Wednesday, June 24, 2009

God's Warnings: Signs of the Times

God has used prophecy throughout the Bible, to warn those people on earth. Elijah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Moses, Joel, Ezekiel and on and on this list goes. Throughout history, God spoke directly through His prophets (2 Peter 1:16-21) to issue warnings to His people. Typically, people ignored these warnings and ignored the prophets - thus, also ignoring God Himself.

We see the same thing today (thus confirming the idea that the only thing we learn from history, is that people don't learn from history), as people typically scoff at biblical prophecy. This, too was predicted by the Apostle Peter, in a description found in 2 Peter 2:3:

"First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their evil desires. They will say, 'Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.' But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed."

The Apostle Peter said several important prophetic facts in this writing. First he stated something that I hear almost every day, even from Church leaders. It is quite common to hear the following: "I don't want to get into prophecy because people have been wrong about it in the past...I don't want to be like 'those people'". In other words, like Peter stated - people will say that they have been hearing about prophecy, previously, yet everything still remains the same, and Jesus still hasn't returned. Of course this is a ridiculous use of 'logic", but we still hear it daily.

The Apostle Peter also stated that people "deliberately forget" that it was God's word alone that formed the earth and the very waters that later destroyed the earth via the flood. I believe Peter is referencing the fact that most people refuse to consider that God can directly intervene on earth, and has the power to do whatever He chooses, including causing "big", "epic" events such as the flood - simply by "God's word". Peter felt the need to remind folks of this important fact - even though Christians know this, they can "deliberately forget" about God's power and might, and as a result, they can subsequently scoff at biblical prophecy. Scoffing, according to Peter, requires conveniently and deliberately "forgetting" about God's capabilities.

It is in this context that the following message is included in its totality. Dr. David Reagan has written a very nice summary of why we prophecy watchers believe that we're at the very end of the age - the age before Jesus makes His appearance - first to the Church, via the "harpazo", aka "Rapture" described in 1 Thessalonians 4, and then, approximately seven years later, to the rest of the world at the Second Coming.

The link can be found here, and the commentary (long but definitely worthwhile) is found below:

Jesus is Coming Soon!
We are living on borrowed time.
by Dr. David R. Reagan

Many people believe there is nothing that can be known about the timing of the Lord's return because Jesus said He would return like a "thief in the night" (Matthew 24:42-44).

But Paul makes it clear in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 that Jesus' statement does not apply to believers: "But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief..." He then proceeds to explain why: "for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober." Paul is referring, of course, to the light of the Holy Spirit who indwells all true believers and who can enlighten us through our study of Scripture to know the season of the Lord's return (1 John 2:27).
God's Attitude

As a matter of fact, God is obligated by His character to warn the world of the imminent return of His Son. The reason is that Jesus is returning in great wrath to "judge and wage war" (Revelation 19:11), and God never pours out His wrath without warning.

God does not wish that any should perish, but that all should be brought to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Therefore, God always warns before He executes His wrath. He warned the world through Noah for 120 years. He warned Sodom and Gomorrah through Abraham. He sent Jonah to warn the pagan city of Ninevah, and He sent Nahum to the same city 150 years later.

Likewise, God is warning the world today that His Son is about to return. He is calling the world to repentance. The message of the hour to unbelievers can be summed up in these words: "Flee from the wrath that is to come by fleeing into the loving arms of Jesus now." Jesus came the first time as an expression of God's love; He came to die for the sins of Mankind. But when He returns, He will come in vengeance to pour out the wrath of God on those who have rejected God's love and grace.

The soon return of Jesus also carries with it a message for believers. Lukewarm Christians and carnal Christians are being called to commit their lives to holiness: "The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts" (Romans 13:12-14).
God's Method of Warning

God is alerting believers of the soon return of His Son through what are called "signs of the times." These are prophecies concerning world events that we are told to watch for, prophecies that will identify the season of the Lord's return.

The Bible is full of these signs. There are about 500 prophecies in the Old Testament that relate to the Second Coming of the Messiah. In the New Testament, one out of every 25 verses is concerned with the return of Jesus.

In fact, there are so many signs that it is difficult to grasp all of them. The best way I have found to do this is to put them in categories:

1) The Signs of Nature — We are told to watch for earthquakes, famine, pestilence, and signs in the heavens (see Matthew 24:7 and Luke 21:11).

This is the least respected category of signs for several reasons. For one thing, many people simply shrug their shoulders and say, "There have always been natural calamities, so what else is new?" Note that Jesus says these signs will be like "birth pangs" (Matthew 24:8) — that is, they will increase in frequency and intensity as the time draws near for His return. In other words, there will be more intense earthquakes and more frequent ones. That is exactly what is happening today.

Another reason these signs are given little respect is because most Christians are so rationalistic that they do not really believe in the supernatural, and they therefore find it difficult to believe that God speaks to the world through signs of nature. Yet, the Bible teaches this principle from start to finish.

God dealt with the world's sin through a great flood in the days of Noah (Genesis 6). He called the nation of Judah to repentance through a terrible locust invasion (Joel 1). In like manner, He called for the nation of Israel to repent by sending drought, wind storms, mildew, locusts, famine and pestilence (Amos 4:6-10). The prophet Haggai pointed to a drought as evidence that God was calling the people to get their priorities in order (Haggai 1:10-11).

The New Testament begins with a special light in the heavens marking the birth of the Messiah (Matthew 2:2). On the day that Jesus was crucified, there was three hours of darkness and an earthquake (Matthew 27:45-51). And when Jesus returns, the earth will experience the greatest earthquake in its history as every mountain is lowered, every valley is raised, and every island is moved (Revelation 16:17-21).

God has always spoken through signs of nature, and He continues to do so today. We had better pay close attention to them.

2) The Signs of Society — Jesus said that society will become increasingly lawless and immoral as the time approaches for His return. In fact, He said it would become as evil as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:12,37-39).

Paul paints a chilling picture of end time society in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. He says it will be characterized by three loves — the love of self (Humanism), the love of money (Materialism), and the love of pleasure (Hedonism). He then points out that the payoff of this carnal lifestyle will be what the philosophers call Nihilism — that is, a society wallowing in despair. Men's minds will become depraved (Romans 1:28), and people will call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20).

We are seeing these prophecies fulfilled before our eyes today as we watch our society reject its Christian heritage and descend into a hellish pit of lawlessness, immorality, and despair. Even worse, we are exporting our nihilism around the world through our immoral and violent movies and television programs.

3) The Spiritual Signs — There are both positive and negative spiritual signs that we are to watch for. The negative ones include the appearance of false christs and their cults (Matthew 24:5,11,24), the apostasy of the professing church (2 Thessalonians 2:3), an outbreak of Satanism (1 Timothy 4:1), and the persecution of faithful Christians (Matthew 24:9).

These negative spiritual signs began to appear in the mid-19th Century when Christian cults started forming. First came the Mormons, then the Jehovah's Witnesses, and then a great variety of spiritualist groups like the Church of Christ Scientists and the Unity Church.

The apostasy of the mainline Christian denominations began in the 1920's when the German school of higher criticism invaded American seminaries and undermined the authority of the Scriptures, teaching that the Bible is Man's search for God rather than God's revelation to Man.

During the 1960's Satanism exploded on the American scene and has since been exported worldwide through American movies, books, and television programs. Dabbling in the occult has become commonplace in the form of astrology, numerology, crystal gazing, transcendental meditation, and channeling. The whole trend has consummated in the appearance of the New Age Movement with its teaching that Man is God.

As society has secularized, true Christianity has come under increasing attack. Judeo-Christian values, once the foundation of Western Civilization, are now openly mocked, and those who still adhere to them are castigated as "intolerant fundamentalists" by the media.

The positive spiritual signs include the proclamation of the Gospel to the whole world (Matthew 24:14), a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-32), and spiritual illumination to understand prophecies that have been "sealed up" until the end times (Daniel 12:4,9).

As with the negative signs, we are seeing these positive signs fulfilled in our day and time. Through the use of modern technology, the Gospel has been proclaimed throughout the world in this Century, and the Bible has been translated into all major languages.

The great end time pouring out of the Holy Spirit that was prophesied by the prophet Joel has also begun. Joel called it "the latter rain" (Joel 2:23), and he said it would occur after the Jews had returned to their land. The state of Israel was re-established in 1948. In 1949 God anointed two ministries that would have a worldwide impact — the ministries of Billy Graham and Oral Roberts. Then, in the 60's, came the Charismatic Movement which prompted renewal in worship and gave emphasis to the continuing validity of the gifts of the Spirit.

The acceleration in the understanding of Bible prophecy began in 1970 with the publication of Hal Lindsey's book, The Late Great Planet Earth. It seemed to open up to popular understanding many prophecies that had been "sealed up" until the end times (Daniel 12:4, 9). Remarkably, it became the number one best seller in the world — with the sole exception of the Bible — for the next ten years!

4) The Signs of Technology — The book of Daniel says that there will be an explosion of knowledge in the end times and that people will move about quickly (Daniel 12:4). There are many Bible prophecies that cannot be understood apart from modern technology. For example, how can the whole world look upon two bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem (Revelation 11:8-9)? Modern television satellite technology makes it easy. How can the False Prophet build an image of the Anti-Christ that appears to be alive (Revelation 13:15)? The answer, of course, is the science of robotics. How can the False Prophet require all people on earth to take the mark of the Anti-Christ in order to buy and sell (Revelation 13:16-17)? It would not be possible apart from computers and lasers.

Jesus said that the Tribulation will be so terrible that all life on earth would cease to exist if He did not cut the period short (Matthew 24:21-22). How could all life be threatened prior to the advent of nuclear weapons? Another reference to nuclear power is likely contained in Luke's statement that men in the end times will "faint from fear" because "the powers of the heavens will be shaken" (Luke 21:26). That certainly sounds like a reference to the splitting of the atom.

5) The Signs of World Politics — The Bible prophesies that there will be a certain pattern of world politics that will characterize the end time geopolitical map.

The focus will be the re-established state of Israel (Zechariah 12:2-3). It will be besieged by a menacing nation from the "remote parts of the north," the nation of "Rosh" — or modern day Russia (Ezekiel 38:2,6). There will also be a threatening nation to the East that will be capable of sending an army of 200 million — namely, China (Revelation 9:13-16 and Revelation 16:12-13). A third source of danger to Israel will be the Arab nations that immediately surround it. They will covet the land and will try to take it from the Jews (Ezekiel 35:10 and 36:2).

Another key player on the world political scene in the end times will be a coalition of European nations that will form a confederation centered in the area of the old Roman empire (Daniel 2:41-44, Daniel 7:7,23-24, and Revelation 17:12-13). This confederation will serve as the political base for the rise of the Anti-Christ and the creation of his worldwide kingdom (Daniel 7:8).

Other international political signs include wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:6), civil wars (Matthew 24:7), and general international terrorism and lawlessness (Matthew 24:12).

6) The Signs of Israel — The signs related to the state of Israel are prolific and very important.

The most frequently repeated prophecy in the Old Testament is the prediction that the Jewish people will be regathered from the "four corners of the earth" in the end times (Isaiah 11:10-12). The Bible states that a consequence of this regathering will be the re-establishment of the state of Israel (Isaiah 66:7-8). The Scriptures say that once the Jews are back in their land, the land itself will experience a miracle of reclamation (Isaiah 35). The desert will bloom and people will exclaim, "This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden" (Ezekiel 36:35).

Another end time miracle will be the revival of the Hebrew language (Zephaniah 3:9). Most people are not aware of the fact that when the Jews were dispersed from their land in 70 A.D., they ceased to speak the Hebrew language. The Jews who settled in Europe developed a new language called Yiddish — a combination of German and Hebrew. The Jews who migrated to the Mediterranean basin created a language called Ladino — a combination of Hebrew and Spanish.

Other significant signs of Israel that we are told to watch for in the end times include the re-occupation of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24), the resurgence of Israeli military strength (Zechariah 12:6), and the re-focusing of world politics on Israel (Zechariah 12:3).

All these signs have been fulfilled in this century. The nation has been re-established, the land has been reclaimed, the ancient language has been revived, the Jews are back in Jerusalem, and Israel is the focal point of world politics.

Jesus says in Luke 21:28 that when these signs begin to happen, we should "straighten up and lift up our heads" because "our redemption is drawing near."
The Key Signs

The most important signs are the ones that relate to Israel because God uses the Jews throughout the Scriptures as His prophetic time clock. By this I mean that very often when the Lord is revealing an important event that will take place in the future, He will point to the Jewish people and state that when a certain thing happens to them, the important event will also occur.

A good example of this principle can be found in Daniel 9 in the famous "Seventy Weeks of Years" prophecy. The prophet tells us to watch for a decree to be issued that will authorize the rebuilding of Jerusalem. He then says that the Messiah will come sixty-nine weeks of years (483 years) after that decree is issued to the Jewish people.

There are two key prophecies which relate the return of Jesus to events that have occurred in Jewish history since 1948. These two events clearly established the period in which we are now living as the season of the Lord's return.
The State of Israel

The first is the re-establishment of the state of Israel which occurred on May 14, 1948. Jesus singled out this event as the one that would signal His soon return.

His prophecy is contained in the fig tree parable (Matthew 24:32-35) which He presented in His Olivet Discourse. The day before He delivered this speech, He had put a curse on a barren fig tree, causing it to wither (Matthew 21:28-29). This was a symbolic prophecy that God would soon pour out His wrath upon the Jewish people because of their spiritual barrenness in rejecting His Son.

The next day Jesus reminded His disciples of the fig tree. He said to watch for it to bloom again. In other words, He said watch for the rebirth of Israel. He indicated that when the fig tree blooms again, He would be at the gates of Heaven, ready to return (Matthew 24:33).

Equally significant, He added an interesting observation: "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place" (Matthew 24:34). What generation? The generation that sees the fig tree blossom.

We are that generation. The fig tree has blossomed. Jesus is at the gates.
The City of Jerusalem

The second key event was prophesied by Jesus in the same speech, as recorded by Luke: "[The Jews] will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24).

The first half of this prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D., forty years after Jesus spoke the words. In that year the Romans under Titus conquered Jerusalem and dispersed the Jews among the nations. Jerusalem remained under Gentile occupation for 1,897 years — until June 7, 1967, when Israel won the city back during the Six Day War.

The Jewish re-occupation of the city of Jerusalem is proof positive that we are living in the season of the Lord's return. Jesus said it would mark the end of the Gentile Age.
A Call to Action

There is no way to escape the conclusion that we are living on borrowed time. The signs of the times are upon us, and they are shouting for our attention.

Are you ready? If Jesus were to return today, would He be your "Blessed Hope" (Titus 2:11-14) or would He be your "Holy Terror" (Revelation 6:12-17)? If you have never received Him as your Lord and Savior, now is the time to act. Repent of your sins, and call upon the name of the Lord that you might be saved (Acts 2:14-39).

And if you are a Christian, are you living as if Jesus might return any minute? Have you committed your life to holiness? Are you praying for the lost and witnessing the Lord when you have an opportunity?

Are you yearning for the Lord's return? Can you say with Paul that you are a candidate for a "crown of righteousness" because you have lived your life "in the love of His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:7-8)?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

More news, more signs

There is so much going in in world right now, its hard to keep up.

First, is the Iranian situation. No need to post links because every news organization, print and TV is covering this story. The question for prophecy followers is - what is the potential prophetic significance of the protests?

Its hard to know what the implications are. In my opinion, the protests will be squashed as Iran's leaders will clamp down and impose draconian measures against the protesters. If this is the case, in a matter of days, maybe weeks, this protest movement will be a thing of the past. If the protests continue, then the Iranian leadership will have to take alternative measures to maintain control and power. What would these measures be? Thats anyone's guess - but war against an "enemy" is always convenient. This situation is certianly worth watching closely.

The Swine Flu (under the prophetic category of "pestilences") is making a comeback in the news read here. The question should be - why the concern? This flu seems pretty typical, in fact, even mild as the number of deaths isn't remarkable for a flu. The reason for concern is potentially ominous. As mentioned previously - this flu, genetically has many similarities to the Spanish Flu of 1918, one of the worst pandemics the world has ever seen. Also, the Spanish flu took a very similar course to the Swine Flu (thus far), which was relatively mild through spring and summer, then hit hard in the fall with a mutated strain. This is the same fear - because the Swine Flu seems to continue infecting people worldwide and seems to refuse to go away, the possibility of a mutation into a more virulent form continues to increase.

As a follow-up to yesterday's post regarding Famine - we now see a new threat to the world's food supplies. Described as a "time-bomb" we read (article here) that a fungus which could wipe out more than 80% of worldwide wheat crops, is spreading rapidly from eastern Africa. It has jumped the Red Sea and has now traveled as far as Iran. According to the article "Experts say it is poised to enter the breadbasket of northern India and Pakistan, and the wind will inevitably carry it to Russia, China and even North America."

Additionally, this article states "A significant humanitarian crisis is inevitable...We are at a stage where the equivalent of Hurricane Katrina is offshore and we are shoring up the dikes as fast as we can." Don't forget, not only did Jesus describe famine as a sign of the generation, but we know from Revelation 6, that during the Tribulation, famine will be so significant that an entire day's work will be required for one day's worth of food.

Then we turn to the EU's ever present expansion and see another article relating to the Lisbon Treaty - which is moving along full steam ahead. In this article (read here) we see that the Lisbon Treaty (following Ireland's vote in October) will become effective before the end of the year. As stated before, this is highly significant as we watch the "Revived Roman Empire", (aka the EU and now Med. Union) continue consolidation and growth as prophecy from Daniel 2 and 7 dictates. More importantly, two powerful figures will emerge from the treaty, namely the "permanent" President of the EU and the position of Foreign Policy head (the exact title: High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy). In my opinion, the confirmation of the peace covenant between Israel and the Middle-East states (Daniel 9) could come from one of these two positions.

More news, more signs. Birth pains indeed; just as described by Jesus.

Oh, and of corse we're still watching the situation with North Korea.

Keep watching and keep praying. God's will to be done. Its all part of a master plan. God is about to reveal Himself in a dramatic way, whether its the Rapture of the Church, or the events of "Gog-MaGog" from Ezekiel 38-39. Are we weeks away? Months away? No one knows for sure - but according to Jesus, our job is to be ready at all times:

"So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time." (Mark 13:23)

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven...Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come." (Mark 13:33).

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." (Mattthew 25:13)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The "other signs" also marching along towards the end

We've all been so focused on Iran, Russia and Israel as moving towards the inevitable prophecy of Ezekiel 38-39, and the recent developments involving North Korea, we may forget that the other signs noted by Jesus in Matthew 24 are also progressing towards the end.

Jesus stated that one of the noteworthy signs during this last generation would be famine. For a variety of factors, the data reveals that famine has been getting progressively more severe over the past few years, resulting from drought, flooding, ethnic warfare leading to massive refugees throughout the world, and now the economic crisis. Today, two articles are stating that the "global crisis" has led to one billion people experiencing famine - the largest numbers ever reported in human history.

"World hunger hits one billion"

Then we watch developments within the EU. As stated many times in the past, currently, the EU rotates its presidency every six months. Once the Lisbon Treaty ratification process is finalized, things will change. Not only will a "Permant President" be placed in office, but the Foreign Policy position will be dramatically strengthened - so there will be two key positions within the EU with potential prophetic significance.

There are only four remaining countries who need to formally ratify the Lisbon Treaty for these changes to take place. However of the four remaining countries to ratify, three of them (Germany, Poland and Czech Republic) have already "approved" the treaty and ratification will be perfunctory. That leaves only Ireland - considered as the last "roadblock" to full ratification.

We now see that Ireland has reached a compromise with the EU (read here), and now Ireland is ready to come on board with the EU formally. This is highly significant because the EU will finally have a permanent president and a foreign policy head, both of whom will hold significant power.

We know from Daniel 9 that a leader from the revived Roman Empire will finalize and "confirm" a peace deal in the Middle-East - a peace deal that formally begins the Tribulation period. In my opinion, both of these positions within the EU, the President and the Foreign Policy head would have enough power to confirm the peace deal called for in Daniel 9. Thus, Ireland coming on board and essentially finalizing the Lisbon Treaty is HIGHLY significant. For a country-by-country review of Lisbon status read here.

It is amazing to me how every single prophetic sign given to this generation is present - War, rumors of war, famine, earthquakes, pestilences, nuclear technology which can destroy huge parts of the world, the revival of the Roman Empire, Jerusalem as the world's focus, Israel re-gathered and surrounded by enemies, the alliance between Iran and Russia, this alliance threatening Israel, nuclear proliferation among terrorist states, the rise of China as a world power, the decline of America, the growth of the EU and Med Union, the Lisbon Treaty, dramatic advances in travel and knowledge, and on and on the list goes. Every sign is currently present and accounted for AND progressing rapidly.

The signs are all here. Previous generations ignored prophecy. A quick read of the book of Jeremiah will confirm this. Jesus lamented that even the generation that witnessed His miracles, refused to acknowledge who He was as He walked the earth. Jesus called them hypocrits for not understanding the "signs" of His day - signs that clearly pointed to Jesus as Messiah.

We have more signs regarding our times than any other generation living in a prophetic era. There are no excuses. There are thousands of books and articles describing end-times prophecy. The information is readily available, and the signs confirming prophecy for our age - prophecy which reveals that the return of Christ Jesus is imminent.

Jesus is coming. He said so. He gave us the signs and these signs - without exception are ALL present and accounted for. These signs are also progressing in the exact manner which Jesus described - like birth pains. We are also reaching the very end of the generation described by Jesus in Matthew 24.

Are you ready?

Friday, June 19, 2009

In the news: more rumors of war

It has been an interesting week to say the least.

For some reason North Korea is creating a lot of controversy and concern for the U.S. and the world. After weeks of threatening South Korea, they are now threatening the U.S. As seen here, the U.S. has been forced to position missile defense systems around Hawaii in response to N. Korea's threats to send a missile towards the state of Hawaii. According to reports, North Korea probably lacks the technology for a missile to actually reach Hawaii, but they could send a missile to approximately 500 miles short of Hawaii.

So why would they aim a missile towards Hawaii?

Then we hear that North Korea is threatening retaliation against the U.S. and our allies "if provoked" read here, either in reference to their threat to send this missile, or perhaps another new threat emerging from North Korea.

This new threat as seen here involves
a mysterious ship which left North Korea and is now in the Pacific Ocean, and is being tracked closely by the U.S. Appparently, this ship is felt to have "illicit weapons proliferation" materials, which are rumored to involve nuclear materials. More rhetoric has come from North Korea, threatening war if any other country attempts to divert or board this ship.

The question becomes, why is North Korea threatening the U.S. with these actions?

Coincidentally (?) we are all following the story in Iran, as there are mass uprisings, primarily from the nations youth, because of the recent elections.

Could these two stories be interrelated? We know that North Korea and Iran consider themselves as allies. Could North Korea be creating an intentional diversion for reasons yet to be revealed? Or, is North Korea testing the U.S. resolve, for a future conflict? Or testing the U.S., somehow, for Iran's purposes?

Its difficult to know what the end-game will be for North Korea and/or Iran. It is also difficult to know what, if any, prophetic implications will be from these tensions. But these events seem potentially significant, as the world closely watches these developments in the region.

As always, we'll be watching.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Iranian elections: War is likely outcome

The Iranian elections are over, and surprisingly, the U.S. media seems shocked that the elections didn't appear "fair". To quote my 12 year old, I say a big "DUH" to that. Did anyone really expect fair elections in Iran? Huh? Really?

Joel Rosenberg has an excellent analysis and summary of the situation in Iran now and the implications of this election, (link here), with the headline:


UPDATED MONDAY MORNING: The Supreme Leader of Iran has spoken. It’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by a “landslide.” This means a major, cataclysmic war is the most likely outcome of the Iranian “elections.” And the battle lines are clear. It’s Netanyahu vs. Ahmadinejad — Bibi vs. Mahmoud — and the big question is: Who will strike first?

This weekend’s events in Iran tell us a lot.

First, the results prove that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei firmly, completely and whole-heartedly supports Ahmadinejad’s End Times beliefs. Khamenei also fully supports Ahmadinejad’s commitment to build nuclear weapons and long-range, high-speed ballistic missiles. What’s more, the Supreme Leader supports Ahmadinejad’s public commitment to destroy Israel and the U.S. to hasten the coming of the Mahdi. There is no daylight between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad on this Radical “eschatology,” or End Times theology, as some analysts and commentators have suggested. These two men are who I have said all along they are – members of an apocalyptic, genocidal death cult. They are kindred spirits. They are two peas in a pod. They are absolutely committed to their cause. They believe the wind is at their backs, that Allah is on their side, and they believe they will soon see complete victory. That’s what makes them so dangerous.

Second, the results prove that the people of Iran never had a real choice. This wasn’t a real election. It was totally and completely rigged by a Radical Muslim mafia, a police state without justice or compassion for those enslaved. The aftermath became, as one Iranian noted over the weekend, a Tehran Tiananmen. Protesters and dissidents were beaten, arrested and tortured. Text messaging was turned off. Facebook was shut down. The internet was down or slowed for vast stretches. All this prevents ordinary citizens from mobilizing their opposition to the government. That said, however, the massive turnout at the polls – and the street demonstrations and violence in Iran over the weekend — showed that even though Iranians didn’t have real Reformer candidates to choose from, the vast Iranians are deeply disgusted with the current regime. They long for true freedom and true democracy. They desperately wanted the elections to be real. They are ABA — anybody but Ahmadinejad. They don’t buy into the regime’s End Times theology. They desperately want someone to liberate them. I feel for them. I want them to be free. Now more than ever. [MOST BIZARRE HEADLINE OF THE DAY: Iran's supreme leader orders probe of vote fraud]

Third, the results prove that the Obama administration’s belief that you can sit down and have a rational discussion with such Radicals — or trust an agreement even if one could be negotiated with them – is absolutely nonsensical. How could we possibly trust the Iranian leadership to keep a promise to stop building nuclear weapons (if such a promise were made), when they steal elections and beat and torture dissidents in front of the whole world? The Obama administration should treat Khamenei and Ahmadinejad as pariahs now. The White House should praise the young people of Iran, the pro-democracy forces in Iran, the forces of freedom in Iran. And the President should condemn the Iranian government has totalitarian theocratic thugs, not offer to engage them. Not offer them concessions. Not reward such evil behavior. Why has the President been silent? Vice President Biden on Meet the Press yesterday at least challenged the legitimacy of the elections. That’s something. But why didn’t he say the weekend’s events in Iran just prove the leadership in Tehran are part of the axis of evil?

Fourth, as for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, he is right: Iran is the real threat to the region and the world, not Israel’s refusal to make more land for missiles concessions to the Palestinian leadership. Bibi’s assessment of the current Iranian regime is spot on, while the White House’s assessment has been exactly wrong. The real, existential threat to peace in the epicenter is Iran’s death cult leadership and their feverish pursuit of nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu was right to smoke out the real intentions of the Palestinian leadership and the Muslim leadership as a whole in the region. By agreeing that there could be a Palestinian state and then defining one that would truly be peaceful, Netanyahu shrewdly shifted the terms of the debate. He provoked a firestorm of criticism from the Arab and Muslim world, who are denouncing the speech in the harshest of terms. Which makes things crystal clear: Israel’s enemies don’t really want peace with Israel at this time. They don’t really want to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Thus they don’t really believe in “two states for two peoples.” What’s more, they don’t believe the putative Palestinian state should be demilitarized. Thus, they believe in a Palestinian state that would threaten the very existence of Israel. Why should Israel say “yes” to that? Israel gave land for peace in 2000 — withdrawing from southern Lebanon. What did it get? More than 4,000 rockets and missiles from the Iran-backed Hezbollah. Israel gave land for peace in 2005 — withdrawing from all of Gaza. What did it get? More than 10,000 rockets, missiles and mortars from the Iran-backed Hamas. Israel even offered in 2000 to divide Jerusalem and give the Palestinians about 93% of the West Bank and all of Gaza. What did Israel get in exchange? Arafat’s utter rejection of the offer and a wave of suicide bombers and other terrorist attacks. Upon what basis, then, would Israel be able to trust another land for peace deal in the near future?

Fifth, we need to pray for peace, but prepare for war. Our Joshua Fund board met over the weekend for several days of strategic prayer and planning meetings. At this point, we see our mandate clearly: Do everything we can to educate, awaken and mobilize the followers of Jesus Christ to pray for peace, and do everything we can prepare for war in case the Lord allows a cataclysmic battle ensue between Israel and Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. We are working on building the organizational and financial infrastructure to eventually provide $100 million worth of food, clothing, medical supplies and other relief aid to Israel, and another $20 million to Israel’s immediate neighbors. This will take time and much effort. It’s not clear how quickly we can achieve this goal, but I believe we are moving in the right direction. We’ve expanded our budget this year (In 2006, TJF’s budget was $160,000. This year, it is about $5.7 million.) We’ve increased the size of our staff (from 1 in 2006 to 4 full time employees today). We are actively recruiting several new staff positions. We’re working with our financial services provider to expand their capacity for receiving and processing donations. We’re working to improve our communications to our donors so we can do a still-better job at briefing them on the projects we’re doing and how we’re investing the resources they’ve entrusted to us. We’re recruiting more prayer partners. We’re building more government and civilian allies in Israel and the region. We’re working to build more allies among evangelical pastors and ministry leaders in North America and beyond. We’re also taking up to 300 evangelical leaders and lay people to Israel in November for a “prayer & vision trip.” And, as the Lord gives us grace, strength and resources, we will do more to help followers of Christ “learn, pray, give and go.” This is a critical moment. The threat is real. The time is short. We would be grateful for your continued prayers and support in the weeks and months ahead. God bless you

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Finally: A factually correct, politically incorrect speech

Prime Minister Netanyahu just finished his speech, and it was quite a speech. For the first time in years, rather than attempt to be politically correct and please "the world", Mr. Netanyahu spoke the truth. Below, as provided by Haaretz News Flash is a line by line listing of Mr. Netanyahu's speech link here:

0:39 Netanyahu: With God`s help we will know no more wars, only peace (Haaretz)
20:37 Netanyahu: We are committed to bringing back Gilad Shalit safe and sound (Haaretz)
20:37 Netanyahu: Israel will not negotiate with terrorists who wish to destroy it (Haaretz)
20:36 Netanyahu: Palestinians must choose between the path of peace and that of Hamas (Haaretz)
20:35 Netanyahu: Settlers aren`t enemies of peace, they are our brothers and sisters (Haaretz)
20:33 Netanyahu: Future Palestinian state must be dematerialized if peace is to arrive (Haaretz)
20:32 Netanyahu: We do not want a Palestinian state that can become a terrorist base (Haaretz)
20:30 Netanyahu: We want the two peoples to live peacefully side by side (Haaretz)
20:30 Netanyahu: We don`t want to govern Palestinians or force our culture on them (Haaretz)
20:29 Netanyahu: There wouldn`t have been a Holocaust if Israel had been formed (Haaretz)
20:27 Netanyahu: Jewish people`s link with Land of Israel has lasted for 3000 years (Haaretz)
20:26 Netanyahu: Israel assimilated thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab nations (Haaretz)
20:25 Netanyahu: Palestinian refugees must find solution outside Israel`s borders (Haaretz)
20:24 Netanyahu: Palestinian leadership must show integrity and courage to attain peace (Haaretz)
20:23 Netanyahu: Even moderate Palestinians will not recognize Israel as Jewish state (Haaretz)
20:22 Netanyahu: Israel`s withdrawal from Palestinian territories has not brought peace (Haaretz)
20:22 Netanyahu: The closer we get to an agreement, the farther the Palestinians retreat (Haaretz)
20:21 Netanyahu: West Bank does not stand at the center of dispute with Arab world (Haaretz)
20:20 Netanyahu: Root of the dispute is refusal to recognize Israel as Jewish state (Haaretz)
20:19 Netanyahu: We must ask ourselves why has peace not arrived after 60 years? (Haaretz)
20:18 Netanyahu: I don`t want war, no one wants war (Haaretz)
20:17 Netanyahu: We want both Israeli and Palestinian children to live without war

In summary, Mr. Netanyahu made the following significant statements:

- Israel has a right to exist, and this must be agreed by the Palestinians. According to Mr. Netanyahu, this is the basis of the entire dispute.
- Israel will not divide Jerusalem.
- Israeli withdrawal from their land has never resulted in peace.
- Any potential "Palestinian State" would have to be "demilitarized".

This speech will NOT go over well in the main-stream-liberal-media. Nor will it go over well with Iran and the terrorist groups who surround Israel. It will be interesting to see the international reaction, but today marks the day that Israel finally took a definitive, clear stand on their position regarding the potential for peace in the region.

This is a fascinating development. Again, Israel has drawn a line in the sand. Although these comments seem rather obvious, previous Israeli leaders (recently) "played the game" that the mainstream media and politicians insisted that they play - give away land and pretend that their enemies really don't intend to destroy them. Pretend that the Palestinians really want Israel to exist as a country. Pretend that missiles aren't launched into Israel daily. Pretend that Palestinians really want peace, despite the fact that they have turned down every offer given to them for peace. Pretend that when Israel pulled out of Gaza, (uprooting thousands of Jews from their homes) - it did NOT lead to daily missile attacks, a terrorist base, and more violence. Pretend, pretend, pretend. That was the past game.

Mr. Netanyahu obviously refuses to play the game. He understands the conditions that exist today, and the tenuous grip that Israel hold on their very existence.

How does this fit into prophecy?

Keep watching, the story is unfolding daily. God's plan is being revealed more and more with each passing day.

Today's stand by Israel is a very significant development. Israel is no longer playing the game thats been dictated to them since their existence.

And that is exactly what is at stake - their existence.

Nothing to see here (yet); business as usual

So the Iranian elections have been held and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected as President. Was it a fair election? Probably not, but the fact remains, the radical Islamic leaders feel that Mr. Ahmadinejad suits their purposes. The only problem is, the group of leaders in Iran, including Ahmadinejad share a desire to see Israel destroyed, and in the process, trigger the return of the Mahdi which will (according to their "end-times" view) lead the world to complete submission to Islamic rule.

Perhaps more importantly, article here, we see that Iran will continue their race to develop nuclear arms. According to exiled Maryam Rajavi, leader of the French-based NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran), Western powers must abandon a "policy of appeasement" if they want to thwart Ahmadinejad's nuclear ambitions. Her quote:

"Sadly Iran will get the bomb if the West continues with its policy of negotiations. This is just giving the mullahs more time to play with."

The obvious question is: why are these developments between Israel and Iran SO important prophetically?

The following comments are opinion and speculation only, but shared by many who follow prophecy.

It is my belief that the Middle-East is a huge "powder-keg", waiting to be ignited. Once this is "ignited", I believe the final prophetic dominoes will fall quickly, in rapid succession.

Bible prophecy tells us of the "big" events which will occur. We don't have the specific sequence of events however, so as we watch things develop, its speculative but interesting to attempt to connect the dots.

What we do know:

- Damascus will be destroyed and will cease to exist as a city (Isaiah 17).
- At some point, a massive invasion will take place, with Israel as the target (Ezekiel 38-39). Russia and Iran are the first two nations mentioned by the bible as being involved in this Invasion (Ezekiel 38:4-5). God will supernaturally end this invasion by destroying the invaders. (Ezekiel 38:18-23, 39:21-29).

Its difficult to know if or how these two events are connected, but its hard to imagine that they are not connected, given the geopolitical situation in the region.

One aspect to Ezekiel 38-39 (again - speculation only, and perhaps weak speculation at that) which is worth contemplating seriously, is this: The "Church Age", also known as the "Age of Grace" has not included God showing His hand in an epic, obvious manner. Such actions by God seem to be reserved for the Nation of Israel - and a reading of the Old Testament should confirm this. The manner by which God ends this invasion, as described in these two pivitol chapters, is indeed "epic".

"I will display my glory among the nations" (39:21)
"From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God." (39:22)
"...and so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations." (38:23)
" the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes." (38:16)

Such actions by God (recognizing that God reserves the right to do whatever He decides!) - seem extremely inconsistent with the age of Grace - as God has not shown himself in this manner during the last 2,000 years. He HAS revealed Himself in this manner, however, to the Nation of Israel prior to the formation of the Church.

I believe (and I repeat, this is total speculation, but I believe the speculation is grounded in history and scriptures), that the Rapture of the Church will take place before this invasion of Israel (aka "Gog-MaGog" invasion). I believe this for the reasons stated and because it seems obvious from Ezekiel 38-39 that God has turned His full attention back to the Nation of Israel - just as He did prior to the formation of the Church.

If this premise is correct - and I believe it is - then one would conclude that the Rapture of the Church is approaching very rapidly. This is for the simple reason that the "powder-keg" seems ready to erupt - leading to the invasion of Gog-MaGog. Its hard to imagine a scenario of Israel-Iran staying "status-quo" for a lot longer. Israel knows that they MUST destroy Iran's nuclear facilities in order to survive. IF or when this happens, thousands of Russian workers will be killed, and Russia has already committed to defending Iran in such a scenario - the very genesis of the "Gog-MaGog" invasion.

It will be interesting to see what Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will say in a few hours today. Most of us are predicting that he will confirm that Israel is committed to peace in the region, but before serious negotiations take place, there must be an acceptance and formal recognition that Israel has a right to exist. We shall see.

While speculating, its important to see the alternative view. That alternative view consists of our being here to witness the events of Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 38-39. If so, the witnessing opportunity will be unparalleled during our lifetimes. It would serve to reveal God's dramatic hand of intervention, and it would serve to confirm the undeniable accuracy and precision of biblical prophecy.

Either way, it is obvious that we are on the threshold of some very "big" biblical events. Its a "win-win" scenario for the Church. Either we are in heaven at the time, or, we will have God's revealing Himself in a huge, dramatic, epic manner - as a launching pad for those who want to do God's work while on earth. Plus, we will have had the opportunity to watch God reveal Himself to those dwelling on earth.

We are living in a biblical age. Each of us were chosen to live here on earth during this period. Its time to reflect on God's majesty and His power. The creator of the universe is about to reveal His mighty hand.

Wow. It doesn't get any bigger than that.

Friday, June 12, 2009

In the news this week:

There have been several interesting developments this week.

First, today Iran's presidential elections are taking place. I am not that interested because it really doesn't matter who gets elected, prophetically, for two main reasons. The election is between current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and challenger Hossein Mousavi, who is viewed as a "reformer". The reformer aspect of his campaign is focused on their (failing) economy, not foreign policy. Both candidates will continue to expedite the nuclear program. Additionally, it is well known that the Islamic "clerics" actually determine all policy in Iran - the "President" is basically a puppet to the clerics.

As described in this article "Ahmadinejad lashes out at rival..." the same idea is summarized by the following statement:

"The outcome will have little direct impact in Iran's key policies - such as its nuclear program or possible acceptance of Washington's offer for dialogue - which are directly dictated by the ruling Islamic clerics. But Ahmadinejad has become a highly polarizing figure on the international stage with comments that include questioning the Holocaust and calling for Israel's demise."

This may be revealing, as the clerics may determine that its a better policy to keep their "end-game" goals (specifically, the destruction of Israel) much quieter, and getting rid of Ahmaddinejad could allow them to continue their nuclear progress in a much more covert way. Or they may feel that it doesn't matter, and continue to allow Ahmadinejad to hold his position. Either way, the clerics will determine who serves as President of Iran.

Another summary of the elections can be found here.

Perhaps more important news can be found here,
here, and

To summarize: Israeli Prime Minister "Bibi" Netanyahu is set to give a speech on Sunday, describing his positions on Middle-East peace plans. This is viewed as a counter to Obama's speech last week. There is a LOT of speculation regarding exactly what he will say, and it is difficult to determine until the speech. It will be a "landmark" speech, because it will formally define his new coalition's position in clear terms. While the details are uncertian, it does appear that we'll see the following:

Regardless of his statements relating to peace in the region, he will most likely demand that the "Palestinians" (in this case, we assume it will extend to Hamas and Hezbollah) recognize Israel as a nation, and confirm that Israel has a right to exist.

From that point, everything else will be irrevelant. We know from history that this point will never be recognized. IF (and thats a big "if") they DO recognize Israel's right to exist - it will be a lie, intended to buy temporary peace while they continue re-arming for an imminent invasion of Israel. It would be a lie (which, by the way, is a common method in Islamic "negotiations"), because we know from the last 60+ years what their intentions really are. Of course, we also know from bible prophecy what their intentions really are.

More than likely, Mr. Netanyahu recognizes that it is highly unlikely that the so-called "Palestinians" will recognize Israel's right to exist, thus, whatever else he says after that point will be largely irrevelant. Good luck finding this truth in the mainstream media.

Imagine that. Netanyahu simply wants the leaders with whom he is negotiating "peace" - to confirm their (Israel) right to even exist as a country. If it weren't so ridiculous and prophetic, it would be funny; but there is no humor here. God certianly doesn't find any humor in this situation, and a close reading of Ezekiel 38-39 will reveal God's view on the situation.

Sunday will be pivitol, as Israel takes their stand and makes their position clear to the world. It should be quite revealing, perhaps prophetic - we'll be watching closely.

Stay tuned, the story in the Middle-East is just starting to unfold.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Late Great U.S.A.

It is interesting that I stumbled on the commentary quoted below this morning. Just last night I was watching a fascinating speech given by prophecy expert Mark Hitchcock regarding "What happens to America in end times prophecy?"

This is a very common question. Why is America asked about so frequently in the context of prophecy? The answer is obvious. America has been the world's superpower during our generation, yet biblical prophecy doesn't mention America. There are a couple of vague references in biblical prophecy that could serve as indirect references to America (personally, I don't believe these vague references do reference America), but if so, these references would only serve as mentioning that America exists but nothing regarding the fate of America.

Additionally, in our prophetic scriptures, we see many scriptures referencing the world powers who are in "in play" during the Tribulation: Israel, Russia, the Kings of the East, the Kings of the South, the ever-expanding EU into world dominance, terrorists states surrounding Israel, etc., etc., but no reference to America. Why not?

It seems obvious that America will lose its superpower status during or before the Tribulation.

There are many theories on how this will occur. We can consolidate these theories into three main categories:

1. The U.S. is considered (biblically) as part of the EU expansion. America can be viewed as an extension of Europe now, as America was founded and populated primarily by Europeans. Therefore, biblically, America would be considered as part of the EU (aka revived Roman Empire), and will ultimately and formally, be swallowed up by the EU expansion.

2. The U.S. will be severely damaged by terrorism, perhaps by nuclear terrorism, or electromagnetic pulse weapons which would take significant parts of America "off the grid", without power, lasting for years, or perhaps some other act of terrorism which hasn't been considered yet.

3. The U.S. will be dramatically affected by the Rapture of the Church, under the theory that America would be disproportionately affected by the Rapture, particularly the military, as statistical data indicates that the % of Christians in America vastly exceeds the % of Christians in other countries, particularly our enemies.

A combination of the above factors could also occur, leading to America being a non-factor during the Tribulation.

Below, is a commentary written by Thomas Ice, and can be found on RaptureAlert. This commentary expounds on the "New World Order", which is rapidly evolving and rapidly leading to America's decline as a world power. Additionally, we know from biblical prophecy that during the Tribulation, there will be a world economic system and government, as led by the anti-christ and false prophet:

The Late Great U.S.A.

By Dr. Thomas Ice

"My son, fear the Lord and the king; do not associate with those who are given to change; for their calamity will rise suddenly, and who knows the ruin that comes from both of them?" ~ Proverbs 24:21–22

Former Clinton advisor and commentator Dick Morris announced:

"On April 2, 2009, the work of July 4, 1776 was nullified at the meeting of the G-20 in London."[1]
That is an amazing statement and a tragedy if true. One of my best friends in the ministry, with whom I have co-authored two books, Mark Hitchcock wrote a book, which was finished before last November's election, entitled The Late Great United States.[2] There are two other books listed on with similar titles. Why are many concerned that our great country is on the verge of extinction?


It is said after the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that a lady asked Dr. Ben Franklin the following: "Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy?" "A republic" replied the Doctor..."if you can keep it."[3] Well, apparently a growing number of Americans think that we have lost it after about 220 years. Some are suggesting that it was lost via suicide. What have we received in return for our once great republic? We are now part of an international oligarchy run by a bunch of global elites. How did this happen and when did this change take place?

Like many things that bring change, it has not taken place overnight. America has been gradually moving toward socialism for the last hundred years, but I do not want to trace that history in this article. I want to focus on recent events that are producing so much change since the election of Barack Obama as president of these United States.

Dick Morris notes that Obama at the recent meeting of the G-20 in London has agreed to enter the United States into an economical arrangement that will regulate our economy in terms of the international interests of this European dominated oligarchy at the expense of American interests. The agreement by which Obama has obligated the United States is called the Financial Stability Board (FSB), which is "a body of central bankers from each of the G-20 states and the European Union."[4] The head of the FSB is Mario Draghi, Italy's central bank president. In a speech on February 21, 2009, he gave us clues to his thinking. He noted that "the progress we have made in revising the global regulatory framework . . . would have been unthinkable just months ago."[5]

"Obama, perhaps feeling guilty for the US role in triggering the international crisis, has, indeed, given away the store," notes Morris. "Now we may no longer look to presidential appointees, confirmed by the Senate, to make policy for our economy. These decisions will be made internationally."[6]

So what does this mean specifically for the American economy? Morris said to Greta Van Susteren on Fox News the following:

Literally from April 2nd of this year-that is, today-it's a whole new world of financial regulation in which, essentially, all of the U.S. regulatory bodies and all U.S. companies are put under international regulation, international supervision. It really amounts to a global economic government.

. . . Just when Obama is accused of socialism, he's essentially creating world economic governance. This means that the FSB, . . . will make the decisions on what standards our own SEC and Federal Reserve board should apply to all firms in the United States of any significant size about executive compensation, market activities, and a whole range of issues that used to be under free enterprise reserved for private decision making.[7]
A New World Order

In 1989 President George H. Bush spoke of a new world order in one of his speeches. However, it produced a flurry of criticism and he stopped using the term in public. Many have known for a long time that the phrase "new world order" is essentially a code word for global socialism. The last couple of years, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown can hardly give a speech without making reference to the new world order. During a speech he recently gave in conjunction with the G-20 summit in London, sounding like a twenty-first century Neville Chamberlain, Brown said the following about the new world order:
"This is Collective action, people working together at their best . . . I think the New World Order is emerging, and with it the foundations of a new and progressive era of international cooperation...From today we will together manage the process of globalization...To secure responsibility from all and fairness to all."[8]
In January 2009, Henry Kissinger made a remark about the new world order during an interview with CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" hosts Mark Haines and Erin Burnett at the New York Stock Exchange. When Burnett asked him what international conflict would define the Obama administration's foreign policy, Kissinger said the following:
"The president-elect is coming into office at a moment when there is upheaval in many parts of the world simultaneously," Kissinger responded. "You have India, Pakistan; you have the jihadist movement. So he can't really say there is one problem, that it's the most important one. But he can give new impetus to American foreign policy partly because the reception of him is so extraordinary around the world. His task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period when, really, a new world order can be created. It's a great opportunity, it isn't just a crisis."[9]
No one can doubt that President Obama is currently taking advantage of the crisis. After all, Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both noted that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.

Further the Chinese and Russians have called for a new global currency that would replace the dollar and would not represent any specific country. They want the new global currency to be issued by the World Bank, which is something that seemed impossible this time last year but now could be a very real possibility in the near future.

The European Union

Dick Morris not only emphasizes that the United States is now locked into the matrix of a global economic oligarchy but it is one that will be primarily under the control of the European Union.
"You know, I've had a long experience in dealing with the European Union, and this is how they operate," explains Morris. "And in the meantime, they slip this in under the radar, which is absolutely creating an international economic union."[10]

Then Morris concluded with amazement, "This truly creates a global economic system. From now on, don't look to Washington for the rule making, look to Brussels."[11]

Thus, from a prophetic view, the Bible teaches that the tribulation will be a time in which there will be not only a global government during the last half of the seven-year tribulation, but that governance will emanate from the Revived Roman Empire. This means a Euro-centric power base is what we can expect and that is exactly what is developing. Morris concludes his article with the following comment:
"The Europeans have been trying to get their hands on our financial system for decades. It is essential to them that they rein in American free enterprise so that their socialist heaven will not be polluted by vices such as the profit motive. Now, with President Obama's approval, they have done it."[12]

Where are all of these explosive trends heading? As Bible prophecy predicts, there will be a one world government during the seven-year tribulation, headed by a person we know as the Antichrist. Since the Antichrist will arise out of the Revived Roman Empire, which the European Union appears to be setting the stage for just such an entity, we should not be surprised to see things trending in that direction even before the rapture.

Previously, the United States was often the one standing in the way of a global economy and government. We are not yet there, but who can doubt that since the beginning of the Obama presidency that we are indeed seeing change and moving into harmony with the one world government crowd. In the past the United States stood in the way and acted in her national interest, as I believe we should still do, but now we are the last domino to fall and nothing of significance appears to stand in the way of globalism. Only the future return of Christ after the tribulation will really bring change for Christians.

I have noticed on the internet that certain Bible prophecy ministries are noting the very things that I have just outlined and often call these things a "fulfillment" of Bible prophecy. Such language is an overstatement and an incorrect conclusion drawn from the signs of our times. Instead, it is best to see these events as preparation for fulfillment, which will take place during the tribulation that we are currently not yet in. We are seeing the stage being set for future events. Such stage-setting certainly is moving our pre-rapture world toward the one world government and economy that is predicted by Bible prophecy for this future time.

There are so many events taking place each day one can hardly keep up with them. Nevertheless, we are to always be looking up for Him. Maranatha!

[1] Dick Morris, "The Declaration of Independence has been Repealed" (, April 6, 2009).
[2] Mark Hitchcock, The Late Great United States: What Bible Prophecy Reveals about America's Last Days (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 2009).
[3] Cited at, number 1593.
[4] Morris, "The Declaration . . ."
[5] Morris, "The Declaration . . ."
[6] Morris, "The Declaration . . ."
[7] Dick Morris, "Obama a 'Disaster' at the G20 Summit," on Greta Van Susteren, "On the Record" ( April 3, 2009).
[8] David Hinz, "Gordon Brown Declares New World Order is Emerging" (, April 2, 2009).
[9] Drew Zahn, "Kissinger: Obama primed to create 'New World Order'" ( January 6, 2009).
[10] Morris, "Obama a 'Disaster'"
[11] Morris, "Obama a 'Disaster'"
[12] Morris, "The Declaration . . ."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

U.S. - Israel divide grows

There has been a lot of rhetoric going back and forth between Israeli leadership and U.S. leadership this week, and taking a step back to review the situation reveals a big divide developing between the two traditional allies. It started last week when it was revealed that president Obama was demanding that Israel stop all settlements in the West bank and Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was vague about expanding settlements and stated clearly that existing settlements would be allowed to have "natural growth". Apparently this didn't sit well with Mr. Obama.

A couple of days later, Mr. Obama punched back, by stating that Iran should be allowed to have nuclear power, but verification should take place that they would not develop nuclear weapons. This is absurd, because Iran sits on a huge lake of oil, and is obsessively working to develop nuclear arms. This isn't exactly a well-kept secret in the Middle-East. Additionally, it would be virtually impossible to determine if nuclear arms are being developed in Iran, as such development takes place in deep underground facilities, in scattered locations throughout Iran.

Now with his trip to the Middle-East (he is not visiting Israel, interestingly) it seems clear that he is turning away from Israel and turning towards partnership with the Islamic states who are sworn to destroy Israel. The U.S. administration also threatened to pull any UN support from Israel this week. Relations between the U.S. and Israel are ice cold right now.

Prophetically, this is a very important development. We know from Ezekiel 38-39, and from Zechariah 12, that in the last days Israel would stand alone against the entire world. It seem evident that God has set the stage for this isolation of Israel for one reason: Only HE will protect Israel. Just like so many times in the Old Testament, and more recently in 1948 when Israel was invaded within days of their formation as a nation, God will come to the rescue of Israel - and again - it will be seemingly against all odds.

The U.S. is turning their backs on Israel, and is strongly favoring the enemies of Israel.

It had to happen. Now the stage is set for the next developments in the region. Israel has no allies now, just as bible prophecy predicted - all nations on earth are gathered against the tiny country. But God will watch over His people.

Several months ago, before giving a talk on prophecy, I was looking for some scriptures to close the discussion of Ezekiel 38-39. I opened my bible to the Psalms, and Psalm 33 appeared. This Psalm is SO germane to these discussions, in the context of "the nations", who think they can change God's overall plans:

"The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
He thwarts the purposes of the peoples
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever
the purposes of his heart through all generations

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord
the people he chose for his inheritance

From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind
from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth"

(v 10-14)

"We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield
In him our hearts rejoice
for we trust in his holy name.

May your unfailing love rest upon us O Lord,
even as we put our hope in you."

(v 20-22)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Quiet before the storm

It seems like its been a long time since we've had a "quiet" week, prophetically. Not much to report over the past week. I do expect however, some interesting news items to result from President Obama's trip to the Middle East next week.

Its an interesting point, however. I can recall years ago (pre-9/11), that in the course of a calendar year, there might be 2-3 interesting news items with prophetic significance. Now, if a week goes by without seeing news events highly pertinent to prophecy, it seems "slow". My, how times have changed! The "birth pains", as Jesus described prophetic developments, are certianly approaching the last stages.

During this quiet week, (and subsequent such times), it may be a good idea to revisit some of the fundamentals of biblical prophecy. One site that I highly recommend is the "Thomas Ice Collection", where Mr. Ice provides some nice summary articles on prophecy as viewed from a literal perspective.

The article below details some of the important distinctions between the rapture and the second coming of Christ:

The Rapture and the Second Coming: An Important Distinction
by Thomas Ice

In previous issues we have given a biblical basis or foundation for pretribulationism. In this issues I will begin by laying out specific biblical evidence for the pre-trib rapture. The first place to start is with the biblical notion that the rapture of the church is distinct from Christ's second coming to the earth.

John Feinberg notes that distinguishing between the rapture and second coming is important in establishing pretribulationism against the non-pre-trib claim that the Bible does not teach such a view.

The pretribulationist must show that there is enough dissimilarity between clear rapture and clear second advent passages as to warrant the claim that the two kinds of passages could be speaking about two events which could occur at different times. The pretribulationist does not have to prove at this point . . . that the two events must occur at different times, but only that the exegetical data from rapture and second advent passages do not make it impossible for the events to occur at different times. If he can do that, the pretribulationist has shown that his view is not impossible. And, he has answered the posttribulationist's strongest line of evidence.1

A key factor in understanding the New Testament's teaching of the pretribulational rapture revolves around the fact that two future comings of Christ are presented. The first coming is the catching up into the clouds of the church before the seven-year tribulation and the second coming occurs at the end of the tribulation when Christ returns to the earth to begin His 1,000 year kingdom. Anyone desirous of insight into the biblical teaching of the rapture and second advent must study and decide whether Scripture speaks of one or two future events.


Posttribulationists usually contend that if the rapture and the second coming are two distinct events, separated by about seven years, then there ought to be at least one passage in Scripture which clearly teaches this. However, the Bible does not always teach God's truth in accordance with our preconceived notions or in such a way that answers directly all of our questions. For example, a Unitarian could design a similar kind of question regarding the Trinity. "Where is at least one passage in Scripture which clearly says that the Persons of the Godhead are distinct?" We who believe the Trinity reply that the Bible teaches the Trinity but in a different way.

Many important biblical doctrines are not given to us directly from a single verse, we often need to harmonize passages into systematic conclusions. Some truths are directly stated in the Bible, such as the deity of Christ (John 1:1, Titus 2:13). But doctrines like the Trinity and the incarnate nature of Christ are the product of biblical harmonization. Taking into account all biblical texts, orthodox theologians, over time, recognized that God is a Trinity and that Christ is the God-Man. Similarly, a systematic consideration of all biblical passages reveals that Scripture teaches two future comings.

Posttribulationists often contend that the pre-trib position is built merely built upon an assumption that certain verses 'make sense' if and only if the pre-trib model of the rapture is assumed to be correct. However, they often fail to make it clear to their readers that they are just as dependent upon assumptions as they say pre-tribers are. Their error stems from failure to observe actual biblical distinctions.

For example, Christ's ministry has two phases which revolve around His two comings. Phase one took place at Christ's first coming when He came in humiliation to suffer. Phase two will begin at Christ's second coming when He will reign on earth in power and glory. Failure to distinguish these two phases was a key factor in Israel's rejection of Jesus as Messiah at His first coming. In the same way, failure to see clear distinctions between the rapture and second advent lead many to a misinterpretation of God's future plan.


The rapture is most clearly presented in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. In verse 17 the English phrase "caught up" translates the Greek word "harpázô," which means "to seize upon with force" or "to snatch up." Latin translators of the Bible used the word "rapere," the root of the English term "rapture." At the rapture living believers will be "caught up" in the air, translated into the clouds, in a moment of time.

The rapture is characterized in the Bible as a "translation coming" (1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thes. 4:15-17) in which Christ comes for His church. The second advent is Christ returning with His saints, descending from heaven to establish His earthly kingdom (Zech. 14:4-5; Mat. 24:27-31). Ed Hindson observes:

The rapture (or "translation") of the church is often paralleled to the "raptures" of Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2: 12). In each case, the individual disappeared or was caught up into-heaven. At His ascension, our Lord Himself was "taken up" into heaven (Acts 1:9). The biblical description of the rapture involves both the resurrection of deceased believers and the translation of living believers into the air to meet the Lord (1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51 52).2

Differences between the two events are harmonized naturally by the pre-trib position, while other views are not able to account comfortably for such distinctions. (Notice the graphic on page four that lists passages that speak of the rapture and those referring to the second coming.)


Rapture/Translation 2nd Coming/ Estab. Kingdom

1 Translation of all believers 1 No translation at all

2 Translated saints go to 2 Translated saints return to

heaven earth

3 Earth not judged 3 Earth judged & righteous-

ness established

4 Imminent, any-moment, 4 Follows definite predicted

signless signs including tribulation 5 Not in the Old Testament 5 Predicted often in Old


6 Believers only 6 Affects all men

7 Before the day of wrath 7 Concluding the day of


8 No reference to Satan 8 Satan bound

9 Christ comes for His own 9 Christ comes with His own

10 He comes in the air 10 He comes to the earth

11 He claims His bride 11 He comes with His bride

12 Only His own see Him 12 Every eye shall see Him

13 Tribulation begins 13 Millennial Kingdom begins

John Walvoord concludes that these "contrasts should make it evident that the translation of the church is an event quite different in character and time from the return of the Lord to establish His kingdom, and confirms the conclusion that the translation takes place before the tribulation."3


Paul speaks of the rapture as a "mystery" (1 Cor. 15:51-54), that is a truth not revealed until its disclosure by the apostles (Col. 1:26), making it a separate event, while the second coming was predicted in the Old Testament (Dan. 12:1-3; Zech. 12:10; 14:4).

The movement for the believer at the rapture is from earth to heaven, while it is from heaven to earth at the second advent. At the rapture, the Lord comes for his saints (1 Thess. 4:16), while at the second coming the Lord comes with His saints (1 Thess. 3:13). At the rapture, the Lord comes only for believers, but His return to the earth will impact all people. The rapture is a translation/resurrection event where the Lord takes believers "to the Father's house" in heaven (John 14:3), while at the second coming believers return from heaven to the earth (Matt. 24:30). Hindson says, "The different aspects of our Lord's return are clearly delineated in the scriptures themselves. The only real issue in the eschatological debate is the time interval between them."4


One of the strengths of the pre-trib position is that it is better able to harmonize the many events of end-time prophecy because of its distinction between the rapture and the second coming. Normally, posttribulationists do not even attempt to answers such objections and the few that try struggle with the biblical text. Yet, pretribulationists do not encounter difficulties in providing answers. What are some post-trib problems?

First, posttribulationism requires that the church will be present during the 70th week of Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27) even though it was absent from the first 69. This is in spite of the fact that Daniel 9:24 says that all 70 weeks are for Israel. Pretribulationism is not in conflict with this passage, as is posttribulationism, since the church departs before the beginning of the seven-year period.

Second, posttribulationism must deny the New Testament teaching of imminency-that Christ could come at any-moment. Pretribulationism does not have a problem with these New Testament passages, since they believe that no signs must precede the rapture.

Third, premillennial posttribulationism has no answer to their problem of who will populate the millennium if the rapture and second coming occur at the same time. Since all believers will be translated at the rapture and all unbelievers judged, because no unrighteous shall be allowed to enter Christ's kingdom, then no one would be left in mortal bodies to start the population base for the millennium. The pre-trib viewpoint does not have a problem at this point.

Fourth, posttribulationism is not able to explain the sheep and goats judgment after the second coming in Matthew 25:31-46. As in the previous problem, how would there be any believers in mortal bodies, if they were raptured at the second coming, who would be available to enter into Christ's kingdom? Pretribulationism does not have such a problem.

Fifth, since Revelation 19:7-8 indicates that the church, Christ's Bride, is made ready to accompany Christ to earth (Rev. 19:14) before the second coming, how could this reasonably happen if part of the church is still on earth awaiting Christ's Advent? If the rapture of the church takes place at the second coming, then how does the Bride (i.e., the church) also come with Christ at His return? There would not be sufficient time for this to happen within a posttribulational sequence, but the pre-trib position has no such problem.


The distinctions between Christ's coming in the air to rapture His church are too great to be reduced into a single coming at the end of the tribulation. These biblical distinctions provide a strong basis for the pre-trib rapture teaching. W


1John S. Feinberg, "Arguing for the Rapture: Who Must Prove What and How" in Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, editors When The Trumpet Sounds (Eugene, Org.: Harvest House Publishers, forthcoming July 1995).

2Edward E. Hindson, "The Rapture and the Return: Two Aspects of Christ's Coming" in Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, editors When The Trumpet Sounds (Eugene, Org.: Harvest House Publishers, forthcoming July 1995).

3The quotation and the first six contrasts in the graphic above are taken from John F. Walvoord, The Return of the Lord (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1955), 87-88.

4Hindson, Ibid