Sunday, November 13, 2011

On The Brink Of War?

On The Brink Of War?




By Mike Taylor





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Prophecy writers have been preaching the soon return of Jesus Christ and we wonder how soon? The indicators of the soon return of our Lord are all around us, but it has been fuzzy, but grows much clearer as time passes. Much like a picture developed in a dark room, as we see the image slowly coming into view. News reports have been coming fast and furious in the last few weeks, and from this perspective, I see the puzzle of end time events growing much more into focus with each passing day.







MOUNTING NEWS FLASHES







Let’s examine a few of these indicators that the time is short for the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Start with the economic troubles in Greece, Italy, Ireland, Spain and most of Europe that has even affected our economy, as the world economy has become closely tied to one another. First news flash is that it’s been reported that the Vatican has taken a stance of encouraging a One World Authority for peace and posterity as an answer to the economic turmoil gripping the globe. It was reported on the website Catholic News Service the following:



“A Vatican document called for the gradual creation of a “world political authority” with broad powers to regulate financial markets and rein in the “inequalities and distortions of capitalist development. The document said the current global financial crisis has revealed “selfishness, collective greed and the hoarding of goods on a great scale.” A supranational authority, it said, is needed to place the common good at the center of international economic activity.” The logical start offered up by the Catholic Church is the United Nations with one central authority to regulate the world economy.



Second news flash is there has been a push by the Roman Catholic Church to unite all religions into a One World Religious authority and I submit will be headed by the Catholic Church and it’s pope. Rome has brought all the world religions including pagan religions to the Italian town of Assisi in front of the St. Francis Basilica to set the groundwork of a one world religious movement. Many writers are starting to write about this push that began with the groundwork being laid by Pope John Paul II and continued by Pope Benedict XVI. This is a part of the prophetic puzzle that is growing clearer with each passing day. These two pieces of the end time puzzle are growing more into reality. Then let’s take a look at the continued unrest in the Middle East. Another piece of this end time puzzle is being played out on our news cast nightly. Instability in the region has been gaining steam, during this so called Arab spring. The nations that surround Israel have been in revolution overthrowing their leaders. Starting in Tunisia, it has spread to the other neighboring Arab countries, such as Egypt, now Libya, and unrest growing in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. What this has accomplished is the solidarity of these Muslim nations being changed from dictatorships, and transforming them into religious theocracies ruled by Sharia Law and the Koran and fueled by known terrorist groups with world conquest on their minds. These new governments will pattern themselves along the lines of the greatest threat in the Middle East, Iran. As we know, Iran has been working feverishly to develop nuclear capabilities and the Western world has been impotent to stop them. Threatened sanctions and diplomatic maneuvers have not slowed the government of Iran from building what the free world fears, a nuclear bomb. Couple that with Iran’s ranting of wanting to destroy Israel and wipe them off the face of the map from their leader, Mahmoud ( I’m a total nut job), only intensifies the fears the world feels and Israel’s rightly perceived threat to their sense of security and peace.







WAR AND RUMORS OF WAR







What could tip the fragile economic condition of the world we live in? What one word would send our world into a tail spin? What’s that word? It is WAR! It is especially true when you use it in context with the Middle East.



If you have been following the developments in the area it is reported that Iran, if they made an all out push for a nuclear weapon could achieve it in 6 months. For several years, I have been wondering not if, but when Israel would either with help from the USA, or unilaterally on its own, attempt to destroy the nuclear installations of Iran. It appears that new saber rattling is being reported coming from Israel. In the Asia Times written by Victor Kotsev, he reports the following news flash:



“Through a number of leaks and well-publicized war exercises, the Israeli government has dramatically increased its threats against Iran in the past days. Since the Israeli military likes to act by surprise, it seems this specific escalation is a bluff designed to help pass tougher diplomatic measures against the Islamic Republic at the United Nations Security Council, specifically following the anticipated publication of an important report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) next week.



However, given the exceptionally high and rising regional tensions (not all of which involve Israel directly), a larger war in the Middle East is a distinct possibility. Thus, the Israeli rhetoric can be interpreted in two additional ways (all three are not mutually exclusive): as an attempt to deter a possible first or second strike by Iran and its allies, and as a campaign to prepare public opinion, both at home and abroad, for hostilities. “



When Israel does attack, not if, but when, Iran will pull out all stops to attempt to make Israel pay and facilitate their belief that their mission is to bring about an Islamic Caliphate. Of course, we know that Iran will rely on it’s proxies to do it’s dirty work, as they may be crippled militarily and have been preparing for just such a scenario via Hezbollah, Hamas, and now with the uprising and the fall of dictatorships all over the Middle East, using these nations for a coordinated attack. I see a possible fulfilling of Psalms 83.



83:1 Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.



83:2 For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.



83:3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.



83:4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.



83:5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:



83:6 The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;



83:7 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;



83:8 Assur also is joined with them: they have helped the children of Lot. Selah.



83:9 Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:



Who are these people that make these plans that are noted in bold type? These are the ancient names of the people of the Muslim nations that surround Israel this day.



THE CLOCK IS TICKING



I’m not saying this attack by Israel will happen this weekend, as Israel when they have attacked the atomic reactors in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, or Syria a few years ago, it was in total surprise. You didn’t know about it, till it was over. Only thing I see different right now, is the flight path of direct line attack over Iraq being opened up, as the USA will withdraw all our troops by the end of this year. It will be a direct flight path to their intended targets. Let’s also couple that with new stealth capabilities that Israel has developed to make their attack virtually unseen on radar until it’s too late. This will be a massive campaign and Israel has been preparing for this event for years. Iran has no air defense except from the ground, as their air force is from the time the Shah was in power and is inferior to Israel’s modern force. Ground to air missiles will be shooting in the dark with Israel’s stealth capabilities and evasive maneuvers to become invisible targets.



We know that the intelligence of the Israeli government is much more sophisticated than any news report, and they know when the window of opportunity will close for a successful strike. When Iran is suddenly struck with Israeli lightening speed, their only reprisal, I envision, will be through their proxies surrounding Israel. God has promised Israel that He would give them the land from the great river of Egypt to the River Euphrates, north to and including Syria, and south to the Arabian Peninsula. What will be the outcome of this battle? I suggest that the God given promise of the land promised to Abraham will be redeemed by the help of Almighty God fighting on the side of Israel, much like the 1948, 1967, and the 1973 wars that they should have lost, but God was with them.



Why do I think this? If you look at the Battle of Ezekiel, which I believe follows on the heels of the afore-mentioned Islamic defeat, you find in chapter 38, we read the following:



38:2 Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, of Meshech, and of Tubal, and prophesy against him,



38:3 And say, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince (ruler) of Rosh, of Meshech, and of Tubal.



38:4 And I will turn you back and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords--



38:5 Persia, Cush, and Put {or} Libya with them, all of them with shield and helmet,



38:6 Gomer and all his hordes, the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts of the north and all his hordes--many people are with you.



Notice that you find none of the names of the peoples mentioned in Psalm 83 in the neighboring nations as they have been destroyed and also, note that the verses speak of a city without walls, a city living in peace as noted in this passage of Ezekiel:



38:10 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:



38:11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,



When has Israel in all of its modern history since 1948 been as Ezekiel describes them in the verse 11? Never you say? You would be right, never. God will be their champion in both fights. It is more evident in Ezekiel than in Psalms 83, as it is revealed that God is doing the fighting and destroys Israel’s enemies on the mountains of Israel by using signs that can only be rendered as Divine in nature. Read the full chapter and digest the quick end to the enemies of Israel that dare come down upon God’s people or His Land. On the heels of this huge defeat of the Gog-Magog coalition, a man of great public stature will bring about a treaty for 7 years of peace. I believe that country, headed by this man is what we call the Anti-Christ!



How many years will be between Psalm 83 and the war in Ezekiel? We don’t know, but the focus of this sermon is that the next war that leads to the unveiling of the Anti-Christ could be close at hand. Israel will own all of the vast oil and gas fields of most of the entire Middle East after this next war and what better prize than for the armies of Gog-Magog to try and come down and take the riches of the Middle East from this upstart called Israel and their God?



Now here is the exciting part for you and me. When this Ezekiel war is quickly fought and lost by this Gog-Magog coalition secured by the power of Almighty God, I believe it will bring to the forefront a man with the number of his name adding up to the number 666. My bible says that he will be revealed according to God’s Word, II Thessalonians chapter 2:



2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.



2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.



2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:



2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,



2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.



2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:



2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.



If you have been following my sermons for any length of time, you know the answer to who and what is being talked about here. Verse 9 speaks of one who has the power of Satan with signs and lying wonders. Who is that man? Correct, the Anti-Christ is who Paul is speaking of. But there is one thing that must happen before he can be revealed. What is that? Verse 7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. Who is being taken out of the way? There is something holding back this unspeakable evil, a force that keeps the full power of Satan at bay, and prevents Satan from doing as he would like to do, that is destroy mankind. What is that Force? It clearly is the Holy Spirit. God will remove all hindrance for Satan doing unimaginable evil.



Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.



And skipping down to verse 13:



12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. (Israel)



Let’s make a clear statement here. If the Holy Spirit is being removed and Satan is being cast down to the earth, never to be allowed back into the heavens, then if our Comforter, our Spiritual Counselor, and our deposit of God’s Holy Spirit within our spirit is being removed from this earth, then we who have that promise of redemption will be removed at the exact same time. Understand one thing, my reader. The tribulation is designed for one thing, the removal of sin from this earth and for refining Israel as gold is refined in the furnace. When Israel understands that the Messiah that came to them over 2000 years ago, they will cry out, as Jesus said in Luke chapter 13:



13:35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.



Then Israel will realize what they have done to the Lord of Glory, their prophesied Messiah who they killed in anger, but to fulfill God’s plan:



Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.



Now let’s take a quick summary of where this puzzle is showing what may be on the horizon in the near future. The economies of this world are collapsing, number one. The beginning for the push for a One world Religion and Government are being designed right before our eyes, number two. Unrest in the Middle East will eventually explode into possibly WWIII at the greatest, or a Mid-East war in the least because of an attack by the Israelis on Iran’s nuclear installations that could be happening at any moment in the future, puzzle piece number three. Follow this on it’s heals of the conquering of the Middle East oil producing economies by Israel, a battle for control of this vast wealth by the Gog-Magog invasion and the revealing of the Anti-Christ to the world. But before the final puzzle piece is revealed, scripture says that the Church is removed along with the Holy Spirit. How much time in this scenario do you think it would take for all these events to being fulfilled? My friend, it could take several years, it could take ten years, but the point is, signs are saying that man’s history of self rule is drawing fast to a close. The revealing of the Anti-Christ will start the beginning of the Tribulation where peace will be illusive and as smoke in the wind. When this 7 year treaty has been signed, if you witness it, then you will have most likely missed the calling of the church to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The next 3.5 years from that time will be bad, economically, socially, spiritually and probably physically.







When this man who speaks of peace and looks like a saint trying to bring peace to the world, then without warning this man will approach the Temple in Jerusalem that he has allowed to be built as a part of this 7 year treaty and will stand in the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem and proclaim himself, to be a god. Then all of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and all of the land held by Israel will realize that they have made a treaty with the devil and the Great Tribulation will have begun where if God allowed it, no man would be spared because of war, famine, and the wrath of Almighty God being poured out on an unrepentant mankind. My reader, I assure you that you do not want to be witness to the beginning of a 7 year treaty, much less a man standing in the Temple of God, proclaiming that he is God. It will be hell, quite literally, on earth. If you think that a Christian must endure the Tribulation and that Jesus Christ sacrifice didn’t finish the job, and we , the church saints, must be purified right along with Israel who is in spiritual rebellion and darkness, then my friend, you have more of a problem than the timing of the rapture of the church, as in your mind, Jesus and His blood sacrifice was insufficient to purchase your redemption. The Tribulation is designed to purify Israel and to remove sin from the earth in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ to rule with a rod of Iron for a Thousand years, called the Millineum.



My friend, do not be counted with the spiritual rebellion of Israel not accepting their Messiah. The nation of Israel are God’s people and He will save them out of this awful time and save them all, not losing one, but what about you? If you’re not Jewish, you have no idea that you will even have the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. If war breaks out in the Middle East in the near future, your chance for making eternity with God may be very short. Make that decision today, as the Holy Spirit wishes to bring you home with our Lord and Savior. Want to know how to make that decision, which is the most important decision that you will ever make? Read the Gospel of John slowly and let God’s Holy Spirit reveal who this Man, Jesus was and is today. He is wishing to come into your life. Won’t you answer the call?



This is Pastor Mike Taylor, wishing God’s salvation for your life. If there is anything I can help you with, pray with you about, or show you the way to salvation, give me an email to realteam1999@sbcglobal.net, or visit me online at www.churchofgod-usa.org. God bless you, till we hopefully meet at Jesus feet.

















The End Of The Last Days

The End Of The Last Days




By Matt Leasher





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In the decades that followed the rebirth of Israel as a nation in 1948, Bible prophecy scholars have been declaring the realization that we are in the last days and that Christ is coming soon. But as the decades continue to roll by many have become weary of the message that we are in the last days and have presumed Christ’s return to be far off. The problem with the people that are losing hope in Christ’s soon return is that perhaps they do not understand just exactly what the last days are in light of the big picture.







Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us that the period known as being the “last days” began when Jesus Christ came into the world.







God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, (Hebrews 1:1-2).







The Holy Spirit inspired the writer of Hebrews to inform us that the last days began nearly 2,000 years ago. What does that mean to us now? Many people, (including myself), believe that God works in dispensations and that the time period of man’s governing the earth is 6,000 years divided into three sections. The first 2,000 years being approximately from Adam to Abraham. The next 2,000 years approximately from Abraham to Christ and the last 2,000 years, (hence the last days) being from Christ to the present. This could very well be the reason that the New Testament writers often referenced their day as being the last days, however to us it was nearly 2,000 years ago. Even though it seems so long ago to us for them to be referring to their day as the last days it was still within that last 2,000-year dispensation. They were just at the beginning of it. They knew about these dispensations. They knew that they were in the beginning section of the period of the last days. If that was nearly 2,000 years ago then that means that we are at the last section of that same period known as the last days.







In 2 Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4 it tells us that “a day with the Lord is as a thousand years.” I don’t believe this is just an arbitrary statement. I believe this is written so that we can use it as a measuring rod for knowing the timetable of God’s plan for the redemption of mankind. So if a day is as a thousand years with the Lord then it may be that the six days of creation written in Genesis reflect the 6,000 years of man’s governing the world and that the 7th day of rest is the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth that is written about in Revelation 20.







Hebrews 4:1-5 informs us that there is a period still yet to come that has been promised by God as a time of rest for His people.







Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any on you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”



(Hebrews 4:1-5 emphasis added)







Notice that this promise of rest for God’s people is about entering into His rest and the writer of Hebrews quotes the Genesis creation account of the 7th Day as he informs us about this coming period of rest. The writer switches back and forth from the 1st person to the 3rd person. The people that are being spoke about in the 3rd person that will not enter into His rest are those that were rebellious with hardened hearts that were in the wilderness for 40 years during the Exodus as he is quoting from Psalm 95 there.







The apostle Paul spoke of the “the fullness of time” in a manner that seems to support that God’s overall plan for man is set up in specific dispensations of time. In Galatians chapter 4 Paul is describing the timing in which God sent His Son into the world and he phrases it like this:







“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we may receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)







If God’s dispensations for man are of three 2,000 year periods and Christ’s coming into the world was at the transition point from the 2nd period into the 3rd period which we are currently near the end of, then the phrase, “when the fullness of time had come” in the above verse seems to support this notion. Paul seems to be telling us that a certain dispensation of time had to be fulfilled before the Son of God could then come into the world, hence – a divine appointment! This implies that there is a predetermined scripted course of events that God has in place for us to know our position in history – or rather His story!







Israel becoming a nation again in 1948 is certainly the end time sign letting us know that things are beginning to wrap up and that we are coming close to the end of this last 2,000-year period. Since all of the prophecies about the return of the Lord in the end times involve Israel being back in their land we know that we are close to His return since Israel has re-emerged unto the world scene. Lets take a brief look at the scenario in the last days that involve Israel by going backwards from the time that the Lord Jesus Christ will be reigning on earth.







When Christ the Lord returns He will sit on His throne in Jerusalem, (see Ezekiel 43:7, Zechariah 14:16-21 and Matthew 19:28). His throne will be in the rebuilt Temple that will be in Israel. All of the nations of the world will be gathered to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which is in Israel, traditionally in the Kidron Valley between the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. There the Lord will enter into judgment with them on account of His people and His heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and divided up His land, (Joel 3:1-2 paraphrased). This is likely where the “Sheep & Goat” Judgment will take place, (Matthew 25:31-46). Just prior to this the Lord Jesus Christ will have physically returned to the earth to intervene and cut short the battle of Armageddon, a.k.a. Megiddo which is a real place in Israel, (Revelation 16:16). Here Christ will destroy the antichrist and false prophet and have Satan bound for 1,000 years. He will also save the human race from extinction for if He did not cut the days short of this battle no human flesh would survive, (Matthew 24:22). Three and a half years prior to this event the antichrist will have entered the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem and will have declared himself to be God, (2 Thessalonians 2:4 & Matthew 24:15). Just prior to the antichrist entering the Temple the Two Witnesses appointed by God will be prophesying in Jerusalem probably right on the Temple Mount according to Revelation 11, for the first three and a half years of the Tribulation. So when we trace the prophesied end time events backwards from when the Lord will reign on earth to the beginning of the Tribulation we can see that Israel is the centerpiece of all that is to come in the last days.







Before God’s 6,000-year plan for mankind is finished there will be 7 years of Tribulation on the earth as never has been before, (Matthew 24:21). This period of Tribulation is a time of testing for those that were too stubborn to come to Christ during the Age of Grace and a final time of purging Israel in preparation for the Kingdom of Christ to be set up there. Israel will finally come to know Christ as their Savior, (Zechariah 12:10). This will also be a time where God will purge the world of evil and wickedness ushering in a period of restoration in which the world will be restored to its formal state of perfection as it was in the time of Adam and Eve just after the creation.







The Rapture of the church is the next thing to take place on the prophetic calendar. There are no signs or events that must precede the Rapture. However, the Rapture must first occur before the antichrist can be revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8), and before any of the Tribulation events can begin and yet we can see many of the Tribulation events being set up and falling into place on the world scene today. This is how we know that the Rapture is VERY close. What are some of the things that we are currently witnessing being set up that will occur in the Tribulation? Let’s take a look at just a few of them.







1.) The current turmoil of the world economy – As I am writing this the current international world markets are collectively plummeting and the economy is failing on a global scale as never before. In the Tribulation the economy will be in dire straits. See Revelation 6:6 and James 5:1-6. This will result in a financially vulnerable world that will somehow allow a “one world order” where a world dictator takes control of all buying and selling known as the antichrist or “the beast”, (Revelation 13:11-18).







2.) The increase of earthquakes - Jesus told us that one of the things we are to watch out for, as a sign of His soon return, is the increase of earthquakes in various places, (Matthew 24:7). We live in a technological time where an earthquake can take place on the other side of the world and we will know about it in minutes. Back in Jesus’ day if an earthquake occurred on the other side of the world you would probably never hear about it. So we know that this prophecy is intended for our day and the use of technology has certainly kept us informed of the increase in earthquakes that we are witnessing and in various places!







3.) Cashless society - A mere 30 years or so ago it was hard to conceive how a world leader known as the antichrist would be able to monitor everyone so that they could not buy or sell unless they had his mark on their hand or forehead. Now with technology as advanced as it has quickly become not only is it possible but it is in the process of being set up! Cash would have to be eliminated for the antichrist to be able to electronically monitor all buying and selling. These days it is common for people to get paid on payday have their check electronically direct deposited and use their debit or credit card to spend that money without ever touching cash. The whole time all of their transactions are being documented. Cash could be eliminated and it wouldn’t really change the average way of life all that much. One of the motivations for the elimination of cash would be to end the war on drugs as all drug deals are done anonymously with cash as well as most other black markets. The country of Poland is purposely striving to become a cashless society by the year 2014!







4.) Technology - While technology has done wonders in the field of science and medicine, technology is also greatly assisting to help set up the system that the antichrist will use to control the world and everyone in it. The microchip is already being used in some places in Europe to contain a person’s personal information such as health records, citizenship status, police records, etc., and is about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted into the person’s hand. It is also being used as a scanning device for entrance into secured buildings and identification. The micro chipping of animals to monitor their whereabouts has been in use for years so the same technique could just as well be used for humans in the future. Skeptics often say that it would be impossible for the antichrist to microchip everyone on earth but what they are forgetting is that with the combination of the Rapture and all of the people that will be killed in the early part of the Tribulation, (Revelation 6), there won’t be nearly as many people on earth as there is now when the time comes that this would be implemented, (Revelation 13). Not to mention that there will be quite a few people that will not take the mark of the beast as well, (Revelation 20:4).







5.) Israel’s enemies - All of the alliances that the Bible prophets have foretold would be against Israel in the last days are currently in place now. There is Russia, Turkey and Iran for the Gog-Magog War and Lebanon, Syria, Jordan (Palestinians), and Gaza for the Psalm 83 War. The time is also ripe for the fulfillment of a nuclear destruction of Damascus that seems to be strongly predicted in Isaiah 17. Damascus happens to be a current popular meeting place at the crossroads for all of these nations that plot against Israel. Egypt also has just recently broken its frail alliance with Israel adding to the list of nations that are against Israel. Libya is also mentioned as being in conjunction with the Gog-Magog posse, (Ezekiel 38:5), and we are currently witnessing the changing of the guard occurring there. In the end, the prophet Zechariah predicts that ALL of the nations of the world will eventually be against Israel, (Zechariah 12:3), but the nations that are predicted to be coalitions in the wars against Israel that shall usher in the beginning of the Tribulation are now currently in place.







These are just a few of the many things that point to the soon to come Tribulation period. To the average person most of this goes by unnoticed but to the Bible believing watchmen these things are screaming at us! They scream at us because we know that the Rapture will precede all of these things and that Christ has commanded us to watch for these things so that we’ll know it is near and be able to warn others. It is our duty!







The apostle John is a perfect role model as being a New Testament watchman warning the brethren about being watchful in the times we live in. In his first epistle he said this:







Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18)







John’s warning about the coming antichrist is stated as being in the “last hour” which is where we are currently at in history. John certainly knew the judgments that would be coming upon the world, being the writer of the book of Revelation, (Christ being the author). So if John is warning us almost 2,000 years ago that the antichrist is coming then how much closer are we to it now! He warns us that many antichrists have come by which we know that it is the last hour. According to John, an antichrist is “he that denies that Jesus is the Christ and denies the Father and the Son,” (1 John 2:22). Obviously there can’t be an “anti-christ” unless there was first a “Christ” (which means “anointed one”), and we know that to be Jesus of Nazareth and as I mentioned earlier in this article, the “last days” began when Jesus Christ was sent into this world.







When the last days are mentioned in the Old Testament it is usually phrased as “in the latter days” which implies a future time or dispensation, (see for example Deuteronomy 4:30 and 31:29), but when the last days are mentioned in the New Testament it is usually phrased as “in these last days” as being in a present era or dispensation, (see for example the above verse from 1 John 2:18 and Hebrews 1:1-2). This is further indication that “the last days” is a period or dispensation and not just an arbitrary statement that we are not able to know the time of. In fact, Daniel 8:19 confirms that the end of this age is for an “appointed” time.







“And he said, “Look I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be.” (Daniel 8:19)







The angel told Daniel that the end of this age of indignation is set for an appointed time, which means that there has been a preordained appointment made for the end time events that are to come. There is nothing arbitrary about it. We live in a predetermined age that has been predetermined by the sovereign Lord. See also Acts 17:31.







Many people tend to let there watchful guard down because of the statement that Jesus made saying that we don’t know the day or the hour of His return and that only the Father knows that day and hour, (Matthew 24:36). This is true but Jesus also commands us to be watchful of the times and seasons so that that Day does not come upon us as a snare, (Luke 21:35 & Mark 13:35-37). There are more admonitions from our Lord Jesus about watching the times and seasons than there are about not knowing the day or the hour. In fact, Jesus rebuked the people of His day for not knowing the time of their visitation, (Messiah Jesus’ first advent), even though they could predict the weather by watching the sky, (Luke 12:54-56). The only way the people would have known who He was and when He would be there is by searching the Scriptures and they only had the Old Testament at that time. So how much more should we be aware of the times we are living in pertaining to His Second Coming by searching the Scriptures that we have now. In the Old Testament Christ was concealed but we have the New Testament where Christ is revealed. The apostle Paul assured us that we who are Bible believing followers of Christ would not be in darkness concerning His return.







But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5:4)







Judging from the time table that God has provided us in His Word, the signs He told us to watch for and the current events that are going on around the world, we can clearly see that we are not only living in the period of the “last days” but we are at the end of the last days! We are in the latter section of the last set out of three sets of 2,000-year periods. Due to discrepancies and differences in the early first few century calendars it is difficult to precisely pinpoint exactly where we are on God’s timeline of His 6,000 year plan. However, we do know that Christ was walking this earth 2,000 years ago. While we may not know the day or the hour we certainly know the season that we are living in and that should be more than enough to have us all looking up!







“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:28)











Saturday, November 05, 2011

Turning Point: June 17,1963

Turning Point: June 17, 1963 – Ed Wood – www.raptureready.com
 
On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia moved "that these united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states." The resolution was adopted on July 2, and the Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4.
 
Most of the signers had seminary degrees and this influence is strongly reflected in the first two paragraphs of the document in which the reality of God as Creator is clearly acknowledged. Defying the odds and beginning with a rag-tag militia, the colonies, with the help of France, goes on to win its freedom over what was then perhaps the greatest military power on Earth.
 
It was this enduring belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Father of Jesus of Nazareth that I believe made America the greatest nation in the history of civilization. this is not to say we were perfect. The injustices perpetrated on North America's original inhabitants, the perpetuation of the enslavement of other human beings, the denial of the right to vote for women still taints our history. But we learned from these mistakes and made moves to correct them - albeit some are still a work in progress.
 
Our willingness to step up and sacrifice ourselves to stop aggression and totalitarianism abroad have been legendary. The advances in living standards and technology this country has made has been no less than spectacular.
 
Then something went terribly wrong.
 
On June 17, 1963 by an 8-1 vote, the Supreme court effectively kicked God out of our schools. Worse than this outrage was the placidity of most of the Christians in this country to allow this to stand for almost 50 years with no significant challenge.
 
Within five months President Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas. The succeeding years of this decade were marked by the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., the deepening and divisive involvement in Viet Nam, the expansion of the drug culture, "free love," and the general loss of the innocence and optimism of our society.
 
I think it's safe to say that we never really recovered from the 1960's.
 
On January 22, 1973, by a vote of 7-2 Roe v. Wade prevented states from restricting abortions within the first three months of life, or banning it for the second trimester.
 
So, let's see where we've ended up since then.
 
Instead of the Lord's Prayer, our schools now hand out condoms, have full time police patrolling the halls, and are increasingly bringing in a homosexual-friendly agenda into even the earliest grades.
 
Instead of families consisting of a mother, father, and children, over half of them are now single-parent and a growing number of families are composed of homosexual or lesbian partners.
 
Even in "traditional" families, Mom and Dad are schlepping off the upbringing of their infant children to strangers (day care). Later on some of these absentee parents express complete surprise that their kid is using drugs . . . or planning, and sometimes succeeding, to carry out terrorist acts.
 
Four thousand of the unborn who had no voice or choice in their conception are terminated in what is euphemistically called a "procedure" every day.
 
As I write, America has willingly abandoned our leadership technologically, economically, and, as we have seen, morally as well.
 
We look in confusion at the converging of economic, political, religious, and even natural events enveloped in a turmoil that seems to be swallowing up not only the world, but now coming home in earnest to the United States and wonder why.
 
Though the passage below was specifically directed toward the Israelites as they headed for the Promised Land and the specifics regarding the Jordan and "graven images" (idolatry) differ, perhaps it still gives insight into why America has ended up where it is today and what its future will be if its present course continues to be followed:
 
When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of anything, and shall do evil in the sight of the Lord thy God to provoke him to anger. I call upon heaven and Earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over the Jordan to possess it: ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall be utterly destroyed. Deuteronomy 4:25-26
 
In the end we know God will make things right for those who believe and trust in Jesus. But when we stand before him as we all one day will, what account will we give of our stewardship and witness of his Word when it really counted?