Thursday, December 29, 2005

STRATEGIC TRENDS:2005 YEAR IN REVIEW

STRATEGIC TRENDS: YEAR IN REVIEW - www.khouse.org

Our ministry goal is to create, develop, and distribute materials to stimulate, encourage, and facilitate serious study of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. Each week the eNews staff examines current events from a Biblical point-of-view. We sincerely hope our efforts have helped you gain a better understanding of the times in which we live. We also hope we have been able to demonstrate how the Bible is as relevant and accurate today as it was two thousand years ago when Jesus Christ walked on the shores of Galilee.

Our staff regularly monitors ten specific global, social, political, and economic trends that we feel are significant to the Body of Christ. We follow these Strategic Trends throughout the year on our website and in our various publications. Today we would like to review each of these trends and take a look back over some of this year's major milestones.

Weapons Proliferation

The acquisition of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons by both terrorists and rogue nations is perhaps one of the greatest threats to our national security. US intelligence officials have focused their attention on Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Pakistan, and North Korea in their attempts to stifle weapons proliferation. They have also kept a close watch on Russia and China, key suppliers of technology, components, and weaponry.

During the last twelve months Iran's nuclear program has become the focus of international attention. The EU has attempted to reopen dialogue in recent weeks, but there is little hope of reaching an agreement. Iran has vigorously pursued weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, chemical, and biological - and their delivery systems as well as advanced conventional weapons. To this end, Iran has sought foreign materials, training, equipment, and know-how from nations such as Russia, China, and Pakistan.

Missile tests conducted earlier this year by Iran may be part of the development of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) warhead. Iran has practiced detonating its Shahab-3 missiles while in mid-air, which has lead some intelligence officials to suspect that Iran is practicing the execution of an EMP attack. An electromagnetic pulse, triggered by a high-altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon, poses a considerable threat to our national security and is one of a small number of weapons that could be used to bring the whole of America to its knees. An EMP attack would strike what has become our Achilles heel – our relatively unprotected, yet vital, technological infrastructure.

The Struggle for Jerusalem

Yasser Arafat’s death has plunged the Palestinian leadership into a massive power struggle, with various groups and factions battling for control. Despite Mahmoud Abbas' clear victory in January's elections, organizations like Hamas still pose a serious threat to his leadership. Abbas has refused to confront armed groups for fear of civil war. Instead, he has attempted to woo militia members with the promise of jobs and political participation. His strategy, however, has not been effective. The Palestinian Authority is spiraling into chaos. Palestinian Security forces in the West Bank and Gaza are weak, ill-equipped, and divided. Their ability to maintain law and order suffers from shortages of equipment and ammunition, widespread corruption, financial mismanagement, and various other stumbling blocks to the its effectiveness. Meanwhile, terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' are better trained and better equipped.

The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza represents a major milestone in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. In August Israel evacuated all 21 Gaza settlements along with four of 120 settlements in the West Bank - a total of about 9000 settlers were forced to abandon their homes. Some believe that the Gaza withdrawal was necessary for Israel's security - although Israel will continue to control the borders, coastline and airspace of Gaza, it will no longer need to commit substantial military personnel and resources to the protection of settlers within Gaza. Yet in many respects, the Israeli evacuation of Gaza represents a victory for terrorism. In the minds of the Palestinian people, the Israeli withdrawal is proof that terrorism works.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's controversial plan to pull out of Gaza has caused division within the nation of Israel - even prompting talk of civil war. Sharon made headlines recently when he resigned his position in the Likud - the right-wing political party he founded in 1973. Sharon and his supporters left the Likud to establish a new political party that will be committed to reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians consistent with the US-backed Road Map Peace Plan. Sharon has named the new party Kadima, a Hebrew word which means "forward" in English.

America's Challenge

The blood shed on September 11, 2001 became the catalyst in the war on terrorism. That tragic event briefly united Americans in a common cause, however that unity has splintered. National tragedy may have amalgamated the masses, but growing differences in values and philosophy have driven a wedge down the middle of American society. Americans are fighting a battle both in foreign lands and here at home. In the war against terrorism our enemy is easily defined, however the domestic battle lines are more muddled. It would seem that, as a nation, we have begun to abandon the faith and values of our founding fathers.

Controversial topics like same-sex marriage, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and intelligent design have continued to divide the populace. Unlike the war on terror, however, this confrontation has primarily taken place in courtrooms rather than on battlefields. In many cases, such as the court battle over removing the words "under God" from the pledge, victory seems to hinge on the interpretation of our constitution and the defininition of the Establishment Clause, from which the concept of separation of church and state is derived.

Perhaps one of the events history will remember most about 2005, is the dramatic changes that have taken place in the Supreme Court. In July, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor stirred up Washington by announcing her resignation from the Supreme Court. Her resignation was followed a few months later by the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Rehnquist has since been replaced by John Roberts. Samuel Alito has been nominated to take the place of the Sandra Day O'Connor.

Rise of the European Superstate

Over the last few years we have watched closely as the European Union has emerged as a growing world power. Bulgaria and Romania are set to join the EU in January of 2007 and both Croatia and Turkey have begun negotiations for membership.

The consideration of Turkey as a possible member of the EU has put the spotlight on Europe's growing Islamic population. Islam is quickly becoming a significant part of the cultural and political landscape of Europe. There are between 9 and 15 million Muslims living throughout Europe today, and Islam has become the largest religious minority. Considering current population trends and the need for immigrant labor, it is likely that the number of Muslims in Europe will continue to grow exponentially.

The Muslim population in Europe has expanded so rapidly that it now appears Europe is experiencing growing pains. However the problem is not overcrowding, it is increased cultural tensions. The situation came to a head in November, when widespread rioting broke out in France - in which over 7,000 vehicles were torched and various public buildings and businesses were destroyed. France's failure to integrate its North African and Muslim minorities is seen as the key reason behind the rioting.

Global Government

Often seen as the future embodiment of global government, the UN has been the subject of increased scrutiny. While the investigation into the Oil-for-Food scandal is at its height, the UN has been bombarded by accusations of corruption and mismanagement. The Oil-for-Food Scandal is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. As evidence is uncovered, the more apparent it becomes that UN lacks accountability.

It should come as no surprise that amidst the scandal the UN has announced plans for a massive overhaul. The huge reforms will be unlike any changes made since the organization was founded in 1945. Historically, government never downsizes voluntarily; it always increases its power and minimizes accountability to its citizens. Government reinvention is frequently an effort to avoid the consequences of failed policies in the past, or to justify a government's continued expansion by posing solutions to the problems it has created. Over the last decade, the United Nations has unabashedly pushed for what it calls "global governance." The UN is positioning itself for global power, no doubt it will use the scandal and the ensuing "reforms" to advance closer to that goal.

The Rise of Islam

The Muslim faith is becoming an increasingly volatile catalyst in today's international scene. With the continuing threat of terrorist attacks in the United States, it has become of paramount importance to understand the origin, nature, and agenda of Islam.

Many Americans believe that Islam is a religion of peace and that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. In public schools we teach our children a doctrine of tolerance, and in some schools students are even required to memorize passages of the Koran. While in comparison Islamic children are taught that America is the Infidel. We are the enemy. When the towers came crashing down on September 11, 2001 and thousands of innocent people were killed, Muslims all over the world danced in the streets and praised the hijackers. A survey taken in Saudi Arabia shortly after the September 11 attacks reported that 95 percent of educated Saudi men between the ages of 25 and 41 backed bin Laden’s cause. Islamic terrorists are referred to in the West as radicals and extremists, while in the mid-east they are heralded by fundamentalists as martyrs and heroes, and the families of suicide bombers are rewarded monetary pensions. The disparity between the two perspectives is staggering.

To say that Islam is a peaceful religion requires turning a blind eye to the growing humanitarian crisis in Darfur, the bloodshed in Chechnya, the London terrorist bombings, and the ethnic conflicts in China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan and India – not to mention the ongoing violence throughout the Middle East.

The Magog Invasion

Many experts believe that a large-scale confrontation between Israel and its neighbors could be on the near horizon. Which has made Syria’s growing relationship with nations such as Iran and Russia more concerning. Over the past year or so, partly as a consequence of the war in Iraq, Russia has been carefully cultivating ties with Turkey, Iran and Syria. After losing the Mid-East foothold provided by Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the Russians have been building a new axis of power based on those three key countries.

Russia is now Turkey's second-largest trading partner, with a volume of $10 billion in trade per year. Russia has also strengthened ties with Iran by supplying it with nuclear-related technologies. Earlier this year Russia and Syria made plans to increase diplomatic and military cooperation. Russia wrote-off approximately 10 billion dollars of Syria’s Soviet-era debt and has supplied Syria with Russian made SA-18 surface-to-air missiles, in spite of Israel’s objections. Russian military experts have also been sent to the Gaza Strip to train Palestinian security forces. In addition to training, Russia is prepared to provide the Palestinians with armored vehicles, ammunition, and helicopters.

These developments could be a sign that the famed battle prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is on our near horizon. It is during this battle, that God will directly intercede to protect Israel from Magog and its allies.

The Rise of the Far East

China has quickly become a global power. In recent years, China has bought, borrowed, or stolen technology, which has catapulted its military capabilities into the modern high-tech arena. In the last year China has announced plans to launch 100 surveillance satellites, and has unveiled its new class of ballistic missile submarines. These submarines will be China’s first truly intercontinental strategic nuclear delivery system. The Chinese military is preparing for a war with the United States, a war which its commanders believe is inevitable.

In March the Chinese government passed an anti-secession law authorizing the use of military force should Taiwan formally declare its independence. The law also increased Chinese military spending. China wants to avoid entering into an armed conflict over Taiwan, but that does not mean it is unprepared or unwilling to go to war. China’s Foreign Minister made clear China’s intensions when he stated publicly "We will never allow separatist forces to secede from the great motherland...we will never allow it."

Over the last few years China has strengthened its ties with the Middle East. It is already one of the biggest suppliers of weapons and military technology to Arab nations and has become a major consumer of Middle Eastern oil.

Biotech and Global Pestilence

According to the National Institute of Health infectious diseases remain the leading cause of death worldwide, and the third leading cause of death in the United States. Diseases thought to be obsolete have once again become a global threat, and in recent years new pathogens have emerged, some of which carry antibiotic-resistant genes or mutations enabling them to move across different species.

The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have been preparing for a possible outbreak of the Avian virus (also known as the Bird Flu), which officials believe could become a global epidemic if a new virulent strain of the virus emerges that can jump readily from human to human. If there is an outbreak health workers estimate that it would spread rapidly and could kill anywhere from 2 million to 50 million people.

In February of this year embryologist Ian Wilmut, the scientist that brought us Dolly the sheep, was given permission by the British government to clone human embryos for medical research. The announcement has renewed debate over the scientific and ethical implications of cloning and embryonic stem cell research.

Global Religion

It may seem difficult to imagine the world united under one ruler and one religion, especially with the bloody ethnic battles taking place in the world today. However, the violence caused by religious and cultural conflicts could in fact be the catalyst that brings about drastic change. The desire for world peace, the deterioration of moral values in the Western world, the restriction of religious freedom in America, and the continued persecution of Christians in other parts of the world could all pave the way for the emergence of a global religion.

The Roman Catholic Church is one of the wealthiest, most powerful institutions on the Planet Earth today. It has almost one billion followers, approximately 20 percent of the world’s population. This year history witnessed the death of Pope John Paul II and selection of his successor, Pope Benedict XVI. The Roman Catholic Church - the Vatican - is poised to become the vehicle for the final ecumenical union of all religions. Many commentators believe that the religion of the Antichrist will not be atheism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, or New Age. It will a pagan form of Christianity.

Looking Ahead

As Christians, it is important for us to be able to recognize the "signs of the times" (Matthew 16:3), or as we like to call them, the "times of the signs". We are living in a very exciting age, about which the Bible has a lot to say if you really take the time to study it diligently. God made no mistake by placing us in this time and place, and as such we are admonished to be brave and to contend for the faith. We are soldiers in a mighty spiritual army. Each has a unique mission incapable of being filled by another. It is time to pray for direction and purpose, and then boldly do what He commands us to do. If we truly believe that we are in the "times of the signs", and that the coming of our Messiah is near, then we need to be about our Master's business. Our goal is to hear the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

THE FOUR HORSEMEN ARE READY TO RIDE.WILL 2006 BE THE YEAR? Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

2005 IS ALMOST OVER-WHAT'S NEXT?

Signals pointing to fulfillment of Bible prophecy continue to mount. The signs are in every direction on the horizon of this generation. We are convinced we must, in obedience to the commission to be good watchmen of issues and events in light of God's prophetic Word, propose scripturally sound possibilities for this last time. We will delve into likely scenarios that might play out on the stage of human history from now until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Specifically, we will forecast the probabilities of things to come for the next four years.

This is not an endeavor to try to set dates. Our goal is to offer perspective, both different and superior, scripturally, and rationally, to the endless number of predictions, made through wild speculations, that have turned out to be false. We don't make any claims of supernatural knowledge or secret intelligence reports. We base our forecasting upon Jesus' words of condemnation to those of His time on earth who were willfully blind to the common signs signaling His first coming.

"Jesus answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (Matt. 16:2-3)

If you were to look back into history 150 years, you would find that Bible prophecy follows a very steady rate of progress. Because man becomes bored with or desensitized to prophecy-related events, he fails to realize how simple the task of prophecy watching can be. No Christian who earnestly seeks to know what the Bible says about what will happen in the future will fail to discern the signals.

The European Union

The EU has evolved from its genesis as the Club of Rome in the mid-20th century to become the 25-nation geopolitical entity we believe will ultimately provide the power base for Antichrist (Rev. 17:12-13).

As it looks now, the European Union, while a growing behemoth, will likely remain in the shadow of the United States until some future dynamic changes the present circumstances.

Because the Bible predicts the revived Roman empire will initially be a weak government, the next four years will likely continue to see the EU struggle with internal strife. Despite the conflicts and setbacks, the pro-EU forces will ultimately end up on top of the climb toward global power. Watch for the EU to assert its strengthening economic and military power while the next four years unfold.

Terrorism

If the prophetic birth pangs are going to increase with greater frequency and intensity, it is logical to assume that terrorism, as part of the end-time mix, will increase from this point. The world has yet to experience a large-scale terrorist attack involving weapons of mass destruction. We believe it is only a matter of time before the world is brought to a new level of shock as WMDs kill large numbers of innocent people.

It is very possible the Antichrist will rise to power as a result of a climate of fear involving terrorism. The Word of God indicates we are headed towards a period so frightening that men will die prematurely from fear.

"Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken" (Lk. 21:26).

Watch for terrorism to rise to the level of catastrophic use of weapons of mass destruction. Terrorism will inevitably bring with the dangers involved, liberty-oppressing ramifications throughout the U.S., and the world.



Russia

In chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel, we are told that Russia and a host of Arab and other nations will attempt an invasion of Israel. Prophetic scholars have been puzzled by the "evil thought" that will cause Russia to come against the tiny nation of Israel.

"Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, [that] at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought" (Ezek. 38:10).

The Gog prophecies appeared to many to be tailor-made for the geographical area once within the Soviet Union. When the USSR fell and was replaced by a freely elected democratic government, most prophecy watchers were in a state of denial about the validity of the reforms. Now that Vladimir Putin is rapidly reversing Russia's experience with freedom, we're getting an indication that the geopolitical realities that will produce the prophesied leader, Gog, are in place today.

Watch for Russia to drift away from democratic ideals. As it does so, we expect to see that nation embark on a new drive toward militarism. At some point, Putin's desire for even more power will cause him to exert strong-arm influence on the weaker nations surrounding Russia. The test of how near we are to Russia's prophesied campaign against Israel depends on how the world community reacts to Putin's likely coming move.

Mark of the Beast - 666

Actually, very little advancement is required before we reach the point at which the world will utilize a centralize financial system to control all economic transactions. The technology now exists and is ready for full implementation around the globe. The changes we see in the next few years may be very subtle, but they will have a profound impact.

By 2006, most consumer products will become tagged with radio ID chips (RFID). Once all the items on our store shelves become tagged, the logical question will be asked: "Why aren't humans marked?" As the tags become more popular, watch and listen for more serious talk about a cashless society, then for dynamic movement to implement it.

"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Rev. 13:16-17).

The United States

Because prophecy does not specifically cite the United States as being a major player in the end times, one can assume with good reason that our nation will become a secondary player in the final days leading up to the tribulation.

It is possible a devastating event might remove the U.S. from the world stage. For example, with a total national debt of $7.4 trillion and a trade deficit of roughly $500 billion for 2004, the American economy could implode from its own excess.

We believe America's position as the number-one global economic power will continue to diminish while the EU's economic fortune rises. U.S. resources are massive, but not without limits. The constant drain on them from expansive policing responsibilities around the world may trigger a breakpoint. Dependence upon fossil fuel to power both the engines of its vehicles and the engine of its commerce add to the strain on the U.S. economy. Watch for the spiritual and political division at the nation's core to worsen if Christians continue to make material matters their priority.

The Israeli-Arab Conflict

In the near future Israel and her Arab neighbors may experience a new level of hostility that will grab the world's attention like never before. Because Antichrist is predicted to be the guarantor of peace for Israel and its enemy neighbors, there must be a conflict of considerable magnitude for him to resolve. With Syria and Iran possessing weapons of mass destruction, that level of conflict could come when Israel tries to preemptively disarm one or both of these nations. Watch for such action, if it occurs, to thrust Israel toward isolation foretold in the following prophecy:

"And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it" (Zech. 12:3).

China

The Bible tells us that someday a huge military alliance will invade the Middle East with an army of 200 million soldiers. Because China is about the only nation with the ability to man and effectively outfit an army of such massive size, prophecy watchers have looked for it to fulfill the role of the kings of the east found in the following prophecy:

"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared" (Rev. 16:12 ).

"Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them" (Rev. 9:16 ).

Watch for China's economic might to continue to grow. We expect that its need for natural resources will cause the Communist state to become more determined to project its influence on a global scale. We also think that China's relationship with the U.S. will become strained by the need to compete for those dwindling resources.

Morality

The decline in morality has been one of the easiest end-time signs to project. Over the past decade, the filth spewing from the media has steadily increased, its society-infecting contents flushing the nation and the world ever lower toward the cesspool of cultural depravity. Many short-lived attempts at reversing the trend have been made, but all have failed. It is likely that over the next four years, profanity and nudity will descend to new lows.

The growing availability of satellite and internet outlets that are beyond the reach of federal regulators will almost certainly speed the decline. "Shock jock" Howard Stern has already realized he can escape the wrath of the FCC by moving his radio program to the Sirus satellite network. Watch for entertainment media to severely test the broadcast and cable morality monitors at every turn. Since the regulators themselves approach life from a sin-fallen perspective, things will go from bad to worse.

Apostasy

One of the best ways to measure levels of apostasy is to track the activity of popular Christian leaders who are heavily involved in heretical doctrine. For a number of years, Rapture Ready has reported on the activity of leading figures in the word of faith movement. Until now, their errors have mostly been confined to teaching that corrupts the Gospel message.

Because there is no such thing as stagnant apostasy, in the next four years, we expect to experience examples of Christian leaders adopting doctrines that conflict directly with the heart of Christianity. Watch for some of the key indicators of apostasy to proliferate greatly. Some of these are: bold statements that reject Jesus as the only way of salvation; the acceptance of homosexual lifestyle; and hate-filled words and actions against true believers.

Oil

Man has just about discovered all the major oil fields on the planet that are going to be found, according to some experts. In fact, the rate of discovery of worldwide oil reserves, after declining for 40 years, is reported to have nosed dived in recent years. In 2000, there were 16 large discoveries of oil, eight in 2001, three in 2002, and none in 2003, notes James Meyer, director of the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre in London.

While more and more nations become industrialized, the focus on oil supplies is going to force the world's attention even more dramatically in the direction of the Middle East. Watch for the rise in the value of oil over the coming four years. That will in all likelihood lead to stronger military ties, as oil wealth is exchanged for armaments.

The Harlot Church

Bible prophecy forewarns that during the end times, a demonic spiritual movement will use love and understanding to create a global pantheon of religions. The result will be an organization that promotes the false belief that all roads lead to the Creator. Because Jesus Christ said that He is the only way to God, anyone who holds to this truth will be labeled intolerant.

In the next few years anyone who disagrees with that developing religious system of "tolerance" will not be tolerated. In the name of tolerance, Christians will be pushed to the margins of what is considered "tolerant" society. Already, our culture has reached the point that it is a hate crime for someone to declare the supremacy of Jesus Christ. Scripture foretells the result of the trends in this direction:

"And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration" (Rev. 17:4-6)

Watch for increasingly stringent legislative proposals, and, particularly, for more court actions and edicts aimed at putting a clamp on Christians expressing godly values in most every area of life in America.

People of the United states and the world are entering a time rife with probabilities that will present great danger to personal liberty. The next four years will, at the same time, offer possibilities full of great opportunity to live victoriously through Christ.

Friday, December 23, 2005

JESUS CHRIST,ONLY HOPE FOR A DOOMED WORLD

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays
By Nathan Tabor

What's the real difference between wishing someone a "Merry Christmas" or instead, saying "Happy Holidays?" Both are said in kindness, meant to wish someone well during the same time of year. It seems that the two should be interchangable, that they both essentially mean the same thing. Therefore, when someone takes offense to being wished a "Merry Christmas", it seems like no big deal to just substitute "Happy Holidays" and be done with it. It may seem like no big deal, but it is.

A Very Big Deal.

Christmas is not just any old holiday. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, and the teachings of good will and kindness towards one another that Christ brought to this world. We celebrate his birth not only to honor Him, but to remind ourselves of how we strive to live our lives of faith.

The majority of Americans belong to a religion or faith that believes in the teachings of Jesus. Why is the majority being asked to hide their faith for the so called 'comfort' of a minority? Our country is based on majority rule. While it would be unreasonable to force all to be the religion of the majority, it is equally unreasonable to ask the majority to deny their faith because a select few are uncomfortable. Yet, this is exactly what is happening.

We deny our children the right to celebrate Christmas in their public schools. They are not allowed to sing Christmas carols, decorate Christmas trees or even hand out candy canes with religious sentiments. In fact, some of our children have been punished, suspended or chastized for doing so. What message does this send to our children? It implies that there is something wrong with expressing faith in Jesus. It subtly pulls them away from their faith, while at the same time promoting other minority faiths as being somehow 'better' or more acceptable. Our children are damaged by these ridiculous practices, and it is time to put an end to the persecution of Christianity in our public schools. Christianity is the predominant faith of our country, it should not be treated as it it was deviant or radical or even subversive. Yet, it is. Small wonder that our society is moving farther away from religion and losing touch with the discipline and moral code that religious practice offers.

It is also interesting to note that many non-christians celebrate Christmas. Has any Christian ever come out and condemned anyone for participating in the holiday without believing in Christ? Has any Christian group ever come out and denied a religious presentation in a public school by another religious group? Of course not. It is only Christianity which is repeatedly shunned from school celebrations. The liberal agenda is hard at work, making sure Jesus stays out of his own holiday.

The fact is that the teachings of Christ are the basis for our legal system and government. Thou shalt not kill, ( murder) covet thy neighbor's wife, (adultery) lie, steal, bear false witness, etc all come from the ten commandments. As a member of our society, we buy into these beliefs as true and sound. Therefore, we have a reason to celebrate Christmas even if we aren't Christian, as we are celebrating the fundamental cornerstones of our society.

What we lose when we generalize the Christmas season with the ambiguous "Happy Holidays" is the connection between Christ and Christmas. That is exactly what the liberals want us to do. They want to level the playing field and keep the minority in rule, instead of the rightful majority. Liberalism is socialism, and if you look at socialism or socialist countries you will find that they often do not allow religion. They don't want anything to compete with the influence of the government over its people. "Happy Holidays" is the first step in eradicating the most prominent religion from our society.

What can we do about this? We can remember to stand proud in our faith, and not allow ourselves to be browbeaten by the minority liberal agenda. We can set a place for Christ at our Christmas table, and make sure that our holiday is centered around the teachings of Jesus. We can take the time to renew our faith, and build upon the strength that our faith provides for us. We can greet one another with a boisterous "Merry Christmas!" and know we mean just that.

Copyright © 2005 by Nathan Tabor

Nathan Tabor is a conservative political activist based in Kernersville, North Carolina. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in public policy. He is a contributing editor at www.theconservativevoice.com and his :60 commentaries are heard on over 250 stations daily. Visit www.aconservativemoment.com to hear them. You can contact him at Nathan@nathantabor.com

Saturday, December 17, 2005

IN IRAN,ARMING FOR ARMAGEDDON

In Iran, Arming for Armageddon

By Charles Krauthammer





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Lest you get carried away with today's good news from Iraq, consider what's happening next door in Iran. The wild pronouncements of the new Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have gotten sporadic press ever since he called for Israel to be wiped off the map. He subsequently amended himself to say that Israel should simply be extirpated from the Middle East map and moved to some German or Austrian province. Perhaps near the site of an old extermination camp?


Except that there were no such camps, indeed no Holocaust at all, says Ahmadinejad. Nothing but "myth," a "legend" that was "fabricated . . . under the name 'Massacre of the Jews.' " This brought the usual reaction from European and American officials, who, with Churchillian rage and power, called these statements unacceptable. That something serious might accrue to Iran for this — say, expulsion from the United Nations for violating its most basic principle by advocating the outright eradication of a member state — is, of course, out of the question.


To be sure, Holocaust denial and calls for Israel's destruction are commonplace in the Middle East. They can be seen every day on Hezbollah TV, in Syrian media, in Egyptian editorials appearing in semiofficial newspapers. But none of these aspiring mass murderers are on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons that could do in one afternoon what it took Hitler six years to do: destroy an entire Jewish civilization and extinguish 6 million souls.


Everyone knows where Iran's nuclear weapons will be aimed. Everyone knows they will be put on Shahab rockets, which have been modified so that they can reach Israel. And everyone knows that if the button is ever pushed, it will be the end of Israel.


But it gets worse. The president of a country about to go nuclear is a confirmed believer in the coming apocalypse. Like Judaism and Christianity, Shiite Islam has its own version of the messianic return — the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam. The more devout believers in Iran pray at the Jamkaran mosque, which houses a well from which, some believe, he will emerge.


When Ahmadinejad unexpectedly won the presidential elections, he immediately gave $17 million of government funds to the shrine. Last month Ahmadinejad said publicly that the main mission of the Islamic Revolution is to pave the way for the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam.


And as in some versions of fundamentalist Christianity, the second coming will be accompanied by the usual trials and tribulations, death and destruction. Iranian journalist Hossein Bastani reported Ahmadinejad saying in official meetings that the hidden imam will reappear in two years.


So a Holocaust-denying, virulently anti-Semitic, aspiring genocidist, on the verge of acquiring weapons of the apocalypse, believes that the end is not only near but nearer than the next American presidential election. (Pity the Democrats. They cannot catch a break.) This kind of man would have, to put it gently, less inhibition about starting Armageddon than a normal person. Indeed, with millennial bliss pending, he would have positive incentive to, as they say in Jewish eschatology, hasten the end.


To be sure, there are such madmen among the other monotheisms. The Temple Mount Faithful in Israel would like the al-Aqsa mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount destroyed to make way for the third Jewish Temple and the messianic era. The difference with Iran, however, is that there are all of about 50 of these nuts in Israel, and none of them is president.


The closest we've come to a messianically inclined leader in America was a secretary of the interior who 24 years ago, when asked about his stewardship of the environment, told Congress: "I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns; whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations." But James Watt's domain was the forest, and his weapon of choice was the chainsaw. He was not in charge of nuclear weapons to be placed on missiles that are paraded through the streets with, literally, Israel's name on them.


(They are adorned with banners reading "Israel must be wiped off the map.") It gets worse. After his U.N. speech in September, Ahmadinejad was caught on videotape telling a cleric that during the speech an aura, a halo, appeared around his head right on the podium of the General Assembly. "I felt the atmosphere suddenly change. And for those 27 or 28 minutes, the leaders of the world did not blink. . . . It seemed as if a hand was holding them there, and it opened their eyes to receive the message from the Islamic Republic."


Negotiations to deny this certifiable lunatic genocidal weapons have been going nowhere. Everyone knows they will go nowhere. And no one will do anything about it.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

LET THOSE THAT HAVE EARS HEAR

A serious word of prophecy!

Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:20, 21)

This is such an awesome word in its specificity and seriousness from a loving and tenderhearted man, Maurice Sklar, also a magnificent violist, whom I love and respect as a true brother and servant of the Lord, that I feel to send it on almost in its entirety to you, hoping it will cause us to seek the Lord with all of our hearts for cleansing and dedication to His purposes and turning from everything that still keeps us captive. May it be so!

Yours,

Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director International Christian Zionist Center

THE PREPARATION OF THE BRIDE - Nov 24, 2005

"And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write… I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew (vomit) thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white rainment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." ( Revelation 3:14-22)

As I was reading and meditating on this scripture, the Lord said to me:

"I am sending my refining fire into the church. I am separating My bride from the Laodicean church of today. I am preparing her. I am purifying her. She will be without spot and without blemish. I will return for her in the midnight hour. Only those that are watching and praying; only those who are embracing the message of the cross and holiness; only those that walk in the power of My spirit in moment by moment obedience; only those who are overcomers will be a part of My bride.

Most of those in the church will not be ready for Me when I come for My bride. Many think they are saved, but they are not at all. They are serving pleasures, lusts, and are in love with themselves. They are consumed with this present world and its' selfish ways. They are in love with money, success, and covet fame, position and power. They do not want to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Me. They refuse to forsake all. Therefore, they will not be ready and will be left behind to face the great judgments that are about to come upon the world. Warn those that are lukewarm and have left their first love for Me, that if they do not repent, I will vomit them from My body.

I am preparing My bride. This is her hour of glory! I am purifying her. I am adorning her with My crowns and My jewels and My beautiful gowns. She shall be without spot or blemish. She will be dressed in My robes of righteousness – pure, clean and white. Who will come to Me and buy from Me what they so desperately need? It still is not too late. Repent, and return to Me with all of your hearts, so that you do not perish with this evil world.

I am sending a mighty army from mainland China along the old silk trade routes and into the unreached nations that have been called the 10/40 window. When they finally reach Jerusalem, THEN KNOW that the wedding day is upon you. Look up, for your redemption draweth nigh. I will then come in the clouds and meet you in the air! But, the remaining nations must still hear my gospel of grace. This will be the final and greatest harvest that the world has ever seen.

Many hundreds of millions are waiting to hear the good news in China, in India, and in the other Buddhist and Muslim dominated regions of Asia, the near east and the middle east, as well as the poorest of nations in Africa and central and South America, as well as the hundreds of islands in the oceans of the earth. I am shifting my focus to them. But you, O church of America and the West have prostituted yourself at every opportunity before every high place and idol shrine. You have substituted religion for My Presence. You shall surely perish when the fullness of My wrath comes upon Babylon. You shall be utterly burned with fire. You have heard and received the fullness of My love and grace, America. Still, you spit in My face and harden your hearts and refuse to turn back to Me.

Europe, you rejected Me and threw Me out. For hundreds of years you provoked Me to wrath. You despised My people Israel and slaughtered them in a rage that reached to heaven after robbing the Jewish people and throwing them out of nation after nation. You did this all in My Name!! How can you escape the wrath to come?! You cannot. Therefore, you shall receive and drink the fullness of My cup of wrath. Prepare to meet your God, O Europe! Europe, you shall receive 'the king' that you desire to worship instead of Me. He is soon to come forth. When you receive his mark, you will be eternally damned.

O Babylon, You drove My people from their homes in Gaza, and then started upon Judea and Samaria in Israel. Therefore, I will drive you from your homes in direct proportion, as you have seen in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast. There will follow two more judgments – one in a major city of Europe and one in the Arab nations in the middle east before the end of this year.

I will shake California in a warning, and then there shall finally come the earthquake that I have mercifully withheld for so many years. Millions shall perish in the ensuing floods and the west coast of America shall be removed and fall into the ocean. Boston shall experience a major attack upon a great school that once preached My gospel in ages past but has left the faith of their fathers – never to return again. It will never be rebuilt again. There shall be 5 terrorist attacks that will hit America in ever increasing destruction upon the major cities. Before the end of 2007, a nuclear "dirty bomb" will blow up in a major city in the south of America.

New York City will receive 3 major judgments before the end of 2008. Each one will be more devastating than the last. One will shake the entire financial world and cripple the once invincible financial power of America. Millions will lose everything in a moment. It will make the crash of the stock market in 1929 look like a little thing in comparison. America will no longer be the financial leader of the world. Another judgment will destroy a major stadium during a sports event. Yet another explosion will destroy nearly an entire Borough of New York. But for the sake of the Jewish people in New York, I will supernaturally spare them. After this, I will cause the largest aliyah (return) of My people (the Jewish people) from New York (and other regions throughout the developed world to Israel) in all of history. But only after the entire financial system that they are dependant on collapses will they all return to the land that I have promised them.

Tokyo, Japan. Hong Kong, China. Johannesburg, South Africa. Calcutta, India. Sidney, Australia. Chicago, Illinois. Los Angeles, California. Paris, France and many other cities will experience major catastrophies in the next five years. Millions upon millions will perish. The aids epidemic will devastate the population in Africa to half of its' present size in the next 4 years. Many other incurable diseases, famine, drought and starvation will soon devastate the under-developed nations of the world in a way that has never occurred before. North Korea will launch a sudden nuclear attack and then be completely destroyed. Only the prayers of South Korea can stop it. Pakistan will become a leading center for world terrorism and will experience a nuclear attack, also.

Israel is soon to once again send their planes and blow up the nuclear "plants" of Iran. Syria will soon collapse economically and be replaced by a fanatical Islamic government. A major coordinated Al Qaeda terrorist attack will blow up many historic places in Europe that were once bastions of true Christian faith, worship, art and music.

If America does not stand up now and defend Israel instead of forcing Israel from their land, we will continue to face the devastating consequences here.

This is but a fraction of what is soon to come if there is not repentance and turning back to Me.

I will shake all the nations, and then after each disaster, I will pour out My grace and bring in a mighty harvest of souls for My kingdom. As birth contractions happen with a pregnant woman, so will these events happen ever faster and greater. Each one will be more devastating than the last one, and each one will come closer and closer together. Haven't I said exactly this in My Word? Each disaster will judge and smash an idol that is worshipped by the world system of Babylon. I will then show Myself as the one true God over them all.

I will judge Hollywood and the entire movie industry for the millions upon millions of souls that they seduced and sent to hell. I will judge the news media and the television industry. I will judge the music industry. I will overturn the whole music industry in such a way that they can never pollute the world ever again. I will judge the internet pornography industry. Whole internet computer systems will be permanently shut down. I will judge the abortionists and their supporters. I will judge and reverse the Supreme Court. For a short time they shall change the laws to fear and honor Me.

There is coming a revival of morality and religion in America as a result of these calamities, but it will be a false one for the most part. God will become popular in the culture, but not the Bible and My name (Jesus). It will be a false gospel message. Not many will truly be born again. Only a remnant in My church will truly stay in right relationship to Me. When you see me take Billy Graham and Oral Roberts home, you will know that America and the West have received their last call. As I said in My Word, unless the Father would shorten these days, even the elect would not be saved. The deception of "Christian religion" will grow so great, that it will be nearly impossible to recognize the true prophets and teachers from the false ones. Counterfeit miracles and false "signs and wonders" will come and deceive many. Churches will preach a "success and personal achievement" gospel. Even false healing meetings will come and actually produce real miracles, but they will not bring the people to Me. The preaching of My supreme Lordship, the cross, My blood, holiness, and the fear of the Lord will become more and more rare, even more than it has become during the last 35 years.

Nevertheless, I have supernaturally preserved and kept My bride pure and faithful to Me. I will continue to do so. Most of My bride is in mainland China now. Many are in Asia, and Korea and India and Brazil and Russia and Kenya and Nigeria and throughout Africa. Most of My bride is hidden away in their prayer closets and have been persecuted and driven out of the churches by abusive pastors and false prophets, ministry leaders, and oppressive government leaders. Many are in prison. Some are daily dying of starvation and disease. Most of My bride has been beaten and left by the side of the road by the religious 'wolves in sheep's clothing'. They have been forgotten by the blinding greed of those hoarding their money and riches. Only the Good Samaritans can even spot them and see them. The rest are blinded. Only a few really love My bride the way that I do.

My bride is being purified through the fire of many trials of afflictions and persecutions at this present hour. Those that walk in My love and embrace the cross are being separated and persecuted by the Laodicean church. Those that are truly anointed and bringing the pure Word from My throne are being thrown out of the pulpits of the land and off of 'Christian Television' in favor of the confession of the Laodicean church: 'I am rich, I am increased with goods and have need of nothing. I am healed. I am blessed.' Really???? Are you???? It doesn't look that way from My throne in heaven!

Beware of any teaching that is selfish and appeals to your lusts and feeds the love of money in your lives. THAT teaching does not come from heaven. That is not My voice. My blessings come through seeking first the Kingdom and My righteousness, not from heaping riches upon yourself while the rest of the world starves to death and dies and goes to hell because of your selfishness and greed. You will see when you stand before Me what the TRUE RICHES are. The souls of the lost are the jewels in the crown of My bride.

My worshippers and musicians, artists and those that carry special anointings have been almost systematically removed from ministries and church leaders in favor of what is popular and can bring in the most money and please the people. This is an abomination in My sight.

Watch and pray that you may be accounted worthy to escape the things that are coming upon this earth. Receive My grace through the refining fire of the Holy Spirit so that you can be a part of that beautiful lady and bride. I am preparing her! It still isn't too late! Join with her and take up your cross and deny yourselves and follow Me.

That is how to be TRULY blessed and healed and delivered and fulfilled in life! That is the only way that My gift of eternal life can shine into the darkness of the world around you"

"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty…Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (1 Corinthians 6:17-18, 7:1)

"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her (Babylon), my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Revelation 18:4)
__________________________________________________________________

Friday, December 02, 2005

An Overwhelming Surprise {part 3}

Trumpet #4. Shortly after the second asteroid impact, the world will hear a terrible roar. Hundreds of powerful violent volcanic eruptions will occur. These will be numerous and powerful and cause great damage. Millions of people will perish. Revelation predicts there will be a great darkness. (Revelation 8:12) The jet stream will carry megatons of volcanic ejecta and soot around the world in dense clouds that cause complete darkness. Scientists have observed this phenomenon in recent times. The extended absence of sunlight over the middle third of Earth (the breadbasket of the world) will prevent surviving crops from reaching maturity. Worldwide famine will begin.


In short, the first four judgments will create a horrible domino effect radiating into every aspect of life. Illness of all kinds will appear. Clean water and food will become scarce overnight and the misery index will be scale.” “off the According to Revelation, 25% of Earthpopulation will perish from ’s these four judgments. (Revelation 6:8) Think about this. The population of Earth currently is more than six billion people. Twenty-five percent of six billion is one billion five hundred million people!


Trumpet #5. By the time, the fifth trumpet sounds, Earth will have experienced a worldwide situation that is so desperate that we can only compare it to the flood in Noah’s day. God deliberately puts the whole world in a desperate situation because He knows it is the best way to get everyone’s undivided attention. From a parental perspective, God puts the warring nations of Earth in a type of “time out.” God wants everyone to consider several issues. For example, God wants the world to know that the time has come for the nations of the Earth to end. (See Daniel 2.) He wants everyone to know that He is about to establish His kingdom and He wants everyone to know the terms and conditions of being a part of His coming kingdom.


A few days before the Great Tribulation begins, God will anoint 144,000 servant messengers with exceptional Holy Spirit power. These people, from every nation, kindred, tongue and people, will speak for God for 1,260 days. The 144, 000 will be ordinary people who will come from every religious background, and they will harmoniously proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the human race. As strange as it may sound, most of the world’s population will reject the terms and conditions of salvation.


About two and half years after the Great Tribulation begins, God permits that ancient serpent, the devil himself, to appear on Earth physically. The devil will come with millions of angels and he will masquerade as Almighty God. (Revelation 9:1-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 13:11-18) The devil is the dreaded Antichrist. Deceptively cloaked in brilliant light and charming benevolence, the devil will claim that he is God. The devil will declare that he has come to establish a thousand years of peace on Earth. At this time, there will be three identifiable groups of people. The first group of people are those who have rejected the devil and decided to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. The other group of people will readily receive the devil as God because of the miracles he performs. The third group of people will defy both the devil’s demands and the prompting of the Holy Spirit because they refuse to obey anyone. Since god is separating the people of Earth into two camps, sheep and goats, He will allow the devil to inflict pain and suffering upon the third group of people who have chosen to defy both God’s and the devil’s authority. Fortunately, the devil’s victims will eventually relent and join the devil’s camp. However, a few of his victims will come to their senses, repent of their defiance against the gospel of Jesus and receive salvation. The devil will even call fire down from Heaven to prove his assumed divinity. Consequently, millions of people will ultimately conclude that the devil is God and they will obey him with astounding zeal and devotion.


Trumpet #6. When the devils popularity and control of Earth reach a sufficient level, he will tell his followers that everyone who refuses to recognize him as God must be annihilated. I call the events of Trumpet #6, World War III. During this time, God will allow the devil and his angels to kill one-third of the world’s population. (Revelation 9:15) The devil will establish a one-world government and he will exult himself as King of king and Lord of lords. He will control all the necessities of life and if a person wants to buy or sell items for survival, that person must become a member of the devil’s kingdom. To demonstrate citizenship in his one world government, the devil will force the inhabitants of Earth to receive a tattoo on their right hand. The tattoo will be the number “666.” People who serve as officials in the kingdom of the devil will receive a tattoo on their foreheads to show their superior rank. The tattoo on their foreheads of the devil’s lieutenants will be the chosen name that the devil uses. (Revelation 13:17) The placement of a tattoo on the forehead of Satan’s lieutenants is a blatant counterfeit of what God intends to do for His faithful servants, the 144,000, after He takes them to Heaven. (See Revelation 14:1; 22:4)


Trumpet #7. Before Satan implements the mark of the beast, everyone on Earth will have heard the gospel and everyone will have made an informed decision for it or against it. When every person has made a decision, Jesus will close Heaven’s door of mercy. Jesus will announce that the offer of salvation is closed by saying, “Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” (Revelation 22:11) Then, the second global earthquake occurs. (Revelation 11:19)

An Overwhelming Surprise {part 2}

How the Tribulation Begins

The Great Tribulation will begin suddenly. It will begin with a global earthquake that effectively disrupts the activities of the whole world. (Revelation 8:5) God has a few things to say to the human race, and He intends to arrest the attention of the world with a massive earthquake that literally stops everything and everyone in their tracks. The sudden cessation of life as we know it will force everyone to stop and wonder what is going on. This coming earthquake is particularly interesting because geologists theorized a “global earthquake” was physically impossible until the early 1990’s. Now, physical evidence is proving that Earth’s tectonic plates go much deeper into the core of Earth than previously thought, and this information has caused geoscientists to change their thinking. The book of Revelation predicts there will be a total of four global earthquakes. (Revelation 8:5; 11:13; 11:19; 16:18) These earthquakes will increasingly rip up the surface of the world, and the infrastructures of travel, communication and manufacturing will collapse during the Great Tribulation. These earthquakes have no equal in recorded history. Each earthquake will have greater strength than the one before it. The final earthquake will be so violet that it will literally move all the mountain and islands from their places. (Revelation 16:20; 6:14)


Trumpet #1. Shortly (perhaps 30 days) after the first global earthquake, showers of white-hot hailstones will rain down from the sky. Meteoric firestorms will ignite unquenchable fires all over the world and the accompanying windstorms will destroy billions of acres of trees, food crops and vegetation within a few days. Of course millions of people will be left homeless ands many more will suffer and die during this “rain of terror.” (Revelation 8:7)


Trumpet #2. A few days after the meteoric showers of burning hail, earth will experience two horrific asteroid impacts. The first asteroid will impact an ocean; the second will impact a continent. (Revelation 8:8-11) The first impact will create a series of tidal waves that will inundate coastal cities around the perimeter of the ocean. Seaports and coastal cities, well known for their immoral behavior, will completely disappear with overwhelming loss of life. Survivors will be frightened and distressed by the angry tossing of the sea. (Luke 21:25) Ships will not be able to cross the ocean and men will be powerless to do anything about the churning of the deep.


Trumpet #3. The second asteroid will impact one of Earth’s continents with devastating results. The impact will contaminate water supplies and cause extensive death. Ground waves from the impact will fracture geologic strata for thousands of square miles. Sewage, deadly bacteria, toxic chemicals and other garbage buried in the Earth will seep into underground aquifers. Underground rivers will become contaminated and they will carry their deadly mixture for thousands of miles. Revelation predicts that many people will die of drinking poisonous water.

An Overwhelming Surprise {part 1}

To the Reader

If separated from the larger context of this study, this study could make God appear to be a very cruel and unfairly harsh-so please read subsequent studies as soon as possible! The devil delights in distorting the character of God whenever possible. The devil wants people to see God as a vengeful tyrant or a divine Santa Claus that can do no harm. Of course, both extremes are false. The same God, who destroyed the world in Noah’s day and sent fiery brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah, also sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. (John 3:16) In short, God reveals His love for the human race in a well-documented balance between justice and mercy. Bible history proves that God is longsuffering. He extends mercy to sinners day after day, year after year – until the day comes when extended, mercy no longer has any redeeming effect. Then God justifiably responds in wrath to deal with defiant rebellion. I offer this introductory statement because the contents of this study may seem overwhelming the first time you read it, but please press on and read Study 2 as soon as possible.

No Longer a Book of Mystery

The book of Revelation contains several prophecies that integrate into one big story. Some prophecies in Revelation have been underway for centuries and others are about to begin. When we properly assemble all of the prophecies, a mind boggling drama unfolds. God’s ways are wonderful to understand and so thrilling to discover. Some prophecies in Revelation are easy to understand and others are difficult at first, but we can say the same of God. Certain aspects about God are easier to understand than others. Ultimately, the book of Revelation confirms the good news that most people want to hear: A world of eternal joy and endless bliss is coming. The bad news is that God is going to test the inhabitants of Earth before He sets up His kingdom. (Revelation 3:10) God will separate ‘the sheep from the goats” before the Second Coming. The separation of the sheep from the goats is an important process in God’s plans because God will not permit rebellious people (represented by the goats) to enter His coming kingdom. God’s kingdom is reserved for people who love Him and exalt His righteous ways. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God….Nothing impure will ever enter it [the holy city], nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lambs book of life….He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Matthew 5:8; Revelation 21:27, 4, insertion mine)


The book of Revelation reveals that God will soon inflict the world with a series of 14 plagues. These events will not occur in random order nor will they be freak disasters caused by nature. The seven first plagues are called “seven trumpets” in Revelation because they serve the purpose of warning or awakening the people of Earth to the glorious arrival of Jesus Christ. The seven last plagues are called seven bowls because they represent seven full cups of God’s vengeance that He will pour out upon His enemies. Although the Bible completely explains these events, they will come as an overwhelming surprise for most people. Our Creator has carefully designed these coming events to achieve His goals, and He will carefully execute these judgments so that He can redeem the maximum number of people, As you read this these studies, periodically remind yourself of two things: First, God so loved this world that He gave His only Son to die in our place and second, God’s patience with defiance and rebellion is limited. During the Great Tribulation, the people of Earth will see God’s perfect balance between justice and mercy. Remember this balance as you consider this study about the Great Tribulation. The next few pages give a brief overview of coming events.