Psalms 83 Revisited?
|Psalms 83 Revisited?
By Jack Kinsella
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday that Iran is set to deliver a “punch” that will stun world powers during this week’s 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution.
“The Iranian nation, with its unity and God’s grace, will punch the arrogance (Western powers) on the 22nd of Bahman (February 11) in a way that will leave them stunned,” Khamenei, who is also Iran’s commander-in-chief, told a gathering of air force personnel.
There’s something strange taking place in the Middle East. All the signs appear to be pointing toward an imminent outbreak of hostilities against Israel.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted on Sunday as saying that Iran will “deliver a harsh blow to global arrogance” on February 11.
It is not clear whether he’s referring to the ongoing demonstrations in Tehran.
Iran’s opposition group, called the “Green Way”, has also designated February 11 as “the day Iranians demand their rights back” as citizens. February 11 is also the date set aside to commemorate Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Whatever else the February 11 date signifies, it is worth noting that the US has just ordered Patriot missiles dispatched to the area. Four countries, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait will be receiving the missiles.
Washington also has two ships in the Gulf capable of shooting down Iranian missiles. US officials say the move is aimed at deterring attacks by Iran and at reassuring Gulf states that the US will protect them against Iranian missiles.
In addition, US intelligence has gathered detailed war plans drawn up by Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas that the US has already shared with Israel.
The plan calls for five Hezbollah brigades to sweep down into northern Israel and sweep five sectors in the Galilee as part of a general Israeli-Arab uprising against the Jewish state.
Debka reports that Iranian Revolutionary Guard instructors at specially established training facilities near Tehran are already well advanced in training those Hezbollah fighters.
Debka-File has even published a battle map showing the objective of each brigade complete with detailed topographical and demographic studies.
The first objective is the coastal city of Nahariya, near the UN peacekeeper headquarters in Naqura. This battalion has orders to capture large numbers of Israeli hostages for use as human shields against an Israeli counterattack.
Syria’s initial involvement will be limited to offering artillery and air cover for Hezbollah, but, Debka says, could be invited to join in the fighting in the event the battle turns against Hezbollah.
In the Debka scenario, Damascus could open up a fourth front against Israel, invading via the Golan Heights.
Debka gets high marks for courage in its reporting — not so high for accuracy. Sometimes they get it spectacularly right. Sometimes they get it spectacularly wrong.
But reports of two explosives-packed containers that washed up onto beaches in Ashdod and Ashkelon just north of Gaza tend to lend confirmation to Debka’s analysis.
Iran had previously used floating barrels drop by merchant vessels at prearranged locations to deliver explosives to their Palestinian surrogates in Gaza.
These containers may well have washed up on the beaches as a result of miscalculation of the current, but that’s doubtful, given Hamas’ claim of responsibility.
One thing is certain — something is up. But what?
Each of the parties involved here are part of the overall alliance that is forecast in Psalms 83 to come against Israel in the last days.
“They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: ”
Many thought that the Hezbollah/Lebanon War was a fulfillment of Psalms 83, mainly because of the players in the drama.
“…Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot.”
Let’s first identify the various players (with a hat tip to Bill Salus for much of the research)
Ishmael was the eponymous father of the Arabs, his brother Isaac being the father of the Jews. The Ishmaelites most probably refers to the Saudis, but that identification is admittedly speculative.
The Tents of Edom refers to the Palestinians of the West Bank and southern Jordan. The Moabites refers to the Palestinians and central Jordanians.
The Hagarites corresponds with Egypt, Gebal with Hezbollah and the Lebanese. Ammon includes the Palestinians and northern Jordanians, Phillistia corresponds with Hamas and the Gaza Strip.
Last but not least are Assyria (Syria and Kurdish Iraq) and Tyre, (Hezbollah and South Lebanon).
Persia — modern Iran — doesn’t make the list. Iran’s fingerprints are all over the battle plan, but the combatants are all Arabs. Iranians are Persians, not Arabs.
mapThe Gog-Magog Alliance does not include Syria or the rest of the Psalms 83 nations, and the Psalms 83 nations does not include any of the protagonists from Gog-Magog Alliance. The obvious conclusion is that this battle plan is NOT Gog-Magog.
And since Iran is listed first among the Islamic nations of Gog-Magog, it obviously survives the Psalms 83 confederacy.
But Egypt is not listed on Ezekiel’s Roster. Neither is Syria — or any of the other nations of Psalms 83, for that matter. Indeed, according to Ezekiel 38, the Gog-Magog invasion takes place at a time when Israel is dwelling in peace and safety.
Ezekiel is even inspired to include a reference to Israel as a “land of unwalled villages” currently, Israel is building a wall — against the Psalms 83 nations.
I note with interest that Iran’s battle plan does NOT include Iran directly — it is a proxy war. I also note with interest the Patriot missile batteries are in place to protect the Arabs, not the Israelis.
Finally, compare Debka’s battle map to the Psalms 83 battle map above. Look closely and you will see it is essentially the same map.
The Psalms 83 war won’t end as did the 2006 Hezbollah, with a whimper from Hezbollah and an immediate UN intervention. It marks both Egypt’s and Syria’s final appearance in end times prophecy.
When it is over, it will be over, the Scriptures say.
“As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire, so persecute them with Thy tempest and make them with Thy storm.” (Psalms 83:15)
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)
Rapture References, Part 2
|Rapture References, Part 2
By Jack Kelley
In part one of this series we explored some of the clearest hints from the Old Testament that the Lord has always intended to rapture the Church before the End Times judgments begin. This time we’ll continue with a two part survey of the New Testament. Because Paul was the first to reveal the mystery of the Rapture, we won’t expect to find a clear explanation in the Gospels, but since we already know about it, we’ll be able to spot a couple of hints here and there. Shall we continue?
Obvious By Our Absence?
In His definitive teaching on the End Times, the Lord warned Israel they would be hated and persecuted by all nations because of Him (Matt. 24:9). He said many would fall away from the faith, and would betray and hate each other (Matt. 24:10). He said their Temple would be desecrated by another Abomination of Desolation, and when that happened those in Judea (the New Testament name for Israel) would have to flee into the mountains immediately (Matt. 24:15) He told them to pray that their flight wouldn’t take place in the winter (winters can be harsh in the Judean wilderness) or on the Sabbath (fleeing would violate Sabbath travel restrictions) because the Great Tribulation would be coming and it would be worse than anything man has ever known (Matt. 24:20-21). He said if He didn’t personally intervene not one of them would survive it, but for the sake of the believers among them He would put an end to it at the appointed time (Matt. 24:22). He said false Messiahs and false prophets would perform great signs and miracles to deceive them as the end approached (Matt. 24:24). (Paul confirmed this in 2 Thes. 2:9-10 placing its fulfillment after the rapture.)
He said everyone on Earth will see Him when He comes back (Matt. 24:27) and it will be just like the Days of Noah. Unbelievers who survive the Great Tribulation will be taken away in the judgments that follow His return and believers will be welcomed into the Kingdom to build a new world. All this and more, He said to Israel. (Matt. 24:36-25:46)
But did He speak one word of comfort, or even warning, to His Bride? Did He say He’d protect us through this terrifying time? Did He even acknowledge our existence? No. Not once. Why? Because He was talking to Israel about a time after we’re gone. He left it to Paul to explain the details of our rescue after it was too late to stop what He was about to do for us.
Lot Had To Leave Sodom (Revisited)
“It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:28-29)
In Luke 17:26-27 Jesus had been saying how in the days of Noah unbelievers hadn’t heeded the warnings they were given, and didn’t avail themselves of the Lord’s provision for their rescue. They were caught by surprise when the flood came and it destroyed them all.
At first glance verses 28-29 seem like a similar example, but it’s really very different. Lot was taken away from the time and place of the judgment before it began. In fact the angels who were sent to remove him said they couldn’t bring the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah until Lot was away and safe. (Genesis 19:21-22) As I demonstrated in part one of this series, Lot served as a model of the Church who also has to be rescued from the time and place of the coming judgment before it can begin.
The Resurrection And The Life
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)
This is an amazing statement. The Lord had already said that whoever believes in Him would not perish but would have eternal life. (John 3:16) Here he provided more detail, saying that even though a believer experiences physical death, he will still have life. He was referring to the resurrection of those who die in faith. And then He said there would be some would never die, but would pass from this life directly into the next one. If we didn’t already know about the rapture, we wouldn’t see this, but since we do we can understand that He was talking about that one generation of believers who will be alive when He comes for the Church, and will receive eternal life without dying first. And once again the Lord confirmed that the single qualification for eternal life is to believe that His death paid the entire price for our sins.
What’s To Become Of Israel?
When they finished, James spoke up: “Brothers, listen to me. Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: ” ‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things that have been known for ages. (Acts 15:13-18)
It was not quite 20 years after the cross, and the Apostles were meeting together in Jerusalem. None of the New Testament had been written yet. 483 years of Daniel’s 490 year prophecy for Israel (Daniel 9:24-27) had been fulfilled on schedule but with the Messiah’s death everything had come to a stop. Before He died, the Lord had even told them that the Temple would soon be completely destroyed, and after His resurrection He had refused to confirm their hope that the Kingdom would now be restored to Israel. In effect He had said, “That’s not for you to know.” (Acts 1:6) And now Peter, Paul, and Barnabas had given eye witness accounts of the Holy Spirit coming directly upon Gentiles with much prophesying and speaking in tongues. If Gentiles could come straight to the Lord and receive the Holy Spirit without converting to Judaism first, did that mean God was finished with the Jews? If so what would become of Israel and all the Lord’s unfulfilled promises to His people?
James, the Lord’s half brother, helped them understand what was coming. What we now know as the Dispensation of Law had been interrupted while the Lord takes from among the Gentiles a people for Himself (the Church). In Greek the phrase “taking from” literally means to take out of, or carry away from. It denotes an exit, a separation of time, place, and cause.
After He has taken the Church, James said, the Lord will turn His attention once again to Israel. The Temple will be rebuilt and the remaining 7 years of the Dispensation of Law will run their course. This is the time we know as Daniels 70th week. He concluded by saying the Lord has known for ages that He was going to do this.
Paul, who was there, explained it to the Church at Rome this way. I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is (or will be) my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” (Romans 11:25-27)
The Greek word translated “full number” was often used in a nautical sense to define the number of sailors, oarsmen, and soldiers required to man a ship. Once a ship had its full number it could set sail for it’s intended destination. When it arrived it was said to have “come in.” I believe Paul’s intention was to say that the Church has a “full number” and once that number is reached it will set sail for its intended destination, heaven. No one on Earth knows this number and that’s why no one will know the day or hour of the rapture in advance.
Some commentators believe the same thought was conveyed in Genesis 7 with the Ark. It had to contain 2 of every kind of animal, 7 of the “clean” animals, Noah, his 3 sons, and their 4 wives. That was its full number. Once they were all aboard, the door was shut and the Ark floated away.
When the Church’s “full number” has “come in” to its heavenly destination God will turn His attention once again to Israel and the final 7 years of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy will be fulfilled, culminating in the Lord’s return to establish His Kingdom. This is the Kingdom promised to Israel that Daniel said would never be destroyed, or left to another people, but will endure forever. (Daniel 2:44).
The Rapture Goes Public
They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (1 Thes 1:10)
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thes. 4:16-17)
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thes. 5:9)
These are the rapture verses, named for the Latin translation of the Greek word harpadzo, which means to be caught up or snatched away in English, and which appears in 1 Thes. 4:17. In part one of this series I showed how closely they resemble Isaiah 26:19-21. I believe Paul was using Isaiah’s words to support his claim that this wasn’t just his idea, but had been announced by the Lord nearly eight hundred years earlier.
With the first letter to the Thessalonians Paul gave the first clear promise of a pre-tribulation Rapture. When He called Jesus the one who will rescue us from the coming wrath in chapter 1, he meant that sometime before the seal judgments of Rev. 6, which signal the beginning of God’s wrath (Rev. 6:16-17) Jesus will separate the Church from the time and place of the End Times Judgments. (Look up the full meaning of the Greek word translated “from” in 1 Thes. 1: 10 to confirm this.) In Chapter 4 he said this separation would happen when the Lord comes to take us to be with Him in Heaven. First, believers who have died will be raised up. Then, we who are still alive will be snatched away with them to meet the Lord in the air. Then in chapter 5 he repeated the reason for our sudden rescue. It was never intended that the Church would suffer through the time of God’s wrath.
Say That Again, Paul
Between the two letters we call 1st and 2nd Thessalonians something happened that would have scared the recipients right out of their socks had they been wearing any. They received a letter that appeared to be from Paul but was in fact a forgery. According to 2 Thes 2:1-2 it said the Day of the Lord had already come. Confused and frightened, they dashed off a hurried request for clarification since this new letter contradicted what Paul had previously taught them.
Here we get an extraordinary insight into their understanding of the sequence of End Times events. Receiving word that the Day of the Lord had come would only have upset them so much if they’d been led to believe that the Rapture of the Church would precede it. Think about it. From any other view, this kind of news would have been scary for sure, but their fear would have been tempered by a certain amount of joyous anticipation. Sure the next few years would really be rough, but whether by martyrdom or survival they would soon be in the presence of the Lord forever.
But from the pre-trib perspective, hearing that the Day of the Lord had come would be horrifying, because it would mean that they had missed the rapture. And that would mean they weren’t saved. No wonder they wrote Paul for clarification!
It’s important to understand that they had asked Paul two questions. The first concerned the Day of the Lord and the second was about our being gathered to Him, the Rapture. Paul answered the 2 questions in that order using verses 3-5 to describe conditions that would bring about the Day of the Lord and verses 6-8 to explain when the rapture would occur in relation to them.
Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? (2 Thes. 2:3-5)
Confirming and amplifying Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy (Daniel 9:27) and the Lord’s warning from the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:15), Paul pegged the beginning of the Great Tribulation to the moment the antichrist stands in the Temple in Jerusalem proclaiming himself to be God.
And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. (2 Thes. 2:6-8)
Before the antichrist can be officially revealed, One who is currently limiting the power of lawlessness has to be taken out of the way. The phrase “out of the way” literally means out of the midst, or from amongst. Some force that restrains the power of evil within certain predetermined limits (for this power is already at work on Earth) has to be removed.
Scholars who read the passage literally identify this force as the Holy Spirit. And since the Holy Spirit is sealed within us, if He’s taken out from amongst the people of Earth, we have to go too. You can’t take the Restrainer without taking the container, as someone has said. This is the Rapture of the Church, and once we’re gone the power of evil will be free from restraint and all Hell will break loose on Earth until the Lord returns at the end of the Great Tribulation to put a stop to it.
Here then is the sequence. Before the Day of the Lord can come, the antichrist has to be revealed, and before he can be revealed the church has to be raptured. So according to Paul the next prophetic event involving believers will be our own disappearance. We’re not finished yet, so be sure to tune in again next time for the exciting conclusion of Rapture References. 02-06-10
Waxing Cold in the Last Days
|Waxing Cold in the Last Days
By Ronald Graham
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12. Jesus, speaking to four of His disciples about the times just before His Second Advent, tells them that because sin will be so rampant, so commonplace in the last days that the love people once had for one another will become, for the most part, nonexistent. The Greek word “polys” is translated into our English word as “many”. It’s used in numerous places throughout the New Testament denoting multitudes, great and very significant numbers. Imagine, if you can, a world made up of people thoroughly devoid of “love” for their fellow man.
I believe Jesus is alluding to the seven year tribulation period that will begin just after the Rapture of His Church. It stands to reason that this “loveless” generation Jesus speaks about as being full of iniquity (wickedness) doesn’t just appear one day after the Rapture, but that societies would gradually migrate toward degeneracy and ultimately to a crescendo of rampant and overwhelming depravity.
In the verse above Jesus speaks of love which will wax (or grow) cold. Since we are living in the last days just prior to His return I believe that the lack of love for our fellow man has begun to spiral toward that final climax. I suppose, then, that it shouldn’t be surprising to biblically literate students of scripture when we see such cold heartedness infiltrating our society. But was Jesus including believers in that mix of folks whose love would progressively wax colder and colder?
What has happened to the once well known demeanor of those who profess to being born again? It seems, to me at least, that the once loving, caring attitude held by those who faithfully follow Jesus Christ is diminishing as we draw nearer to the last days before Christ’s return.
I’m talking about our attitude towards one another as we discuss biblical doctrine or other Christian issues. Discussion boards and forums are alive with debates and at times heated arguments ensue which are filled with angry words one might expect to hear from worldly people, but not Christians. Christians belittling Christian’s using a tone of superiority that bodes only of pride. Where’s that come from if not from the world? Love thy neighbor as thy self seems to be losing its appeal in these last days. My brethren, this should not be so; loving one another is one of Jesus’ most frequently stated commandments for His followers to adhere to.
Because we can now enjoy much more frank discussions which span what once was considered almost impossible barriers, believers can now communicate with one another worldwide, instantaneously, and with little or no accountability. We can join and contribute to forums and use email to express ourselves and if we so desire we can accomplish this new form of communicating with complete anonymity.
As believer’s views are attacked by other believers they, in many instances, attack right back instead of responding in love. Over the past few years I’ve noticed an increased hostility amongst believers who disagree on Bible interpretation.
All of us are confronted almost daily with what seems to be knee-jerk reactions instead of well thought-out and studied responses made through a love for one another and thorough devotion to God’s truth. Where has all the love gone? It seems that among believers today when it comes to discussing God’s inerrant word, love has been jettisoned. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another” 1 John 1:7. How is true fellowship possible when the brethren continue in constant disagreement and strife?
Why must Christ’s Church argue so? This unholy trend is not hard to see as we peruse various Christian websites and forums. The anger that persists in discussions among believers is very disheartening. At times the very hostility that once was relegated to the heartless, unbelieving, and lost world has now crept into the lives of many believers. “Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.” Mark 9:50.
We’re witnessing a chasm growing between Christians today; there are so many different Bible interpretations being promoted that without well studied parameters (context is everything) many can’t distinguish clear and concise teaching from the erroneous. This inability to distinguish truth leads many believers today to argue amongst themselves on subjects such as doctrine and interpretation even though they may be completely wrong.
I believe this absence of love among the brethren can more easily be attributed to being conformed to the world than to a lack of Bible knowledge. Love is the bridge that will span any chasm no matter how big. Where is our Christian love? Are we to conform to the world or to Christ? “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son” Romans 8:29. The image of Christ is not seen in all this bickering.
The world is only going to corrupt its inhabitants, that’s all unbelievers can expect from this fallen, sin-filled world which they call their home. But believers don’t call planet earth home, we are only sojourners here and thus we should not become conformed to the world. Certainly we aren’t to have the same self-absorbed and prideful attitude as the unbelieving masses. If we allow the world to dilute our souls and corrupt our hearts and minds we will become as hateful and eventually just as loveless as many of those who have no hope. Then where does that leave our Christian witness?
God gives discernment to those who diligently seek His counsel; most believers know this to be so. There are those who will listen to a Bible teacher or a pastor and take everything they say as truth, never to be questioned. Are these teachers and pastors always correct? Not necessarily. In Acts 17:11 Luke tells us to search the scriptures daily to see if what we are being taught is truly following the scriptures (paraphrase mine). By searching the scriptures for ourselves we learn to rightly divide the word of God.
The problem and how it’s affecting the Church today stems from biblically illiterate Christians who only parrot what they’ve heard or been taught. Because many will believe the false teachers of the day they will argue a false doctrine to the exclusion of all else. And when these arguments get heated what emerges is bitterness and mistrust. Satan must be eating this stuff up.
It seems that believers are moving away from following Jesus’ commandment to love one another and beginning to embrace worldly debate as well as confrontation. There’s no doubt, Christians are becoming conformed to this world. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2.
I am completely aware of the need for correction today in the Church. But all correction should be tied directly to brotherly love. I’m convinced that Paul addresses the occasional need for correction in 2 Timothy. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. God’s word does the correcting when it is interpreted as His literal, inerrant word. We love one another and therefore we instruct and correct with loving convicted hearts. There is no room for contention and strife amongst believers.
As followers of Christ our words and our actions should emulate Christ. If we have a disagreement with a brother about a certain verse in the Bible or even doctrine, we should consider the ramifications of a prolonged and heated public argument on a forum, such as how others might be adversely influenced. Discussion is one thing but when the discussion turns heated something is out of whack. “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.” 1 John 2:9. In a public setting, such as a Christian forum, we should never allow heated arguments to develop.
So to what may we contribute much of the bitterness and prideful attitudes being displayed today by believers? The very fact that believers are allowing some of the most depraved visual effects to permeate their minds these days is quite revealing. The more we are confronted with evil passing itself off as entertainment the more our minds will become influenced and guided toward darkness. Television and movies are both culprits in guiding believers away from God. The internet has also become a huge influence in the lives of many believers and non-believers alike. Garbage in garbage out as the old saying goes. Although information is plentiful on the net it isn’t all edifying to the saints. We must beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
The unbelieving world is always placing Christians under a magnifying glass. It seems what they want more than anything else is to trip us up. The way we handle ourselves in a discussion can affect the non-believer either positively or negatively. As the world watches us they should see Christ in us. But when the world sees us arguing, when they see our debate become so heated and filled with bitterness, that we now look no different than the rest of the world, the rejection of Jesus Christ becomes a whole lot easier. Instead of the possibility of gaining a new brother or sister in Christ, we’ve just tossed them back into the enemy’s camp.
There’s always going to be disagreements along the lines of Bible interpretation and Christian doctrine. All of Christendom, for one reason or another, simply won’t agree. If we are truly born again then we are brothers and sisters in Christ and Jesus is watching our every move. He can’t be pleased with the current trend towards bickering which in most instances ends up in an attitude of bitterness aimed at others in His family.
“And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.”
1 John 3:23. John, twice in this verse, places the emphases on the fact that Jesus gave us a commandment, first that we should believe on His name and secondly we’re to love one another. We would do well to heed all His commandments.
Anytime we are in a discussion with anyone, love must never be replaced with anger. Anger will lead to hate. Jesus’ words come crashing down upon us whenever we forget one of His most basic tenets. “If ye love me, keep my commandments” John 14:15. Love one another.
Nothing constructive can be achieved through all the bickering and anger associated with believers debating different Bible interpretations. It will only lead to bitterness and that’s something no believer should allow into their hearts. Bitterness, hate, strife, confusion are all strongholds where the enemy will certainly take up residence.
As faithful believers we should always be prepared to take loving correction whenever it applies and even rebuke if applicable. But outright bitterness as an approach to one another in what started out as a simple discussion brings reproach on the Church as a whole. Arguing is wrong and divisive, and it might stumble a brother “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” 1 John 2:10. Even worse is how this constant arguing will send unbelievers scurrying for cover anywhere but to the side of a Christian. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12.
Even in His Church? God forbid!
God bless you all,
A One-World Government? God is Laughing!
|A One-World Government? God is Laughing!
By Heidi Swander
Yes, there really is a collaboration to create a one-world government. This government is to include a ten-region world government, a new international monetary system and the uniting of all world religions into what they, themselves, call a New World Order. Sound familiar?
Before you write me off as a quack job, you should take a look at the already-completed Constitution for the Federation of Earth. This document was created over a period of nine years (1982 – 1991) through the efforts of an organization known as The World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA), established in 1958.
According to Gary Kah, former high-ranking government liaison and author of the book En Route to Global Occupation, WCPA has been “charged with the task of actually bringing us into the New World Order.” They’ve gotten a pretty good jump-start on their mission.
“As part of its role of putting the final pieces into place [for a world government] the association has assembled a Provisional World Parliament,” Kah explains. The 12th session of that parliament is scheduled for June 2010 in Zagreb, Croatia.
A number of the most powerful New Age (read: occult) organizations, such as Lucis Trust (originally founded by occultist Alice Bailey as The Lucifer Press – a printing and distribution arm for the Theosophical Society) and World Union (another occult organization heavily involved in the politics of planning and implementation of the world government) are well connected with all the one-world political societies, which in turn feed directly into the World Constitution and Parliament Association.
Let me tell you about just some of the other groups that WCPA is affiliated with:
The Council on Foreign Relations
Rear Admiral Chester Ward, a former CFR member for sixteen years, warned the American people in a March 1991 The New American magazine article entitled, “The Internationalist,” stating, “The most powerful clique in these elitist groups have one objective in common – they want to bring about the surrender of the sovereignty and the national independence of the United States.”
And Kah quotes Dan Smoot, a former member of the FBI headquarters staff in Washington and one of the first researchers into the CFR, who summarized the purpose of the organization when he said, “The ultimate aim of the Council on Foreign Relations…is…to create a one-world socialist system and make the United States an official part of it.”
Yes, they really do exist. Kah explains that the overriding purpose of this group is the establishment of a world government. According to Bilderberg founding member, Denis Healy, this attribution is “not wholly unfair.”
As a side note, I find it interesting that the group has no Web site (that I could find), is extremely and admittedly secretive about their meetings, and there is no official statement from the organization regarding their purpose.
The Club of Rome
The Club of Rome, Kah says, “has been charged with the task of overseeing the regionalization and unification of the entire world.”
Economic crises, climate change, globalization and sustainable development are key phrases that litter the Web site of this organization. And again, according to Kah, “the WCPA is also using the environment as its chief argument for why a world government is required, similar to [Club of Rome's] strategies and proposals.” He also documents the occultism that drives the organization, explaining the pantheistic, New Age beliefs of its founder, Aurelio Peccei.
The Trilateral Commission
“The purpose of the Trilateral Commission [is] to promote world government by encouraging economic interdependence among the superpowers,” says Kah. Indeed you find this, in so many words, on the “About our Organization” page of the TC Web site. What began as an alleged collaboration of Japan, Europe, and North America to foster closer cooperation among these core democratic industrialized areas of the world has grown so that, now, according to their own Web site, “The ‘growing interdependence that so impressed the founders of the Trilateral Commission in the early 1970s has deepened into ‘globalization.’”
Explains Kah, “The strategy of the WCPA and its affiliated organizations has been to quietly put as many pieces into place as possible…then once the groundwork is laid, the WCPA and its large New Age support network would rush forward as quickly as possible, implementing the world government before people really have had a chance to think about what is happening or are able to form an effective opposition.” I see the “rush forward” part happening before my eyes these days.
Consider Rahm Immanuel’s famous quote, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” What kind of crisis might fit conveniently into the overall plan of the one-world government enthusiasts? An economic crisis? They’re working on that one. An outbreak of nuclear war in the Middle East? It appears we’re on the brink. The rapture of the church? Even so, come, Lord Jesus! These are options; you can bet they’d use any of ‘em.
What I’ve outlined here is just the tip of the iceberg. The plan is too immense to explain it all here. But by now your question is likely, “Heidi, what do I DO with this information?”
First of all, you trust God. Remember, He already foretold all of these things that are coming together; it’s no surprise to Him:
Secondly, remember that God is still on His throne. And do you know what He’s doing as He watches them conspire together? He’s laughing!
“Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision,” (Psalm 2:1-4). “The Lord laughs at [the wicked], for He sees that his day is coming,” (Psalm 37:13).
Finally, I highly recommend you get a copy of Gary Kah’s book, En Route to Global Occupation. It’s an excellent primer on the foundation that has been laid for Satan’s short-lived kingdom. Once you have this bedrock of information, the news you hear daily will make a lot more sense. I speak from experience.
By Jack Kelley
Recently I was challenged to make a list of all the passages in the Bible that hint of a pre-trib rapture. As you may know I believe Paul was the first person on Earth to present a clear pre-trib teaching, about 20 years after the cross. Before that time it was unknown because Jesus didn’t teach it to His other disciples during their time together. And since the Olivet Discourse is directed at Israel, there’s no mention of it there either, even though the end times is in view. Israel will not participate in the rapture.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that doing this requires that you already have a working knowledge of the pre-trib position, because without it you wouldn’t recognize some of these references as being pertinent to the subject. But ever since Paul revealed the rapture, scholars have been seeing hints of it here and there, even in the Old Testament.
Before we begin, in 1 Cor. 2:6-8 Paul explained why God’s plans for the church had been kept secret until after the crucifixion. He said that if the rulers of this age (Satan & Co.) had understood all that God intended for us they would not have crucified the Lord. Not that they could have stopped it, of course. But had they known God was going to use the murder of His Son to save us all, they wouldn’t have gone ahead with it, and in fact would have tried to prevent it. It wasn’t until He was on the cross that they discovered the Lord’s death was going to become payment in full for all our sins, so instead of it being cause for a great celebration it totally disarmed them and made them into a public spectacle (Colossians 2:13-15). Then, 20 years later, they learned about the rapture. These were both things that God had planned from the beginning, but a good general keeps his strategy a secret in order to take his enemy by surprise, so God didn’t let Satan (or anyone else) know about these things until it was too late for him to react. Even now, Satan doesn’t know when the rapture is coming. All he knows is what we know, that each new believer could be the last one, the one that takes us all out of here and beyond his reach forever.
I’m convinced that God’s plan requires the Church to disappear before Daniel’s 70th week begins. Remember, the Lord set aside 70 weeks (490 years) for Israel to accomplish 6 things. (Daniel 9:24) At the end of 69 weeks (483 years) Jesus was crucified, the clock suddenly stopped, and Israel disappeared along with its Temple and Old Covenant worship. Daniel’s prophecy was left incomplete and from that time on, God’s focus was on the church.
The reappearance of Israel in 1948, the promised rebuilding of a Temple, and resumption of Levitical sacrifice during the 70th week make it clear that the Church didn’t end the dispensation of Law but only interrupted it seven years short of its intended duration. We would all agree that if the introduction of a dam into a stream of water interrupts its flow, then it’s reasonable and logical to conclude that removal of the dam will be necessary for the flow to resume. Therefore if the introduction of the Church after the 69th week of Daniels prophecy caused the interruption in its fulfillment, it’s reasonable and logical to conclude that the Church will have to be removed before the final seven years of the dispensation of Law can run their course and Daniel’s prophecy can be fulfilled.
Of course there are other sound reasons why the church has to disappear before the End Times begin in earnest. Not having a destiny on Earth, our presence here would serve no purpose during the time of Earth’s liberation from bondage (Romans 8:19-21). Not being subject to judgment the Church has no unfinished business with God that could be concluded during the End Times. Unlike Israel we don’t need to be made righteous because we’re already as righteous as God is (2 cor. 5:21).
Jeremiah 30:11 says the End time judgments will serve a two fold purpose, to completely destroy all the nations among which Israel has been scattered and to discipline Israel. Since God does not consider the Church to belong to either group our presence on Earth during that time would be irrelevant.
But the most important reason, as we’ll see, is that God said we won’t be here. Those who teach the Church’s presence on Earth during any part of Daniel’s70th Week have to re-define grace, re-invent the church and re-interpret the Scriptures to support their position.
With that introduction, let’s look at some of the clearest hints God placed in the Scriptures to show He has always planned for a pre-tribulation rapture of the church. Naturally, we’ll begin in the Old Testament.
Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took Him away. (Genesis 5:24)
In Matt. 24:37, Jesus said that the time of His coming would be like the days of Noah. He went onto explain that just as all the unbelievers perished in the flood, all unbelievers would perish at the time of His 2nd coming as well. Those who survive the devastation of the Great Tribulation will immediately face judgment and be taken off the planet. The parables of the servant, the ten virgins, and the talents explain this, as does the account of the Sheep and Goat judgment. (Matt. 24:45-25:46)
But if you give the Lord’s statement its widest possible application, you can see that as the time of the Great Flood drew near there were 3 kinds of people on Earth. There were the unbelievers who perished in the flood, Noah and his family who were preserved through it, and Enoch, who was taken by the Lord well before it.
Just so, as the End of the Age draws near there will still be three kinds of people on Earth. They are the unbelievers of our time who will perish in the End Times judgments, modern Israel who will be preserved through them, and the Church who will be taken by God well before they begin.
There some interesting similarities between Enoch and the Church. For starters, the name Enoch comes from a root which means to train or teach. To the church Jesus said, “Go and make disciples (students) of all men.” (Matt. 28:19) And according to Hebrew tradition, Enoch was born on the day that would become Pentecost. It’s the same day the Church was born. I believe Enoch was an early type of the Church and his disappearance before the flood gave the first hint of a pre-tribulation rapture.
Lot Had To Leave Sodom
But flee there quickly, because I can not do anything until you reach it. (Genesis 19:23)
Abraham had struck a bargain with the Lord that if even 10 righteous people could be found in Sodom and Gomorrah He would spare the cities. The fact that the cities were destroyed indicates 10 righteous people could not be found there. But there was one, and though He wasn’t bound to do it, the Lord instructed the angels to get Lot out of town before commencing their judgment. Peter referred to Lot’s rescue from Sodom as evidence that the Lord does not judge the righteous with the wicked (2 peter 2:7-9) Lot therefore becomes a model of the Church, who with a righteousness imputed by faith, has to be removed from the time and place of judgment before it begins.
Where Was Daniel?
Daniel 3 contains one of the most popular children’s stories of the Old Testament. Many don’t realize that it’s also one of the clearest models of the End Times anywhere in the Bible. King Nebuchadnezzar represents the anti-Christ who decrees that anyone who refuses to bow down and worship the statue he has made will be put to death in the fiery furnace, which represents Great Tribulation. Daniel’s three friends, representing Israel, refuse to worship the image and are thrown into the furnace to die. While in there they encounter the Lord, are preserved through the judgment, and are elevated to positions of honor in Babylon.
But where was Daniel? He was a prominent figure both before and after chapter 3. But in this episode his name was not even mentioned. Did he worship the statue to escape judgment? If you think that, you don’t know Daniel. Did he refuse to bow down but was not accused? If you think that, you don’t know his enemies. After all they rounded up his three closest friends. For the purposes of this story it’s as if he has disappeared altogether. In chapter 3, Daniel was a model of the Church, who during the End times judgments will have disappeared altogether, while Israel will be preserved through them, meet the Lord in the midst of them, and be elevated to positions of honor in the Kingdom Age.
Isaiah Said It Best
But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.
Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.
See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer. (Isaiah 26:19-21)
Without a doubt this is the clearest statement of the Lord’s intentions for the Church anywhere in the Old Testament. It can’t be tied to any event in history, but clearly awaits a future fulfillment. And it can’t be intended for Israel, whose resurrection will come after the time of God’s wrath, not before it. (Daniel 12:1-2)
Some day soon a group of people will suddenly rise from the dead. Another group, still living, will be whisked away to rooms prepared for them to be hidden from the time of God’s wrath. Then the Lord will punish the people of the Earth for their sins. The fact that the groups being resurrected and hidden are not objects of his wrath is indicated by the switch from second person (resurrected and hidden) to third person (punished). Notice how similar the wording is to 1 Thes 4:16-17 & 5:9, Paul’s teaching on the rapture.
But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. (The dead in Christ will rise first).
Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; (After that we who are alive and left will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air)
It’s appropriate to insert John 14:2-3 here as well to see what rooms Isaiah was talking about.
In my Father’s house are many rooms; 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.
This promise does not point to the 2nd Coming when the Lord will come to Earth to be with Israel here, where they are. This is a promise to the Church that He has gone to His father’s house to prepare our rooms for us. Then He will come for us to take us there, where He is.
See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. (For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.)
I’m convinced this is the passage Paul had in mind when he said “According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.“ (1 Thes. 4:15). I say this because with the exception of 1 Thes 4:16-17 there is no passage in all the Bible that so clearly describes the pre-trib rapture of the Church.
This is not the sum of Old Testament verses that point to a pre-tribulation rapture. But it’s a good sample of the clearest ones, to help you see that God always intended to take us to be with him before He unleashes the End Times judgments upon the unbelieving Earth. Next time we’ll take a similar survey of the New Testament. See you then. 01-30-10
Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
|Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
By Jack Kelley
(note: I originally published this article in 2000, but with the Obama administration’s renewed emphasis on achieving an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, I’ve updated it and offer it for your consideration.)
Right from the beginning, most informed commentators have predicted that the only logical conclusion to the so-called Middle East Peace process would be war. Contrary to what our leaders have told us, the Palestinian goal has never been to accept a two state solution. They’ve already turned that deal down at least twice. No, the goal has been to eliminate the Jewish state altogether. As long as they could win concessions at the bargaining table war could be avoided, but the day would obviously come when no more concessions could be given, and the only option would be to go to war for the rest. That day may have come, and of course the stumbling block is Jerusalem.
I Am Going To Make Jerusalem A Cup That Sends All The Surrounding Peoples Reeling … Zech. 12:2
How have we come to this? Let’s review the real issues. The Koran teaches that any land conquered in the name of Islam will never be lost. The very existence of the nation Israel is a violation of that teaching because the land of Israel, including and especially Jerusalem, was once conquered for Islam. Since 1948 the utter destruction of Israel has been the stated Moslem goal, but half a dozen wars have taught them that Israel was too strong to be destroyed militarily. The brilliance of the “Peace Process” is that it enables the Palestinians to win back much of the land through inexpensive negotiations. This has the effect of simultaneously weakening Israel and giving the Moslem forces time to gain the necessary strength to take the rest.
Land For Peace?
What most people don’t realize is that with the speed of modern aircraft and missiles, conventional warfare requires more geography rather than less to give defenders sufficient time to react to an attack. Taking land from central Israel (the West Bank) means that attack aircraft could traverse the country in about 8 minutes. This is not enough time to react with effective counter measures. Giving up the West Bank would make Israel less secure rather than more.
Also, Israel’s enemies have used the time spent in negotiations to create long-range ballistic missile and biological warfare capabilities in an effort to neutralize Israel’s nuclear threat. A nasty situation all around. Most informed observers believe that as soon as the Moslems have gained everything possible from negotiating and believe they’re strong enough to destroy Israel, they’ll attack. And unless major changes in the Jewish position concerning the sovereignty of Jerusalem are forth coming, the negotiations are effectively over. Whether Israel’s enemies are strong enough yet for a military victory may soon be revealed. Combatants on both Israel’s Northern and Southern borders seem ready to find out.
I Make Known The End From The Beginning … Isaiah 46:10
Over 2500 years ago the Lord informed Ezekiel of a great battle involving a coalition of nations who would align themselves against Israel (Ezek. 38-39). He said this battle would take place in the latter days, after the Jewish people had been gathered in the land from many nations following a great war, and would be a surprise attack on the mountains of Israel (West Bank). But he also said the people would think they were living in safety when the attack came (Ezek. 38:8), a peaceful and unsuspecting nation (Ezek. 38:11). But that doesn’t seem to define their current state.
Recently a little known prophecy from Psalm 83 that might be a bridge between here and Ezekiel 38 has come to the surface. Psalm 83 is a prayer that God would defeat a coalition of nations that could represent Israel’s current next door neighbors, who the Psalmist accuses of conspiring against God’s people, threatening to destroy them as a nation. There is no evidence in the historical record that such a coalition ever rose up against Israel, so Psalm 83 may very well be speaking of an attack that a growing number of strategists expect to come in 2010. If so then it’s obvious Israel will emerge victorious and will fall into the state of complacency suggested by Ezekiel 38:8-11. This would also explain why none of the nations named in Psalm 83 are included among the attackers of Ezekiel 38. (Read about Psalm 83 here)
Who Started This?
The so called Arab-Israeli conflict has actually been brewing for over 4000 years. It began with Isaac and Ishmael, the sons of Abraham, escalated in the time of Jacob and Esau, the sons of Isaac, and continued through out the Old Testament. It became a Moslem-Jewish conflict with the advent of Islam in the 6th century AD. But behind the scenes the real battle has always been a spiritual one, because ever since God chose the Jews as His people, Israel as His land, and Jerusalem as His city, Satan has been working overtime in an effort to take the land away from Him by destroying His people. After all, he thinks Planet Earth is his. So this is not just a political matter or even a religious one. It’s a spiritual matter and will not be resolved until Satan is defeated and the Lord Himself causes every knee to bow and every tongue to confess that He (alone) is Lord (Phil 2:10-11).
Why Pray For The Peace Of Jerusalem?
On several occasions I’ve been asked something like, “If this is a great cosmic problem that won’t ever be solved until the 2nd coming, how can our prayers help?” Here are some good reasons why we should pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
1st, speaking of the Jewish people the Lord said, “Whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye” (Zech. 2:9) and to tribulation survivors He’ll say, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matt 25:40). I know it breaks His heart to see the way His city has been defiled by hate and bloodshed. As Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision has said, “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” It’s good for us to be on the Lord’s side.
2nd, He has commanded it and rewards us for obedience. All of Psalm 122 speaks of the special nature of Jerusalem, the one place on Earth God specifically chose for His dwelling, and promises prosperity to those who pray for its peace. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. (Psalm 122:6 KJVKJV)
And 3rd, when you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, you’re praying for the Messiah to come and establish His Kingdom. Maybe that’s the best reason of all.
You can almost hear the Footsteps of the Messiah.
Deliverance From Strongholds
By Joseph Chambers
Satan is on the move. The fiery darts of his evil workings are capturing an unsuspecting multitude and taking them captive. Our churches are full of good people that are bound and shackled. The unchurched world is equally blind, fettered, and unable to see or hear the saving Gospel. We hear much about praying, but I fear that most praying today is as empty as a desert. Please do not think I am being critical or down on the good saints that are striving hard to see results in spiritual matters. My effort is to answer this desperate need and see the devil defeated. Please read every word of this article.
Stealth is the first design of Satan. He hides his every move. Most of the church world and almost the entire secular world deny that Satan even exists. Satan has basically made himself a non-entity and the only people that believe he is around are his worshippers. He loves his obscurity. The truth is that he is a fallen angel and as powerful as the strongest of angels. He is not supernatural, but he is paranormal and can accomplish some wild things when unhindered by the power of God. Apostle Paul wrote Timothy and warned him of Satan’s design to ensnare the saints. He stated, “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (II Timothy 2:26). We live in the ultimate day of his dark deeds.
There are many ways that good people are brought under his control. The Spirit said to the Hebrews or converted Jews, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright” (Hebrews 12:15-16). By the same Holy Spirit Peter said, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8). Satan and his army of fallen spirits have every person on this earth in their sight. They are out to buttonhole you and put you in their straitjacket.
It is impossible to name every bondage or stronghold. Certainly, roots of bitterness – something or someone offends you and you hold onto that offence – are a type of bondage. Jealousy, anger, resentment, and unforgiveness are emotions that easily become strongholds. If you disobey a truth in the Bible and do not repent, it will become a stronghold. Many fleshly habits, such as tobacco, drugs, or alcohol quickly become a bondage or stronghold. Worldly entertainment, immorality, and immodest dress will capture your very soul. Many people are bound with the decoration of the body and the passion of looking like the models in the latest Vogue Magazine.
The Spirit warns us about being captured by this world. Peter stated,”While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning” (II Peter 2:19-20). The normal state of an unbeliever or the person that has not been born again is bondage to this world. “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world” (Galatians 4:3).
Every power or bondage and every spiritual stronghold is empowered by demons or fallen angels. A person bound with tobacco has a spirit of uncleanness. The worldly lifestyle is an unclean bondage. Anything that holds you captive is the work of Satan. Jesus came to give you liberty, to set you free, and to fill you “with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Peter 1:8). He wants you to be free like a bird, to soar in Spiritual things, and to be full of His Holy Spirit. He wants to plant you in His Church and make you faithful to the House of God.
Now, it’s time to learn powerful praying so we can see deliverance from strongholds. I have wasted much of my prayer life, but thank God that has changed. The Son of God was the master teacher on prayer. First, He warned us that Satan had to be bound before any victory was possible. Here are His words, “Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house” (Matthew 12:29). It does not matter what you are praying about – someone being saved, healed, or delivered from drugs or immorality – you must first defeat the spirits. Every life that is not free in Jesus Christ is bound by the enemy of Jesus Christ. There is not a “no man’s zone” in the spiritual world. You are either in or you are out.
Unsaved people are blinded by Satan, who the Bible called “the god of this world.” “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (II Corinthians 4:4). If you intend to be a soul-winner, you must first be a prayer warrior. That blindness in the sinner’s mind is their stronghold. Without the work of the Holy Ghost, it is impossible for that sinner to be converted. You may lead them to make a religious decision, but they will be just as lost as before. Praying the sinner’s prayer is powerless without conviction by the Spirit that breaks the stronghold of sin. Our churches are full of unconverted religious church members.
Mighty, anointed prayer is God’s design for victory in His Church. Man did not institute prayer. The Father Himself made prayer and communion with Himself our first line of victory. Forget your preaching, singing, or church worship if you have not learned to pray. Souls are saved in prayer closets before the first song in the House of God. When Zion travails, souls are saved, men are delivered, and the Kingdom of God comes to town. Read what the Spirit says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled” (II Corinthians 1:3-6). Jesus has won this victory and we live in it by prayer.
Pentecost came after ten days – ordained and required by Jesus Christ – of soul-surrendered and unified praying. The early church leaders refused to become the Red Cross Brigade, but gave themselves to the Word of God and prayer. As the church shook the world, the saints of God prayed. “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). By the power of the Spirit it is about to happen again!
By Daymond Duck
The disciples asked Jesus, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age” (Matthew 24:3)?
After several comments, Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34).
Controversy surrounds what He said. Some say “this generation” means the generation that was alive when Jesus was speaking. Most who believe this way spiritualize the Bible. They say Jesus came back about 2,000 years ago and that His return was a spiritual return. Others say “this generation” means the generation that sees “all these things” that Jesus had just mentioned in Matthew chapter 24. Most who believe this way take the Bible literally. And they say the return of Jesus is still future. It seems more likely that this second group is right.
For one thing, Jesus talked about “the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the Holy place” (Matthew 24:15). That didn’t happen in the generation Jesus was speaking to. But it will happen in the future when the Antichrist defiles the rebuilt Temple 3½ years after a seven-year covenant for peace in the Middle East. There’s no evidence of a seven-year covenant for peace in the Middle East when Jesus said these things.
For another thing, Jesus talked about “great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world, no nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). It’s a stretch to say that 70 A.D. was worse than the Flood, worse than WWI, worse than WW II, worse than the Holocaust, or worse than anything that will happen in the future.
For another thing, Jesus said, “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved” (Matthew 24:21). No one came close to destroying the Romans Empire or everyone on earth in 70 A.D. There’s no evidence that Jesus came back and prevented anything like this from happening.
For another thing, Jesus said, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:29-31). There’s no evidence of a darkened sun and moon, falling stars, everyone seeing Jesus, everyone on earth mourning, trumpets sounding, and all the elect being gathered together in 70 A.D.
Finally, Jesus told the parable of the fig tree (Matthew 24:32). Many commentators believe the fig tree represents Israel. Many believe that Jesus was saying when you see Israel back in the land know that the Second Coming is near. Israel had to be destroyed before she could come back into being.
How Long is “This Generation”
The Bible is vague and speculation abounds on this. After many years of saying we don’t know how long a generation is, this ministry has turned to saying, “We believe the terminal generation started in 1948 and it is our opinion that it will last 70 to 80 years.”
The major reason for this change is that we have a better understanding of Psalm 90. It is the first of eleven Psalms that were written by Moses. Many believe it’s the oldest Psalm in the Bible. It begins with a comment about all generations. Moses said, “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations” (Psalm 90:1). It talks about God forming or creating the earth (Psalm 90:2). It says, “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night” (Psalm 90:4). Peter said it this way, “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (II Peter 3:8). Psalm 90 makes a reference to the Flood and the brevity of life (Psalm 90:4-8). It turns to a discussion of our days and years (Psalm 90:9). Then, Moses said, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10). We will come back to this, but for the time being let’s stick to the remainder of the Psalm. It mentions the anger and wrath of God which could be a reference to the Tribulation Period (Zephaniah 1:14-15; Revelation 6:16-17). It asks God to teach us to number our days that we may use our precious days wisely (Psalm 90:12). It calls upon the Lord to return which could be a reference to the Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation Period and asks how long it will be (Psalm 90:13). Then, it closes with four verses that can well be applied to the Millennium (Psalm 90:14-17).
Now, let’s go back to verse 10 which reads, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten (70 years); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years (80 years), yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” We are not predicting a date, but assuming that the terminal generation started in 1948, and it will be 70 to 80 years long, it appears that God will fulfill everything including the Rapture, Tribulation Period and Second Coming, in 70 or perhaps up to 80 years (by 2018, but He may delay up to 2028). If one subtracts seven years (from 2017 or up to 2018) for the Tribulation Period, and an unspecified amount of time for the period between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation Period, it’s obvious that the Rapture could happen any time.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
The Folded Napkin
By Author Unknown
The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.
The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed separate from the grave clothes.
Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, ‘They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!’
Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.
Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying to the side.
Was that important? Absolutely!
Is it really significant? Yes!
In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.
When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.
Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, ‘I’m done’.
But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because………..
The folded napkin meant, ‘I’m coming back!’
He is Coming Back!
This is one I can honestly say I have never seen circulating in the emails so; if it touches you, you may want to forward it.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
John the Baptist was not Elijah
By Daymond Duck
The expectation that Elijah will come back is based on a prophecy in the Book of Malachi. God said, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6).
The Jews put out a cup for Elijah at the Passover Meal because they are so sure that he will literally come back. After the meal, they say a prayer and ask a family member to open the door to see if Elijah the prophet has arrived.
Jesus was talking about His Second Coming when He told His disciples, “The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:27-28). Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James and John up on the Mount of Transfiguration where they saw Jesus talking to Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1-4). This is important because it shows that Elijah did show up in a vision (Matthew 17:9).
As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus asked His disciples not to tell anyone about the vision until He had been risen from the dead. This puzzled the disciples. They asked, “Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come” (Matthew 17:10)? In other words, they were asking Jesus, “If you are going to die before Elijah shows up, why do the scribes say Elijah will come first?” They didn’t understand that there Jesus would come twice (first and Second Coming). And they didn’t understand that Elijah will show up before the Second Coming.
Anyway, this puzzled the disciples. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them” (Matthew 17:11-12). Jesus was saying the disciples were right. They rightly understood what the scribes were saying. Elijah will show up before the great and terrible day of the Lord or before the Tribulation Period. He will show up before Jesus comes in His glory which means before the Second Coming of Jesus. This is one reason why some think Elijah will be one of the Two Witnesses that will preach during the first half of the Tribulation Period and before the Second Coming.
Now, here is the problem: “Jesus said Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall the Son of man suffer of them.” The fact that Jesus said “Elias is come already” sounds very much like Jesus was saying John the Baptist was Elijah.
But this is explained in Matthew 11:14. Concerning their coming King, the kingdom and John the Baptist, Jesus said, “IF ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.” He was saying, “IF you will accept the fact that I am your King and believe that the kingdom has come, I will accept John the Baptist as a fulfillment of the prophecy about Elijah.”
“IF” is a big word. It is a conditional word. And the point is that the Jews didn’t accept the fact that Jesus was their King and they didn’t believe that the kingdom had come so Jesus didn’t accept John the Baptist as a fulfillment of the prophecy about Elijah.
Luke 1:17 reveals more. When the angel Gabriel told Zacharias about the birth of John the Baptist, Gabriel said John the Baptist will come in the spirit and power of Elijah. John the Baptist didn’t come as Elijah. He came in the spirit and power of Elijah.
Jesus would have accepted John’s coming in the spirit and power of Elijah as a fulfillment of the prophecy if the Jews had accepted Jesus as their King and believed that the kingdom had arrived. But the Jews didn’t do that. The “IF” didn’t happen. John the Baptist was killed. Jesus was killed. And the kingdom wasn’t established.
So Jesus didn’t accept John the Baptist as the coming of Elijah. And that’s exactly what John the Baptist said when the priests and Levites asked him “Art thou Elias” (John 1:21). He said, “I am not.”
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck