Monthly Archives: October 2022

Perilous Times

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)

At our Gideon camp meeting this Saturday, our Scripture reading was 2 Timothy 3. A visitor to our meeting commented how the passage sounded a lot like today. The way he said it was as if he had never heard that passage before. That is not surprising. Many Christians today live day to day unaware of what is going on around them. It is understandable. Life is full of activities that need to get done. Between work and family, who wants to spend time keeping up with world events when the news can be so depressing if it can be trusted at all? So, spending free time on entertainment of one kind or another is the preferred choice for spare-time activities.

Pastors that do not preach on end-times prophecy only add to the lack of awareness of most Christians. While the congregants may perceive the growing darkness in our country, they do not associate it with the “last days.” They may just assume that these days are no worse than those in the past;[1] many think that we are just more aware of them due to worldwide media coverage. While that may be partially true, the rapid worldwide moral decline is more pervasive, more diverse, and more rampant than anything the world has ever experienced except, perhaps, for the days of Noah or the days of Lot.[2]

So, what did our Gideon visitor hear that sounded so much like today? Paul said that the “last days” would be perilous (i.e., difficult, dangerous, furious) times.[3] Paul goes on to explain what he means by that. He says, “men shall be lovers of their own selves.” Surely men (and that includes women) have always been somewhat egocentric – thinking of themselves ahead of anyone else. But have we ever seen it to the extent that we see it now?

Paul goes on to list other characteristics of “last days” people. They are “covetous” – that is they are avarice, they love money and material possessions particularly when those things belong to someone else. That also includes someone else’s husband or wife.

“Last days” people are “boasters.” They like to “puff themselves” up about their possessions or achievements whether real or presumed. Closely related to that is “pride.” The Greek word here is huperēphanos, i.e., “showing one’s self above others, overtopping, conspicuous above others, pre-eminent.”[4] In other words, they think more highly of themselves than they ought.[5]

“Last days” people are “blasphemers,” “speaking evil, slanderous, reproachful, railing, abusive”[6] of all things pertaining to God. We see blasphemy everywhere these days, in entertainment, in “science,” and in politics (one particular party that has a donkey as its mascot comes to mind). “Last days” people violate the fifth of the Ten Commandments,[7] which says to honor father and mother; they are disobedient to parents. Going along with that, they are “unthankful” either to God or to their parents or anyone who has benefitted them. They are “unholy,” i.e., impious and wicked. “Holy” means to be “set apart,” especially for the service of God. These people are just the opposite.

Paul continues. “Last days” people are “without natural affection,” that is, “unsociable, inhuman, unloving.”[8] The most glaring evidence for this is the abortion issue these days. These “last days” people do not care about human life. They willingly murder unborn babies even up to the moment of birth, and many advocate for infanticide up to two years of age. At the same time, they want to save the panda, the polar bear, the whale, the planet, etc. – “without natural affection.”

“Last days” people are “trucebreakers.” They are untrustworthy. They lie without shame. They are “false accusers.” Think of the many “righteous” people that have been falsely accused by the FBI lately, while those that are true lawbreakers are set free. Paul says that “last days” people are “incontinent.” By that, he means that they lack self-control. Think of the many instances where we see on the news mobs breaking into stores taking anything they want. Think of angry, left-wing protestors that shout down opposing voices and refuse to listen to reason. Think about those that violently attack unsuspecting victims in public and in broad daylight. That last group, Paul defines as “fierce” meaning “not tame or savage.”

“Last days” people are “despisers of those that are good.” They “call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). To end the list, Paul names other characteristics synonymous with those already listed. “Last days” people are “Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4).

Dear reader, does that not sound like the world in which we live? The visitor to our Gideon prayer meeting surely thought so. This is not just true within our nation, but it permeates the entire world, which is why we hear of wars and rumors of wars[9] worldwide. These things have not always been this way. They are much more pervasive today, and they are converging together all at once. That is the major difference between now and then.

We are living in the “last days,” and it is only a matter of time before the Lord says that it is enough, and He puts a final end to it all. Dear reader, are you prepared to meet the Savior when He comes to clean up this mess? If not, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “Things Have Always Been This Way!” — Things Have Always Been This Way! | Ernie’s Musings (erniecarrasco.com)

[2]  Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:28-29

[3]  2 Timothy 3:1-4

[4]  Thayer’s Greek Definitions

[5]  Romans 12:3

[6]  Thayer’s Greek Definitions

[7]  Exodus 20:12

[8]  Thayer’s Greek Definitions

[9]  Matthew 24:6-7

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Mine!

The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. (Haggai 2:8)

We have all experienced watching toddlers at play before they learn to share. One will grab a toy that does not belong to him, but he likes it and assumes possession. Another child sees the same toy, wants to take possession of it, and the fight is on. “Mine!” They both cry. Eventually, a grown-up has to step in and attempt to teach the youngsters how to share.

We grown-ups can sometimes behave the same way with the things God has blessed us with. We assume that because we worked to earn the money to buy those things, they belong to us. We think, “Mine!” Then, there are those who do not work and covet the things of those who do, and they think, “Those should be mine!”

God looks down on His children (by that I mean all of His creation, not just “His Children,” i.e., Christians) and says, “No. Mine!” He is Creator of everything – the earth, all the creatures that dwell on the earth, the plants, the seas, all of the mineral wealth of the earth, all of the heavenly bodies and all the wealth they contain, and every human being that has ever walked or will ever walk on the earth. Since He is Creator of all, that makes Him owner of all. We do not own anything. As Klaus Schwab might say, “You own nothing; now be happy.”[1]

Thankfully, God is not Klaus Schwab, nor does He share the attitude of the elitist World Economic Forum (WEF).[2] God does indeed own it all. “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof” (Psalm 50:10-12, emphasis mine). “Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine” (1 Kings 20:3). “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, emphasis mine).

Unlike the WEF, God wants to share His wealth with His creation. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and [fill] the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26-28, emphasis mine).

God made the earth and everything in it and outside of it before He created man. He made all of this for us. “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:18, emphasis mine). He made it all. He owns it all, and He put man in charge. Then man blew it, but that is another story.[3]

So, what about all of “my labor” to get all of “my stuff”? As Barack Obama once said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”[4] BHO had the right idea, but the wrong conclusion. The “somebody” to whom he referred is the government. However, the fact is that the “somebody” is God, and He does that for all of mankind. Jesus said that God “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).

God created mankind in His image.[5] Therefore, we have life, abilities, talents, skills, creativity, ambition, motivation, etc. All of these come from God. Also, because He gave us dominion over the earth’s resources, we benefit from the “gifts” of others. For example, “my pickup” was designed by an engineer. The materials to construct it came from the earth and were fabricated and assembled by those having those kinds of skills and talents. It was delivered to the dealership by those who operate trains and drive trucks. It was sold to me by a person talented in filling out detailed paperwork. I earned the money to purchase it by using the skills God gave me to serve my employer, and so on. It all belongs to God, and He has shared what belongs to Him to bless me and you.

So, you can recognize that you actually own nothing, and you can be happy knowing that all that you have comes from a generous heavenly Father. Our part is to be good stewards (i.e., managers) of the blessings God has placed in our care. They all belong to Him. They are not ours.

Dear reader, if you do not know this generous God, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “You Will Own Nothing and Be Happy,” Klaus Schwab – America Out Loud

[2]  The World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

[3]  Genesis 3

[4]  ‘You Didn’t Build That,’ Uncut and Unedited – FactCheck.org

[5]  Genesis 1:26-28

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Transformed Not Conformed

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

As our world grows continually darker, it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish between Christians and non-believers. Surely one can find “Christians” in church, but how about outside the walls of the church? Can you spot them? Very often, no clear distinction exists. Christians, by and large, behave much like unbelievers and often one will find non-believers doing “Christian” good deeds.

Vladimir Putin mounted his righteous steed and recently criticized the “west” – mainly the United States – for the immorality it was exporting to the rest of the world: homosexuality, pedophilia, pornography, gender dysphoria, abortion, etc. These sins provoke his hatred for the west, and he wants to protect Russia from such evil. His strong talk makes one think Putin is a righteous man and perhaps a strong Christian. His speech really puts us to shame. However, do not let his righteous blather fool you. Putin is a cold-blooded killer who has no regard for human life and has no problem killing innocent people.

One cannot judge the condition of a man’s heart by the words that exit his lips. On the other hand, one cannot necessarily judge a man’s heart by his “good” deeds “for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Galatians 2:16).

Yet, for the Christian, God has a standard of conduct that He expects from His children. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9, emphasis mine). Royalty carries with it certain expectations. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation [i.e., “life conduct”]; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16, emphasis mine). To be “holy” simply means to be set apart from the world; to be “consecrated,” i.e., set aside for the service of God.

So, there should be a clear distinction between a Christian and a non-believer. We may dress like the world – hopefully in modesty and not in a way to call attention to ourselves. However, the likeness should stop there. A Christian should not exhibit fear because of world conditions knowing that our Lord and our Redemption is very near; that should be a cause for joy, not dread. Our faces should express deep joy and peace. Our speech should be pure and free of profanity. “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful [i.e., “full of pit/compassion”], be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:8-9). More could be added to the list, but this should make the point.

How does one accomplish such a feat? Certainly not in our own strength or by our own efforts. Paul gives us the simple formula in our starting verses (Romans 12:1-2). Paul says to “present” your bodies. The word in the Greek means “to place a person or thing at one’s disposal.” Your body is that thing that transports your soul from place to place and is often the thing that carries you into sin by “the lust of the flesh” (1 John 2:16). We need to place our bodies at God’s disposal.

Your body needs to be a “living sacrifice.” Normally, a sacrifice must die. Paul says, “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:19-20, emphasis mine). We are dead to sin and the law, but we are alive through faith in Christ who died for us. Hence, our sacrifice is a “living” one, and a “holy” one that is set apart for God.

Understanding what Jesus did on our behalf, it is logical (“reasonable”) that we should render our service or “worship” to God, and this is a pleasing and “acceptable” sacrifice or offering to Him.

In order to offer God an “acceptable” sacrifice, we must not “conform” or take the shape of this world. “World” translates the Greek word aiōn, meaning “an age.” “The word used here properly denotes an age, or generation of people.”[1] Do not allow this age, this world in which we live, to mold you into its form. Rather, be “transformed,” (i.e., metamorphosed) by the renewing of your mind. There is a new adage for the computer age that says “garbage in, garbage out.” What you put into your mind affects much of what you think and do. So, the opposite is also true: good things in/ good things out. That comes through the constant feeding on God’s Word and prayer. When you do this, you will “prove” (i.e., “test”) “what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”

What is the “will of God”? “For whom [God] did foreknow [i.e., “His children], he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29, emphasis mine). Do you want to know what God’s will is for your life? There it is! His will is that you be “conformed,” not to this world, but to the “image of His Son.”

What shape have you taken on, that of the world or that of Christ? Please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life” and make sure you are in the right shape.

Notes:

[1]  “Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible”

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Things Have Always Been This Way!

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (2 Peter 3:3-4)

At breakfast with some friends (“brothers”) recently, the conversation turned to current world events and the rapid moral decline of our nation and the world in general. I suggested that this should not come as a surprise to us Christians because the Lord told us to expect these things in the “last days.”

One of my brothers quickly spoke up and said that we have always had these things: wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, natural disasters, etc. Things have always been this way since the beginning of history. I had to agree. These things have always been a part of history, and there has always been someone trying to conquer and rule the world. Indeed, there is nothing new about this. However, things are not exactly the same, and Israel is the key.

Jesus’ disciples “came unto him privately, saying, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). These men were Jews, and at that time, they had no idea about the Church that was to come. It was still a mystery to them. They probably did not even understand that Jesus must go to the cross. They believed in Jesus as the Messiah that was to come, but they still had the idea that He would establish an earthly kingdom that would throw off the yoke of the Roman empire. Their hopes would soon be dashed when the Jewish leaders arrested Jesus. All the disciples ran away in fear.[1]

In their minds, the disciples probably assumed that Jesus would set up His kingdom very soon followed by the end of the “world.” The word in Greek, aiōn, is better translated as “age.” Also, the Greek definite article, to, can also be translated as “this.” So, the question can be rendered, “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of this age?” They were looking and hoping for His kingdom now, and the end of this age now. Jesus’ response in the verses that follow focused on Jews and the nation of Israel. Jesus’ message followed the teachings of the Old Testament prophets, which maintained the end-times focus on Israel. The prophecies given to Daniel were intended for Israel. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24, emphasis mine). Daniel also wanted to know when these things would come to pass, but those details were denied to him. “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, emphasis mine).

Even though end-times prophecy focuses on Israel, it carries worldwide implications. The events Jesus and the prophets described will affect the entire world, but the intent is “to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24). The greatest “transgression” for Israel was the rejection of their Messiah – bad for them, good for us Gentiles. The “end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness” comes when “the most Holy” (i.e., Jesus) is anointed as King of kings and Lord of lords. That happens at the “end of this age,” and at the beginning of the Millennium.[2]

Going back to my brother’s scoff that, “things have always been this way,” unless one is just not paying attention, things in this world have deteriorated exponentially in just the last 10-20 years. Even non-believers can see it. The World Economic Forum (WEF)[3] has plans for a one-world government, and they proudly publish their plans for all to see. Wars and rumors of wars abound with Russia threatening nuclear war, North Korea exercising its ballistic missiles over the sovereign country of Japan, China flexing its military muscles against the tiny, island country of Taiwan, Iran building up its nuclear arsenal as it continues to spew out threats against Israel and the United States, etc. Meanwhile, Israel seeks peace with Lebanon (Hezbollah, a proxy of Iran) by giving up its claim to its Mediterranean gas fields in exchange for peace.

While all of this is going on, economies are collapsing all over the world. Europe lost its gas supply line from Russia just as winter begins to set in. Many lives will be lost because people cannot heat their homes. The loss of gas may put a greater demand on Europe’s electrical grid, which could create other problems with food storage or food preparation. Speaking of food, droughts all over the world threaten the food supply and raise the specter of famine and starvation. All of this is of little concern to the WEF because they plan to reduce the world population to save the planet (for themselves).

The moral decline in the world presents itself in all kinds of sexual perversion, the slaughter of unborn babies, and senseless violence. As Jesus put it, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12). We are seeing all of these things coming together, and in deference to my brother, it has never been like this before.

The existence of the nation of Israel makes the key difference in the way things have always been and what is happening today. When Israel rejected and crucified their Messiah, God ended His dealings with them (temporarily) in 70 A.D. when the Romans leveled the Temple in Jerusalem and razed the city. Jews scattered to the four corners of the globe and never returned to their land. In their diaspora, they maintained their national and ethnic identity and all of their Jewish customs and traditions. That cannot be said of any other people groups having been expatriated from their native land. In addition, even though it was not practiced, they managed to keep their native language alive. Then, after almost 2000 years, God called them back to their promised land just as foretold by the prophets, and they continue to come from all corners of the world. The rebirth of Israel on May 14, 1948, was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children” (Isaiah 66:8).

None of the end-times prophecies in the Old Testament can come to pass without Israel being in place. Even Jesus, referring to Daniel’s prophecy,[4] said, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains” (Matthew 24:15-16, emphasis mine). The “abomination of desolation” cannot take place without a Jewish Temple, and there can be no Temple without the nation of Israel. Everything for the Temple to be built is ready. All that is needed now is for the world (especially the Arab world) to give the Okay for its construction on the Temple Mount.

Things have always been this way, except that now, all these things are increasing (as labor pains) with more frequency and intensity. However, the key to it all, which has not always been this way, is that Israel is in place, ready for the remaining prophecies to fall into place.

Jesus directed His Olivet Discourse[5] to the Jews. All end-times prophecies have to do with Israel. Of course, they have worldwide implications. What happens to Christians in the end-times? We will not be here. Daniel’s prophecy[6] calls for 70 x 7 or 490 years “determined upon thy people [i.e., Israel] and upon thy holy city [i.e., Jerusalem]” (Daniel 9:24). From the time that Cyrus gave permission to rebuild the Second Temple to the day that Jesus was crucified, 483 of those years were fulfilled to the day. Seven years remain, which is the Tribulation, aka “the time of Jacob’s trouble.”[7] That is the time described by Jesus in His Olivet Discourse and in most of the book of Revelation. That is a time for God’s wrath upon a sinful, unrepentant world, and a time to redeem Israel. Christians are promised to be kept from the “wrath of God”

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:6, emphasis mine)

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: (Colossians 3:5-6, emphasis mine)

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:10, emphasis mine)

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:9, emphasis mine)

Before going to the cross, Jesus promised to return for His own to take them to be with Him in His Father’s house. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3, emphasis mine). Jesus will come to take His children and keep them from the “wrath” to come. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, emphasis mine).

All the things we see taking place tell us that Jesus’ Second Coming is very close. And if His coming is close, the time to call His children out of this world and escape the “wrath to come” is even closer. Are you ready? If not, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  Matthew 26:56; Mark 14:50

[2]  Revelation 20:1-7

[3]  The World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

[4]  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:27, emphasis mine)

[5]  Matthew 24

[6]  Daniel 9:24-27

[7]  Jeremiah 30:7

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Again, Are We There Yet?

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. (Matthew 24:6)

Last Sunday evening, September 25, 2022, was Rosh HaShanah,[1] the Feast of Trumpets. For the first time in many years, I was no longer excited about that event. In the past, this time of year elevated my anticipation for our Lord’s return to snatch up His Bride, the Church. Because the Lord fulfilled the first four spring feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost) and has not fulfilled the last three fall feasts (Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles), it made sense to me that the Feast of Trumpets (the next on the calendar) was the perfect time for the Lord to sound the trumpet and call us home.

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52, emphasis mine).

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, emphasis mine).

So, it seemed to me, that the Feast of Trumpets was the perfect time for Jesus to take His Bride to His Father’s house. However, for the last twenty or so years, I have been disappointed (but not discouraged) every year when Rosh HaShanah came and went because the Rapture did not take place. Recently, Amir Tsarfati[2] convinced me that the Feasts are intended for Israel, not for Christians. Jesus will fulfill all the fall feasts but at His Second Coming, when He returns at the end of the seven-year Tribulation as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.[3] That makes the Rapture of the Church imminent; it can happen at any time without warning. There are no signs to predict the Rapture.

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. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:33-36, emphasis mine)

This year, I was not disappointed when Rosh HaShanah came and went without the Rapture, because I understand that it should catch us by surprise, but not unaware or unprepared.

Jesus told us that “when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33). Luke quoted Jesus in his Gospel saying, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28, emphasis mine).

For what things should we be looking? The biggest hint is the nation of Israel, which God promised to restore after a long period of diaspora. God speaking through the prophet Ezekiel said, “For I will take you from among the heathen [i.e., “the nations”], and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land” (Ezekiel 36:24). The Old Testament prophets all make many similar predictions. Ezekiel also presents a vision of Israel as a valley full of dry bones that come together and rise up as a mighty army.[4] In the same chapter, God gives Ezekiel a vision of two sticks – Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and Judah (the Southern Kingdom) – that separate, but in the end, God brings them back together.[5]

On May 14, 1948, God fulfilled that prophecy and a nation was born in a day![6] On the day of its birth, defenseless and without an army or air force, the Arab nations that surrounded it attacked with the intention of annihilating the newborn nation. However, God’s plan was not to be thwarted, and God saved Israel and defeated its enemies. The greatest sign that our “redemption draweth nigh” is the nation of Israel.

So, that was more than 70 years ago! Well, friend, that is a generation, and Jesus promised that “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34, emphasis mine). Many of Jesus’ predictions of the last days (which will intensify in the seven-year Tribulation) are taking place right now and getting worse. Just read the Olivet Discourse recorded in Matthew 24 and consider the condition of the entire world today!

Ezekiel 38-39 predicts the alliance of Russia, Turkey, and Iran (Persia) along with their allies. Russia is called “Magog” and the “prince” of Magog is Gog. To the Russian leader, God says, “… Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, … in the latter years thou shalt come into the land [i.e., “Israel”] that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them” (Ezekiel 38:3-4, 8, emphasis mine).

Very recently, due to a weakened America, “Magog” (Russia) invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine. Just a few days ago, Russia annexed four of Ukraine’s eastern territories. At about the same time, the two gas pipelines that supply Russian gas to Europe, Nord Stream 1 & 2, exploded mysteriously. No “accident” occurred to cause the explosions; the explosions were man-made. The POTUS, prior to the “annexations” made claims, whether intentional or as a mental slip of the tongue (as our President is prone to do), that if Russia annexed the Ukrainian territories, “we” would put a stop to Nord Stream 1 & 2? Did the US blow them up? No one has admitted to it; however, Poland blames the US. There are some that believe Russia blew up the pipelines. But, does that make any sense?

Regardless of who is to blame, the fact remains that Europe is in dire straights and winter is coming. Then comes Israel to the rescue. In recent years, Israel has discovered and developed large gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea and is prepared to sell gas to Europe by way of Egypt. They will pipe the gas to Egypt and Egypt will pipe it to Europe as well as liquifying and selling the gas in liquid form to Europe. What will Russia think of that? Could this be the “hooks in the jaw” that God uses to turn Gog’s attention to Israel? It could be.

Russia, Turkey, and Iran all have troops stationed in Syria on Israel’s northern border. The stage is set for Ezekiel’s Gog of Magog war. Will it take place before the Rapture, and we get to witness it, or will it take place after the Rapture? We cannot know for sure, but we can know that with the conversion of all the things of which Jesus spoke all over the world and this very intriguing development, we can be sure that our “redemption draweth nigh.”

Reader, are you prepared for that event? After Jesus takes all the true Christians out of the earth, there will come of time of trouble like the world has never experienced. It is called the seven-year Tribulation. If you think things are bad now, you ain’t seen nothing yet! You do not want to be around for what is coming. Ask Jesus to save you from God’s wrath that is to come. Please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “Rosh HaShanah” — Rosh HaShanah | Ernie’s Musings (erniecarrasco.com)

[2]  Amir Tsarfati of Behold Israel.com: Behold Israel – A Non Profit Teaching Ministry

[3]  Revelation 19:11-16

[4]  Ezekiel 37:1-14

[5]  Ezekiel 37:15-28

[6]  Isaiah 66:8

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