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Category Archives: #SIGNS

HERETICAL MYLES MUNROE

Myles Munroe Myles Munroe teaches that God needs our permission to work on earth.  He also teaches that angels need our permission as well to do their jobs.For example, he teaches that God sought Abraham for permission to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  In their make believe interaction according to Myles Munroe, God told Abraham, “You got it!  You’re the man!  Once you’re satisfied and give me permission I will act.This is absurd to think that an Almighty and Sovereign God needs our permission to act in His universe!  Think about it my friend, is this not the height of arrogance?  What does the bible have to say about the sovereign plan of God and the vain efforts of man that try to subvert it?And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” Daniel 4:35, see also Isaiah 43:3, Psalm 115:3, 135:6.  Whom will you believe, God or Myles Munroe? Benny Hinn made the following endorsements after these incredibly blasphemous statements by Myles Munroe: “Man!  That is absolutely awesome!  Dear God!That’s incredible!  That’s incredible!  Wow!Wow!  Wow!  Wow!This is so amazing!Are you getting blessed like I am, dear Jesus. Myles Munroe: That’s why angel’s need our permission to function.  It says they are here to do our biddingThey can’t even act without our permission, you see.  But, here’s the bigger statement: Even God Himself is illegal on earth.  Why?  Because, He is a spirit and the law He set up by His own mouth was that only spirits with bodies can function on earth legally.”(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 12, 2004) “Why can’t God take care of Pharaoh by Himself?  Why can’t God invade that government and disrupt that process and set them free by Himself?  He is illegal.  So God then has to get the attention of a human first.  Then spend hours, maybe even days trying to convince this one human to work with Him.  Moses came up with every single excuse he could find and gave them.  And Almighty God tolerated him, saying, ‘Look, if you can’t talk, I will speak for you.  If you got problems, I’ll solve them for you.  If you’re afraid, I’ll give you courage.  In other words, whatever you need, please work with meCause I want to do something.  Give me your body.'”(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 13, 2004) So, even though God can do anything, He can only do what you permit Him to do.  If you study the Word of God, you will see why it makes so much sense.  For example, God has done nothing on earth without a human co-operating with Him.  He had to find a human.  When God for example wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah…Go ahead and destroy it!  No!  He [God] was illegal.  He had to find a human to give Him access and ageement to release His powerSo, then God had to negotiate with a man in Abraham.  They argued for a long time!…Abraham figured it out.  Abraham said, ‘Ahh, Haa!  Okay, so I’ll tell you what!  Before I give you permission [Abraham gives God permission!] to touch that city, if I could find 50 men, 40, 30, 10.’  He said, ‘I’m dealing, and God had to deal with a man.’  And he said, ‘If I could only find one.’ God says, ‘You got it!  You’re the man!  Once you’re satisfied and give me permission I will act.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 12, 2004) “When you study Moses or any human that has been successful with God, you will find this dependency God has on humanity. God says, ‘Moses, quickly agree with me.  Because your brother, your nephew is on the way.  We got to get this work doneI need a human to agree.’  As soon as Moses agrees with God, God says, ‘Okay, let’s Go.‘”(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 13, 2004) “Let me define prayer for you in this show. Prayer is man giving God permission or license to interfere in earth’s affairsIn other words, prayer is earthly license for heavenly interference.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 12, 2004) Heaven depends on earth for interference.  If He [God] could just find two people like you [Benny Hinn] and I to agree.  We agree for God to do this thing.  Then God says, ‘Thank you very much for permission!‘  Then He [God] can come.”(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 13, 2004) “Our prayer is a strange experience.  We normally ask God to do things, God is telling us to command Him permission to do it for us.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 13, 2004) God could do nothing on earth, nothing has God ever done on earth without a human giving Him access.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 12, 2004) He [God] could not name those animals because He [God] is illegal.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 13, 2004) “O’ Lord, heal this man.  God says, ‘No! No! No!  Talk to the sickness, I am already healing the guy.  What I need is permission to get the healing on earth.‘”(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 13, 2004) Myles Munroe:  “Jesus was necessary for Christ.Benny Hinn:  “Wait!  Wait!  Wait!  Wait!  Pastor, slow down.  What you mean is.”Myles Munroe: “Jesus made Christ legal on the earth.  Jesus was the body.Benny Hinn:  “Has he always been this deep here?  It’s amazing what he’s saying.  So, So, repeat that.”Myles Munroe:  “Christ is God’s Spirit, that’s why Christ needed a body to come to earth legally.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 13, 2004) Every sick person is already healed.  That’s why you don’t really have to lay hands on a million of people in India to heal them.  You don’t have to, they are already healed.  What God’s problem is, is getting the healing to earth.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 13, 2004) When a human gets healed and becomes well again, God Himself is able to stay here legally longer.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 13, 2004) “Every spirit is trying to find a body.  Can I give you another shocker?  [Benny Hinn: You bet!]  Even the Holy Spirit, because He cannot function here without a body.  That’s why your called the body of Christ.  And it says our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Cause He Himself needs to be legal to function.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 13, 2004) In other words, Moses had to initiate the action for God to produce the product.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 13, 2004) “God says, ‘If my people,’ now if means, ‘I would like to fix this, but I can’t fix this without a human giving me permission.‘”(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 13, 2004) Interfering in earth by God is totally up to usHeaven is waiting on earth to get things done.”(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 13, 2004) “What is faith?  Faith is believing in what you said, that God told you.  In other words, the fight is to keep believing after you said something.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 12, 2004) “That’s why your [Benny Hinn] healing ministry is necessary.  God could heal people by Himself as a spirit with powerBut it’s illegal to do it on earth.  So, He needs a human agency.  What does laying your hands on a human to do with healing?  Well, really nothing.  We touch you you all the time but your sick.  What He’s looking for is permissionThe power to heal is always present, but having permission to heal is held up by humanity and their lack of faith.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 12, 2004) “God made a promise to Satan, I paraphrase again, I believe God said it this way in my spirit.  He said, ‘Satan, you know I can’t come in right now because I’m a spiritAnd if I came in now as a spirit I would violate my Word, break my Word, and I would never be able to be trusted again with my Word.  But, I’ll make a promise, and the promise is: the same woman that you used to destroy my program on earth for humanity.  I’m going to use the same woman and I’m going to put my seed in her womb and she’ll build around me a physical dirt body.  And I will become legal in the earth.  And then legal, I will then come in legally and crush your authority legally.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 12, 2004) Satan himself knew that in order for him to fuction on this earth that he needed a body alsoThat’s why he had to go to the serpent which had a dirt body and negotiated with the serpent to borrow his body for awhile.  And he did, and that’s why God cursed the serpent cause the serpent literally loaned his body to the Adversary, who’s a spirit, in order to do buisness legally with Eve.(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 12, 2004) “It bothered me, I’m sure it bothered you [Benny Hinn] for years as a pastor.  If God is so mighty, powerful, awesome, omnipotent, omniscient, why couldn’t this mighty God who made 500 million planets and galaxies couldn’t stop a skinny little woman from picking the fruit and destroying His whole program?  I mean, God aren’t you powerful?  You could intervene, you can destroy the works of the devil, prevent the woman and save humanity.  But He couldn’t!  Not that He didn’t, He couldn’t!…”(Myles Munroe, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, July 12, 2004)
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How I learned to speak in tongues, and then resolved to never do it again

How I learned to speak in tongues, and then resolved to never do it again.

 

THE PROPHETIC WHIRLWIND

The study of Bible Prophecy has taken me through every single book of the Bible, and from cover to cover, I see the unfolding of God’s plan for the human race.
The Old Testament prophetically points forward to a coming Redeemer, and this being only one of MANY places in the Old Testament. How do I know this? On the road to Emmaus, the risen Jesus chastised the disciples for not understanding the scriptures:
Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Luke 24:25-27)
Today, the disturbing trend amongst Christian churches is to ignore and discredit the study of prophecy and those that teach it. Thirty percent of the Bible is prophetic in nature. So when a teacher or denomination collectively ignore that much scripture, or treat it as if it were unimportant, then they are sorely going to be missing things that tie the past and the present together with events to come.
Two of the harshest condemnations by Christ on anyone in Scriptures, were to the Pharisees (or religious leaders), and to the Laodicean Church (Revelation 3:14-22). One, was for their overt and utter disregard for who the Bible said the Messiah would be (and when), and the other is to a religious group who were lukewarm in their beliefs, neither committing too, nor rejecting Jesus. These two groups are dominating Christendom today both with rejecting prophecy and with the promotion of ecumenicalism.
The study of prophecy is not meant to make one fatalistic about the concerns of this world, but rather, to bring hope and encouragement. It shouldn’t replace evangelism, but deepen it.
CS Lewis once said; “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 NASB)
Rightly dividing the Word will lead you straight to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. It focuses the believer on the world to come, not the trivial things in this life that will pass away as a vapor.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)
The proper study of prophecy has the potential to light a fire in the believer that can never be extinguished. It is a powerful tool that God equips the believer with the knowledge and assurance to battle the false, heretical, and damnable doctrines of demons currently spreading around the globe.
Historically, you can go back and see where amillennialism, preterism, replacement theology, and open theism have been inserted into the church. They claim they don’t teach the Rapture for instance, because of the so-called divisiveness that man has come to see in it.
Battle Tactics 101 says to ‘divide and conquer’! So, like that dead Sardis church, the modern church has quit watching and come to abandon watching altogether. Jesus tells them:
“Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.” (Revelation 3:3)
Think about all those who have currently fallen under the sway of cults and heretical belief systems.
They have to openly discard proven history, so how much easier is it for false prophets and teachers to come and speak of things yet to happen?
Currently, we live in the ‘age of information’, so much so that it should be renamed, the ‘age of confusion’. So many competing doctrines, philosophies, religions, political persuasions have bombarded mankind with every sort of belief system you can imagine. They are all intent on telling you that they have cornered the market on ideas and truth, and if you only buy into what they are selling, your life will be all the better. That is why it is so important for a believer to know the whole bible, not just parts of it.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ ” (Titus 2:11-13)
 

THIS ‘N’ THAT

One might think that a man’s dinner menu isn’t exactly newsworthy. That is, unless you’re the pope. Apparently if you wear a big, sparkly hat and allow millions of people to call you Holy Father, then what you put into your mouth is worthy of a news write-up by Religion News Service

Baked skinless chicken, salad, fruit and a glass of simple wine hardly seems like food fit for a king. But it does seem to be a meal fit for a pope. 

Pope Francis is becoming well known for his simple tastes: As Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, he carried his own bags when traveling, preferred public transportation to chauffeur-driven limousines, and, the stories go, cooks meals for himself. 

His humble lifestyle extends to the kitchen, a stark contrast with his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who before becoming pope relished feasting on fettuccine with shrimp, zucchini and saffron.

(Source)

photo credit: amanky via photopin cc

Look, we get it. We’re supposed to revere Pope Francis not just because he’s miraculously been granted powers of infallibility, but because he’s ‘humble.’ Never mind the fact that the very office of pope is an ostentatious one. Let’s face it, humble popes don’t exist.

And if we’re going to judge a man’s humility by his menu, well, then us bloggers ought to be some of the most humble men and women of them all. Sure, Pope Francis used to live in a little apartment, take the bus, and eats skinless chicken and salad. But us bloggers live in our mother’s basements, spend our days in a beanbag chair, and maintain a steady diet of Cheetos and Mountain Dew. I mean, if we want to have a humility contest, who do you really think is going to win? The guy in the robes with a massive silver cross around his neck, or the sweatpants-wearing blogger?

Well, it’s about time for me to go prepare a humble lunch, so while I do that, please go ahead and enjoy your week in review (kind of):

  • The Cripplegate has had a few really good articles about Roman Catholicism, the papacy, etc. In this one, Steve Meister talks about alleviating the protestant inferiority complex. He also rightly observes, “Since the Pope misrepresents the evangel, the gospel, I fail to grasp how he could ever excite evangelicals.”
  • I’ve heard a lot of Christians praising the television show Duck Dynasty. I’ve never watched it myself, but those who do may want to examine just what kind of a gospel the Duck Dynasty family proclaims.
  • The Mormons have once again changed their scriptures, specifically updating references to blacks and to polygamy. Kinda makes you extra thankful to know that the true and living Word of God never changes, doesn’t it?
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • I’ve always said ‘Earth Hour’ — those 60 minutes every year where everyone is supposed to sit in the dark and not use any electricity — was utterly ridiculous. (In fact, I usually celebrate by turning on as many lights and electrical appliances as possible). Turns out it’s not just ridiculous,it’s downright backwards.
  • Only Carl Trueman could write a blog post entitled, “The Yuck Factor” and still have it be taken seriously (as it should be).
  • Former ‘pastor’ Jack Schaap has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for his relationship with a minor.
  • The University of Tennessee has withdrawn some of the funds from its upcoming ‘Sex Week’ event. Organizers only have a few days to find over $11,000. Good, I hope it gets canceled.
  • Speaking of gay marriage, this North Carolina church has promised to stop performing marriages until gay marriage is permitted.
  • Back to ‘The Bible’ miniseries: there’s a little—no, a hugesomething missing in the scene of the Last Supper.
  • Never make a Gospel appeal to people’s emotions: 


 

HOW MUCH LONGER OH LORD!

As the world we live in today keeps unraveling, we who know that Jesus has promised to return for His own keep wondering, “How much longer?”
I do hope that while we contemplate this question, we don’t fail to be busy for Him in getting the Gospel out to those who do not know Him. Surely when He does return, He will find us at work and not loafing. Unfortunately, the work crew seems to be diminishing in droves, while the crowd continues to grow around the water cooler.
As I and others have stated on numerous occasions, the signs of His return are so plentiful, it is difficult to zero in on just a few. In answering the disciple’s questions upon the Mount of Olives, Jesus briefed them as follows:
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:4-8)
I believe this twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew is directed toward Daniel’s seventieth week that we commonly call the Tribulation, but I also believe we can see many of these signs forming now. Jesus stated clearly, “All these are the beginning of sorrows,” which leads me to believe they are being introduced now, in the present. If this be true, then the Rapture “may” not be far off. We’ll just have to wait and see. The important thing is that we are ready when it does occur.
Anyway, Jesus says that these signs are the “beginning” of sorrows. The “beginning” to me would be at the very front end of the seven-year Tribulation. “Sorrows” would indicate to me the dark times ahead during the Tribulation. These signs are definitely all around us, and increasing as time goes by. It’s something to think about.
If the Rapture occurs prior to the seven-year Tribulation, and I believe it will, then how close could it be? I don’t know, but it makes one want to look up.
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.” (1Timothy 4:1-3 NIV)
Apostasy abounds. The church rolls are rapidly dwindling in some areas, and in others they are ballooning with followers of a false gospel. For any remaining who actually believe and practice the true doctrines of Scripture, the pressure of persecution is increasing. “These are old fogies,” says society, “out of touch with reality, dinosaurs,” and are condemned more and more by the apostate world.
Hatred for true Christian beliefs is growing at an alarming pace. True Christianity is no longer the norm in this country I once knew. It is no longer kind or acceptable to those of Christ, but mocks all and hates all we uphold for our Savior and Lord. If the Rapture were to occur today, many would be glad to see or hear of us no more. We are like a splinter in their finger that would be better removed.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:1-7 NIV)
Wow! Since these earmarks that Paul mentions are ALL prevalent today, I can’t imagine their intensity during the Tribulation. Any true Christian with but a mere ounce of Biblical sense can surely see all of these types in our society today. If you can’t spot every single one of these in abundance, God help you.
Having so many years to look back on (born in 1947) I can very easily see a sharp decline in human behavior and acceptance toward anything of God. The rise of evil over these years is astounding. Has evil existed before? Of course it has, but not with the degree of today. It isn’t just a blemish here and there. This world is literally saturated with these that Paul speaks.
Could this be an indication that the time is near for the Bridegroom to come? It could be. We’ll have to wait and see, but let us be ready.
Since the reality of Psalms 83 may be prior to Ezekiel 38-39, it is obvious that the nations are formed and ready to go. One would think that in regards to Psalms 83 the soldiers are mounting their horses. In regards to Ezekiel 38-39, could it be the national leaders are sniffing the wind? Could these two prophecies be one and the same? Some would argue they are, while others would say they are not. One thing is sure. Only a fool would say we are living in peaceful times and ignore the clear warning of Scripture.
In our own country we have been provided a preview of one who has given us an indication of the Antichrist personality. When the Antichrist does come upon the world scene, after the Church is gone, he will be a megalomaniacal narcissistic egotist. I used to have a problem thinking that people would actually be stupid enough to follow the Antichrist. Now I don’t. I’ve seen with my own eyes, how people can be duped by Satan to follow just about anyone.
The sad part is that with every generation, each generation is more acceptable of the sinfulness that abounds on this earth than the generation just prior to it. As an example, with each passing generation homosexuality is accepted more and more. The world is becoming more and more corrupt.
We, society, are as they were in the days of Noah and in the days of Lot. We live our lives as unto our own greed and entertain no thought of God, unless it is negative. We hate all that is good, and dive head first into every distraction that will damn our souls to hell.
We, the Church, ask, “How much longer O Lord?” Could He be saying, “It won’t be long now, the cup of their iniquities is almost full.”
“… Even so, come Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20 NIV)
Grant Phillips
Pre-Rapture Commentary http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com  
 

OURS THE LAST GENERATION?

We are approaching the year 2018, which will mark seventy years from Israeli statehood on May 14th, 1948. Jewish sages have remarked that modern Israel’s years should be reckoned in the same way as the man mentioned in Psalm 90:10: “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.” They have written that the formative generation of Israel is nearing 70 years and is therefore, almost at an end; after that, they say, world events will usher in Messiah and the Kingdom.
Christians, reading the New Testament’s Olivet Discourse, remember what Jesus said about this idea, which holds a very special place in the hearts of Christians everywhere. Its setting on the Mount of Olives invokes a dramatic vista in the mind of the reader, as Jesus answered
His disciples’ questions concerning the future. In His reply to them, He made a remark that has stimulated a number of conjectures over the years. He said, “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34).
His pronouncement refers to what has been called “the last generation.” This is the generation that witnesses events leading up to the Great Tribulation. Is ours the generation that Jesus spoke of? To answer this question, we shall examine several biblical expressions that use the term.
There is a Hebrew phrase that is usually translated in the Old Testament as, “the generation to come.” This idiom is taken from some form of ha dor ha acharon [iurjtv rusv]. The most direct translation of this phrase is, “the last generation.”
As we shall see, the meaning of Jesus’ prophecy to His disciples is greatly clarified by an understanding of this phrase and its common use in the Old Testament. A bit later, we will return to this expression to show how it points forward to the period of the latter days.
As He spoke to them, Jesus was well aware that the meaning of a “generation” would be something of a mystery to his hearers. But He spoke in a context that had meaning to them. One imagines them seated in the shade of an ancient olive tree, as they gazed across the Kidron Valley toward the magnificent complex of concourses, stairways, porticos, palaces and courtyards. The centerpiece of their attention was the Temple, itself.
Construction on this huge project – considered one of the wonders of the ancient world – had begun some fifty years earlier! At the time Jesus spoke, it would still be almost twenty years before the completion of the whole Temple complex. Tragically, the completed development would only last about a year before being completely destroyed by the Roman forces of Titus and Vespasian in A.D. 70.
As Jesus addressed the inner circle of His followers, He spoke of future world wars, famines and diseases. In this context, He mentioned the latter-day rebirth of Israel, something the disciples could not have understood at the time. He commented upon Daniel’s prophecy of the antichrist in the Temple. He used the term, “great tribulation,” to describe the events surrounding Israel’s regathering. He even spoke of His Second Coming in the clouds of glory.
It was at this point, that He spoke one of his most famous parables:
“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:32-34.)
It’s safe to say that from the day He made this pronouncement, right down to the present day, men have not ceased trying to understand precisely what He was saying.
What Did Jesus Say?
Today, those of the preterist persuasion teach that He was referring to the generation then alive. The longest-lived among His disciples was John, who survived until the end of the first century. Under this premise, one could stretch Jesus’ prophetic words to that time. So the wars, abomination, famine, earthquakes and great tribulation all took place in that time period. Instead of interpreting His prophecy as a global phenomenon, they make all His prophecies fit into the local setting of first-century Jerusalem.
It is true that Israel is the centerpiece of the prophecy, but its context must agree with all other New Testament prophecy, the book of Revelation in particular. There, the prophecy is global in scope.
Nevertheless, His reference to the key prophetic generation of the entire Bible is given in the image of a fig tree. This tree, symbol of national Israel, is depicted “putting forth leaves,” as it would in the spring, when getting ready to bear fruit. The point is, the prophetic tree is growing, not diminishing.
So, “this generation,” is the “fig tree” generation, and often goes by that name. A key prophecy given by Jeremiah makes this connection crystal clear:
“Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart” (Jeremiah 24:5-7).
Here, the good figs are the leaders of Israel. Their wholehearted return to the land of Israel is not the near fulfillment witnessed in the Israelite return from Babylonian captivity. It is their final return, when they shall receive a new heart and revival in the Spirit of the Lord.
Jeremiah says that they will be planted and not pulled down. They were, in fact, pulled down in A.D. 70, and again in A.D. 135, following the revolt led by Simeon Bar Kochba. In the final regathering, they will be permanently replanted. And what do you get when you plant a fig? You get a fig tree!
This is the generation to which Jesus undoubtedly referred.
When Was the Fig Tree Planted?
The dark years following Israel’s first-century diaspora finally began to brighten in the year 1882, when a few Russian Jews pioneered efforts to “make aliyah” (go up to the Land), and establish settlements in the stark deserts and swamps of a then-desolate Israel. Their efforts, and the work of those who followed them, raised the consciousness of world Jewry. In 1897, the first World Zionist Congress was held in Basle, Switzerland. Plans were laid out to win back Israel, then held by the Ottoman Turks.
World War One brought Israel into the sights of British politicians and generals. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 promised Israel access to their Land. But before that could happen, Jews of the diaspora were forced to bear the torture of World War Two, the Holocaust and the ravages of international anti-Semitism.
Following the United Nations Mandate of 1947, Israel’s David Ben-Gurion declared statehood on May 14, 1948.
Metaphorically speaking, Jeremiah’s description of the planting of figs corresponds with Israel’s laborious restoration of the Land. Through many difficulties, wars, pogroms and the enormous obstacles of weather, drought and financial need, the Jews converted the barren Land to remarkable fertility. The first half of the twentieth century saw the first planting of trees come to fruition. By the year 1948, the leaves of the tree began to shoot forth. Expressed differently, the tree of national Israel had grown to the point that it was recognized as viable and strong.
Israel is placed in an international context in Luke’s account of the Olivet Discourse:
“And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled” (Luke 21:29-32).
Here, the text adds an additional note of clarification. Not only are we to watch the “fig tree” (national Israel), but we are to watch other trees, as well. If Israel is represented by the fig tree, the other trees would be the nations that rise up at roughly the same time Israel became a nation.
Recent history reveals precisely this kind of development. At the midpoint of the twentieth century, most of the current “nations” were third-world enclaves of tribal illiteracy. In the last fifty years or so, they have rapidly grown (both in numbers and capability) to become important players on the world scene. The following brief look at the U.N. membership roster shows just how rapidly their numbers have grown.
On April 25, 1945, representatives from 50 nations met in San Francisco at “The United Nations Conference on International Organization.” They agreed upon a charter, which was signed on the 25th of June of that year.
By 1948, membership had grown to 58. The following year, Israel became a member, bringing the total number of represented nations to 59. By 1960, membership had grown to 99. Growth continued at a rapid rate. By 1970, 127 nations were included. In 1980 the number had risen to 154. In 1990, the number was 159. The year 2000 saw 189 nations in the roster.
Currently – and remaining nearly stable since 2002 – U. N. membership now encompasses 193 nations.
Their rapid growth meets the biblical prediction that they would “shoot forth.” Trees that had languished under the long winter of the dark ages, feudalism and colonialism are now realizing modernization through international banking and high-tech telecommunications. Real-time satellite transmission and the Internet have brought them into the cultural medium of the twenty-first century. As the angel told the prophet Daniel, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4).
Just as Luke’s Olivet text predicted, we have now seen the latter-day multiplication of nations erupting with unprecedented speed. He added that when this phenomenon was observed, “summer is now nigh at hand.” Summer, of course, is the time of harvesting the fruit of the trees. And Jesus, Himself, said, “… the harvest is the end of the world.” Here, He refers to the completion of the “age,” from the Greek word aion. In context, He is speaking of the grain harvest as a metaphor of the final judgment. It should be remembered that summer is the season when both grain and fruit are harvested:
“The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world” (Matthew 13:38-40).
There are many expressions of the harvest as judgment in the Day of the Lord. One of the clearest is found in Micah, Chapter 7:
“Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grape gleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the first ripe fruit” (Micah 7:1).
Here, Micah expresses the same thought as did Jesus in His famous discourse. He speaks as the plaintive voice of national Israel at the time of judgment, when the tiny nation faces the persecution of a massive world system during the Great Tribulation. When the nations spring forth as trees, the harvest judgment is near. This is the generation of which Jesus spoke.
Ha Dor Ha Acharon
This brings us back to the Hebrew expression we mentioned at the beginning of this article. It is ha dor ha acharon [iurjtv rusv]. It is first found in the book of Deuteronomy, in a prophecy that foretells the dispersion of the Jews, as they are scattered to the four corners of the world. This phrase is found in the following passage, where it is translated, “the generation to come:”
“So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the LORD hath laid upon it; And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath: Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?” (Deuteronomy 29:22-24).
Here, we have a prophecy of latter-day Israel, ravaged by sin and time, its people dispersed and despised. The generation mentioned here is the generation that will come back to restore the Land. As we have seen, the first stage of this regathering has already begun. This passage must be referring to “the last generation.”
It is most important to understand that ha dor ha acharon [iurjtv rusv] can just as easily be translated as, “the last generation,” since the word acharon [iurjt] means, “hindmost, last in order, last of a series” or simply, “last.” It is clear that this prophecy is referring to the last generation – the one that comes back to prepare Israel to bring in the Kingdom Age.
Other variations of this expression are also found within the framework of Israel’s latter-day regathering. Psalm 48 offers an excellent example of the placement of the “last generation” into a prophetic context. This Psalm is focused upon Mount Zion, the Temple Mount. It opens upon a chorus of praise for Jerusalem and the Holy Mountain:
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King” (Psalm 48:1,2).
In these words, there can be no doubt that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are the focus of the Lord’s long-term redemptive plan. This Psalm opens with praise for the City of God, then closes with a command to Israel. It uses a variation of the “last generation” phrase found in Deuteronomy 29:
“Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments. Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death” (Psalm 48:11-14).
Here, Israel’s leaders are urged to survey the Holy Mountain, marking its chief features and foundations. This is exactly what modern Israelis have done, since the earliest days that Israel was replanted in the Land. But note the closing reference, which we have highlighted above.
Here, the phrase, “to the generation following” is a translation of the Hebrew l’dor acharon [iurjt rusk]. Again, we find the term acharon [iurjt], meaning “last of an order,” or simply, “last.” This is a reference to the generation that would return to Israel, there to be charged with the responsibility of surveying and restoring the ancient Temple Mount. It is the “last generation.”
The political obstacles to their task are formidable, yet they have made a great deal of progress toward the establishment of the Temple. (Not too long ago, the newly- refounded Sanhedrin even called for the preparation of a prefabricated Temple that could be quickly assembled on the Mount).
Dark Sayings
Psalm 78 offers another reference to the last generation. Here, it is given in the context of Israel’s latter-day spiritual condition. The Spirit of the Lord is shown giving them guidance, in spite of their continued unbelief:
“Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children” (Psalm 78:1-6).
In the verses above, we find two occurrences of the phrase l’dor acharon [iurjt rusk], that we have identified as referring to “the last generation.” Note that the Lord is making an impassioned appeal to this last generation. He asks them to listen and understand the ancient words of Scripture. There, they will find “dark sayings.” That is, they are to search the Scriptures for the hidden, inner meanings that will illuminate God’s plan for them. Chiefly, these would be Messianic prophecies, which have been hidden to Israel for many generations.
Now, in this “last generation,” they are urged to look deeply, so that they will be prepared for that which is shortly to come.
The Restoration of Zion
There is yet another reference to the last generation, using the same Hebrew term. It is found in Psalm 102. Again, this Psalm refers to the restoration of Zion. Note that it speaks of the very building blocks (“stones”) in the ancient architecture of Zion. The rebuilding of Zion is the heart of this prophecy:
“But thou, O LORD, shalt endure forever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD” (Psalm 102:12-18)
It would be hard to find a prophecy as distinct and specific as this one. The rebuilding of Zion is the destiny set out “for the generation to come,” in other words, the last generation. When Jesus told His disciples, “This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be fulfilled,” He was speaking of the generation of the “fig tree,” and “all the trees.”
If the leaves of the fig tree can be said to have sprung forth in 1948, then the generation is now sixty-five years old. Of course, no one can be certain about the actual birth date of the last generation. On the other hand, there is hardly any doubt that we are witnessing the conditions surrounding the initial restoration of Zion. We must, therefore, be in the last generation, and it is a mere five years until Israel reaches the grand old age of seventy … the years of a man. 

 

SEVEN MAJOR PROPHETIC SIGNS OF THE SECOND COMING

12th Annual Update January 2013
There are seven major prophetic signs of the Second Coming, and currently all of them are in some stage of fulfillment. As in years past, I’ll list the seven with their primary biblical references and offer commentary from current events.
1. Israel Will Be In The Land … Ezekiel 36:8-12, 37:21
Speaking to the Land God said,
“You, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home. I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, and I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the LORD. I will cause people, my people Israel, to walk upon you. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children.
And to the people,
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.
Although Ezekiel wrote these words while the Israelites were in Babylon, they were not fulfilled in the nation’s return from exile there. Like Isaiah before him (Isaiah 11:11) Ezekiel was speaking of the second and final return, not the one after the Babylon captivity. We know this because in Ezekiel 36:12 the Lord said His people would possess the mountains of Israel, and they would never again deprive His people of their children. That means from then on there would always be Jewish children born in Israel. And yet in the first century, the nation ceased to exist altogether. Therefore in 1948, when Israel took its place among the nations of the world again for the first time in nearly 2000 years, students of prophecy recognized the fulfillment of the primary sign that the end of the age was upon us.   Jesus said that some from the generation being born when this happened would still be alive when He returns (Matt. 24:34).
2. Jerusalem Will Be In Jewish Hands… Luke 21:24
They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
The Lord prophesied that the reunification of Jerusalem as a Jewish City would be a sign that foreign (gentile) influence over His land, and indeed the world, was coming to an end (Luke 21:24). Fulfillment of this prophecy began in 1967, when Jerusalem became an undivided Jewish city again, and scholars saw it as another major sign that the End of the Age had begun. The almost world wide effort to re-divide the city is in essence a battle of wills. Nearly every Israeli leader has stood firmly on a pledge to keep Jerusalem united forever as Israel’s capital, but the unbelieving leaders of the world are just as resolutely determined to divide it with the Palestinians.
The Lord said that at the End of the Age He will make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling, an immovable rock for all nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. (Zechariah 12:2-3) This past year much of the talk against Israel has been focused on Jerusalem. American leaders, traditionally some of Israel’s most loyal allies, have publicly called East Jerusalem occupied territory and demanded that no more Jewish homes be built there. They’ve even tried to halt construction in undisputed neighborhoods.
Throughout the year a number of countries worked with the Palestinians to force UN recognition of a Palestinian state in the Promised Land. At year end, they succeeded in having Palestine declared a “nonmember observer state”. Now there’s apparently a movement afoot for Palestine and Jordan to become a federation. If successful this would allow Arab states to bypass Israel’s demand to be recognized as a Jewish state while giving Palestine almost all the benefits of becoming an independent state themselves. While the Palestinians would eagerly settle for this, so far Jordan’s King Abdullah is flatly opposed. Behind all this of course is a spiritual battle of massive proportions, and while there’s no doubt as to the outcome, the battle continues to be a fierce one.
I’ve come to believe that Jerusalem won’t really be free of Gentile “trampling” until the Lord returns. Daniel’s prophecy that Gentile Dominion would not end until the Lord establishes His kingdom (Daniel 2:36-45), Zechariah’s prophecy of the city being captured and divided just before the Lord’s return (Zech. 14:2), and John’s observation in Rev. 11:1-2 of the gentiles trampling the outer court of the Temple during the Great Tribulation all confirm this. But even so, the fact that Jerusalem is back in Jewish hands is another big sign that the End is coming soon.
3. A Moslem Coalition Armed And Led By Russia Will Attack The Holy Land… Ezek. 38:2-6
“Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army-your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops-the many nations with you.”
Numerous historical references make it plain that Magog stands for modern Russia, and the other countries named here form a coalition based on their common religion, Islam. Among them are Iran, several North African countries, Eastern European countries along the Danube, and the Turkic nations of Asia Minor. A quick look at a world map will reveal that these areas are home to some of the most radical Islamic groups. (For a detailed explanation of the modern nations to which these Biblical names refer, read – An In Depth Look At The Modern Equivalent To Biblical Names in Ezek.38)
Directly or indirectly, the Russians are already a supplier of arms for the nations who will form this coalition, just as Ezekiel prophesied, and will be drawn into joining in this battle by God Himself. Russia’s barely disguised policy of becoming the major outside force in the Middle East is playing right into the Lord’s hands. Russia has moved part of its Black Sea fleet, including its only aircraft carrier, into the Eastern Mediterranean off the coast of Syria and has recently deployed shore to ship and anti-aircraft missile batteries in Syria as well. Russia and Iran are well into the implementation of a $50 billion deal to provide Iran with nuclear power. The 10 reactors called for in the deal are supposedly for electrical power generation, but most western leaders are convinced they’ll be used to create material for bombs, too. So far, only the one in Busheir is on line.
Various experts had claimed that Iran would become a nuclear power in 2012, but despite the continuing damage caused by the mysterious Stuxnet computer virus and several unexplained explosions, some still think a bomb is possible in early to mid 2013. Israel and the US have both vowed to prevent that ever happening and after a period of vacillation the language coming out of Washington at year end seems to be getting tougher again.
It’s important to remember that if either the US or Israel or both attack Iran it would not be a fulfillment of Ezekiel 38. The prophecy calls for a sneak attack on Israel, not the other way around.   Currently that’s the major obstacle to an early fulfillment of this prophecy. It has to occur at a time when Israel is “a peaceful and unsuspecting people” (Ezekiel 38:11) and this certainly is not the case today.
But Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17 are yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecies that taken together appear to involve all of Israel’s next door neighbors in another attempt to wipe the Jewish nation off the map. A victory by Israel would explain why none of them are named in Ezekiel’s list of antagonists, although you’d expect them to be at or near the top of the list. It would also explain how Israel could soon be living in a perceived state of safety as Ezekiel 38:11 requires.
Syria could possibly be in the early stages of fulfilling Isaiah 17 and surrounding nations are preparing for the worst. Recent UN estimates indicate 60,000 or more Syrians have already died since March 2011 when the uprising began.   Hamas and Hezbollah continue to make frantic preparations for war, insisting there will be one very soon. Not surprisingly, these preparations are being directed and funded by Iran. Throughout 2012 experts on both sides publicly announced their conclusions that a regional war is imminent, but at year’s end it hasn’t happened yet. I think there’s a better than even chance that if the situation in Syria deteriorates into a fulfillment of Isaiah 17, it will trigger Psalm 83 as well.
One pre-requisite for Ezekiel’s battle is clearly being met. Till now Israel really hasn’t had any wealth to speak of, but recent oil and gas discoveries, said to be worth billions of dollars, could provide the wealth necessary to make Israel an attractive target for attack. This could fulfill the precondition of Ezekiel 38:13 that Russia will be looking for plunder. There could be enough natural gas to supply Israel’s needs for more than 100 years while turning the country from a net importer to a net exporter. Russia is already looking for ways to get involved in bringing this gas to market, and according to Ezekiel they’ll go to war in what will turn out to be a failed attempt to do so.
I believe the removal of the US as Israel’s powerful ally is also necessary to pave the way for Ezekiel’s battle, because I don’t think the Moslem coalition will attack until they’re sure the US won’t retaliate. Any one of several scenarios currently being played out could accomplish this, especially since our national policy toward Israel is not what it once was. A double dip recession could turn the nation inward again and cause us to lose interest in defending Israel. Further decline of the dollar on world markets could even render us financially unable to do so. The threat or actual occurrence of a major terrorist attack could cause us to stand down.   And finally, the Rapture of the Church could deprive the US of the ability to respond. Any one of these would mean serious trouble for the US and all of them have a better than average probability of coming to pass in the year ahead. In summary, it’s a becoming a whole lot easier to see the US abandoning its commitment to Israel.
When the time is right, having recently taken His church to Heaven, the Lord will use this battle to orchestrate His reconciliation with Israel, and on its heels the anti Christ will emerge with a peace plan that includes a Jewish Temple. So once this battle takes place, end times prophecy will really go on fast forward.
4. The Ancient Roman Empire Will Re-Emerge As A Political Force… Rev 17:9-10
“This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while.”
This one is a little obscure if you don’t know your history. When John was writing this, about 95AD, there had been five great world powers; Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. All had been conquered and absorbed. The current power was Rome, which was never really conquered and will re-emerge at the end of the age.
About 600 years earlier, the Prophet Daniel had spoken of a period of time theologians call Gentile Dominion that gives us added insight into Rev. 17:9-10. Daniel 2:36-45 describes it as being symbolized by a giant statue that Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had dreamed about. Egypt and Assyria had recently been defeated by Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel said the statue represented the four remaining Gentile kingdoms, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. In the dream, Babylon was the head of the statue and was made of gold. Persia was the chest and arms, made of silver. Greece was the belly and thighs of bronze, followed by the two appearances of Rome, two legs of iron (Biblical Rome) and two feet of iron mixed with clay (the revived Roman Empire). After that God would set up His own, eternal, kingdom.
There are some interesting details in the description of the two feet upon which the statue stands. Remember, they represent the end times version of the Roman Empire. Let’s read it.
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; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay (Daniel 2:41-43).
In the first place iron and clay don’t mix. We can imagine sticky clay serving as glue that holds pieces of iron together, but the language describes a clay that’s already baked, hard and brittle like shards of pottery.
You can’t make random pieces of iron and pottery adhere, and according to Daniel 2:41-43 this will be the end times empire’s insurmountable problem. Today the western leg is known as Europe while the Eastern leg consists of the Islamic nations of the Middle East. Although the world is currently focused on the economic challenges Europe faces, ultimately the number one issue of this end times empire will be that of integrating the vastly dissimilar cultures of the western and eastern legs. They are just too different to be blended and already the failure of the social experiment called multi-culturalism has become evident. Throughout the end times the revived Roman Empire will be partly strong (eastern leg) and partly brittle (western leg) and will not adhere. I’m convinced the aggressive culture of the eastern leg (Islam) will overtake the dying culture of the west and eventually become the dominant voice of Europe. Nevertheless the prophecy clearly shows both divisions present until the Lord returns to set up His Kingdom, putting an end to Gentile Dominion forever (Daniel 2:44).
5. The World Will Embrace A Single Religion… Rev 13:8
All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast-all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
Make no mistake about it. Islam is the major religious force in the world today and the goal is nothing less than world domination, by any means necessary. It’s the world’s fastest growing religion and is second only to Christianity in number of adherents. Already nearly one out of every four inhabitants of the world is Muslim, and like most Christians and Jews they don’t really know what they believe or why. I’m no prophet, but as I look into the future, it’s much easier for me to see Islam riding its current wave of momentum to fill the void left by the departure of the Church than it is to imagine some watered down mix of apostate Christianity and New Age Mysticism doing so.
By now most serious students are aware of Muslim prophecies of the one they call alMahdi and their striking resemblance to Christian prophecies of the anti-Christ. For example, both show a leader coming on the scene during a time of great turmoil on Earth. Both depict him as man of peace who will have a seven year reign, head up a one world religion and one world government, and claim supernatural origins. Both prophecies culminate in a battle between good and evil that brings about Earth’s final judgment. It’s as if they’re pointing to the same person. The difference is that in Islam he’s a good guy, while the Bible calls him evil.
Take this charismatic political and religious leader with his supernatural power, add the widely held but incorrect belief that God and Allah are the same, and that Islam is a religion of peace, and then subtract the spirit of discernment that will disappear with the Church and you can see how this charismatic Islamic leader could unite a frightened world on the brink of disaster.
6. The World Will Accept A Single Government… Rev 13:3
The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.
When you look at the deteriorating shape of the world today, it doesn’t take much to imagine conditions getting to a point where people will cry out for a leader who can bring order out of chaos.   Whether the issue is climate change, the decline of the US dollar, the economic collapse of Europe, or war in the Middle East, the one solution most leaders agree on is the need for some form of world government. With the things that already threaten world stability getting worse by the day, how much more frantic will people be after millions of their neighbors suddenly disappear in the rapture without warning or explanation, and there’s been a war that brings destruction from Europe through the Middle East and into Russia? When people become convinced that their problems cannot be solved by human means alone they look to the supernatural for answers. In this regard, Paul wrote:
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing (2 Thes 2 :9-10)
A leader who promises to restore peace and safety and demonstrates miraculous power that astonishes everyone will quickly be given the reins of world government. By many accounts, this lawless one is standing in the wings as you read this, awaiting his cue.
7. Babylon Will Re-Emerge As A Prominent City In World Affairs… Rev 18:2-3
With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”
You may not know it, but Babylon is being made ready to accept its destiny as a city of power in the end times. It’s just a ceremonial city right now, but 20 years ago nobody even knew it existed at all. One of the shocks of Gulf War 1 was the discovery of Babylon standing there on the banks of the Euphrates River. Today there’s a concerted effort underway to complete what Saddam Hussein began and return Babylon to world prominence. The government of Iraq has decided that making Babylon an international tourist destination is in the country’s best interest, and the US is sponsoring a feasibility study to see how this can be accomplished.
Because of Babylon’s current lack of importance in the world, some students of prophecy search for an allegorical fulfillment of its destruction described in Rev. 18, and of course many see the USA or some American city as a logical candidate. But remember, even though in Revelation 17:9 John describes “mystery Babylon” as seated on seven hills, a prophecy in Zechariah 5:5-11 shows it being moved “to the plains of Shinar” a reference to ancient Mesopotamia called Iraq today. We can’t switch from literal to allegorical interpretations of Scripture without clear direction, and where Babylon is concerned no such direction exists. In fact the opposite is true. Almost from the beginning, the Bible has been a tale of two cities. Jerusalem is the city of God while Babylon has always been the city of man. Both disappeared from the world stage for many centuries, but when Jerusalem came back it was to its original location. The Bible says the same will be true of Babylon.
Birth Pains … Matt. 24:6-8
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
Experts say the big things to watch for in 2013 will be the actions of nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom. The first of these will likely take place in the Middle East and will center around Syria. NATO, the USA, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and several Arab countries have troops standing by on Syria’s borders waiting for the signal to move in and take over. Some are actually “in country” already. The possibility of this spilling over into Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel is thought to be very high and could easily bring the fulfillment of Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17.
There will also be big problems in the EU if the more stable countries try to expel those whose financial instability would otherwise threaten to bring the whole Union down. World financial leaders have warned that Europe’s failure to resolve these difficulties will plunge the world back into an even worse recession than the one we’re supposedly just coming out of. Predictions are being made of widespread civil unrest as the consequence of failure. These same observers consider a workable solution to be unlikely and speculate that 2013 could very well begin the world’s time of payback for years of overspending.
Food prices remain uncertain and experts warn us not to relax. The price of food will continue to be volatile and among the poor will still consume more than 45% of household income. Already 1 out of every 6 people in the world goes to bed hungry every night. Experts have said it would only take one or two years of poor crop production to bring a serious famine to the world and in the US we’ve just completed the first one. Some experts are predicting that 2013 won’t be any better. Here in America, participation in the food stamp program continues to set records with one out of every 6 citizens now receiving regular help. Combined with higher food prices the continuing growth of this program will further stress a fragile economy.
Earthquakes are now an everyday occurrence with an average of almost 4 earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or higher somewhere in the world every day. It sounds like a lot, but at 1450 total, 2012 had the lowest annual occurrence of any year since 2003. 2011 holds the record with 2495 earthquakes registering 5.0 or greater.
The Lord said these birth pangs would be the early warning signs of the approaching End of the Age, so I have included the above examples to confirm my belief that we’re very close to our last days on Earth. While predictions of what 2013 may bring are all over the spectrum, Christians needn’t worry because we walk by faith not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). Our citizenship is in Heaven and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20). Therefore, when we see these things begin to take place we’re to stand up and lift up our heads because our redemption is drawing near (Luke 21:28). These promises have never been more important to us than they will be in 2013. Happy New Year! May all the Lord’s blessings be yours.