Monday, December 29, 2008

Conflict in Israel: The "rules" of engagement

We've seen this scenario too many times to count. The "rules" of engagement - "rules" which have been determined by a combination of the media and the Islamic terrorist groups; "rules" which follow a predictable pattern. Before looking at these rules, we must remember one important fact: there is no desire for peace by these terrorists - only the desire to completely destroy Israel, so that it no longer exists. This is not a secret, because the terrorist groups in the region, namely Hezbollah, Hamas and Fatah make their intentions quite clear.

The terrorist groups and the media have set up these rules of engagement, and it goes something like this:

1. The terrorist groups launch missiles into Israel. Over and over. Last week alone, to cite one such example, approximately 80 missiles were launched from Gaza, into Israel, every day. Yet this fact received virtually no coverage in the mainstream media. No one seemed concerned that missiles were being launched into Israeli cities, farms and children's schools every day.

2. The terrorist groups launch these missiles from locations that are embedded in their communities, ensuring civilian deaths should Israel take any action to prevent these missiles from being launched. In other words, the terrorist groups set up a scenario that will certianly lead to civilian deaths. They do this for a purpose (see below).

3. Israel warns the terrorist groups (in this most recent example, from Gaza, courtesy of Hamas) over and over to stop the missile strikes or Israel will have to take action. Hamas ignored the pleas, while expecting, at some point, a response from Israel. Hamas then places more civilians in harms way, also known as "human shields" (their words, not mine). The mainstream media ignores the Israeli pleas for Hamas to stop the missile attacks.

4. Israel finally takes action, and destroys the Hamas missile assembly locations and the missile firing locations. As expected, some of those civilians in the immediate area are hurt and/or killed, just as Hamas planned. The media and the Muslim population becomes "outraged" and goes public with the breaking news of Israeli "occupation".

5. The world condemns Israel for their "aggressive action".

In these last days, the truth seems elusive. Prophecy watchers have been observing the recent missile attacks against Israel on a daily basis, with almost no media attention. Now that Israel has finally taken action, we see the predictable "outrage" and media coverage of Israeli's response - as if Israel just decided to "invade" the region, unprovoked.

This most recent conflict may differ from previous conflicts however in a few important ways. Of course, the predicted media/Muslim response has gone according to the usual plan, aka the "rules of engagement", but Israel may ignore the media this time:

There is much speculation that Israel will continue into Gaza with ground troops, which would ensure a broader and longer lasting conflict.

Additionally, Iran has publically made a call to all Muslims to enter the region and fight along with the Hamas terrorists
(article here). This sounds very similar to the build up preceeding the predicted epic battle described in Ezekiel 38-39, and represents another step towards further escalation.

Hezbollah has also threatened to invade Israel from the north, and as a result, if this does happen, Israel has threatened Syria (who backs Hezbollah, along with Iran) with military action. This marks a much more aggressive approach by Israel, than the usual limited response.

This situation could spiral out of control quickly. With every passing day, if this conflict continues to escalate we may see one or both of the following scenarios - all potentially significant prophetically:

- Creating more public attention and pressure towards confirming a peace plan in the middle-east; a situation always ripe for the anti-christ to arise and finally "confirm" such a plan, according to Daniel 9:27.

- Creating the scenario predicted in Ezekiel 38-39, which will involve a massive, epic invasion of Israel by the surrounding Muslim countries, as led by Iran and Russia - only to be supernaturally and dramatically ended by God Himself.

Whatever happens with this current conflict, will most likely result in either a small "stepping stone" towards a greater prophetic fulfillments, or, this conflict could actually result in a specific, dramatic prophetic fulfillment (as stated above). At this point its hard to know.

Either way, we'll be watching.

UPDATE: Joel Rosenberg's Weblog is providing some excellent updates on this stutation blogspot here

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Conflict in Gaza: Is this the beginning?

Despite repeated warnings and pleas from Israel to the terrorist group Hamas, missiles have continued to land on Israeli soil from Gaza. Hamas ignored these warnings and finally Israel took action.

Israeli air strikes have now destroyed several Hamas
buildings and the death count in Gaza already exceeds 150 according to
a reuters article, as the Israeli military targeted the Hamas infrastructure and pledged more strikes if necessary.

As usual, its difficult to know if this most recent conflict will escalate
into something bigger, involving more of the surrounding terrorists
groups, or if yet another "cease-fire" will be created. We know from
biblical prophecy that one of these conflicts will escalate into a
broader war - one that will be supernaturally and dramatically ended by
God (Ezekiel 38-39).

Another article from Jerusalem reveals a number of reasons that this
most recent conflict may escalate.

Prophecy watchers will be paying close attention to this situation in the Middle-East.

Israel is also in the midst of their election cycle, with elections to be held in early Feburary. This election will determine how Israel will react to the terrorist groups and, more importantly, how Israel will deal with Iran as they enter the "nuclear club"; those nations who possess nuclear weapons.

These are certianly interesting times in Israel. Any noteworthy change in and around Israel is potentially loaded with prophetic implications. This recent incursion into Gaza, combined with new political leadership in Israel, in a matter of weeks, could make subsequent developments very interesting.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Season

During the Christmas season, we focus on the amazing, miraculous birth of Jesus. It is a wonderful time for a Christian, as we consider the enormous impact of the birth and life of Christ Jesus. It is a time of reflection and celebration. As glorious and prophetic as the birth of Jesus was, evil still lurked. We know from the scriptures that King Herod, upon learning of Christ's birth, immediately began a process of trying to have Him killed:

"...Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." (Matthew 2:13).
"...and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem." (Matthew 2:16).

This process hasn't changed in over 2,000 years. As we celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus, evil still lurks in this world.

The New York Times, hardly a biblical prophecy news site, has declared that Iran now has enough nuclear fuel for one nuclear weapon. This "tipping point" is something that prophecy watchers have been waiting to see. Many of us believe that the last remaining prophecies will fall like dominoes - once the "powder-keg" is ignited. This "powder-keg" could very well be Iran's development of nuclear weapons.

At the same time, we see renewed calls for the total destruction of Israel. Hamas Cleric Muhsen Abu 'Ita, representing Hamas, a puppet organization for Iran, has again called for the "annihilation" of Israel.

At the same time, Iran's leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - a leader who controls the use of nuclear weapons in Iran, again declares that "Israel is at the end of its life".

Connecting those dots doesn't take a lot of imagination. The person responsible for the development of nuclear weapons in Iran is also calling for the total destruction of Israel.

Just as Herod could not succeed in killing Christ Jesus, those who oppose the God of the Holy Bible, and those who reject the fact that Jesus is indeed the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords - will not succeed in their efforts.

While we celebrate the Christmas season, the other side plots evil. Just as Herod attempted to eliminate Christ, in an effort to destroy God's plan, we see the same form of evil again attempting to thwart God's plan. This is nothing new. Throughout history, we see efforts to divert God's plan - only these efforts ALWAYS fail. God's overall plan marches on, completely unaffected by such feeble, human efforts.

Their threats, their attempts to instill fear, their efforts to divert God's plan - all should be of no significance to us. We know how the story ends. Just as Herod failed, so will today's terrorists fail. The best they can do is to attempt to instill fear. But we should have no fear:

"I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies" (Psalm 23:5). What an image. The symbolism of this image is profound. In the very presence of our enemies, we can literally rest assured that God's plan will prevail - and we should have no fear - to the point of comfortably sitting at the table, prepared for a meal - in the literal presence of the enemy.

At the time of Jesus' birth, evil rose and attempted to destroy Christ, and in turn, God's plan for mankind. Similarly, as we celebrate the birth of Christ, the same evil plots against, and opposes the God of the Holy Bible. Just as Herod failed, so will today's efforts to eliminate God and His plan.

As we sit at our tables this Christmas, we should remember the promise issued in Psalm 23. Evil will not prevail. The forces opposing Christ Jesus will not prevail. Only God will prevail. As we celebrate Christmas, we should also remember God's promises. At the conclusion of Psalm 23, we know our fate:

"...and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23:6).

Our ultimate fate. It will not change, nor will it be diverted by the evil that exists on earth today. The birth of Christ ultimately led to the sequence of events, over the next 33 years, that ensured us of this fact:

We will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

God's plan. It will not be changed nor diverted, despite the feeble efforts by evil men.

Thank you Father, for the miraculous, divine birth of Christ Jesus, and everything that He did for us.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

One more step; another sign comes into focus

We know from Revelation 13:16-17, that the Antichrist and his "partner-in-crime", the False Prophet, will institute a financial system in which every human on earth will be required to take the "Mark of the Beast". This "mark" will be placed on the right hand or the forehead, and will be required in order to buy or sell anything. This mark will also indicate that the person receiving the mark has "officially" decided to worship the Antichrist.

The seven-year Tribulation will ultimately force people on earth to make a decision. Will they decide to worship Jesus Christ, or will they worship the Antichrist? Every human on earth will be forced to make this epic decision. Ultimately, thats what the Tribulation boils down to - a single decision which will determine the ultimate fate of every human on earth at that time. Deciding to receive the Mark of the Beast serves as a visible indicator of the fact that that individual has decided to follow the Antichrist, and effectively - reject Jesus.

The bible issues a strong condemnation for those who have decided to follow the Antichrist:

"If anyone worships the beast (aka Antichrist) and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath." (Revelation 14:9)

We have been following the developments of the company VeriChip, who developed and produces the implantable RFID - which is currently being inserted into animals and humans. Currently, the selling points for use of this microchip focus on safety (tracking children/pets), health (having someone's medical information available via this insertable microchip), and in some cases "just for fun", as in some countries such as Spain, exclusive night-clubs are inserting this chip into its members.

This week we discover that Microsolf has partnered with VeriChip article here for the purpose of using VeriChip's implantable device for accessing medical information.

Microsoft. Thats a powerful organization with a lot of money and influence. I believe this is a significant development. With Microsoft on board, there is no telling how fast the VeriChip technology will expand - and the potential uses for this technology are limitless. That includes use in financial transactions. Because of rising concerns of "identity theft", and other means of tapping into individual's bank accounts - there is an ongoing call for "technology" to somehow develop something which can prevent these kinds of financial thefts.

The VeriChip has been proposed as a means to prevent the above problems from occuring. If each person had the "chip" inserted, and the capability to manage all financial transactions - then current technology such as credit cards, check-books, debit cards. etc., would all become artifacts of the past.

When has Microsoft done anything thats NOT on an epic scale? Microsoft believes in implementation of their technological advances on a world-wide basis. They don't so anything "small". By their partnering with VeriChip, we should expect to see several things occur - all in line with bible prophecy; a) watch for further developments regarding additional uses of the VeriChip (with an eye on financial uses), b) more promotion of and increased "visibility" of the VeriChip, with the usual marketing efforts that we've come to expect from Microsoft, and c) more widescale implementation of the VeriChip - also increasing public acceptability of such use.

Taking the VeriChip today is not the same as taking the "Mark of the Beast". That won't happpen until the Tribulation. However, we're seeing the stage being set for the Tribulation. This is a big development. I fully expect to see Microsoft dramatically expand the uses and implemention of this technology.

Whatever they do with this technology, one thing is certian. We'll be watching and reporting on the developments.

Another day, another sign comes into focus.

Business as usual for a prophecy watcher.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christian Persecution: Another Sign

One of the noteworthy signs that Jesus warned about, as occuring in the last generation was persecution of Christians.

"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other." (Matthew 24:9-10).

To someone living in the United States of America, it may seem difficult to believe that intense persecution, as directed against Christians, takes place on a daily basis throughout much of the world. Voice of the Martyrs is one of many organizations that closely follows the issue of world-wide Christian persecution, and their stories are quite sobering. Countries such as Vietnam, China, Iran, Iraq, Afganistan, India, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Egypt, Sudan, and Pakistan just to name a few. The list goes on and on.

Churches burned. Christians murdered. Orphanages attacked and children killed. Hidden, underground meeting places for bible study and prayer. Beatings. Imprisionment. Fear. Intimidation. This is daily life for a Christian in many of these regions.

It is generally accepted among those organizations who follow persecution - groups such as Voice of the Martyrs - that approximately 150,000 Christians are killed annually world-wide, simply because they choose to follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Just for reading a bible. Just for going to a church. Just for praying to God. Just for becoming a Christian.

One may be tempted to argue that Christians have been persecuted throughout history. What makes this a sign now?

The answer is simple. The world has never seen persecution as it exists today. As a historical reference, one can review the period of Roman persecution, which started with Nero in 64 AD and lasted until the beginning of the fourth century; a period of approximately 250 years. Typically considered as the worst era of Christian persecution - it is estimated that approximately 100,000 Christians were killed because of their faith during that 250 year period.

That figure is now exceeded ANNUALLY. Thats is a staggering, mind-numbing figure. Over 150,000 Christians killed EVERY YEAR simply because of their faith. In Sudan alone, it is estimated that over 1.5 million Christians have been killed by the Janjaweed (an "Arab-Muslim militia"), just since 1984.

Unfortunately, and sadly, this "sign" doesn't receive much attention. But as you read this paragraph, during this very moment, we have brothers and sisters who are imprisioned, fearful, cold, hungry, beaten, starving and separated from their families - simply because they follow Jesus.

But Jesus is watching this situation and He is fully aware of what these brave, courageous saints are forced to endure. He has also promised them great rewards in Heaven:

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven..." (Matthew 5:10-11)

We need to pray for these brothers and sisters daily. Pray that God will give them strength and courage - that God will also give them comfort during their dark days.

Persecution. Another sign of the times.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Its coming. Are you ready?

I have been following current events as they relate to biblical prophecy for well over 20 years now. I can recall what it was like, back in the early days of following these events. We had a general sense that we were in the last days of this generation, based on several large milestones, such as the miraculous formation of Israel in 1948. Back then, we also had several other signs that were consistent with the prophetic scriptures, as they pertained to the last generation:

- A generation known for dramatic increases in the ability to travel, and ability to acquire knowledge (Daniel 12:4)
- A generation known for its ability to make war, including weapons of mass destruction and the capability to create war on a
world-wide basis. (Matthew 24:6-7)
- A generation who would suddenly "open" and understand the prophetic scriptures as intended for the last generation
(Daniel 12:9; Revelation 1:3)
- A generation who would observe Jerusalem change from an insignificant, basically uninhabited area, into a city which
would become the focus of peace plans in the Middle-East; a city that would be the central issue in terms of solving
the overall conflict in the Middle-East (Zechariah 12:2-3)
- A generation who would observe earthquakes in "diverse areas", and increasing over the earth - like birth pains
(Matthew 24:7)
- A generation who would witness a "revival" of the ancient Roman Empire; something painfully and obviously clear from
watching the rise and the dramatic and rapid growth of the European Union (Daniel 2)
- A generation who would witness the formation of "peace-plans" attempted between Israel and her neighbors, setting
the stage for the Antichrist to arrive and "confirm" the deal (Daniel 9:27)

These are just a few of the completed prophecies which told us that we were in the final generation, as described by Jesus Himself, and the prophets Daniel and Zechariah.

We also watched for signs that informed us that the last seven-year period, known as the Tribulation, was approaching:

- The technology to implement the global financial system, known as the "Mark of the Beast", which would require everyone
on earth to have a "Mark" on the hand or forehead, which will be required for ANY financial transaction - required to be
able to buy or sell anything. It also will serve as a visible indicator that the individual has pledged worship of the
Antichrist. Applied Digital Solutions now has this technology, and we have the satellite capability to complete this
prophecy (Revelation 13:16-17)
- The ability of the world to witness, in "real-time", the "Two Witnesses", as described in Revelation 11, who "witness" to the
entire world, and the ability for the whole world to watch these great prophets from God - being put to death, and then,
witness their miraculous resurrection (Revelation 11:3-10)
- The ability of the "Kings of the East" ("east" meaning anything east of the Euphrates River) to form a 200 million-man
army (Revelation 9:14-16)
- An increase in "pestilences", a sign that would indicate that infectious disease and inability to fight these diseases (aka
"antibiotic resistence") on a world-wide basis

And on and on it goes. These earlier signs told prophecy watchers that we were clearly living in the "last generation". Most of the signs given were present and accounted for. But lately, we have seen new and unexpected signs - signs that frankly, I didn't think we would see on this side of the Rapture of the Church. Signs that really didn't have to occur UNTIL the Tribulation (note: by no means am I saying that we are in the Tribulation now!):

- The "global financial crisis"; which over the last 4-5 weeks has become "The Story" internationally. Shockingly, just over this
period of time, serious discussions regarding the need for a "global financial system", with "global oversight" are taking
place. Serious discussions relating to the necessity for a "global currency" are now taking place. Now, we are in the early
stages of a "global governance" over this financial system (which sounds ominously like the early stages of a "global
government"). Such ideas were scoffed at previously, but not in today's world.

- The urgency to finalize a "peace-plan" in the Middle-East, between Israel and her neighbors. President-elect Obama has
indicated his committment to this. Currently, all discussions center on the previous "Oslo Peace Accords", which,
interestingly, was "signed" yet it was never "confirmed" due to the subsequent violence in the region. The current plans
center on the ability to "confirm" these plans - presumably by sending in "peace-keeping" troops into Israel, and proposed
by the EU (aka "revived Roman Empire"). Daniel gave us this exact scenario in Daniel 9:27).

- Iran achieving the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons. The alliance between Russia and Iran, which was precisely
described in Ezekiel 38-39 - including their all-consuming hatred against Israel. We also watch the growth of this alliance
to include enemies of Israel - as they surround this tiny country.

- The world seeking a leader who can appear to solve these various world-wide problems - including the economic collapse
and the ongoing conflict in the Middle-East.

Its amazing to watch these events come together as they have. It gives us reassurance that God's prophecy is 100% accurate - and that God is completely in control, according to His plan. It gives us reassurance and hope while watching these ominous events taking place. It gives nervous anticipation over what is coming next. It gives us strength in the face of an uncertian world around us. It gives us strength in the face of persecution. It gives us assurance that the remaining events WILL OCCUR exactly as God described.

Jeremiah spent years telling the Nation of Israel that the Babylonians would come from the north and destroy Jerusalem - begging them to repent before it was too late. They didn't listen, and predictably, the Babylonians came from the north and destroyed Jerusalem - taking captive the young men and women of Israel. Exactly as Jeremiah predicted. A typical response to biblical prophecy.

Daniel 12 concludes and summarizes the vast array of prophecy that Daniel had been given. And it is there, that we find a small little verse that rarely receives attention. During this "summary" of the prophecy given to Daniel, we see the following (parenthetical statements mine):

"Many will be purified and made spotless and refined (only obtained throuh salvation), but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand (a reference to the "scoffers" - also described by the Apostle Peter: 2 Peter 3)

Only the "wise" will understand. Even though a massive amount of biblical prophecy points to the clear fact that we are in the "last generation" (the generation that would be awaiting the Second Coming of Jesus Christ), only a small part of the Church recognizes this fact. Just as described to the great prophet Daniel. Perhaps that explains the next scripture - this time given by the apostle Paul:

"Now this is in store for me, the crown of Righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will reward to me on that day - and not only me, BUT ALSO ALL WHO HAVE LONGED FOR HIS APPEARING". (2 Timothy 4:8).

Thats how Jesus sees prophecy watching. It reveals our deep love for Him and our deep, almost painful need to be with Him. In His very presence. Wow - just imagine that day - the day that we get to actually be with Jesus. Its mind-blowing to consider, that soon, it WILL happen. We will have "one on one" time with Jesus - our Lord and Savior. The one who willingly took incredible punishment, beatings, humiliation, whippings, and ultimately, death on the cross. We will fall at His feet and thank Him for all that He did. What a glorious moment that will be!

We watch prophetic developments because of that one central fact: Prophecy tells us that we will be in the very presence of Jesus - soon. Perhaps thats why we are "rewarded" for maintaining interest and excitement when we watch these signs. Only a deep love for Jesus dictates a desire to constantly watch these prophetic developments - because these developments reveal the nearness of Christ's return. Excitement and anticipation grows, as we see events lining up exactly as foretold.

Its coming soon. Every prophetic development that we observe - screams confirmation of this undeniable fact. Just as Jeremiah's prophecies were fulfilled, so will these "end times" prophetic scriptures reach fulfillment. Its an exciting time to be a follower of Christ, because we know what awaits us.

Lets be counted as "those who are wise" - those who understand the age in which we live. The age that will see complete fulfillment of all remaining prophecy. The age that will see Jesus, personally.

I believe this day is coming very soon. As a bride prepares for a wedding, lets prepare to meet Jesus. Its time. Jesus is making the final preparations, and as He informed His disciples:

"In my Father's house there are many mansions. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me - that you also may be where I am".

Thats the bottom line. That we can be where Jesus is.

Maranatha! Our Lord Comes! Are you ready?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Globalization and the rise of the Antichrist

The book of Revelation gives us great detail regarding the last 7 year period on earth, known as the Tribulation - which concludes with the Second Coming of Jesus. We have watched world events lining up in preparation for this period; events which perfectly align with the prophetic scriptures detailed in chapters 6-18 of Revelation.

The 13th chapter of Revelation gives considerable detail regarding the Antichrist and his "partner-in-crime", the False Prophet. This revealing chapter describes the "authority" that the Antichrist will have over "every tribe, people, language and nation". In other words, the entire earth. This chapter goes on to describe the fact that the Antichrist will also control the world's financial system (as administered by the False Prophet), and he will do so by implementing the "Mark of the Beast" - which is a "mark" which will be required to be inserted on the hand or forehead. This "mark" will be necessary for ALL financial transactions. In other words, if you don't have this "mark", then you cannot buy or sell anything.

"He also forced receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark..." (Revelation 13:16-17). We've previously detailed how the technology now exists which could fulfill these prophetic scriptures. Digital Angel now has the GPS/RFID implantable microchips which can be inserted into the hand or forehead, and contains the capability to handle financial transactions, global tracking and health related information on every person. This technology is a perfect fit and could easily be implemented as a way to control all financial transactions.

The current economic crisis, which has involved almost every nation on earth, has led to an alarming call by the industrialized nations to create a "global economy". The European Union, is now calling for Global Financial Reform, and will present their plans during an upcoming economic meeting with other major countries on November 15.

At the same time, we now hear a constant drumbeat - which calls for a one-world currency as part of the overall solution to the world's financial crisis. Originally envisioned for 2024, we now see an even more urgent call for a single, global currency - something that is now being discussed as an immediate solution, rather than a long term solution.

Ecommerce Times has produced a summary detailing the necessity for this global currency, as a solution to the current crisis. Its highly probable that discussions held during the November 15 meeting will include the implementation of such a world-currency.

Global financial system. Global currency. Global financial leadership.

These are words that I didn't expect to see on this side of the Rapture. I have always assumed that these discussions would not begin until the Tribulation. Yet, in only a brief 4-6 week period, we have witnessed the world going from a stable financial system which seemed foolproof - develop into an acute "world crisis". Additionally, we now watch world leaders engaged in serious discussions regarding a single, world currency and a global financial system - as solutions to our financial crisis.

All of this had to happen for the Antichrist to ultimately control the world's economy. The world will witness a leader emerge from the European Union (aka "revived Roman Empire") who will seize control of the world's financial system. But for this to happen, there has to be a "world financial system" and a single "world currency". The fact that we are seeing these things developing now is fascinating from a prophetic perspective.

The world is headed rapidly towards the Tribulation. Everything that we see happening in the world today makes that point abundantly clear.

What a difference a few weeks makes.

Its a brave new world - a world which will be very favorable for the rise of a global figure - one who will appear to have the answers for all of the world's problems. A figure who will confirm a peace plan in the Middle-East. A figure who will appear to solve the financial problems of the world. Unfortunately, the bible tells us that his "success" will be brief. Just as the world believes that the Antichrist has finally solved their problems, and when the world is saying "peace and safety", the bible tells us that "destruction will come on them suddenly" (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3). The Tribulation will begin with the Antichrist confirming a peace plan between Israel and her neighbors (Daniel 9:27). But after this, the Tribulation ("destruction") will begin "suddenly".

We do have good news though. The "gathering up" of the Church, also known as the Rapture - will occur before any of this. Jesus stated in Revelation 3:10 "I will keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world."

The apostle Paul confirmed the prophecy made by Jesus. I'll let the apostle Paul close this commentary with his very words - words which inform us of our fate:

"Jesus - who rescues us from the coming wrath". That says it all. We won't be here to see the Antichrist and his reign of terror. We have a date - with Jesus - in Heaven. And this date appears to be coming very soon.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

A commentary worth reading

Occasionally I run across a commentary that I read and think "I couldn't have written this better myself".

My good friend and fellow prophecy watcher Mike Mickey has posted a very interesting commentary regarding current events, including the U.S. elections. This can be found on his site "". First, let me make very clear: I'm not a democrat, nor am I a republican. In other words, I don't have a horse in this race. I watch elections strictly for the purpose of analyzing the prophetic implications. Period.

The following commentary was recently written by Mike, and as stated, I couldn't have said it better myself:

Barack Obama, The EU and Bible Prophecy

by Michael G. Mickey

Since the election of Barack Obama to the office of president of the United States and somewhat even before, there have been a whirlwind of developments taking place of interest to those of us following current events in the world pointing to the soon-coming return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In this commentary, I would like to share with you a few of these events, along with links to various articles you can read that will make it clear to you that, although many of us are upset that a man we feel is going to lead our nation further down a path that takes it out of God's will, there is a reason for all things and God is still in control.

A Beast Looking For Teeth

In Bible prophecy, the rising of a revived Roman empire is foretold that will ultimately become what most of us today refer to as a new world order.

In Daniel 7:23, we get a glimpse of this Beast empire the Antichrist to come will wield power over and see it will be an aggressive alliance of global powers:
Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
Quietly, this Beast empire has been rising for decades in the form of the European Union which presently consists of 27 member nations.

Recently, with the newly-formed 16-member Mediterranean Union being brought into the fold, the European Union, for all practical purposes, is now 43 member nations strong. (To view three maps of the old Roman empire, the European Union and, lastly, the European Union combined with the Mediterranean Union, click HERE and see how dramatically the Roman empire of the days of Christ has been reborn, for all practical purposes, in our world today.)

On a number of occasions, each time noting that the European Union is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium where the most powerful military force in the world (NATO) also calls home (no coincidence in my opinion), I've brought to my readers' attention that the revived Roman empire is considering the benefit of having its own military, something for us to bear in mind in light of Daniel 7:23's prophecy, in spite of the fact I question its necessity to exist on any grand scale for Bible prophecy to move forward now due to NATO's existence and availability to the EU.

Along these lines, however, on October 27, 2008, the EU Observer reported that the United Kingdom's Defense Minister favors the creation of a European Union military along with French president Nicolas Sarkozy who "had hoped to place EU defense architecture at the heart of his country's EU chairmanship until his best-laid plans were overtaken by the global financial crisis."
The potential of a European Union army rising capable of operating outside of NATO remains an issue of prophetic interest at the very least so bear in mind I'll be keeping an eye on that topic and reporting on it periodically if the Lord wills it.

A Greater Role for the EU?

On the very day of the U.S. elections, something I've told my readers to watch for to occur for years was physically requested by the European Union, namely the EU being given a more influential role in the world to include "more engagement with a resurgent Russia and more emphasis on peacemaking in Afghanistan and the Middle East."

How many times, those of you who have followed along with me through the years, have I told you we should watch for a turn of events to occur that would place the revived Roman empire of Bible prophecy in a posture to potentially resolve the troublesome issue of Middle East peace? I have to tell you, brothers and sisters in Christ, that I got chills and am right now as I type these words to you. Why? Because the EU Observer report that details this request on the part of the EU states the following, in part (emphasis added mine to stress the relation to Bible prophecy):
The letter urges the new US administration to put the Middle East peace process at the top of its agenda and foresees a "useful role" for the EU as co-guarantors of a future Israeli-Palestinian accord.
The European Union as co-guarantors of a future Israeli-Palestinian accord? This language reads as though it was ripped from the pages of Bible prophecy! Let me explain.

In Daniel 9:26-27, we're told that a prince (or leader) of Roman descent is going to confirm (or make strong) a covenant of peace in the Middle East that will be seven years in duration. This leader, the prophesied Antichrist, will go on to head the new world order and will immediately, by confirming this covenant, begin the seven-year Tribulation Period, the culmination of which will be the battle of Armageddon, a sequence of events highlighted by the visible, physical, bodily return of Jesus Christ and the armies of heaven to the earth after which Christ will set up His kingdom on the earth!

Praise God, there is HOPE for us too, Church! CHANGE is coming and not just because Barack Obama has been elected president of the United States of America, contrary to what many believe!

Barack Obama elected president of the United States

As everyone who has read my website at all knows, I have been less than enthused by the prospect of a Left-leaning Democratic party-led president and Congress having control of our nation at a dangerous time in our nation's history like this, but could it put Bible prophecy on the fast track to fulfillment? Absolutely. And why? Because, quite frankly, I believe that Barack Obama, true to his word, is going to be very interested in repairing what the Left believes to be a George W. Bush-shattered image of the U.S. around the globe. The European Union has made a request of president-elect Obama and he will, in my opinion, if for no other reason than to stick one more fork in President Bush's foreign policy, grant it .

Demonstrative of how receptive our world is becoming to practically worshipping a man as though he were god, even a man who has done absolutely nothing like Barack Obama to merit such worship, people around the globe are giving us a glimpse into how nuts mankind is going to go over the prophesied Antichrist when his advent occurs. Below are a few excerpts from an Associated Press article for your consideration that illustrate this (emphasis added mine):
• This is the fall of the Berlin Wall times ten," Rama Yade, France's black junior minister for human rights, told French radio. "America is rebecoming a New World. "On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes," she said.
• "What an inspiration. He is the first truly global U.S. president the world has ever had," said Pracha Kanjananont, a 29-year-old Thai sitting at a Starbuck's in Bangkok. "He had an Asian childhood, African parentage and has a Middle Eastern name. He is a truly global president."

As is reporting, the European Union is openly rejoicing that Obama has won the presidency. In my opinion this is because the EU's leadership sees Obama as someone they'll be able to get to roll their way on most everything which I concur with. The following is an excerpt from that article:
"This is a time for a renewed commitment between Europe and the United States of America," Barroso said in a statement. "We need to change the current crisis into a new opportunity. We need a new deal for a new world."

"I sincerely hope that with the leadership of President Obama, the United States of America will join forces with Europe to drive this new deal. For the benefit of our societies, for the benefit of the world," he said.

Make no mistake about it, the pathway to a new world order coming into existence just became a lot less rocky to obtain, as if I even need to state that to the majority of my readership.

If a new deal is needed for a new world (order), Barack Obama will be the first to sign off on it as would any president chosen from among the cast members of the loony Left, all of whom I pray will have mercy on me and not send me to a re-education camp now that their evil empire is almost in place. (A little humor interjected there, folks. Sorry, but I couldn't resist. But seriously, Obama Truth Squad dudes, you don't have to fear me. Most people think I'm a nut just like you do so I'm not a threat to you or your plans. I'm just hanging out, watching the fireworks with the religious right - my Bible in one hand and a cup of hot coffee in the other.)

In related news, concerning the new deal the EU is looking for, is reporting that "Obama's US election victory has revived European hopes for deep reform of the global financial system."

Recently, I documented that the EU is presently pushing for a new world order and that vice president-elect Joe Biden indicated he and Obama have accepted the realities of a new world order so I expect the EU has little, if anything, to hope for. My guess is the EU can fully expect the Obama administration to go along with most anything the Europeans want on that front which, once again, will only serve to advance the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Perhaps, the EU's leaders already realize this based on some of the language found in an EU Observer article.

A "former trade official in the Clinton administration and a consultant on foreign affairs and emerging markets", David J. Rothkopf stated recently, "President Obama will play a bigger role in re-inventing the international system than any other president before in past decades." No surprise here where that is concerned. I wholly agree.


The last few days have been for many in the evangelical community, myself included, pretty anxious in relation to what an Obama presidency may mean for our nation, our constitutional rights, and our standing in the world.

Not surprisingly, I have been overwhelmed with e-mail asking me everything from whether I think Barack Obama is the prophesied Antichrist to whether we've entered the Tribulation Period, neither of which I believe to be true for any number of reasons.

Suffice to say I am where a lot of my brothers and sisters in Christ are right now - a bit concerned, dismayed, frustrated and, admittedly, a little angry with those of us who overlooked the Word of God's teachings and voted for the candidate most likely to lead this nation down the path to destruction and the Body of Christ into persecution. But, even in the midst of all this confusion and hurt, I can see, more and more clearly by the hour it seems, that all of this is part of God's plan, not that I ever really doubted it per se, but I'm seeing it!

While I wholly believe that John McCain wouldn't have been a perfect president by any means, I think he would've held back the darkness that I sense is coming upon our nation and the world to some extent. The old maverick would've put his foot on the brakes now and then, in my opinion, but it looks like God has a different plan - a better one as hard as that is for us to see right now.

I once heard Dr. Charles Stanley preach a sermon wherein he explained that God always hears our prayers and answers them in one of three ways.
1 God answers our prayers with a "yes" and gives us what we want.
2 God answers our prayers with a "yes, but later" response because what we want is something He is willing to give us but there's something else He has in mind for us right now He knows is more important for us to learn or experience.
3 God answers our prayers with a "no, I have something better in mind" response. This is the one we struggle with most as we only hear the "no." From our perspective we can't see past God failing to give us what we want. We often can't envision any scenario wherein He has something better in mind for us than what we wanted but we can be sure He always does. Is it not written that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose?" (Romans 8:28)
This is a time for us to do our very best to look beyond our circumstances and perceptions and simply trust the Lord that everything is going to be okay.
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Even though president-elect Obama isn't, in all likelihood, going to be a president who will value our contributions to this nation or love us enough to stand with us in protecting the unborn, fighting off the homosexual agenda and pledging our unyielding dedication to the nation of Israel regardless of what any power on earth thinks of it, three things he could do to bring remarkable blessings to our land that would benefit him as well as us, we need to pray for him, his family, and his administration.

We should pray for the salvation of president-elect Obama and his administration above all, but also for them to be wise in deciding the course our nation will take in the next four years. Additionally, just in case their hearts are too cold or stubborn to do what is right for our common good, we should pray that God Himself will honor our wishes that His will be done and, if necessary, supernaturally set up roadblocks that only He can that will prevent Him from having to judge our nation harshly that the vital work of those of us who still believe in His Word and are trying to honor it can continue in His service here without fear until He comes for us, if that is His will.

Hang in there, brothers and sisters! A happy ending is coming as well as tremendous reward if we faint not in these troublesome times that vex our souls! Everything is proceeding according to God's plan and THAT is something no power on earth, whether by means of an election or by the edge of a sword, can change!

Our redemption draweth nigh!

Until next time, God bless you all

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Elections and Prophecy

As I mentioned in a post several weeks ago, I watch the elections strictly through the lens of biblical prophecy. This wasn't always the case, but I believe we are now approaching the very final hours of this last generation - as we head towards the Tribulation described in Revelation 6-18.

The primary question that I have about an Obama presidency, is how the new administration will handle our relationship with Israel. I have closely followed both the campaign rhetoric and president-elect Obama's associations, in order to get a view of how he will handle Israel. The main question is, will an Obama administration support Israel or will his administration turn away from supporting Israel.

The reason for watching this closely is the following:

We know from Zechariah 12:1-3 that in the last days (either just preceeding the Tribulation or during the Tribulation) "all nations on earth" will be gathered against Israel. All nations. We also read in this passage that all nations who attempt to "move" or divide Jerusalem will "injure themselves". There are no exclusions in this scripture.

We can also read from Genesis, where God made an unconditional and premanent declaration: "I will bless those who bless you (Israel) and whoever curses you (Israel) I will curse." (Genesis 12:3).

Over the past few years, the only country who has consistently supported Israel is the United States. I previously assumed that the United States support of Israel would stop following the Rapture of the Church, for obvious reasons. However, by closely following the news and watching president-elect Obama's associations, it appears highly doubtful that his administration will support Israel. A summary of the new administration's probable stance towards Israel has been published in the American Thinker

By Amercia pulling away from Israel and discontinuing support for Israel, we will see one more end times "domino" fall. By the United States pulling away from supporting Israel we will see Zechariah's prophecy fulfilled. All nations will indeed be gathered together - only they will be "gathered against" Israel.

I will be watching the new administration closely in the coming days, but as the saying goes "actions speak louder than words". Forget the rhetoric. The campaign is over. Lets watch the new administration's actions towards Israel - that will be the key factor in an Obama administration - at least from a prophetic perspective.

At the same time, we watch Israel closely. They will have general elections in early Feburary, which will put a new leader in office. The prophetic implications of that are enormous, and will certianly have a significant role to play in prophecy.

Its an exciting time to watch these prophetic developments taking place, as we draw closer and closer to the conclusion of this age. Just remember - God is in complete control and His plan for mankind will be completed, just as foretold in the Bible.
This plan includes the gathering up of the Church, as described in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15.

As Jesus said, keep looking up - our redemption draws near !

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The invasion of Gog-MaGog inches closer and closer

Joel Rosenberg's blog has a timely update on the situation between Iran and Israel.
We've been closely watching Iran's leadership continue to call for the total destruction of Israel.
We've also been watching their progression towards having enough enriched Uranium in order to produce nuclear weapons.
At the same time, we watch Israel and their confirmation that allowing Iran to produce such nuclear weapons is not an option; in other words, they must take action to prevent Iran's race towards nuclear weapons.

At the same time, many people are wondering what, exactly Joe Biden meant when he stated that Barack Obama, if elected, would face an "international crisis" within 6 months of the election. One can't help but wonder if perhaps this situation in the Middle-East is the reason for these comments.

This week, the rhetoric has increased quite dramatically. Top Iranian officials are now stating that they believe Iran must strike Israel first, in a "preemptive strike"article here. This threat must be taken seriously - will this hasten Israel's promise to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities?

With either scenario, it seems certian that war between Israel and Iran looms on the horizen. We have already mentioned the alliances between Iran and Russia. Additionally, if Israel destroys Iran's nuclear facilities, it will result in the deaths of many Russian workers, as Russia workers and engineers are vital to the building of these facilities.

Ezekiel 38-39, describes a massive invasion of Israel, as led by Russia. We see a leader called "Gog" leading people of "MaGog" and "Meshech and Tubal"; an identification of the descendants of Noah. These people migrated to and settled in modern day Russia. We also know that the invading people will come from "the far north" of Israel - which also identifies modern day Russia. The second country mentioned as aligned with Russia is easy to identiy. The land now known as "Iran" was previously called "Persia" until the 1930's when the name changed. Interestingly, its these two countries, Iran and Russia who can arguably claim to have the strongest alliance in the Middle-East today. Current events are progressing rapidly to the fulfillment of this prophetic battle - one which will be ended supernaturally by God himself: "I will execute judgment upon him...I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations." (Ezekiel 38:22-23).

That should be very interesting. A massive, epic invasion of Israel, in which God supernaturally intervenes in order to protect Israel. It is difficult to know exactly when this will happen, but it appears possible that such events could take place very soon. Keep your eyes on the Middle-East right now, we may be on the verge of another prophetic fulfillment, on a scale not seen since 1948, when the world witnessed the miraculous regathering of the Nation of Israel.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Signs: The New Global Economy

Prophecy watchers keep an eye on world events - watching to see if these events are consistent with biblical prophecy. I can recall several years ago - discussing the various signs that point to the coming seven-year tribulation period as described in Revelation 6-18. One such sign involved the development of a global economy - something that has to be in place according to Revelation 13:16-17. Chapter 13 gives a detailed description of a figure known as the Antichrist - an individual who will rise up during this tribulation period and who will ultimately seize control of a "world-government" system, as described in Revelation 17.

This figure known as the Antichrist will ultimately control the world financial system, and he will do so by forcing all individuals to do two things:

1) Pledge full devotion to the Antichrist, and "prove" this devotion by,
2) Taking the "Mark of the Beast", which will be a visible mark on his/her right hand or forehead.

By doing this, the Antichrist will have the capability of controlling finance of every individual in this manner.

"He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name."

First of all - what is this mark? It must to be something which controls the ability of someone to buy or sell. Numerous articles and commentaries have been written about the "VeriChip", which is a tiny (about the size of a grain of rice), implantable microchip, which can contain an individuals medical and financial information. It could also be used as a way to manage financial transactions, eliminating the need for credit cards, checkbooks, and debit cards. It would also be more secure than our current system of handling money and all of our financial transactions. This technology sounds ominously similar to the "mark" described in Revelation 13.

To do so, however, must include a single currency for the entire world.

The recent economic crisis, which has cascaded from the U.S. to the rest of the world, has solidified the concept that we are indeed in a "global economy". Something that received little attention outside of economic circles, the term "global economy" is heard daily on the news and in commentaries. There is no doubt that we are indeed living in a global economy. But an interesting story is emerging as well - a call for an international, single currency. One can see a variety of proposals, even suggestions that the world could go back to the gold standard in efforts to create a single currency. The benefits of a single, world currency are now being discussed as a matter of fact, not speculation. Are you ready for a global currency? and similar articles are now mentioned as something real and tangible, not as speculation.

I can recall teaching on these possibilities, just a few short years ago, and the concepts such as a global economy and a global currency seemed impossible in our lifetimes. Yet, here we are, in just a few short weeks, such talk is common.

It is amazing how quickly our world can change. The world's economy has reached a crisis stage in a matter of weeks.
The stage is being set for a world economic system, accompanied by a unified world currency. It may be the only way for the world to resolve this current economic crisis.

These things must happen. We know because Bible prophecy gives us a clear understanding of the future; and in this instance, a future which includes one single economic system, and currency, which will ultimately be led by this figure known as the Antichrist.

Jesus warned us that these things would take place. He also told us, in Matthew 24 that such things must happen, but we are not to have a spirit of fear. He also told us why we should not fear:

"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption draws near." (Luke 21:28).

Thats a good plan. As we watch these world events - events which we believe are leading into the final stages of this age - we know that our redemption is close. We know that the return of Jesus, for His church, is close. Very close.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

America and prophecy. Where is America?

I am frequently asked about the role of America in biblical "end-times" prophecy. Often the question arises "What does the bible have to say about America's role in prophecy?

The short answer is "nothing". The bible does not address America in any way in our end-times prophetic scriptures.

What does this mean?

This answer is more difficult. The books of Daniel and Revelation, which include detailed accounts of the events of the seven-year Tribulation, give great detail to the world's powers during the last days of "this generation". We hear about the growth of the revival of the Roman Empire, which we consider to be currently represented by the EU/Mediterranian Union; we read about the "Kings of the East", and their military forces; we also read about other potent countries and regions, mainly located in the European theatre, but nothing whatsoever as far as America. In fact, we don't even see scriptures which mention our general region of the world.

Its hard to imagine that America would not have a significant role in end-times prophecy, with such epic, world-wide events taking place, but the fact remains, America is not mentioned, either by name, or by region. There are several theories which attempt to explain this:

- The first and perhaps the most plausable theory is the Rapture of the Church, creates a scenario which would immediately weaken the U.S. and create financial and military collapse. The most obvious rebuttal to this theory is that the entire world would be affected by the Rapture, but a closer analysis might lend more information. The fact is, the U.S. has a greater percentage of Christians than the countries/regions that ARE mentioned in prophetic scriptures. We know that the Islamic countries, surrpunding Israel will be a potent force, and the Rapture of the Church will create little damage to these countries/regions. Unfortunately, Europe is in the same situation, as the Church is dying a slow death in most European countries. The same can be said for the "Kings of the East", a vague reference to the regions east of the Euphrates River, which are not predominately Christian. This theory holds that the U.S. would be damaged far more than these other countries and the financial and military collapse due to the Rapture would weaken the U.S. irreversibly, and essentially remove the U.S. from the world stage.

- A second theory considers the fact that Islamic terrorists, who are committed to destroying the U.S. and Israel, may finally acquire weapons of mass destruction and damage the U.S. with a series of nuclear, chemical or biological attacks, or perhaps an "EMP" (electro-magnetic pulse) attack, all of which could render the U.S. as completely ineffective during these final years.

- Yet another theory considers a possible financial collapse of the U.S. as hastened by China, Russia and other countries manipulating the dollar and global oil in order to severely weaken the U.S.

There are other theories as well, but the above seem the most plausable. We could also see a combination of the above.

Regardless, we do have some instructions from God, which should direct our path during these difficult times,.

First, we are told to NOT have a spirit of fear. We must remember that God remains firmly in control, and He has given us the final chapters of earth's history. We know how the book ends, we just don't have every detail. Jesus began His dissertation on end-times prophecy by telling us not to face these days with fear: "...but see to it that you are not alarmed" (Matt. 24:6). Even more comforting, Jesus informed us of another germane fact: "Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near." (Luke 21:31)

If the above scriptures aren't comforting, then we may focus on this message from Jesus: "When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:28)

We are told not to have fear during these times. We are also told to "watch" for His return during these times. Lastly, we are told that by seeing the various signs around us, which are in abundance, we should know that His return is near.

These are not empty words. These are not words to ignore. These are not words to dismiss.

As we face these last days, the temptation is to submit to fear - fear that we could face economic collapse; fear that the U.S. could be attacked by terrorists, making 9/11 look like a minor event; fear of an uncertian future. But the future is very very certian. We have promises from Jesus; we have assurance from Jesus; we have absolute certianty about our future.

There is a certian irony in all of this. The more uncertian the world around us seems, the more assurance we should receive from the scriptures - Jesus knew we would be facing these times, and He responded by reassurance, hope and knowledge. When things look the bleakest, we should have our strongest convictions. When the world around us seems the most ominous is when we should be the most optimistic - because our future is certian.

Jesus told us to forget about fear, and to focus on His return.

Good news in bad times. Keep watching: His return near. Its a promise.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More Rumors of War

We're watching developments in the Middle East very closely. Most end times events are centered around Israel and the surrounding countries who are sworn enemies of Israel, consistently calling for Israel's destruction.

Just this week, we can see this powder keg nearing an event which would serve as the triggering mechanism in the region. We believe this event to be an ominous and seemingly imminent conflict between Iran and Israel. In one article this week we can see the window of opportunity for Israel to take action is rapidly closing.

In a separate article we observe the fact that Iran's nuclear facility, as built primarily by Russia, is reaching its final stages.

The clock continues to tick. Each passing day brings us closer and closer to the final prophetic events which will close this era of history. The Tribulation is rapidly approaching and that fact should be of tremendous comfort to those Christians who are obedient to Christ's multiple commands to watch for the world events which indicate His coming is near:

Luke 21:36: "Be always on the watch, and pray..."
Mark 13:33: "Be on guard! Be Alert! You do not know when that time will come."
Mark 13:35: "Therefore keep watch..."
Mark 13:37: "What I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch!"
Matthew 24:42: Therefore keep watch because you do not know on what day your Lord will come."
Matthew 25:13: "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."

Jesus also gave us additional instructions:

Luke 21:31: "Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the Kingdom of God is near."
Mark 13:29: "Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door."

But perhaps more importantly, Jesus gave us the following bit of information - one that should give us hope and comfort during these perilous times:

"When you see these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

We are most definitely seeing "these things" - a reference to the various signs that could be observed - signs that indicate we are indeed living in that last generation.. The signs are all here. It can only mean one thing. Our redemption is drawing near.

It is always good to have a periodic reminder of the promises given by Jesus. We should be watching. And we should also be acutely aware that our redemption is close. Jesus is close. He is at the door.

Are you ready?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Politics and Prophecy

As much as I try, its hard to avoid politics during an election cycle. Over the years, I have developed a singular interest in politics. That interest is atypical, as I don't watch politics for the purpose of seeing one party win or lose. I watch politics in order to see how various prophetic developments may occur based upon who occupies the oval office. But this year, specifically, the next 5 months may prove to be very interesting.

President Bush has approximately 5 more months in office. During this period, Iran will most likely have nuclear capability, if they don't already. Israel is painfully aware of this fact, as the clock is ticking, day by day. A countdown that forces Israel to face the potential for their complete destruction, by a leader who has promised such on many occasions. Israel also knows that they have a "favorable" administration in office now, and that may change in a few short months. That fact puts tremendous pressure on Israel to make decisions based on the U.S. political climate.

Additionally, there is good evidence (here) that a military buildup has been ongoing in the Persian Gulf, where a large percentage of the world's oil supply is shipped on a daily basis. The U.S. has sent the largest armada to this region since the Gulf War began in 2003. French and British ships are also moving into this region, paralleling the U.S. movements into the Gulf.

This is a very large show of military force in this tenuous region. We have been watching this region, as we know from the biblical prophets, notably Ezekiel and Zechariah, that those countries surrounding Israel will launch a massive attack upon Israel. This attack, according to Ezekiel will lead to God's direct intervention - an intervention that will be obviously performed by God and God alone. Its hard to imagine what that will look like, but it will obviously be quite dramatic.

The Middle-East is a powder keg at the moment. Tensions are extremely high right now. And because of politics, and the political process in the U.S., we may be seeing some epic events take place over the next five months. The window of opportunity for Israel to take action is rapidly closing - based not only on U.S. politics, but also because of Iran's imminent development of nuclear arms.

Keep watching. I believe Jesus is preparing His return - to gather His Bride, the Church, for an early "exit" from this planet. Its a promise:

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my fathers house there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me, that you also may be where I am."

Jesus is coming. I believe this will be soon, probably sooner than most folks realize.

Are you ready?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Is Gog-Magog on the Move?

Prophecy watchers have been watching Russia and Iran with great interest. We know that Ezekiel 38 and 39 makes a clear reference to modern day Russia. Ezekiel mentions a figure known as "Gog", which is a title given to the leader of the land of "MaGog". Ezekiel 38 also tells us that Gog is the "Chief prince of Meshech and Tubal". We know these names as the descendants of Noah - a group who later became known as the Scythians, who settled in what is now known as Russia. If this clue weren't enough, we get further confirmation of this idea, in Ezekiel 39:2, where God announced to Ezekiel that this group (Magog, Meshech and Tubal) will ultimately invade Israel from the "far north". From the perspective of Israel, this can only be Russia.

This week, Russia has invaded, not only the "disputed" area of South Ossetia, but they have also sent missiles and troops into the larger cities of Georgia and are threatening to continue moving south. As reported Russia is attempting to overthrow the government of Georgia, and from ongoing reports, this appears to indeed be the case.

A glimpse of maps of the region clearly indicate that Russia, once in control of Georgia would have a corridor through Turkey, to northern Israel. Lebanon and Turkey are already squarely in Russia "camp", based on mutual agreements, both militarily and economic, which have taken place over the past several years.

Its hard to see exactly how this story will play out. There are many many rumors circulating at the moment - too many to post. To summarize, there are many possibilities:

1. Russia has been quite vocal in their displeasure with U.S. efforts to bring Georgia into NATO. This invasion sends a strong signal regarding that scenario.

2. Israel has been providing Georgia with arms for several years; something else that Russia has been unhappy with. Additionally, rumors have been circulating that Israel was planning to use Georgia's airports and military landing strips for an invasion of Iran's nuclear sites. Russia may be intervening on behalf of Iran (aka "Persia"), in order to help prevent Israel's potential attack.

3. Russia has been attempting to gain more and more access and control in the Middle-East. Russian control of part, or all of Georgia would give them an excellent "staging" area for influence just a little further south - in the Middle East.

These recent events are ominous. The rhetoric between Russia and the U.S., who is an ally of Georgia, has reached cold war status. Its difficult, as usual, to see exactly what will occur next. We know the invasion from "Gog-MaGog" will come from the north, and Russia is now moving towards the south. We may be seeing the very first stages of the invasion of Israel, by Gog's forces.

Jesus told us that we would see "War and rumors of war", but we should not be alarmed (Matt. 24). God is in control, and He has a master plan that is rapidly coming to a conclusion. The geopolitical alliances and movements taking place right now, are shaping up exactly as the prophetic scriptures indicated.

Keep watching. Gog may be on the move. Ezekiel 38 and 39 seems more in focus today than ever before.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Jerusalem: The Focus of the Middle East and the World

Approximately 2,500 years ago, the prophet Zechariah warned us that Jerusalem would be the focus of the world's attention in the last days. Before 1967, Jerusalem wasn't a consideration in terms of the world's attention; a small city in the Middle East with seemingly no significance. Then, while Israel was in the process of responding to yet another attack by surrounding enemies, Jerusalem was taken by Israel. Thats when the process began - a process of dispute over who "owns" Jerusalem. Its also when Jerusalem became central in all negotiations regarding peace in the Middle East.

As reported this week we see how Jerusalem is the last "sticking point" as far as completing a "Peace Plan" for Israel and the surrounding terrorist groups. As we have witnessed several times in the past, most notably during the Clinton administration's efforts to finalize a peace plan in 1993, the lack of an agreement over Jerusalem ultimately prevented the plan from completion. We are seeing the same difficulty today - the lack of agreements over the fate of Jerusalem, and how it would be "divided", remains as the last barrier during these ongoing negotiations.

The detail and specificity of biblical prophecy is stunning. Just read the words from the prophet Zechariah, as written approximately 2,500 years ago - at a time that Jerusalem had just been completely destroyed by the Babylonians, and there was little hope for Jerusalem to even exist again, much less be the center of the world's attention. Despite this, we see the following prophetic scriptures:

"This is the word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays out the foundation of the of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: 'I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling.'"

"On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves"

(Zechariah 12:1-3)

These scriptures perfectly describe the current situation in the Middle East. Jerusalem - a small, seemingly insignificant city, buried in the region - yet, as predicted has become the focus of the peace efforts - and in turn, is thus the focus of all nations involved. Additionally, Jerusalem is completely surrounded by radical Islamic terrorist groups, all with stated objectives to destroy Israel: Hezbollah, which is embedded in Lebanon, just to the north of Israel, Hamas, who occupies the Gaza strip, to the west of Israel, and Fatah, who is embedded in the west bank. Extending outward, with countries such as Syria, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Libia, Sudan, etc., indicate that Israel is indeed surrounded by enemies. A quick glimpse of a map reveals this truth.

Jerusalem. A small city in the middle of a large planet. A city that barely existed at the time of Zechariah's prophetic writings. Yet - because prophecy comes directly from God, as spoken by the prophets (2 Peter 1:19-21), we shouldn't be surprised. We have the news of our future, written in advance by these prophets. Jerusalem will continue to be the focus of the world's attention - right up until the Second Coming of Christ Jesus.

Keep watching. Its all about Jerusalem.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Will Gog-MaGog Lead to the Rise of the Antichrist?

As we watch current events unfold in the Middle-East, particularly with regard to Iran's progress towards nuclear capability, its easy to speculate regarding the potential order of events. According to Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, Iran is headed toward a "Nuclear Breakthrough", and a nuclear program that is "unacceptable". Mozat is a former army Chief of Staff and a candidate to replace Prime Minister Ehud Olmert when he steps down in September.

We inch closer and closer to the events described in Ezekiel 38-39, known as the invasion of Gog-MaGog. "Gog" is a title given to the leader of the invading forces. Ezekiel's prophetic scriptures describe the land that Gog leads, as Meshech and Tubal. We know from Genesis 10 that Meshech and Tubal were sons of Japheth, who was Noah's son. Known as the "Japhethites", these people settled in the land which is now known as Russia. Ezekiel 38 and 39 also describe the invading forces as coming from the "far north" (Ezekiel 38:15 and 39:2), which from Israel's perspective, is Russia. Iran is known to also participate in this invasion, as Ezekiel 38 describes "Persia" included in the invasion, and Iran was formally "Persia" until the 1930's.

Israel will most likely bomb the nuclear facilities in Iran within the next 6 months, and possibly towards the end of this year. There are many rumors and articles written which describe the rationale of Israel attacking these facilities between November and January 2009, timed to occur after the U.S. elections but before the next president is sworn in.

We know from biblical prophecy that these invading countries will be destroyed in a dramatic way (Ezekiel 38:14-23 and 39:1-16) - such that the clean-up alone will take seven months. The Islamic countries who participate in this invasion will be severely weakened after this brief war.

We also know from biblical prophecy that a figure known as the Antichrist (Revelation 13) will rise to power with what initially appears as peaceful motives (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3), as he "confirms" a peace plan in the Middle-East, primarily involving Israel (Daniel 9:27). Given this, its easy to envision a scenario in which, immediately after this epic destruction of massive troops against Israel, the Middle-East, and the world will be in search of ANYONE who can create "permanent peace" in the region. It will be a ripe time, not only for a peace plan to finally be confirmed, but a unique time because of a severely weakened Muslim population in the region.

The potential scenario would be this: Israel bombs the nuclear facilities in Iran. Russia would immediately be brought into the situation, as their alliances with Iran dictate, and because thousands of Russian workers at these numerous facilities would undoubtedly be killed and injured. This could be the spark necessary for the invasion of "Gog-MaGog" described in Ezekiel 37-38. Following the massive destruction of these invading forces and their countries - it would be a very very easy time to confirm peace in the Middle-East, including a provision for rebuilding the Israel's Temple on the Temple Mount.

Even if this exact scenario doesn't play out in this manner, there is no doubt that this brief war will have dramatic implications for the Middle-East, and, in turn, the rest of the world. More importantly, it will have enormously significant implications regarding biblical prophecy, and the last events leading to the Tribulation.

We believe that we are in the very last days. Soon, there will be a gathering in Heaven. A celebration. Seeing loved ones again and regathering with them. Seeing the very face of Jesus Christ. Entering the gates of Heaven. Seeing God in His splendor and glory. It all awaits those who have accepted the gift of the cross. And it will exceed anything and everything our human minds can conceive.

Maranatha! Our Lord Come!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Leadership Change in Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced that he will resign from office, and a successor will be named by September.

The Jerusalem Post reports that this change will trigger political change in Israel. One never knows how things will develop politically in Israel, but any significant change such as this, with new leadership at the top position, can lead to many scenarios:

1. Will the neighboring terrorists states see this an an opportunity to attack Israel?
2. How will the next leader handle the peace talks between Israel and the "Quartet" (US, Russia, EU and UN), which have been
ongoing for years? Will the next leader complete the "peace process" and create a Palestinean State? If so, what will the
borders look like?
3. Will the next leader decide to attack the nuclear facilities in Iran?
4. What will the next leader do with regard to Jerusalem? The Temple mount? The Golan Heights?

All of these big questions will have to be addressed by the next Prime Minister. All of these questions contain implications for prophecy fulfillment.

The situation in the Middle East seems to be progressing at a very rapid pace. It is hard to envision a scenario in which the next Israeli leader will not play a prominent role in prophecy. The next three months will be very interesting as political alliances in Israel will change, and power will shift.

We need to keep a very close eye on the Middle East right now. Any significant development seems to move us one step closer to the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39, which describe the invasion of Israel from an alliance consisting of Russia and Iran, along with a consolidation of other surrounding Islamic countries. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, we may also see the political changes in Israeli leadership which would permit fulfillment of Daniel 9:27. This is felt to be the covenant which creates "peace" in the Middle-East. The same covenant that will serve as a signal that the Tribulation, as described in Matthew 24 and Revelation 6-18, has offically started - That same period of time that the Church will have entered the gates of Heaven.

Keep watching. The vast majority of remaining biblical prophecy will center in and around Israel. Any significant change politically, in the Nation of Israel, has the potential for prophetic significance. The next few months could be very interesting indeed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Daniel's Prophecy: The Last Empire

The Prophet Daniel was given visions of the future of the nation of Israel, as it was ruled by four "gentile kingdoms". These prophetic scriptures are found in Daniel 2 and 7. History has shown that these empires, in successive order, included the Babylonian Empire (626 BC-539BC), followed by the Medo-Persian Empire (539 BC-330 BC), which was followed by the Greecian Empire (330 BC-63 BC) and then the Roman Empire which was in existence at the time of Christ and remained so for approximately 300 years.

Daniel also saw that the same basic Roman Empire (geographically) would also exist at the time of the Second Coming of Christ, only Daniel saw a different type of government structure in place. In Daniel 2:40, he described the first Roman Empire as being like "iron", and indeed thats exactly how the Roman Empire governed at the time of Christ; they occupied towns and cities and ruled them, forcing the occupied people to obey their every rule and law. In Daniel 2:41, Daniel saw a Roman Empire in existance at the time of the Second Coming, only this version of the Roman Empire would be more like "baked clay and partly of iron" (Daniel 2:41). He elaborated in the next two verses: " this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay."

Daniel saw an end times Roman Empire which would grow (Daniel 7:23) and ultimately give birth to a figure known as the Antichrist (Daniel 9:26-27). Daniel 7:19-23 and Revelation 17 give a full description of how this "revived" Roman Empire will grow into a world empire, which also rules over Israel.

Prophecy scholars who take a literal view of prophetic scriptures, particularly John Walvoord and Dwight Pentecost, and later Hal Lindsey have all been predicting, since the 1960's, that we'd see a peaceful union of European States form, which would later grow into a union of countries which would look like the Roman Empire which existed over 1,700 years ago. Such predictions were based on a literal view of the passages above. When this concept was introduced, not long after World War II, it was considered ridiculous - just the idea of a union including countries such as France and Germany was unthinkable. As a result, these literal authors faced ridicule, but they stood firm and continued writing and teaching prophecy in a literal way, based on how prophetic fulfillment has been recorded throughout history.

We watched as the European Union (EU) gathered strength while it grew into a collection of 27 countries, representing well over 500 million people. We also watched as their partner group, the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) joined the union through a staggering array of policies which united each member state with the EU. By combining the map of the EU and the ENP, one can easily see how it is almost identical with maps of the first Roman Empire, which existed at the time of Christ. Additionally, unlike the "original" Roman Empire, which was described in Daniel 2 as "iron", the revival of the Roman Empire, as expected at the time of the Second Coming, is described by Daniel as a "mixture" - something like a confederation described as "iron and clay" - a mixture that is difficult to unite.

Just this week, we have now witnessed a formalized union combining the EU and these Mediterranean countries, now totaling 43 countries and over 750 million people - in the form of a Mediterranean Union which looks exactly like what Daniel predicted. The countries surrounding the southern Mediterranean are predominately Muslim, and the traditional EU countries are predominately Roman Catholic. Iron and clay indeed; just like Daniel's description.

Joel Rosenberg has a fascinating commentary on this union, including pertinent maps.

We inch closer day by day to the tribulation period described in the book of Revelation, chapters 6-19. The same literal scholars who have been amazingly accurate for the last 50-60 years, based on a literal view of biblical prophecy, also point to a Rapture of the Church, or the "catching up" as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-52, which we believe will occur prior to this tribulation period. This is the hope and encouragement that was given by the apostle Paul in 1 and 2 Thessalonians, as we face a seemingly ominous world. The beginning of the tribulation period is coming into focus. Revelation 17 tells us that once this revived Roman Empire is formed, it wouldn't last long. The Second Coming of Christ will end this last human empire. Daniel 2:44-45 and 7:26-27 inform us that this last empire, the "revived" Roman Empire will end at the time of Christ's return.

We see the signs every day - warning us that the Tribulation is approaching.

As they say around Thanksgiving: "When you start seeing Christmas decorations, you know that Thanksgiving is near."

We can say the same about the Rapture of the Church: "When you see the signs of the Tribulation, you know the Rapture is near."

Maranatha! Our Lord Come!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

War and Rumors of War: Part II

The rhetoric in the Middle East is heating up at an alarming pace. Just this week, several significant developments have been observed. Joel Rosenberg has summarized several developments in a recent commentary. Once again, the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has repeated his inflammatory claims by stating that the U.S. and Israel are soon to be "annihilated". At the same time, Iran just conducted dramatic missile tests which officially confirm that they now possess the capability to deliver a nuclear warhead which can reach anywhere in Israel. According to abc news, Iran's new Shahab 3 missile travels 1,250 miles and can obviously reach any location within that radius.

At the same time, as reported in The Times, Russia issues their strongest threat to date, by declaring that they will respond by military means if the U.S. places any missile defense systems in the Czech Republic. An agreement doing just this was announced this week, as Condoleezza Rice signed a formal agreement between the U.S. and the Czech Republic. This type of rhetoric between the U.S. and Russia hasn't been observed since the peak of the cold war.

This situation is clearly beginning to reach a criitical point.

The prophet Zechariah informed us of this evolving situation. He was given prophecy which revealed that Israel would be surrounded by her enemies in the latter days. He saw Jerusalem as a "burdensome stone" for the "surrounding peoples", and he informed us that any people who try to lay seige against Israel will be "cut into pieces" (Zechariah 12).

Israel's enemies have obviously neglected to recognize this strong warning from God, through his prophet Zechariah. The prophet Ezekiel gave us more detail in chapters 38 and 39 of these prophetic warnings. Isaiah did the same in chapter 17.

Israel will not be destroyed. We know that both Israel and the Temple will be in existance during the Tribulation period. There will be warfare in and around Israel, but Israel will stand. According to Ezekiel, God will directly intervene, according to His perfect timing - and prevent Israel's destruction.

Israel will stand strong. Those countries involved in the planning of Israel's destruction have ignored the warnings: God's warnings, as written in the Bible. God's warnings are not ambiguous, nor difficult to understand, In fact, the warnings are quite straightforward: "I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment, which I have executed" (Ezekiel 39:21) and "Thus, I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord." (Ezekiel 38:23)

Warnings. Is anyone listening?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

War and Rumors of War

As we watch the Middle East situation, with Israel and Iran on the brink of war, it is almost difficult to distinguish the actual news from the prophetic scriptures. The news is remarkably consistent with the information provided by biblical prophecy. We know from Ezekiel 38 and 39 that an alliance of nations, as led by Russia and Iran will launch a massive invasion of Israel. Isaiah 17 informs the reader that Damascus, Syria will be destroyed completely, never to exist again as a city. It is often speculated that somehow these two events are related. Syria is currently aligned with both Russia and Iran in mutual defense agreements; if one of these countries is attacked, the others will become involved in their defense.

Just this week, several ominous developments have received much public attention.
ABC news is reporting that Israel is planning an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, and it could occur by the end of the year. Such an attack, which is said to have "enormous security and economic repercussions for the United States and the rest of the world", would result in retaliation against Israel and the U.S. Because of the mutual defense agreements, one would assume that Russia and Syria would also become involved.

Iran responded to this threat by a declaration that they would also close off the Strait of Hormuz, which is a major shipping route for our oil. The Jerusalem Post quoted Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff, commander of the U.S. Navy's 5th fleet, with the following statement "any attempt to close off the Strait of Hormuz is an act of war" and said that the U.S. simply would not allow this.

So, in one week, we have another prediction that Israel will launch a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. We have Iran threatening to retaliate in a number of ways, including a blockade of the Strait of Hormuz. We have an American officer stating that such actions will be a declaration of war against the U.S. We have tangible, well known alliances between Russia, Iran and Syria and many other alignments of Islamic states in the region. All of this occuring while Iran races to develop nuclear missiles at a time when their president promises to destroy Israel.

According to Ezekiel's prophecies, we would expect to see these alliances formed and this invasion launched, "in the latter days", after Israel had been regathered as a nation. Israel became a nation again in 1948. Since that time we have witnessed these military alliances - alliances that would ultimately come together for the sole purpose of destroying Israel - come together in a dramatic manner. Just as the Bible predicted.

Keep watching. The Middle East is a powder keg at the moment. We know what will happen - the only question is when it will happen. Several experts have now declared that they believe Israel will take action before the end of the year.

We are to watch, but we are not to be alarmed. As Jesus stated in Matthew 24 "You will hear of war and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen."

Wars and rumors of war indeed. Just a matter of time.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Miracles, Signs and Wonders

Prophetic scriptures, as directed to the last days and that generation, contain a variety of warnings. We were informed of what this era would look like in almost every detail imaginable. One of the most consistent and frequent warnings, in the context of "end-times" scriptures is directed towards false teachings and false prophets. Just to name a few of these warnings:

- "At that time many will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other, and many false teachers will appear and deceive many" (Matt. 24:10-11)
- "Watch out that you are not deceived" (Luke 21:8)
- "Watch out that no one deceives you" (Matt. 24:4)
- "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies...Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into dispute. In their greed the teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up" (2 Peter 2:1-3)
- "But these men blaspheme in matters they don't understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed" (2 Peter 2:12)
- "For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error" (2 Peter 2:18)
- "I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray" (1 John 2:26)
- "Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray" (1 John 3:7)

- "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They refused to love the truth and so be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)

- "For a time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths" (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Obviously, false teachings were of great concern in these prophetic writings from Jesus, and the apostles Peter, John and Paul. In fact, these particular warnings are usually included in almost any passage relating to prophecy for our age.

Recently, we have seen an array of claims made by various public figures - such as the ability to make frequent trips back and forth to heaven, visitations and personal messages from angels, "special communications" from God (only given to them) and even the ability to perform resurrections of the dead. Most of these so-called pastors spend very little time in the scriptures, but prefer to rely on their so-called "special communications" with angels and/or God Himself.

The only way to determine if someone is teaching a false message, is to know and understand the scriptures. Many of these false teachers will (occasionally) reference the bible and often make loose associations between their "teachings" and random, unrelated scriptures. In my experience, even a basic understanding of the referenced passages reveals either their lack of understanding, or perhaps an intentional misuse of scriptures. Yet thousands seem to embrace "what their itching ears want to hear" as they observe such false teachings and as they seemingly witness "counterfeit signs and wonders".

False teachings and false teachers. We have an abundance of scriptures which inform us to be aware of this prophetic scenario - a scenario which would only increase as we approach the end of the age. The clear intent of these multiple warnings, as contained in the prophetic scriptures, is to prevent us from being deceived and from being subsequently "led astray". The same scriptures tell us that even though we may see what appear to be "signs and wonders", are in fact "counterfeit" and not from God, but "in accordance with the work of satan".

We have an abundance of warnings. At the same time, there are many claims being made by individuals - claims that range from receiving personal messages from heaven - to the ability to resurrect the dead.

For me - I'll trust the scriptures.