home” pretty much says it for those who long to see Jesus.
“Oh Lord, you know, I have no friend like you. If heaven’s not my home, Oh Lord, what will I do? Angels beacon me, To heavens open door, And I can’t feel at home, In this world anymore.”
Do I want to “escape?” Let me answer that with a question. If I could choose between a world of lying, murder, hate, perversion, sickness, death, grief, greed, poverty, fear, calamities, etc. or a world of no lying, no murder, only love, no perversion, no sickness, no death, no grief, no greed, no poverty, no fear, no calamities, etc., which do you think I would choose? And to top it off, instead of Satan and his cohorts constantly trying to devour me, he is out of the picture, and I get to live with and worship Jesus in all His glory. Heaven or hell? For me, that’s a no-brainer. Heaven means always with Jesus. Hell means apart from Jesus.
Is it wrong to want to escape? Some think it is. Some think we, as the Church, should suffer by going through the Tribulation with all of Satan’s kids. Why? Are you nuts? What good would that do anyway?
The Church is not going through the seven years of Tribulation on earth. Why?
1. These particular seven years are the remaining seven years that belong to Israel. The Church dispensation must end before the remaining seven years due Israel begins. God tells us about the 490 years due Israel in Daniel chapter nine. They are for Israel, not the Church. 483 of those years ended with the first advent of the Messiah. The remaining seven years are yet to come. These particular seven years are God’s judgment upon Israel and His drawing them to Him. They have nothing to do with the Church.
2. These particular seven years are also a time of God’s judgment upon the world. This judgment will be carried out by the Lord Jesus personally. He is not going to administer judgment upon His own bride, the Church. Why? He has already taken our judgment upon Himself. Also, the bridegroom, Jesus, is not going to beat the crap out of His bride and then say, “Okay honey, let’s go celebrate with a big wedding feast.” Think “spouse abuse” and “domestic violence.” I don’t think so.
3. The judgment that Jesus administers during this time will be a time of wrath like the world has never seen, even surpassing the flood of Noah’s day. Jesus isn’t mad at His bride, the Church. He loves His bride and will remove her from His wrath, but He isn’t too happy with Satan and the world.
Some will say, “But the Church has suffered since its inception. Why shouldn’t it suffer during the Tribulation?” Because all the suffering the Church has endured since its inception has come from Satan and his followers, not from God. The suffering handed out by the Antichrist during the Tribulation won’t be toward the Church, because the Church won’t be here. God is administering justice through Satan’s puppets in the first half of the Tribulation, and then the last 3 ½ years will be direct judgment from God upon a fallen world. Satan is not in control, and neither are the Antichrist and the False Prophet of course. God is in control and His judgment will be fierce.
No member of our Lord’s Church wants anyone to experience this time of misery that is coming upon the world, but it is coming. We are so thankful that our Bridegroom loves His bride and will remove us from harm’s way. We will escape His fury. We are also most grateful for those He will save during this terrible time and there will be many. Yes, many will be saved, but through much suffering and probably death.
Do I believe in the “Great Escape?” You betcha, and I’m all for escaping the wrath of God. Would you like to escape? Notice these words of Christ.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
He is speaking to the Ladicean church, the apostate church of this age that does not know Him. Oh, they claim they do, but they do not. Come to Him today and you will not be disappointed. How?
“…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10
Is it wrong to want to escape the Tribulation and be with Him at the Rapture? Would you rather die in a burning house or put your faith in the fireman to rescue you? I’m for the fireman.
But what if I die before the Rapture? Are you a child of God? Have you come to Him through His Son Jesus? Then what’s the problem!? If I die before the Great Escape (Rapture), I get to be with Him even sooner. By the way, if that happens, I’ll see you at the Rapture. I’ll be coming with Him to pick up my new body.
“and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
The world around us, which includes pseudo Christians, will continue to mock what they call our Great Escape, but for those of us who believe, just keep looking up. It is going to happen, and it could happen at any time
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5819
Around the middle of July, I wrote an article about how there are so many signs pointing to the end of the Age of Grace that we can hardly see the road upon which we are traveling as we move ever closer to the Rapture of the church. Approximately four weeks have passed since I wrote my previous article and during that time so many new signs have popped up that I feel an urgent need to list some of the more prominent ones.
I hope this article will encourage those who are patiently watching and longing for Jesus to come and take us home. I also hope that, perhaps, somebody who is only lukewarm in their walk with the Lord will find this article and realize that it is time to get serious. We actually are the last generation of the Age of Grace.
Something big is about to happen and it is not only going to happen really, really soon; it is also going to be so spectacular that it is beyond our ability to comprehend.
Time and space only permit me to list the most significant signs that have popped up in recent weeks. There is so much more going on in the world that is pointing to an imminent rapture. Please forgive me for all that I have failed to include. I will also make a sincere attempt to leave out all of the signs I pointed out in my first article so as to have room for the newest signs that I feel require our attention.
The earth continues to groan as it longs to be free of the curse that was pronounced upon it when Adam and Eve first sinned again God. Freakish weather continues to be the new “normal.” This freakish weather is not being caused by: global warming.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that data for 2012 shows we are now experiencing a cooling trend, and a recent report by the Met Office show that global warming actually ended 16 years ago. The arctic saw the shortest summer in recorded history.
South America is currently in a massive deep freeze as the death toll in China rises from their record heat wave. The lingering heat wave in Japan has left 19 dead and put 9,800 people in the hospital so far. Heavy rain in Pakistan has killed hundreds. Severe flooding continues in Southeast Asia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In the past month more than 150,000, have been displaced by flooding in Sudan─with more rain expected in the coming days. Meanwhile, Germany is experiencing a heat wave and hailstones the size of tennis balls.
Rainfall in Iran has decreased by 58 percent as they continue to threaten to destroy Israel. There were 1,122, record cold temperatures recorded in the U.S. during a single week. The drought in New Zealand has been the most extreme in history. Natural disasters displaced 32.4 million people in 2012 with 2013 on track to be even worse.
We are currently experiencing 34 major wildfires burning across 11 western states and staggering amounts of rainfall in 16 eastern states. Severe heat is being felt across the entire nation. Dormant volcanoes are coming back to life.
The last time I checked there were 7 volcanoes that were showing new activity and 9 volcanoes with on-going activity. A volcanic eruption in Indonesia just killed 6 scientists. Earlier this year we had 4 volcanoes erupting in Russia within a range of just over 100 miles of each other. Many other volcanoes are showing a growing increase in seismic activity.
Earthquakes continue at an alarming rate and have become so common that they are seldom reported in the news. The latest one was a severe, damaging, and shallow magnitude 6.9 in New Zealand on August 15th.
Strange unidentified sounds coming from no apparent source or direction continue to be reported all over the world. The sounds are described as heavy scraping, to groaning, to booms or explosions, to a continuous hum.
A steady, droning sound that creeps in slowly in the dark of night and continues for many hours at a time has been reported in places as disparate as Taos, New Mexico; Bristol, England; and Largs, Scotland. Loud booms have been reported in 25 regions of the U.S.
In the Bible we are given a message of judgment in the last days. The prophet Hosea foretold how the land, itself would mourn:
“Therefore the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes, along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky; and also the fish of the sea disappear” (Hosea 3:2).
Perhaps we should believe what Hosea prophesied around 710 years before Christ. I had planned to list the mass animal die-offs that have occurred in just one month picked at random this year, but the list would be too long. Please go to the link below, which lists 519 known mass animal die-offs that have occurred in 78 countries so far this year.
These are only the know occurrences. Many more unreported ones certainly exist. While you are there please take a few moments to pause and consider this incredible loss of life. God is using the animals as a warning to us of what is about to come upon mankind.
On Wednesday, August 7, 2013, Japanese officials informed us that highly radioactive water is pouring out of the damaged nuclear power plant complex at Fukushima at the rate of 300 tons per day. This highly radioactive water is systematically poisoning the entire Pacific Ocean.
There are also 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel rods that are tightly packed together at the moment and need to be removed as part of the clean-up. This nuclear material has the very real potential of releasing 14,000 times the amount of radiation that was released from the atomic blast at Hiroshima 68 years ago.
Despite all of the current flooding throughout the world fresh water is becoming scarce. One-third of the world’s population has limited access to clean water. Egypt is ready to go to war with Ethiopia over the Nile. Pakistan is on the verge of a crisis over the lack of drinking water. Sub-Saharan Africa is in particularly dire need. In 20 African countries, more than 30 percent of the population does not have access to safe drinking water.
China and India are also experiencing unprecedented strain on their drinking water supplies. Drought in Namibia is threatening over 400,000 people with hunger. A recent report confirms that the 2013 drought in New Zealand was the worst of all time. The largest reservoir in New Mexico only contains 3 percent of the water that it did during the 1980s and 1990s.
In chapter 24 of Matthew Jesus told us that there would be signs in the heavens of His Second Coming. This seems very logical since they will be visible to the entire world. There has been a huge up-tick in solar activity, especially in the southern hemisphere of the sun.
NASA tells us the sun will reverse its magnetic polarity within the next three months and the effects will be felt far beyond the orbit of Pluto, which is the farthest planet in our solar system.
A high-speed solar wind is currently buffeting the Earth’s magnetic field and this is causing a G-1 geomagnetic storm around the Earth’s poles. There was a very spectacular filament eruption on the sun on August 6th.
During the middle of July there was a coronal mass ejection from our sun that was large enough to have produced a Carrington-class electromagnetic pulse (EMP) disaster. This huge pulse crossed the Earth’s orbit and barely missed colliding with the Earth.
A coronal hole has formed on the sun’s northern hemisphere and it is spewing solar wind into space. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the UV dark gap during the early hours of August 14th.
These coronal mass ejections in recent months have produced some spectacular displays of northern lights. In the meantime, the Perseid meteor show has just concluded. A new star has been discovered in the constellation Delphinus.
There was a 1,250 mile-wide hurricane at the north pole of Saturn, and a meteor struck a garbage dump in China punching a 6-foot deep hole into the ground.
Jesus told us that there would be an increase of evil in the last days. We are certainly seeing an increase of horribly sick and disgusting acts. One small recent example would be the two 18-year-old girls whose faces and upper bodies were horribly burned with acid during the recent celebration of Ramadan in Zanzibar.
I am not going to list any further examples because they are just too sickening to think about. Nevertheless, the number of these acts continues to rise dramatically.
Islam continues to spread throughout the world with a rabid vengeance. A group called the American Muslim Political Action Committee is planning a one million man Muslim march on Washington D.C. to protest the profiling and treatment of Muslims and they are also planning to hold it on September 11, the anniversary of the worst domestic massacre in American history in the name of Islam.
The Muslim world continues to demand that the rest of our planet accept Sharia Law with all of its horrors. Islam hates Jews, Christians, and all other religions with a fanatical passion that can only be described as “supernatural.” There is also a huge increase in Muslim vs. Muslim fighting.
When the restraining influence of Christianity is snatched away from the world in the harpazo (Rapture) a single worldwide religion will form in which Islam will play a very major role. Even the leaders of Islam can sense this. Leaders in Iran are, once again, loudly proclaiming that Armageddon is at hand and to prepare for war because the arrival of the Mahdi is imminent.
Christianity continues to spiral out of control toward extinction in the Middle East and the rest of the Muslim world. Churches, homes, and businesses of Christians in Egypt have been stormed and burned. Egypt is the home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world and also has the largest Christian population in the Middle East, totaling 8 to 12 million people. The government of Cameroon has shut down 50 Pentecostal churches and has vowed to shut down an additional 50 churches.
Christianity is fast becoming an endangered species in Nigeria where over 100 Christians are murdered each month. Jihad is emptying entire towns in Syria. Christian students in Eritrea have been beaten and imprisoned for refusing to renounce Christ. In India five women were publicly beaten for sharing the gospel.
On August 2nd three evangelists in Indonesia were sentenced to 3 years in prison for “evangelizing Muslims.” U.S. State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, issued a press release condemning the “enemies of Islam” who were responsible for terrorist attacks at the end of Ramadan while remaining totally silent about the terrorist attacks against Christians throughout the entire Middle East and Muslim world.
Persecution of Christians here in the U.S. continues to grow in intensity. Ever since the June 26th pro-gay rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, religious persecution of Christians within the United States has increased dramatically. One example would include people who provide services for weddings and have been particularly targeted with horrific fines and even jail time for refusing to provide services for same-sex weddings.
Another example would include an airman who wrote an article titled: “No atheists in foxholes,” and was severely reprimanded for his beliefs, while atheists demanded even more severe punishment.
Anti-Semitism is also increasing. At Toronto’s Al Quds Day, very young children were featured making hate filled rants against Israel and Jews.
A major sign that the Rapture and the end of the Age of Grace, has to be near is the crumbling of fundamental Christian doctrines. The name of Jesus has become a dirty word in politically correct America as well as the rest of the world.
The new pope says it is not for him to judge homosexual priests and the Vatican is even offering “time off from purgatory” for those who follow Pope Francis tweets. Are we back to selling indulgences again? Our evangelical community is turning away from opposing homosexuality in favor of a more tolerant atmosphere.
Television evangelist and pastor John Hagee has publicly declared that he no longer opposes a proposed ordinance that seeks to protect the rights of gays, lesbians, transsexuals, and transgender people in San Antonio, Texas.
More people in the U.K. believe in aliens from outer space than do people who believe in God. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has publicly declared that Christianity has helped to make Russia a great nation.
President Putin has called for an end to worldwide persecution of Christians, while President Barack Obama has publicly declared that the United States is not a Christian nation and has remained silent about worldwide Christian persecution.
On July 31st a Muslim Imam opened a session of the United States Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. with an Islamic prayer.
Blasphemy and mocking have reached a fever pitch, just as we were told it would in the last days. A few days ago I watched a story on Fox News showing a small child praying to Obama and praising him for his greatness. I also saw an article about a Facebook post titled, “Virgin Mary Should Have Aborted.”
The content of the post was equally as offensive. Similar pages are becoming increasingly more common. I will not list any further examples because I find them so offensive. We are very definitely in the last of the last days.
Many will argue that all sins are equally offensive to God, but I have always felt that homosexuality in all of its forms is particularly offensive to our Lord. Perhaps this is why the supernatural forces that are at work in the world against us are so intensely determined to force the homosexual agenda upon the rest of us.
Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu has declared that he would prefer hell, over a “homophobic” heaven. Gays are set to sue the Church of England for refusing to perform same-sex weddings. Churches in the United States now fear lawsuits over gay weddings as well.
A proposed law in San Antonio, Texas, would bar Christians, along with anybody else who opposes homosexuality, from holding public office or obtaining a city contract. Rhode Island and Minnesota have just legalized gay marriage, bringing the total to 13 states in the U.S.
Tel Aviv has been one of the most-friendly cities in the world for pro-gay couples in the world and Jerusalem, the city that God claims for Himself─just held a parade to support pro-LGBT legislation in Israel. America has granted gay spouses equal visa privileges.
The U.S. military has recently announced that same-sex spouses will gain all of the benefits open to opposite-sex spouses by September 3rd. This includes healthcare and housing, and will be open to any military member with a valid marriage certificate.
While all of this has been going on a California committee approved legislation, which would cause any non-profit organization that does not embrace homosexuals to lose their tax-exempt status.
Sexual perversion continues to increase as well. On August 11, California’s Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, signed into law the “bathroom bill” mandating schools to allow boys to use the girl’s restrooms and locker rooms, and vice-versa.
When it comes to Internet porn, a recent poll found that the U.S. is well ahead of the rest of the nations of the world and that we are the host of 60 percent of the world’s pornographic websites. The same poll found that 30 percent of all Internet traffic worldwide involves pornographic sites, and that 66 percent of the pornography in the United States originates in California.
Wars and the rumors of wars are one of the major signs we were told to watch for as a sign of the end of the age. Russia recently held the biggest war games in decades, involving 160,000 troops.
Well over 4 million people have been displaced, by the fighting in Syria, as the civil war in that nation lingers on. Chemical weapons have been used in the conflict. The fighting in Syria is becoming global as more and more nations send weapons and troops to participate in the fighting.
Zimbabwe’s government has signed an agreement to sell uranium to Iran. Japan just unveiled its largest warship since WWII. Bitter enemies India and Pakistan, both possess nuclear weapons, are now exchanging gunfire across their borders.
We have just learned that 400 advances hand-held surface-to-air missiles were stolen from Benghazi and have fallen into the hands of radical Islamists.
Britain’s busiest airport, Heathrow, has been put on high terror alert after “credible” intelligence emerged that al-Qaeda is plotting to bring down airliners flying out of London with the help of female suicide bombers with explosives concealed in breast implants.
The IDF reports that Hezbollah has a weapons cache of 60,000 rockets and that all of Israel is now in range. Israel is now facing an on-coming al-Qaeda on all 3 Israeli borders: Golan, Lebanon, and Sinai. Gaza has resumed firing rockets into Israel and Israel has resumed airstrikes against the terrorists who fire them.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared that his goal is to have “not a single Israeli” in a future Palestinian state.
The Palestinians have stated clearly and frequently that they will not compromise in their goal to steal all of the land of Israel and to completely once-and-for-all-time eliminate all traces of the nation of Israel and to kill every single Jew in the world. They refuse to recognize the very existence of Israel.
At the same time Israel continues to bomb yet another weapons convoy in Syria and has announced plans to begin the next block of homes in the West Bank, giving preliminary approval for 1,187 new settler homes. Instead of standing with our supposed friend and ally, the U.S. State Department has bitterly criticized Israel for building settlements in the disputed territory.
Secretary of State Kerry has publicly and firmly declared that the United States views all settlements in the disputed territory as illegitimate and illegal. America is the referee who is pushing (shoving) Israel to divide their land. God has promised in the Bible that we will be held accountable for harming Israel.
After assuring us for months that al-Qaeda has been decimated, the United States temporarily closed 21 embassies all over the Middle East and other parts of the world over fear of an imminent attack by al-Qaeda while violence and murders all over Iraq and Afghanistan are leading us to the realization that all of our fallen and wounded soldiers, and the unimaginable amount of money that we spend, were lost in vain.
Our president has assured us that he has al-Qaeda “on the run.” On this point he is absolutely correct. Al-Qaeda is definitely on the run. They are running straight at us with their bayonets fixed and wearing their explosive vests as they scream “Allah Akbar.”
We are told that one sign of the coming Rapture will be the world in a political upheaval. The latest death toll from the uprising in Egypt has now passed 800 with the number of wounded well into the thousands. It will get much worse in the coming days. On August 15th the military backed government of Egypt authorized the further use of live ammunition.
Anti-U.S. hostility is rapidly increasing in Egypt. They barely tolerate our existence as they soak up billions of dollars of American foreign aide. The new president of Egypt has even refused to take calls from Obama. We are on the very verge of the fulfillment of Isaiah 19.
Meanwhile, CNN reports that the CIA is going to unprecedented lengths to insure that whatever it was doing in Benghazi remains secret, even going so far as to require monthly polygraph examinations of those who know the truth.
Signs of an imminent worldwide economic collapse also point to a Rapture occurring at any moment. All of the nations of the world are bankrupt to one degree or another. Each nation holds the others up in a worldwide Ponzi scheme that could have only existed this long through divine intervention.
When the restraining force of our Lord is removed everything will collapse. The only solution will be a worldwide currency with a mandatory and infallible means of personal identification, such as a biometric scan or an RFID chip.
Right now over 97 percent of the money in the world exists only in the electronic memory of the world’s banking computers. Less than 3 percent of the money in the world is in the form of paper, coins, or bars of precious metal. Traders are talking about a worldwide gold conspiracy and there is evidence to back that up.
We have record high demand for physical gold. Earlier this year when the Germans asked for 300 metric tons of their gold from the Federal Reserve in New York they were told that it would take seven years for the Fed to come up with it.
This set off alarm bells all over the world. Right now the bullion banks are experiencing unprecedented difficulties in coming up with the physical gold and physical silver that they are supposed to have. The stock market continues to set record highs yet nothing has been fixed.
Something is very wrong here. There have been multiple occurrences of the “Hindenburg Omen” in recent weeks, which many analysts believe is a serious portent of doom in the stock market.
Nearly all of Mexico lives in poverty. Similar to what Cypress did, Australia is now proposing a levy on bank accounts to pay government debts. Unemployment just passed 27.6 percent in Greece. Japan’s national debt is at $10.5 trillion dollars and is poised to set off a global financial panic at any moment.
Currently, 50 percent of all government tax revenue in Japan goes to interest payment on its debt. Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe, has claimed a mandate for “black empowerment” and has begun seizing all foreign and white-owned assets in the country.
Signs of an imminent financial collapse in America are equally as stark. Detroit can no longer pay its bills and has filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Two Americans are enrolled in food stamps for every job our president has created.
A recent Associated Press survey found 4 out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty, or reliance on welfare for at least part of their lives. California is releasing 9,600 inmates from state prisons to reduce chronic, severe overcrowding and to save money.
In a recent report black teen unemployment is at 41.6 percent. The U.S. debt obligation has now passed $70 trillion dollars. And finally, Americans living overseas are renouncing their citizenship in record numbers in order to avoid oppressive taxes being imposed on those living outside the U.S.
The American military is collapsing. Due to budget cuts brought on by sequestration the Navy has decided that it cannot afford to fix the Los Angeles class nuclear submarine Miami and is, therefore, decommissioning it. The Miami was damaged in May 2012 by a fire while undergoing repairs in dry dock.
We have aircraft carriers in port because we cannot afford to repair or refuel them. The Air Force Space Command has announced that it is shutting down its space surveillance system that detects and tracks satellites and space debris by October 1st due to budget cuts resulting from sequestration.
This system has been operating since 1961 and is now being shut down because we can no longer afford the $14 million dollars it costs to operate each year. So far this year 2 of the 3 intercontinental ballistic missile wings of the American military have miserably failed safety and operational evaluations, calling into serious question our ability to defend our nation in the event of a nuclear strike against us.
However, our military has decided that it could afford to host homosexual drag queens as part of a “diversity day” event at a Los Angeles Air Force Base.
At the same time a 19-year-veteran of the Air Force said that he was relieved of his duties after he disagreed with his openly gay commander when she wanted to severely punish an instructor who had expressed religious objections to homosexuality. Soldiers should not be forced to embrace homosexuality in order to serve our nation.
America is not mentioned in biblical end-time prophecy. Perhaps that is due to America’s political collapse, which has already begun. Our current administration has been rocked by the Benghazi scandal, the IRS scandal, the Fast and Furious scandal, and the Associated Press scandal. As a result, polls show growing support for impeachment.
America has shown a total lack of leadership in recent world crisis. The world is on the brink of war over tensions in the Middle East. When Egypt first erupted in chaos our president went golfing and our Secretary of State took the day off to sail on his private yacht. Neither lifted a finger or said a word to help.
As Egypt descends further into civil war our president continues to play golf on his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. A former aide has revealed this week that President Obama played cards during the bin Laden raid, which he was later so quick to claim the credit for its success.
In an interview with the New York Times, President Obama suggested that you need to be a lawyer: in order to be able know what the Constitution actually says. President Obama held a Ramadan dinner at the White House while the U.S. is at war with radical Islam – the religion that tells every one of its members to kill every single Christian and Jew.
Obama canceled his “summit” meeting with Russian President Putin amid tensions over Russia granting temporary asylum to Edward Snowden. Apparently our president did not feel that this “summit” meeting was very important.
The approval rating for our president has now dropped to 41 percent.
Lawyers and politicians are now considered to be the bottom feeders of our society. We currently have a large number of politicians who are creating headlines for their sexual misconduct. Many Congressmen admit to passing laws they have not even read. What’s even worse, many of our political leaders, including our president, are refusing to enforce the laws they do not like.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was literally screaming at members of Congress two days after the Benghazi attack for daring to call the tragedy “terrorism.”
America runs off-shore-prisons, including but certainly not limited to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where inmates have been denied all of the rights guaranteed by our Constitution. Even worse, America has tortured prisoners in these off-shore-prisons and no amount of “spin” can ever change or justify it.
Our integrity has a serious stain upon it that can never be removed and we can no longer claim the moral-high-ground in judging any other nation. America has become something that our Founding Fathers never intended it to be.
America is collapsing morally. Recent polls show that the U.S. marriage rate has dropped to a new low. A newly released video shows college students signing a petition: to legalize abortion after a child is born. Time magazine is promoting the childless lifestyle as the path to “the good life” for U.S. couples.
More than a dozen leading baseball stars have just been given severe fines and suspensions from playing for illegal drug use. And an abortion clinic in Florida is now sending coupons to low income women offering a $50 savings on the cost of an abortion if the abortion is performed on a Sunday.
Political correctness is destroying America. An elementary school in Tennessee has banned pork so as not to offend Muslims. The Missouri State Fair has permanently banned a rodeo clown because he wore an Obama mask during a performance.
A high school track team was disqualified because one of its runners made a gesture thanking God as he crossed the finish line. A teacher in New Jersey was fired for giving a Bible to a student who asked for one. A Florida police officer was fired because he called Travon Martin “a thug” on Facebook.
In San Francisco authorities are installing “privacy screens” on computers in public libraries so perverts can view pornography without disturbing others. The Obama administration has banned any government training materials that link radical Islam with terrorism and is purging these references from all of its old materials.
And in a new Army training manual U.S. soldiers are being warned to avoid all criticism of pedophiles in order to avoid offending Muslims. After all, Mohammad did marry his favorite wife, Aisha, when she was only 6 years old.
Our government continues to conspire against its people. In my last article I talked about the 2 billion (plus) rounds of ammunition out government is hoarding, how the IRS is now training with M-16 full automatic assault rifles, the reported 2,700 armored personnel carriers it has purchased, and so much more.
However, in the last couple of weeks I did note that the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration just purchased 72,000 rounds of hollow-point ammunition. Obama’s federal government is now using automobile license plate readers to track the movement of U.S. motor vehicles. Even police departments in small towns are now tooling up with elite military hardware.
There is also the ever-increasing number of reports in the news of police in America turning into ruthless thugs. In one case, a man innocently searched the words “pressure cooker” on the Internet and another member of his family innocently searched the words “back pack,” only to find six armed agents knocking on his door shortly thereafter.
President Obama is set to sign the UN Arms Treaty this month while Congress is in recess. This will lead to mandatory registration of all firearms in the U.S.
In order to take over the world: The Antichrist will need to know as much as possible about every single individual. Our government is currently building a mega-data-base on not only all of its citizens, but all of the people of the world. You’ve never heard of XKeyscore, but it definitely knows you.
The National Security Agency’s top-secret program essentially makes available everything you’ve ever done on the Internet─browsing history, searches, content of your emails, online chats, even your metadata─all at the tap of the keyboard. …XKeyscore is its “widest reaching” system for developing intelligence from the Internet.
PowerPoint training materials obtained by the Guardian show how analysts could use the system to mine sprawling agency databases consisting of a vast reservoir of data. At least 41 billion records were collected and stored in a single 30-day period in 2012, according to the report, which also says XKeyscore collects more than 20 terabytes of information daily, including emails, chats, social media interactions, and even browsing histories-all in real-time.
The world is furious at us after learning of the extent of our spying on them from the Edward Snowden leaks regarding our mass surveillance programs. Germany canceled a decades long agreement with us to share vital intelligence information. Recently released documents by Edward Snowden reveal our president lied about our government spying on its citizens.
The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008. The government’s challenge to us through all of this has been that if we are not doing anything wrong we have nothing to hide and, therefore, no reason to object.
If we want to know where we are on God’s end-time timeline we need to look at what is going on in Israel. The European Union has redrawn Israel’s borders to the pre-1967 lines and has issued a directive barring all transactions with areas outside those borders. The UN has declared Israel to be an “occupier.”
The new ruler of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, appears to be as rabidly fanatical about the destruction of Israel as the former leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As I mentioned a few moment ago, Secretary of State Kerry has declared, “The United States of America views all of the settlements as illegal. That is the policy of the United States.”
We have touched the “apple of God’s eye” in a way that has surely made God very, very angry with us. Our own Supreme Court has struck down a law allowing Americans born in Jerusalem to list Israel on their passport as their place of birth.
We have also publicly stated that the U.S. guarantees that Israel’s pre-1967 borders will be the basis for renewed peace talks with the Palestinians. Israel is very angry with the U.S. for revealing to the world that Israel used its submarines to launch cruise missiles that destroyed Russian made anti-aircraft missiles being delivered to the Syrians for use against Israel.
Obama has leaked this information to the world knowing full well that it invites retaliation against Israel, thus putting Israel in real danger. The Temple Mount is routinely being closed off to all Jews to appease Muslims who threaten to riot.
Jews were banned from Temple Mount for most of the month of Ramadan.
What I find most frightening of all are the remarks by Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, which seem to indicate that Prime Minister Netanyhu is willing to relinquish up to 86 percent of the West Bank in a land-for-peace deal that has no possibility of ever succeeding, and every possibility of angering God.
The black horse of the Apocalypse looms just over the horizon as world hunger increases. President Obama just signed an order banning ammonium nitrate fertilizers in the United States. This will produce a very severe negative impact on the food grown on our nation’s farmlands.
Many parts of the world continue to ban genetically engineered crops. France has just announced that it will continue its ban on genetically modified corn. The war in Syria has destroyed half of their wheat crop. Freakish weather has destroyed a significant portion of the current world’s food supply.
The Bible tells us that there will be an increase in disease and pestilence in the last days. Anthrax is spreading over the northern region of Tajikistan. A plague-infected squirrel has been found in a California campground. Honduras has declared an emergency over dengue fever.
Hog producers are battling a virus that has killed piglets by the thousands and has a mortality rate of up to 100 percent. China’s bird flu has now started passing from human to human. There is a new mystery virus in the Middle East that is linked to camels.
A boy in Florida has recently been infected with a brain-eating amoeba. The east coast of the United States is being overrun with a plague of cicadas. Billions of locust eggs are hatching in the Negev desert.
Israel was hit by a plague of locusts just before Passover (That just has to be prophetic somehow!), and the capital of Bosnia has been hit by a plague of flies. One-third of the world’s food is destroyed by pestilence.
Advances in technology also point to our being in a time that closely parallels the “Days of Noah,” when the gene pool of mankind and the earth was polluted by angels who rebelled against God and caused God to be so angry that He destroyed the world with a flood. We have hacked our way past the firewalls of God’s computer and have gained access to the secrets of DNA that contain the codes of life.
Foolishly, we have tampered with these codes producing human-animal hybrids created in laboratories all over the planet. Scientists have just announced their most recent accomplishments of implanting false memories in mice and producing rabbits that glow in the dark. Human genes have been implanted in many different animals. One does not need the gift of prophecy to know that God is not going to tolerate this flagrant disobedience much longer.
Jesus told us that the Great Tribulation would start at the 3.5 year-point of Daniel’s 70th “week” when the Antichrist stands in the Temple and declares himself, to be god. Therefore, there will have to be temple for him to stand in. The discussions on rebuilding the Temple are starting to get serious despite severe Islamic objections. The Israeli government is now funding the Temple Mount Institute and other organizations in their efforts to someday very soon rebuild the Temple.
I firmly believe that UFOs will play a significant role in end-time events and that sinister supernatural forces have at been at work ever since the incident at Roswell in 1947, and even back to the earliest days of civilization, to plant the seeds in the mind of mankind that are necessary to carry out their evil plan.
There has been a huge up-tick in recent UFO sightings and in cattle mutilations, where parts of the cattle are removed with the surgical precision we are scarcely able to duplicate today. The beings that perform these mutilations go to great lengths to insure they are never seen, and yet they deliberately leave the carcasses in places where they are certain to be found. Why?
There are other miscellaneous signs at we are at the end. Water has turned blood red in 9 waterways around the world during the past 2 years. Massive sinkholes continue to appear all over the world. The latest one opened up a hole 200 feet wide and 90 feet deep for no apparent reason, and it continues to expand.
Why are these sinkholes gobbling up cars, homes, and people? Is the earth angry with us, or is it trying to tell us something?
In Revelation 3:3 Jesus commanded us to watch for His return. He also warned us that if we do not watch He will come upon us as unexpectedly as a thief in the night and if we do not watch, we will not know the day or hour of His return.
Paul told the Thessalonians in his first letter to them to watch for the Lord’s return in the clouds, when the dead in Christ will rise first when the trumpet blows.
The bulk of chapter 24 of the book of Matthew deals with Jesus answer when asked what the signs of his return will be. Chapter 25 contains the parable of the 10 virgins and the importance of watching and being prepared for His return.
Over the centuries there has been much debate as to whether or not we can know the day or hour, but we can certainly know the season. We have that on the highest authority.
Never before in history has there been such an incredible number of signs that something big is about to happen, especially when all of these signs are occurring simultaneously. Many in the unbelieving world react with anger whenever the Rapture is mentioned because it is becoming increasingly impossible to deny.
All of humanity can sense it. Something really, really big is about to happen and it is going to happen really, really soon. Stockpiling water, food, medicine, and ammunition is not the answer.
The answer lays in your own heart and where you stand with God.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5562
Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. (2 Peter 3:1-2)
Peter wrote this letter, his final one, around 65 AD. He was probably in Rome at the time, since he was crucified in 68, though he may have still been in Babylon, where he’d written letter number one five years earlier.
His purpose in writing was three-fold: to stimulate spiritual growth among Christians, to combat the false teaching that was coming into the Church, and to emphasize the certainty of the Lord’s return. We’ll focus on this third purpose, which Peter addressed in chapter 3.
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”(2 Peter 3:3-4)
Peter’s first burden was to warn us about the false teaching that would come to be known as Religious Uniformitarianism. This view holds that God does not periodically intervene in the affairs of man but is content just to observe us as we experience a linear series of events over an extended period of time. Its proponents sometimes describe God as “the Great Watchmaker” Who constructed His universe like a master craftsman assembles a precision timepiece. Having “wound it up” and set it in motion, He’s now engaged in watching it run, apart from any subsequent involvement by Him. Galaxies, worlds and civilizations appear as if by chance as bits and pieces randomly come together to form them, and as species evolve into higher life forms. And as the enormous amount of time that’s passed demonstrates, we really shouldn’t expect anything more from Him. (An offshoot of this, called process theology, actually teaches that God is learning as He goes and is just as curious to see how everything will work out as we are.) As Peter implied, the emergence of this false teaching would in fact be a sign that the last days are upon us.
But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.(2 Peter 3:5-7)
These false teachers will have made conscious decisions to ignore three indisputable facts;
1) The Earth didn’t come into being by chance. It was created.
2) The One Who created it does periodically intervene in the affairs of man, at one time bringing a judgment so great that the entire world was destroyed.
3) And what’s more, He’s promised to do it again, because man didn’t learn from the first one.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.(2 Peter 3:8-9)
I don’t believe this passage can be used to justify the “one day equals 1000 years” theory that some students of prophecy promote. Granted there are places like Hosea 6:1-2 where this theory seems to apply, and in Ezekiel 4 the Lord used a day to represent one year, but He informed us that He was doing so. There are also passages mentioning the Day of the Lord that in some cases seem to cover a span of time as long as 2000 years and in others one as short as 24 hours.
But here I think Peter was simply trying to emphasize that God is not governed by time as we are, and so what we perceive to be a long time would not necessarily be so for Him. His point is this. The length of time that’s passed is no indication of a wavering intent. Instead it should be seen a measure of His patience in giving us as much time as possible to come to Him for forgiveness.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.(2 Peter 3:10)
Make no mistake, Peter warns us, the Day of the Lord will come, and when it does everything will be made new. Due to the popularity of the aforementioned false teaching it will catch a lot of people by surprise. And this is exactly the case today. Most mainline churches advocate the amillennial view of prophecy, which rejects the notion of a literal return by the Lord, and abandoned the Biblical creation account long ago. And even some conservatives deny a coming Kingdom saying all prophecy in the bible was fulfilled by 70 AD. (This is called the Preterist view). Remember, Peter wasn’t warning about non-believers promoting these ideas. He saw this teaching coming from within the church.
Some scholars have speculated that in verse 10 Peter was describing an instantaneous conversion of matter to pure energy and back to matter again in a “cleansing by fire.” If that’s the case then Peter would have been referring to the end of the Millennium when Earth and Heaven will flee from the presence of God (Rev. 20:11).
We shouldn’t confuse this with Isaiah 65:17 and Revelation 21:1 which both reference the time of the 2nd Coming that Jesus called the restoration (renewal) of all things (Matt. 19:28). We know this because in the verses following, Isaiah gave us one of the clearest descriptions of the millennium in Israel on Earth. And John quoted Isaiah 65:17showing the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven, which also happens at the beginning of the Millennium. And finally, Peter also spoke of this restoration in Acts 3:21 but made no reference to the Heavens and Earth being destroyed at the time. Rather than being a restoration, 2 Peter 3:10 speaks of a total destruction.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.(2 Peter 3:11-13)
Can we really hasten the Day of the Lord? In Romans 11:25 Paul wrote that Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. This means the Church will contain a predetermined number of members, and when that number is complete, we’ll all disappear in the Rapture. Maybe that’s one reason why we won’t know the Rapture’s timing in advance. It depends on the Church achieving a predetermined number, not on reaching a predetermined date. By living Holy and Godly lives, we can influence others to respond more favorably when we talk to them about Jesus. That would make the Church grow faster, bring the Rapture sooner, and hasten the Day of the Lord.
While the New Jerusalem, being the exclusive home of the redeemed Church, can rightly be called a home of righteousness, there’s no way millennial Earth can be described as such. Many of its inhabitants will be in their natural states, having survived the Great Tribulation and come directly into the Kingdom. Ezekiel’s description of Millennial Israel mentions sin offerings 14 times in 7 chapters (Ezek. 40-46). And eventually the Millennium will end in mass rebellion against God (Rev. 20:7-10). To me this settles the issue that in speaking of Heaven and Earth being destroyed to be replaced by a new Heaven and a new Earth, Peter was speaking of the transition from the Millennium into Eternity.
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.(2 Peter 3:14-16)
Some believe Peter was referring specifically to the Epistle to the Hebrews here, which many in the early church believed Paul had written. Since Hebrews was written about the same time, there may be some merit to the assumption. In any case his statement that the Lord’s patience means salvation underlines his earlier one that the longer the Lord tarries, the more people can be saved before He comes. Where would you be, for example, if the Lord had come 30 years ago? Still saved? How about 50? Get the point?
Peter and Paul were in Rome together at the end of their lives, and both were incarcerated in the Mamertime prison while awaiting execution. Peter was manacled upright to a post for 9 months before being crucified upside down. Paul, being a Roman citizen, was beheaded. Between them 47 prisoners and an untold number of guards and jailers were converted to Christianity. It was their final tribute to the Lord while on Earth and they labored at it till the day they died.
Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (2 Peter 3: 17-18)
Peter isn’t implying that listening to false teachers could cost us our salvation. The phrase “fall from your secure position” describes a state of mind rather than a state of being. He’s warning us not to let false teaching confuse us about the certainty of the Lord’s return, thereby depriving ourselves of our hope in the coming Kingdom and the sense of security this hope brings us.
The Lord’s return was as real to Peter as His first coming had been. Remember, Peter was an eyewitness on the Mount of Transfiguration, and watched as Moses and Elijah spoke with the Lord about it. But he believed that the words of the prophets provided even greater certainty, since they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Take Peter’s advice and do your homework. Know what you believe and why. It’s your only protection against false teaching. And when you see all these things begin to take place stand up and lift up your heads, for your redemption is drawing near.(Luke 21:28) If you listen closely you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 08-17-13.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5558
Exclusive: Greg Laurie on how Christians should be living as they ‘watch for Christ’
Published: 2 days ago
According to the Mayan calendar, 2012 was supposed to be the year the world would end. I was amazed at how some people actually were concerned about this, though they disregarded the one reliable book that predicts the future – not once, not twice, but hundreds of times with absolutely accuracy. They will completely blow off the Bible and instead pay attention to the Mayan calendar.
There were also a lot of articles and blogs written last year about what to do if the end of the world is coming. Here were a few ideas:
- End your diet immediately.
- Park wherever and however you want.
- Resolve to hit the gym tomorrow.
- Listen to “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” by REM.
- Throw out that bucket list.
- Make a lot of noise in the library.
- Touch everything that has a “Do Not Touch” sign in the museum.
- Order 4,500 pizzas and give one to every stranger you meet. (I liked this one.)
- Leave the toilet seat up.
- Go to the store and buy 2013 calendars. They are probably on sale.
- Find a Twinkie.
I went out on a limb and dared to say that the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar was not going to occur. But the Bible does have a lot to say about the last days and about the imminent return of Jesus. There are 260 chapters in the New Testament, and Christ’s return is mentioned no less than 318 times in those chapters. Statistically, one in every 25 verses mentions the return of Jesus Christ.
Jesus himself spoke of this often. He said, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38 NKJV). He also said, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2–3).
When I became a Christian in 1970, the Jesus Movement, as it was called, was in full swing. A lot of young people were coming to Christ. There was a lot of talk about the soon return of Jesus. It was very common to see bumper stickers on cars with slogans such as, “In case of Rapture, this car will be unmanned.” There were many stickers that said, “Jesus is coming!”
I don’t know how many of those I have gone through since then, but quite a few. Still he hasn’t come. Some people would say, “You are all wrong. Maybe he is never coming.”
But here is what the Bible says in response to that: “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent” (2 Peter 3:9 NLT).
Peter continues on and says, “But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise. … Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live” (verse 10).
Peter was emphasizing that if you really believe Jesus is coming back, then it should impact the way you live. And if it doesn’t impact the way you live, then you are completely missing the point. So how should we be living?
We should be watching for him. Jesus said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28 NKJV). As we look at what is happening in our world today, we can have our Bible in one hand and our tablet or newspaper in the other and see how Bible prophecy is being fulfilled before our eyes. The Middle East is a powder keg. It could blow up at any time. There is an outbreak of excessive acts of violence in our culture like we have never seen before.
We should be ready to go. When I go on a trip, I always pack my bags the night before, especially if it is an early morning flight. I will always have everything ready to go. I want to be to the flight on time. So I prepare ahead of time. In the same way, we want to be ready to go when Jesus returns. And to be ready for the return of Jesus is to be engaged in activities you would not be ashamed of if Jesus were to come. It is a good thing to ask yourself periodically, “This place that I am about to go, this thing that I am about to do, would I be embarrassed or ashamed of it if Jesus were to come back?” If the answer is yes, then don’t do it.
We should be working. The Bible says that faith without works is dead (see James 2:20). If watching is the evidence of faith, then working is the evidence of faith in action. Watching for the return of Christ will help us prepare our own lives, but working will ensure that we bring others with us. Jesus was saying there is a blessedness in living this way: “Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes” (Luke 12:37). Another way to translate the word “blessed” is “happy.” Happy are those servants. …
C.H. Spurgeon wrote, “It is a very blessed thing to be on the watch for Christ, it is a blessing for us now. How it detaches you from the world! You can be poor without murmuring; you can be rich without worldliness; you can be sick without sorrowing; you can be healthy without presumption. If you are always waiting for Christ’s coming, untold blessings are wrapped up in that glorious hope.”
Looking for the return of Christ is not a miserable or repressive or confining way to live. It is a happy, joyful, and purposeful way to live.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5481
By Carl Worline
I am not a prophet. In-fact, I do not even have the gift of prophecy. Instead, I am a Christian who reads the news each day, including the prophetic news websites and I consider myself a “watcher on the wall.”
As such, I feel the need to sound the alarm. The signs in the world today all point to the end of the Age of Grace and to the imminent arrival of the Rapture. We are, quite literally, in the very last moments of the opportunity that mankind has to find salvation through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus as the Savior of the world. At this moment eternal life in heaven with Jesus is a free gift. Very soon now that will change. Salvation will still be attainable, but at a very high price.
The vast majority of people seem to feel exceptionally uncomfortable when I mention the word “Rapture.” Perhaps this is because date setters, such as Harold Camping, have all been wrong in the past and have lost all of their credibility. I tend to believe that people today are uncomfortable with any mention of the Rapture and the end of the Age of Grace, because they have a well-founded fear deep in their soul that something really big is about to happen and they know that they are going to be left behind to face a horrible fate of some kind.
There are signs out there that flood us with warnings that the end of the Age of Grace is here. In fact, there are so many signs that it is becoming all but impossible to see the road on which we are traveling. Every person on this planet has been impacted by these signs in one way or another. Let’s take a look at a few of the signs that have occurred recently. Space does not permit me to list them all or to delve very deeply into specifics, but we can certainly look at some of the major signs of the time.
The earth, itself, is groaning. Our weather is nothing less than freakish. It seems that every place that is not experiencing a drought is under water from floods of biblical proportions. Freak hailstorms now seem routine. Dormant volcanoes all over the planet are coming back to life as we see a major up-tick in earthquakes. Tornadoes have become super-sized and almost seem to have a mind of their own at times – a mind that does not seem to like us very much. Wildfires appear much more frequently and also seem to be much more destructive. Natural disasters displaced 32.4 million people in 2012.
Incidents of mass-animal die-offs are averaging more than two per day. Strange, creepy, and very loud sounds are being hard over large areas and nobody has been able to explain them, or even discern the direction they are coming from. The earth’s magnetic poles are moving at an accelerated rate while sinkholes are popping up in diverse places around the world.
Despite so many floods, water is becoming scarce. One-third of the world’s population has limited access to fresh water. Most of the major rivers in the world are experiencing reduced rates of flow. Egypt is ready to go to war with Ethiopia over the Nile. The Colorado River, the High Plains Aquifer, and the entire western half of the United States, are rapidly drying up.
There are many signs in the heavens. Large meteors and fireballs are hitting the earth. Solar flares are unusually intense. Solar and lunar eclipses, complete with blood moons, are occurring and they are occurring on Jewish feast days. Near misses by asteroids now occur on a seemingly regular basis. A huge chunk of space rock recently struck the moon and produced an impact so large it was visible from earth without a telescope. God told us in the first chapter of Genesis that He put the stars, planets, and moon in the heavens as signs for us. Perhaps we should believe Him and look up once in awhile.
The stars remain fixed in their relationship to one another as the planets wander through them, telling a story that is constantly changing (and often difficult to interpret). Later this month the Star of David planetary alignment will occur for the last time leading up to the Tetrad of blood moons that will occur in 2014 – 2015 and will not occur again for another century. What exactly does this mean, or is it just a coincidence?
There is a huge increase in sickeningly evil acts throughout the world, just as Jesus said there would be. I will not list examples here. They are too horrible to think about. How could mankind have become so grotesque in its inhumanity?
Islam has experienced a rabidly intolerant worldwide awakening. Muslims slaughter Christians and Jews for the most seemingly trivial of excuses while demanding that the world accept Sharia law with all of its cruelty. The cruelty of Islam intensifies daily with each new act seemingly more cruel and inhuman than the last.
Christian persecution has increased to the point that Christianity is literally threatened with extinction in many areas of the world. The Vatican just declared that 100,000 people are killed each year for their Christian beliefs. North Korea alone has imprisoned an estimated 70,000 people for being a Christian. The Christian population of the Holy Land is rapidly heading toward extinction, as is the rest of the Middle East as well.
Egypt’s Christians face arson, beatings, and forced conversion among the upheavals. Here at home in the United States an Arizona pastor was just imprisoned for holding a Bible study in his home. He was sentenced to 60 days, plus 3 years probation, plus a $12,180 fine. However, it is not a crime to have an unlimited number of buddies over to watch a football game on TV while drinking as much beer, wine, or hard liquor as one can consume.
Christian fundamentals are crumbling. Upon his confirmation as the new pope,
Francis dedicated his reign to Mary and promised redemption for the “good atheists.” Lutherans have elected their first gay bishop. The Church of Scotland has voted to allow gay ministers. The Church of England has formally given up the fight against gay marriage. In the UK there are more people who believe in aliens than believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The White House has formed a petition to ban teaching creationism and intelligent design in schools. The rising new religion of Chrislam is replacing the one true God with the Islamic god known as Allah. Blasphemy and mocking abound as Hollywood releases two new movies ridiculing the Rapture. Saint Malachy’s pope number 112 has come to power as lightning strikes Saint Peter’s Basilica (twice). Meanwhile a pro-abortion mob chants “God is dead,” and “Hail Satan,” on the steps of the Texas Legislature during a session considering legislation to save unborn children.
Anti-Semitism is increasing across Europe once again, as well as on college campuses around the world.
Homosexuality is not only becoming legalized, but is becoming morally acceptable all over the world. Those who believe it is wrong are accused of being the ones who have the mental disease or defect. Brazil has paved the way for gay marriage. France has become the fourteenth country to legalize gay weddings. Cubans are holding marches to protest “homophobia.” Tel Aviv recently had a turn out of 100,000 for a gay pride parade. In France, mandatory sex education for 6 year olds aims to shift the perception of traditional biological roles.
A former police officer was just arrested in the UK for publicly stating that he believes homosexuality to be a sin. Third-graders introduced President Obama at an LGBT pride event at the White House in June. A Milwaukee school held a “gender-bender” day where boys came dressed as girls, and girls came dressed as boys. A children’s television network has launched a transsexual superhero show. The Boy Scouts of America voted to accept gay youths and then marched in a gay pride parade in Salt Lake City. Not to be out done, over 90 Girl Scouts marched in a gay pride parade in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act, and also ruled in such a manner as to allow gay marriages to resume in California. The bells of our National Cathedral in Washington D.C. rang for joy as celebrations broke out in major cities around the world regarding our Supreme Court’s decision. It would almost seem that our highest court has become the mouthpiece of the homosexual cause.
Our Pentagon held a formal ceremony to celebrate our gay troops, declaring our nation to be a safer place because of them. Oklahoma suffered two F5 tornadoes after proclaiming that their state homosexual pride week would begin at 4 PM on Pentecost. And in Seattle, gay pride participants viciously beat a Christian street preacher.
The rise of sexual perversion defies imagination. The White House marked Mothers Day by celebrating birth control. Recent legislation allows 15-year-old girls to purchase the morning after pill without parental permission or knowledge. The California legislature passed the kindergarten through 12th grade transgender rights bill that allows children to use whatever bathroom, or shower room they identify with.
Wars and rumors of wars seem to be at an all-time fever pitch. Chemical weapons have been used in the Middle East. Syria and Israel are exchanging fire in the Golan Heights while Assad has announced that he is serious about opening a new front against Israel. Conservative reports estimate that 100,000 have been killed so far in Syria’s civil war. The Syrian conflict has spread to Lebanon. Russia has been taking an increasingly active interest in Syria, sending Assad ship killing missiles. Iran has sent 4,000 of their top troops to Syria.
Egypt and Jordan have expelled their ambassadors from Israel. Muslims are turning against Muslims in many places such as Turkey and Syria. Egypt has cut all ties with Syria and closed the embassy in Cairo, and has withdrawn the Egyptian envoy from Damascus because of Hezbollah’s aggression in the Syrian conflict. Australia has abandoned the Golan Heights. Egypt teeters on the brink of civil war after Mohammad Morsi’s overthrow. A recent anti-Muslim Brotherhood protest in Egypt was the largest political event ever in world history. And finally, North Korea continues with its short- range missile tests and threatens nuclear war with the United States.
The economy of the entire world is a house of cards in which the financial system of one bankrupt nation artificially holds up another using imaginary currency that exists only in the electronic memory of world banking computers. Such a Ponzi scheme cannot last forever, and it is nothing short of a supernatural miracle that is has been able to last this long. Taxes on the wealthy in France top 100 percent. Cypress has already confiscated a large chunk of the bank accounts of their wealthy. Suspicious sales of gold have caused the price to plunge. The Eurozone is now in the midst of its longest recession ever.
In Greece 65.5 percent of young people are out of work. In Spain it is 56.4 percent. In Portugal it is 42.5 percent. And in Italy 40.5 percent of young people are out of work. The financial system in Japan is beginning to spin wildly out of control. The dreaded “Hindenburg Omen” appeared in the stock market during the first week of June. Egyptians have never been in such dire economic straits. America’s mortgage rates have just taken their largest jump in 26 years.
Our military is shutting down due to budget cutbacks. We have aircraft carriers sitting in port because we cannot afford to fix them. One-third of our Air Force has been shut down because we cannot afford to continue training. Recent reports to our Congress speak of “rot” in the ranks of our nuclear launch corp. An average of 22 veterans commit suicide each day─as well as an average of more than one active duty soldier each day. Sexual assaults are up 35 percent since 2010. Military members are punished for their Christian beliefs and our president threatens to veto the proposed religious protection clauses now being considered.
Our political system is collapsing. Polls show a growing support for the impeachment of our president over the Benghazi scandal, the IRS scandal, the Fast and Furious scandal, and the Associated Press Scandal. There is a total lack of leadership at the top. While Egypt erupted in chaos, our president went golfing and our Secretary of State took the day off to spend sailing on his private yacht. Neither lifted a finger or said a word to help.
Our nation is on the verge of a moral collapse. At last count 27 NFL players have been arrested since the Super Bowl. Vermont has become the third state to legalize assisted suicide. More Americans are committing suicide now than during the great depression.
I have often said that I do not believe in government conspiracies and yet it is becoming increasingly more difficult to deny their existence. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has purchased well over 2 billion rounds of hollow point ammunition and has another billion, or so, more rounds are on order. The Geneva Convention forbids the use of hollow point bullets in war, so the only possible use of these rounds that are expressly designed to kill (rather than for target practice) is to be used right here at home in the United States.
DHS has also purchased a couple thousand bulletproof checkpoint booths. Why? Even more shocking, DHS has purchased around 2,700 tanks. Please explain to me why DHS needs its own private fleet of tanks (totally separate from what our military has). And to top that, IRS agents are now training with AR-15 fully automatic assault rifles as well as rat-holing away millions of rounds of ammunition. Who does the IRS plan to use these weapons against? Is the IRS going to start collecting taxes from American citizens at gunpoint? Now I can understand why our government has suddenly become so obsessed with the confiscation of all privately owned firearms. It is preparing for an armed conflict against its own citizens.
The Bible tells us that the Antichrist will use the mark of the beast to control the entire worldwide economy and that private transactions will not be possible. The only way the Antichrist will be able to accomplish this will be for him to have a huge database in which he knows virtually everything about everybody. Such a database will require astronomical amounts of storage capability. Does this storage capability exist today? The answer is yes. The United States government currently has data storage facilities in Salt Lake City, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and Fort Mead, Maryland that each hold storage capacities in the multiple-yottabyte range.
A yottabyte is the largest named classification to date for data storage. One yottabyte of data typed out in standard type on 8 ½” x 11 paper would be a stack of paper approximately 3 light years tall (16 quadrillion miles). Why does our government need to collect and keep forever so much information? America is fully embracing a police state culture.
Virtually everything that we do is watched, monitored, tracked, or recorded in some way. Our government is monitoring all phone calls, emails, credit card transactions, and Internet activity. The IRS improperly seized ten million medical records. A federal judge has ordered Google to hand over customer data to the FBI without warrants. The NSA and the FBI are collecting all cell phone calls. The front and back of every single piece of mail is photographed and the images are stored. In 2012 there were 160 billion photographs of mail taken and permanently stored by our postal system.
Our government keeps a list of the names of 8 million people it considers to be a threat. Likewise, our government has built a photo recognition database of 120 million American citizens from driver license records. License plate readers mounted on cars have recorded photographs and the location of millions of motor vehicles in the United States. Satellites have taken billions of photographs from space with resolution so precise that documents on the ground can be read. With so much information collected on each and every individual I can see how it would be completely possible to control all financial transactions, both personal and public, with a single biometric mark on either the right hand or forehead.
Israel is God’s chosen people as well as being God’s time clock. I truly believe that we can tell exactly how close we are to the end by watching what is happening in Israel. One huge sign that we are at the end is that Israel has stopped issuing aliya visas. Aliya is the return of Jews to the Promised Land during the last days and it is now another biblical prophecy that has been fulfilled. Israel has struck energy gold in the form of oil and natural gas. Here is the reason that Gog, from the land of Magog, will attack Israel to seize a spoil, which is straight out of Ezekiel 38. Israel is surrounded in exactly the manner described in Ezekiel 38 and Psalm 83.
Let’s look at one little sign from Psalm 83 that nobody ever seems to mention. When Asaph wrote Psalm 83 back in the days of King David, he described one of antagonists of Israel as the “Tents of the Edomites.” There has been a lot of blending and mixing over the past 3,000 years (plus or minus), but the Edomites can be traced back to the people who now identify themselves as the Palestinians. Now ask yourself, who lives in tents? The answer, of course would be a people who do not have a nation of their own, just like the Palestinians of today. I would say that Asaph certainly had a clear vision of the current political situation of today.
The political situation in the Middle East is very fluid. It is constantly changing. At this very moment everything is lined up exactly as the Bible says it will be during the last of the last days and it will not remain this way for very long. Therefore, I expect the end of the Age of Grace to occur extremely soon.
Other signs of the end of the Age of Grace would include the specter of the black horse of the Apocalypse that now looms on the horizon. World food sources are being attacked on every front and we are just one disaster away from mass starvation. The European commission is attempting to criminalize nearly all seeds and plants that are not registered with the government.
One-third of America’s bees died last winter, aggravating the threat of famine from reduced pollination. Disease is spreading through the continent of Africa destroying entire crops of casaba. Japan and South Korea have banned US wheat out of fear from our genetic modifications. Most of Haiti is malnourished and starving. Syria’s crop destruction from civil war is worsening food shortages. Crops all over the world have been damaged and destroyed by the freakish weather.
Disease and pestilence are two things that are mentions by Jesus in Matthew 24 as signs of the end of the age. The H7N9 bird flu has killed or caused the destruction of millions of birds. The new sex super-bug has been declared worse than AIDS. A flu is rising among pigs in China. Chinese officials have also confirmed that the latest bird flu strain is fatal in one-third of patients.
Singapore is suffering an outbreak of the Dengue fever virus. There has been a huge outbreak of hemorrhagic fever in Argentina. The World Health Organization is warning that the Saudi coronal virus is spreading and the Middle Eastern MERS virus is a threat to the entire world, with mortality rates currently at 65 percent.
The east coast of the United States is being overrun with a plague of cicadas. Israel was hit with a plague of locusts─just days before Passover. Billions of locust eggs have hatched in the Negev Desert. Bosnia has been experiencing a plague of flies. Fully one-third of the world’s food supply is currently destroyed each year by pestilence.
The Bible tells us that one of the signs of the end of the ago will be an increase in knowledge. With an increase in knowledge comes an increase in technology. Currently we are on the brink of creating a computer that not only thinks for itself, but will actually be aware of its own existence. This will be a new form or life created by Man instead of God. In the meantime we have hacked our way far enough past the firewalls of God’s computer to gain access to the DNA codes of life, and we have begun the incredibly dangerous and irresponsibly foolish act of tinkering with them.
The first genetically modified babies have now been born. Scientists have created a living embryo of a formerly extinct frog and have cloned a mouse from a single drop of blood. The UK plans to approve creating babies with DNA from 3 parents. I believe that chapter 6 of Genesis makes it quite clear that tampering with DNA is what made God so angry that He ended the Antediluvian Age, and I believe that tampering with DNA will be a major contributing factor in God’s decision to end the Age of Grace really soon, before any more damage can occur.
In recent weeks the talk of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem has become surprisingly more serious despite Islamic objections.
The Bible tells us that even the very elect will be deceived in a great deception during the last days. This makes me highly suspicious of the Vatican’s increasing interest in space and alien life. There seems to be a lot of recent evidence to suggest that the Vatican is preparing to announce the existence of alien life and that it is not a violation of Christian (Catholic) dogma. I find it really strange that the Catholic Church owns several state-of-the-art observatories and telescopes, including one with the strange acronym “Lucifer.”
UFO activity has certainly spiked in recent months. About a year ago a UFO was photographed from several angles descending and hovering over the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount. A UFO was also photographed descending and hovering over the Vatican, and a UFO was recently photographed entering Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano.
The European Union has taken the Tower of Babel and the woman riding upon the beast as its symbols. I find this a bit unnerving, a bit blasphemous, and very prophetic. Is the European Union daring God to strike it down? Has the challenge been made to God to remove the Restrainer and allow the Tribulation to begin? Is Isaiah 17 on the very verge of fulfillment? Is Isaiah 19 on the very verge of fulfillment as well?
The Bible tells us that during the last days young men will see visions and old men will dream dreams. A lot of people are reporting dreams and visions of the Rapture and Tribulation. Most of these dreams seem to contradict each other as far as specifics, but I have noticed a very marked increase in urgency that seems to tie them together. Something incredibly big is definitely about to happen.
The gift of prophecy is not required in order to sense that something huge is happening right now in preparation for something even more important. When this event occurs it is going to be spectacular beyond our present ability to comprehend. Christians feel the building urgency with either a sense of peace or else a sense of anxiety that comes from a knowledge that they still have issues to be resolved with God and that there is precious little time remaining.
Those who do not believe also sense the urgency of the hour and are angry that there unbelief and present lifestyles are being challenged. The unbelieving are also frantic because they sense that time is running out, just as Satan must be frantic because he knows so little time remains.
Fasten your seatbelt and lovingly remind the person next to you to fasten their seatbelt as well. Then close your eyes and think about this verse, which seems to apply to us now more than ever:
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5448
How long will it be until the Rapture? That is the question we all have been asking ourselves for a very long time now. The problem is that there are so many prophetic signs out there that we can no longer see the road we are trying to follow. We over analyze each sign looking for both hidden meanings, as well as obvious meanings, and then we become disheartened when the Rapture fails to occur when we predict that it will happen. We all secretly look for possible dates for the departure of the church. Yet those who openly announce their predictions are usually viewed with, contempt by the prophetic community.
Each time a “watch date” comes and goes I feel disappointed, like the proverbial bride who is stood-up at the altar. I then work that much harder trying to find even more clues and hidden meanings in both Scripture and in current world events. To date, I have been a failure in all my efforts. It is time to take an entirely new approach. I truly have not been able to see the forest because of all the trees.
It is time to take a step back and look at the “big picture,” and not get wrapped up in all of the specific details. When we step back things often come into a much clearer focus. Christians have expected the rapture to occur ever since the crucifixion. Paul wrote his second letter the Thessalonians to assure them that they had not been left behind. Is the Rapture truly “imminent” at this moment in history, or is it still way off in the future? Let’s put aside our obsession with details and specifics for the moment, take a huge breath and re-evaluate what has been happening in our nation, the world, and (of course) Israel.
The overall weather is well beyond weird, and it is getting weirder and weirder by the moment. This has gone well beyond the natural fluctuations that occur at random. At first we suspected global warming was the cause, but what we are experiencing has gone well past anything like global warming can explain. It is almost like God, Himself, is trying to get the world’s attention.
Earthquakes are definitely happening with greater frequency and intensity. The one we had a couple of years ago in Japan moved Japan, itself, 8 feet and knocked the earth a little off its axis and actually shortened the day by a tiny amount. At the same time dormant volcanoes all over the planet are coming back to life. Sinkholes are popping up all over the world as well. This is more than just a coincidence. Something big has to be up. Doesn’t the Bible say something about the Earth longing to be free of “the curse?”
Speaking of weird things going on with the Earth, let’s take a look at the strange noises being heard all around the world. I would dismiss them as wild rumors if it were not for the fact that so many people have reported hearing them. What I find really odd is that those who report them all say that it is impossible to tell the direction from which they come. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem the local religious officials told Jesus to silence the multitudes, those who were there to be a witness. Jesus replied that if He were to silence the people the very rocks would cry out. That seems like an odd response for Him to make at the time, but now it seems that the very rocks themselves are crying out to announce His imminent arrival, while at the same time the people are being silent.
While we are on the topic of weird things occurring in nature let’s take a look at the animals that are dropping dead all over the world. It seemingly started back on November 2, 2010, when thousands of sea birds were found dead in Tasmania, Australia. Nobody thought much about it at the time. A couple of months later over 5,000 red-winged blackbirds and starlings fell out of the sky near midnight on New Year’s Eve in Beebe, Arkansas. The media picked up on this, and on a few subsequent animal die-offs.
There were lots of end-of-the-world jokes and an increase of ridicule of those who study eschatology. When the novelty wore off the ridicule subsided. Nobody noticed anymore, but the slaughter has never ceased. The website below records the carnage that continues to take place. During 2011 this website records 42 mass animal die-off events and includes links to an article on each one. I am not talking about 42 dead animals. I am talking about 42 separate events were there was a mass die-off of huge numbers of animals. In 2012 there were 464 known events where animals were killed off in mass and occurred in 67 different countries. This staggers the imagination. As of May 3, 2013, there have been 222 know mass animal die-offs occurring in 47 different countries. One can only guess as to how horrible this carnage will become by the end of the year. That is, of course, assuming that we make it to the end of 2013.
I have to apologize here. I said I wasn’t going to get into specifics because it is too easy to get wrapped around the spoke and lose sight of the big picture. My point is that the Bible has something to say about God killing off animals in (presumably) the last days. Maybe He wasn’t joking or using this seemingly odd wording as filler in His book.
“Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away” (Hosea 4:3).
I want to add one other thought here. While all of these animals have been dropping dead our scientific community has attempted to come up with an explanation. Much of what they offer is so ridiculous that it makes me wonder how they can believe this and still laugh at (and reject) the idea that God created the world and everything in it. My answer to these scientific scoffers is this: “So what? The Bible says nothing about whether the scientific community will understand it or not. The Bible says only that it will happen. It happened; end of discussion.”
Let’s get away from strange signs in nature and look elsewhere for the moment. Let’s look at the advances that the homosexual agenda has made in the last few years versus the advances they have made for the 3,000 or 4,000 years prior to that. Wow. There has been an explosion of perversion. Homosexuality is one of the sins that the Bible seems to indicate is especially offensive to God. At the current rate that the homosexual agenda is accelerating and expanding, how much longer can it be before God deals with us in the same way that He did with Sodom and Gomorrah?
If there were any truth to Darwin’s theory of evolution, or the theory of the survival of the fittest, homosexuality would have become extinct a great many generations ago.
Abortion is another sin, which, I am sure, is especially offensive to God. The numbers of victims, both infants and mothers, is beyond my ability to comprehend. The horror seems to be increasing geometrically. I feel physically sickened each time I read of a new revelation in the current trial of the abortionist, Dr. Gosnell. How much worse can it get? How much worse will God let it get?
Everything evil seems to be increasing geometrically these days. Each day, as I read the news on the prophetic websites, I learn of things taking place that are too horrible to write about in this article. Has the love of humanity grown this cold? Didn’t the Bible say something about that happening in the last days?
At the very end of the book of Daniel, the prophet tells the angel that he does not understand what he just written. The angel tells Daniel not to worry about it and to just write it down. The angel also tells Daniel that we will understand what he wrote in the end times. Obviously there are things in the Bible not intended to be, fully understood until the last days. I have read many things in the Bible that I do not understand, and seem strange even appearing there. The following are two examples:
In the biblical account of the fall of the Tower of Babel, God says something that really seems strange to me. He said that one of His reasons for destroying the tower was that if He did not do so, mankind would be able to accomplish whatever it set out to do. Apparently there are limits to the technology, which God will allow us to possess. A few years ago science announced that we were on the very cusp of achieving singularity. Singularity is a difficult concept to define, but an overly simplistic explanation is that singularity is the point where we are actually able to build a computer that can not only think for itself, but actually becomes aware of its own existence. In other words, we would be creating a form of life.
We agonize over the morality of killing unborn children in their mother’s womb who cannot speak for themselves. Imagine what it would be like to have a home computer that would beg and plead with us not to shut it off, or pull the plug, because it would kill it. What if our machines plotted to kill us out of the primordial instinct of self-preservation? Science fiction doesn’t sound so much like “fiction” anymore. How much have we advanced in the years since science announced that we were on the very cusp of achieving singularity? Will God allow mankind to create life, or will He reserve this knowledge and skill exclusively for Himself?
Something else that seems really strange to me in the Bible is how Jesus compared the last days of the end-times to the “Days of Noah.” Up until just recently, such a reference really seemed a bit odd. Did Jesus use an awkward analogy by accident, or did He really mean what He said? Genesis chapter 6 tells us that the world became so evil that God was actually sorry He had made mankind, and decided to destroy the Earth. Only Noah and seven members of his immediate family were allowed to survive, plus (of course) pairs of certain animals. The same chapter of Genesis goes on to tell us that the sin that angered God so much, and caused God so much sorrow, was the mingling of angels that chose to leave their estate (that’s Bible-speak for rebelling against God) and had sexual relations with the daughters of men to produce hybrids. Apparently this is an extremely major sin.
Today our top scientists have hacked their way far enough through the firewalls of God’s computer that they have gained access to the databanks for the very genetic code of life itself. We only understand a tiny fraction of the information we have discovered, but we are already playing around with altering the codes. We are tinkering with the mixing of DNA of animals, plants, and humans. I wonder. Is there anything else that we could think of that would provoke God any more than this? How much more will He allow?
Going back to Genesis once more, wasn’t the fall from grace that Adam and Eve experienced due to their disobedience in eating from the tree of knowledge? Did the forbidden fruit they ate plant the seeds of knowledge that brought us, in part at least, to the point where our knowledge destroys us? I wonder . . .
We constantly search for any clues in the Bible for when the last days are going to be, hoping to find a clue as to when the Rapture will happen. In Matthew, chapter 24, Jesus disciples asked Him directly when the end times were going to be. Jesus started off by telling them not to be deceived by anyone. Well, there is certainly a lot of deception being put out there right now. The next thing He mentioned was the amount of wars and rumors of wars. Can anybody deny that rumors of war abound at the present time, or that the focus of these rumors center around Israel and Jerusalem. In fact, the Bible also specifically mentions Jerusalem being a “cup of trembling” and a “stumbling stone” to the world in the last days.
The Bible tells us that Israel is the “Apple of God’s eye.” Every time I think the situation for Israel cannot get any more, dire, something else happens. There are multiple reports in the news of Syria making chemical weapons available to Hezbollah. Israel is now conducting air strikes deep into Syria. Assad’s only chance to remain in power is to attack Israel so that the nations and people who are opposing him stop their hostilities, lest they appear to be fighting on the side of the Jews. Israel’s only viable option will be to attack Syria. A conventional war would be too costly and take too long. Israel could end Assad’s rule overnight by dropping a nuclear weapon on Damascus and totally destroying Assad and his government. Doesn’t the Bible say something about this is Isaiah in chapter 17?
In Matthew, Jesus talked about many indicators of His return. These include things like famine and pestilence, and He also talked about the persecution of Christians as a sign of the last days and His return. Just look at the rabid and prolific spread of Islam. Notice that I didn’t say “radical” Islam. All of Islam is extremely anti-Christian. Some of its followers are just more vocal than others in spreading the violence and intolerance they profess. Other parts of the world are equally vicious in their persecution of anybody who dares to believe in God, or His son. I find it beyond my ability to comprehend how 70,000 people can be imprisoned in North Korea merely for believing in God or owning a Bible. Just try to imagine the horrors of living in a communist prison where there is absolutely no regard for human rights or dignity.
Is there any possible way that the current political situation in the Middle East could match the description laid out by Asaph during the time of King David and recorded in Psalm 83? The political situation of the world, and in particular the Middle East, is constantly changing. The dominos will not be in such a perfect alignment for very long. I believe that the rapture will occur before the bride of Christ can be harmed by the incredible worldwide Tribulation that is sure to erupt from such a conflict, for reasons that I will give in just a moment.
Christianity is in danger of becoming extinct in many parts of the Holy Land. Stop and think for a moment about how outrageous my last sentence is. Christianity is in danger of becoming extinct in many parts of the Holy Land. How much longer will God allow this condition to exist? Christianity is also in danger of becoming extinct in many other parts of the world.
Let’s move to another area. Doesn’t the Bible say something about signs in the sun, moon, and stars? Have there been signs in the sun, moon, and stars? Most definitely: yes. There have been a ton of them. The sun has been acting up with all kinds of flares. The moon has been going through a series of tetrads, and they have been falling on or near Jewish feast days. That just has to have some kind of prophetic significance just by itself. The stars have been aligning in all kinds of ways that are incredibly rare. Yes, I know that astrology is a big sin. On the other hand, God told us in the very first chapter of Genesis (verse 14) that the sun, moon, and stars were given to us specifically for “signs.” I know there is a lot of arguing about how serious God was when He said this, but He did say it, so I mention it here.
Also, isn’t there supposed to be one of the all-time biggest and brightest comets of all time coming our way later this year?
I believe the evidence in the Bible is overwhelming to support the idea that the Rapture of the church will occur before the Tribulation starts. Common sense seems to agree. What groom would allow His bride to be savagely beaten, especially before the wedding? Jesus told us that at the end of the last days there would be a Tribulation that was far worse than anything that has ever happened before. I believe Him.
I do not believe in the idea of government conspiracies. The main reason that I do not believe in government conspiracies is because our government is not smart enough to come up with these conspiracies, and they would not be able to keep their mouths shut about the existence of a major conspiracy. Too many people would be writing books about them. Nevertheless, Homeland Security has purchased over two billion (that is billion with a “B”) rounds of hollow-point ammunition and has just applied to purchase another billion, or so. The quantity of ammunition they are stockpiling is something that my mind cannot grasp.
Why do they need a dozen rounds of ammunition for each and every man, woman, and child in the nation? Why are they buying hollow-point ammunition? Under the rules of the Geneva Convention even our military cannot use hollow-point ammunition in combat. Obviously, Homeland Security intends to use this ammunition domestically. These same people also purchased 2,700 tanks. Why does Homeland Security think they need a tank? Why does Homeland Security feel they need 2,700 tanks?
I could go on and on about so many different types of signs that we are not only in the last days, but that we are in the “last” of the “last days.” For whatever reason, God wants to keep the date a secret, and we can only guess why. But if we read Revelation 3:3 and believe what it says, we are not only told─we are commanded─to watch for the return of Jesus. What’s more, Jesus says that if we fail to watch, the Rapture of Christ will take us some by surprise, like a “thief in the night.”
If we believe what the Revelation 3:3 says, we can at least know the season of His return. By opening our eyes to what is going on in the world around us we can see with our own eyes that we are in the very last days of that season. The Rapture of the church is going to happen and it is going to happen at any moment. If for no other reason, the Rapture is about to happen because the Tribulation spoken of in the Bible is about to happen, and the Rapture has to happen first.
Why is God sending all of these signs, and especially now?
The answer is so obvious that even a blind man can see it. God is trying to get our attention. He is also not going to violate any of His rules. We are the ones who have to make the conscious decision to accept Him, believe in Him, and believe that His Son died so we can spend our eternal lives with Him in heaven. We have to come to the point that we realize we are sinners by nature and we have to repent of those sins. That is why God does not appear in the sky or take over television broadcasts to address us more directly. We have to arrive at our decision to believe and repent on our own. The scary part is that we have to arrive at this point on our own before the door slams shut “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” At that instant it will be too late. At that moment our individual fate and our eternal destiny will be set forever and cannot be changed.
For those who believe that Jesus is returning soon and that the Rapture is imminent, no additional proof is necessary. For those who do not believe, no additional proof will ever be sufficient.
Where do you stand at this very instant?
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5023