Thursday, April 30, 2009

Random thoughts and rumors

I'm sure all of us have been keeping up with the Swine Flu story as it circulates through the media cycle. As with any "crisis", whether "real" or "contrived", the news becomes confusing and difficult to follow. I'm not sure we know much more than we did over the weekend. Its still too early to know how this will play out. Random thoughts:

- The US cases continue to be relatively mild. The overall numbers at this point are quite unremarkable. Its hard to know the number of deaths in Mexico because different methods for determining an "official" death are in use. We have "suspected" deaths from the flu (based on the clinical course), we have "confirmed" deaths from this flu and getting a firm grip on the situation is VERY difficult at this point.

- The rhetoric from CDC and WHO is almost alarming. Based on the clinical data to date, it still seems unusual. What, on the surface appears as a "garden variety" flu is being treated as if thousands upon thousands have died at this point. My question, at this point is "why?". What do we NOT know about this? Is something being kept from the public? Is information being withheld in order to avoid public panic?

- Perhaps the "alarm" we see, is solely based on the early information coming from Mexico, which initially seemed worse than it is now. Once the process was started by the various medical groups (CDC, FDA, WHO, etc) it was hard to stop, and thus we find ourselves in the situation we're now in - responding as if it IS an emergency, although it is not (at this point).

- Perhaps this virus appropriately scared these groups because it has several features which appear similar to the "Spanish Flu" of 1918. If this is the case, the fear may be a mutation which takes this highly contageous virus into a more pathological form. This did happen with the Spanish Flu, so perhaps the fear is such a mutation - and the rhetoric we see daily is based on this possibility.

- Even considering the above possibilities - by viewing the alarming rhetoric as compared to the actual data - something still doesn't seem right. It is hard to determine; perhaps because there is a relative lack of information, and because it is still very early in the process.

There are many rumors, most of which are probably not true, but with a relative lack of information they may be worth exploring. There are some (unverified) reports from physicians that there are many many more cases which are not being reported - Emergency Rooms and medical clinics are being filled with these patients and many deaths will be seen soon. On the other hand, there are rumors that this is a "created crisis" and it will be used for other purposes.

Its still VERY early in this whole process. I still contend that we'll know a lot more in a matter of weeks. However, the caveat for this idea, is that a mutation in the virus could appear at almost any time over the coming months, changing the entire scenario very quickly. In that aspect, we could see this virus come back weeks later in a much more pathologic form, even after this story gets bumped from the front pages.

That puts us back to a "wait and see" approach. At this point, by simply looking at the cases in the U.S., which are all mild and self-limiting; this flu doesn't apppear to be a great concern. At this early stage however, things can change dramatically in a matter of days.

As far as prophecy, this is just one of many stories involving infectious disease. Another sign of the times.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pestilence: A sign of our end times

In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus described the signs that would be observed by the last generation (that generation who would witness these "end times" events), leading into the Tribulation and the subsequent Second Coming of Christ Jesus. One of these signs given was the emergence of "pestilence" or, known today as infectious disease. When I was attending medical school in the late '70's (yes, that was a long time ago), there was hope that the development of new antibiotics and antiviral medicines would outpace emerging bacterial and vital infections. Unfortunately this optimism no longer exists.

During the last two decades alone, according to the World Health Organization, approximately 30 new diseases have been recognized by the scientific community (read here). Additionally, in 1996, infectious disease accounted for about 1/3 of the 52 million deaths that year. Because of global travel, genetic mutations (bacterial and viral), refugees, congested urban areas world-wide, and various "population shifts", even those infectious diseases once thought under control are reemerging, and appearing with complete resistence to therapy.

In fact, new and emerging infectious diseases are tracked by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the ongoing list is extensive (here).

One of the most concerning stories in infectious diseases has been MRSA, which stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This particular bacteria causes "staph" infections that are serious and life-threatening and are resistant to treatment with antibiotics. For the CDC summary read here. The development of MRSA is another ominous "infectious disease scenario" that we have see in our generation.

In January 2002, the CDC released the following revealing statement:

"The bacterial infections which contribute most to human disease are also those in which emerging and microbial resistance is most evident. The consequences are severe...Most alarming of all diseases where resistance is developing for virtually all currently available drugs, thus raising the spectra of a post-antibiotic era. Current trends suggest that some diseases will have no effective therapies within the next ten years."

This intro takes us to the current story which is found in the headlines today:

"Mexico swine flu deaths spur global epidemic fears". According to this article (and many others), "A strain of flu never seen before has killed up to 60 people in Mexico and also appeared in the United States...It shut down schools and canceled major public events in Mexico City". Close analysis revealed that the disease is a mixture of swine, human and avian viruses, according to the CDC. Mexico has already reported that over 1,000 people have been infected. The dead were aged between 25 and 45, which is a particularly ominous sign, as one of the hallmarks of a pandemic is the ability to affect the young and healthy people - a hallmark of the deadly influenza virus of 1918 (also one of the first signs of this generation).

One of the most "interesting" quotes from the article above: "We are very very concerned," World Health Organization spokesman Thomas Abraham said,

"We have what appears to be a novel virus and it has spread from human to human...It's all hands on deck at the moment."

Also, according to Dr. Michael Osterholm, a prominent U.S. pandemic flu expert, said late friday, "Given how quickly flu can spread around the globe, if these are the first signs of a pandemic, then there are probably cases incubating around the world Mexico City there are literally hundreds and thousands of travelers come in and out every'd have to believe there's been more unrecognized transmission that's occured."

Additional articles:

"Travel advisory warns of severe respiratory illness in Mexico"
"Swine Flu. Mexico Lung Illness Heighten Pandemic Risk"
"Most Mexico fatal flu victims aged between 25-45"

In my medical opinion, I have the following general ideas:

- This outbreak has made the news quickly and seemingly has come out of nowhere. Its SO early in the process, its very very difficult to gauge how significant this will be. In several weeks this could end up being a complete "non-story".

- Based on the unusual rhetoric from WHO and the CDC, I have concerns. Typically, their rhetoric "downplays" various risks, etc., but with this outbreak, the rhetoric is atypically concerning. That alone raises my eyebrows. I'm not sure exactly what it means, but I can say that their rhetoric is unusually alarming.

- This current "outbreak" has several elements which are similar the recent "bird flu" which has been of great concern and the pandemic of 1918 which killed between 20-40 million people. Also known as the "Spanish Flu" it killed more than WWI and more deaths than the well-known "Black death" Bubonic plague of 1347-1351. The similarities are striking, and this is greatly concerning.

This certianly warrants close watching. We probably won't have much choice, as the news is already covering the story extensively.

Pestilences. Another sign of the times. I'll update this story as soon as anything new or interesting emerges. Keep watching. As mentioned in the last post, it appears (moreso now) that we are about to enter another strong "contraction" or also known biblically as a "birth pain".

More importantly, I believe that Jesus will soon fulfill the prophecies given in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4. He will come to "gather up" or "catch up" His followers before the Tribulation begins. The final stages of birthing, (aka "Tribulation") are rapidly approaching. Every sign that we have been given, is not only present today, but all signs are progressing rapidly in both magnitude and frequency.

As Jesus said:

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

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Watching for the Kings

Daniel 2 and 7 both contain prophetic scriptures which inform us of the sequence of events which will occur as we watch end times prophecy unfold. According to both chapters, we will see a revival of the Roman Empire come together during the last generation, the same generation that will see all end times events conclude - before the Second Advent of Christ. We believe the European Union, which has now expanded and includes the Mediterranean Union, provides a perfect fit, both geographically and politically to fulfill that prophecy.

The next development, according to Daniel 2 and 7, will be the development (from the "Revived Roman Empire", aka the EU) of 10 Kings, which will represent a diverse "mixed" group of people:

"Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom...and just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united any more than Iron mixes with clay." (Daniel 2:41-43).

Then, in chapter 7 we see the sequence of events in referring to the 10 kings (aka the "horns" of the beast) which will arise from the EU:

"The ten horns are the ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones...He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints...the saints will be handed over to him..." (Daniel 7;24).

In other words, the antichrist will come from these 10 kings, or stated differently - will arise out of these 10 Kings. The 10 Kings will appear first THEN the antichrist will arise.

The book of Revelation includes more details on these ten kings and how they will exist exclusively for the purpose of serving the antichrist.

"The 10 horns you saw are 10 kings who have not yet received a kingdom but...will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They will have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast." (Revelation 17:12).

For prophecy watchers, this is interesting, because we may see the development of 10 kings prior to the Rapture of the Church. At some point, we would also expect to see some sort of division of these 10 kings, into two "halves" since there are two feet on Daniel's statue described in chapter 2. Recall that the statue's two legs, representing the "original" Roman Empire ("iron") - revealed the east-west division of the Roman Empire, which is well known historically.

It is fascinating that the number "10" keeps appearing on the prophetic watch. For several years, the focus has been on a group within the EU, the "WEU" ("Western European Union") which contain 10 "Member States"(read here). The WEU houses the military infrastructure of the EU and contains the 10 most powerful members of the EU. Will this evolve into the "10 Kings" of Daniel and Revelation? Its anyone's guess at this point, but something worth watching.

Another possibility, as made popular by the "Left Behind" series, is to see the world evolve into 10 "regions" of power, or 10 Unions representing these regions. I find this fascinating because if one googles or searches by requesting information on "World Unions" you will quickly see how there are 10 "unions" currently forming or already formed in the world, all loosely based on the model developed by the EU. The 10th union and probably the last union formed would be the NAU, or the North Americal Union.

I find it even more interesting that the EU already envisions such a regional consolidation of countries into 10 unions:
(see here). If each of these regions were to have a representative leader (President? Prime Minister?), then it would be very very interesting for a prophecy watcher.

Perhaps even more interesting is to watch the growth of the EU as it controls the new Mediterranean Union, essentially an outgrowth of the EU. This is interesting because it appears to fit perfectly with Daniel 2's statue. Again, based on the prophecy given in Daniel 2, we would expect to see the EU grow into "10 Kings" before the rise of the antichrist. The antichrist will come FROM these 10 Kings. We see today that the Med Union is again meeting. Even more interesting is the fact that the Med Union has created 10 leadership countries (Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia). Ten countries.

Again, the number 10 keeps appearing. Not only that, but these 10 countries have been divided into a northern half and a southern half. This was done to reflect the cultural and religious diversity between the northern half (predominately "old europe" and the Roman Catholic Church) and the southern half (predominately Muslim). Recall that Daniel 2 informed us that the EU's growth would be a diverse mixture of people who would not remain united.

The Med Union is calling the meeting of these 10 countries the "5+5 Forum"(read here).

Which of the above scenarios will evolve into the 10 kings? There is no way of knowing yet. Each of the above scenarios: The WEU, the 10 world "Unions" or regions, or perhaps even the Med Union's division into the "5+5" is worth watching. It is worth noting that neither of the above descriptions may evolve into the 10 Kings - as the 10 Kings of Daniel and Revelation may be completely different and unexpected. However, at this time, all are worth watching closely.

Also in the news - and something else worth watching - is Russian troop movement (again) in Georgia (here), in direct violation of the EU-brokered cease fire that ended the fighting last year. According to this article Russia now occupies new territory within Georgia. In addition to the obvious intent of Russia - to have complete control of oil in the region - I believe that Russia is attempting to create a pathway into Israel, from the north as described in Ezekiel 38-39. By moving further west into Georgia, such a pathway will be almost complete. Something else worth watching.

Additionally, the IMF is growing in power and influence in terms of a world economy, but thats a story for another day.

Keep watching - it looks like another birth pain could be approaching.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Israel prepares for war

Today's headline from Timesonline: "Israel stands ready to bomb Iran's nuclear sites" (article here).

Interesting quotes from this article:

"The Israeli military is preparing itself to launch a massive aerial assault on Iran's nuclear facilities within days of being given the go-ahead by its new government."

"Among the steps taken to ready Israeli forces for what would be a risky raid requiring pinpoint aerial strikes are the acquisition of there Airborn Warning and Control (AWAC) aircraft and regional missions to simulate the attack."

"Two nationwide civil defence drills will help to prepare the public for the retaliation that Israel could face."

"Israel wants to know that if its forces were given the green light they could strike at Iran in a matter of days, even hours."

The reason many of us are following this story - the story about Israel and Iran, is because it very well may trigger the final prophetic dominoes to fall. The reason I believe this includes:

- Russia has threatened to come to Iran's defense if such Israeli strikes occur. That will escalate retaliation many times over.
- The entire region in the Middle-East will be passionately inflamed, potentially setting the stage for fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39 and the so-called invasion of "Gog-MaGog" which will be ended supernaturally by God, and God's actions will be visible and obvious to all.
- An Israeli strike against Iran could serve as an excuse for more of the predominately Islamic groups to enter the stage, again creating dramatic escalation in the region.
- Its too big to ignore.

In a related news (read here) Joel Rosenberg's site has an interview conducted by Glen Beck. In this interview, Joel Rosenberg explains WHY Iran is so obsessed with the complete destruction of both Israel and the U.S. In a nutshell, Iran's leadership believes that the Islamic "messiah", also known as the 12th Iman or the Mahdi, is coming imminently. They also believe that this "messiah" will only come in the midst of violence/bloodshed/war in the Middle-East. Therefore, to this group of Islamic radicals, widespread warafre in the Middle-East, specifically Israel is a good thing, as it will hasten the return of their "messiah". In this interview, Joel Rosenberg summarizes the situation.

This situation is coming to a head. When it does, its possible that remaining, significant prophetic events will rapidly ensue (my speculation only, but I believe it is grounded well in the scriptures). The time to be prepared is now - prepared in the sense of being ready to meet with Jesus. Israel has a history of taking such actions when least expected; it could come at any day.

Just as Israel is preparing for war, we need to be prepared spiritually. From the words of Luke:

"Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the Kingdom of God is near." (Luke 21:31)

"Be always on the watch and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:36).

Be always on the watch...By being "on the watch" we can have an awareness of the signs around us; but the reason for being watchful is so that we can use the information to prepare spiritually - to prepare for that glorious day in which we will "stand before the Son of Man".

I believe that day is coming soon. Now is the time to prepare. Jesus will come for His bride - its a promise.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In the news...

Interesting news this week with potential prophetic implications:

Iran to launch new satellite into orbit

Tensions high in North Korea row

Egypt: Concern over bird flu cases

Iran at UN: Israel planning on striking our nuclear sites

Its kind of funny in a way; I've been thinking that this is a slow week, prophetically, yet we still see pertinent headlines, such as the above, appearing daily. Perhaps things have been moving SO rapidly over the past months, a relatively "normal" week seems "slow".

Jesus said that the signs would appear as birth pains - or - you might say that the signs would come in waves, with many signs clustered at one time. Over the past several weeks, we've seen major "contractions" as described on this site and now we see a slight lull in the action. I fully expect another "birth pain" or contraction to appear soon.

Jesus expects us to be continually watching for His return and specifically addressed those periods which would tempt us to relax or let our guard down:

"Therefore keep watch because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you must also be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Matthew 24:42-44).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Prophecies and the Road to Emmaus

The week that Jesus entered Jerusalem and faced His death on the cross, there were a number of prophecies fulfilled. Seventeen to be exact; all very specific and detailed descriptions of events which would involve Jesus during this last week - the week of His death and resurrection. A review of these prophecies reveals how specific and detailed they were:

1. Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey: Given: Zech. 9:9 -Fulfilled: Matt. 21:5-7
2. Jesus betrayed by friend: Given: Psalm 41:9 - Fulfilled: Mark 14:17-18
3. Jesus betrayed for 30 pieces of silver: Given: Zech. 11:12 - Fulfilled: Matt. 26:14
4. 30 pieces of silver =”Potter’s Field”: Given: Zech. 11:13 – Fulfilled: Matt. 27: 3-5
5. Jesus accused by false witness: Given: Psalm 109:2 – Fulfilled: Matt. 26:59-60
6. Jesus silent before His accusers: Given: Isaiah 53:7 – Fulfilled: Matt. 27:12
7. Jesus beaten and whipped: Given: Isaiah 50:6 – Fulfilled: Matt. 27:26
8. Jesus hands and feet pierced: Given: Psalm 22:16 – Fulfilled: John 19:37; 20:27
9. Peter’s denial of Jesus: Given: Mark 14:30 – Fulfilled: Mark 14:66-72
10. Jesus garments divided: Given: Psalm 22:18 – Fulfilled: John 19:23
11. Jesus mocked as He died: Given: Psalm 22:7-8 – Fulfilled: Matt. 27:39-40
12. Jesus cried out to God on the cross: Given: Psalm 22:1 – Fulfilled: Matt. 27:46
13. Jesus offered vinegar on the cross: Given: Psalm 69:21 – Fulfilled: John 19:28
14. Jesus bones not broken on the cross: Given: Psalm 34:20 – Fulfilled: John 19:32-33
15. Jesus burial in a rich man’s grave: Given: Isaiah 53:9 – Fulfilled: Matt. 27: 57-60
16. Jesus resurrected in 3 days: Given: John 2:19-21 – Fulfilled: Acts 10:40
17. Jesus meets his disciples in Galilee: Given: Matt. 26:32 – Fulfilled: Matt. 28:16

Jesus, and only Jesus could meet the criteria given above. The fulfillment of these prophecies is just one of many reasons that we know that Jesus is who He claimed to be. Our Lord. Our Savior. Our Messiah. Our King of Kings. And He was willing to come to earth, in human form, and die an agonizing, horrific and brutal death, in order to give us eternal life with Him. In Heaven. And all we have to do is believe this - believe that He died for each of us, individually - and then accept this eternal gift. The gift of salvation.

Now to the story of Jesus - His appearances on the third day following death on the cross. Most of us are familiar with Jesus making his presence known to the apostles and to Mary, but a lesser known story is found in Luke's version of the resurrection period.

On the third day, following Jesus' death on the cross, Luke 24 takes us to the road to Emmaus, where "two of them" were going to a village called Emmaus. The scriptures inform us that these two "were talking with each other about everything that has just happened. As they talked and discussed these things Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him." (Luke 24:15)

The passage continues by describing the two as being "downcast" (v.17) because, according to them, Jesus had been "sentenced to death" and "crucified" (v.20). They continued the conversation by saying, "but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel" (v.21). By reading Luke 24:13-24, you quickly get the picture that these two individuals, who are walking back to Emmaus, are "downcast" because of Jesus death, and things didn't go as they had hoped or planned.

Jesus, however clarified matters:

"He said to them, 'How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?' And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the scriptures concerning himself." (Luke 24:25-27).

In other words, Jesus considered them as having been "foolish" for not believing or understanding the many many prophecies that He had fulfilled. Had they understood these prophecies, particularly the scriptures describing Christ's death and resurrection, they would not have given up so easily, nor would they have been so "downcast". By understanding the prophecies, they would have remained in Jerusalem and waited for Jesus to make His glorious appearance.

As we celebrate the amazing gift that Jesus offers everyone by His death and resurrection, we have another reason to celebrate. We look ahead to His promised return.

The same prophets who correctly foretold the amazing array of details concerning Jesus birth, life, death and resurrection, also gave us the prophecies that we watch today; the prophecies that are telling us His return is near.

When Jesus was "taken up", as described in Acts 1:9-11, the angels informed the men:

"'Men of Galilee' they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken away from you into heaven will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

Its a promise. Maranatha! Our Lord Comes.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The G20's view of world finance

More and more information has been leaking out this week, regarding the recent G20 meeting in London. It is amazing how significant these meetings are, and the impact they can have on our lives, yet go barely noticed as people go about their daily lives.

Biblical prophecy informs us that during the Tribulation, there will be a global financial system (Rev 13), as led by one individual (the False Prophet) and this financial system will include the mandatory "Mark of the Beast" - a visible indicator that the individual has sworn allegiance to the Antichrist. This "Mark" will be required, in order for the individual to be able to buy or sell. Ultimately, this figure known as the Antichrist will control the world's government, along with his "Ten Kings".

Because of these scriptures, prophecy watchers have been watching developments which indicate that the world is headed to a "Global Financial System" and/or a "Global Governance". Interestingly, both terms have been commonly used, ever since the financial "crisis" which began in fall of 2008.

According to the UK Telegraph, under the title "The G20 moves the world a step closer to a global currency", one finds several interesting quotes (article here):

"The world is a step closer to a global currency, backed by a global central bank, running monetary policy for all humanity."

"In effect, the G20 leaders have activated the IMF's (International Monetary Fund) power to create money and begin global "quantitative easing". In doing so, they are putting a de facto world currency in play."

"There is now a world currency in waiting. In time, SDRs are likely to evolve into a parking place for the foreign holdings of central banks, led by the People's Bank of China."

Apparently, SDRs, (Special Drawing Rights) is a synthetic paper currency, issued by the IMF. This currency has been dormant for approximately 50 years, but now, with an infusion of money from the G20 group this currency can be activated. It is hard to know exactly how this will evolve into a central currency.

In a recent commentary, political author Dick Morris considers the actions of the G20 in a very negative light. Under the title "The Declaration of Independence has been repealed" (read here), the term "global economic union" is used to describe this new G20 group. Mr Morris has this to say:

"The joint communique essentially announces a global economic union with uniform regulations and bylaws for all nations, including the United States. Henceforth, our SEC, Commodities Trading Commission, Federal Reserve Board and other regulators will have to march to the beat of drums pounded by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), a body of central bankers from each of the G20 states and the European Union."

"The mandate conferred on the FSB is remarkable for its scope and open-endedness. It is to set a 'framework of internationally agreed high standards that a global financial system requires'"

What I find interesting is - neither of the above articles were written by "prophecy people", or written from a perspective of biblical prophecy, yet their descriptions of current events seem prophetic in nature. Watching the world take one more step towards those predictions given in the book of Revelation is surreal.

I don't believe that we'll wake up tomorrow and have a single world currency. It appears that there could be an interim phase in which IMFs are accepted in gradually, and over a period of time become a world currency. What we see with the actions of the G20 is another step in that direction. Its a big step however, as the G20 has now stepped into the forefront of global financial policy which will affect "all important financial institutions".

One last point of interest. Because we know that the tribulation period will last seven years, much of what we are seeing today could have occured during the seven years of tribulation. The fact that we are actually witnessing the evolution of the world's economy into a single, global financial system is fascinating. Not only that, but the speed with which these changes are coming about is of equal interest.

The world is changing rapidly - more now than I can ever remember. Its hard to imagine that the "gathering up" of the Church, as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-52, isn't coming soon. Keep looking up - our redemption is drawing near.

Friday, April 3, 2009

In the news:

G20 to give $1 Trillion to IMF, World Bank. Interesting quotes are coming out of the G20 meeting such as "For the First time we have a common approach to cleaning up banks around the world to restructuring of the world financial system."

Obama backs Saudi peace initiative. President Obama, according to this article, backs the February 2002 initiative, which calls for a full Israeli withdrawal from all territories which Israel gained during the Six Day War, including east Jerusalem. Pre '67 borders would also require Israel to give up the Golan Heights and the West Bank, and both actions would significantly weaken Israel's ability to defend their country against the surrounding terrorists, who only want to destroy Israel as a country. With the new Israeli administration in place, this is highly unlikely.

North Korea triggers new global crisis. Joel Rosenberg has a nice review of the missile launch planned by North Korea in the coming days. Japan has threatened to shoot this missile down. No one is completely sure what the ramifications are, but at a minimum, successful launch would prove that N. Korea has the ability to send a nuclear warhead virtually anywhere in the world. This situation is definitely worth watching closely.

More news to come......

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The World's Response to the Rapture

Occasionally I stumble on an article that seems worth repeating; below is one such article. As posted on the website "Rapture Ready", one of the most comprehensive and informative websites involving end times prophecy, Joseph Chambers has reviewed the Rapture of the Church in terms of the aftermath on Earth. It won't be pretty. I believe this review is worth reading for several reasons. First and foremost, if you haven't accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and your means to Salvation, then this article may, at a minimum cause you to pause and reconsider. If you are a Christian, then you may sense a greater sense of urgency to witness to loved ones in your life.

Often, we get so caught up in watching current events for the signs which indicate the nearness of the Rapture and our glorious fate - that we forget what the world will look like in the aftermath of the Rapture.

The article can be found here, and attached below:


"The World's response to the Rapture"

There is a growing hatred for anything that centers on Jesus Christ. Its like the world wants to promote a “god” idea that can fit all belief systems, but trashes the God of Christianity and the idea of the Son of God as a Savior of all men. There is an even greater hatred for the idea of a Rapture, where a large number of people are going to be caught up and supernaturally removed. More and more of the leading ministers in Biblical circles are denying the Rapture and turning to theological ideas that suggest a Christian dominion of the earth rather than escape from the earth. Much of the Evangelical world and all of the Catholic leadership are dead set against a sudden exodus of the chosen saints of God.

When you understand the multitude of different ideas relating to End Times events, it is challenging to describe the many different reactions that may well follow the great escape of the saints. The Rapture may well serve to unite the religious world and force them to forge a united reaction. There are not many religious leaders left that do not have a growing distaste for Bible-believing fundamentalism. Every major religious trend has served to build a consensus against what is being called “narrow-minded fundamentalism.” Building a broad-based movement to bring the Catholic, the Evangelical, and the Pentecostals together demands that no theology is important enough to divide the church world.

We now have a religious atmosphere that drives the fundamental truths to the back room. That is the crowd that is going to be the Raptured saints. It would be a great relief to many religious personalities if we would just disappear. We will! Holiness of lifestyle is hated. Ministers that still preach and teach separation from the trashy and carnal world are considered cultic and bothersome. The music of the average church in the acceptable church growth world is unclean and repulsive. The atmosphere in the Jewish synagogues when Jesus came the first time is a fair example of today’s church atmosphere. Genuine truth has fallen in the streets. Most ministers that still continue to preach the Rapture also trash solid Biblical holiness living.

“The Passion of the Christ” did not change anything, but it did reveal some things that had already changed. Suddenly, the last holdouts of the church world could join the Catholic Church world and start uniting with them without question. The main two church denominational holdouts to wild ecumenicalism were the Baptist and the Pentecostals. They are now beginning to lead the way into the greatest unity of the “Christian” church world in all of two thousand years. How are all of them going to explain that the Rapture has taken place and they are still here?

Immediately After the Rapture
The Rapture is going to make an incredible stir throughout the world. This is one of the greatest moments in human history and the result will be an incredible crisis. The media will explore every detail. Interviews will be granted to all sides and many different explanations will be given. The paranormal world will have a field day with many bizarre stories. Somehow the majority of the world will be convinced to carry on and to join the new day of liberty and license.

The Catholic Church Will Move to the Forefront
The best way to deal with a crisis is to celebrate it and the celebration will begin. The One World Church will quickly develop a speakers’ bureau to appear on all news channels. Let’s consider what may be their explanation. I believe they will proclaim that a supernatural miracle has occurred. Religious fanatics and rebellious fundamentalists have been removed by an act of God so that the world can finally experience peace. They will say that these people were no different than the terrorists within the Muslim world. They were like the Taliban of Afghanistan and we have been spared their hindrance to our planned wonderful world by this miracle of their removal.

Forerunners of the Antichrist will see this as their golden opportunity and they will join in with the religious One World Church. They will herald the coming revelation of their “Christ” and great paranormal events will become commonplace. As the idea that this “Christ” is waiting to be manifest begins to grip the world, great excitement to His coming will develop. Great speakers with demonic appeal will conduct rallies all over the world. They will build excitement to the point of hysteria. Incredible miracles of healing (i.e., blinded eyes opened) and mass healing events will occur. This new church world of the inclusive church will explode. It will be religious mania.

This new religion will be as emotionally real as the true Pentecost of the past. The only thing missing will be the restrictions of commandments and standards. It will be the greatest day of mass religious events in history. The music is already written, the singers have already trained, and these campaigns will feature the best. The present contemporary, rap, rock, funk, and other ungodly music are all the music of the Antichrist and are ready to inoculate the world. The multitudes will line up to be baptized and marked as the worshippers of this new “Christ.” They will actually believe that he is the true appearing of the real Christ.

While the One World Church is Worshipping
As hid from public view as possible, a genuine surrender to Jesus Christ will grip the world. Millions of people that knew very little about the faith of Jesus Christ will believe that the Rapture, which has just occurred, was the real thing. This great company will find private places to pray and devour the Holy Bible. They will help each other find food and survive as long as possible. Little children will be led to a living faith as moms and dads, sometimes only mothers and sometimes only dads, help their families prepare for the worst. Every person, who makes a complete surrender to Jesus Christ, will be signing his or her own death warrant by the worst possible form of death.

The great multitude that wash their garments in the Blood of the Son of man/Son of God will be hated by the liberal media, the Antichrist and his army of savages, and the New World Religion followers. The persecution of Christians will be worldwide and brutal. Human rights will not exist. There will be no “911” phone number for those that are being brutally hunted and slaughtered.

The death of these repentant and blood-washed souls is going to be so massive and vicious that the Great Creator and His divine Son set one of the seven seals to draw attention to this fact. These people will be champions. They will bear their testimony bravely before the world, while being hated and threatened by the entire One World system. These new saints do not have any weapons and no one is available to plead their call before the powers that be, but they are brave unto death. Listen to the Lord Jesus Christ in His Revelation to John describe them. “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Revelation 6:9-11)

The Gospel will certainly be heard worldwide during the Seven Years of the Great Tribulation. The souls we just witnessed were condemned and killed for the Word of God and their testimonies. There will be two incredible prophets that proclaim God’s Word to the world and cannot be killed until their witness is complete. They will perform many genuine miracles and even shut the heavens so that it does not rain. Their testimony will be so effective that the Beast, the Leader of the One World Religion will make war with them. After three and one-half years of ministry, they will be killed and their death will cause a worldwide celebration by the wicked multitudes.

Look at a few descriptions of their ministry and effectiveness. “And I will give power unto my two witnesses … And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth … These have power to shut heaven … And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city … where also our Lord was crucified … And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them … and great fear fell upon them which saw them … the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” (Revelation 11:3-13)

Even angels will fly through the Heavens proclaiming the everlasting gospel. No one that takes the Mark of the Beast or worships Satan, the Antichrist, or the Beast will have an excuse. The absolute proof that the God of Heaven is the source of these days of great judgment will be undeniable. The glory of God vs. the hideous nature of Satan and his entire deceived host will be evident for men to see.

The Wicked Will Be Wicked Still
The spirit of prophecy used Prophet Daniel to give us incredible information about the Seven Years of the Great Tribulation. The last chapter of his book speaks of the rapture and resurrection of the righteous, as well as the resurrection of the wicked. He described the first three and one-half years, placed the abomination of desolation in the middle, and then described the last three and one-half years. It’s a remarkable description. Along with placing the abomination in the middle, he also described a revival of righteousness. With that he also spoke of the company of the wicked that, in spite of judgment and the undercurrent of genuine revival, they would continue to be wicked and even grow into a level of wickedness never experienced. Look at Daniel’s anointed description of this coming hour after the Rapture. “And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days (the last three and one-half years of the seven).” (Daniel 12:9-11) The wickedness of the wicked will reach a level of vileness that we do not yet understand. A human being can become a devil in nature just like Satan and his angels became devils. This is already happening, but will reach a new level during the Great Tribulation.

At the very beginning of the seven years, the sixth seal reveals something of men’s response to the judgments of God that are evident. Look at these words, “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:14-17)

There is no evidence of repentance, just a stark reflection of their understanding that this is a judgment from the God of Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ. By the time of the sixth trumpet, the hearts of men will have grown arrogant and obstinate. “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” (Revelation 9:20-21)

In the face of judgments that they dare not deny, the wickedness of those men left after the Rapture only grows more and more wicked. By the time the two prophets that had performed many miracles and proven themselves to be prophets from God have been killed, the multitudes of the wicked have the audacity to rejoice and send gifts celebrating the Beast’s victory over those men of God.

Now, as the Seven Years draw to a close, the time comes that Jesus Christ will appear in the Heavens on a great white stallion, along with a multitude of His saints with Him. The sight will be too awesome to describe. The wicked, who have arrogantly rejected every expression of truth or mercy, join themselves to the Antichrist as his army and gather to Armageddon to fight against the descending Christ and His army of the glorified saints. The devil, the Antichrist, the Beast, fallen angels, and the host of wicked men and women become as one to fight the Lamb of God and His host. But, the end of this rebellion has come. “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.” (Revelation 19:17-18)

The Deluded That Knew But Rejected the Truth
I cannot end this article without remembering the multitude that were “Left Behind” but could not repent. They were turned to a reprobate mind to believe a lie and be damned. That lie of a false religion, a false Christ, and miracles to deceive will conclude by actually fighting against the returning Son of God. Imagine the men and women that once heard and knew the truth, but loved the world more. There will be multitudes of them that were raised in Bible-believing churches, heard the preaching about the Rapture, and were loved by the saints of God, but are now the companion of Satan to fight the Battle of Armageddon. The worse degree of the Lake of fire is reserved for those that knew but rejected the great Savior that came down to die.

Left Behind, Seven Years of Hell
This world will soon be Satan’s last stand. He is a master at deceit. With thousands of years of experience in fighting against God, he will certainly use his acquired skills to lead this world to war. With the restraining presence of the Holy Ghost removed, there will be nothing to hinder but the limits of prophesied truth. He and his host will fight to the finish. There will be schemes of deception unknown. Only those that wash themselves in the Blood of the Lamb and choose death over the mark will survive.

It’s foolish to wait and follow the love of self and sin. Turn wholly to Jesus Christ today. Tomorrow may be the sad day of the “Left Behind.”

Joseph R. Chambers