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Gog of Magog and the Great Earthquake

September 18, 2012 in Updates

Joel Richardson

In several previous articles, I’ve set forth various reasons why we should recognize “Gog” of Ezekiel 38,39 to be one and the same with the Antichrist/Beast of other antichristic prophecies. I have also addressed and dispelled some of the most common arguments against this view. In this article, I will detail yet another significant reason why Gog must be the Antichrist and why the Battle of Gog of Magog can only conclude at the return of Jesus.

Among the many events that concludes the Battle of Gog and Magog, one major event is “a great earthquake” in the land of Israel. The earthquake will be so great that all creatures and mankind “who are on the face of the earth” will tremble in fear:

It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel… there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground. —Ezekiel 38:18-20

Many seem to miss the fact that this earthquake will result in the mountains of Israel being “thrown down”. Beyond this, “every wall will fall to the ground”. We’ll come back to this issue of the mountains and walls collapsing, but first, let’s briefly consider a few other significant Biblical passages that also speak of:

1.) A massive eschatological invasion of Israel
2.) A divine deliverance
3.) A massive earthquake that brings the invasion to an end

In Isaiah 29, the LORD warns Jerusalem, called here “Ariel”, that He will bring armies against her:

Yet I will besiege Ariel; she will mourn and lament, she will be to me like an altar hearth. I will encamp against you all around; I will encircle you with towers and set up my siege works against you. —Isaiah 29:2-3

But though it is the LORD Himself who brings these armies against Ariel, He also promises to destroy them with both a personal visit, as well as with a mighty earthquake:

But your many enemies will become like fine dust, the ruthless hordes like blown chaff. Suddenly, in an instant, the LORD Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire. Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Ariel, that attack her and her fortress and besiege her, will be as it is with a dream, with a vision in the night…. So will it be with the hordes of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion. —Isaiah 29:5-8

In another famous end time passage, we see the same pattern again repeated. The LORD promises to gather the surrounding gentile nations against Jerusalem. And once again, he responds with a personal visit and a great earthquake.

I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it… Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. —Zechariah 14:2-5

So we see that the themes of invading hordes, a corresponding great earthquake and a divine deliverance of the people of Israel are commonly repeated themes among these passages that speak of the return of Jesus. It might be quite logical then, to assume that because Ezekiel’s oracle perfectly mirrors all of these elements, it is also speaking of the return of Jesus. Many argue however, that Ezekiel’s invasion, the mighty earthquake, and the accompanying deliverance, precede these other passages by several years.

But here is where the popular view runs into yet another insurmountable problem. For as we have already seen, the great earthquake of Ezekiel’s oracle results in all of the mountains in Israel being thrown down. But if this is the case, then how can it be that in the middle of the tribulation, Jesus warns the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judea to flee to the mountains:

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. —Matthew 24:15-16

How can Jesus tell people to flee to mountains which, according to the popular view, no longer even exist? If Ezekiel’s prophecy is to have happened a few, or even several years prior, resulting in the mountains of Israel all falling down, how can Jesus still be speaking of near-by mountains, and telling his people to flee to them? For students of the Scriptures who take the words of the Bible literally, there are really only two options; either Ezekiel’s earthquake comes sometime after the middle of the tribulation, or Jesus didn’t know what He was talking about. I’m going with Ezekiel’s earthquake taking place at the conclusion of the tribulation.

But as much as this causes a insurmountable mountain of a problem for the popular view which tries to cast Gog and Antichrist as two different characters, there is yet another powerful passage in the Book of Revelation which speaks of the final conclusion of the Great Tribulation. Once again, there is the gathering of the gentiles, there is a great earthquake which results in the cities of the earth being destroyed, as well as the mountains being removed:

Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed… Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. —Revelation 16:16-20

In the following chart, consider the dramatic similarities between Ezekiel’s oracle and John’s description of the Battle of Armageddon:

 

Now, consider the following timelines, where the popular view is contrasted with what I refer to as “the consistent view”:

The Popular View

In the timeline above, the Battle of Gog of Magog concludes either just before or just after the beginning of the final seven years. The problem with this view should be clear. At the conclusion of the Battle of Gog of Magog, there is a massive earthquake whereby all of the mountains will be “thrown down” or “fall down”. If this is the case, how then could Jesus warn the inhabitants of Jerusalem, several years later, to flee to the mountains? This would be impossible. And how could another earthquake level the mountains a second time during the “great earthquake” that takes place at the return of Jesus? Obviously, the popular view has an insurmountable contradiction with Scripture on this point.

The Consistent View

 

Now consider the alternative consistent view. Here, we see that because Gog of Magog and the Battle of Armageddon are seen as concluding at the same time, at the return of Jesus, there is no contradiction concerning the mountains being leveled. Neither is there any contradiction with the commandment of Jesus to flee to the mountains at the mid-point of the tribulation.

The conclusion is simple. Ezekiel was simply speaking of the same invasion, great earthquake and divine intervention that all of the other prophets were speaking of. Divorcing Ezekiel’s prophesied invasion from Isaiah’s, Zechariah’s and John the Apostle’s prophesied invasion simply cannot be reconciled with Scripture.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4162

Muslims Gone Wild!

Marines arrive in Yemen after embassy attack, protests spread

Published September 14, 2012

U.S. Marines are on the ground in Yemen to deal with the aftermath of an attack on the U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Sanaa, as the Obama administration warns of sustained protests outside diplomatic posts across the Middle East and North Africa.

Pentagon spokesman George Little told Fox News the team is in Yemen as a “precautionary measure.”

The move comes amid reports that protesters jumped over U.S. Embassy walls in both Sudan and Tunisia. At least 3 people have been reported dead and another 28 have been wounded during the Tunisia attack, Reuters reports, citing state television. Reuters also reported that protesters set fire to trees and broke windows inside the U.S. Embassy compound in Tunis.

A senior U.S. official, without explaining the extent of the breach in the latter attack, told Fox News that Tunisian security forces “have responded effectively” so far to the incident.

“We’re keeping a close eye on events there, but for the moment, the Tunisians are doing precisely what they should do in the face of such events,” the official said.

One official also reportedly claimed that protesters in Sudan have been expelled. Witnesses said Sudanese police opened fire on those trying to climb the walls.

That is just a snapshot of the violent unrest playing out Friday, in the widest protests yet across the Muslim world.

The day of protests, which spread to around 20 countries, started small and mostly peacefully in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The most violent demonstrations took place in the Middle East. In many places, only a few hundred took to the streets, mostly ultraconservative Islamists — but the mood was often furious.

One protester was killed in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli in clashes with security forces, after a crowd of protesters set fire to a KFC and a Hardee’s restaurant. Protesters hurled stones and glass at police in a furious melee that left 25 people wounded, 18 of them police.

Security forces in Egypt and Yemen fired tear gas and clashed with protesters to keep them away from U.S. embassies. And Germany’s Foreign Minister says the country’s embassy in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum has been stormed by protesters and set partially on fire.

A senior State Department official said Friday that the administration has stood up a 24-hour “monitoring team to insure appropriate coordination.” The official said the team is working with missions around the world “to protect American citizens.”

The intense demonstrations, purportedly by people upset over an anti-Islam film, follow warnings by the State Department that the protests could spread across the region. The department, on its Twitter account, cautioned Thursday of sustained protests in Egypt, Oman and Jordan, among other places.

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI also issued a joint intelligence bulletin warning that the violent outrage aimed at U.S. embassies could be spread to America by extremist groups.

In a statement to Fox News, a DHS official said that there is no specific, credible information at this time to indicate that the attacks have increased the threat of violent reaction in the U.S., but it will continue to identify potential threats and take appropriate measures.

Four Americans were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Tuesday. A Marine unit was dispatched earlier in the week to Tripoli, to help fortify the U.S. Embassy there in the wake of the attack in the eastern part of the country.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4140

The Battle of Gog of Magog & the Return of Jesus

 

Joel Richardson

The Book of Revelation, chapter 19, contains what is perhaps the most famous Biblical passage concerning the return of Jesus. There, Jesus the Messiah is seen to burst forth from heaven, riding on a white horse with the armies of heaven following Him. But as powerful and as well known as this prophetic portrayal of the return of Jesus is, few are aware of the fact that the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39, most often known as the Battle of Gog of Magog, also concludes with the return of Jesus. In fact, it can be said that Ezekiel 38 and 39 is in fact, the Armageddon of the Old Testament.

Although many popular interpreters have wrongly understood this passage to conclude several years before the return of Jesus, any honest assessment of the text simply does not allow for this. But among the many reasons to reject a pre-Day of the LORD conclusion of this prophecy, one of the simplest, is because it concludes with the LORD actually physically present in the land of Israel.

That’s right, Ezekiel reveals that at the conclusion of Gog’s invasion, Jesus the Messiah is physically present on the ground, in the land. Consider the following passage:

“For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, on that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence” —Ezekiel 38:19–20

According to this text, the Lord Himself says that throughout the earth, both people and animals will “quake at [His] presence.” The word used for presence here is the Hebrew word paneh. Paneh is a reference to the actual face of someone or something. When God says that the people of the earth will quake at His paneh, He is saying that they will be terrified because of His actual physical presence, on the ground, in the land of Israel (see also: Zechariah 14:2-5, Isaiah 29:2-8, Revelation 16:16-20).

Concerning the word paneh, The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary says, “The presence (face) of Jehovah is Jehovah in his own personal presence.” The New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words says, “In the OT, being in God’s or another’s presence is indicated by a preposition (l) prefixed to the Hebrew word panim (‘face’). The thought is to be ‘before the face of the person.” Paneh is used throughout the Old Testament to refer to the actual presence of God. Jacob, for instance, after wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, referred to seeing God face-to-face:

“So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, ‘For I have seen God face [paneh] to face [paneh], and yet my life has been delivered’” —Genesis 32:30

It is also interesting to note that in place of the Hebrew paneh, the Septuagint used the Greek word prosopon. Prosopon is one of two words commonly used in the New Testament to refer to actual presence. The other word is parousia, which is commonly associated with the Second Coming. To convey actual presence, between parousia and prosopon, prosopon is the more powerful term. While parousia most often implies coming, prosopon implies actual face-to-face presence. As Jesus is coming on the clouds, this is His parousia, but once He has actually arrived, then the word prosopon is used.

An excellent example of the New Testament usage of prosopon is a scene where the righteous are actually looking upon the face of God in the eternal city:

“No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face [prosopon], and his name will be on their foreheads” —Revelation 22:4

Ezekiel’s description of people quaking in fear of God’s face reveals that at the conclusion of the Battle of Gog and Magog, Jesus the Messiah, God incarnate, is physically present on the earth, in the land of Israel.

The Holy One in Israel

Further evidence for the physical presence of Jesus at the conclusion of this battle is seen in the following verse:

“And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel, and I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.” — Ezekiel 39:7

This is the only time that the phrase “the LORD, the Holy One in Israel” is used in the whole Bible. It is the Hebrew YHVH qadowsh baYisra’el. A similar phrase, “the Holy One of Israel” (qadowsh Yisra’el), is used thirty-one times in Scripture (e.g., Isaiah 12:6; 43:3; 55:5; 60:9, etc.). But here in Ezekiel, the Lord is not merely the Holy One of Israel; He is actually present in the land and on the ground! While the popular position holds that this passage concludes several years before the return of Jesus, this verse makes this an absolute impossibility.

Other biblical commentators have also taken special note of God’s presence in Ezekiel’s oracle as evidence that it is a parallel to the Battle of Armageddon in Revelation 19. Apologist Dave Hunt for instance has stated:

“There is no doubt, from both Zechariah 12 and Revelation 1 and 19, that this personal coming of Yahweh to rescue His people and to destroy Antichrist and his armies takes place at Armageddon. It is significant, then, that similar language concerning the personal presence of God is found in Ezekiel 38 and 39, thus identifying the event described there as Armageddon also.”

Hunt’s observations are correct. But while most conservative, premillennialist, futurist interpreters who take Scripture at face value and use a literalist heremeutic will interpret the entirety of this passage in a literal fashion, when it comes to these two texts which show that God is actually present and in the land, many suddenly switch to an allegorical and non-literalist interpretation, without any justification for doing so.

If one uses a consistent literal method to interpret Ezekiel 38 and 39, then one must acknowledge that it concludes with the return of Jesus the Messiah. And as I have said before, if this is the case, within the world of Biblical prophecy, this absolutely changes everything. It is high time for the Church to begin wrestling with the implications.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4136

Food Inflation, Food Shortages And Food Riots Are Coming

A devastating global food crisis unlike anything we have ever seen in modern times is coming. Crippling drought and bizarre weather patterns have damaged food production all over the world this summer, and the UN and the World Bank have both issued ominous warnings about the food inflation that is coming.

To those of us in the Western world, a rise in the price of food can be a major inconvenience, but in the developing world it can mean the difference between life and death. Just remember what happened back in 2008. When food prices hit record highs it led to food riots in 28 different countries. Today, there are approximately 2 billion people that are malnourished around the globe. Even rumors of food shortages are enough to spark mass chaos in many areas of the planet. When people fear that they are not going to be able to feed their families they tend to get very desperate. That is why a recent CNN article declared that “2013 will be a year of serious global crisis”.

The truth is that we are not just facing rumors of a global food crisis – one is actually starting to unfold right in front of our eyes. The United States experienced the worst drought in more than 50 years this summer, and some experts are already declaring that the weather has been so dry for so long that tremendous damage has already been done to next year’s crops. On the other side of the world, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan have all seen their wheat crops devastated by the horrible drought this summer. Australia has also been dealing with drought, and in India monsoon rains were about 15 percent behind pace in mid-August. Global food production is going to be much less than expected this year, and global food demand continues to steadily rise. What that means is that food inflation, food shortages and food riots are coming, and it isn’t going to be pretty.

The United States exports more food than anyone else in the world, and that is why the entire globe has been nervously watching the horrific drought in the United States this summer with deep concern.

It has been the worst drought in more than 50 years, and it has absolutely devastated corn crops all over the nation. According to Bill Witherell, the U.S. corn crop this year “is said to be on a par with that of 1988 crop, the worst in the past thirty years.”

Sadly, this will be the third year in a row that the yield for corn has declined in the United States.

That has never happened before in the history of the United States.

And coming into this year we were already in bad shape. In fact, U.S. corn reserves were sitting at a 15-year low at the end of 2011.

So where will we be at the end of 2012?

The official estimates for corn yields put out by the U.S. government just keep dropping, but many fear that they aren’t dropping quickly enough. There have been some reports on the ground from some areas of the country that have been very distressing. The following is from a recent Wall Street Journal article….

Meanwhile, scouts with the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour on Monday reported an average estimated corn yield in Ohio of 110.5 bushels per acre, down from the tour’s estimate of 156.3 bushels a year ago. In South Dakota, tour scouts reported an average yield estimate of just 74.3 bushels per acre, down from 141.1 bushels a year ago.

Those are catastrophic numbers.

But farmers are not the only ones that have been impacted by the dry weather. A recent article by Chris Martenson summarized some of the other effects of this drought…..

Even though the mainstream media seems to have lost some interest in the drought, we should keep it front and center in our minds, as it has already led to sharply higher grain prices, increased gasoline costs (via the pass-through of higher ethanol costs), impeded oil and gas drilling activity in some areas (due to a lack of water), caused the shutdown of a few operating electricity plants, temporarily reduced red meat prices (but will also make them climb sharply later) as cattle are dumped in response to feed- and pasture-management concerns, and blocked and/or reduced shipping on the Mississippi River. All this and there’s also a strong chance that today’s drought will negatively impact next year’s Winter wheat harvest, unless a lot of rain starts falling soon.

Ranchers have had a particularly hard time during this drought. If you expect to pay about the same for meat this time next year as you are doing now you are going to be deeply disappointed. The following is from a recent Reuters article….

The worst drought to hit U.S. cropland in more than half a century could soon leave Americans reaching deeper into their pockets to fund a luxury that people in few other countries enjoy: affordable meat.

Drought-decimated fields have pushed grain prices sky high, and the rising feed costs have prompted some livestock producers to liquidate their herds. This is expected to shrink the long-term U.S. supply of meat and force up prices at the meat counter.

All over the western United States pastures have been destroyed and there is not enough hay. It would be hard to overstate the damage that this nightmarish drought is doing to our ranchers….

I spoke with Caldwell [of Indiana horse rescue] and a number of other horse-rescue organizations around the country by telephone this week. The relentlessly hot dry weather, amplified in many areas by wildfire, has been devastating to farmers, ranchers and other horse owners.

‘Everybody is using their winter hay now. The pastures are destroyed and they probably won’t recover before winter,’ said Caldwell. ‘The price of hay has doubled, and the availability is down by 75 percent.’

Caldwell is somewhat sanguine about his own lot, but not optimistic about what lies ahead.

‘Today the problem is not nearly as bad as it’s going to be,’ he told me. ‘It’s terribly bad today, but it is going to get a lot worse.’

But of course as I mentioned earlier this is not just an American problem.

The truth is that the entire globe is facing a rapidly growing food crisis.

According to the UN, the global price of food rose 6 percent in the month of July alone.

According to the World Bank, global food prices actually rose 10 percent during July.

Either figure is really, really bad.

The other day, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Program issued a joint statement in which they stated the following….

‘We need to act urgently to make sure that these price shocks do not turn into a catastrophe hurting tens of millions over the coming months.’

If the price of food at our supermarkets suddenly went up 20 percent that would really stretch our family budgets here in the United States, but we would survive.

On the other side of the globe, such a price change can mean the difference between life and death. The following is from the CNN article mentioned above….

But step outside the developed world, and the price of food suddenly becomes the single most important fact of human economic life. In poor countries, people typically spend half their incomes on food — and by ‘food,’ they mean first and foremost bread.

When grain prices spiked in 2007-2008, bread riots shook 30 countries across the developing world, from Haiti to Bangladesh, according to the Financial Times. A drought in Russia in 2010 forced suspension of Russian grain exports that year and set in motion the so-called Arab spring.

Already, 18 million people in Niger, Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Senegal are dealing with very serious food shortages.

In Yemen, things are even worse….

Yemen has a catastrophic food crisis. Nearly half the population, 10 million people, does not have enough to eat. While 300,000 children are facing life threatening levels of malnutrition.

The United Nations says Yemen is already in the throes of a disaster.

‘The levels are truly terrible. Whatever we do thousands upon thousands of children will die this year from malnutrition,’ Unicef’s man in Yemen, Geert Cappelaere, said.

‘In some areas child malnutrition is at 30%, to put it in context, an emergency is 15%. It is double that already.’

But this is just the beginning. These food shortages are going to spread and we will eventually see food riots that will absolutely dwarf the food riots of 2008.

Many scientists fear the worst. Some are even now warning that food shortages will become so severe that they will eventually force much of the globe on to a vegetarian diet….

Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world’s population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages.

Humans derive about 20% of their protein from animal-based products now, but this may need to drop to just 5% to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive by 2050, according to research by some of the world’s leading water scientists.

‘There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations,’ the report by Malik Falkenmark and colleagues at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) said.

The days of very cheap meat are coming to an end. Meat will be increasingly viewed as a “luxury” around the globe from now on.

Sadly, there are some in the financial world that actually intend to make lots of money off of this crisis….

The United Nations, aid agencies and the British Government have lined up to attack the world’s largest commodities trading company, Glencore, after it described the current global food crisis and soaring world prices as a ‘good’ business opportunity.

With the US experiencing a rerun of the drought ‘Dust Bowl’ days of the 1930s and Russia suffering a similar food crisis that could see Vladimir Putin’s government banning grain exports, the senior economist of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, Concepcion Calpe, told The Independent: ‘Private companies like Glencore are playing a game that will make them enormous profits.’

Does that disturb you?

It should.

Driving up the price of food for starving people is not a good way to make money. Food is one of our most basic needs. When people are deprived of food they become very desperate.

Just look at what is already happening in Spain. The economic crisis in that country has just begun, and people are already looting supermarkets. You can see a video news report about Spanish activists looting 3 tons of food from local supermarkets right here.

Much of that food was donated to food banks, but in the future I am sure that the desperate “activists” will not be so generous when things get really tight.

In other areas of Spain, large numbers of people have been filmed digging through trash dumpsters for food.

Could you ever see yourself doing that? Don’t be so sure that hunger will never come to America. Right now, a record 46.7 million Americans are on food stamps, and anti-hunger organizations all around the country are reporting more of a need than ever before.

For now the federal government is able to feed the tens of millions of Americans that do not have enough money for food, but what happens when a day comes when the federal government stops doing that?

And what happens if the drought in the United States continues throughout the winter and into next summer and Dust Bowl conditions return to the United States?

In a previous article entitled “17 Signs That You Better Start Preparing For A Nightmarish Global Food Crisis”, I detailed some more of the reasons why people need to start preparing for food inflation and food shortages.

In the past we could always go out to the supermarket or to Wal-Mart and fill up our shopping carts with huge piles of very cheap food whenever we wanted to.

It will not always be that way.

Get prepared while you still can.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4116

JOHN THE REVELATOR SAW THE RAPTURE BELIEVING CHRISTIANS HATED BY THE FALSE CHURCH!

 

WHO WOULD HAVE BELIEVED THAT THE RAPTURE OF THE SAINTS COULD BE SO REJECTED AND HATED? The modern sin loving crowd that has hijacked the Christian churches is determined that they can reform a blasphemous world into the kingdom of God on earth. It is utterly insane, or worse, the theology of the Antichrist. While the Middle East is rushing toward Gog and Magog, the religious world is rushing to a “Jesus” that has lost His way. This is the “Christ” that Jesus Christ called an imposter and deceiver.

John saw the drunken church and declared the triumph of those chosen saints, so hated by the religious world. They are making war with the Lamb of God and are too blind to see their folly. “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. And he saith unto me, the waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” (Rev. 17: 14-15) They have convinced the multitudes that we Rapture loving people are enemies, but Jesus called us His “chosen, called, and faithful.” We will be, UP THERE WITH HIM, by His side when He judges the whore church.

It is hard for people to digest the truth about “liberal Christianity.” To watch this new brand of the church world is heartbreaking. A Baptist church not far from me recently dedicated twenty babies on a Sunday morning. Eighteen of the couples were unmarried. A pastor of the denomination that took our old building away, through legal avenues, is preaching in my old pulpit against the rapture. Jesus Christ prophesied of this hour in unmistakable terms. “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. … Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” (Matt. 24: 4-5, 9-10) He also promised that they could not stop the preaching of the true Gospel.

I love the thrill of being a last day minister and standing tall against apostasy. We live for the future, not the present. You will note that, in chapter seventeen of Revelation as the Spirit reveals the apostate church, the chosen saints are already with the Lord. It says in speaking of the King of Kings, “and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Rev. 17: 14b) At the same moment John is viewing the “apostate church left behind.” They hate us now, and will do so even more when they look up and see us with Him.

Apostle Peter leaves no doubts when he speaks of this company of misdirected teachers. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (II Peter 3: 3-7) Peter names the two truths that are rejected by the new sin-friendly believers, the Rapture and the Judgment. It is easy to understand that a sin-friendly atmosphere has no room for a Rapture of the saintly or a Judgment of the left behind.

The Holy Ghost continued to declare, by Peter, a clear warning. “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (II Peter 3: 8-13) How can anyone doubt that the glorious ending of the Church is triumphant?

It is impossible to deny the pre-tribulation Rapture and the seven years of the Great Tribulation without being anti-Israel. The prophetic future of Jerusalem and the Jewish people is intimately tied to these doctrines. This large and growing company of liberal revisionists are clearly identified in the masterpiece we call the book of Revelation. Here is what the Father gave to Jesus and Jesus revealed to John who then wrote the Book. “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” (Rev. 3: 9) As Rapture-ready saints, they hate us now, but they will bow before us very soon.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4113

SERMON: REDISCOVERING THE POWER AND PURPOSE OF BIBLE PROPHECY — Part 1

 

REDISCOVERING THE POWER AND PURPOSE OF BIBLE PROPHECY — PART 1

* In Luke 12:51-56, the Lord Jesus said these words: “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three.They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” And He was also saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out.And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way.You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?”

* In the first century in the Roman-occupied land of Israel, people were living in a time of great anxiety. They were worried about their own future. They feared war and drought and famine and natural disasters. They desperately wanted and needed a Savior. Yet Jesus rebuked them. Why? He scolded them for having all the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures that told them so many details about who the coming Messiah would be, but not carefully studying those prophecies in the Word of God. They weren’t observing the prophecies and comparing them to current events. They weren’t “connecting the dots.” They weren’t realizing the power or purpose of Bible prophecy.  Thus they were missing the fact that Jesus Himself was the Messiah,  was standing in their midst, and was ready, able and willing to save them from their sins and their sadness.

* Today, we, too, are living at a time of great anxiety. People are worried about their own future, and the future of the world. There is a growing threat of a major war breaking out soon in the Middle East between Israel and Iran. Various nations in Europe are collapsing economically. The American economy is in deep trouble and we are facing the very real threat of fiscal and moral implosion. We’ve seen an explosion of violence and a murder wave even in small towns in America. We’re facing all manners of natural disasters, including terrible drought, historic fires, and now another serious hurricane aimed again at the Gulf Coast.

* What’s remarkable is that all of these trends here in the U.S. and around the world are consistent with Bible prophecies about the “last days.” We are seeing End Times Bible prophecies coming true all around us, all of which tell us that we are steadily approaching the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Yet far too few people are studying the Word of God. They aren’t connecting the dots. They don’t understand the power and purpose of Bible prophecy. Thus they are missing the fact that Jesus Christ is calling them to Himself. He wants to save them from their sins and sadness. He came to offer the free gift of eternal life, and abundant life. And He’s coming back in person soon. 

* Personally, I’m fascinated with Bible prophecy, and have been for most of my life. I write non-fiction books and speak around the world about prophecy because it intrigues me so much and I feel compelled to share these truths with anyone who will listen. At the same time, I also write novels based on the premise, ”What if?” That is, what if certain prophecies were  to come true in our lifetime? What would that look like? What would that feel like? I don’t know for certain when or how these events will come to pass, but novels allow me to play a ”war game,” as it were. They allow me to get people thinking about what these prophecies are and considering what they mean and how they could affect our lives.

* I believe it is vitally important that people rediscover the power and purpose of Bible prophecy — now more than ever – and this is what I’d like to speak about for the next two nights.

* Unfortunately, many pastors, priests and ministry leaders here in the U.S. and around the world are not teaching Bible prophecy — as I see it, there are four major reasons for this.

First, many pastors don’t teach prophecy because they have a lack of belief in the power of God’s Word. Sadly, many pastors today don’t really believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God. The Lord Jesus once remonstrated the Pharisees because they were misinterpreting Scripture. He said, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29) Too many pastors and priests today are the same way. They not carefully studying the whole Bible. They’re not trying to understand the “whole counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27, KJV). They don’t really believe that prophecy comes from God, and therefore they don’t teach these prophecies or help people understand why God gave us prophecy. Yet Bible prophecies are so exciting because they are intercepts from the mind of the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful God of the Universe. Prophecies tell us what is on the heart of God. They warn us to stop certain behaviors, and encourage us to be holy and walk more closely with the Lord. They are also storm warnings of future events. They tell us dramatic events that coming, and how we should get ready and be prepared to be found faithful and worthy when those moments come. Prophecies call us to serve Christ with boldness and courage so we will not be ashamed when we stand before Him face to face in the not-too-distant future. The Bible says that God gave us prophecies to build up and encourage followers of Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote, “One who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation….One who prophesies edifies the church.” (I Corinthians 14:3, 4b) Isn’t that what every believer needs, to be built up, encouraged and consoled?

Second, many pastors don’t teach prophecy because they have a lack of knowledge of — and sound training in — Bible prophecy. There are many, of course, who do believe that the Bible is the very Word of God. However, for a variety of reasons they have never taken the time to study prophecy carefully on their own, and/or weren’t taught it in any detail or depth in seminary or Bible college or seminary. Thus, they understandably feel unprepared and inadequate to help people unpack the truths of these Scriptures. Some prophecies are, of course, complicated and confusing. Some of the names mentioned in prophecies (like “Gog” and “Magog” and “Gomer” and “Put” in Ezekiel 38-39) are strange and obscure. It takes some historical detective work to determine what these things mean, and some pastors decide they neither have the interest nor the time to do the research and teach their congregations clearly and accurately, so they avoid teaching prophecy all together. I understand this, and I’m doing my best to create resources — and point people to other excellent resources that have been helpful to me — to help pastors study and teach prophecy. Because now is the time to rediscover the power and purpose of prophecy. The Bible is clear that God will bless those who study and teach End Times prophecy, and we should be faithful in doing just that. The Apostle John wrote, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it, for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3) Amen.

Third, many pastors don’t teach prophecy because they have a fear of being lumped in with “prophecy nuts” and those who peddle sensationalism. Admittedly, there are, in fact, many nuts who try to teach prophecy. They misinterpret the Scriptures. They draw erroneous conclusions. They sensationalize. And thus they bring dishonor and discredit to themselves. Pastors are right to avoid such false teachers, and to avoid creating an appearance of cheapening the Word of God in these ways. But just because some teach Bible prophecy wrongly, or badly, is no reason for solid teachers to avoid the topic. There are those who teach false regarding the Gospels and the epistles, too. But a good pastor wouldn’t dare skip teaching correctly these books of the Bible. On what basis, then, do we have the right to avoid teaching whole books of the Bible — Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Revelation, among others — just because some charlatans are out their misleading people? Indeed, we should be teaching solidly on prophecy all the more because of the nuts who are out there. We shouldn’t cede the battle for hearts, minds and souls to the nuts. The Apostle Paul told Timothy, “Preach the word: be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:2-3)

Fourth, many pastors don’t teach prophecy because they have a lack of understanding of the times in which we live and the increasingly close return of Christ. At the same time, there are many sincere pastors who love Jesus and love the Word of God but somehow are just not gripped by the remarkable moment of history that we’re in, and the urgent need to prepare men’s hearts for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ for the Church. More than ever, we need pastors who are like the sons of Issachar, “men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” (I Chronicles 12:32) More than ever we need pastors who will obey the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ who told us to not be obsessed with understanding the future of the weather, but rather to understand “this present time” and prepare the people under our care to walk with Christ more closely and obey Him more faithfully as the Day of His return for us draws ever nearer.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4100

‘Remarkable’: Dreams And Visions Bringing More Middle East Muslims To Faith In Christ ‘Since The Birth Of Islam’

 

Psalm 70:4, “Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, ‘Let God be magnified!’”

CBN Host: “In both Egypt and Syria we’re seeing Christians deciding to leave, some of those who are leaving Syria were actually [Christian] refugees from Iraq. With all this trouble going on, are these Christians running out of safe havens?”

Chris Mitchell – “They are.  …[In] 2003 when the Iraq war started, and then the sectarian violence — the Muslim against Christian violence — thousands left. Some of them fled to Syria. Now those Christians in Syria, they really don’t know where to go. Some may be going to Jordan, which might be the last safe haven for Christians in the Middle East …”

CBN Host: “… Despite the turmoil we know that the Lord always finds a way to reach people. We hear about Muslims having dreams and visions of Christ. Share some of those stories.”

Chris Mitchell: “I think that’s one of the most remarkable things happening in the Middle East right now, and the missionaries that I’ve … talked to … say that more Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus Christ than any time since the birth of Islam 1400 years ago. Many of them are coming through dreams and visions, literally, people having dreams of a man in white who calls Himself Jesus and says ‘Follow Me’ for example. It’s happening in Iran. In fact Iran, some say, is the fastest growing church in the world today and that most of the people that are coming are influenced by a dream or a vision that tells them about Jesus, and then through that they may get a Bible, they may meet a Christian, and it’s sort of [the] initiation of their faith in Jesus Christ …”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4097

Ezekiel, Magog And The Scythians

By Joel Richardson – “The prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39, often referred to as the Battle of Gog and Magog is hands-down, one of the most influential end-time prophecies in all of Scripture. But it is also arguably one of the most misinterpreted prophecies. In previous articles, I’ve explained that while many prophecy teachers claim that Ezekiel is speaking of a Russia-led invasion of Israel, the historical record and modern scholarship show that it is in fact a Turkish-led invasion. As previously discussed, the popular but faulty line of reasoning many follow to conclude a Russian-led invasion is as follows:

  1. Magog and the Scythians are one and the same.
  2. The Scythians lived in Russia.
  3. Gog, the leader of Ezekiel’s invasion, comes from      Magog.
  4. Thus Ezekiel’s prophesied invasion is led by a      leader from Russia.

The problem with this line of reasoning is that history tells us that the Scythians were a nomadic migratory people who rarely stayed in one place for very long. The question is not if the Scythians ever lived in the region that has become modern-day Russia, but rather, where did the Magog/Scythian people live specifically in Ezekiel’s day? We are not concerned with where the Scythians lived several hundred or even thousands of years after Ezekiel. Our only concern is to discover where they lived during Ezekiel’s day. Lets review a small sampling of historical sources to see where they placed the Magog/Scythian people during Ezekiel’s day.

Herodotus (484–425 B.C.)

Herodotus, the Greek historian, lived roughly 150 years after Ezekiel. In his day, he placed the homeland of the Scythians in the region extending from eastern Europe to Moldova and the Ukraine. According to Dr. Michael Kulikowski, department head of History at Pennsylvania State University, ‘Herodotus’ Scythians were to be found in a bit of modern Bulgaria and Romania, and across the grasslands of Moldova and Ukraine’ but not Russia. Another essential point is that while Herodotus also discusses Meshech and Tubal, two of the regions that Magog is ruler over, and placed them squarely in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey).

Pliny The Elder (d. A.D. 79)

Pliny the Elder, a first-century Roman military commander, author, naturalist and philosopher, referred to the Turkish city of Hieropolis as the heartland of Magog. Hierapolis was an ancient Greco-Roman city in Phyrgia near Laodicea. Hieropolis was also known as Scythopolis, (City of Scythes) which the peoples of that day referred to as Magog. One would think that this would be crucial information to consider and mention, yet in the numerous popular books and treatments of Gog and Magog I’ve reviewed in my studies, I have never once seen this important historical reference cited.

Hippolytus (d. 235)

Roughly a hundred years after Pliny, Hippolytus, one of the most important Christian theologians of the early third century, spoke of Magog. In his work known as ‘The Chronicon,’ Hippolytus also connected Magog to Asia Minor – modern-day Turkey. One would also think this to be a crucial reference to cite. Hippolytus is one of the most prolific early Christian writers concerning the last days. Yet again, in the many popular works arguing for a Russian Magog correlation, I have never once seen it mentioned.

Maimonides (d.1205)

Maimonides, also known as Rambam, the revered Jewish sage, in ‘Hichot Terumot,’ also identified Magog as being in the modern nation of Turkey.

John Wesley (1755)

In fact, this connection between modern-day Turkey and Magog was well-known among Christian theologians for centuries. In his ‘Explanatory Notes’ on Ezekiel 38 and 39, John Wesley says the following:

Magog is, at least, part of Scythia, and comprehends Syria, in which was Hierapolis taken by the Scythians, and called of them Scythopolis. It is that country, which now is in subjection to the Turks, and may be extended thro’ Asia minor, the countries of Sarmatia, and many others, under more than one in succession of time. And in the last time under some one active and daring prince, all their power will be stirred up against Christians.

Modern scholarship

It is because of this fact, ignored by virtually all modern-day popular prophecy teachers, that the homeland of the Scythians during Ezekiel’s day was in western Asia Minor, that so many modern scholar place Magog in Asia Minor or specifically in the ancient Kingdom of Lydia (Western Turkey). In a previous article, I re-created maps from several of the best modern-day Bible atlases, showing how they each placed Magog in the region of modern-day Turkey.

  1. 8th century B.C.: Scythians migrate south out of      the Caucasus.
  2. 7th century B.C.: Scythians invade Asia Minor.
  3. 7th century B.C. (in Ezekiel’s day), Scythians      founded Scythopolis near Laodicea.
  4. Late 6th century B.C.: Scythians driven into      Europe by the Persians.
  5. 4th-3rd centuries B.C.: Scythians spread north to      European and Russian Steppes.

Through consulting a wide range of ancient sources, including Assyrian records, scholars today acknowledge that before Ezekiel’s day, the Scythians had pushed down out of the Caucasus and invaded Asia Minor, or modern-day Turkey. There they dominated and settled the city of Hierapolis, also known as Scythopolis, in the western Anatolian Kingdom of Lydia, which was for many years known as Magog. Sometime after Ezekiel’s day, a Persian invasion pushed the Scythians out of Asia Minor, west and north into Europe around the Black Sea. Eventually they would reach Russia. But this was hundreds of years after Ezekiel’s day.

In conclusion, Ezekiel spoke of a Turkish-led invasion of Israel. Genuine students of the Scriptures who make it their goal to always seek truth, even when it is in conflict with their own traditions, will recognize the flaws with this view. It is imperative that students of the Bible take the time to study Ezekiel’s prophecy. In my newest book, ‘Mideast Beast: The Scriptural Case for an Islamic Antichrist,’ not only do we examine many essential, but often-ignored historical, geographical and exegetical elements of the passage, but even more importantly, its application and relevance for the Church and the world today.

As the days the prophets warned us of draw ever closer, it is imperative that every Christian believer pay careful attention to the roadmap and many prophetic warnings so clearly laid out before us. The Lord has given us this roadmap; it is our duty as his students of the Scriptures not only to make ourselves aware of it, but most importantly, to follow it.” Source – WND.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4090

Taking the pulse of Armageddon as Israel-Iran showdown looms

It is just an 18-mile journey from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s private residence in luxurious Caesarea on the shores of the Mediterranean, to Har Megiddo – Armageddon, the hilltop ancient ruins of one of King Solomon’s palaces from where the Bible suggests the final battle between good and evil will be viewed.

The road between the two points is populated by Israeli Jews and Arabs of widely differing religious beliefs and political opinions, and the No. 1 topic of conversation these days is whether Israel should bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. The people who live in the small, picturesque villages along the route recently talked to FoxNews.com about the looming showdown.

“Israel must not allow another Holocaust to happen. We must act first.”

– David, in the Israeli city of Har Megiddo, or ‘Armageddon’

A man who identified himself as Mordechai, who was giving away copies of a free newspaper outside local shops in Caesarea, said he fears the seemingly inevitable confrontation.

“I’m frightened” Mordechai said. “I don’t think we should attack Iran; it will start another world war. It’s also a big mistake to be talking about it here in the media.”

Haya, a well-dressed elderly lady, took a paper from him and offered a different view. “I’m happy with Bibi,” she said. “He won’t make the decision alone. He’ll listen to his advisors then he’ll do what he has to do.”

Route 65 is the “Road to Armageddon,” and a few miles east of Caesarea, it passes Kibbutz En Shemer, where Itti Moshiach, (his surname appropriately enough means Messiah), a former tank gunner who fought in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, offered his opinion.

“He (Netanyahu) should resign,” Moshiach said. “I know he doesn’t want peace; the price is too heavy for him. He doesn’t want to give back the West Bank. As for Iran, they won’t use the bomb against us because they know full well our retaliation would be 100 times worse. We hear the government complaining that there is too much talk about this, but most of the talk comes from the government.”

Yehuda Zarka knows this part of the country as well as anyone. He is the base commander for the Border Police and famously foiled a Palestinian bomb plot in 2002 when he intercepted a half-ton bomb being delivered to a target in a local Jewish town. He was commended for his bravery by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and by the current Israeli president, Shimon Peres.

“The people of the Middle East only understand strong leaders, and Bibi isn’t a strong leader,” Zarka said. “He talks too much and does nothing. (Menachem) Begin hit Saddam in 1981, and (Ehud) Olmert took out the Syrian facility in 2007 without any prior public discussion. If Bibi had shown years ago – the moment the first missiles hit Israel from Gaza and Lebanon – that he would respond with real force, the Iranians wouldn’t have dared risk putting Israel in this position.”

Just a short drive down the road, in the Arab village of Baqa-Al-Gharbieh, few people were prepared to speak their mind. ‘Eid’, a shopkeeper, gave an insight into local Arab opinion.

“If he (Netanyahu) attacks Iran it will be a very big mistake,” Eid said. “The Jewish people don’t want to face facts. If the Palestinian problem was solved, Iran would have no reason or support to threaten Israel. We (Arabs) want peace. In life it is give and take, not like the Israelis, who take and take.”

At a gas station in another Arab town of Umm El Fahm, Samir bemoaned what war could do the already high cost of a gallon of gas. “If Netanyahu starts a war, $8 will seem cheap!” he observes. “It would be an economic disaster.”

Finally, in Har Megiddo, the view unfolds of the Jezreel Valley, where the final battle is forecast to take place. On the left side of the valley is Nazareth, while on the right – on the other side of the separation fence – is the Palestinian city of Jenin, which proudly proclaims itself the “martyr’s capital.” The name reflects the city’s having dispatched more suicide bombers into Israel than any other Palestinian town.

In the souvenir shop ‘Maya’ and ‘David’ (not their real names), gave the perspective of 30-something Israeli Jews.

“I believe Iran is close to getting the bomb,” David said. “Israel must not allow another Holocaust to happen. We must act first.”

Maya agreed: “I do” she said. “We must be sure though to bomb Iranian military targets and not civilian areas. And we must do it soon; before it’s too late.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4068

COULD THERE BE ANOTHER GREAT AWAKENING?

Harvest America is tomorrow night. Watch it & pray for America!

Exclusive: Greg Laurie urges Christians to pray for sovereign work of God across nation

by Greg Laurie

The Assyrian city of Nineveh was one of the most wicked places on the face of the planet, renowned for its violence and cruelty. And despite a pretty weak message from the original chicken of the sea, the prophet Jonah, the people of Nineveh turned to the Lord en masse and repented of their sin. As a result, God spared them and extended their days.

Could God do that for the United States of America? I believe he could. Have we ever had a revival in this country before? Yes, we have. In fact, we have had a number of them.

The first Great Awakening took place in the 1700s, before the Revolutionary War. Led by such men as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield, some 25,000 to 50,000 people came to Christ between 1740 and 1742. That may not seem like an impressive number, until you consider the population of that time, which was approximately 300,000.

The second Great Awakening, from the 1790s to 1840, was led by many, including Charles Finney. This was the time of the Wild West, where the law was disregarded and sexual sin was rampant. But then the camp meetings began, held in the middle of the woods and attended by thousands of people. No one was updating their Facebook pages or sending out Tweets about where these meetings were being held. Yet thousands and thousands of Americans attended them, and many came to faith.

The roots of the third Great Awakening were unique. This revival, from 1857 to 1859, started with a 48-year-old man named Jeremiah Lanphier. A businessman in New York City, Lanphier felt burdened for his city and his country. So he started a prayer meeting on Fulton Street. Initially it was attended by only a handful of people. But then the stock market crashed, and soon his meeting was overflowing with praying New Yorkers. Not much later, the city was filled with people praying every day at lunchtime. The theaters on Broadway were filled with Christians who were praying for the city and for the nation. Within six months, 10,000 people were gathering together daily for prayer in New York City.

It is reported that 50,000 New Yorkers were converted in three months. And during a single year, the number of reported conversions throughout the nation reached an average of 50,000 a week. When it was all said and done, some one million people came to faith. And it all began with Jeremiah Lanphier and his little prayer meeting. He wasn’t a preacher. He wasn’t a missionary. He was just a Christian who wanted to start praying.

I think you also could classify the Jesus Movement of the late-1960s and 1970s as a genuine American revival. And I was privileged to have a front-row seat to this one.

During the 1960s, the country was in turmoil. Some may look back on the ’60s through rose-colored granny glasses and think those were the good old days. But our country was in turmoil. Bomb drills were mandatory in classrooms. I remember getting under the desk and crouching down. This is what we were to do, they said, in case there was an atomic war.

But then, as we got older, the innocence was shattered when we saw our young president, John F. Kennedy, shot in Dallas. And then Martin Luther King was assassinated. And then Robert Kennedy also was shot and killed. The Vietnam War was raging, and young men were coming back every day in body bags. Protests were breaking out in the streets, and there was anarchy and chaos. The slogan of the day was, “Turn on. Tune in. Drop out.” It was all about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.

By and large, the church was ineffective in reaching this youth culture. The church didn’t know what to do. In 1966, Time magazine ran a cover story with a headline that asked, “Is God Dead?” And many liberal Protestant theologians said that indeed he was.

Enter the Jesus Movement. It was a Divine intervention that saved a generation. Time magazine did another cover story, this time with the headline, “The Jesus Revolution.” God touched a man named Chuck Smith to open up the church where he pastored to young hippie kids, who came and heard the gospel. And soon his church was overflowing. Other churches were overflowing as well, because the Jesus Movement was spreading around the globe. In the aftermath of that time, we have seen hundreds of Calvary Chapels start up around the country. Thousands and thousands of churches have been impacted by what God did during this time. For all practical purposes, contemporary Christian music was born during the Jesus Movement, along with contemporary praise and worship.

Some 40 years have passed, and a lot of those young hippie kids are grandparents now. I should know. I am one of them. We thank God for what he did in the past. And we still see the effects of it, because the Harvest Crusades are directly connected to the Jesus Movement. I came to faith during that time. And what we are doing in these crusades is really an extension of what we saw God do back then. In our crusades around the world, we have seen some 4 million people in attendance and some 400,000 people make commitments to follow Christ.

But we need another Jesus Movement today. We need another revival. The prophet Habakkuk wrote, “I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2 NLT). Habakkuk was saying he had heard about what God did in the good old days.

We need a spiritual awakening again in America, and we need to start praying for it. It won’t be exactly like it was before. The Jesus Movement wasn’t like the revival before that or the revival before that. It is not something we can organize. It is something for which we agonize in prayer. It is a sovereign work of God. And we need it in our country again.

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