WHAT IS AMERICA BECOMING?

Freedom of speech is essentially dead on major media and social media platforms, and because they have such a dominant position in the marketplace of ideas, that means that freedom of speech has been severely crippled in US society as a whole.

Freedom of religion is being greatly eroded as well.  States such as California continue to ban large church gatherings in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but meanwhile they don’t have any problem with the large groups of protesters that are gathering night after night in the major cities to riot and commit acts of violence.

If conditions are good enough for thousands upon thousands of rioters to get together and cause chaos, and if conditions are good enough for thousands upon thousands of people to go shopping at Wal-Mart, then conditions are certainly good enough for Christians to go to church.

The way that Republicans and Democrats in Congress are responding to this crisis is deeply un-American. The USA is supposed to be a free market capitalist system, socialists were always regarded as enemies of the Republic. But now there are very few Democrats that are not socialists. One has to wonder at how many Republicans see socialism as the only option left.

This week government announced that another “stimulus bill” is on the way.  This one is going to involve more direct socialist payments to the American people, but at this point hardly anyone is even bothering to point out that this is pure socialism. Never before in American history has such a thing been done.  The USA has been through the Civil War, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II and a whole host of other difficult times, and yet they have never passed out “free money” to everyone in the country before. And of course the country can’t afford any of this extra spending that Congress is doing.  This new stimulus bill is “only” going to cost about a trillion dollars, but that is another trillion dollars that government will have to steal from future generations of Americans. At this moment, government is more than 26 trillion dollars in debt, and soon it will be 27 trillion dollars.  They are systematically destroying America’s future, and the founders of the USA would be absolutely horrified at what they are doing. Mind you look at household debt levels in the USA they are already at a record high. A country in crisis.

Infographic: Pre-Pandemic Household Debt at Record High | Statista

Of course, the founders have witnessed America abandoning most of the values that they held dear long ago.  What was “right” in their day is now “wrong”, and what was “wrong” in their day has now become “right”. In essence, the nation is literally turning into the exact opposite of what they originally intended for America to be.

It looks like this pandemic is not going away soon. What is next? The government is running out of options. Debt levels are off the charts and interest rates at or below zero. The only feasible option is to hit the RESET button and that is probably what we will see next – a digital currency. Paper money and coins will go, for sure. A microchip is certainly a good option for Governments. It would give them total control over the population. They would not only know how much you have spent, where you have spent it and on what. In fact, they would know your every move. Whatever happens next , let me tell you that it will be one step closer to the “end times” mark of the beast.

CHINA IN THE END TIMES

Chinese President Xi Jinping called Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday to voice support for the creation of a Palestine state.

China says it will host Palestinian Peace Talks

Xi’s call likely signals that China is siding with the Palestinians against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s desire to extend Israeli sovereignty over areas of Judea and Samaria as laid out in the Trump administration’s Mideast plan.

The timing of the call raises questions as Chinese companies recently lost multi million-dollar bids for infrastructure projects in Israel, partly due to the U.S. warning Israel against giving China too much influence. Seeing Israel choose the U.S. in the struggle between the superpowers, China may be seeking to gain leverage with Israel’s enemies.

Last week, China signed a $400 billion accord with Iran in both the civilian and military sectors.

Openly defying U.S. sanctions on Tehran, China committed to build dozens of infrastructure projects throughout Iran, including ports and train lines, and integrate the Islamic Republic into its 5G telecommunications network.

The two countries will also tighten their military ties, boosting intelligence cooperation, sharing weapons development and increasing joint naval exercises. In exchange, Iran will sell China oil at below-cost prices for the next 25 years.

‘Wall Street firms have been examining the implications of the reversal of a decades-long effort to form a more symbiotic relationship between the world’s two largest economies. One consistent view is the world will be far more polarized, with economies and companies gravitating toward either a Chinese or an American orbit.’ The events in the Middle East outlined above indicate this view is playing out right now. it looks as though we’re headed for a split world. One that will revolve around two independent spheres of power and influence. Each with its own winners and losers. The world order really is shifting. Both the US and China are setting the stage for a huge showdown. One that will force much of the world to pick a side.

The Bible reveals that the final battle in the last year before Jesus returns to liberate Israel and begin His Millennial reign on earth involves the kings from the east. The alignment we are seeing taking place now with China and the Muslim nations against Israel is a necessary step in the fulfillment of this prophecy.

The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.” Revelation 16:12-14The Day of the Lord

THE RESTRAINER OF THE LAWLESS ONE

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one (Antichrist) is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.2 Thessalonians 7-12

Many interpreters understand the Restrainer mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:6–8 as the Holy Spirit, Satan, or the government. There are good reasons, however, to view the Restrainer as Michael, the Archangel.

1. Contemporary Jewish literature during Paul’s time viewed the characteristics of Michael having eschatological pre-eminence as the chief opponent of Satan and Restrainer of God’s people.

2. Michael is viewed as a celestial restrainer of God’s people in Daniel 10–12, the passage serving as the source for Paul’s exposition in 2 Thessalonians 2:3–8.

3. Daniel’s use of the Hebrew term ʿmd comports with the ceasing activity of the restrainer in 2 Thessalonians 2:6–7.

4. The Greek term parerchomai in Daniel 12:1 of the Septuagint (LXX) means, “to pass by,” which corresponds with the ceasing of restraint in 2 Thessalonians 2:6–7.

5. Early Rabbinic interpretation of Daniel 12:1 perceived Michael as “passing aside” or “withdrawing” just after Antichrist’s establishment near or at the temple mount (Dan 11:45), and just before the eschatological unequaled tribulation against God’s people (Dan 12:1).

6. Revelation 12:7–17 supports viewing Michael as the Restrainer because it links the cessation of Michael’s war against the dragon with the unprecedented persecution of God’s people, which is consistent with 2 Thessalonians 2:6–7 and Daniel 11:45–12:1.

Given these reasons the only candidate which can explain the Restrainer being removed is Michael. Other proposals for the Restrainer are hard-pressed to comport with those roles. Thus, the apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:6–7 is very likely referring to Michael the archangel as the Restrainer, whose ministry ceases and causes the eschatological temple to be desolated by Antichrist, ensued by his great tribulation against God’s people.

The Michael interpretation is not a new, since there has been about a dozen theologians and scholars over the last hundred years who have taken this position, even Robert Van Kampen a pioneer of the pewrath position held to this view.

But it was not until the year 2000 that a young Thessalonian scholar by the name of Colin R. Nicholl who came along that would, for many scholars, put the nail in the coffin on the Restrainer debate.

In the April 2000 volume of The Journal of Theological Studies, Colin R. Nicholl published the seminal article, “Michael, The Restrainer Removed (2 Thess. 2:6-7),” arguing strongly that Michael is the Restrainer. After his journal article was published Nicholl published it as an appendix in his important monograph (which was his dissertation) From Hope to Despair in Thessalonica: Situating 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Alan Kurschner of Eschatos Ministries has just put up a new website devoted to this topic therestrainer.com. Alan is known for his defence of the PreWrath Rapture position which I support. This is his article on the identity of the Restrainer.

TIMING OF THE RAPTURE

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will comeMatthew 24:14

The event Jesus is referring to hear may well be the angel who God commissions to preach the gospel to those who dwell on the earth – to every nation, tribe, tongue and people –

Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the ...

God sends out three angels before the wrath of God is poured out with the trumpet and bowl judgements. The third angel likewise tells all those who dwell on the earth the consequences of taking the mark of the beast.

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” Revelation 14: 9-10

The church will not be raptured until the three angels deliver their messages to all the world. Five words demonstrate this point: “then the end will come” (Matt 24:14). The church will not be removed until this prophecy is fulfilled. It is simply another prophetic event that undermines an any-moment return of Jesus prior to Christians experiencing the Antichrist and tribulation.

On a related noted, having established that the church will be present on earth up to the end of the age in verse 14, notice in verse 15 Jesus says, “Therefore [oun] when you see the abomination of desolation…” The interpreter should not miss that Jesus has the same audience in view after verse 14. In verse 15, Jesus begins to describe the Antichrist’s great tribulation in more detail. There is no justification to claim that the referent “you” in verse 15 and afterwards is different from the “you” before verse 14. In other words, the disciples, who represent the new community of God (i.e. the church) will be on earth to see the Antichrist declare himself to be god and be the recipients of the tribulation even great tribulation that the Antichrist will inflict on Jews and Christians at that time.

EXPECT PERSECUTION WHEN TAKING A STAND ON TRUTH/GOD’S WORD

The following incident clearly demonstrates that if you share God’s truth with others in your workplace you risk losing your job. John Piper does an excellent job of unpacking “Corona virus and Christ”. You might want to consider getting his book.

Well known and respected Reformed theologian John Piper clarified his stance on whether the coronavirus is God’s judgement of sin and what the Bible says about homosexuality after a legal group called for an Army chaplain to be court- martialed just for sharing Piper’s new book, Coronavirus and Christ with 35 other chaplains.

John Piper responded to claims made by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and its founder, Mikey Weinstein, in a letter sent to U.S. Secretary of Defence Mark Esper last month.

Weinstein claimed rightly that Piper’s new book “pushes the belief that the coronavirus is God’s judgement” and could even be judgement for homosexuality.  

MRFF called for Senior Chaplain Col. Moon H. Kim, the command chaplain of U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in South Korea, to be court-martialed for sharing a PDF copy of Piper’s new book with 35 other chaplains via email. 

Piper’s book does rightly declare that Romans 5:16 states that all death is the result of God’s judgement on the human race because sin entered the world. Piper further notes that God is “sovereign over the coronavirus, and sends it and ends it when He wills.” Piper added that “homosexual intercourse is a sin” and “that the coronavirus is a call for repentance to all of us to bring our lives into alignment with the infinite worth of Jesus.”

In an interview with Christian Post, Piper was asked if he thought Weinstein and MRFF’s criticism of his new book is fair. 

“Well, some of it is. I think it would be fair to say that some of my views about what the Bible teaches, even rightly understood, the author of that letter hates. He hates what I think,” Piper said. 

“‘They are,’ he says, ‘incendiary,’ ‘bigoted,’ ‘vulgar’ — not just because he misunderstands, but, in part, because he does understand, and that’s how he thinks and feels about some of what the Bible teaches.”

Piper said there are three areas where Weinstein seems to misrepresent his stance in either the letter to Esper or an earlier interview with The Christian Post.

“For example, when I say that ‘some people will be infected with the coronavirus as a specific judgment from God because of their sinful attitudes and actions,’ he assumes that I know who those people are, or at least what kind of people they are,” Piper said.

“But here’s what I write on page 72. … The coronavirus is … never a clear and simple punishment on any person. The most loving, spirit-filled Christian, whose sins are forgiven through Christ, may die of the coronavirus disease. But it is fitting that every one of us search our own heart to discern if our suffering is God’s judgement on the way we live.”

Piper explained that God “does judge people with sickness.”

“That’s very clear from 1 Corinthians 11:32, and there it’s even talking about Christians,” Piper said. “But John Piper or you or anybody else can’t determine from outside who is experiencing the coronavirus as a judgement in a punitive sense, and who’s experiencing it, say, as purification or who’s experiencing it for other reasons that God may have.”

Piper said his point is that God does many things for many reasons and people should “do sober-minded self-assessment to discern” what “God’s purposes are in all that happens to us.”

Piper also underlined that he is not saying “every person who engages in homosexual acts and who gets the coronavirus is being punished by God for those acts.”

“In Romans 1:27 the Bible says that living in homosexual behavior is sometimes punished by God with a ‘due penalty,’ which could be a disease, but not always,” Piper said. “And sometimes disease comes not as punishment, but as a merciful wake-up call that results in repentance and reconciliation and hope. God’s ways are simply more complex than the letter acknowledges.”

“I suspect though, that this clarification won’t even come close to satisfying the author of this letter since he considers it drivel and vulgar to even suggest that God controls this disease and would judge anyone with it,” Piper added. 

Weinstein told CP that MRFF and the 22 Christian clients it’s representing in the chaplain case do not have a misunderstanding of Piper’s book. Weinstein doubled down on his disdain for Piper’s Christian views. 

“Piper’s despicable assertion of ‘misunderstanding’ is a wretched insult to those 22 Christian armed forces chaplains who desperately came to MRFF for civil rights advocacy help to engage this superior military officer,” Weinstein added in an emailed response to Christian Post. 

“As for ‘not liking’ Piper’s declaration that the coronavirus is God’s judgment on sinners, and particularly for the ‘sin’ of ‘homosexual intercourse,’ [darn] right MRFF doesn’t like it! Nor should ANY thinking, compassionate and caring human being ‘like’ such blatant and brazen prejudice, bigotry and bullying!”

In the interview, Piper also responded to Weinstein’s claim in the letter that there is no “pastoral care and comfort” in Piper’s beliefs about the coronavirus. 

“My response is Sir, no. You are profoundly wrong. We have the best news in the world for the hardest moments in the world — the best care, the best comfort,” Piper said.  “The very heart of Christianity is that, through Christ, God rescues guilty sinners. That’s me and you and all of us. Through Christ, God rescues guilty sinners from his own wrath.”

Piper then cited Romans 5:9: “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by [Christ’s] blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”

“That’s what God sent Christ to do: rescue us from his own righteous punishment,” Piper added. 

END TIMES PROPHECY

I don’t often recommend books but this one is a must read for those interested in knowing what the Bible says about the end times. It will be a particularly valuable read for those that have been disappointed by end times authors that have proven to be misleading, if not totally wrong. Travis Snow covers a lot of ground in his book which will give you a solid eschatological foundation and encourage you to personally delve further yourself into the Scriptures, which is always profitable.

  • Why the concept of an End-Times Exodus is such a prominent theme in the Bible.
  • The truth about the Antichrist (the End-Times Pharaoh) and where he will come from.
  • Key events that will take place in Israel and the Middle East in the days ahead.
  • How the theology of the book of Revelation is linked to the End-Times Passover.
  • A straightforward chronology that explains Revelation and the timing of the Rapture.
  • How Passover is related to the famous Battle of Gog of Magog in Ezekiel 38-39.
  • The forgotten story of what Jesus is really going to do when He returns, including how He will act as a Miracle-Working New Moses on behalf of His people.
  • The prophecies that prove Jesus will go down into Egypt before He establishes His kingdom.
  • The steps the Lord’s people can take today to prepare for the end times and the Tribulation.

BILLIONS OF LOCUSTS THREATENING END TIMES FAMINE ACROSS AFRICA

Billions of locusts are eating everything in sight in East Africa right now, and every single day many more farms are being completely wiped out. Unfortunately, authorities are telling us that what we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, if extreme measures are not implemented immediately, authorities are claiming that this locust plague could literally get “500 times” worse in a few months. But it is difficult to imagine conditions getting any worse than they are at this moment. Ravenous locust swarms that are “the size of cities” are consuming crops at a staggering pace, and this could potentially cause famine on the African continent that is unlike anything we have ever seen before.

Dense clouds of insects, each of which consumes its own weight in food every day, have spread from Ethiopia and Somalia into Kenya, region’s worse infestation in decades.

It can be difficult to imagine a plague of “billions” of locusts. After all, there are only about 7 billion people living on the entire planet.

But this is actually happening. Right now “billions of locusts” are absolutely devastating East Africa. Jesus spoke of famines and pestilences (corona virus) in the last days before His return. These along with all of the other Middle East “end times” events should alert the church to the urgency of the hour and the coming escalating tribulation.

ISRAEL’S PROPHESIED END TIMES PEACE PLAN

The Bible tells us that in the “last days” before Jesus returns to rule and reign from Jerusalem, Israel will enter into a peace plan that ushers in a time of false security. This prophecy is in Daniel, the amazing 70 Weeks prophecy, which accurately predicted Jesus first coming so we need to take note of what it says about the last seven years (70th week) prior to His second coming.

Then he (Antichrist) shall confirm a covenant with many (Israel) for one week (70th week = last 7 years); but in the middle of the week, he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering (in the rebuilt temple). And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation (wrath of God), which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:27

When the disciples asked Jesus ” “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3

Jesus told them “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation (Antichrist), spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand),then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains… for there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, mo, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened (Rapture of the saints).” Matthew 24:21-22

Israel will enter a pact with the Antichrist (a Covenant with Death). They will trust Antichrist rather than the Most High.

Is President Donald Trump’s soon to be released Peace Pact which has been labelled “Deal of the Century” the one referred in Daniel.

Certainly not, Trump is not the Antichrist and only a Peace Pact put together by a Muslim leader will be accepted by its hostile Muslim neighbours. The long awaited Muslim Mahdi, whose appearance is imminent according to both Shia and Sunni leaders, could he be the Antichrist of Scripture? I think so, as do many end times scholars. Check out Joel Richardson’s best selling book The Islamic Antichrist.

The Palestinians have boycotted the Trump administration for two years and announced they will reject the much-trumpeted deal, despite their apparent lack of knowledge regarding its contents.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington Sunday night vowing to “make history” at a planned meeting with Trump for the unveiling of the deal.

ISIS vows to ‘fight the Jews,’ attack Israel as US prepares to release Mideast plan

The ISIS terror group disseminated an audio message Monday claiming it would attack Israel on the eve of the White House’s release of their Mideast peace plan.

The ISIS audio comes at a time when the terror group has suffered major defeats over the past year including the assassination of its leader and founder, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a U.S. attack in northwestern Syria.

IN THE “LAST DAYS” FAMINES, PESTILENCE AND DISEASE

Jesus said, in the last days before His return: “and there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:7b

Wuhan, the central China city at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak, has been put in quarantine, starting 1pm (AEDT) on Thursday, January 2020.

An ambulance at work in Wuhan as coronavirus cases rise. 

The deadly new strain of coronavirus is mutating into a more virulent disease that can be transmitted through airborne droplets from coughing or sneezing, Chinese ­scientists warned, as the death toll nearly doubled to nine in just 24 hours and the number of confirmed cases across the country climbed to 440.

Update January 27th: President Xi Jinping calls the  accelerating spread of coronavirus a grave situation, as the illness infects more than 1200 and kills 41. Desperate residents and doctors describe “doomsday” scenes at overwhelmed hospitals in the city at the centre of the outbreak

It has since spread to South Korea, Japan and Thailand, with the US, Macau and Taiwan also ­reporting their first confirmed cases on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Four cases of the deadly coronavirus have been confirmed in Australia, as authorities scramble to contact passengers who shared flights from China with the patients. Three men tested positive to the respiratory condition in NSW on Saturday, Jan 25th, state health authorities confirmed.

Chinese officials are scrambling to enforce containment measures, just days before hundreds of millions of people travel across the country and abroad for the Chinese New Year holiday.

Strict prevention and control measures are in force, granting authorities sweeping powers to lock down affected areas and quarantine patients — as occurred during the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak.

China also would step up co-operation with the World Health Organisation, China’s National Health Commission vice-minister, Li Bin said. An emergency WHO meeting in Geneva was scheduled for late Wednesday to determine whether to declare a rare global public health emergency over the disease.

In Australia, the NSW Health Department’s executive director of health protection, Jeremy McAn­ulty said, with the coronavirus having been declared a notifiable disease in NSW, “if necessary people can be placed in isolation”.

WHEN IS THE WRATH OF GOD POURED OUT ON AN UNREPENTANT REBELLIOUS WORLD?

Does the Bible reveal when the wrath of God will be poured out in the last days prior to Jesus return to earth? Yes! it does, and my friend Nelson Walters does a great job of revealing to you the many prophetic Scriptures that reveal when God pours out His wrath on an unrepentant, rebellious world.

First, the Rapture of His Saints followed immediately by the wrath of God poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements contained in the Seven Sealed Scroll which Jesus opens as recorded by John in Revelation 5 & 6.