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From ABC News www.youtube.com/@abcnewsaustralia
Fijian police continue to crack down on members of a South Korean doomsday cult known as Grace Road. Four senior members have been arrested. One of its most senior leaders is being held in immigration custody and is the subject of a Korean arrest warrant. Aubrey Belford from The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project tells The World how Grace Road managed to entrench themselves in Fiji.
Incredible discussion between Mark Dugdale and Mark Driscoll on masculinity. They both share the importance of being a husband, father and being a man.
Deepfake videos have the power to deceive and manipulate the masses, especially in a world where videos can go viral within seconds.
What was once a complex and time-consuming process reserved for skilled individuals is now within the reach of virtually anyone thanks to powerful software and machine learning algorithms, creating convincing deepfakes has become alarmingly effortless.
Fake videos of celebrities promoting phony services have begun to gain some traction on major social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.
Last week, NBC News viewed more than 50 videos posted to those sites that featured computer-manipulated images and audio of well-known people, all of which appeared to have been created to scam viewers out of money.
Many of them centered on Elon Musk, with manipulated videos of several news and television personalities -- including CBS News anchor Gayle King, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and HBO host Bill Maher -- falsely claiming Musk had invented a technologically advanced investment platform.
Most of the videos continued with a similarly deepfaked version of Musk, who encouraged viewers to invest their money in the nonexistent platform. Musk, the owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, has promoted some cryptocurrencies in the past, leading to his becoming extremely popular with scammers who use his image for their own gain.
Many of the videos had tens of thousands of views showing how quickly such videos can spread and some experts are warning the first "deepfake election" will arrive next year, when a substantial number of voters will see political disinformation videos online and not be able to tell with certainty whether they're real.
It may only be a matter of time until a deepfake goes viral to the degree that it causes a national crisis - such as a fake political assassination or other dramatic news event that would destabilize our society. This could be the triggering event to bring about new rules for the internet - including a digital ID system.
The idea of a digital ID system is not entirely new. In some countries, digital identification has already been implemented for government services and online banking. However, expanding the use of digital IDs to cover all online activities would be a significant step towards global ID for everyone. No ID, no access would change the nature of identification and verification systems worldwide.
While it might seem to make sense on some levels, the threat to personal freedoms and potential for abuse by Government is vast. In the same way that digital currency provides authorities the ability to track and record every online financial transaction you make, digital ID will provide the same for every click you make online. Do we really want the government to have real time access to our web browsing?
The ability of governments to control what we see and don't see online would make Facebook censorship over 'community standards' pale in comparison. That which is branded 'hate' or 'misinformation" would be blocked and as conservatives have learned - it is often traditional Biblical values that are branded as such.
Europe has already taken the first step towards such restrictions with the 'Digital Services Act', which can fine or ban people for similar offenses. However this would be on an entirely larger scale and in the wrong hands - putting global control over the flow of information into the hands of a few.
The United Nations has made no secret of it's plans to have a global digital identity as part of it's Sustainable Development Goals set forth in Agenda 2030. Some of the more controversial technologies already being talked about for maintaining such a digital ID system are chip implants that can be inserted into someone in chip form.
You would then scan that chip id over an internet enabled device to gain access. It has been suggested such chips could not only be used as a form of biometric identification but also incorporate a digital wallet (digital currency) and health records (vaccination records).
Students of Bible prophecy have long warned that our society was slowly marching towards acceptance of technology that is described in the Book of Revelation. Revelation 13 describes a time in which a 'mark' in the right hand or forehead would be used as both a symbol of identification with the Antichrist and a means to conduct commerce. Without that mark no one can buy or sell. Agenda 2030 is still seven years away but at the rate technology and society is changing, we may see such changes faster than anyone thought.
“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door and, no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Revelation 3:8
The watchman on the western wall cried with a loud voice to the crowds thronging below him, Behold, the end of all things is at hand!
No head turned towards him. No ear bent upwards to better hear.
After a moment, he cried out again, Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation!
Again, no acknowledgment. Just heads turned downward, eyes peeled to their smartphones, trudging along like mindless zombies unaware of the danger that lay ahead.
In his heart, the watchman knows that this generation will not heed the warning. They are full of eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear. They have hearts hardened by the widespread cynicism of the age. Unlike any other generation before it, prophetic warnings these days are simply white noise in a flood of information bombarding the masses. Warnings, prophetic or otherwise, often go unheeded unless the threat is immediate and obvious. Indifference has become the normal state of affairs.
The watchman laments the state of the obstinate crowds addicted to their devices. Like lemmings marching to the cliff edge, each passing day presses this world ever forward into the unforgiving wine press of the wrath of God.
A time of unspeakable horror is coming upon the world. The 70th Week of Daniel, often commonly referred to as The Tribulation, will be a foretaste of hell on earth during the final seven years of mankind. It is this approaching storm the watchman on the wall warns of...a storm that will engulf the whole world into a tempest of tyranny, lawlessness, wickedness, and both natural and supernatural judgment.
Knowing the perilous times ahead and the seeming utter disregard by most in the world today, the watchman walks a lonely road.
The watchman's calling is not glamorous. Nor is it without cost.
Friendly acquaintances have abandoned him. Co-workers have begun to shun him. Even loved ones give wide berth eventually avoiding him altogether. He has had long-term relationships severed by friends and close family. His calling has cost him his livelihood by passed-over promotions, missed positions, and any semblance of upward mobility seems to have now eluded him.
Perhaps even his beloved spouse believes he has finally lost his mind and has taken to mocking and scoffing at him at every opportune time. One day, should the Lord tarry, she will leave him for another like herself. Someone equally distracted with the here and now, where an endless consumption of material things fills the time, yet never manages to satiate the appetite of the soul.
Vacuous and tone-deaf church pulpits increasingly ignore the return of Christ. With heads firmly planted in the ground, so-called "learn-ed" clergy increasingly ignore the compounding signs that the end is racing towards them. Sadly, even the watchman's own church has begun to close ranks against him. No longer allowed to teach or serve in any meaningful way, he walks out of the hollow building to the sounds of those speaking just above a whisper saying things like "he's crazy," "a prophecy nut," and "he has lost his mind."
With little strength, he turns to the shrinking remnant community of fellow watchmen of those like-minded watchers for encouragement. These are those who also willingly challenge the 'willful ignorance' of this age. But why then is he (and others like him) becoming shunned like lepers at every step?
He knows why. He might not bear the ugly sores of leprosy, however, he bears the ugly truth no one wants to hear…the truth that this world is coming to its inevitable end…and quickly.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7-8
But there is something else.
Something that is even more troubling to those who only profess Christ with their mouths, but not their hearts. Perhaps this division between professing and believing, is what really causes them to reject the watchman's warning, especially in the 'civilized' world. This love for the return of Christ exposes the hollowness of the modern-day church with all its trappings of seeker-friendly messages and kingdom-building platforms.
The truth is, the watchman is ruined by the love of Christ.
For when one tastes of that glory so divine that only Christ offers, nothing else on earth will satisfy.
The watchman becomes consumed by investing in the world to come, and not this present one which is quickly fading away.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 5:19-21
Nothing else on earth will quench the hunger for the true believer. Nothing else will quench the thirst. Christ has ruined his appetite for the things of this world, and he knows he is all the better for it.
Spiritually awakened, the watchman's inner man has become quickened and reconnected back to his Creator. Understanding what he was saved from, he is compelled to share this good news with others before time runs out.
The watchman sees the complete picture. He is not only thankful for what Christ has already done at the Cross but is thankful for what Christ will do in the future. Thus, our blessed hope is bifurcated by the knowledge the Scripture imparts to the discerning believer.
"...Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Rev. 19:10
This blessed hope is that Christ comes first for His bride to meet Him in the air (lifted up) as an act of endearment. We purify ourselves by holding to this expectation of our blessed hope. It is also a warning to those who are left behind for if our removal is a blessing then what should those who remain expect?
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14 (my emphasis)
And then He returns to the earth a second time with His bride in judgment, to vanquish His enemies once and for all.
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7
In the meantime, the watchman often wanders this world alone like a nomad; a stranger in a strange land alienated by his new nature and his desire to be pleasing to God. He knows that nothing in this world will satisfy him. Nothing will satiate his desire to be reconnected to his Creator. Spurred on by the boundless revelation in Scripture, he pours over every detail, every jot and tittle allowing the Holy Spirit to illuminate his understanding of things past, present, and to come.
He knows this world is coming to an end. The signs Jesus gave us are not just happening, but are being stored up like blast wave awaiting the right moment to explode forth. He knows that the complex schemes of wicked men and angels are coming to nothing because they do not/can not control the future.
Even the normal tasks of work, play, and life, without Christ, are empty and meaningless.
The present world powers in business, academia, culture, and government, are attempting to create a world devoid of God (as if God doesn't exist), and yet, are fulfilling the Scripture exactly as it was written because it has already been foretold.
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. James 5:1-3
They act as if this world and reality are without an author or creator. They act as if this world and all therein, is accidental. They've convinced themselves that they determine the future, and can control its outcomes. They have successfully exorcised God from almost every facet of the public square, acting as if they don't talk about Him, He doesn't exist.
Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to 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 creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
2 Peter 3:3-7 (my emphasis)
They, like the empty-suited religious leaders of our day, have substituted transformative faith with absolute spiritual regeneration (i.e., being born again), for empty platitudes for how to live peaceably.
Coexistence doesn't bring peace.
Religion does not bring true life.
Morality does not bring sanctification.
Piety does not bring redemption.
Only believing and trusting in the finished work of Christ's death on the cross to pay for our transgressions, can bring true life. As Scripture says,
So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. Hebrews 9:28
But Christ did not come simply to die and be seemingly defeated by the powers of this world. For His sacrifice is intricately connected to His return.
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
For Christ must return to the same battlefield where He was seemingly defeated, and conquer His enemies, and lay claim to the victory promised to Him from before the foundation of the world.
“I will declare the decree:
The Lord has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ”
So if you are a watchman, and you are feeling despondent, alone, weak, neglected, shunned, and ignored, know that you are not alone. Christ knows your struggles and your walk. He is there with us through every step of the path He gave us to walk. Knowing that we are not alone and that this journey we are on is at its end, and the finish line is in sight, Rejoice!
Rejoice for having the perseverance to endure this race until the end of all things.
Rejoice for knowing that as bad as this life is, it is the closest to hell you will ever be.
Rejoice for the things Christ has in store for those who love Him.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:4-7 (my emphasis)
Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!
In the summer of 2022, a group of scientists and professionals connected to the study of the climate started seeking signatures on a document that states that there is no climate emergency.
Climate change supporters quickly started saying the document is “anti-science,” “the work of uninformed people,” “untruthful,” and things like that.
On Aug. 16, 2023, The New American reported that now more than 1,600 scientists and professionals, including two Nobel Prize winners and experts from MIT, Princeton, and other notable institutions around the world, have signed the document.
Some of the things in the document these universally recognized men signed are (in their words and mine):
- Climate change is a war over opinions, not scientific facts.
- To believe the outcome of climate models that climate change supporters are using is to believe the information that they put into their models and their use of faulty information to justify their opinions and motives is the problem.
- Today’s weather extremes are mostly the result of natural factors that are as old as our planet. The weather has always gone through cycles, and the extremes today are not the result of an increase in greenhouse gases.
- Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, but it is essential to life, the greening of our planet, and the production of food.
- Climate change supporters try to silence opposition because they are espousing an approved narrative, not facts.
One signer of the document, Dr. H. Sterling Burnett of the Heartland Institute, said, “Most (supporters of climate change) are profiting in terms of money or power from the so-called climate crisis.”
Here is a link to the article:
Nobel Prize-winner Clauser Signs “There Is No Climate Emergency” Declaration – The New American
If these distinguished scientists are right, those that are shutting down jobs in the coal, gas, and oil industries; trying to force citizens to buy electric vehicles, walk to work, or ride a bicycle; trying to force citizens to go hungry, starve, or eat bugs, crickets, worms, and fake meat; trying to censor the truth; putting citizens off their farms and out of business; killing cattle, etc., for money or power should be prosecuted.
(More: On Aug. 17, 2023, it was reported that Patrick Moore, Co-founder of Greenpeace, said achieving net zero in carbon emissions “is a death wish in disguise.” He added that “if we actually achieve net zero, at least 50 percent of the population would die of hunger and disease.” One aspect of the plan to achieve net zero involves a reduction in the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers, but a reduction in the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers will result in a reduction in food production and an increase in hunger, starvation, famine, and pestilence as in the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.)
(My opinion: The main goal of the most powerful climate change supporters is to establish a godless New World Order. Another goal is to reduce the population of the earth. We are truly living in perilous times when deceit and the wickedness of man is great, as foretold by Jesus and Paul, and as it was in the days of Noah.)
Here are some recent current events that seem to indicate that history is close to the Rapture and Tribulation Period.
One, concerning climate change: in an interview on Aug. 14, 2023, Alberta, Canada Premier Danielle Smith was asked if climate change is the cause of “the unusually rampant wildfire season in Alberta this year.”
Smith replied, “All I know is in my province, we have 650 fires, and 500 of them were human-caused.”
I don’t know who is doing it, but I find it interesting that Canada’s globalist puppet Prime Min. Trudeau wants to pass a bill to make Canada’s power grid carbon neutral by 2050, Smith opposes it, someone has started a lot of fires in her province, and it is often blamed on climate change.
(FYI: I have seen several articles and a video suggesting that the wildfire in Maui was deliberately set because globalists want the property to turn the city into a 15-minute city, and the owners would not sell. According to the reports, destroying the houses and businesses allows the government to seize the property for their Build Back Better campaign.
There have been complaints that the fire sirens never sounded; firefighters were called off and told the fire was under control; some citizens started protecting their property by watering it down, and then the water was suddenly turned off; police set up roadblocks that caused traffic jams and prevented people from escaping; some citizens jumped into the ocean, but the police boats were not used to rescue them; children were sent home from school to empty houses with no parents and some died; people sent food and supplies to help the victims, but the government hasn’t delivered some of them, etc.
Why would officials silence the sirens, call off the firefighters, turn off the water, block the roads, not rescue people during a fire, and not deliver aid to the victims? These questions need to be answered. On Aug. 21, 2023, it was reported that 850 people are still missing; the number of confirmed deaths is 114, and still increasing.)
Two, concerning Jerusalem: in his Aug. 10-17 weekly newsletter, Bible prophecy teacher Amir Tsarfati said Israel’s Foreign Ministry has announced that Paraguay will open its embassy in Jerusalem this year.
Three, Concerning Jewish worship on the Temple Mount: on Aug. 8, 2023, a group of Jewish rabbis and former members of the Israeli Knesset sent a letter to the Israeli Min. of National Security requesting that they be allowed to blow the shofar (a trumpet made from a ram’s horn) and pray on the Temple Mount on Rosh Hashanah (sundown Sept. 16 to sundown Sept. 18 in Israel this year).
Blowing the shofar and praying are mandated in the Torah (Num. 29:1).
Here is a link to the article:
Advocacy group petitions Ben-Gvir to blow shofar on Temple Mount on Rosh Hashanah – Israel365 News
(FYI: I do not know if it is true, but I have read that some scholars believe Abraham made the first shofar from one of the ram’s horns that he sacrificed on Mt. Moriah as a substitute for his only begotten son Isaac; Gen. 22:11-18. That story is real, but it is a picture of the future substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus. Also, be aware that Mt. Moriah and the Temple Mt. are one and the same.)
(FYI: God told the Jews to observe seven feasts: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Weeks or Pentecost, Atonement, and Tabernacles; Lev. 23. The first three feasts picture the gospel: the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The fourth feast pictures the beginning of the Church: Pentecost. Some, not all, believe the last three feasts – Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles – picture the Rapture, Second Coming, and Millennium.)
(FYI: Some believe Ex. 19:1-19 pictures the Rapture, and the voice of a trumpet that sounded long and waxed louder and louder pictures the last trump at the Rapture; I Cor. 15:51-52.)
(Caution: A few excellent Bible prophecy teachers are cautiously expressing their opinion that they believe the Rapture could—could—not will—happen on Rosh Hashanah in Sept. of this year. All the signs are beginning to come to pass, and I hope it does, but be careful because we do not know that it will. It may, and it may not. I like what the great Liberty Univ. Professor Dr. Ed Hindson used to say: Do not waste your time trying to guess the time. Jesus can come anytime, so be ready all the time.)
Four, concerning the Mark of the Beast and tracking of all buying and selling: it was recently reported that the New York Mets and the Cleveland Guardians (formerly the Cleveland Indians) baseball teams have started using face scans and digital IDs for entry into their home baseball games.
And the Philadelphia Phillies will start using them on Aug. 21, 2023.
According to the report, if enough fans voluntarily sign up for Philadelphia’s face scan and ID system, the program will become mandatory at every MLB park in the next couple of years, and fans will not be allowed to attend games unless they are in it.
Five, concerning deceit and the decline of America: on Aug. 19, 2023, it was reported that the U.S. had more than three hundred million dollars worth of supplies that the Trump administration bought with taxpayer money to build a wall on America’s border with Mexico.
In July 2023, the U.S. Senate (Republicans and Democrats) passed a bill to force the Biden administration to use the supplies or give them to states like Texas to build a wall.
Next, the bill must be passed in the Republican-led house before it can go into effect, and that seems to be a done deal.
However, the Biden administration started selling the supplies for pennies on the dollar before he is forced to build more wall or let the states build more wall.
Our open border allows the terrorists, drug cartels, sex traffickers, criminals, and spies to keep coming, and Biden continues to say our border is secure.
Six, Concerning the Antichrist confirming (strengthening) a seven-year covenant that will begin the Tribulation Period (Dan. 9:27): it is looking more and more like that is shaping up.
For one thing, UN Sec. Gen. Guterres has scheduled a meeting for Sept. 18-19 to push world leaders to commit to “seven years of accelerated, sustained, and transformative action, both nationally and internationally, to deliver on the promise of the SDGs” (Sustainable Development Goals that are in essence the creation of a world government).
In my words, Guterres wants world leaders to agree (to make a covenant) to speed up the development of a world government by making more and faster changes over the next seven years.
In addition to that, many Bible prophecy teachers believe the Abraham Accords could lead to a covenant of peace in the Middle East, but Saudi Arabia must become a member, and Israel must make some concessions to Palestinians for that to happen.
It is now being reported that the Biden administration wants to conclude a deal by March 2024 (or at least in the next 9-12 months), is pushing Saudi Arabia and Israel to act, and some favorable comments have come out of both sides.
To summarize, the UN (many) wants a seven-year agreement for the establishment of a world government, and Israel and Saudi Arabia may be making progress on normalizing their relations at some point in 2024.
(My opinion: It seems very unlikely that these two major things would be taking place at the same time unless history is getting close to the confirmation of the seven-year covenant.)
(FYI: Understand that the UN voting to commit to bringing in a world government in seven years is one thing, and the Antichrist confirming (or strengthening) an existing seven-year covenant is another thing. The UN can vote for it in Sept., but the Antichrist can sign it any time during the seven years or later.)
Seven, concerning a population reduction on earth: on Aug. 17, 2023, it was reported that an Oxford Univ. professor with ties to the World Economic Forum (WEF) said falling birthrates in the West are “good for the planet.”
The False Prophet and Antichrist will reduce the population of the earth during the Tribulation Period by beheading those that refuse to take the Mark of the Beast.
Eight, concerning the decline of America: many Christians know that God promised to bless those that bless Israel and to curse those that curse Israel (Gen. 12:1-3).
On Aug. 18, 2023, it was reported that candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination for Pres. of the U.S., Vivek Ramaswamy, promised to cut back on America’s aid to Israel if he is elected Pres.
America’s attitude toward Israel impacts God’s attitude toward America.
Nine, concerning the days of Lot: on June 16, 2023, the Los Angeles Dodgers brought in “The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” (a group of transgender men that pretend to be Catholic nuns, mock the Church, mock the resurrection of Jesus, etc.) to celebrate Dodger Pride Night at the baseball stadium.
On Aug. 20, 2023, a 5.1 earthquake and several aftershocks struck just north of Los Angeles, and an exceedingly rare tropical storm (the first to strike So. Cal. in 84 years) dumped heavy rain on California, flood water surrounded the stadium, and the Dodgers game with the Miami Marlins could not be played.
One writer called the earthquakes, tropical storm, flooding, and resulting mudslides “Biblical.”
FYI: God does not send anyone to Hell (all of us are born with a sin nature and destined to go to Hell because we sin), but God has provided a way (Jesus) for everyone to go to Heaven (and He is the only way to get there; John 14:6).
Finally, are you Rapture Ready?
If you want to be rapture ready and go to heaven, you must be born again (John 3:3). God loves you, and if you have not done so, sincerely admit that you are a sinner; believe that Jesus is the virgin-born, sinless Son of God who died for the sins of the world, was buried, and raised from the dead; ask Him to forgive your sins, cleanse you, come into your heart and be your Saviour; then tell someone that you have done this.
In our third installment of “Filtered: with Costi Hinn:”
Being “slain in the spirit” has long been one of the most prolific charismatic practices in the church.
With people shaking, convulsing, and manifesting at the mere touch of a supposedly anointed man or woman (or the wave of their jacket), many people are convinced they’re experiencing a special encounter with the Holy Spirit. But is that what the Holy Spirit does? Does He cause people to shake, bark, scream, convulse, and topple on a stage? Is any of this biblical? Does it match the ministry of Christ, His apostles, or the Holy Spirit?
In this video, Costi Hinn unpacks.
There are all kind of rumors circulating regarding what's going on in the world. Who knows what's true and what's meant to make us fearful.
Always remember that in times like this we know the Lord is in control. Nothing is happening that He isn't allowing to happen.
Whether we're a few weeks from our exhilarating departure, or a long time, God has us here for His purposes. I believe He's given us special insight in the times. So we should boldly share what we know, while we can.
The article is about Rapture, always a fun subject. Enjoy!
The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1Cor. 1:25
I Can Only Imagine
I love the lyrics of the song, I Can Only Imagine. Bart Milard wrote the lyrics when he was inspired by his dad’s death—wondering what it must be like meeting the Lord in heaven. The song strikes a chord with a lot of people, including me.
I too wonder what it’ll be like the first time I’m surrounded in heaven by the glory of Jesus Christ, our Creator God.
I do know, whether I transition at the Rapture or because my appointed time is completed on this earth, it’ll take just a nano-second to move from this life to the next.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, 1Cor. 15:52a
So it will be instantaneous…here one moment, the next moment in heaven. Believers don’t die, we just change places. Something to look forward to.
At the Rapture, I don’t think it’ll be like all those Rapture paintings showing people lazily floating up to heaven. I think it’ll be more like when Jesus moved the disciple’s boat to shore…in a nano-second.
Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. John 6:19
Similar to salvation, once they received Jesus, they were immediately where they wanted to be.
Or another example of God moving people instantaneously to another place was Philip when he was witnessing to the Ethiopian eunuch in Gaza. After baptizing the Ethiopian (Acts 8:27) Philip was inexplicitly zoomed up the Mediterranean coast to Ashdod, some 25 miles away (as the crow flies).
So God has a history of moving people around similar to "Beam me up, Scottie" on Star Track. Although at the Rapture we'll get a new change of clothes—which means my wife will want to examine the color and thread count. Just kidding. Not really. But certainly possible! I digress... (I've been reading too much C&C!)
But with the LOUD booming Rapture, we'll not only fly away to the heavens, we'll immediately be with the Lord. And we have some interesting reactions in scripture of people first seeing God.
First Seeing God on the Earth
Job could hardly talk when he found himself convicted of sin in the presence of the Lord.
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6
Peter felt the same conviction as Job:
But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” Luke 5:8
John the Apostle didn’t mince words about his feelings when he saw Jesus on the Isle of Patmos.
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. Rev. 1:17
First Seeing God in Heaven
Isaiah seemed to be quite awed when he was taken up to the throne of God in heaven. He immediately realized he’d arrived in his sinful condition—his sin yet to be atoned.
I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Is. 6:1b
Then I said,“Woe is me, for I am ruined [“undone” or “brought to silence”]! Because I am a man of unclean lips [a sinner], and I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Is. 6:5
Once Isaiah realizes he’s in the presence of the Lord, his impure human sin is all the more evident. Interestingly, it took a seraphim taking a coal from the altar and touched his lips before he could remain in the presence of God.
I’m guessing our first time coming directly into God’s presence in heaven, regardless of what precipitates our arrival (Physical death or Rapture), will be a moment in our eternity that we’ll remember forever.
The difference for Church Age Believers is that when we arrive, we’ll come fully vested. God will look at us but see no sin.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psa. 103:12
In our post-cross arrival, we’ll be able to talk. We know this because of the description of those Believers in heaven who were martyred in the Tribulation.
And they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Rev. 7:10
I like that I can get excited and shout to the Lord! I can relate to that too. So I can imagine that at my sudden arrival at the pearly gates*, I’ll have a quite giddy twist-and-shout moment. No selfies needed. I'll remember that moment forever.
What do you imagine?
To head off some email— Yes, I know there are no pearly gates in Heaven with Peter standing behind a podium. Calm down, it's just a figure of speech!
But just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” 1Cor. 2:9
Jonny Ardavanis is the Lead Pastor at Stonebridge Bible Church in Franklin, TN and the President of Dial In Ministries. He formerly served as the Dean of Campus Life at The Master’s University and as a Camp Director at Hume Lake Christian Camps. Jonny’s heart is to see people understand and love the Word of God and more so, to love the God of the Word. Jonny is married to Caity Jean and they have two precious daughters.
Dial In with Jonny Ardavanis: Big Questions, Biblical Answers, is a series that seeks to provide biblical answers to some of the most prominent and fundamental questions regarding God, the Gospel, and the Bible
In this episode, Jonny Ardavanis sits down with Paul Washer, the founder of the HeartCry Missionary Society, and asks him, "How do you ascertain your spiritual gift?"
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Sarah was a hardworking college student who received an email from her professor informing her that her final project was due on Friday. The message read, “Be sure to bring you’re A-game; failure is not an option!” However, Sarah took the professor’s statement figuratively. She assumed the professor was emphasizing the importance of doing well on the project. Rather than interpreting it literally as a warning about the consequences of failure.
Confident in her abilities, Sarah decided to focus on other assignments and leisure activities throughout the week, assuming her work would be adequate to avoid failure. She spent much time during the week catching up with friends, binging on her favorite TV shows, and neglecting the entire project.
As Friday approached, Sarah started to realize she may have misunderstood her professor’s intention. Panicked, she hurriedly tried to work on the project at the last minute, but it was too late. With limited time and a lack of preparation, Sarah’s work fell short of expectations. She ended up submitting a subpar project, and not meeting the required standards.
Sarah keenly felt the consequences of her misinterpretation as her professor returned her assignment with a failing grade, seriously impacting her overall performance in the course.
In hindsight, Sarah realized her egregious mistake. If she had only taken the professor’s statement literally, understanding that failure was not an option, she would have undoubtedly approached the project with more seriousness and dedication.
Sarah’s experience could serve as a parable for making the error of interpreting some parts of Revelation figuratively when they should be taken literally. To fail to judge them literally can result in failing to take some of the prophetic events described with necessary seriousness and dedication. For some, it could even mean being insufficiently prepared for Christ’s return.
In his commentary on the book of Revelation, the late Dr. M.R. DeHann wrote:
“Observe the rule of literal interpretation. The greatest curse of the Christian Church is the evil of spiritualizing the Bible. Although there are many symbols and signs in the book, as in every other book and our daily conversation, the context indicates whether a passage is to be interpreted literally or symbolically. Interpret literally, except where the context or grammatical structure clearly indicates that the reference is a symbol or a sign.”
One strong argument for interpreting the seven plagues of Revelation chapter 16 as literal is that the biblical text itself describes them in vivid, concrete terms. The book of Revelation, which often is filled with symbolic language presents these plagues as specific events with clear cause-and-effect relationships. Each of the seven plagues is described in some detail, such as “malignant sores’ (v. 2), “the sea … became like the blood of a corpse” (v.3), and “the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, causing it to scorch everyone with its fire” (v.. These unambiguous prophetic descriptions indicate each of them should be taken plainly.
Moreover, the plagues in Revelation 16 align with similar plagues that are described in the Old Testament, particularly the plagues of Egypt mentioned in Exodus. These plagues are depicted as tangible, real, historical events that affected the physical world and had significant consequences for those involved. Therefore, it is only logical to interpret the plagues in this chapter of Revelation as literal occurrences of things to come.
Here is what the Bible says about a second and third plague among seven that God has ordered for an unbelieving world in its final days. These plagues have to do with the sea and the freshwater supply.
“Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse. And everything in the sea died. Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs, and they became blood. And I heard the angel who had authority over all water saying, ‘You are just, O Holy One, who is and who always was because you have sent these judgments. Since they shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, you have given them blood to drink. It is their just reward.’ And I heard a voice from the altar, saying, ‘Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgments are true and just’” (Revelation 16:3-7).
This is a horrific scene almost beyond imagination. It’s hard to conceive of life without the glory and beauty of the sea.
Herman Broch said, “Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part.” Certainly, someone who would have agreed, Jacques Cousteau said, “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
Nevertheless, according to Revelation, the majestic expanse of the ocean, once so vibrant and teeming with life, will in the end stagnate as an unnerving tableau of desolation, mirroring the pallid hue and stillness that permeates the blood of a lifeless being.
In his book, Revelation, the late Dr. Charles Ryrie wrote about this text:
“The illustration vividly depicts a dying person wallowing in his own blood. Under the second trumpet, one-third of the sea creatures died (8:9); now the destruction is complete. The stench and the disease this will bring, especially along the shores of the seas of the earth are unimaginable.”
One of the worst marine disasters in recent history took place in April of 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, operated by BP, exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. The incident resulted in the largest marine oil spill to date, releasing millions of barrels of oil into the ocean over an extended period.
The disaster had devastating consequences for marine ecosystems in the region, leading to extensive damage and the loss of countless marine organisms. The spill contaminated the surface and deep underwater, killing a wide range of marine species, from small zooplankton to large fish, marine mammals, and even birds.
Following the oil spill, the water’s appearance was profoundly affected by the accumulation of dead organisms, other marine life, and oil residue. This, in turn, led to changes in the ocean’s color that resulted in a reddish hue.
Red Tide is a natural phenomenon caused by blooms of microscopic algae in the ocean, particularly a type called dinoflagellates. These algae produce quite rapidly and generate a reddish discoloration in the water, hence the name “red tide.” The blooms release toxins that are very harmful to marine life, including fish, shellfish, and marine mammals. These toxins have negative effects on the central nervous system of animals, leading to illnesses and death. Red tides also deplete oxygen in the water, which causes what are called “dead zones” of countless marine life.
North Carolina, my home state, has had its challenges from red tides before. It can occur in both saltwater and freshwater environments. The regions most known for red tide, however, include the Gulf of Mexico, the coast of California, the Caribbean Sea, and certain parts of Asia, Europe, and South America.
Here’s the way The Tampa Bay Times described a red tide that plagued the Gulf from the border of Alabama to the Florida Keys in 2005:
“The impact on sea life was so catastrophic that it created a dead zone — an area of the gulf devoid of oxygen and sea life … The algal bloom thoroughly decimated everything on site that year. It killed everything from bait fish and crabs to rays and dolphins. The final death toll included thousands of fish and birds that fed on infected animals.
“Red Tide was the leading cause of death of the endangered manatee that year, killing 93. It also slew more than a hundred sea turtles.
“Tarpon Springs sponger Jeff Love, the owner of Rock Island Sponge Co., told the then – St. Petersburg Times … that the Red Tide snuffed out everything it touched.
“‘Every plant life, every vertebrate, everything on the bottom is dead,’ he said. ‘It’s bare rock — and it was the lushest area we had.’
“From June to September … Pinellas County [Florida] alone picked up 732 tons of dead sea animals from its coastline. That’s nearly 1.5 million pounds of rotting marine flesh. Local governments had to pay overtime and hire more workers to remove the reeking carcasses.
“The water smelled like rotten eggs.”
It seems unlikely any single oil spill or red tide event could destroy the entire ocean. The Earth’s seas are vast bodies of water covering more than 70% of the planet’s surface, and these bodies of water are remarkably resilient. Natural processes such as evaporation, precipitation, and movement of ocean currents help maintain the balance and health of the seas.
Nevertheless, one must remember this bowl poured out by an angel on the sea is because of God’s wrath, and anything is possible with God. In his wrath, more specifically, in this certain event, which is more than catastrophic but apocalyptic, God shows not the slightest scintilla of mercy, for those days are over.
But then, the Bible says a third angel pours his bowl on the fresh waters (the rivers and the springs) and they become like blood, too.
Someone once said, “Amid troubles upon troubles, life feels like a dark tunnel, with no sign of light at the end.” Indeed, and here again, God sends more trouble and those who have despised him are catapulted through a tunnel of darkness where there is no light at the end — only the outer darkness of Hell.
The world is firmly in the talons of Hell on Earth at this point.
This is hypothetical but it seems reasonable to think the situation might go something like this:
Still mourning the death of the sea, the news of the worldwide freshwater contamination will start to spread almost immediately afterwards. Panic, no doubt, will set in. People will likely rush to the grocery stores, hoping to stockpile as much bottled water as possible, but the shelves will empty quickly. Desperation will fill the air, and chaos ensue.
Scenes by the rivers and springs, once filled with families having picnics, and people swimming, will be abandoned and appear eerie. The flowing streams will have turned into stagnant pools of murky red, emitting the foulest of odors. Wildlife and aquatic creatures will struggle to survive, their habitats devastated.
The lack of uncontaminated water resources will place immense strain on healthcare systems, sanitation facilities, and agricultural practices, escalating at almost lightning speed public health crises and food shortages.
There is a strong possibility long lines will form in major cities outside makeshift water distribution centers. People clutching to empty containers, hoping to receive even the most limited quantities of uncontaminated water. Water becomes a precious commodity, coveted by everyone, rich and poor. Wasting water will become unthinkable; bathing will hardly be possible anymore, and clean laundry a rare luxury. Industries reliant on water, such as agriculture, manufacturing, and energy production, will face severe disruption or have to shut down. The economy, forgive the pun, will go in the tank, and job losses will be on a massive scale.
Some hoping to reach deep underground reservoirs will dig provisional wells, while others set up rudimentary filtration systems with the objective of purifying the putrefied waters. Still, others will have adapted systems to catch rainwater or harvest clouds.
Some of these efforts may be somewhat successful, but ultimately, they will fail. The fate of this unbelieving world is to be like that of the rich man in Hell, whom Jesus said, in his torment, asked for just one drop of water to be given him in his agony, but there was none (Luke 16:19-31).
Perhaps many will read of this forthcoming judgment and declare it overly stringent, excessively severe. But lest anyone lay that accusation against God, the angel with authority over the waters says this judgment is unprejudiced and fair. God is holy and everything He does is ethical and reasonable, says the angel.
The angel adds that those who embraced a self-centered life, ignored God’s sovereignty and grace, engaged in immorality, lived without integrity, characteristically ignored God’s law, despising those who lived opposite to the way they lived and murdered them, making their blood flow as deep and as wide as the sea, the rivers and the streams, should have to drink blood. They thirsted for the blood of God’s people and they should have it to drink.
Then a voice comes from the altar, declaring a sort of celestial, “Amen,” saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgments are true and just” (Revelation 16:7).
The late R.C. Sproul, the incomparable American theologian, pastor, author, and educator said:
“The Bible is meant to be taken literally because it is the ultimate authority from which we derive our understanding of God’s will and path to salvation.”
Are you on the straight and narrow highway? Perhaps you might pray a prayer like this one:
“Lord Jesus Christ, remember me. Open my heart and my mind to you. Save me now, in this day of opportunity, worth more than all the gold and precious possessions in the world. Be merciful to me now, forgive me, and cleanse me from my sins. May I be numbered among those who enter into your kingdom? Give me the gift of eternal life. Spare me of your wrath, which is to come. Amen.”
A collision of emerging signs of the end times is becoming more apparent each day as news reports verify the predictions of Bible prophecy. Much of my writing seems to be on this topic these days in one way or another. The rising of false doctrines based on faulty conclusions of early church teachers that lack that “rightly dividing the Word of truth” Paul wrote about to Timothy (2 Timothy 2:15).
In this Part 1 and following, we will explore what the Scriptures say about current events and how these considerations should enable us to “see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). First is the foundation of Scripture in both New Testament and Old Testament predictions.
The promise of the coming of Jesus Christ to “ingather” His body of believers of past and current numbers was actually made by Jesus, Himself. In John 11, when Lazarus died and his two sisters were mourning his death, Martha brought the timing of Lazarus’ resurrection to the end of the age when the great resurrection is to be. But Jesus, in his Son of God knowledge of the future, replied, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he is dead, yet shall he live, and he who lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).
Paul takes up the topic in his first letter to the believers in Thessalonica. He wrote, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Then he writes of the details of the Lord’s coming for them and future believers in verses 16-17: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 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.”
That promise of Jesus in His giving the Great Commission in Matthew 28 is no contradiction to that ending promise in the prior passage, “And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” In Matthew 28:20, He says, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” What happens then? We will then be with Him.
In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul alerts them, and all future believers (see 2 Timothy 3:16), that a “falling away must come first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), saying, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition….”
Falling away from what, we must ask? It is from truth, honesty, moral integrity, justice for all, living lawfully, honoring the knowledge of right and wrong—these are principles of life that are being left behind by more of the world’s population and its political leaders.
High on the list is sexual immorality and its degradation upon society. Jesus said, in Luke 17:28-30, “…As it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”
The account of that event is detailed in Genesis 19, and it tells us that the whole city was saturated with homosexuality, for every man and boy bombarded Lot’s doorway, demanding those two “men” (angels) that they might “know” them. Was Paul recalling that situation of sexual degradation in his letter to the Romans in chapter 1:18 and following?
There, he wrote of a time when people were turning man to man and woman to woman with their sexual lusts, saying, also, “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). The approval of sexual deviation is under the judgment of God, and many in governmental units are approving of the LGBTQ+ lifestyle though not participating. They are equally guilty before God.
This climate of approval of sexual deviation in all forms has been established by the nation’s president in the USA, even spreading to business corporations not wanting to miss out on increased revenue from that faction. The confusion of what is the correct pronoun to use for addressing those who claim “trans-gender” status. Not only is it a sexual deviation, it is bringing about the destruction of society.
It is a Satanic attack on the highest of God’s creation, that of man in God’s own image. That spiritual warfare has continued for centuries as Satan wants to see God dishonored by His highest creation. But God is sovereign over Satan, and He will destroy that one at the right time.
When the falling away reaches its climax so that the lawless one can be welcomed wholeheartedly by the world’s population, then Jesus will come and remove the One who restrains that evilness. It is that body of believers in Christ. This is God’s plan so that one, the Antichrist, may have authority and clear sailing to events of the coming seven years of tribulation recorded in the Book of Revelation. These Scriptures establish the New Testament fact of the coming of Jesus to “ingather” His body of believers. The Old Testament prophecies tell of these things as well. In Daniel 9:24-25, the prophet is told of a coming seven-year period when God’s punishment of the Jewish people will be completed—judgment for their constant disobedience and rebellion during those years after the exodus from Egypt. The angel told Daniel this:
“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.” (These are weeks of years, a year counted as one day, thus one week would equal seven years.)
This was from the time of Ezra’s rebuilding of the temple and the city to the death of Christ would be 69 weeks of the 70 weeks proclaimed. This missing week will be the seven years of the tribulation told of in Revelation 6 to 19.
When Jesus comes for His saints, that 70th week will begin, all pointed to the Jewish people. The Christian church will not be there, as its absence is so obvious. No longer any Great Commission, but 144,000 Jewish “messengers” will take “the gospel of the kingdom” to every tribe, tongue and nation of the world, as we see John’s account in Revelation 7.
There, that great multitude of souls in white robes standing before the Lord are not resurrected saints but are those saved during that ministry. They “come out of the Great Tribulation, it says. They are those who do not take the Mark of the Beast in the last half of that 70th week. And the elder tells John that “many more must be killed.”
That will happen, according to Zechariah 13:8, which says, “And it shall come to pass in all the land,” says the Lord, “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it.” It is the time of God’s attention directly on the Jewish people, to begin once the believers in Christ are gone to be with Jesus.
Daniel 9:26-27 follows with the prophecy of events before those seven years. In those verses, we learn of the lawless one mentioned by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2 and what he does right after the removal of the Restrainer. It also tells of the 70 A.D. Roman destruction of Jerusalem and its temple and a future appearance of one who is an “abomination of desolation” who claims to be God as he stands in the new temple the Jews have been allowed to rebuild.
It says this: “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself, and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week. But in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”
So far, we have the Scriptural foundations for signs that are to come. As we look at looming signs, remember that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” that God “is not a man that He should lie or change,” that He knows all things ahead of their times, and that “knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Faith—believing—comes first, then understanding.
In Luke 21, Jesus predicts world conditions of turbulence in weather, social and political happenings. Here are some of them that He says will be current issues:
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:10-11 and 25-28).
It is true that many of these things have happened before, but have you noticed how they are bunched up into these few weeks of summer in this hemisphere? World conditions in other segments of the population and political concerns are showing signs of distress, perplexity, and fear, as Jesus predicted.
In the USA, there has been sweltering heat in one area and heavy rain with devastating flooding in another at a continual pattern for weeks. And Jesus said, “When these things begin to happen, look up, for your redemption is drawing near.” In Part 2, we will look at major reasons why it is so.
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