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Friday’s End-Times Bible Study (Part 7)

And there will be famines, pestilences,and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

A Reuters News article stated that the government of North Korea has cut back the daily food allowances for 10.1 million of its citizens to eleven ounces per day, which will be mostly rice and no protein. This amounts to less than 300 calories per day. A starvation diet.

Can we attribute this famine to being a part of the “last days” Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24:7?

Maybe. But North Korea had a famine fifteen or twenty years ago which killed three million of its citizens. This nation’s main problem is its repressive ungodly Communist government. Probably not really a “last days” event as such.

Now, we Americans don’t think of a famine ever happening to our nation like the one which North Korea is undergoing right now. But that’s a terrible mistake on our part.

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius,and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:6)

When the third seal is opened as stated in the above verse, famine will hit the whole earth. This is going to happen! Don’t close your eyes and hope it won’t! Don’t even waste your time trying to pray it away. It will happen!

And if you look ahead to Revelation 6:7-8 when the fourth seal is opened, a fourth of the earth will be killed by the sword, hunger and by beasts. Hungry people will fight for food and so will hungry beasts.

Two billion dead people (figuring 8 billion on the earth at the beginning of the Tribulation).

What can we do ahead of time?

Store up water and food? Probably a waste of time unless we can store up enough food for all of our neighbors, too. Why? Because we have to love our neighbors like ourselves.

Here’s what I suggest:

Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; You do not give him up to the will of his enemies. The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health. (Psalm 41:1-3)

Give to the poor and needy now. Store up these good works for the days ahead. You will be blessed for doing it.

(Continued in Part 8…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.

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Prayers for America (5/2/2019)

Today is the National Day of Prayer. This year’s theme is “Love one Another.”

I had a nighttime vision a few years back where I was taken to a prison cell in North Korea. There in a small cell was a naked young Christian lady. She had been beaten, repeatedly raped by prison guards, and was starving. The prison cell was freezing cold and she had no blankets or cot to sleep on. She sat huddling herself on the cold cement floor, weeping  her heart out.

The vision was so real that I could feel the cold and the same fear she felt. As I looked on, I wondered why I was there. What could I do?

Then, the Holy Spirit spoke to me: “Will you trade places with her?”

The first thought to hit my head — If I trade places with her, no one will ever hear of me again. My wife won’t know what happened to me nor my children nor my grandchildren nor anyone. All of my hopes and plans will end in this cell. My life will be over forever.

Yet, I knew the Holy Spirit was waiting for an answer. I couldn’t postpone it forever.

Finally, I said, “Yes, Lord, I’ll trade places with her.”

The vision instantly ended.

But my first thoughts still haunt me. You see, I cared more about my personal welfare than about hers. That was not love.

Paul the apostle spoke about his love for the Jews, the ones who were his main enemies:

For my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters, I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them. (Romans 9:3)

You see, Paul was willing to spend a lifetime in Hell if it would save his Jewish brothers and sisters. That’s the same love Jesus showed us on the cross. It’s called agape love.

My prayer today:

Lord, pour out Your Spirit on us American believers so that we no longer seek our own welfare but the welfare of our neighbors and countrymen even if it means our deaths.

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for the Body of Christ in America.

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Friday’s End-Times Bible Study (Part 6)

 

How do we know the tribulation will last seven years?

27 And he [Antichrist] shall enter into a strong and firm covenant with the many for one week [seven years]. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and offering to cease [for the remaining three and one-half years]; and upon the wing or pinnacle of abominations [shall come] one who makes desolate, until the full determined end is poured out on the desolator. (Daniel 9:27 AMP)

This is one of the few verses that most End-Times theologians and scholars agree upon. Their thinking is that the word “week” refers to a week of years, or seven years. It was an old Hebrew phrase used in that time period, obviously not a modern English one.

What’s also important is the phrase “in the midst of the week.” There are numerous verses to back this up in the Old and New Testaments —

But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.(Revelation 11:2)

And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he [Antichrist] was given authority to continue for forty-two months(Revelation 13:5)

Forty-two months is three and a half years. Matthew refers to this time period as the Great Tribulation because it will be much rougher than the first half of the tribulation.

Revelation 11:3 and 12:6 use the number “one thousand two hundred and sixty days” to describe this three and a half year period. If we divide 1260 by 30 days in a Jewish month, we will end up with forty-two months or three and a half years.

Daniel 12:7 and Revelation 12:14 use the phrase “time, times and half a time.” Once again, this is an old Hebrew phrase with a “time” equaling one year, “times” equaling two years and “half a time” equaling six months. Altogether, they add up to forty-two months or three and a half years.

So, there we have the reasoning for a seven year tribulation time period.

(Continued in Part 7…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.

 

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Friday’s (But Sometimes Monday’s) End-Times Bible Study (Part 5)

Sometimes our prophecies and our teachings are wrong. Hey, this happens! But usually it’s not  because of any sinister reasons on our parts, it’s just because we didn’t have enough light at the time. When it happens, we need to humble ourselves and say, “Forgive me. I blew it.”

Now, let’s look at the parable of the fig tree prophecy.

Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. (Matthew 24:32-35)

The prophecy concerning the above verses in Matthew 24 as proposed by Chuck Smith, Hal Lindsey, Jack Van Impe, Tim LaHaye and many others in their popular books stated that the fig tree represented Israel. And that when Israel became a nation in 1948, the countdown began for that generation. So that some of those living in that generation would see the rapture of the Church by Jesus within forty years after 1948. (All presumed a generation was forty years.)

Thus, when 1988 arrived and left, what did most of these men do? Almost everyone said that his mistake was not in the fig tree representing Israel, or the year 1948, but rather, they misinterpreted the length of a generation. It should have been seventy to eighty years and not forty years.

Okay, 2018 has passed. The next date in which this prophecy can be confirmed as a true prophecy will be 2028.

Hello! Don’t hold your breath. This prophecy is wrong!

I don’t have any idea what revelations and insights Smith, Lindsey, Van Impe, LaHaye and the others had in mind when they pronounced their “parable of the fig tree prophecies.” These are good men, but somehow they missed it.

Maybe each overlooked Luke 21:29-33, where Luke states: “Look at the fig trees, and all trees.

Or maybe their inner alarms were ringing so loud about us living in the last days that they ignored other Bible passages. This happens, you know!

Yet, it doesn’t matter because when the rapture didn’t occur in 1988, each should have stepped forward and said, “Forgive me. I blew it!” But none did!

Of course, that’s easy for me, an obscure nobody on the backside of the desert, to say. I don’t have millions of copies of books sold and millions of believers looking up at me, thinking, “He’s a somebody.” I don’t have that type of pressure laying on my shoulders to make it really hard for me to humble myself.

Hal Lindsey was once asked, “But what if you’re wrong” by a professor. His answer was perfect:

Well, there’s just a split second’s difference between a hero and a bum. I didn’t ask to be a hero, but I guess I have become one in the Christian community. So I accept it. But if I’m wrong about this, I guess I’ll be a bum. (See here)

The parable of the fig tree prophecy is wrong. So, let’s move on, okay?

(Continued in Part 6…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Friday’s End-Time Bible Studies (Part 4)

If you’re going to write about the End-Times, you eventually must mention the Antichrist. So, why wait? Let’s talk about him today.

Is Barack Obama the Antichrist? Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, the Antichrist? Is George Soros the Antichrist? Is Donald Trump? Is the Pope? Who?

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18)

The term Antichrist is only used four times in the Bible. All of them appear in the Apostle John’s first and second letters to the churches in Asia Minor.

Yet, the Antichrist appears all through the Bible, but with different names. He’s also known as the Assyrian, man of sin, son of perdition, the lawless one, the beast, the adversary, the little horn and the king who shall do according to his own will in various verses throughout the Old and New Testament.

The Antichrist must for sure come out of the territory in the old Roman Empire and most likely will be out of territory in the old Assyrian Empire (northern Iran, northern Iraq, northern Syria and southeastern Turkey).

The Antichrist will be pompous, boastful, an aggressive warmonger, a sinister schemer, a cunning trickster, a liar, a deceitful murderer, prosperous, a blasphemer against God,  shall not regard the god of his fathers, have fierce features, have no desire for women, but have a regard for the god of fortresses. (These descriptions are from Daniel 7, 9, 11.)

As you can guess, Obama, AOC, Soros, Trump and the Pope can not be the Antichrist because they do not fit the biblical guidelines.

Thus, how can we be sure who is the Antichrist?

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day [of the Lord] will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.(2 Thessalonians 2:3)

The Apostle Paul stated that we would know who the Antichrist is for sure when the Antichrist sits in the Temple of God in Jerusalem, defiling the Temple.

But of course, we first need the Temple to be rebuilt.

There are a couple of other ways we can figure out who the Antichrist is, but we will talk about them in the future.

(Continued in Part 5…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Friday’s (But Sometimes Monday’s) End-Times Bible Study (Part 3)

Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory states that Christians will not go through the seven years of tribulation as described in the Book of Revelation and mentioned in Daniel 9:25. It also believes the Church can be raptured at any time. Maybe even before you’re done reading this article.

The pre-trib view is held by almost 90% of American pastors, most American ministry heads and most American Christians who attend traditional churches. I specify Americans mainly hold this view because Chinese, North Korean, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Sudanese and countless other Christians in various countries reject this view as an outright lie. These believers live in persecution now and have no worries about End-Times’ persecution. They trust their God, even in the midst of fiery furnaces of persecution.

Okay, my number one argument against the pre-tribulation rapture theory are the words of Jesus in Matthew 24, which is one of the keystone chapters in End-Times Bible studies.

Chapter 24 begins with Jesus prophesying about the total destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. (This prophecy was fulfilled in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed the temple and killed a million Jews.)

Now, the twelve apostles had to be shocked by Jesus’ prophetic words. They came later and asked Him questions about the timing and signs about these things and the end of the age.

Jesus spent the rest of Chapter 24 talking about the End-Times, specifically the seven years of Tribulation and His second coming at the end of the seven years of tribulation.

Stop and think for a moment: who is Jesus talking to in Chapter 24? He is talking to His disciples who are believers, like us.

So, when Jesus used the word “you” in verses 3, 6, 9, 15, 23, 25, 26, 33, 34, 42, 44 and 47, He is telling this to His disciples and to believers like us today. (Check out these verses and note how they refer to persecution and tribulation.)

Plus Jesus also used the words “His elect” in verse 31, which talks about Him rapturing His church from the four ends of the earth. But when does this take place?

Immediately after the tribulation of those days…(Matthew 24:29)

It’s hard to argue with Jesus, or that’s my viewpoint.

Now, to be honest, I believe most pastors and believers hold the Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory because it’s the easiest out for them. They can just mark an X in the box next to the theory and forget about praying, fasting and searching Scripture like the Bereans did, especially the 150 chapters that refer to the End-Times throughout the Bible.

Is this really important?

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.25 See, I have told you beforehand. (Matthew 24:24-25)

Jesus believed it was important enough to warn us ahead of time. Shouldn’t we follow His advice?

(Continued in Part 4…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.

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Friday’s End-Times Bible Study (Part 2)

When we study the End-Times, we have to stay focused on the main story line, which is Israel, Jerusalem, the Jews and their Jewish King. Yes, you and I have been written into the story with our salvations because we have been  grafted into the natural olive tree – Israel. But we ourselves are not the main story line, okay?

With that in mind, let’s look at the Jewish calendar and some important dates and feasts:

Nisan 1 or Rosh Chodashim (during our March or April): This is New Year’s Day for Israel because it is the day when Israel was delivered out of Egypt. Talmud tradition states that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob each died on Nisan 1.

But more importantly, I believe (along with Jonathan Cahn and others) that this is the date when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. There are lots of reasons behind my thinking, but most of it links to the Jewish calendar and God’s order of events. Interestingly enough, our modern calendars begin with the year of Christ’s birth. Thus, why shouldn’t the Jewish calendar begin with the day of Christ’s birth?

Feast of Passover or Pesach (Nisan 14-15, during our March or April): Passover is the feast of salvation which celebrates the blood of a lamb delivering Jews out of Egyptian slavery. Jesus fulfilled this feast by becoming our Lamb of God, dying on the cross and applying His blood to our sins and lives.

Feast of Unleavened Bread or Chag HaMotzi (Nisan 15-22, during our March or April): This feast celebrates the removal of sin (yeast) from people’s lives. Jesus fulfilled this at the cross by being broken for us and becoming our Bread of Life.

Feast of First Fruits or Reshit Katzir (Nisan 17, during our March or April): This feast celebrates the fertility of the land. Jesus fulfilled this feast when He rose from the grave and became our First Fruit.

Feast of Pentecost or Shavu’ot (Sivan 6, during our May or June): This feast celebrates the summer harvest. This was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit fell on believers fifty days after Jesus rose from the grave.

I wrote the above to show that all of the Jewish spring feasts have been fulfilled and fulfilled in order. That leaves us the fall feasts to be fulfilled sometime in the future.

For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. (1 Thessalonians 5:2)

Over and over, we’ve heard that nobody knows the day or hour when Jesus will return, right? They even say, “He will return like a thief in the night.”

But because our Bibles are written in English, and not in Hebrew or Greek, we miss the idioms the Bible author meant when he wrote his letters. These idioms were common knowledge back in the apostles’ days, but have been lost to most of us today.

The phrase “thief in the night” refers to the fall Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashana.

The Torah commanded that no one was to work on this day. But because the Sanhedrin had to first see the new moon before a trumpet (or shofar) was blown, the day was made into a long day of 48 hours so no one would break the commandment of not working. Thus, the moon showed up like a “thief in the night” during that time period.

Also, the “thief in the night” refers to when the bridegroom returned for his bride, according to his father’s instructions. No one knew the day or hour when the bridegroom would show up.

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5:4

We seldom hear that Paul clarified his earlier words about the “thief in the night,” but he did. He knew his readers would understand that the idiom referred to Feast of Trumpets.

And guess what?

The next feast on the Jewish Calendar, which needs to be fulfilled, is Feast of Trumpets.

We will develop this more in future articles.

(Continued in Part 3…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.

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