The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. (1 Samuel 2:4) Unless you have completely isolated and insulated yourself from the outside world (and I would not blame you if you have; sometimes I wish I could completely detach from the constant flow of bad news), you […]Paper Tiger — Ernie’s Musings
I’m writing this at McDonalds—the one near me. They are finally open for service after months and months. It has been one of my favorite hang-outs, where I can do my reading and blogging.
Today is Sunday. I love to come and worship with friends at my church. And the pastor always has a good message. But I hate it that he is missing so much in his doctrine in that he doesn’t ever preach on bible prophecy or the coming of Christ. As you know, I write on that subject frequently. For some reason I think God has called me to stay in this church. I am strong enough in my faith and beliefs that I will not be affected, and maybe someday I will speak up (to him and others) more on what I believe. But for now, I feel content in just writing about it. That almost sounds hypocritical, but I’m not sure that bible prophecy is something to be used as a witnessing tool or to be preached just for the sake of sounding my futuristic beliefs. It seems that when Paul wrote about it, it was always in response to a problem (1 Thess. 4) or as a matter of the course of his doctrinal message (1 Cor. 15). Anyway, I pray that someday soon I will be more vocal and excited about His soon coming. It is just really hard to do now since so many have different views and many reject the Rapture of the church. I know that that is not a good excuse for me. I kind of wish that I was more like Hal Lindsey. When he was younger, he used to preach outside in the open on college campuses about the rapture and future things. That was when he wrote his famous book, The Late Great Planet Earth. As far as I know he is still alive (about 90 years old) and he has a weekly program on line. God bless him.
After the Rapture of the Church and Leading up to the Tribulation, along with the frenzied effort made to set up a new global government, there will also be an urgent effort to establish a new global religion. In fact, from the start, the new government and the new religion will work together as one. Though the Antichrist and the new false religious system (called the harlot in Scripture) are constantly struggling against each other and using each other, they will find a way to work together.
And though we are saying that this new global religion is new, it is essentially quite ancient. In some respects, it will be new, being made up of all the false religions of the world, but its base will be the ancient mystery Babylon religion, which began with Nimrod (the grandson of Ham) at the tower of Babel.
This false, Satanic religion of idol worship began at Babylon but quickly spread over the earth. And even as Abraham was called by God to leave his pagan country in order to establish a new God-believing nation, they too were eventually overcome by this Babylonian religion—as was the cause of their captivity in 586 B. C.
In 539 B. C., Babylon was destroyed; but Satan found a way to keep the religion going. The cultic high-priest, with his followers, fled to Pergamos and then to Italy where the ancient cult was eventually established in Rome. Beginning with Julius Caesar, the Roman emperors shared their power with the Babylonian chief priests; and then, tragically, under Constantine the Great, the devil began working to corrupt the church, as many pagan idolatrous practices became part of the Catholic/Christian religion.
In my observation, some Catholic churches have managed to be somewhat Christian; but on the whole I think the Catholic church has remained the same—embedded in idolatry. Nonetheless, whatever you think, as soon as the Rapture occurs, we will see it as it really is. That is, we will see its ancient roots. And I believe we will see it as Revelation 17 describes it: BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS.
I think the Roman Catholic Church will probably be the center of influence and control; however, I think all other false religions will be attracted to it, and will unite together as one under the False Prophet and the Antichrist.
It will certainly be strange to see this false religion rise up and to present itself as a true and holy religion, with the Antichrist declaring himself as God (2 Thess. 2:4). The places of worship will no doubt be beautiful and appealing, and the religious leaders may put on a great show of spirituality and power. But to all who find true salvation in that day, if they are fill with His Spirit, they will be able to see the evil powers at work and to see the pride and arrogance of the false teachers and their murderous hatred toward Christians.
However, just after the Rapture, there won’t be any believers; and so, this will be the time when the doctrine of demons (1 Tim. 4:1-3) will take hold and when many are corrupted by evil teaching. This evil corruption will be the devil’s preparation for his new false religion.
The world’s leaders will be the first to go, and then with their insistence and example, they will cause the world to follow them into corruption and harlotry.
We don’t know how long it will take before this new false religion is fully developed and when it’s official beginning will be, but whenever that is, I think it will coincide with the signing of the peace covenant with Israel. And that will be the actual beginning of the Tribulation. Here are …
Five Factors That May Contribute to The Official Start Of the New Global Religion
1. I think it may start just after the Ezekiel 38 and 39 war. This makes perfect sense to me, because since that war will eliminate most of radical Islam, that will conveniently open the door to a peaceful start, as well as to open the way to begin building the third temple.
2. It will begin as soon as the harlot and the beast discover that they can work together. We know from Scripture that there will be conflict, but we also know that they will learn to work together and support each other for the good of the new evil kingdom.
3. It will begin as soon as its leaders and sits evil system are in place.
4. It will begin as soon as all nations and all religions are united and committed to the new global religion. We don’t know exactly how this commitment and willingness will occur, but we may conclude that it will be either by force or by allurement—or by a combination of the two.
5. It will start when all the world leaders and all the people are beginning to be absorbed into it. When this drawing of the people begins to happen, the official start will be imminent; and you will see a movement of the nation heads toward the peace table to witness the signing of the peace covenant with Israel.
It has only been a few months since I finished writing, and have published, my memoir, Under a Watchful Eye. And now I am well into my next book, THE TRIBULATION. I’m very excited about it! And I am also prayerful as to how it will turn out. Like a few of my other books, I will be blogging most of it as a I proceed through the writing.
My first chapter (below) is sort of a prequel that comes before chapter one. I don’t know how often I will be blogging this book. It all depends on how fast I am able to do the actual writing of the book. Anyway, here is my first installment.
As I have mentioned in my book After the Rapture, I think there will be a few years between the Rapture and the Tribulation in order to set up everything that is needed for the seven-year Tribulation. Of course, we know that God can do anything in His wisdom to make things work according to His plans. And so, He can fix it so that the Tribulation will start immediately after the Rapture if He chooses. However, it seems more logical to me that there will be a period of time between the Rapture and the Tribulation. In this introductory chapter we will look at six events that I think will take place before the Tribulation—things that I think will need to happen before the signing of the peace covenant, which will mark the beginning of the Tribulation.
DEALING WITH, OR NOT DEALING WITH, THE AFTERSHOCKS OF THE RAPTURE
During the first few days, weeks and even months after the Rapture people will be too shocked and saddened to do much of anything. Disturbing emotions of fear will be common. Many will have no idea what happened—why so many have disappeared. Some will just sit in their homes in shock. Others will go for long walks to try to figure out what happened. Hopefully, a few will turn to God in prayer and find salvation.
Along with fear there will be panic, anger and sadness. The grief and sadness will probably come first over the loss of loved ones, especially over missing children; all young children will be discovered as missing. Before long anger and panic will set in, especially at God for allowing whatever happened to happen.
Who knows how long these troubling emotions will last? For those who have more earthly treasures and large families, their suffering will be the worst.
After the most immediate effects of the Rapture are experienced, the next consequence may be rioting and looting. More than likely, only the worst types (thugs and criminals) will engage in this behavior; but there will probably be enough of them to overwhelm the police so that the National Guard will need to be called out. It is my guess that this kind of behavior will continue for some time, since all Christians will be absent.
But it won’t stop with rioting. There will be other things to deal with, like a collapse of the economy, and also a collapse of certain institutions and morality. A world-wide economic collapse in many ways will be the most visible and devastating. Certainly, those nations that are more Christian, like the United States, will be the most affected, since more people from those nations will have disappeared. Imagine the personal and business loss and the collapse of the insurance industry—because of so many who will be claiming losses due to the Rapture.
We can’t foresee how much of an institutional collapse there will be; but undoubtedly, law enforcement, hospitals and the military will be stretched to the limit and put under a great strain.
Also, with true Christians being noticeably absent, I think the world will definitely see a moral collapse like never before. People everywhere will undergo a kind of panic of not knowing who to turn to for help. But the most wayward ones will probably be glad in the Rapture, knowing that they will be freer to do evil—and so lawlessness will increase on the earth.
If there ever was a bible verse that is being ignored it is this one: “Therefore, Comfort One Another With These Words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
And for some reason I have been putting the blame mostly on pastors, because in their preaching they don’t very often preach to comfort their people with the news that Jesus is coming soon, and that the dead, as well as the living, will be translated and taken up to heaven to be with Him.
But Paul, in this verse, is not speaking to pastors; he said, “comfort one another with these words.” Hence, every Christian has the command to comfort others.
And how are we to comfort out fellow believer? Are we to put our arm around them and tell them that all will be well, that things aren’t as terrible as they seem?
The way we are commanded to comfort them is “with these words.”
Though Paul gives them ample instructions in chapter 4, and in earlier chapters, I believe he is referring to verse 13-17, because the Thessalonians were so concerned about those believers who had died; for he says, “Lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.”
And the words that Paul wants us to comfort others with is the entire teaching here on the Rapture of the church, which is found in verses 13 through 17. Yes, if our brethren are to be comforted, they must hear the entire teaching. We are not just to say the words, Jesus is coming soon! We should tell them all of it. I think people are tired of short clichés. That mean very little to them. They want the whole story. They want to know in detail what is going to happen. So here it is as Paul teaches it.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Here is the teaching in my words:
1. We are not to be ignorant concerning those who have died. For just as Jesus died and rose again, all our Christian friends who have died will also rise and be with Him.
2. Very soon He will come to us from heaven. And the angels will declare His coming with a shout and with a trumpet sound.
3. And the dead will be the first to be resurrected and taken up to Him.
4. Then those who are alive will rise up next; and they will meet the resurrected dead in the sky.
5. And all believers, the resurrected dead and the living, will be with the Lord in the air.
6. And from that time on, we will always be with the Lord.
This is the teaching that God wants us to bring to our fellow Christians—in case they are ignorant or confused about such things. This is the teaching that Paul says will give them comfort. And perhaps it would be better to read the verses or quote them from memory, so that they will not miss anything; for every word of Scripture is so powerful. As Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “The word of God is living and powerful, and shaper than any two-edged sword…”
I wonder how many of us need to be comforted by “these words.” All of us!
And I wonder how many of us need to say “these word” to others so as to comfort them. All of us!
Yes, we really need to be comforters. We really need to bring “these words” to others—words of hope and encouragement. I challenge you as I challenge myself to do it!
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was very content during a trip to Turkey on Friday. He said it was productive and smiled alongside his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. He said it was a “wonderful” trip where he spoke with his “brother Cavusoglu.”
The trip signals the growing alliance that Turkey and Iran have in the region.
Zarif said: “As before, constructive engagement on bilateral and regional issues. Ultimate aim: Apply Iran and Turkey’s experience of 400 years of peace to our region. Together, anything is possible.”
In the above article on Koening’s World Watch Daily, originally from The Jerusalem Post, the picture above tells much more than most people would think. It is a sign of the coming Ezekiel 38-39 war against Israel. As the map below shows, this war will be an invasion of Israel from the three countries mentioned, Russia, Turkey and Iran, plus three other countries further south: Libya, Sudan and Ethiopia.
Many think that this war\invasion will happen just before or after the Rapture of the church—but more likely after it. Read Ezekiel 38-39 (below) to get the full impact of the dramatic event. And notice the outcome: God gets a glorious victory and Israel is not harmed.
The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him 3 and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army — your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 5 Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6 also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops — the many nations with you.
7 “‘Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. 8 After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. 9 You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.
10 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. 11 You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people — all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. 12 I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?” ‘
14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? 15 You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. 16 You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.
17 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel? At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. 18 This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord. 19 In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. 21 I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. 23 And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’
“Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 2 I will turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel. 3 Then I will strike your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand. 4 On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals. 5 You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord. 6 I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coastlands, and they will know that I am the Lord.
7 “‘I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel. 8 It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord. This is the day I have spoken of.
9 “‘Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up — the small and large shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and spears. For seven years they will use them for fuel. 10 They will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut it from the forests, because they will use the weapons for fuel. And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them, declares the Sovereign Lord.
11 “‘On that day I will give Gog a burial place in Israel, in the valley of those who travel east toward the Sea. It will block the way of travelers, because Gog and all his hordes will be buried there. So it will be called the Valley of Hamon Gog.
12 “‘For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. 13 All the people of the land will bury them, and the day I am glorified will be a memorable day for them, declares the Sovereign Lord.
14 “‘Men will be regularly employed to cleanse the land. Some will go throughout the land and, in addition to them, others will bury those that remain on the ground. At the end of the seven months they will begin their search. 15 As they go through the land and one of them sees a human bone, he will set up a marker beside it until the gravediggers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog. 16 (Also a town called Hamonah will be there.) And so they will cleanse the land.’
17 “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Call out to every kind of bird and all the wild animals: ‘Assemble and come together from all around to the sacrifice I am preparing for you, the great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. There you will eat flesh and drink blood. 18 You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth as if they were rams and lambs, goats and bulls — all of them fattened animals from Bashan. 19 At the sacrifice I am preparing for you, you will eat fat till you are glutted and drink blood till you are drunk. 20 At my table you will eat your fill of horses and riders, mighty men and soldiers of every kind,’ declares the Sovereign Lord.
21 “I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay upon them. 22 From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them.
25 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will now bring Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. NASB
This verse really puzzles me and here’s why: most Christians I have observed don’t act like they will love His appearing. I mean they never talk about His coming, and so it seems that they do not anticipate or look forward to His coming. I have come up with these four ways to see this passage, or four possible reasons why some Christians don’t act like they love Christ or are looking forward to seeing Him.
1. It is possible that the Christians I observe really do look forward…
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Since the election of the new President (Jan. 20), I’ve been feeling rather sad. And I’m wondering why. I guess I feel that righteousness in the country and in the world is not being done. Good people are being stopped and stepped on, and bad people are being praised. The media, who are supposed to just report the news are really Satan’s instruments of deception. Our new president who has taken every step to prop up sin and to put our country on a path to destruction, is being praised and worshipped as if he is the new Savior of mankind.
Meanwhile, our former President, who has done so many good things for our country—in spite of being harassed and ridiculed every minute of every day for the last four years—is now being impeached. For what? For inciting a riot, which he did not do. He was trying to bring justice to an unjust election.
So, this is why I am feeling sad. But I must break out of this mood, with prayer, and look toward heaven. I can be comforted by the good news (in 1Thess. 4:15-17) that soon …
The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Such wonderful news to think about!
Though we live in the world we must not let the world get us down. For we have been raised up with Christ and we sit with Him in the heavenly places. And He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Though we should pray for the country and the world, we must set our mind on things above where Christ is, not on all the things of this world. For our real life is hidden with Christ in God. Soon, when He comes and we see Him, we will be revealed with him in glory (Eph. 1:3; Col. 3:1-4).
In an earlier post I mentioned how Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27) clearly shows both the time line and the purpose of the rapture. We will continue now in this post to look at the situation of the prophecy, which is Daniel’s prayer. We will also look briefly at God’s immediate answer, which is the prophecy.
Daniels prayer (Daniel 9:3-19). From Daniel 9:2 we learn that Daniel knew of the writings of Jeremiah and of his prophecies regarding their seventy years of captivity. He was also aware of the reason for their captivity: mainly because for so long they had not obeyed the Lord in keeping the laws of the Sabbath rest; thus by their exclusion God intended to restore the land by giving it rest for the exact number of Sabbath years that it had been violated—seventy years.
Long before Daniel’s time God clearly prophesied these things.
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The rapture is never mentioned in the Old Testament. It was kept a secret until the New Testament. But through our enlightenment provided by the New Testament, we see now that Daniel 9:24-27 clearly shows both the time line and the purpose of the rapture. Many have disagreed with this, but those who have taken the time to closely inspect this passage will have to admit that there is something to what I am saying.
If you are at all interested in this topic, stay tuned to my next several blog posts. But for now, for this particular post, I will just copy the text and let you read it.
“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision…
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