Category: Prophecy Studies

Feb 04

THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL: Lessons from Daniel chapter 5

Great study from Joel Rosenberg from Daniel chapter 5 on fate of America and the coming war in the Middle East. Pray that you are found worthy of protection by our Lord in these times of trouble. Keep looking up!

“Is America in a ‘Nebuchadnezzar moment’ (where we still have an opportunity to repent and be restored), or a ‘Belshazzar moment’ (where God removes His favor from us and turns out the lights)?”

Joel C. Rosenberg, Jacksonville Pastors Conference, January 29, 2012 

 “The Pastor and the Future” — that’s what I’ve been asked to speak about tonight, and I cannot think of a more important subject to close this conference. You and I are living in one of the most dangerous moments in the history of the United States….in the history of Israel and the Middle East….in the history of the Church. Yet at this very moment when so many people are so anxious about the future, too many pastors are shying away from teaching Bible prophecy.

  • Some, because prophecy has been sensationalized in the past and they rightly resist such cheapening of God’s Holy Word.
  • Some, because they’ve never really carefully studied Bible prophecy and feel unprepared to teach it to their congregations.
  • Some, because they’ve lost sight of the power of prophecy – prophecy is an intercept from the mind of the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful God….prophecies are storm warnings from the future….not to frighten us but to motivate us – to get us ready for what is coming, and to help get others ready…..prophecy is given to encourage and exhort the Church to repentance….to holiness and purity….to prayer and fasting….to sharing the Gospel and making disciples….to pastor training and church planting….prophecy tells us we are going to be shaken….why?….to wake up the Church….to wake up the nations….to wake up Israel….because the Day of the Lord is coming, and surely it is near….and God love us and He wants us to be ready.

In Luke 12:54-56, Jesus rebuked His disciples for not understanding the Word of God and not analyzing the times in which they lived….which is why it is so important that we close this conference by considering “The Pastor and the Future.” So, turn with me, if you would, to Daniel chapter 5. [Read the entire chapter]

What do we see in Daniel chapter 5?

5:1-2 – A pagan nation at the height of its power, and corruption.

5:3-4 – A pagan government and high society drunk with power and consumed with seeking pleasure of all kinds….worshipping the gods of gold and silver and all things material….what do we see in the king’s court?

  • Sexual immorality.
  • Drunkness.
  • Greed and materialism.
  • Idolatry
  • Blasphemy.
  • No care or concern for their history of sin and God’s judgment.
  • No remembrance of God’s grace and mercy for those who repent.

King Belshazzar doesn’t seem to remember or care about the testimony of his forefather, Nebuchadnezzar. Once an evil and terrible king, one of the worst in the Bible, Nebuchadnezzar had then faced the judgment of God. He’d been driven out of the king’s palace, into the wilderness, driven mad and eating grass like a beast. Yet after a time, God relented. The Lord gave Nebuchadnezzar a second chance, and Nebuchadnezzar repented of his horrific sins and gave his life to the One True God. What’s more, Nebuchadnezzar praised the Lord before the entire nation ofBabylon.

Nebuchadnezzar testified before his people: “At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” (Daniel 4:36-37).

5:5-6 – So God begins to shake them.

5:7-9 – A mysterious hand appears out of nowhere in the king’s court….mysterious fingers begin supernaturally writing on the wall of the king’s palace….everyone in that room could see the handwriting on the wall….they could all see the hand of God at work…..it terrified them, but it certainly got their attention…..they knew it was important, but they had no idea what is said, or what it meant….so because they were pagans they turned to the so-called “wise men” of the age, but the wise men had no answers.

  • 5:7 – King Belshazzar has two reactions:
    • A physical reaction – he gets physically ill.
    • An emotion reaction – he becomes desperate….he suddenly becomes willing to give massive wealth and power to whoever can help him understand the handwriting on the wall.

5:10-12 – Frightened, desperate, and having run out of all other options, Belshazzar turns to a man with a reputation for being completely different than they….a man described as having an “extraordinary spirit”….a man described as having “knowledge and insight”…a man “in whom is a spirit of the holy gods”…..the man, of course, was Daniel….he hadn’t been invited to the party, mind you…he wasn’t part of their culture….he wasn’t part of their religion….he wasn’t a member of the “in crowd”….and that was the point….in their fear and trembling, they were looking for someone completely different….someone who had a completely different perspective and just might be able to help them.

5:13-16 – Enter Daniel….he is brought into the upper echelons of power and wealth and offered a great reward if he can solve the mystery.

5:17-28 – Daniel doesn’t ignore or resist the king’s request….he doesn’t claim separation of Church and State….he doesn’t self-righteously declare he won’t “dirty his hands” by speaking to government leaders….but Daniel makes clear that he’s not interested in money, power or prestige….he’s not trying to be in their club….he certainly doesn’t want to be part of their pagan culture or corruption….rather, he knows he holds citizenship in another kingdom, yet he also knows that he is God’s ambassador….so he agrees to explain the hand of God to the king and his court….giving all glory and honor to the Lord, Daniel fearlessly makes known the word of the Lord, even at great risk to his own life.

Many in ministry look at Daniel with admiration and want to be like him:

  • He’s handsome (Daniel 1:4)
  • Brilliant (Daniel 1:4)
  • Wise (Daniel 1:4)
  • Sterling reputation (Daniel chapters 1 through 5)
  • Invited into the highest courts of power (the entire book of Daniel)
  • Given great accolades, wealth and authority (Daniel 2:46-49 and 5:29)

Yet let’s be clear: Daniel didn’t seek any of these things….moreover, he knew he could take no credit for these things.

That said, let’s take another look….are you really willing to be a Daniel? Consider the high price of his service to the Lord:

  • He was taken captive from his homeland (Daniel chapter 1)
  • Forcibly given a new home, new name, new diet, new education, new job in a brutal pagan empire (Daniel chapter 1)
  • Arrested, convicted, imprisoned, sentenced to death (Daniel chapter 6)
  • Yet he never faltered….he never wavered….he clung to the Lord….he knew His God….he listened to His God….he was a man of prayer….he understand the Word….he studied God’s Word diligently and carefully (chapter 9 he’s studying Jeremiah!)…..and when God told him to speak, he spoke boldly and without reservation…..he didn’t pull any punches….he did so at great risk, but with great faith and courage.
  • In Matthew 24:15, Jesus calls Daniel “the prophet”….for that is what he was.

How about you?….are you clinging to Christ?….are you on you knees repeatedly throughout the day in prayer?….are you fasting?…..are you listening carefully to the voice of God?…..are you willing to teach God’s Word – all of it, including the prophecies of a future that is coming fast upon us?…..are you ready to stripped of all our worldly possessions…stripped of our identity….arrested…. convicted….imprisoned…. sentenced to death….all for being men faithful to pray and faithful to speak the Word of God in our pagan, corrupt culture? Let us not answer too quickly – let us consider the gravity of this calling in this moment…for these tests may be coming soon.

Now, what was the Lord’s message to Belshazzar via Daniel?

  • 5:18-21 — Belshazzar should have known better…he had seen the sins of his father, and God’s judgment
  • 5:22 – “Yet you…have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this,” Daniel says to the king. “You have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven.”
  • 5:26 – Mene, “God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it.”
  • 5:27 – Tekel, “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.”
  • 5:28 – Peres, “Your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians.”
  • Why was God judging Belshazzar? Because of Belshazzar’s pride…his vanity….his insolence….his hubris….Proverbs 16:18 – “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

Yes, the God of the Bible is a God of grace and mercy and forgiveness. He gives us one opportunity after another in life here on earth to say “Yes” to the Lord Jesus Christ and receive His free gift of forgiveness and eternal life by putting our faith in Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. But eventually there is a point of no return. There is a point in which you defy God too long….go too far….cross a line….and at that point you no longer have the opportunity to repent and receive God’s mercy. At that point, when you least expect it, you have sealed your own fate by rejecting the Most High God…by exalting yourself against the Lord, and you will stand condemned to the fires of hell for all of eternity with no way of escape.

Thus, the Scriptures are clear: Say “Yes” to Jesus Christ now, before it is too late.

  • “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” (I John 5:11-12)
  • “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish (die and go to hell forever and ever), but shall have eternal life….he who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16,18)
  • Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell….Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:28,32-33)
  • Don’t do what Belshazzar did. Don’t keep defying the Most High God. Don’t wait too long to repent and give your life to the Lord. Otherwise there will come a point of no return. You will be weighed in God’s balances and found deficient, and theKingdomofGodwill be ripped away from you and you won’t have another opportunity to be saved. The Apostle Paul put it clearly: “Now is the acceptable time [to get right with God],” he wrote. “Behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

5:29-31 – For some unknown reason Belshazzar kept his word to Daniel and rewarded him for his insight….and God kept His word and before the night was finished, Belshazzar was dead.

Question: Why did God write on the wall?

It was too late for that king — and that kingdom — to repent. Why, then, did God sent the message? To warn to those Babylonians who were in the room with Belshazzar, and to warn the entire nation of Babylon….and to warn us down through the centuries: Listen to the voice of God….read the Word of God….don’t harden your heart….understand the “handwriting on the wall”….understand that God is trying to wake you up….get your attention….draw you to Him….motivate you to serve Him….don’t wait too long….repent of your sins and receive Christ as your Savior while there is still time.

Today, we can see the handwriting on the wall once again….in Israel and the Middle East….and here in the United States….God is trying to get our attention….will we listen, or harden our hearts?

The Future of Israel and the Middle East

As followers of Jesus Christ, we can see the handwriting on the wall in theMiddle East. We know what it says, and we know what it means: a terrible war is coming to the epicenter. God is going to shake the people of theMiddle East. He wants them to wake up and realize their real and desperate and urgent need to receive Jesus as their Messiah, Savior and Lord. Jesus doesn’t want anyone in the epicenter to perish and go to hell. He wants them to all to be saved. 

The Good News is that more Muslims and more Jews are coming to faith in Jesus than ever before in history. But it’s not enough for the Lord. Too many people are still resisting Him. So in His mercy He will continue shaking them in hopes that they will listen and repent like Nebuchadnezzar, not rejecting Him to the very end like Belshazzar.

Will the coming war be a prophetic war (like Ezekiel 38-39, the “War of God and Magog”), or just a really terrible geopolitical war? Of that we cannot yet be certain. But clearly the most dangerous corridor in the world is between Tel Aviv and Tehran. The leaders of the free world say Iran could have the Bomb by the end of 2012. Yet the nations of the world refuse to take decisive action to neutralize the Iranian threat. But make no mistake: if Iran’s mullahs get the Bomb, they could do in six minutes what it took Adolf Hitler six years to do – kill six million Jews. Today’s Sunday New York Times magazine story suggests Israel and Iran may very well go to war in 2012.

The handwriting on the wall is clear – the question is: What will we as believers do about it?

  • Will the Church demonstrate the love and courage necessary to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the Middle East with clarity and compassion before it’s too late? If we really love the people of the epicenter, that’s exactly what we should do.
  • Will the Church do everything possible to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in theMiddle East– to pray for them, to visit them, to equip them, to assist them, to stand with them, come what may? Will we help the persecuted believers in the region? Will we train the pastors and help them plant new churches? Or will we ignore them, abandon them, refuse them in their hour of need? Again, if we love them, we will serve them.
  • Time is short, and the handwriting on the wall is clear.

The Future of America

The handwriting on the wall is also clear here in theUnited States. We as followers of Jesus Christ know full well thatAmericais in grave danger — not just at risk of decline but of outright collapse.

  • We now have more than $15 trillion in debt….100% of our GDP….but we are facing $65 trillion in unfunded liabilities…..we are on the Titanic, heading for the icebergs, and too many inWashington are saying, “Speed up!” not, “Turn around!”
  • The Bible warns us not to go into debt, yet we continue to defy Him.
  • We are defying God in other areas, too.
  • 53 million abortions
  • Legalized homosexual marriage
  • A pornography industry that makes more than ABC, CBS and NBC combined.

How much longer will the Lord wait before He lets us reap what we’ve sown? Is God going to give us another chance, or is He finished with us? Is America in a “Nebuchadnezzar moment” (where we still have an opportunity to repent and be restored), or a “Belshazzar moment” (where God removes His favor from us and turns out the lights)? Honestly, I’m not certain.

The good news is that God moved powerfully in this land in the early 1700s with the first “Great Awakening,” a series of amazing spiritual revivals that woke up the Church and rescuedAmerica. God moved powerfully again in the early 1800s with the “Second Great Awakening” that was even more transformative.

The question now is: Will God give us a Third Great Awakening? I don’t know, but I hope so. That’s why I’ve written the book, Implosion. But I can’t wait until June when it releases. I feel compelled to start talking about these issues now because they are so important. We need to be on our knees praying and fasting and pleading with God to have mercy on us. Yes, Washington and Wall Street and Hollywood bear much blame for the mess we’re in. But so does the Church.

There are 340,000 churches in the United States. They are all supposed to be shining cities on a hill. They are supposed to be lights in the darkness. But in too many American churches, the light is growing dim. In some churches, there is no light at all. We desperately need a revival of the Church to save this country. Nothing less will do.

Even if we elect godly, principled, wise and courageous leaders to the presidency, the Senate and the House in 2012, this won’t be enough to keep us from implosion. It’s still important, don’t get me wrong. But won’t be enough. We need a supernatural movement of God to rescue us, or this nation will collapse economically, morally and culturally. 

On Saturday, June 16th, we will host the national “Implosion” simulcast….a three-hour program for churches all across the country….I’ll teach for about an hour on these issues, and then take 2 hours of questions in a live format…we’ll talk about how much trouble we’re in, and we’ll talk more about the Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening and see if there are lessons we can learn and apply to our own time….I hope you and your churches will consider joining us for this.

Conclusion

The world is fearful and confused. Millions across the globe can see the handwriting on the wall. They know something is terribly wrong. They sense something terrible is coming. But they cannot read the handwriting or understand what it means. That’s your job. That the mission of the pastor, the man of God who knows the Word of God and is charged with teaching the Word of God. It is your job to analyze these present times in the light of God’s Word, in the light of Bible prophecy, and help the Church and the pagan world understand what God is saying….before it’s too late.

Too many pastors, however, are asleep to the trend lines. They are unable – or unwilling – to see how much danger the people of the Middle East are in, and how much danger the people of the United States are in. But now is precisely the time to call the Church, and the nations, and Israel, back to the God of the Bible…..now, while we still can.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3041

Jan 20

The Powerful Delusion

Great article from Jack Kelley of Grace Thru Faith. Enjoy!

The Powerful Delusion

 


 

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. (2 Thes. 2:9-12)

 

It’s no secret that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  is preoccupied with the coming of a Shiite Islamic messiah figure, al Mahdi.  This continues to raise concern that a nuclear-armed Iran would create the kind of global chaos he believes will be necessary to set the stage for the Mahdi’s return.  Recent events  seem to confirm this.  For example, after years of promising that their nuclear ambitions are purely peaceful, Iran just announced their intention to test a 1 kiloton nuclear warhead this year. Iran’s Supreme Leader is thought to favor announcing Iran’s nuclear capability as an accomplished fact as soon as possible.

Iran  has also made repeated threats to close the Straights of Hormuz, blocking over 35% of the world’s ship borne oil supply, and they’ve warned the US not to send it’s recently departed aircraft carrier back into the Persian Gulf. The US has responded by reversing the carrier’s departure course and ordering an additional carrier into the vicinity, which entered the Persian Gulf  this week.  In addition to the thousands of  troops the US recently stationed in Israel and Jordan in case of trouble in Syria,  15,000 more have now been stationed  in Kuwait in case of trouble in Iran.  It’s widely assumed that some kind of military showdown between the US and Iran is imminent.

Al Mahdi, which means the guided one,  is said to have gone into “occlusion” (disappeared) in the year 941 AD, at the age of five.  Shiite Moslems believe he will reappear at the end of the Age. They say his reappearance will be preceded by chaos, war and bloodshed. When he comes he’ll establish a world wide Islamic caliphate, and following a cataclysmic confrontation with evil and darkness that lasts 7 years, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace.

This is obviously similar to Christian eschatology of the anti-Christ. Indeed, the Hidden Imam, as he’s also called, is expected to return in the company of Jesus.  Iran’s “Twelver” sect of Islam  believes the Mahdi is Mohammed ibn Hasan, regarded as the 12th Imam, or righteous descendant, of the Prophet Mohammad. Both the Ayatollah Khamanei and Pres. Ahmadinejad claim to have communicated with him.

As he has has publicly explained, Ahmadinejad believes he’s been called to “pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance.” To some, this means creating the chaos necessary to bring al Mahdi back.

He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.(Daniel 9:27)

 

The Prophet Daniel spoke of a seven-year rule by one who brings about Earth’s final judgment over 1000 years before Mohammed fashioned the religion we know as Islam. And as is the case with Shiite beliefs, Daniel’s ruler will rise to power on the heels of a great battle between the forces of good and evil as well. How else would he be able to use the promise of peace to deceive the world? (Daniel 8:25)

According to Revelation 13, this ruler and his false prophet will force the world into a common religion, killing all who resist. Shiites agree.  They insist the religion will be Islam, and that in the process all the Jews and Romans (Christians) who don’t convert will be put to death.

Good News And Bad News

Please understand, I’m not trying to give these Islamic beliefs about al Mahdi any legitimacy.  I’m only trying to show how similar they are to Biblical prophecies of the anti-Christ.  In fact the only discernible difference lies in one fact. Whereas Daniel and other Biblical figures who prophesied of this coming ruler viewed him as the ultimate expression of evil, eventually indwelt by Satan himself, Shiites see him as a force for good, ushering in a glorious age of worldwide Islamic rule. The two perceptions couldn’t be more opposite.

I think this difference is the sprouting seed of the powerful delusion Paul spoke of in 2 Thes. 2:11. During the Great Tribulation the world will experience a total reversal of perception from that of its Judeo-Christian past. Consider these two passages from the Revelation as confirmation.

Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?”(Rev. 13:4) The dragon is Satan and the beast is the anti-Christ.

Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done. (Rev 16:10-11)

As they clearly show, the End Times world will worship Satan and curse God.

Amazingly, this reversal of perception is also the basis of a New Age heresy called the Luciferian Doctrine. Simply put it holds that Lucifer, the angel of light (in Latin, Lucifer means light bearer) is desperately trying to bring mankind through the final, spiritual phase of human evolution, into the Utopian world man longs for.   But Lucifer is being thwarted in his efforts by the evil Adonay (from the Hebrew Adonai, which means Lord) who wants to destroy man. As you can see, it’s also the opposite of the truth, just like Paul warned (2 Thes. 2:9-12), and just like prophecies of al Mahdi appear to be.

By whatever name, this doctrine will permeate the One World religion of Daniel’s 70th Week. Because of the dramatic manifestations of supernatural signs and wonders during that time, the last vestiges of the godless secular humanism will finally die. Satan, who during our age has been content with giving anyone but God credit for the Creation of Earth and Man, will begin demanding credit for himself. And having refused to love the truth, man, who needs to believe in someone greater than himself, will be fair game for this lie.

The Luciferian Doctrine explains the difference between the Shiite view and Bible Prophecy and could be the powerful delusion Paul spoke of.  The god of Islam is not the God of the Bible, after all, and besides man there’s only one other created being who aspires to be God.

“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.” (Amos 8:11)

 

The man who doesn’t stand for something will fall for anything, the saying goes, so after the church disappears and the famine of God’s word prophesied by Amos takes hold, there will be a real longing for something to believe in on Earth. The Luciferian Doctrine will fit the bill nicely, especially when its two leading proponents, the anti-Christ and the False Prophet, will seem to have such supernatural power.

Mahmoud The Zealot

The introduction of religious zeal, counterfeit though it may be, into world events is the most dramatic proof since 1948 of the nearness of the end. In the final days of Communism, when some folks thought Gorbachev was the anti-Christ, they overlooked the absence of this critical component. Coming from the perspective of the Modern Rationalism of the 50′s, when God wasn’t thought to be real anymore, the godless Soviet enemy seemed sufficient to fulfill end times prophecy. And yet, the Bible speaks of powerful spiritual contention at the end of the age. After all the final battle is fought and won in the spiritual realm. It just takes place on Earth. It’s clear that events at the end of the age will include powerful, opposing, spiritual forces.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a religious zealot of the first magnitude. By his statements, it’s clear that he believes his Mahdi is coming soon, and that he has been chosen to have his country ready to receive him. An old Islamic saying goes, “When the students are ready, the teacher will come.” And he himself has declared, “We don’t shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world.” A man with that kind of zeal, given the kind of power he has, will not hesitate to plunge the world into chaos to hasten the day of his lord.

For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way (2 Thes 2:7).  But remember this, my friends. Before the powerful delusion can truly take hold, the truth has to disappear. The repository for truth in this age is the church, so when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28).  If you listen closely, you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2967

Jan 15

Hybrids

Christ Himself tells us in Matthew 24 that the days before His return will be like the days of Noah. So we need to ask ourselves what was that world like and why did the flood come? Read Genesis chapter 6 for your answer. There were giants and mighty men of reknown walking the earth. The perversion attempt by Satan to stop Mewssiah from coming. The fallen angels. Read the attached for an interesting perspective.

Hybrids – Ron Graham – twotug@embarqmail.com

 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5. Humanity is moving through a period of increasingly deteriorating moral behavior. Today wickedness among earth’s inhabitants has grown to a fever pitch. When we study our Bibles what becomes evident is the fact that between the antediluvian world, known as the days of Noah, and our present world there is a shocking similarity unfolding before us.

 The news of late has been replete with unimaginable stories of brutality. Most people are mystified, even horrified, at the extremity and the frequency of the cold hearted and brutal acts of senseless aggression, perpetrated mostly on the aged, in various sectors around America. What is it that we are witnessing? This seemingly new form of insanity invading America is actuality a worldwide phenomenon, and it’s burgeoning.

 A new breed of criminal has emerged on the scene – younger, stronger, completely lacking remorse. Oh, and cold hearted would be a gross understatement. Nothing witnessed by generations upon generations can prepare humanity for this emerging wickedness. They are many, their numbers are growing, and they all seem to have one thing in common, they lack any semblance of a human soul. Their purpose seems to be that of mayhem, confusion, and to inflict as much pain as possible, even to the point of death of the victim. They’re being manipulated to perform like robots, and to attack like well trained attack dogs. Their trainer, who we should all recognize as a manipulator, yes, he’s Satan and he has only wickedness on his mind.

 Who are they? Where have they come from? Are these marauding bands of seemingly soulless bodies even human? Has there been some tampering going on with the DNA of a segment of earthlings creating beings void of human emotion? What would need to be done to a person to negate the traits that provide us with feeling love, kindness, and even remorse? Is it possible to change the genome through DNA manipulation to void a person’s soul? The manipulation of human and animal DNA being performed in medical labs today is astounding. Most of society today hasn’t a clue about what’s being created in these labs. Genetic engineering is in well advanced stages in what can now be seen as man taking over for God; man has now become the manipulator/creator of new forms of life. “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4. Can there be any doubt in the minds of those who take God’s word seriously that knowledge has increased exponentially and that we are now at the end?

 On the horizon are DNA microchips able to analyze more than a thousand traits at once, those linked not just to a child’s health but to enhancements – genes that influence height, intelligence, hair, skin and eye colour and athletic ability. Source – The Globe and Mail 

 I am getting to a point here with all these questions. I believe the Bible has the answer. We’re informed, by Jesus Christ Himself, in Matthew 24 that there would be some distinguishing factors associated with the last days on planet earth that would set those particular days significantly apart from all other periods of time in human history, save one. Jesus tells us what time period in man’s past best fits as a comparison of what will be witnessed in the last days just prior to His return. He was enlightening us while attempting to elevate our sense of perception at the same time. Jesus is telling us what’s coming and He’s not being elusive. Jesus’ warning had to allude to something completely different than what humanity would consider normal.

 “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark” Matthew 24:37-38. Obviously those of Noah’s day were eating and drinking to sustain themselves, although we’re not told what they were eating and drinking. Some in-depth study I’ve done shows a corruption even in their diet. But my question here is – why would Jesus speak of marriage or giving in marriage during those days? To the casual reader marrying and giving in marriage is seen here as simply going about business as usual, they see nothing out of the ordinary about this verse. But to the studied reader what Jesus is alluding to is that just prior to His return to earth the world will be experiencing an all consuming evil corruption of the genes of humans through the cohabitation of fallen angels and human women just like the people of Noah’s day were, which was the reason God destroyed the antediluvians with a worldwide flood. Think about it this way, who in their right mind will be thinking about their white wedding dress or their black tuxedo at a time when the world will be crumbling around them? The world, just prior to His return, will be filled with the violence, wickedness, and mayhem that Noah witnessed in his day. Jesus lays out precisely for His disciples the full picture of those last days. Jesus wasn’t referring to normal marriage plans, but to very abnormal and abominable copulations between two distinct groups of beings. If we misinterpret the verses in Genesis 6 most of the rest of the Bible will never make sense.

 Keep in mind that Jesus was referring to similarities between the antediluvian era and the last days before His return. Remember, the reason God (Jesus) sent the deluge was because of all the abominable unions (marriages) between fallen angels and human women, and the progeny these unions brought forth. Evil was spread over the antediluvian world exactly the way it’s overtaking ours today. Jesus referred to marriage in those days before the flood because that’s exactly what we read in the Genesis 6 account. “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose” Genesis 6:2 (emphases mine). Jesus isn’t being coy; He’s laying out the future. One that involves the worst possible scenario, the re-incursion of fallen angels into our space/time continuum for one purpose, the corruption/destruction of the human race – just as they did in the days of Noah.

 “And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men:” Daniel 2:43. Daniel is revealing a message given in a dream to king Nebuchadnezzar by God. But we see something very strange in this verse. “…they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men”. Again, for the casual reader there is nothing out of the ordinary in this verse, but for those of us who study prophecy with a desire to fully understand what God has in store for His creation there’s something in that verse that should give us reason to pause and delve deeper. Who are “they”? Whoever “they” are they’re mingling themselves with the seed (offspring) of men (daughters). This is a prophecy of the last days. There was a corruption of the genome in Noah’s day perpetrated by fallen angels. We’re told by God Himself that there will be a resurgence of this same corruption in the days just prior to Christ’s return. Here in Daniel chapter 2 we’re given confirmation that in the last days “they”, fallen angels, will again procreate with human women to produce offspring (hybrids/Nephilim). The question is – are these hybrids already dwelling among us?

 The birth pangs that Jesus refers to in His “Olivet Discourse” lesson are upon us – only the foolish will deny it. “…all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24:6b. Jesus is about to call His disciple’s attention to numerous birth pangs which will begin just a few years before His return. It is significant that the verse above mentions that all these things must come to pass. Everything Jesus lays out will happen – some of them are happening now. Jesus continues describing just what these things entail. Although Jesus is speaking to the Nation of Israel, of those folks who will still be alive at the end of the “Great Tribulation” just prior to His return, I believe the birth pangs He speaks about are a warning sign for all who will believe and trust Him. In the next verse you will see why I believe the birth pangs have begun.

 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12. If I were to restate his verse so that the meaning would be even clearer than how it’s written above, I would state it thusly: “When lawlessness thrives and is coupled with extreme wickedness, and as this scenario becomes more and more pervasive on the world scene, then what humanity has enjoyed in the past in regards to kindness, affection, benevolence, charity, and brotherly love will be nonexistent. Then the new breed of human (the hybrid) filled with hate, malice, wickedness, and cruelty takes over” (please understand that these are my words, I’m not attempting to put my words in the Bible – only to provide a more clear understanding). If we look into the original Greek words my explanation above would be pretty close to what Jesus was telling His disciples. The period of time Jesus refers to will be extremely frightening, and there is every indication that that period of time has arrived.

 The closer we get to the time of Christ’s return the more improbable will be the sights that we see and even sounds that we hear. Improbable in that they will consist of what we’ve always been taught as being that of the realm of myth (supernatural). My wife and I heard a sound the other day that was completely abnormal. It was a noise that seemed to come out of nowhere and grew louder and louder, similar to an approaching train. We had walked down the rural road we live on to our mailbox, about an eighth of a mile. As we were just about to the mailbox, the sound started. There was a slight breeze but not really enough of a wind that would create a loud howling noise. No planes in the air above us, and no approaching automobiles on the main road. We were perplexed to say the least. What was it? I have no idea, it simply stopped. But the dimension of the malevolent supernatural is invading our world and they are becoming more and more brazen with their antics, allowing many people to see things they don’t want to see, or hear things no human can explain.

 UFO’s are reported every ten minutes somewhere on planet earth. That’s a lot of sightings by many people, people from every walk of life. The beings that operate these craft are, at times, allowing themselves to be seen, and for the most part they are described as creatures with no resemblance to human beings. The investigative data that I’ve studied points to these beings as inter-dimensional not extraterrestrial. They’re not traveling from distant galaxies to interact benevolently with earthlings. They are appearing and disappearing as though popping in and out of other dimensions. Why are they coming? I believe it is to create an atmosphere of fear and confusion. The beings that traverse dimensions can be benevolent or malevolent and we should be keenly aware of the current incursion by many malevolent beings in these last days. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37.    

 I believe Satan’s goal is to build an army that he can fully control, thus command to fight at the last war which the Bible refers to as Armageddon. He’s not just content with readying this horde for battle with the Lord, but while the Lord tarries, Satan will be focused on inflicting a world of hurt on humanity in ways we would never have conceived, all to create an atmosphere of fear and confusion. He’s done it before, and he’s prophesied to do it again in the last days. The stories of these marauding bands of soulless misfits exploding on the scene today are from various news releases I’ve read over the past few months. I’m sure most of you have been privy to these same articles but perhaps had not connected the dots. 

 I mentioned birth pangs earlier and I was alluding to a gradual but burgeoning set of conditions. As the birth pangs Jesus speaks of run the gamut from minute to extreme, the church can be seen at the beginning of those birth pangs. But as they become more and more severe, without warning, in the twinkling of an eye, the church disappears and the only people remaining to experience all the mayhem and misery created by these fallen angels and their soulless hybrids are the Christ rejecters. If you’ve never said yes to Jesus Christ, and you remain in that state of mind, then those extremely harsh birth pangs are going to be yours to experience.

 I’ve done my own research and am convinced humanity is in its last stage. I would hope that everyone who reads this commentary will be motivated to explore the plethora of research data on the subject of a post-human world, the world of the genetically modified human. God will not allow this corruption of His creation to go much further. As I’ve stated, the research has progressed to the stage that scientists are convinced that it’s time to alter the genome of humans. We are in the last days, and Jesus is on His way.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2941

Jan 10

Gog’s Evil Thought

Interesting article from Terry James of Rapture Ready.com. Enjoy!

Gog’s “Evil Thought”

By Terry James
One can sense the dark, coalescing thoughts that are going on within the 2012 presidential election cabals. No, I’m not talking about the U.S. presidential election smoke-filled, back-room wheeling and dealing. Rather, I refer to the intrigues that are no doubt presently taking place in the political chambers of Moscow. A very interesting Russian politician we all know about sits snugly ensconced within the seat of power at the Kremlin, despite the façade he and his fellows present that he is candidate for the Russian presidency. Mysterious doings revolve around this self-promoting, sixty-year-old former KGB officer with his ongoing macho performances, both actual and of questionable credibility.

We remember his photo ops on the shores of the Black Sea and other places where he proudly displayed his six-pack abs. Then, there is the story where he single-handedly dove into the depths of some body of water, then came up with hands full of treasure—treasure that no one, not even professional marine salvage crews were previously able to find.

Vladimir Putin, although officially in a secondary position within the Russian governmental system because of constitutional restrictions regarding succession, nonetheless moves ahead paying scant attention to the fact that he has not yet been elected once again to the nation’s top post. There is little observable opposition to his power-brokering and manipulations, either officially or unofficially. It is as if his is a predestined leadership imperative for his most prophetically significant nation.

One billionaire Russian accuses Putin of trying to reprise a system at least somewhat similar to the Soviet Union, and is opposing Putin’s campaign for the Russian presidency, but isn’t making much headway. One wonders just how long such opposition will be allowed, when considering the recent track records of those who opposed ol’ Vlad. Many of these are in gulag—or are no longer among the living.

A couple of recent news items piqued my interest regarding this man who so dominates the news coming out of the country that many of us who observe prophetic movement believe will be the nation that will lead the Gog-Magog attack of Ezekiel 38-39. Putin’s thinking about Russia’s future differs from the Soviet model in some significant ways, according to one of those articles. At the same time, I find Putin’s emphasis on economy particularly fascinating. His thought is not necessarily on taking over nations surrounding Russia, but in sucking those nations into an inescapable fiscal orbit. The news story explains:

Vladimir Putin has a vision for a Soviet Union-lite he hopes will become a new Moscow-led global powerhouse. But, his planned Eurasian Union won’t be grounded in ideology: This time it’s about trade.

The concept of regional economic integration may be losing some of its allure in Europe, where a debt crisis is threatening the existence of the eurozone. But some countries across the former Soviet Union, still struggling economically 20 years after becoming independent, are embracing Putin’s grand ambition…

In anticipation of a new six-year term as president, Putin has made forming a Eurasian Union by 2015 a foreign policy priority. He is promoting the union as necessary for Russia and its neighbors to compete in the modern global economy. His broader goal is to restore some of Moscow’s economic and political clout across former Soviet space and thus strengthen Russia’s position in the world… (Peter Leonard, Associated Press, ” Russia’s Putin Dreams of Sweeping Eurasian Union,” 1/3/12)

Mr. Putin’s thought, obviously, is to convince those he hopes to lure within his orbit that great economic gain is a possibility in such a coalition as he will put together once he is president of Russia. This kind of thinking, of course, might just be the nucleus around which could be built a much more ambitious and volatile plan of action. Might that plan include a future invasion to the south as outlined in the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecy?

Certainly, that prophecy indicates an ambitious and volatile plan of action following the Magog coalition leader’s “evil thought” of Ezekiel 38:10-12. Until relatively recently, Israel has had little prospect for great wealth of the sort indicated in this prophecy that would entice such a thought or action by enemies to the north. Oh, there has long been talk of great mineral wealth in the Dead Sea, which is within the territory of the tiny nation of Israel today. But there seems to be little interest of Israel’s enemies in those very uncertain riches. But, such wealth as would be sufficiently enticing to provoke that future “Gog” to think to attack Israel has appeared on the prophetic horizon—in my view, at least.

The second news item that caught my attention explains further:

As the liquid oil supply curve continues to drop on an international level, oil prices will only rise dramatically, necessitating the development of unconventional oil productions, IEI CEO Relik Shafir told The Jerusalem Post at a meeting in Tel Aviv on Monday. Creating oil from shale—a dark sedimentary rock containing hydrocarbons—is one such unconventional method, and resources are particularly robust in Israel, Jordan, North America, Russia, Mongolia, China and Australia, according to Shafir…

“Our vision is to allow Israel energy independence,” Shafir said. “This is the vision that brought Harold Vinegar to Israel to make aliya, and the vision of the company.”

In Israel’s case, the largest source of shale is in the Shfela basin region outside Jerusalem, where the hydrocarbons are located between 200 and 400 meters below the surface, beneath an impermeable layer of rock… (Sharon Udasin, “Shale: A Sound Way to Achieve Energy Independence,” Jerusalem Post, 1/3/12)

While the tables of world oil reserves continue to drop dramatically, will the genius that God has placed within the progeny of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob leap to the forefront of petroleum technology and produce the “spoil” that will provoke Gog to bring his coalition down over the mountains of Israel? This is a developing story to which every watchmen of Bible prophecy should pay attention.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2920

Dec 13

Jerusalem: A Cup of Trembling

A Cup of Trembling

By Jack Kelley

This is the word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, Who stretches out the Heavens Who lays the foundations of the Earth, and Who forms the spirit of man within him declares, “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.

On that day when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves” (Zech 12:1-3).

True, the ultimate fulfillment of this passage will come at the very end of the age, but a careful reading shows the progressive nature of the prophecy. First the surrounding nations will be sent reeling, with both Judah (West Bank) and Jerusalem besieged. Ultimately all the nations of the earth will be involved, and those who move against Jerusalem will wind up injuring themselves. And please don’t miss the way the Author identifies Himself: the One Who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth and forms man’s spirit within him. Not much doubt as to Who’s speaking, so we better pay attention.

When Will These Things Happen?

It’s safe to say that all the nations of the earth are troubled over Jerusalem today. They realize the ease with which the whole world could be drawn into a conflict in the Middle East. And almost all are already aligned against Jerusalem. Remember, the prophecy is initially focused on the surrounding peoples and indicates that Judah and Jerusalem will be besieged. The degree to which this part of the prophecy is already being fulfilled is frightening. Much of the land bordering Israel has become little more than an armed camp, filled with troops at the ready.

Hezbollah has been moving their rockets and missiles into position again with Lebanon’s full support, while steadily increasing their inventories of weaponry. Syria also has troops along Israel’s northern border as well as missiles set to fire upon Israeli cities. In the South Hamas and the PA are no less prepared. Recent reports confirm that large numbers of rockets and missiles from Libya have turned up in Gaza. Together, these next door neighbors claim that every city in Israel is now within missile range. In it’s headline report on Dec. 5, 2011 Debkafile assessed the likelihood of war in the Middle East, including an Israeli attack on Iran, to be very high between mid-December and mid-January. The US and Russia have both stationed powerful fleets in the Eastern Mediterranean against this possibility. There’s still time for diplomacy but for now no one believes a diplomatic solution will be forthcoming.

Psalm 83

As a result, this is beginning to look like a run-up to Psalm 83, a battle that’s never happened, but involves all of Israel’s next door neighbors in an effort to “destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more” (Psalm 83:4). The Psalmist pleads with God to pursue Israel’s neighbors with His tempest and terrify them with His storm so they will perish in disgrace (Psalm 83:15-17). I believe his prayer will be answered because this outcome is necessary to set the stage for Ezekiel 38-39.

Isaiah 17, An Oracle Against Damascus

We should also consider what could be a related prophecy from Isaiah 17. It was partially fulfilled in 732 BC when the Assyrians conquered Damascus (Aram). But never did Damascus cease to be inhabited as the prophecy requires (Isaiah 17:1). In fact to this day Damascus is described as the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, over 5000 years and counting. The fortified city in vs. 3 was Samaria, capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. It was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 BC. The Northern Kingdom consisted of the 10 tribes of Israel who rebelled in the religious upheaval that followed King Solomon’s death and was allied with Damascus against Assyria. Like Damascus it was defeated and its people carried off into captivity. Since Damascus was never destroyed and never ceased being inhabited, the world may have seen a partial fulfillment in history that points to a total fulfillment yet future to us.

Validating Prophecy

This is not unusual in Bible prophecy where the complete fulfillment of a passage may unfold over thousands of years. You receive an example of this in the mail every Christmas. It comes in the form of a Christmas card that says,

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. And the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6).

The passage goes on to explain that He will sit on David’s throne and reign in peace forever.

Only the first phrase of this passage has come to pass. The Child was born, the Son was given. The rest of the passage awaits His 2nd coming, but the fact that He was born confirms that the rest will take place as well. Partial fulfillment is the Lord’s way of validating End Times prophecies thousands of years in advance.

The Oracle against Damascus is a lot like the one against Babylon in Isaiah 13-14, where Babylon is also described as being so totally destroyed that it would never be inhabited again. For many years scholars believed this prophecy was fulfilled when the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon about 535 BC. It took the Gulf War to show us that Saddam Hussein had spent billions re-building Babylon, and to realize that Babylon was never destroyed in the manner the Bible describes. It has in fact been occupied almost continuously since its construction 2700 years ago. The City of Babylon will play a major role in world events at the end of the age before its final and total destruction, foretold in Rev. 18.

Back To Damascus

Admittedly the Oracle against Damascus in Isaiah 17 is somewhat more obscure. Scholars who place fulfillment of this passage in our time rely on four things:

  1. The phrase in vs. 1 “Damascus will no longer be a city”
  2. The multiple use of the phrase “in that day” through out the passage (vs. 4, 7, 9) which often hints of the end times
  3. Men will “Look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel,” see below,
  4. The mention of many nations in vs.12-14 would seem to include more than just Assyria.

Regarding point 3 there was a temporary revival in the southern kingdom under King Hezekiah that spared Jerusalem from the Assyrians, but nowhere is a revival in the northern kingdom or among the Arameans (Damascus was the capital of Aram) or Assyrians mentioned in history. And yet in Isaiah 19:23-25 Assyria is mentioned with Egypt and Israel as being called “My people, My handiwork, and My inheritance” by God in the millennium. This reconciliation with God is still in the future.

Soon And Very Soon

The USA and Europe have been warning Israel that an attack on Iran would not only result in a wider war in the Middle East, but would also deliver a severe blow to an already reeling world economy. Because of this US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently said that Israel has to come to terms with a Nuclear Iran, an Islamized Middle East, and reliance on the US for protection.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said sometimes making a risky decision carries a heavy price, but the price for not making it would be heavier. Reliable observers interpret this to mean when the time comes to attack Iran, whatever repercussions it could cause will not be considered in light of the threat to Israel’s continued existence. We’ll soon know whether that time has come.

You can almost hear the Footsteps of the Messiah!

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2826

Oct 15

The End of the Last Days

Here is an interesting study from Matt Leasher on how we are in the last of the Last Days. People and believers are scoffing about the Lord’s return! Read and understand!

The End Of The Last Days

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2609

May 06

As the Days of Noah

Here is another piece of the puzzle cocerning the Lord’s return. In Matthew 24:30-40 Jesus describes the earth as being like in the days of Noah when He returns.From the account in Genesis 6 we know that giants walked the earth. Fallen angels had come and married women and giants were produced. The mighty men of reknown.

Nephilm. I am attaching a great article by JR Church on the topic. Read this one it will be an eye opener for you.

Keep looking up!

As the Days of Noah

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1568

Apr 22

Muslim Antichrist: Read This!

Please read the attached study for more info around a Muslim Antichrist! Remember what your Lord did for you on this day!

The Muslim Antichrist

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1515

Feb 18

Caliphate and Islamic Antichrist Coming Together

Antichrist Part 1

Yesterday even Glenn Beck from Fox news did an outstanding job of talking about where what we are seeing in the Middle East today is quickly taking us. We are witnessing the early formation of the Beast Kingdom from Revelation 13. It is sad that a TV personality is making the connections to what is happening around us but most of the Christian church is oblivious to it! And does not even know where in the Bible to find these things about the Second Coming of Christ.

Jesus warned us this would happen. He likened it to what happened at His first coming. The men who should have known better than anyone, the Pharisees, did not see His coming that was foretold in Daniel. Well this is happening again in His church as the majority of Christian pasotrs and leaders are not seeing the Second Coming very clearly.

Jesus warns us in 1 Thess. 5:1-10 that since we are children of God and Light we should not need to be taught these things. We should be alert and looking. here is what this passage says:

Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Also in Mark 13:33-37 to Watch! It is a command. The verses say:

Be on guard! Be alert[e]! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”

So we need to understand events as they unfold in front of us. I am attaching a great resource for you to try to follow the events around the Caliphate and the Islamic Antichrist for you to study and gain wisdom!

Keep looking up!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1327

Jan 12

And the Moon will turn into Blood

Read the article I am attaching from Jack Kinsella. Eye opening. Jesus told us there would be signs in the sun, moon, stars prior to His return. You need to really read this article to be informed.

‘And the Moon into Blood’

By Jack Kinsella
The Omega Letter

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.” (Joel 2:31)

Throughout history, solar and lunar eclipses have been taken as a sign from Deity. In 585 BC, a solar eclipse darkened the battlefield during a pitched battle between the warring Medes and Lydians.

At the sun’s disappearance, both sides laid down their arms and declared a truce.

The ancient Chinese believed it was the sign of a dragon which had swallowed the sun. They believed that the dragon had to be slain to prevent the end of the world.

So every eclipse, they would sweat it out, praying that whoever was facing the dragon would prevail.

China’s ancient astronomers were tasked with predicting when the dragon would arrive to swallow the sun – a time dominated by rituals of drums and chanting.

The emperor depended on the advance notice in order to send his archers to scare off sun-swallowing dragons. Dragons played a similar role in explaining eclipses in ancient India and Indonesia.

Ancient astrologers were very good at predicting eclipses. Besides the Chinese, the Magi of Mesopotamia kept very detailed records and both the Greeks and Romans had similar astrological systems incorporated into their religions.

There was a total lunar eclipse just before Christmas. It was the first total lunar eclipse in almost three years. It was the first total lunar eclipse to occur on the winter solstice (December 21) since 1638 and only the second since the time of Christ.

In addition, the December 21 eclipse was unusually red, due to the eruption of Mount Merapi in Indonesia in late October.

Less than two weeks later and only four days into 2011, a partial solar eclipse darkened the skies over Europe, North Africa and western Asia.

In most years, a solar eclipse is visible from somewhere on earth twice a year, with a corresponding lunar eclipse a couple of weeks later.

This year there will be four solar and two lunar eclipses – the one on January 4th, another solar eclipse June 1, a lunar eclipse June 15, a solar eclipse July 1, another solar on November 25 and a lunar eclipse on December 10.

Mark Blitz, pastor of El Shaddai Ministries in Bonner Lake, Washington, noted the unusual pattern of lunar and solar eclipse activity included a rare ‘tetrad’ to occur in 2014. A ‘tetrad’ is the name NASA assigns to the occurrence of four consecutive lunar eclipses, an event so rare this will be but the 8th time since the time of Christ.

The years 2014-2015 overlap into a Jewish Sabbatical year. Finally, Blitz noted that they will occur on the Jewish Feasts of Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and again in 2015.

J.R. Church noted that the two solar eclipse events will ALSO occur on Jewish Feast days; the first on Nisan 1, the Jewish New Year and the second on Tishri 1 (Rosh Hashana):

“On each of these six Jewish Holy Days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give her light, Will this happen again in the 21st century? No. Did it happen in the 20th century? Yes, in 1949/1950, the year following Israel’s statehood, and 1967/1968, the year Jerusalem was liberated in the Six-Day War! Before that, you have to go back to 1493 for four successive lunar eclipses on Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles.”

According to J.R. Church, Pastor Mark Blitz, and a number of others, this means that the coming 2014-2015 Sabbatical year is probably the beginning of the “final week of the end of this age” or the Tribulation.

Could They Be Right?

You will probably be surprised at the answer to that question. Yes, they could be right. Jesus said that among the signs of His soon return would be signs in the sun, moon and stars.

He wasn’t specific – He didn’t spell out what the signs would say. But He DID say where to look for them. He said they would be in the sun, moon and stars – but there is more to it than that. He said the signs would be accompanied by the distress of nations with perplexity, or confusion.

The ISV translates Luke 21:25 this way:

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and there will be distress on earth among the nations that are confused by the roaring of the sea and its waves.”

The signs in the sun are undeniable. For the last two solar cycles, and since the turn of the 21st century especially, the sun has been misbehaving in ways never seen in living memory.

“We’re witnessing something unlike anything we’ve seen in 100 years,” said David Hathaway of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama in a June 14, 2010 article at space.com.

Typically, a cycle lasts about 11 years, taking roughly 5.5 years to move from a solar minimum, a period of time when there are few sunspots, to peak at the solar maximum, during which sunspot activity is amplified.

The previous cycle 23’s extraordinary minimum recorded the highest number of days without sunspots that researchers had seen since 1913, said Hathaway.

According to the report, the sun is “out of synch” and has been since about the turn of the 21st century. And recent observations by astronomers using the space-based Hubble telescope almost always include the word “unusual.”

The unusually weak solar minimum has baffled those True Believers convinced that global warming is both a threat to the planet and caused by human activity. The planet appears to be cooling and human activity seems to have nothing to do with it.

But they continue to warn that without immediate and expensive remedial changes, melting ice in the oceans will cause the sea levels to rise and wash away coastlines.

So we have the sea and the waves roaring, causing worldwide fear and confusion. Particularly since melting ice doesn’t add water volume, but that is another story.

This story is about the possibility that Pastor Mark Blitz and J.R. Church could be right in their observation that the 2014-15 Sabbatical Year could be the first year of the Tribulation Period.

The admonition against date-setting is pretty precise.

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:36)

“But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up” (Matthew 24:43)

“Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Revelation 3:3)

Notice just how specific the admonition against date-setting really is. “The day and hour” – “which watch” and “what hour” – what Blitz and Church are looking at is what year.

Could they be right? Could we be but three years from the Rapture, at the most? Is it possible that they have, by watching the signs, correctly predicted the year the Tribulation will begin?

Sure, its possible! That is why Jesus GAVE us the signs of the times. So we would know what to look for. So we would know when it was near, even at the doors.

I’ll go a step further and say I even think they are probably right. The Lord is coming. And He is coming soon. Very soon. Maybe even before 2014.

It’s as sure as the sun in the morning and the moon at night.

Maranatha!

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