Category: The Church

THE COMING STORM

A great little article from David Wilkerson focusing on the fact that is shaking us right now. We need to be about His will as the time is very short! Keep looking up!

 

When a sleeping child must be awakened, a loving parent takes him by the shoulders and gently shakes him. If the child doesn’t wake up immediately, the shaking becomes a bit firmer. The parent insists, because he knows the child will suffer if he doesn’t wake up on time.

That is precisely what God is doing right now—both to America and to the world. At first, He shook us very tenderly but now His shaking has become violent, because He has not succeeded in awakening us.

The Lord began to literally shake the earth with earthquakes in the late 1980s. A quake in Armenia wiped out almost that entire province. A quake in Japan measuring 6.9 nearly destroyed an entire city. Then came the horrible quake in San Francisco, with more following almost daily in that area. Quakes hit the West Coast constantly, from northern California to San Diego and down into Mexico.

Isaiah prophesies that God will one day rise up and shake the whole earth: “Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty . . . and turneth it upside down. . . . All joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. . . . When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree” (Isaiah 24:1, 11, 13). God is going to shake the earth as if it were an olive tree—till every bit of fruit falls.

Ezekiel says that when God’s fury arises, He will shake all that can be shaken: “All the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. . . . And I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:20 and 23).

The writer of Hebrews says: “Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. . . . That [only] those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12:26-27).

God is going to shake everything in sight so that He is revealed as the only unshakable power!

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3341

Catholic And Protestant Journalists, Websites Abuzz About Coming False Prophet “Petrus Romanus”

The False Prophet is the forgotten figure in end time prophecy.  There is plenty of speculation about who the Anti-Christ is, but very little about his “promoter.” Yet if we look deeply enough, we can discover what evangelicals and Catholics have believed about this personality, although there seems to be plenty of room for multiple interpretations in both camps.

We begin by taking what at first glance appear to be bit of a rabbit trail, but it’s actually to establish historical context.  The early Protestant reformers were firmly united in the belief that the Pope was the Anti-Christ.  Actually, as John 2:18 tells us, there are many anti-Christs, but the term is usually reserved for the final one.  Although they had many reasons to believe this, perhaps the easiest to explain is the one tied to one of the Pope’s titles — the Vicar of Christ.  “Vicar” means “substitute” and “anti” can mean “instead of.”  One of the best-known defenses of this point of view is The Two Babylons,  by Alexander Hislop.  He published his work in 1853, after the “Pope as Anti-Christ” theory was no longer so popular among Protestants.

The viewpoint was rooted in the Historicist interpretation of Revelation, which presents amazing fulfillments of most of the prophetic book up to the present time.  However, in an effort to get the Pope “off the hook,” two Catholic theologians started promoting Futurism, which is the dominant evangelical view of Revelation today, and Preterism, which teaches that most of Revelation was fulfilled by the time of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  A good source for the Historicist interpretation is The Present Reign of Jesus Christ by Robert Caringola.  The main weakness I see in Historicism is a lack of appreciation for multiple fulfillments, which would open the door for common ground with Futurists.

It turns out that Preterism has historical roots planted long before the Protestant Reformation.  It’s strongly reflected in the writings of Eusebius and may be linked to Saint Augustine, John Chrysostom and Ignatius.  This variety is more properly termed “partial preterism” or “historical preterism” because it allows for more future fulfillment of Revelation than does standard preterism.  It works nicely with Saint Augustine’s amillenial position, which is still the dominant position of the Catholic Church, namely that the  thousand-year period of Revelation 20:3 is symbolic of a great number of years and is our present era.  A blogger, identified only as Nic, on CatholicForum.com equates the False Prophet with the Sanhedrin/Pharasaic elite.  It remains to be seen how many Catholics share this interpretation.

There’s a new interest among evangelical Protestants in determining the Pope’s place in end time prophecy, and some are taking another look at the forgotten figure, the False Prophet. Tim McHyde has written an article on EscapeAllTheseThings.com called Is Pope Benedict XVI / Joseph Ratzinger The False Prophet (a point of view the authors of the new research book Petrus Romanus disagree with). His arguments include the previously cited one, involving the meanings of “vicar” and “anti.”  He also says, “The pope’s mitre literally has two horns.  If you go to the Catholic Encyclopedia, they themselves call it a “two horned mitre” (hat).  Again, its plain meaning is fulfilled in the pope.  He is a like a lamb with two horns.”  Another Protestant site, RedMoonRising.com, takes the argument further, “Catholic commentators such as the late Father Malachi Martin, Kathleen Keating and numerous Catholic visionaries are united in the belief that the Catholic Church will at one time be led by a figure they call the Anti-Pope who will turn against the fundamentals of the Christian faith and accept the Antichrist.” 

There is a variation of this theme involving an extra-Biblical Catholic revelation called “The Great Monarch and Angelic Pastor.”  The anonymous author of An Analysis of Catholic Prophecy writes, “… as Catholics understand it, there will be a Great Monarch and an Angelic Pastor who rule together followed by the Antichrist and then Jesus Christ returns to bring the last judgment.”  The author warns that these two personalities are really the False Prophet and the Anti-Christ, which means that when Jesus Christ arrives on the scene, believers in this prophecy would misidentify Him as the Anti-Christ.

The theme of an anti-Pope is further developed in an article in Examiner.com which quotes from a Catholic audio recording called Reign of the False Prophet.  It mentions a Father John O’Connor.  “Father explains how God will and is punishing the world for sin, and that the Fathers of the Church all wrote that the False Prophet would be a Catholic Bishop who will become an invalid anti-pope while the real Pope dies a cruel death in exile.”

Finally, a Catholic friendly website called EndTimesLion.com fills in more of the details of the anti-Pope theory.  “This Anti-Pope will appear to be elected, but he will not be validly so. This Anti-Pope will physically reside in Rome, at least for a time until the “Anti-Vatican” is moved to Jerusalem.  The election will be done invalidly through electronic means, such as email, fax and phone, based on the excuse that it will be too dangerous to travel to Rome because of the wars and revolutions in the streets.”

It must be remembered that Saint Malachy’s Prophecy of the Popes (learn more by reading the series in the above left column) contains references to both Popes and anti-Popes. It would be entirely consistent with Catholic teaching and emerging Protestant interpretation, for Benedict XVI’s successor, the final pontiff known as Petrus Romanus, to be both anti-Pope and False Prophet.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3338

The Prophecy of the Popes or False Prophet

I am attaching this article by Hal Lindsey in regard to the prophecies of Malachy an Irish onk made in 1158. While definitely not Biblical or canonical in any way, it is amazing how accurate Malachy has been to date. Read and keep in mind the propecy of the second beast in Revelation chapter 13.

The Prophecy of the Popes – Hal Lindsey – www.hallindsey.com

 Almost 900 years ago, Pope Innocent II summoned the Bishop of Armagh, in what is now Northern Ireland, to come to Rome. While there, this Bishop purportedly experienced a vision in which he saw the popes from that time until the end of the Roman Catholic church. He recorded his impression of each of the remaining 112 popes in a series of cryptic phrases.

 Today, Saint Malachy’s vision is called “The Prophecy of the Popes.” Written in 1139, it was rediscovered in the Vatican’s archives in 1590.

 I do not believe Saint Malachy’s predictions rise to the level of the Bible’s prophecies in either their detail or accuracy. However, his predictions have been remarkable in their own way and bear relevance to the times in which we live.

 You see, Saint Malachy’s prophecy seems to predict that the current pope, Benedict XVI, will be the next to last pope of the Roman church. After him will come a pope called Petrus Romanus, or Peter the Roman. Malachy appears to indicate that he will be the one who cooperates with the Antichrist, then will be turned upon and destroyed by the leader of the confederacy that rises out of the old Roman Empire.

 When you consider the fact that Benedict XVI is 85 years old, the world might not have to wait very long to learn if Saint Malachy’s final prediction comes true.

 And if that’s not interesting enough, stir this into the mix. The European Union is virtually teetering on the edge of collapse. I’m sure you’ve been hearing all the talk about Greece in the news. As I write this, the G20 is meeting to discuss how to rescue Greece from total bankruptcy. Germany is leading the effort to bail out the Greeks because if they fall chances are several other EU nations will follow in short order.

 It’s gotten so dodgy that some European leaders have turned to China for help.

 Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, recently told CNBC cool

that the European Union is too big (27 members) to succeed. He noted that the divide, both culturally and economically, between the northern and southern countries of the EU is just too great. He thinks that the only way divergent nations can successfully lump their currencies together is if they are culturally close, like Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria. Otherwise, he said, it just can’t work.

 Wow, that means the northern nations of the EU should not be tied, currency-wise, to the southern nations of the EU. That could cause a problem since, essentially, it’s the northern nations that are having to bail out the southern members. And the citizens of those northern nations are none too happy about that.

 Bottom line, of course, is that if the EU can’t make it work (and the futility of previous bailouts of several of the EU nations seems to indicate it will not), then there is every chance that the European Union may collapse. Or, it may turn to someone who has the ideas and the leadership to make it work. Or, at least, make a revised form of it work.

 Now, consider, too, the fact that the Vatican just recently published a report by the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace. It calls for the establishment of a “global authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over the world’s diverse financial institutions. Although this body does not speak directly for Pope Benedict, it carries his authority because the report quotes him extensively.

 In fact, in 2009 Pope Benedict issued an encyclical called “Caritas in Veritate.” In it, the Pope denounced the capitalist mentality as responsible for the global financial meltdown. He also stated that the world’s nations need to transfer part of their powers to a world authority. Then he argued that “there is an urgent need for a true world political authority.”

 To recap: We have an ancient prophecy — issued by a Catholic Bishop — that predicts Pope Benedict XVI will be the next to last pope. It also indicates that the pontiff which follows him will cooperate with the Antichrist, which, in turn will result in “the city of seven hills” being destroyed.

 Then, we have the current Pope and leadership of the Roman Catholic church advocating for a global authority to rule over the world’s financial institutions. Further, the Pope suggests that there needs to be a single world political authority.

 At precisely the same time, the vaunted European Union — which essentially springs from the residue of the old Roman Empire — is facing the possibility of imminent collapse. If that were to happen, it would result in either it disappearing from the pages of history or finding new leadership, retooling itself, and rising again to take charge of the chaos enveloping the world in the wake of its first failure.

 Now, how can anyone look at this convergence of remarkable circumstances and say that Bible prophecy is just so much hooey? Only a spiritually blind and deaf person could conceivably argue that these are not exciting times in which to live. Especially if you’re a believer!

 But Europe’s not the only place in the world witnessing major movement among end-times players. In the last 10 months, the “Arab Spring” has resulted in a geopolitical shift that has brought the Bible’s prophecies concerning the “King of the South” into sharp relief — no — into concrete reality. The nations that span northern Africa and extend down the Arabian peninsula are now formally Islamic states or soon will be. They all lie to the ‘south’ of Israel and, I believe, form the entity that the prophets called the “King of the South” — referring to one of the four spheres of power that will be involved in the war of Armageddon.

 Once again, these remarkable events prove the veracity of God’s Word. And that Word also says that before things get too nasty, Jesus Christ will return to receive all true believers unto Himself. And when He calls us up to join Him in the air, He’ll be removing from this earth the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit. And, friends, that’s when — literally — all hell will break loose upon this world. You do not want to be here when that happens.

 Don’t wait. If you’ve never believed and accepted the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ; if you’ve never received the pardon that He died to purchase for you, do it right now. Accept His free gift of pardon and welcome Him into your life. Trust me. You will never regret it.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3295

Petrus Romanus and the Jerusalem Connection

The False Prophet is about to make his appearance!

The Vatican’s establishment of full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1993 has been credited as an overdue political consequence to the theological changes reflected in Nostra Aetate. However, in truth, there is much more going on than meets the eye. As early as April 15th, 1992, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger visited Israel and met exclusively with Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek. The Jerusalem mayor was quoted previously as saying, “The Israeli government should meet the Vatican’s demand to apply special status for Jerusalem.”[i] An Israeli journalist, Barry Chamish, has been working fearlessly for over two decades to expose a conspiracy which includes the current President of Israel, Shimon Peres, and his aid, Yossi Beilin. In his 2000 book, Save Israel, Chamish wrote:

In March 1994, the newspaper Shishi revealed a most remarkable secret of the Middle East “peace” process. A friend of Shimon Peres, the French intellectual Marek Halter, claimed in an interview that in May 1993, he delivered a letter from Peres to the pope. Within, Peres promised to internationalize Jerusalem, granting the UN political control of the Old City of Jerusalem, and the Vatican hegemony of the holy sites within. The UN would give the PLO a capital within its new territory and East Jerusalem would become a kind of free trade zone of world diplomacy.

Halter’s claim was backed by the Italian newspaper La Stampa, which added that Arafat was apprised of the agreement and it was included in the secret clauses of the Declaration of Principles signed in Washington in September 1993.[ii]

The headline reads “‘Now Jerusalem’ Secret Plan: to entrust it to the Pope”; the text below and to left of John Paul II’s photo reads, “The old town, under the auspices of the Vatican would be administered by the Palestinians Arafat told me: ‘I’m going to Jericho.’” The small print below that reads, “Mark Halter, French Israeli writer who, like other Jewish intellectuals played a mediating role in the difficult question, said here, the Pope would have the ‘spiritual sovereignty’ of the old town.” (translation Putnam)

It seems that the timing of the Vatican’s long overdue recognition of the state of Israel was motivated more by ambition than repentance. The major players on the Israeli side are the current President Shimon Peres (the Israeli representative at Oslo) and his aid, left-wing politician Yossi Beilin, a former Knesset member, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, and Justice Minister. The secret deal was allegedly meant to sweeten the pot as a clandestine portion of the Oslo Accords. According to another Israeli journalist, Joel Bainerman, New World Order think-tank, the Council on Foreign Relations was behind the deal all along and was encouraging a turnover of Jerusalem to the Vatican:

The plan was originally discussed in November 1992 (the same time the first meetings in London took place to discuss an agreement between Israel and the PLO which was probably arranged by Council on Foreign Relations executive, Edgar Bronfman) when then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres met with Vatican officials in Rome. Under the plan, Jerusalem will stay the capital of Israel but the Old City will be administered by the Vatican. Arafat agreed not to oppose the plan. The plan also calls for Jerusalem to become the second Vatican of the world with all three major religions represented but under the authority of the Vatican. [iii] (emphasis added)

It seems the plan is underway. On February 4, 2012, an op-ed piece ran on the Israeli news site Ynet News titled, “Don’t Bow to the Vatican.” The editorial by Italian journalist Giulio Meotti opposes the Vatican’s designs on Jerusalem, and speaks in the past tense referencing the sovereignty over the Cenacle (which houses the Hall of the Last Supper and King David’s tomb):

Israel reached an historical agreement with the Vatican to give up some sort of sovereignty over the “Hall of the Last Supper” on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. The Vatican will now have a foothold at the site: Israel agreed to give the Vatican first priority in leasing opportunities and access to it. [iv]

It appears that Rome’s Jerusalem ambitions are being implemented just in time for the arrival of Petrus Romanus.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3289

Did Pope Benedict cross the line about Mary?

We are seeing the formation for the revelation of the False Prophet of Scripture soon. Keep looking up!

Pope Benedict XVI made a variety of improper theological statements about Mary yesterday.  Here is the first:

“If the Church does not exist without Pentecost, neither does Pentecost exist without the Mother of Jesus, since she lived in a wholly unique way what the Church experiences each day under the action of the Holy Spirit,” the Pope said in the general audience.  (Naab K.  Benedict XVI: Mary Invites Us to Pray for More Than Ourselves.  Zenit, March 14, 2012.  http://www.zenit.org/article-34459?l=english)

Did he cross the line?

It should be understood that the only mention of Mary around the time of Pentecost in the Bible is in Acts 1:14.  Here are two Catholic renditions of that portion of scripture:

13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Jude the brother of James.  14 All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.  15 In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren, said: (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty: (Acts 1:13-15, Douay-Rheims).

13 and when they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude son of James. 14 With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. 15 One day Peter stood up to speak to the brothers — there were about a hundred and twenty people in the congregation, (Acts 1:13-15, New Jerusalem Bible).

Thus, while the Apostle Peter seemed to have a certain prominence then, even the two Catholic versions cited for those scriptures do not indicate that Mary was essential for Pentecost.  In my view, the Pope crossed the line here.

Notice carefully some more of what the Pope stated:

“The Mother of Jesus was placed by the Lord in the decisive moments of salvation history, and she always knew how to respond with complete availability — the fruit of a profound bond with God that had matured through assiduous and intense prayer. […] As Mother of God and Mother of the Church, Mary exercises her maternity until the end of history.  “Let us entrust every phase of our personal and ecclesial lives to her, not the least of which is our final passing…”  (Naab K.  Benedict XVI: Mary Invites Us to Pray for More Than Ourselves.  Zenit, March 14, 2012.  http://www.zenit.org/article-34459?l=english)

Notice that the Bible shows that the only name that is needed for salvation is Jesus, and not Mary, again according to two Catholic renditions of scripture:

10 Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God hath raised from the dead, even by him this man standeth here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner.  12 Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:10-12, Douay-Rheims)

10 you must know, all of you, and the whole people of Israel, that it is by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, and God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man stands before you cured. 11 This is the stone which you, the builders, rejected but which has become the cornerstone. Only in him is there salvation; 12 for of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.’ (Acts 4:10-12, New Jerusalem Bible)

Sacred scripture does not give any hint that Jesus placed His mother Mary in the decisive moments of salvation history.  Nor does it give any hint that we are to entrust anything to Mary, let alone every phase of our personal and ecclesial lives to her.  The only scriptural “command,” if you will, about Mary is that Christians will call her blessed.  And we do.  The Pope has publicly crossed the line here.

Many non-Catholics will say that this is nothing new and that Bishops of Rome have long overlooked scripture to teach traditions that they embraced that were not in the Bible nor held by the original apostles.

My reporting of this today, however, is related to the fact that since becoming Pope Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal Ratzinger took positions that were not as supportive of certain “Marian” dogmas and beliefs as many Catholics seemed to have preferred.

For example, because of his writings on Fatima, Mary, and ecumenical matters, in 2002 certain Catholic priests (who are still part of the Church of Rome and have not been defrocked) wrote that Pope Benedict, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger had, “sheer audacity,” writings “that should disturb any Catholic,” “blatantly falsified” “Our Lady’s prophecy” through “tampering,” caused “butchery of the message of Fatima,” “taken the lead in attempting nothing less than the murder of the Message of Fatima,” “conspired, and then acted publicly, to impose upon the Church a version of the Fatima Message that bears no resemblance to the Catholic prophecy,” become one of “many collaborators” in “auto-demolition of the Church,” committed a “crime” through his explanation of Fatima, tried to “bury the Fatima Message,” contributed to a “jig-saw of truths, half-truths, and lies,” presented something “wholly lacking in credibility,” wrote at least one “lie,” written another statement that “borders on heresy and blasphemy,” become “at least a material heretic,” made “citations to Scripture which…obscure the simplicity of God’s truth,” made “a patently fraudulent interpretation,” made a “bogus—bordering on blasphemous—interpretation,”  made “not only lies but clumsy lies,” been “deceptive,” emanated “lies,””blatantly undermined” at least one Catholic “dogma” in a manner that was “outrageous,” committed “fraudulent witness tampering,” “deliberately tampered with the words of the Mother of God,” “deliberately ignored the Virgin’s prophecy,” promoted “exegetical frauds,” committed “grotesque and blasphemous interpretation” which “debases the Mother of God,” flatly contradicted his own testimony in 1984,” caused “a shameless deconstruction of the Message of Fatima,” “produced only confusion,” “caused untold damage to the Church,” changed “his prior testimony,” and produced commentary that “scandalizes the faithful” (Kramer P. The Devil’s Final Battle. Good Counsel Productions, 2002, pp. 65, 66, 109, 130, 132, 136, 141, 142, 164, 165, 178, 210, 232, 233, 246-247, 259, 275).

Yet in 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger, who actually did (prior to 2002) make several biblically-appropriate statements related to Mary and Fatima, was made pope.

My concern is that since becoming pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI has started to change and make more “traditional” and less biblical statements related to Mary.

This is important because I suspect that in the future, one or more apparitions that many will believe are Mary the Mother of Jesus will become more public and be part of the signs and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) that the Bible warns about (cf. Isaiah 47:1-12; Revelation 18:7,23).  Teaching people that they should “entrust every phase of our personal and ecclesial lives to her” is a step towards getting them to accept apparitions that may become public in a relatively short time from now.

Some type of global religious unity is prophesied in scripture before Jesus returns (Revelation 13:4,8) and not in a favorable light.  It is likely that public appearances (as opposed to apparitions seen by relatively few) of something that people will claim to be Mary of the Bible will be a factor in this unity.

Yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI made public statements that seem to be setting people up to accept Mary and consider that she still has an integral role in personal salvation, despite what the Bible teaches.  Pope Benedict XVI crossed several serious theological lines for those of us who believe sacred scripture.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3273

ALMOST CHRISTIANS

Read the attached from Greg Laurie. Almost Christians……………Interesting!

Almost Christians

Exclusive: Greg Laurie explains 2 things necessary for true faith to exist

by Greg Laurie

The word “almost” is a fascinating word. It means “slightly short of” or “not quite” or “nearly.” Other words we use in the place of almost are “about,” “approaching,” or “close.” It is often used to speak of delaying something.

For instance, if you are in a restaurant and the server comes to you and says, “Are you ready to order?” and you aren’t ready, but you don’t want him to go away (because you are afraid you won’t see him for another hour), you say, “Almost.”

Or, maybe you are late for a meeting at work and your boss calls you and says, “Where are you?”

You say, “I’m almost there.”

“Almost” is a word that is generally coupled with procrastination. In other words, we will say something along the lines of, “I am almost ready to decide, but not yet.” You don’t want to say no. Nor do you want to say yes. So instead, you say almost.

But there are some words that don’t work with “almost,” like “almost pregnant.” You either are, or you aren’t.

Another word that doesn’t work with “almost” is the word “Christian.” You can’t almost be a Christian. You may be in the process of checking out the claims of Christ. In fact, you may be closer than you were a month ago. But you either are or you are not a Christian.

In a scene from one of the “Star Wars” films, Luke Skywalker is talking with Yoda. Yoda is telling Luke to move an object using the Force. (I am not advocating this as theology.) So Luke says, “Master, moving stones around is one thing. This is totally different!”

And Yoda says, “No. No different. Only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Luke says, “All right. I’ll give it a try.”

Yoda answers, “No. Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

The same can be said of being a Christian. You either are a Christian or you are not.

The Bible tells the story of a man who used the word “almost” with the word “Christian.” He was known as Herod Agrippa, who was one of several Herods in a wicked dynasty.

The first Herod we read about in Scripture was known as Herod the Great. He was known for the great edifices he would build. This was the Herod who was in power during the time of the birth of Christ. And that Herod was such a paranoid tyrant that he had all of the baby boys in Bethlehem slaughtered.

His son, Herod Antipas, was responsible for the beheading of John the Baptist, and the son of Herod Antipas executed James the apostle and also imprisoned Peter. But after refusing to give God glory, Herod Antipas was struck down by God, eaten by worms and died.

Then there was his son, Herod Agrippa, before whom the apostle Paul was brought for examination. In a sense, it was Agrippa who was brought before Paul, because although Herod was in the position to technically judge Paul, he really in effect was judging himself.

At the conclusion of Paul’s statement to the king, Agrippa said, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian” (Acts 26:28 NKJV). You see, Herod was moved by Paul’s powerful and persuasive message. But he walked away. He was close, but not close enough.

I think there are a lot of people like Agrippa out there today, maybe more of them than outright nonbelievers. Though atheism perhaps has been made a little more popular of late, and there are some prolific authors that have written books that challenge Christianity and faith in God in general, the fact of the matter is there are comparatively very few actual atheists in our country. Most Americans believe in a higher power, and many claim to be Christians. This is something that is still the warp and woof of our country.

On the other hand, there are people who are pretending to be Christians when they really are not. You can pray and not necessarily be a Christian. You can believe Jesus is coming back again and not necessarily be a Christian. You can be baptized and not necessarily be a Christian. You can keep the Ten Commandments to the best of your ability and not necessarily be a Christian.

It is not your works that make you a Christian. When you put your faith in Christ, then you will see the evidence in your life. And while it is true that faith without works is dead, it also could be said that works without faith is dead.

There are two big steps that must be taken to become a real Christian and not an almost Christian. First, we need to have our eyes opened. Prior to becoming believers, we are spiritually blinded. That is the reason some can hear the gospel and be unmoved by it. To become a Christian, a person’s eyes first must be opened spiritually.

Second, we must turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. God opens our eyes spiritually, but turning from darkness to light is a step that we must take. It means stepping away from sin. And what is the benefit of making that commitment? Jesus said that we will “receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18).

It is not enough to be exposed to truth. We need to act on it. The scary thing is that when we hear the truth again and again but don’t respond, our hearts can actually get harder.

It is not enough to have our spiritual eyes opened and see our need for Christ. We have to turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God (see Acts 26:18). Because there really is no such thing as an Almost Christian.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3266

Chrislam Update

Rick Warren blames the messenger

Exclusive: Joel Richardson reacts to pastor’s response to criticism over Muslim partnership

Published: 13 hours ago

By Joel Richardson

Pastor Rick Warren has responded to those who have criticized his methods regarding outreach to Muslims, which includes joining together with Muslims for the purpose of interfaith social projects.

Warren’s response came in the form of an interview on Pastors.com, a site sponsored by Warren’s ministry. An editor’s note at the beginning of the article states that Warren is “often the target of unfair criticism and unfounded rumors.” Being among those who recently published my criticisms of Warren, I would like to touch on just a few portions of his response both to give Warren credit where he is due credit, and to request his accountability where he has been less than honest or forthright and where there has been found to be more than mere unfounded rumors.

The first question in the interview concerns whether or not Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Warren’s response here was solid:

“Of course not. Christians have a view of God that is unique. We believe Jesus is God! We believe God is a Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not three separate gods but one God. No other faith believes Jesus is God. My God is Jesus. The belief in God as a Trinity is the foundational difference between Christians and everyone else. There are 2.1 billion people who call themselves Christians … whether Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Pentecostal, or Evangelical … and they all have the doctrine of the Trinity in common. … Christians have a fundamentally different view of God than Muslims. We worship Jesus as God. Muslims don’t. Our God is Jesus, not Allah. Colossians 2:9 – ‘For in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.’”

Warren should be acknowledged for making such a clear statement that will, no doubt, be viewed as divisive by Muslims as well as the ever-so-vocal and perpetually offended religious pluralists. Good job, Rick.

On the other hand, I still cling to the opinion that Warren should have issued a correction for his previous linguistic/theological gaffe when he rounded out his prayer at the Obama inauguration with the following: “I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life – Yeshua, Isa, Jesus [spoken with a Spanish pronunciation], Jesus – who taught us to pray. …”

Of course, this is old news and many have debated the issue already, but the simple fact of the matter is that Warren’s use of “Isa” was a significant rookie mistake. This was not something a leader of Warren’s stature should be making at a such a high-level event. Again, for those who may have forgotten what all the hubbub was about, Isa not simply an Arabic way to say Jesus, but rather the Quranic and Islamic way. The proper and most common Christian manner to say Jesus in Arabic is Yasu.

This is not nitpicking. The Isa of the Quran is not a real historical person, but rather an anti-Christ polemical creation. The mythical Isa of Islam is not the Son of God, is not one of three in a trinity, did not die on the cross and is returning to abolish Christianity and, by most accounts, to slaughter a substantial number of Jews, as well. For these reasons I still believe Warren should retract his usage of this word. I think that despite his relative refusal to apologize to his critics, he might find that a little bit of humility, rather than the Pharisee-pointing he seems to use quite easily, might go a long way.

Next, Warren denies that Saddleback Church has entered into any form of “partnership” with Muslims, calling this claim “flat out wrong” and even accusing Jim Hinch, reporter for the Orange County Register, of false reporting.

This is nonsense. Warren and other Saddleback pastors are on record expressing that they fully believe in partnering with people of other faiths to accomplish various social projects, including combating stereotypes, war, poverty and corruption. At the 2009 Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) conference in 2009, Warren declared to an audience of Muslims:

“Now I was asked to speak to you about how Muslims and Christians can work closer together for the greater good, in our world. And I will tell you that I am not interested in interfaith dialogue, I am interested in interfaith projects. … And there are a lot of things that we could do together, but tonight I would quickly want to mention four things. Can we work on these things together? And I know we can. … Some problems are so big you have to team tackle them.”

Beyond this, Tom Holladay, a pastor at Saddleback, was quoted in the article as saying, “This is us serving our own community with Muslims here in Orange County. … We realize we don’t agree about everything and we’re very open about that. … You just recognize the differences and recognize the points where you can work together.”

While Warren may be irritated concerning the criticisms he has received on this issue, his protests are not genuine – and he has only himself to blame. In fact, in my opinion, Warren owes reporter Jim Hinch an apology.

The next issue concerns the notion that Saddleback church members involved in the “King’s Way” outreach project agreed not to evangelize or convert the Muslims with whom they are building friendships. Again, Warren calls this claim “flat out wrong” and blames Hinch for false reporting.

The problem, again, is that the statement did not come from Hinch, but from Jihad Turk, the Muslim spokesman with whom Warren’s church is working. It was Turk who said, “We agreed we wouldn’t try to evangelize each other. … We’d witness to each other but it would be out of ‘Love Thy Neighbor,’ not focused on conversion.” If Warren would like to state that Turk is wrong, this is fine, but accusing the reporter of false reporting was completely out of order.

Extending his defense, Warren passionately declared:

[A]s both an Evangelical and as an evangelist, anyone who knows me and my 40-year track record of ministry knows that I would never agree to “not evangelizing” anyone! I am commanded by my Savior to share the Good News with all people everywhere, all the time, in every way possible! Anyone who’s heard me teach knows that my heart beats for bringing others to Jesus.

I certainly hope this is true. I am genuinely cheering for reports of former Muslims being baptized at Saddleback, renouncing Islam, Muhammad and the Quran, while confessing the Jesus of the Bible. I love Muslims and desire more than anything to see them come to faith. In fact, it is precisely because I love Muslims so much that I hate Islam so deeply. This is not always an easy line to walk. And I agree with Warren that many so-called Christians are far quicker to express hatred of Muslims than to love them.

Yet I also think is fair to be somewhat skeptical of Warren. I think it was entirely fair to ponder the comments made by Warren’s own neighbor and friend, Yasser Barakat. Barakat says that he lived next to Rick and was friends for over 12 years before he even realized that Rick was a famous Christian pastor. Ironically, according to Barakat, this was not discovered until he invited Warren to learn more about Islam. How ironic!

I believe this anecdote was sufficient to make us ask if Warren is truly as committed to winning his neighbors to Christ as he claims in public. Of course, I want to be fair, and my purpose here is not to judge Warren, but again, I will say that if after 12 years of living next to Warren, Barakat had not been invited over to Rick’s house to learn more about the Christian faith, then Warren was not loving his neighbor, nor fulfilling his role as an evangelist – unless, of course, Barakat explains that Warren had always been quite open about his faith after all and that Barakat had, like Turk and Holladay, and Warren, also misspoken.

In the end, I’m sure that Warren’s response will be sufficient to comfort his church members, but in the lack of any genuine acknowledgment of responsibility on his part or of other Saddleback pastors, and in the abundance of casting his critics as false reporters, pharisees, or false-Christians, I am concerned. My hope is that Warren will use the recent round of criticisms as an opportunity for some introspection and an adjustment of his approach and methods to a more biblical model, rather than hardening himself against those who have expressed some very legitimate concerns.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3213

LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

  LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

by David Wilkerson | March 6, 2012

[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

The Lord has a people in these confusing times who are not confused. They are so given to Jesus—so in love with Him, so separated from the wickedness of this age—that they know the ways and workings of the Holy Spirit. They know what is pure and holy, and what is fleshly and foolish.

“For upon all the glory shall be a defence” (Isaiah 4:5). The original Hebrew here reads: “Over all shall be a covering of glory.” This means, in essence, “Over each of these remnant people will be a blanket, a canopy, a hiding place—the covering of the glory of God!”

Remember that a cloud of glory covered the tabernacle in the wilderness: “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34).

In Isaiah 4, we are promised that in the last days the Lord will create a glory that covers His remnant church. The glory of God will fill every heart and cover every house and we will worship under the canopy of God’s glory—which is the manifest presence of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.

“His Son . . . being the brightness of his glory” (Hebrews 1:2-3). The glory cannot get any brighter than Christ manifesting Himself to you. The word manifest means “to lay hold of by the hand.” In other words, when Jesus’ presence fills a place, it is so real, so evident, that your spiritual hands can touch it, your spiritual eyes can see it. It is as real as the air you breathe.

I want to see a revival where the presence of Jesus is so powerful and glorious that the “fruit” (conversions) will be excellent (see Isaiah 4:2). I want to see a revival where people stream toward the front of the church, weeping, broken before the Lord and they will know that they have truly been covered by the glory of God.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3207

When Apostasy Runs Amok

Jan Markell gets it right in this article!

When Apostasy Runs Amok – By Jan Markell – www.olivetreeviews.org

In the early days of all things “purpose driven,” I didn’t say much. I was, admittedly, skeptical. I had a hunch churches might experience the promised growth thanks to the movement behind “purpose driven,” the seeker-sensitive movement; however, it might not be a healthy growth. But as the years moved on, I started hearing about wreckage. Calls and e-mails told me that beloved congregations were caving to all things unsound and even unscriptural. Members were told that the ends justified the means. In other words, numbers trumped everything.

So, I began to watch Pastor Warren more carefully. When he praised the freedom in Syria in 2006, I just shuddered. When he spoke to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and withheld the gospel, I reacted again. ISNA is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. When he told Alan Colmes to “give Jesus a try for 60 days,” I came close to writing him off.

When Rick began featuring occultic “New Agers” in his church sanctuary in January 2011, I further realized that “America’s Pastor” wasn’t as sound as he had been portrayed. Rick allowed a year-long effort at fitness to headquarter out of Saddleback Church and concluded the event by cheering that Saddleback members lost 250,000 pounds. Rick, some souls might have been lost during that time because Drs. Amen, Hymen and Oz represent the dark side of the world, not the light of Jesus. These men are secularists. At one time, Dr. Oz even had a link on his Web site that took you to a place where you could learn how to talk to the dead.

But Rick did it again coming out of the shoot into 2012 and I am being a bit outspoken about this. He’s leading an effort to heal divisions between Christians and Muslims by partnering with Southern California mosques. He is proposing theological principles that include acknowledging Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

A Saddleback Church spokesman says this effort “is a path to end the 1,400 years of misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians.” The root of this madness goes back to “A Christian Response to a Common Word Between Us and You” This was a joint effort between Muslims and Christians to deepen dialogue and relations at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. Pastor Warren was one of the signers, along with hundreds of other Christian leaders. They also acknowledged that neither Muslim nor Christian would try to evangelize each other. Just like that, evangelism evaporates in the minds of major Christian leaders. We’ve got to all get along! Rodney King, you would be proud of us!

One of the statements of this “Common Word” effort was that religious peace would bring world peace. No, the return of Christ will bring world peace. Evangelical signers of this document should have known better.

I stand with Joseph Farah on this issue. He states, “If you compare the personality of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — the Christian and Hebrew God — with Allah, Islam’s god, the contrast could not be more stark. The Hebrew-Christian God is characterized by love. The Islamic god is characterized by war and vengeance. The Hebrew-Christian God provides a clear path to redemption and personal salvation in a fallen world — through repentance. The Islamic god provides only one certain path to personal salvation — martyrdom. The Hebrew-Christian God elevates the status of women. The Islamic god does the opposite.

“The Hebrew-Christian God encourages followers to be a light to the whole world. The Islamic god encourages jihad on the non-Islamic world and, ultimately and unambiguously, calls for the death of unconverted Christians and Jews.”

Farah concludes, “Into this breech, Warren seeks common theological ground. It would be easier to find common theological ground between Christians and atheists than Christians and Muslims.”

What becomes immediately apparent is that while making friends with Muslims is certainly an admirable goal, Warren has prioritized the three goals of making friends, building peace and working together on shared social service projects over and above the commandment of Jesus to baptize and make disciples of the whole world.

Author Joel Richardson says that rather than obeying the Great Commission and creating disciples of the Jesus of the Bible, Warren is “building a Tower of Babel that leads to nowhere.”

Richardson concludes, “I would agree in that when Christian groups join together with other groups that have such fundamentally divergent goals and doctrines, the danger is always compromise. Throughout the Old Testament, the commandment of God to the Israelites was to never enter into agreements, covenants or marriages with the surrounding peoples, lest the Israelites would find themselves led away to worship other gods. In such a postmodern culture, these concepts may sound amazingly intolerant, but the wisdom of the Lord’s prescription against treaties and partnerships is seen in Warren’s agreement not to evangelize his Muslim ‘friends’ and co-laborers for mutual social causes.”

The ultimate hope of Christianity is the Lord’s return. Islam awaits a Mahdi who would eradicate Christianity. Thus, I agree with Richardson’s conclusion: “If Warren was pursuing friendships for the purpose of evangelism, I would openly stand with him in this goal. But I think it is clear that Warren is pursuing an agenda far more in line with the spirit of the age than with the goals of the early Christian Church.”

Being a critic of Rick Warren costs one plenty! I have lost friends and other loved ones because I have not always been supportive of all things purpose-driven, or market-driven church growth. Do I think Rick loves God and is serving Him to the best of his ability? Yes. I just think “Peace Plans” and global initiatives don’t belong in the house of God. Cozying up to Mullahs and uttering words they want to hear produces nothing but a laughing Mullah. Such agendas morph into ideas and plans that are counterproductive to God’s ultimate call on the church.

What we can agree upon is that Pastor Rick Warren needs our prayers. While he vehemently denies that he is involved in the Chrislam movement, actions speak louder than words.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3198

Why is Bible prophecy important?

Read the attached article from Dr. David Reagan of Lamb and Lion Ministries on why Bible prophecy is so important to usas believes! Keep looking up!

 

Why is Bible prophecy important?
By Dr. David R. Reagan
Founder & Director, Lamb & Lion Ministries
Although prophecy constitutes almost one-third of the Bible, its importance is constantly downplayed by those who dismiss it as having no practical significance or by those who object to it on the grounds that it is a “fad” that takes people’s eyes off Jesus.

A good example of what I’m talking about can be found in the immensely popular best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren.1 He mocks Bible prophecy when he writes, “If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy.” He then goes on to characterize prophecy as a “distraction” and says that anyone who lets himself get involved in distractions like studying prophecy “is not fit for the kingdom of God.”

Such cavalier dismissals of Bible prophecy fly in the face of scriptures like Revelation 19:10 which says that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Thus, if prophecy is properly taught, there is no reason for it to divert anyone’s attention away from Jesus. In fact, it should serve to emphasize the centrality of Jesus.

Is prophecy practical? Consider that all the New Testament writers testify to the fact that living with the anticipation of the Lord’s return will motivate holy living. What could be more practical than that? Here are some examples:

The Apostle Paul: “The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” — Romans 13:12-14.

The Apostle Peter: “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God… so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” — 1 Peter 4:7-11.

The Apostle John: “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” — 1 John 3:2-3.

Prophecy does not have to be either faddish, other-worldly, or impractical if taught properly. Nor does it have to be a playground for fanatics. It can and should be green pastures for disciples.

There are many reasons why all believers should be interested in studying Bible prophecy. Some of the more important ones are listed below:

1) The Quantity
One-fourth to one-third of the Bible is prophetic in nature. In the Old Testament, this includes the Psalms, the Major and Minor Prophets, and many passages in the historical books. In the New Testament, entire books like 1 & 2 Thessalonians and Revelation are devoted to prophecy, as are major passages like Matthew 24 and 1 Peter 3. To ignore Bible prophecy is to ignore a significant portion of God’s Word, and we are told in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” — and that certainly includes Bible prophecy.

2) The Uniqueness
No other book in the world contains fulfilled prophecies. This includes the sayings of Buddha and Confucius, the Koran, the Hindu Vedras, and the Book of Mormon. And it certainly includes the ridiculous nonsensical quatrains of Nostradamus.2 In contrast, the Bible contains hundreds of specific prophecies that have already been fulfilled — prophecies about towns, cities, nations, empires, and political leaders, as well as prophecies about the Messiah. Consider, for example, the prophecy in the book of Isaiah that a man named Cyrus would be the one who would release the children of Israel from Babylonian captivity (Isaiah 44:28). And that is exactly what happened 142 years later (Ezra 1:1-3).

3) Validator of Scripture
Fulfilled prophecy is one of the best evidences I know of that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. As I stated above, the Bible contains hundreds of fulfilled secular prophecies pertaining to cities, nations, empires, and individuals. Isaiah prophesied that Babylon would fall to the Medes and Persians (Isaiah 13:17-20). Jeremiah predicted the Babylonian captivity of the Jews would last 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11-12). Daniel outlined in advance the precise order of four great Gentile empires (Daniel 2 and 7). The destruction of both Judah and Israel was foretold by Moses (Deuteronomy 28 and 29). In the New Testament, Jesus predicted the complete destruction of Jerusalem 40 years before it actually occurred (Luke 21:6).

4) Validator of Jesus
The prophetic scriptures validate Jesus as who He said He was — namely, God in the flesh. The Bible contains more than 300 prophecies about the First Coming of Jesus, but some of these are repetitive. There are actually 109 separate and distinct prophecies concerning the First Coming, and all of them were literally fulfilled.3 Every aspect of the life of Jesus was prophesied — the place of His birth, the nature of His birth, the quality of His ministry, the purpose of His life, and the agony of His death. Consider, for example, the prophecy in Psalm 22:16 that the Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced. That prophecy was written by David about a thousand years before the birth of Jesus. It was written 700 years before the invention of crucifixion as a form of execution. The literal fulfillment of so many prophecies in the life of one individual transcends any mere coincidence and serves to validate that Jesus was who He said He was — the divine Son of God.

5) Revealer of the Future
Prophecy serves to tell us some things that God wants us to know about the future (Deuteronomy 29:29 and Amos 3:7). God does not want us to know everything about the future, but there are some things we must know if we are to have a dynamic hope. Thus, prophecy assures us that Jesus is coming back, that He will resurrect us, and that He will take us to live forever with Him and God the Father. In this regard, Peter likens prophecy to “a lamp shining in a dark place” (2 Peter 1:19). Paul makes the same point in 1 Corinthians, chapter 2. He begins by observing that “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor has the mind of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” But in the next verse Paul says those things have been revealed to us by God through His Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

6) Tool of Evangelism
Prophecy can be used as a very effective tool of evangelism, as illustrated in the story of Philip and the Eunuch (Acts 8:26ff). Philip used Isaiah’s great suffering lamb passage (Isaiah 53) to teach that Jesus is the Lamb who was slain for the sins of the world. Matthew and Peter both used fulfilled prophecy in the life of Jesus as one of their basic evangelistic tools. In fact, Peter referred to prophecy constantly in his first gospel sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-39). He preached that Jesus had been crucified and resurrected in fulfillment of Hebrew prophecies. Later, Peter referred to fulfilled prophecy as one of the greatest evidences that Jesus was truly the Son of God (2 Peter 1:16-19).

7) Tool of Moral Teaching
People often overlook the fact that the Hebrew prophets were forthtellers as well as foretellers. In fact, the prophets spent most of their time using God’s Word to spotlight societal problems. They called their listeners to repentance, true worship, social justice, and personal holiness. One of the great recurring themes of the prophets is that “obedience is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22 and Hosea 6:6). That statement means that in God’s eyes, obedience to His commands is more important than outward religious practices such as offering sacrifices. Prophecy is thus a great repository of moral teaching, and those moral principles are still relevant today. (See Amos 5:21-24; Micah 6:8; and Isaiah 58:3-9.)

8) Generator of Spiritual Growth
Prophetic knowledge encourages patient waiting (James 5:7-8); provokes earnest watching (Matthew 24:36,42); inspires dedicated work (2 Timothy 4:7-8); and enhances our hope (Titus 2:11-14). The result is holy living. Paul exhorts us to “behave properly as in the day,” because the time is at hand when the Lord will return (Romans 13:12-13). Likewise, Peter calls us to gird up our minds and be sober and holy as we look forward to the revelation of Jesus (1 Peter 1:13-15).

9) Understanding of Current Events
The Bible contains detailed prophecies about the end times we are living in, and there is just no way to fully understand much of what is happening today apart from those prophecies. Three characteristics of our day and time immediately come to mind: the intensifying decay of society, the growing apostasy in the Church, and the escalating crisis in the Middle East. All three of these situations are prophesied in detail in the Bible. We are told that society will become as violent and immoral as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39); that the Church will be assaulted with “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1); and that all the nations of the world will come against Israel over the issue of who will control Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2-3).

10) Signifier of the Season
One of the most exciting reasons for studying Bible prophecy is that it provides very definite signs that we are to watch for which will signify the season of the Lord’s return. It is true that we cannot know the date of the Lord’s return, but the Bible makes it clear that we can know the season if we are aware of the signs that we are to look for.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3180