Posted in olivet discourse, prophecy, spurgeon, tribulation

Love gone cold in a world gone cold: Spurgeon and "A Prophetic Warning"

What word in the New Testament is used only once, in Matthew 24:12?

First, the scene.

Olive Trees With Yellow Sky and Sun. Van Gogh 1889

The disciples had asked Jesus about the Temple, the times, and when His return would be. His answer is the longest discourse in the NT after the Sermon on the Mount, and the longest answer to any question the disciples asked. It comprises the entire chapters of Matthew 24 and goes on to Matthew 25. The response, given on the Mount of Olives and thus known as the Olivet Discourse, is about the Tribulation period. The Time of Jacob’s Trouble, when Jesus pours out His wrath on the unbelieving world, and punishes Israel for the final 7 years of time, three and a half of which are called the Great Tribulation. (Revelation 12:14, Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7).

Jesus lists the conditions that will be on earth during the time, synopsis of the lengthier descriptions of the judgments of Revelation 6-18, which parallel Matthew 24 and 25. Jesus said one of the conditions on earth will be:

And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:12)

The “many” here means the “majority.”

Jesus means lawlessness in the spiritual sense. The Tribulation will be a time when Jesus asked if He would even find faith on the earth, so few will real believers be, (Luke 18:8) compared to the numerous population that will revel in a false religion of the global deception that the antichrist will perpetrate. The Greek synonyms for lawlessness in this verse are disobedience and sin, the end-result of a negative influence on a person’s soul.

iniquity is especially injurious to the growth of love.
~Charles Spurgeon

It is an interesting metaphor, the love gone cold. We often think of love between a man and a woman or husband and wife, in romantic terms as fiery, hot, the spark between us, a fire is kindled. When love dims between unsaved people, the songsters sing of love cold as ashes, the fire is gone out, the heat is gone. Of course, the songsters and poets mean sexual love and romantic love, but it is a common metaphor, love is hot or cold.

The unusual word Jesus uses uniquely here in Matthew 24:12 is psuchó. Psucho is used this one and only time in the NT. Strong’s Concordance defines it:

originally, “to breathe out,” cf. J. Thayer) – properly, “to blow, refresh with cool air” (figuratively) “to breathe cool by blowing, to grow cold, ‘spiritual energy blighted or chilled by a malign or poisonous wind’, used only in Mt 24:12.

Here Jesus means the love of Christians will grow cold. Love will be cold for Him, and love will be cold for each other (the two greatest commandments).

What could not be accomplished by persecutors outside the Church and traitors inside, would be attempted by teachers of heresy—“Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” They have risen in all ages! In these modern times they have risen in clouds till the air is thick with them, as with an army of devouring locusts!

These are the men who invent new doctrines and who seem to think that the religion of Jesus Christ is something that a man may twist into any form and shape that he pleases. Alas that such teachers should have any disciples! It is doubly sad that they should be able to lead astray “many.” Yet, when it so happens, let us remember that the King said that it would be so.

Is it any wonder that where such “iniquity abounds” and such lawlessness is multiplied, “the love of many shall grow cold”? If the teachers deceive the people and give them “another gospel which is not another,” it is no marvel that there is a lack of love and zeal.

Spurgeon, sermon #3301, A Prophetic Warning

Spurgeon spoke more as to the specifics of what causes love to grow cold, as the Strong’s definition interestingly shows us from this basis, “spiritual energy blighted or chilled by a malign or poisonous wind'”. Spurgeon poetically and theologically describes just how spiritual energy is blighted-

Iniquity is naturally opposed to Grace, but it is most of all injurious to the Grace of love. If sin abounds in a Church, it is little wonder if the love of many should grow cold. Young members introduced into the Church after a short time find that those whom they looked upon as being examples are walking disorderly and using lightness of speech and of behavior. Those young people cannot be very warm in love—they are led to stumble and are scandalized. Older saints who have for years held onto their way in integrity, and by Grace have kept their garments unspotted from the world, see those around them who have come into the Church who seem to be of quite another race, who can drink of the cup of Belial and of the cup of the Lord, who seem to follow Christ and the devil, too! Seeing this evil, these godly men and women gather up their garments in holy indignation and find it difficult to feel the love of purer days.

Oh, Friends, if the frost of sin rules in a Church, every tender flower is injured and nothing flourishes! Love is a sensitive plant and if it is touched by the finger of sin, it will show it. The lilies of Love’s Paradise cannot bloom amid the smoke and dust of unholiness!

I was reading the passage this week and thinking deeply about the theological definitions and implications of love gone cold (and Revelation 3:15-16 also). I was also reading the ‘Christian” headlines and noting the devastating apostasy abounding, the acceptance of gay marriage in the church, the refusal to draw doctrinal lines between believers and unbelievers, the refusal to rebuke false teachers, the refusal even to recognize them, the seeking after pornography, the ridiculous church services that are mere entertainments for the goats…and I noted finally the weather.

I could not help but notice the rapid apostasizing of “Christians” and the rapid cooling of the world, especially Israel and America. The word psucho and its definition, “to breathe cool by blowing, to grow cold”.

Love gone cold in a world gone cold
Niagara Falls, frozen over. Photo: Lindsay Dedario/Reuters

Chill wind gives cardinal bad hair day. Mary Reed Runyon photo
Snowflake. Mary Reed Runyon

Blizzards sweep Middle East, blankets even Negev, rare.

The army has put tracked vehicles on standby to help civilians in the least accessible areas after the latest blizzard. In neighbouring Jordan, most roads were blocked, including those in the capital, Amman. Authorities broadcast warnings to people not to leave their homes. Lebanon also saw heavy snowfall, with schools closed across the country and some mountain roads blocked. “There was heavy hail in Beirut, and snow has fallen from 200 metres above sea level,” said Wissam Abu Hashfeh of Lebanon’s Meteorological Service.

Snow in Golan Heights

A rare snow in the Negev Desert. Source JPost

Siberian Express Grips Midwest, Northeast, South; Four Cities Set All-Time Record Lows

120-year-old record low broken in D.C., one of many today and in the past week

source

‘Ice volcano’ forms at New York state park

The arctic conditions have turned a fountain at a state park in western New York into a five-story-tall “ice volcano.” The pressure-fed fountain is in a pond near the Glen Iris Inn at Letchworth State Park, which straddles the Wyoming-Livingston county line 40 miles south of Rochester. Days of subzero temperatures have formed a solid cone of ice several feet thick with water still spouting out of the top. Park officials tell local media that the formation dubbed an ice volcano is at least 50 feet high.

Great Lakes most ice since recorded time

“Great Lakes ice is now running ahead of last year and ice will increase with more brutal cold coming,” says meteorologist Joe d’Aleo. “We are likely to have the most ice since records began.”

O church, where are you? Spurgeon said that a boat is fine even when waters storm outside it. But when the waters breach and stream inside the boat, the boat is in danger. It is the same with the church. When the world stays outside, no matter how they rage and storm, the church is OK. When the pollution of sin streams inside, there is the danger. Picture a boat frozen fast in the ice. Perhaps Shackleton’s The Endurance…

As long as the mighty ship bounded over waves she was OK. It was what she was built for. But once she became stuck in the ice and no longer moved, the ice built up. It built up and climbed over the top of the masts. It pressured, and pressured, and pressured against her, until one day, the icy cold broke a plank. The frigid water streamed in, and once it did, it formed more ice. The heaviness of the icy weighed her down, eventually thwarting her ability to move. She was completely stuck.

Shackleton looking down as the ship lists

As plank after plank broke and the water breached, she sank.

The final sinking

So you see the cycle. Love grows cold, and that is because sin abounds. If not dealt with, the icy sin’s fingers reach more hearts, and the ship of the church grows heavy and stuck. Sin unaddressed allows more sin, and eventually the pressure of so much sin breaks a plank and the world streams in. As it streams in, the ship of the church grows heavier, and eventually the pressures within and without sink her.

Of course the true church will never sink, but listen to Spurgeon’s pleas from his sermon A Prophetic Word, Matthew 24:12

As all the water outside a vessel can do it no harm until it enters the vessel, itself, so outward persecutions cannot really injure the Church of God. But when the mischief oozes into the Church and the love of God’s people grows cold—ah, then the boat is in sore distress! I fear that we are much in this condition at the present hour. May the Holy Spirit bless the alarming prophecy now before us to our awakening!

And how much more applicable is the urgency at this hour, over one hundred years later!

Go to your Master and ask Him to fan the fire within you to a great heat, that if there should be cold everywhere else, there may be warmth in your bosoms! The Lord help you to do this, dear Friends, for Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.

Posted in last days, the beast, tribulation

Peres proposes "United Nations of Religions" to pope, more evidence that the last days church is forming before our eyes

Peres pitches pope ‘UN of religions’ to battle terrorism

Retired Israeli President Shimon Peres has proposed a new global peace initiative to Pope Francis: A “United Nations of Religions,” given that most wars today have religious, not nationalistic, undercurrents. …

The UN has had its time,” Peres said, according to Famiglia Cristiana. “What we need is an organization of United Religions, the UN of religions. It would be the best way to combat these terrorists who kill in the name of their faith because most people are not like them, they practice their religions without killing anyone, without even thinking about it.”

The Vatican news service said the pope “listened attentively and with interest” to Peres’ proposal.

Pope Francis and Shimon Peres in June, Credit: GPO

Peres’ proposal comes at an interesting time. This week I wrote about the last days, Tribulation church forming before our eyes. I’d written that the evangelical church is collapsing. That the Roman Catholic church is gaining speed with its program of “new evangelism”. That the RCC’s long-centuries tradition of successful syncretism (“interpretatio christiana”) has put them in a good position to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of the evangelical church.

I’d written that this is all amply demonstrated by the infiltration of Catholic practices and doctrines into Protestant faith denominations, even the once-conservative and discerning Southern Baptist Convention. It’s demonstrated by the acceptance and declaration of Catholics as “brothers” by once trusted leaders of the evangelical segments of Protestantism. It’s seen by the movement of Rome toward absorbing all other religions into one, global religion.

The Catholic News Service (CNS) reported from their side, too.

In an exclusive interview with Famiglia Cristiana, the 91-year-old former two-term prime minister of Israel said he wanted to establish an international body representing the world’s major religions, as a moral force able to intervene in conflicts. Peres said Pope Francis would be the best person to head such a world body because “perhaps for the first time in history, the Holy Father is a leader who’s respected, not just by a lot of people, but also by different religions and their representatives.”
“In fact, perhaps he is the only leader who is truly respected” in the world, said Peres, who was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1994 with Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Premier Yitzak Rabin.

 “What we need is an unquestionable moral authority who says out loud, ‘No. God doesn’t want this and doesn’t allow it,’ ” he said.

So now this news, that the Israeli former President wants to unite with Rome and create a global, United Nations of Religions. Anyone who is familiar with Revelation 13:11-18 will readily see that this correlates to direct, satanic Tribulation church. At that time, after the rapture, a global church will form in order to worship the antichrist. The False Prophet will perform signs and wonders to cause all to worship the antichrist, or die. Read Luke 4:5-8 to see that this is what satan has always wanted, all the kingdoms, with its peoples to worship him and him alone. That is exactly what satan tempted Jesus with.

And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”

See also Isaiah 14:13 to confirm that satan’s goal is global worship- supplanting God from His holy throne.

In that incredible chapter 13 of Revelation, the antichrist is described, and then “The Second Beast” commonly known as the “False Prophet” is introduced:

Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence,c and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.

15And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave,e to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

The Jewish News Service (JNS) reported this of the meeting between Peres and the Pope:

In his meeting, Peres told the pontiff that the Arab world recognizes the growing threat of terrorism that is being carried out by groups like the Islamic State. He said the Arab world “can join forces with Israel, the United States, and the European Union in the united front against terror in which religious leaders play a pivotal role, led by Your Holiness.”

If the impetus to form a united organization of religions with the pope as head (to combat extremism and terrorism) is so strong now, how strong will it be after the Psalm 83 war? After Gog Magog battle? (Ezekiel 38). Without going too far out on a limb it seems to me that the prophetic forces bringing this age to a conclusion are becoming so strong that it is dizzying.

In his book “A Verse-By-Verse Commentary on the Book of Revelation”, John R. Rice calls the false prophet, “Priest of Antichrist”. As I said in my opinion piece commenting on the trends of the day, it seems to me the last days church is nearly ready.

Oliver B. Green said in his commentary on Chapter 13 of Revelation,

Sometimes is seems as if the believers are fighting a losing battle but we are not. We are in the minority, but we are on the winning side. From the standpoint of numbers, we are outnumbered, but “if God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). We are definitely on the winning side. We cannot lose with God. … The devil, the Beast, the false prophet, and all the wicked have a date at the judgment bar of God Almighty. At the Great White Throne, God will judge in righteousness, and all wickedness will be put down forever. The devil is the prince of the power of the air, today, he is the god of this age; but the day is coming when he will be stripped of all his power and thrown in the lake of fire. He has been leading poor souls into captivity for six thousand long years, but soon God will put a stop to his activities.

What a day that will be!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading

The Final False Prophet, Part 1

Who is the false prophet of the end times?

Posted in anti-semitism, satan, signs, tribulation, wrath

Anti-Semitic incidents worse than they’ve been in decades- "Something’s changed"

In the news article excerpt below (from Breitbart) you will read that attitudes toward Jewish people are taking a horrific turn for the worse.

South African Union Leader Calls for Attacks on Jews ‘Everywhere’

In a posting on his personal Facebook page Wednesday, Tony Ehrenreich, the leader of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the Western Cape province, called for “an Eye for an Eye against Zionist aggression” and warned that “if a woman or child is killed in Gaza,” then Jews who support Israel must face an equivalent fate. … Ehrenreich is one of South Africa’s more important political voices. He was the Cape Town mayoral nominee in 2011 for the country’s major political party, the African National Congress (ANC), and still leads the opposition in the city council. He has strong anti-Israel views, and recently called for boycotts of Jewish businesses in South Africa if the Jewish community’s leadership, the Board of Deputies, refused to stop supporting Israel. Now, Ehrenreich has apparently taken his campaign one step further–to possible incitement. … Last month, another member of the ANC in the Western Cape province posted an antisemitic statement to her personal Facebook page–an image of Hitler with the comment, “Yes man, you were right!” and the caption: “I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to tell you why I was killing them.”

That a person could even hold this attitude but speak it out loud, or write it for the world to see, is depraved. That a leader of men is doing it is even worse.

Yet sadly, this attitude toward Jews is not silently contained in one man’s heart, or posted on an obscure man’s Facebook page, but is becoming widespread among the world’s nations. See this interesting news piece. Here is the art from it. Click to enlarge-

Anti-Semitism In Europe: A Crisis

Two weeks ago, a secret emergency meeting was held in Jerusalem, chaired jointly by Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, whose cabinet portfolio includes the relationship between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora, and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky. On the agenda was the outbreak of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews across Europe in the wake of the Gaza conflict. The meeting was attended by representatives of government departments and major Jewish organizations operating in Europe. They heard assessments from the leadership and security bodies of some of the European communities, and from experts in Israeli agencies who have a brief to monitor the physical safety of Jews around the world and discreetly assist communities at risk.

No conclusions were reached at the meeting. As of now there is little Israel can or perhaps should do. The rash of attacks on Jews, vandalism of synagogues and homes, and virulent anti-Semitic rhetoric is being confronted energetically by police, local authorities and national governments. The level of violence, while unprecedented in decades, is not yet causing a scared exodus – no-one is chartering planes for an airlift. But something has changed.

Those who have been monitoring levels of anti-Semitism in Europe for years are struggling to put their finger on what exactly has changed in recent weeks. Looking back at the last 15 years, the current wave of attacks is just the latest in a series beginning with the outbreak of the second intifada in 2000, and repeating itself with each round of violence in Gaza, the West Bank or Lebanon. So what is different this time?

“It’s worse than any previous period we can remember. Worse than the waves after Operation Cast Lead and the Marmara incident,” says Richard Goldstein, operations director at the Institute for Jewish Policy Research in London, where he closely follows the situation of Jewish communities in Europe. “Intimidating demonstrations in numerous places in Europe, often leading to attacks on Jewish businesses and synagogues – we haven’t seen things like this for decades. On the other hand, there have been sudden waves like this in the past and afterwards things went back to normal. It’s hard now to predict how things will look once Gaza calms down. But it looks like a red line has been crossed where many don’t make the distinction between Israel and Jews anymore.”

The reason that the world is turning against the Jews is because of God.

“Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. (Zechariah 12:2)

Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted, who are drunk, but not with wine: Thus says your Lord, the Lord, your God who pleads the cause of his people: “Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering; the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more; and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who have said to you, ‘Bow down, that we may pass over’; and you have made your back like the ground and like the street for them to pass over.” (Isaiah 51:21-23)

Gill’s Exposition says of the Isaiah verse:

Behold, I have taken out of thy hand the cup of trembling; which he himself had put there, Isaiah 51:17, and which none but himself could take out; not she herself, nor any of her sons, nor indeed could they give her any relief; but when the Lord’s time is come to favour his people, he himself will remove it:

So God will render His wrath upon His rebellious people Israel. When He determines the time is finished for His cup of wrath to be poured out upon her, He will remove the cup of staggering and put it in other nations’ hands and pour out His wrath on them, for tormenting His people.

The Tribulation as defined here says,

“The Tribulation, as taught by most Bible scholars, encompasses a future seven year period when God will complete his discipline of Israel and final judgment upon the unbelieving citizens of the world.”

At some level, just as the world’s peoples know that God exists, (Romans 1:19-20), they know that the reason for the world’s anti-Semitism is also God, because He loves the Jews. Here is an example of a person’s secular opinion in answer to the question of why the world hates the Jews, illustrating  they know religion is at the root:

Religion: The root cause of the crises in the Middle East

Sunni vs. Shia, Muslim Brotherhood vs. other religions, especially Coptic Christians and the secular state in Egypt, Muslims vs. Christians in Lebanon, Jews vs. Muslims in the Israel-Arab conflicts, and Sunnis and radical Islamist groups vs. Alawites (and President Bashar) in Syria.

The more I investigated all of this, the more I found that much of the terrible turmoil can, in fact, be traced to the fundamental beliefs of different groups that they are right and righteous. These groups cling to ancient stories and teachings that define their identity, their morals and their politics. These traditions also pinpoint the geographic space to which they believe they are entitled — their homeland and holy land

But his answer is only the beginning of the answer. Here is the rest of it, and the truth:

What is the cause of all the anti-Semitism in the world?

This brings us to the real reason by the world hates the Jews. The apostle Paul tells us, “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised!” (Romans 9:3-5).

The truth is that the world hates the Jews because the world hates God. The Jews were God’s firstborn, His chosen people (Deuteronomy 14:2). Through the Jewish patriarchs, the prophets, and the temple, God used the Jews to bring forth His Word, the Law, and morality to a world of sin. He sent forth His son, Jesus the Christ, in a Jewish body to redeem the world of sin. Satan, the prince of the earth (John 14:30; Ephesians 2:2), has poisoned the minds of men with his hated of the Jews.

May the Lord have mercy upon those who torment the people who are the apple of His eye. May He have mercy on His own People…for the Lord’s wrath is very great. The hatred of the Jews will only increase as we slide ever closer to the Tribulation, when both satan’s hatred and God’s wrath will be poured out in full measure. I personally believe that when officials at the high levels, who are in-the-know, say that something’s changed, that thee level of hatred and the number of incidents are inexplicably increasing, it is because we see the Lord’s hand directly at work.

I believe it also is a sign. I believe that it means we are closer than ever to the rapture, because the Tribulation shortly follows that event, when literally all hell will break loose against the Jews. Come soon Lord Jesus, we long for Your manifold mercies, in rapturing your Bride before it gets to that point. You, dear reader, can be part of the Bride too, if you repent and believe on the Son.

Maranatha!

———————–

Further Reading

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: The Wrath of God

What is the Tribulation? 

Posted in angels, gabriel, Michael, tribulation

Back to Basics: All about Angels

Angels are mentioned almost three hundred times in the bible. Let’s look at who these created beings are and what they do for God. This essay will be divided into three sections. First, we’ll have a very brief overview in looking at what angels do and who they are, from scripture. I say very brief because the subject is so deep that one essay, or even a dozen essays, can’t do it justice.

In the second section there will be some fast facts and trivia.

In the third section at the end I’ll look at some weighty matters concerning angels.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~section 1~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The bible says that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) Since God has always existed, ‘the beginning means’ the beginning of what He wants to reveal to us. Job 38:4-7 says that when God did that work, the angels praised Him by singing with joy. So the angels already were created by God.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7)

“Sons of God” is a term sometimes used to describe angels. (Job 1:6, Genesis 6:2). Angels then, were created before the foundation of the world was laid, but the point is, they are created beings. They have intellect, will, and emotions. They are a higher order than humans. (Hebrews 2:7). They are spirit beings that sometimes take on a body likeness when they come to earth. And they do come to earth. (Genesis 32:24, Hebrews 13:2).

In Genesis 18:2, Abraham saw three ‘men’ approaching him but in the next verse Abraham immediately bowed and called one of them Lord. Though they were in the form of men, Abraham knew they were not of this world. Sometimes an angel appears and they do not look like men but they do look like they are from glory. (Matthew 28:2-4). Usually in those cases where even their full stature and countenance is hidden, the men and women viewing them still fall down.

They serve us by obeying God. They praise and honor God in His temple (Revelation 4:8; Hebrews 12:22) bring messages, (Luke 1:19, Daniel 10:11), minister to us, (Hebrews 1:14), fight for God against the forces of evil, (2 Kings 6:17).

Or not, as the case may be. Angels rebelled in heaven and a third of the angels sided with satan. (Revelation 12:4). These became the demons. They attempt to thwart God and His people. They may seem to be temporarily successful but of course they are not in any sense victorious over God. His plan reigns supreme. All that happens to those who love God He turns to the good for His glory.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary explains more eloquently. Click on the link FMI

But its distinctive application is to certain heavenly intelligences whom God employs in carrying on his government of the world. The name does not denote their nature but their office as messengers. The appearances to Abraham at Mamre (Genesis 18:2, 22. Comp. 19:1), to Jacob at Peniel (Genesis 32:24, 30), to Joshua at Gilgal (Joshua 5:13, 15), of the Angel of the Lord, were doubtless manifestations of the Divine presence, “foreshadowings of the incarnation,” revelations before the “fulness of the time” of the Son of God.

(1.) The existence and orders of angelic beings can only be discovered from the Scriptures. Although the Bible does not treat of this subject specially, yet there are numerous incidental details that furnish us with ample information. Their personal existence is plainly implied in such passages as Genesis 16:7, 10, 11; Judges 13:1-21; Matthew 28:2-5; Hebrews 1:4, etc.

These superior beings are very numerous. “Thousand thousands,” etc. (Dan. 7:10; Matthew 26:53; Luke 2:13; Hebrews 12:22, 23). They are also spoken of as of different ranks in dignity and power (Zechariah 1:9, 11; Dan. 10:13; 12:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 1:9; Ephesians 1:21; Colossians 1:16).

(2.) As to their nature, they are spirits (Hebrews 1:14), like the soul of man, but not incorporeal. Such expressions as “like the angels” (Luke 20:36), and the fact that whenever angels appeared to man it was always in a human form (Genesis 18:2; 19:1, 10; Luke 24:4; Acts 1:10), and the titles that are applied to them (“sons of God, ” Job 1:6; 38:7; Dan. 3:25; Comp. 28) and to men (Luke 3:38), seem all to indicate some resemblance between them and the human race. Imperfection is ascribed to them as creatures (Job 4:18; Matthew 24:36; 1 Peter 1:12). As finite creatures they may fall under temptation; and accordingly we read of “fallen angels.”

FMI: Sermon by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Common and Special Grace, Ephesians 6:10-13, The Fall of man; man cannot save himself; the history of redemption; God is concerned about the salvation of man; God is defending His own character; God ordained government to control the effects of the Fall; man’s need of discipline; common grace and special grace; examples of special grace in Scripture; the ministry of angels.

FMI: Sermon by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Good Angels, “The term ‘angel’ defined; do angels have bodies? the archangels Michael and Gabriel; two groups of angels; the work of the angels as messengers; in salvation and deliverance; as revealers of God’s purpose; examples of the intervention of angels. NOTE: Sadly there is no recording of the subsequent lecture titled ‘The Devil and the Fallen Angels’.”

Note: Even though the audio is lost, for now at least, the companion lecture to Good Angels, titled “‘The Devil and the Fallen Angels’.” has been transcribed and can be read at this link.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~section 2~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Trivia question: Who are the only named angels in the bible? Answer below.

Fast Fact: Angels that rebelled will not be redeemed. Their condemnation is fixed. (Matthew 25:41)

Fast Fact: Humans do not turn into angels when we get to heaven. Angels and humans are separate orders of beings in creation. Angels are angels and humans are humans. Forever.

Cherubim guarded the way back to the tree of life with a flaming sword. (Genesis 3:24)

Peter was freed from prison by an angel. Even locks and prison bars cannot stop angels from ministering to us, when God sends them! (Acts 12:4-8)

An angel announced the birth of Samson. (Judges 13:1-7,24)

Food for thought: If sometimes we entertain angels unaware, and a third of them sided with Lucifer and turned into unholy demons, then there is a 1-in-3 chance that when an angel visits us he is an unholy demon. (Genesis 6:1-2). However the good news is that they obey God and do His bidding within limits. (Job 1:12, 2 Chronicles 18:21)

Do angels marry? Not in heaven. (Mark 12:25). But the rebellious ones did on earth. (Genesis 6:1). That’s why they are in chains awaiting judgment. (Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4)

Trivia answer: The three named angels in the bible are Gabriel Michael, and … Lucifer!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~section 3~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Renaissance was a period of renewal and discovery. So much beautiful art, architecture, and advanced thought came out of that period between the 14th and 17th century that we have much to be grateful for. However, not all that came from the Renaissance was good. We have our current view of angels as chubby munchkins with tiny wings shooting love darts into people insidiously placed in our minds thanks to the Italian painters.

Wikipedia explains the difference between putti and cherubs (as opposed to the biblical cherubim).

“A putto (plural putti) is a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude and sometimes winged. Putti are commonly confused with, yet are completely unrelated to, cherubim. In the plural, “the Cherubim” refers to the biblical angels, which have four heads of different species and several pairs of wings. While “cherubs” represent the second order of angels, putti are secular and present a non-religious passion. However, in the Baroque period of art, the putto came to represent the omnipresence of God. A putto representing a cupid is also called an amorino (plural amorini). During the Middle Ages, the putto disappeared and was revived during the 15th century. The revival of the figure of the putto is generally attributed to Donatello, in Florence in the 1420s”

At least at the end of the Gothic age as the Renaissance dawned, Giotto, the era’s most famous painter, was depicting angels as full grown men. Below is his “Nativity” from the Arena Chapel, Late Gothic/Early Italian Renaissance 1305-1306. The angels are engaged in full-blown worship of God. They had wings, unfortunately, but at least they were fully grown. By the beginning of the Renaissance around 1420, they had been reduced to putti/cherubs.

Here is an example. Though the putti were meant to be secular, their similarity to cherubs in vastly reduced in size and position contributed to the false imagery about angels that persists to this day. They are constantly shown as mischievous sprites chasing love and napping, not full the grown, powerful created holy beings who serve Almighty God that they are. I’m harping on this for a reason.

Here is a piece of art called “The Cherub Harvesters,” Francis Boucher, ca. 1733-34

Angels in the bible are massively potent beings with incredible power. Did you know that the Law was given to Moses by angels?

“you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.” (Acts 7:53),

“Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.“(Galatians 3:19)

Deuteronomy 33:2 mentions that He came to give the Law with myriads and ten thousands of His holy ones. Angels by the side of God as He delivered the Law! Incredible!

How powerful are angels? This was astounding to me when I read it. I studied the book of Revelation. In it, it becomes terribly obvious that angels are the means that God uses to deliver judgment.

Begin with Chapter 5:2,

“Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”

The word loud in this verse is from megas, meaning ‘in the widest sense’, large, great. It’s where we get ‘mega’ from. Mighty is from a word meaning powerful in the physical sense.

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:11-12)

Angels hold back the wind and rise with the sun. They proclaim praise, render judgment, and fulfill God’s wishes.

“After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, 3saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” (Revelation 7:1-3)

How about this powerful scene with angels from Revelation 8:1-5

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, 4and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. 5Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings,a flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.”

Cherubs? NO! Flying babies? Never! They are holy and powerful! Skim through Revelation to see the massive amount of angelic intercession in the affairs of men during the Tribulation. I could quote many more instances but if I did, I’d essentially be repeating the entire book of Revelation. John MacArthur sums it up

“Angels, you know, have played very prominent roles already in Revelation. The four horsemen that we saw in chapter 6 were called by angels, the seven trumpets were blown by angels, Satan and demons were defeated by angels, the seven bowls will be poured out by angels, Armageddon is announced by an angel, Satan and demons are bound by an angel, and here is another angel. And this angel comes out of the temple in heaven and he also has a sharp sickle.” This is the angel that reaps the earth.

Matthew 13:39 says that angels reap at the end of the age:

and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.” (Matthew 13:39)

Once you’ve read through, then ask the Spirit to heighten your awareness of the holy work of angels in the bible. They are mentioned quite often, and as you read through the book you’re reading through, you will notice their works. Even the demons are powerful. The fallen ones are still called majesties and those false teachers who unwisely mock and deride them are themselves awaiting judgment. (2 Peter 2:10-11). Even Archangel Michael dare not bring an accusation against satan but instead said simply, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9).

Not that we worship angels, (Revelation 22:9) but be aware of their powerful work for our Holy God. Just as we are instruments of His plan used to bring Him glory, so are angels. Yet they have supernatural powers and dwell in the very temple of heaven. Refuse to allow this image to stay with you-

and instead remember that even this image won’t do them justice.

Chris Koelle

They are majestic, intelligent, powerful and we are not to revile even the fallen ones. Our God is amazing in His creation of all the universe, the worlds, the animals, stars, humans … and angels.

Posted in apocalypse, God, jesus, movies, sin, threads, tribulation

(Updated) The most unrelentingly horrific and unsettling apocalyptic movie you will ever watch that comes the closest to what the Tribulation will be like: "Threads"

Update: Russia’s Putin oversees Russian nuclear forces exercise 

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Photo by Waiting for the Word, labeled for reuse

A couple of years ago in Sunday School, I was explaining the importance of understanding eschatology (last things). I was showing from scripture that pre-Tribulation rapture is biblical and is the only stance supported clearly by scripture. It makes a difference, I said, because firstly, it gives us hope and a goal to look forward to the return of Jesus for His bride without the fear of going through the Tribulation, and secondly, it gives us urgency to witness to unbelievers because the Tribulation is going to be horrific.

And yet, people still say that “I can make it through, after all I love Jesus.” Or, “It won’t be so bad if Jesus is on your side”, or other foolish comments like that. People have no clue as to how bad the Tribulation will be. Gaining a clear understanding of it is essential as is knowing where the Bride fits in the prophetic timeline.

After I got done explaining, one man who is of the ‘go along to get along, if you love Jesus then that’s all that counts, doctrine doesn’t matter” kind of guy said, “I’m a pan-tribber. It will all work out in the end.” Everyone in class laughed, and the five minutes I’d spent urging caution and due diligence to these matters evaporated.

I thought his was a craven rejection of the importance of Eschatology, something JESUS feels is important or He wouldn’t have spent the longest discourse in the entire bible speaking about it (Matthew 24). I thought that was a terribly laid back attitude and a failure to study of all the scriptures, prophecy included, because ALL SCRIPTURE is profitable, says 2 Timothy 3:16.

I’ve read Revelation many times and the horrors of God’s wrath can’t be overestimated. It gives me

shivers even to think about His unleashing of His wrath upon the unbelieving and rebellious world. The best book I’ve read on Revelation is John MacArthur’s “Because the Time Is Near“, which made me love God and fear Him all at once, even more. My breath was taken away at the verses and the explanation of His wrath and what lay ahead for people who delay too long in repenting and believing on Jesus.

Sometimes I get interested in a movie or a documentary that visually depicts a post-apocalyptic scenario. Not the Hollywood movies, but docu-dramas like BBC’s End Day. So, this week I was reading a headline that reminded me of one of the most chillingly accurate depictions of the rise of and aftermath of a global pandemic. Except I couldn’t remember the name of the documentary.

The docudrama was about the beginning of a flu epidemic that gained traction to become a near-extinction event. A Los Angeles family led by a doctor dad, are shown dealing with their growing understanding of how much of an extinction event it was, while the action was interspersed with interviews with actual doctors, sociologists, and the like describing the likely scenarios that will occur along the way as the pandemic grew. The film started with a cough and ended a full generation after society had collapsed.

I was thinking of that movie because I’d read a headline that antibiotic resistance has grown to be a present danger. It is no longer a future threat. I’ve been worried lately about antibiotic resistance and how that will impact the prophesied plagues set to overtake mankind during the Tribulation. So I read the article, still searching for that elusive documentary title about the pandemic. The report is from World Health Organization: (WHO)

A new report by WHOits first to look at antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance, globally–reveals that this serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future, it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country. Antibiotic resistance–when bacteria change so antibiotics no longer work in people who need them to treat infections–is now a major threat to public health.

I had seemingly forever forgotten the name of that pandemic docudrama about that Los Angeles family, and I kept searching for the title for a long time. During my search I came across the well-remembered US armageddon films, The Day After and Testament. The Day After was touted as a program likely to cause nightmares and counselors were standing by. In truth, even then, I thought it was pretty sanitized. Testament affected me greatly because it never showed a bomb but showed a family suffering anyway from nuclear fallout hundreds of miles from where the bombs actually fell. Normal life just sort of ended, slowly and agonizingly.

The main character, acted by the magnificent Jane Alexander, was part of the reason for the movie’s impact on me. She did a wonderful job as a mother watching her children and her way of life die in front of her eyes. Yet even that film was pretty sanitized also as to the effects of nuclear war. Nuclear winter in either film was never shown, and people appeared kind of grubby but were still pretty clean looking. Desperation was prevalent but despair was absent.

My search for the title of the pandemic movie set in Los Angeles finally yielded paydirt. It is called “After Armageddon” and it was on The History Channel in 2010. I recommend it. The link brings you to the full movie at youtube.

I came across two other documentary type films illustrating a societal collapse, this time, from nuclear war. They were “The War Game” (1965) (youtube link to The War Game here) which won an Oscar for Best Documentary, though the film is fiction. The summary of the film at Internet Movie Database (IMDB.com) says “It was intended as an hour-long program to air on BBC 1, but it was deemed too intense and violent to broadcast. It went to theatrical distribution as a feature film instead. Low-budget and shot on location, it strives for and achieves convincing and unflinching realism.” The War Game was never shown on the BBC until a full 20 years after it was made, and a year after Threads was shown first. Threads is the movie I watched.

Threads was shown on the BBC in 1984 and is considered the ninth best UK television show of BBC history. The imdb.com summary states, “Documentary style account of a nuclear holocaust and its effect on the working class city of Sheffield, England; and the eventual long term effects of nuclear war on civilization.

I was a young adult in the 1980s and I vividly remember the nuclear fears. The aggressive USSR, President Reagan, the Iron Curtain, Strategic Defense Initiative (the space defense program dubbed ‘star wars’ by the populace). I thought positively that nuclear war was going to break out with the USSR and that was how I was going to die. It’s why the movies The Day After and Testament were so powerful. They fed exactly into the national psychosis about nukes. It was all the talk then.

When the Soviet Union collapsed and the Iron Curtain fell, the world drew a collective sigh of relief throughout the 1990s. Nuclear fears receded and after a short while seemed so distant and even silly. The stockpiles of nukes were forgotten as new fears arose: suitcase bombs and terrorists, and dirty bombs and pandemics.

I watched Threads last night. Before I watch any movie, I usually read up on the reviews. The reviews I could find were uniformly of the same opinion: it is the most accurate depiction of a nuclear war there has ever been put to screen. The external reviews and the internal user reviews (all 21 pages of them) uniformly said that the images stick with you and will give you nightmares. That the graphic nature of the life during and after nukes fall on Sheffield, Britain, are images that will stay with you forever. I thought I’d watch it anyway. Testament and The Day After had been manageable after all, and I was 30 years older than that now, to boot.

The film was done on a low budget but that just gives it a real feel. A young couple become engaged. She’s pregnant, and they buy a flat and begin planning their life together. Amid the backdrop of families meeting and wedding planning, pub visiting and family discussions ensuing, are newspaper, radio and television reports of a confrontation between the US and the USSR over Iran. The city is Sheffield, a target due to heavy industry located there at the time and a nearby military base.

The buildup to the moment the bombs drop was intense. In one scene, a low flying bomber almost buzzes the young man and his father who is outside gardening.

I needed a break and I decided to pause for a moment and see what the headlines were on Drudge. Imagine my shock when I saw this:

RUSSIAN BOMBERS, FIGHTER JETS ‘SEEN OVER CRIMEA’
From the May 04, 2014 edition of the Drudge Report.

Russia then. Russia now. We had a brief respite in the 90s, but Russia is back and the headlines we are reading about Russia and the Ukraine, the Jews evacuating, and the Crimea, are eerily similar to the ramp-up in Threads the days before the bombs fell. Both were about tensions in the Middle East and/or the Baltics, Iran v. Ukraine. Thirty years apart and nothing has changed- just as prophesied, Gog will instill in Rosh an evil thought and the Bear will rise to begin a holocaust war (Ezekiel 38-39).

In the movie, as each tv talking head, radio announcer, or print headline is shown, one action leads to a reaction, eventually the bombs fly one fine spring day and the world is never the same. Devastation occurs and millions die in the first salvos. The film starts a month before the bombs fly and ends 13 years later with the first after-nuclear war generation coming into their teenage years.

Here is the TV Tropes’ summary of the cycle that led to the all-out nuclear war:

The escalation scenario that leads to Armageddon in the first place. After a coup in Iran, the Soviet Union invades to gain a toehold in the Middle East. The Americans send in paratroopers and set a deadline for withdrawal, and when the Soviets don’t back down they send bombers after their main staging base in Iran. The Soviets destroy most of the aircraft with a nuclear-tipped air defense missile. The Americans then destroy the base with a single battlefield nuke. In return the Soviets nuke the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk, the Americans blockade Cuba, and after that it gets kind of hazy…

Threads is without a doubt the most relentlessly hopeless, harrowing, ghastly movie of the genre. It spared no scene, it was accurate and unrelenting. As the website TV Tropes says, “To any would-be viewers: if you’re looking for a story with a happy or hopeful ending this movie is not the way to go, and a strong stomach is pretty much mandatory. There are no jump scares, the Body Horror is tame by the standards of modern SFX, and there is little Gore despite the ample opportunities the setting presents. And yet it is one of the scariest films of the 20th century…

Death on an incomprehensible scale, and dark hopelessness was prevalent. Think: TRIBULATION. In the movie, millions upon millions were killed outright and in the first few months, millions more died of radiation sickness. Millions more after that of starvation and/or disease. Just like the Tribulation.

I could not help but think of the verses in the bible saying that they will be building and marrying eating and drinking when sudden wrath comes upon them. How one day people are at the pedestrian mall pushing babies in strollers and window shopping or ordering ale at the pub, and the next, the world turns upside down.

Though there are humans in the movie after the bombs fall there is no humanity. After, any vestige of cooperation, community or even love becomes a hindrance to the simple act of survival. The movie showed this as a realistic reaction to the loss of food, shelter, clothing, and normal life. By a decade later, even language had been reduced to grunts and monosyllabic words, because of the energy it takes simply to talk. And, what is there to say? It is a world devoid of love. As Lamentations reminds us, the ones who die right away are the lucky ones.

Happier were the victims of the sword
than the victims of hunger,
who wasted away, pierced
by lack of the fruits of the field. 
 (Lamentations 4:9)

THIS is as close to visualizing the Tribulation as one can come, and even this movie, bleak as it was, doesn’t show it all. The movie depicted “only” one issue, nuclear war and its effects and not the host of items the Tribulation will bring, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, fires, water as blood, etc, but… it shows enough. Nuclear war brings nuclear winter, famine, plague, societal collapse, and agricultural devastation. For two gripping and depressing hours, one can easily see the truth of Jesus’ words, “unless the days were cut short, no flesh would survive.” (Matthew 24:22). This is wrath. This is puny life, snuffed out under the mighty hand of God, who demands that sin be reckoned. As one film reviewer said, it is not a movie to be enjoyed, it is a movie to be endured. However, it is a necessary movie to watch.

I didn’t have nightmares but the movie did keep me up all night. The images and overall atmosphere in my heart kept me tossing and turning. Even today, a day later, I can see that it’s going to take a long time to forget the scenes. The woman at the pedestrian mall seeing the mushroom cloud and peeing herself, the husband in despair because he squandered the last bit of water, the foolishness of people protesting nuclear bombs when the war machine grinds on no matter what the populace says. The middle management local emergency guys with ties and clipboards buried under four stories of rubble, still trying to sort it all out. They died, entombed in their bunker, never having made one whit of difference. Desperation of the nurses at the hospital. The last scene.

Watch Threads, I dare you. It takes courage to stick with it. None of the people reviewing the film exaggerated. I’m not exaggerating. If you want to see what the people left behind will endure, this is as close as we can come cinematically to see the truth of God’s horrific wrath upon humanity’s sin and earth’s devastation as a result.

Sin is a terrible, terrible thing. God’s holiness and justice demands a response to it. We know that God is long-suffering and patient with His creation. One day, however, He will end His patience and determine that it is time to deal with sin on earth. He will rapture His bride first, but then, oh woes upon woes, He will unleash a holocaust that movies like Threads can only truly hint at. And the movie was bad enough. Praise our God for His patience and long-suffering. Praise Him that he brought you into the kingdom. Pray fervently for the lost and witness to them about the terrible effects of sin and the greatness of His forgiveness. Mercy and grace abounds in this present Messianic age. But it is ending, and fast. Please, please, consider these things.

The movie Threads is was on youtube.

Threads full movie

This link brings you to one of 12 parts of the movie Threads.

Posted in few find it, prophecy, tribulation

"The way is narrow and few find it"

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:14)

Christianity is the world’s largest religion, 31.59% of the world population – on the face of it. Broken down, Christianity comprises the following sects:

Roman Catholic 18.85%,
Protestant 8.15%,
Orthodox 4.96%,
Anglican 1.26%

Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican, Wiki CC

However, if you remove Catholicism and Orthodox, which aren’t Christian and are false, all you’ve got left is Protestant and Anglican, or 10% of the world population.

The Anglicans have a mix of Catholic and Protestant Reformation theology and so one cannot say with assurance that likely most of the people in that sect have been fed pure doctrine. So say perhaps .26% of Anglicans of the reported 1.26% are saved. And with apostasy rising and the remaining 8% of Protestants representing Christianity left, one can say with assurance that likely at least half of those claiming Protestant roots are not saved (or more).

Remember, mixed in with Protestants are Charismatics, Word/Faith heretics, and Liberals. That brings the Christian denomination from a 31% of the world’s population down to a likely 2-4% of the world population.

2-4 percent of 8 billion is 160-380 million saved. Alternately, that’s seven billion eight hundred forty million people alive today on this planet right now who are going to hell when they die.

source

We know that there is only ONE way, ONE truth and ONE life, in Jesus. There are no near misses or almosts. Jesus said the way is narrow, and few find it. He really means few.

When the rapture comes, all those people listed as a number in the chart above will be left behind to face a terrible and horrific hell on earth. God’s wrath will be unleashed. He has refrained from delivering His full cup for all these thousands of years, since the last global judgment, The Flood. But once again He will unleash it. It will be so terrible that unless He cut the days short, no flesh would survive. (Matthew 24:22)

In Revelation 6:8, it is often interpreted that to mean that in that Seal Judgment, a fourth of the earth’s population will be killed.

And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:8)

Narrow gate on The High Way Cotterdale, North Yorkshire, Great Britain.
This gateway, and another further east, is only 2ft 6in wide.
Photo by John Slater, Creative Commons

At the moment of this writing there are 7.2 billion people on the earth. That’s 1.8 BILLION people dead in a matter of moments, or days, weeks at most. And you remember how the world reacted when 3000 were killed in the twin towers and the Pentagon and the planes of 9/11.

The above judgment leaves 5.4 billion alive. However, there will be fewer than that because of suicide, murder, starvation and disease. (Revelation 6:4-8, Revelation 8:11). So roughly let’s say 5 billion.

Then, Revelation 9:15 says,

So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind.”

A third of 5 billion is 1.6, leaving 3.4 billion. More than half the earth’s population has died off, or more, because we haven’t counted additional deaths from secondary causes, or war. Three and a half years have passed, and the Great Tribulation hasn’t even begun yet. You see how completely Jesus meant it when He said that unless the days were cut short no flesh would survive. For example, let’s look at a series of cascading events.

In Revelation 8:7 & 11 it says,

The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.” (Revelation 8:7)

The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter. (Revelation 8:11)

Vision of John of Patmos from Revelation 4:4
four seraphim surround the throne of Christ,
twenty-four elders sit on thrones to either side
(Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry)

Hail ruins crops. Without crops, people can’t eat. If people can’t eat, they die. If all the grass burns up, then cattle can’t eat. If cattle can’t eat, they die, and there is no meat or dairy. Without meat or dairy, people die. In addition, millions of dead and bloated cattle laying around pollute the waters. Cholera breaks out. Disease runs rampant, and people die.

I hope you are getting a more specific idea of just how many people are deceived in a false religion and will be left behind to die in their sins. It has been like this throughout the ages, most don’t believe in Jesus. The Great White Throne Judgment will have a very long line.

God’s grace is very great. He is merciful. See a picture of this in Pastor Phil Johnson’s sermon on “Raising Cain“. Cain was the world’s first born man. He was the world’s first falsely worshiping man. And He was the first murderer. Pastor Johnson says in his exposition of Genesis 4:1-17,

Notice the gracious way God deals with Cain throughout this account. This is important. There are people who believe God loves the elect, but has nothing but hatred for everyone else. I don’t believe that. Scripture teaches that “The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” (Ps. 145:9). He has “no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezek. 33:11).

I’m committed to the doctrine of divine election. But let me say as clearly as possible that I also believe those who go to hell have no one to blame but themselves. The fact that Cain ultimately lived a life of self-will and sin was in no way God’s fault. God constantly dealt graciously with Cain.

Over and over in Scripture we see God graciously and patiently appealing to those who ultimately spurn Him, and Cain is the first example of this. Notice that even God’s judgments are tempered by grace. Even when it would be perfectly just for God to destroy Cain, the Lord shows him great mercy.

Cain deserved to die for his act of killing his brother.

Genesis 9:6 says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” In other words, capital punishment is a fit penalty for murder.

And Cain knew this. As soon as he knew he could not hide his act of murder, he feared that (verse 14) “I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” The Hebrew literally means, “All who find me will kill me.” The King James Version translates it this way: “It shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.” (I think that’s funny. Everyone who finds me shall slay me?

Actually, even if that were the whole world’s ambition, only the first person who found him would get to kill him. After that, Cain wouldn’t have to worry about it any more.)

But God was gracious, and He put a mark on Cain so that those who found Him would know that he was under divine protection. We don’t know what sort of mark this was. Obviously, this was at a time when the earth’s population was still very small. It would have been no big deal for word of this to spread throughout the whole human race, so that everyone knew Cain was under the protective hand of God. This mark was not the mark of a pariah. The mark itself was not God’s judgment; it was an act of mercy.
 …
But failing that, why didn’t God strike Cain dead the moment he killed his own brother? Why did He guarantee him protection from avengers and mark him with a special mark and allow him to live a long life? There’s only one reason: because God is a God of grace and mercy. He was extending to Cain the opportunity to repent. God’s words to Cain in verse 7 are an explicit plea for repentance.

God is gracious and merciful! He is wonderful. Please be aware of the lateness of the hour. Please be aware that His long-suffering mercy will end and He will unleash His long-stored up wrath. Please be aware of the real people behind the numbers of just how many are going to die in their sins. Please be grateful you are one of the few who found Him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further reading:

Here is a neat link to World Population statistics, live

Sermon, A Jet Tour Through Revelation

List: 21 Brief Observations concerning Revelation 6:9-11

Posted in chile, earthquake, prophecy, tribulation

Earthquakes in the Tribulation

I’m fascinated by earthquakes. By the spike in hits on the blog after a quake, many other people are too. There’s something primal about the seemingly solid ground under our feet turning out not to be solid, and to be literally shaken.

My only experience with a quake was the recent 4.1 magnitude in Georgia/South Carolina we had on February 15. I felt that one as it was happening.

The only other experience I’d had was the World Series Loma Prieta Quake in 1989. I was on the phone talking with a guy friend and we were “watching” the baseball game together. It was before ubiquitous use of personal recording devices or police or traffic cams, but since the game was televised live, the initial jolt was recorded live. It knocked out the cameras but before it did, we can hear announcer Tim McCarver say “We’re having an earthq”, we hear screams, and then dead air and a scrambled signal before everything went dark. That quake was a 6.9 and 63 people died.

I went on an archaeological dig in 1990 to Italy and one of the team members was a woman who lived in Loma Prieta, and she had photos she carried with her that she showed me of her destroyed house.

Oklahoma continues to experience a non-stop quake swarm. There have been 44 this week and 123 this month. This photo is a screen shot of the ‘7-DAY, recent quakes’ page at UN Geological Survey.

Yes, the quakes in OK are unusual. There isn’t an earthquake fault in the areas the quakes are occurring. The minor fault at southwest OK hasn’t moved in 1300 years. So they attribute the quakes to fracking (fracturing of rock by a pressurized liquid) to extract oil. The problem with that that theory is that fracking occurs at an even higher frequency in Texas and there is not an attendant increase in frequency or magnitude of quakes at that location. This scientist from the Oklahoma Geological Survey explains, (article from 2010)

The only known surface expression of an active fault occurs in southwestern Oklahoma. The last slip on this fault is estimated to be about 1300 years ago and may have been equivalent to a magnitude 6.5 or 7.0 earthquake. This fault is known as the Meers Fault and is visible from the air as can be seen in the following picture.”

He says they don’t know why there has been a dramatic increase in quakes and they don’t have an answer. It is interesting that Jesus said as a sign of His coming there would be earthquakes in diverse places. That an ongoing, several year swarm is occurring in a place where no fault exists negatively impacts man’s plate tectonics theories and in my opinion directly shows God’s sovereignty.

Not every earthquake (or tornado or hurricane or tsunami) is a judgment from God, though sometimes they are. We read below in the Job verse the LORD shakes the wicked from the earth. Sometimes as Romans 8:19-21 states, the LORD made the creation subject to decay and frustration and it groans, so that man will ponder the effects of sin. Sometimes God, for His won good purposes, allows satan to control the weather. Satan was allowed to torment Job by a mighty wind and by fire falling down from heaven consuming Job’s servants and sheep. (Job 1:16-19).

As of this writing, there have been 104 earthquakes in Chile this week since the 8.2 major quake. Several of the aftershocks in Chile have been major quakes in themselves. One was a 7.6 magnitude and another was a 6.5. The news says that 900,000 people were evacuated from the coast after the quake triggered a tsunami, and in many cities, electricity went out, triggering panic. As of this date five people died in the quake and aftermath. This news article from CNN says of the Chile quake,

Chile quake: This was big but a bigger one awaits, scientist says
An 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern Chile Tuesday night, triggering small landslides, setting off a tsunami and killing at least five people. But geologists say an even larger quake in the region is lurking. “This magnitude 8.2 is not the large earthquake that we were expecting in this area,” said Mark Simons, a geophysicist at Caltech in Pasadena, California. “We’re expecting a potentially even larger earthquake.” It could be tomorrow. Or it could be 50 years. “We do not know when it’s going to occur,” he said. Here’s why…

…and the article continues in explaining how fault lines work and why they believe a bigger quake awaits Chile.

“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?”        Job 38:12-13Bible believers know that larger quakes await anyway, irrespective of the human penchant to formulate theories as to why these happen.

There will be one in the Tribulation described in Revelation 6, the 6th Seal Judgment of Revelation 6:12

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood.”

This is the earthquake to cause men to hide in the caves and under rocks and shout in fear that the Great Day of Wrath has come.

After that there will be general quakes as stated in Revelation 8:5. In Revelation 11:13 another great quake occurs, and a tenth of the city of Jerusalem falls, killing 7,000. The survivors are terrified and give glory to God in heaven.

Finally at the end of the Tribulation the 7th Bowl Judgment concludes the Wrath. An earthquake hits the city of Jerusalem, where many people will die and the city will be split into three parts. It will be the greatest quake ever to occur on the earth. It is the 6th Bowl judgment and it concludes God’s wrath. The loud voice crying out from the throne says “It is done!” (Revelation 16:18-20).

And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. (Revelation 16:18)

Never more than through an earthquake does God reminds us that the earth is His, and everything in it. (Psalm 24:1)

Dragon’s Back (Elkhorn Scarp) in the Carrizo Plain. Source

At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:26-29)

Doesn’t this section of the San Andreas Fault in California look for all the world like an earth scar? Won’t it be wonderful when He removes the curse, and the earth no longer groans! We are so grateful, Lord, for Your kingdom which cannot be shaken! You are truly the Rock, immovable!

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. (Psalms 95:1)

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Further Reading

Let Us Reason Ministry: The Blood Moons are Coming

John MacArthur preached on the Tribulation several times. Here are two sermons, decades apart:

1970: The Terrors of the Tribulation

2011: The Future Tribulation

Scriptures: What does the bible say about earthquakes?

Institute for Creation Research: Great Earthquakes of the Bible

Posted in God, hail, power, tribulation

Tremendous storm in Denton TX

A major hail & rain storm occurred in Denton TX this evening, and a tornado also. Here are some photos of the softball sized hail. Some of these photos are just unreal.

Texas Storm Chasers ‏@TxStormChasers

TWC Breaking ‏@TWCBreaking 3h. #Hail up to 3.5 inches in diameter fell in Denton TX around 3:45p

It is always amazing to think of the power of God. Seeing photos like this reminds me. And they also remind me that this is but a minute portion of His power. He has been patiently holding it back. But the full cup of His unleashed power in wrath will be fully unleashed during the tribulation, when 100 pound hailstones fall from the sky to crush men.

And great hailstones, about one hundred poundsd each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe. (Rev 16:21)

He is surely a long-suffering God!

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11)

Posted in america, mark of the beast, repentance, salvation, tribulation

US company wants to bring free wi-fi to 100% of world: mark of the beast technology?

I enjoyed Rapture Ready editor Terry James’s essay this week called Tribulation Technologies Tightening. The title is evocative, isn’t it? Mr James said, “Things are progressing so quickly in the area of people-control technologies that I must admit I simply can’t keep up.

What he is referring to is the fact that during the prophesied 7-year tribulation period at the end of the end of days, certain technologies will have been developed which will aid certain events to come to pass. For example, this verse:

“He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)

For it to come to fruition, first, there must exist some sort of tracking and identification technology that the antichrist and false prophet can even begin to catch up to and track each person, “everyone”, in order to force them to take the mark. Second, there must be some sort of technology in place that tracks financial purchases at every point of sale so that people without the mark will be banned at that point of sale from buying anything.

Here is another verse where some sort of technology will exist that will become part of the verse’s fulfillment:

“For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb. and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 11:9-10)

This was an ancient way of saying ‘the whole world.’

And how will the whole world gaze at their bodies for three and a half days, the mews getting around so fast that people have time to go out and buy and exchange gifts? Television. Satellite. Cell phones. But even then, there are many places in the world where people don’t have electricity, or tv’s or cell phones or cell phone coverage. Additionally, countries like China and North Korea have censored online activity, denying their citizenry the opportunity to view and participate in world news.

But now there’s the following interesting news:
“There’s really nothing that is technically impossible to this.”
Company plans to beam free Wi-fi to every person on Earth from space
[O]ne ambitious organisation called the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) is planning to turn the age of online computing on its head by giving free web access to every person on Earth. Known as Outernet, MDIF plans to launch hundreds of satellites into orbit by 2015. And they say the project could provide unrestricted Internet access to countries where their web access is censored, including China and North Korea. Using something known as datacasting technology, which involves sending data over wide radio waves, the New York-based company says they’ll be able to broadcast the Internet around the world. The Outernet team claim that only 60% of the world’s population currently have access to the wealth of knowledge that can be found on the Internet. This is because, despite a wide spread of Wi-FI devices across the globe, many countries are unable or unwilling to provide people with the infrastructure needed to access the web.

Well, the so-called outernet would certainly take care of the problem of 40% of the world not having access to instantaneous news, wouldn’t it.

In other news I’ve been amazed at the speed with which America has declined. I was born in 1960, at a time when there was the gold standard, US astronauts zooming to the moon and back, winning the cold war, beating the Russians at Olympic Hockey, and being the world’s sole superpower. Nothing was impossible and it seemed like the US could and would go on forever.

That was an illusion, as the 2007-2008 economic crash showed us. The National Review has a good article on the US decline.

The United States of Decline
America unravels at an increasingly dizzying pace. America is unraveling at a stunning speed and to a staggering degree. This decline is breathtaking, and the prognosis is dim. For starters, Obama now rules by decree. Reportedly for the 27th time, he has changed the rules of Obamacare singlehandedly, with neither congressional approval nor even ceremonial resolutions to limit his actions. Obama needs no such frivolities. “That’s the good thing about being president,” Obama joked on February 10. “I can do whatever I want.” In an especially bitter irony, Obama uttered these despicable words while guiding French president François Hollande through Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson — a key architect of America’s foundation of limited government.

Earth’s sole superpower is sagging where it should be No. 1. America has slouched to No. 12 on the 2014 Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom. “Now considered only a ‘mostly free’ economy, the U.S. has earned the dubious distinction of having recorded one of the longest sustained declines in economic freedom, second only to Argentina, of any country in the [20-year] history of the Index,” the report states. “The U.S. is the only country to have recorded a loss of economic freedom each of the past seven years.”

In my personal opinion, having been an active and acute observer of American life and cultural mores for 50 years, the end is near. I am daily amazed at the implosion of just about every aspect of both American and global life. The decline of morals, the persecution of the Christian religion (higher now than ever in history), declining economy, craven entertainment, unscrupulous personal and governmental finances, rising lack of conscience, the emergence of technologies, church tares over-running the pews, extreme weather, geo-political collapses (Kiev anyone?), natural disasters, all occurring at once and so constantly, and with ever increasing extremity, all serve to show me and perhaps you too that truly the end is near.

The Lord has given his world 2000 years to heed the words of Messiah. What a gracious and long-suffering Savior we have. He said that He would build His church and that when it is complete the rapture would come and He would then turn His attention to finish the transgression of Israel. (Matthew 16:18, Romans 11:25, Daniel 9:24).

I believe the time is short to repent and become folded in to the beauty and certainty of the Lord’s church. He will whisk His bride home and then unleash the worst wrath and times upon the earth that ever was or will be. (Matthew 24:21). Please heed these things. Please, please repent.

What is repentance and is it necessary for salvation?

Is repentance required for salvation?

Repentance

The Doctrine of Repentance

Posted in antichrist, Obama, tribulation

How Obama is conditioning the world for the upcoming antichrist

Two days ago I wrote about how the ever-working Jesus has brought the economy, religion, and the moral heart of society so close to the point of being ready for the final fulfillments of the prophesied Tribulation period conditions. Like an iceberg, we don’t see is the bulk of the structure, but we see only the tip. However, the tip has grown to and through the surface that even secular people are noticing that things are not only not quite right, but very, very wrong. Polls show that more people believe we are headed in the wrong direction. That our world governments are not up to the task of solving today’s problems. The wealth gap is obscenely wide. And more.

All these things are evident to the discerning Christian’s eye. Something else that was immediately evident is that there is something of the prophetic in Obama.

When he burst upon the scene in 2007, it was immediately apparent that Obama was unlike any other politician the modern world has seen, except maybe Hitler. He was so strange and his aura of charm and likability so strong that people openly asked if he was the antichrist. Many Christians’ spiritually negative views of Obama were realized when he began operating in the White House. His policies, his statements, and attitude toward law, order, and right living confirmed that their initial spiritual uneasiness about him indeed had a basis. They are examples of what is yet to come. But they are also preparing the way for what is to come by conditioning people to give up their rights for the so-called greater good.

Though Obama probably is not the antichrist, I and many others believe that he is a kind of forerunner. A Pastor friend of mine stated it succinctly last night:

“Did you see Bill O’Reilly’s brief interview with Robert Jeffress earlier this week? Pastor Jeffress concisely stated his belief regarding President Obama’s influence on the future. While Jeffress’ book was written to those who are curious about what is going to happen in the future, his comments [two paragraphs] about President Obama’s unwitting role of preparing the mindset of Americans for a future world dictator has drawn a lot of attention.”

The only remark I would make about my wise pastor friend’s comment is that it’s my opinion that Obama’s role in the satanic set-up for coming Tribulation conditions is not unwitting.

He was referring to an interview on Fox, where Jeffress said,

There’s going to be a future world dictator, before Christ returns, who’s going to usurp people’s personal …rights. …He’s going to wage war against God’s people, he’s gonna change God’s laws and he’s going to do it without any opposition. And my question was, how’s he going to be able to pull that off? And my thesis is, people will have been conditioned long before the Antichrist comes to accept governmental overreach. And that’s what you’re seeing with President Obama right now.

Here is a lengthier interview than the brief one on Fox News, excerpted from the Christian Post (CP):

Robert Jeffress on Revelation, President Obama’s Role in End Times Prophecy and Motivating Christians to Share the Gospel (Part I)

Pastor Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of the 11,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, has released a new book, Perfect Ending: Why Your Eternal Future Matters Today, that cuts through the misconceptions about end times prophecy and God’s judgment, and answers questions about heaven. It also answers why Christians should be actively sharing the Gospel with nonbelievers.

CP: In your book, you mention that President Barack Obama’s policies and political agenda is paving the way for a future world dictator. Can you provide a couple examples of those policies?

Jeffress: Those are probably the two paragraphs in the book that have garnered the most national attention. I want to be very clear, I am not claiming that President Obama is the Antichrist. In fact, I’m absolutely certain he is not the Antichrist. The reason I can say that is the Bible indicates the Antichrist will have higher poll numbers. But I do believe that the president is paving the way for a future world dictator.

The Bible says the seven years of history before the coming of Christ will be characterized by this world dictator that we commonly call the Antichrist. He will usurp people’s basic freedoms, such as speech, worship and commerce. He will launch an attack against God’s people. And he will seek to change God’s moral law, according to Daniel 7:25. And he will be able to accomplish all of these things with little to no opposition – at least at the beginning.

Jeffress then gave examples of several foundational policies Obama has instituted that directly pave the way for the future world dictator, and Jeffress concluded with this:

This is what I’m saying: The president is both illustrative of, but he’s also preparing the way for the coming world dictator. Now, let me be very clear and say that I do not believe that President Obama kneels before an altar of Satan in the Oval Office every day – I’m not saying that at all. But I am saying that what he is doing now is preparing the way for this future dictator.

Obama’s success is not contained in this policy or that law. It is not the minutiae of Obamacare or even his lies misstatements. It is that he got a majority of the United States citizenry to capitulate their hearts and minds to an obviously evil government entity, and in so doing, set the example to the world on how to do it. He claimed the minds of people, and manipulated them far down the path that satan wants them to go.

Please read the interview linked above. Pastor Jeffress was equally adamant that we as Christians have the unique perspective of being able to see the future, and so should share the Gospel with verve and haste. Time is running out.