We Are Asleep

| A review of Wake the Bride by Jeff Kinley |

  • 216 pages (including notes)
  • Published by Harvest House in 2015
  • A book everyone should read – whether you believe in God or not.
  • Especially encouraging for the church!
Who is the bride? The Theme and an Explanation of the Title

The love story between Christ and His church is structured just like a traditional Jewish marriage. There’s a betrothal, then the groom goes back to his father’s house to add on a home for himself and his bride (John 14, anyone?), then at an undisclosed time he comes back for his bride and there’s a ceremony, making the marriage official. In the church’s relationship to Christ, we’re at the point where He’s back at His Father’s house building a home for us, and when He’s done, He’ll come back for us – at any time. (Check out chapter 5 in this book for more amazing detail about that!)

The church – the Bride – (those who trust in Christ alone for salvation) is falling asleep, forgetting Who it is we love and that we need to be looking for Him to return. And this book points us to God’s call in His word to wake up because our Bridegroom is coming!

Jeff Kinley writes this book for those who want to know what’s going on these days and how they can live their lives when it looks like the world is nearing its end: “Chances are you’re one of those curious souls not satisfied with being left in the dark, imagining, guessing, hoping. You’re hungry for some concrete confidence concerning the last days of planet Earth and the return of Jesus Christ. [P] This book will help satisfy that hunger. It fills that void where your voyeuristic curiosity dwells, replacing it with knowledge and truth” (pp. 10).

My general {short} opinion: Like his book The Prophecy Pros Illustrated Guide to Tough Questions about the End Times written with Todd Hampson, it’s written with unique clarity and a laser focus on the truth of God’s word. There’s no padding out with “nifty illustrations” or flippant funny stories. It’s to the point, going through the book of Revelation, promise by promise, warning by warning, exhortation by exhortation for the church – from Christ to His bride – all with the same purpose: to be ready and looking for Him to come back for her. He points this out in the introduction: “Revelation was written to the church and for the church.”

The Long(er) Review

{If you want more quotes and details on structure and content, read on.}

Jeff Kinley structures (and introduces) the book as a mountain climb up the peak of Revelation: it won’t be a breeze, it will require preparation and research, and the top is attainable if you just take it step by step. End times prophecy can be intimidating, but this book proves that understanding it isn’t out of reach. “You think if you try, you might not make it to the top and comprehend God’s prophetic plan. [P] But others have been there and know the way. You won’t walk alone on this journey. Together, we’ll make the climb, and Scripture will be our personal guide…” (pp. 22).

Like in his book with Todd Hampson, he makes the subject accessible – acknowledging that there are hurdles and complications to make it through, but that it’s God’s purpose to reveal truth: “Yes, Revelation can be a foreboding mountain… But you can understand it. This book will be somewhat of a hike, one that involves exploring the clues God has scattered throughout Scripture and history” (pp. 23).

And, beginning in chapter two, we really dive into the book and start climbing the mountain!

The first leg of the climb (chapter two) introduces us to the Bridegroom, described in Revelation one: “…in the midst of the seven lampstands [was] One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire: His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” Each description in these verses is unpacked and cross-referenced in this chapter. When we look at this, we realize that He’s not the baby in the manger anymore, and we need to wake up and remember! Jeff reminds us that our Bridegroom is God – even John, who knew Him in person on earth, falls at His feet “as dead” when he sees Him – so I think we probably will, too… “our first reaction upon seeing the glorified Christ in heaven will be to fall on our faces in profound wonder and worship” (pp 35).

This is our Bridegroom – our Savior and God – the most glorious and only perfect being in all of time and space (and outside of them)! It’s hard to believe we have such wonder awaiting us – such love and glory.

In chapter three of the book we pass by and examine the letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3, especially Laodicea – the lukewarm church, who was definitely drowsy – and why this problem begins with individual Christians falling out of love with their Bridegroom. “Travel to Laodicea today and all you’ll find are rubble and ruins. But far worse than their landscape is their legacy. Jesus didn’t care about their banks, wool, or medical school. He cared about her–– the apple of His eye. The love of His heart. The church. His bride. [P] As we prepare ourselves for the return of the bridegroom, we must guard ourselves from living like lukewarm Laodiceans. Instead, let’s clothe ourselves with the Wedding Dress of pure love for Him” (pp. 55).

Then we lift our eyes to The Blessed Hope: the Rapture, and climb a bit further in chapters 4 and 5 of the book. What’s coming next for the church, and why does it matter? “‘Is what we have come to know as the Rapture legit or not?’… [P] The answer to this question is of monumental importance. If the events depicted in Revelation 6-`19 are still future, and if there is no rapture, then believers are destined to endure the horrible judgments and plagues God sends upon the earth during the… Great Tribulation. So it is not a belief to be easily dismissed” (pp. 57). We take a close look at what the Bible says about Christ coming back for His church, just why He’s doing it, and what it will be like – defying gravity!

Here’s a quote from 1 Thessalonians 4 – the classic Rapture passage: “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.

Jeff writes, “You can mock or dismiss the Rapture, but you cannot deny that when it occurs, it will send the world into mass panic… [P] However, for believers, it will be just the opposite experience. There will be peace instead of panic. Transformation instead of terror. Celebration, not confusion. Those Christians who are caught up will meet Jesus face-to-face, the mere thought of which brings us rapturous joy” (pp. 80).


Examining the Rapture matters, because: we need to know it’s the next thing coming for the church, and, because of that, the judgments of the Great Tribulation in Revelation 6-18 are more briefly examined in Wake the Bride in chapters 8-9. Jeff’s focus is on what awaits the Bride.

The next stop on the mountain brings us to the glorious future of the Bride in chapter 6: rewards at the Bema seat. But the book focuses on the important, central theme of even our rewards, and that is Jesus Christ – those rewards are for His glory – and it inspired me as a reader, rather than dragging me down with regret. It’s a chapter of correcting perspective: “When considering how great our God is, and Revelation’s vision of His regal glory and infinite worth, we are naturally captivated with awe. As a result, bringing honor to this God becomes our greatest passion and pursuit. Seeing who Jesus really is produces wonder, admiration, respect, amazement, astonishment, reverence, esteem, and worship. And the practical ‘so what’ of that filters down into our everyday lives in tangible ways” (pp. 96).

Then in chapter 7 it’s back to Revelation chapters 4 and 5, and the Throne! That’s the most jolting call to wake up, realizing that this glory of God is real, and that one day the Bride will be there singing, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” I get goosebumps thinking about it!

In chapter 10 we continue to look into our glorious future as we gaze in wonder at Revelation 19, the Return of Christ to earth in power and glory at Armageddon. “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns,” is how He’s described in verses 11-12. This is when the earth is cleansed in judgment by the Son of God – and His Bride will be with Him: “Mere words and human emotion are insufficient to describe what we will be feeling on that day. But this we do know. Unlike past military heroes who have… ridden furiously into the face of the enemy, there will be no apprehension or fear for us. Descending from the sky that day, our fright will have long been replaced by confidence and holy zeal” (pp. 159).

We won’t be disturbed by the unrelenting justice He portions out to the condemned, as we’ll be glorified ourselves and understand His perfection, even in His judgments. But if the instant death and damnation of millions of souls at Armageddon doesn’t motivate us to share the gospel now, then we’re definitely asleep.

Then we reach the top in my favorite two chapters: heaven and hope. Chapter 11 in the book examines our eternal future, being in the presence of God, and how it could never compare to anyone’s personal idea of heaven. People try to make heaven a place filled with their greatest desires – golf courses or ice cream or cats – but how can we improve on the actual promise of God that we’ll be in His perfect unveiled presence? “Even Heaven itself is described this way: ‘the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.’ [P] But imagine for a moment that this was the only thing we knew about heaven––that God is there and that we’ll be with Him. [P] Would that be enough for you?” (pp. 175).

Jeff finds (and quotes) many references from Scripture which describe heaven, and the reality is mind-blowing.

All of these truths are here to WAKE US UP! Chapter 12, ‘The Beauty Awakes,’ is about Christ’s Bride remembering who she is, and living like it – now. We’ve made it to the mountain top and see what God’s plan is for the church, and it’s a truly glorious plan, filled with victory, peace, joy, and the love and presence of God! The time we spend on this fading planet is short – so short in light of the eternal joy that awaits us – we need to spend it being alert and active… not asleep.

“You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.'” Revelation 22:20

“Jesus’s voice today trumpets reveille to a drowsy bride… The voice is a familiar one. We’ve heard it thousands of times before… It’s that same voice calling to us right now, awakening us to a new day in our life with Him. Wake up. Rise up. Look up! And it’s a voice we will hear again, maybe soon. A voice calling us skyward. Beloved, behold, your bridegroom comes. Wake up bride! Make yourself ready!” (pp. 197).

My Takeaway

Reading this book did help wake me up. But not in the unpleasant sort of way, like when your alarm goes off in the morning and you have to drag yourself out of a warm, soft bed. It’s more like this: you’re having a dream – an okay dream, where you get to do a lot of fun things, but it’s hard sometimes, and you feel like something’s missing, like there should be more to your life, more meaning – then you suddenly jolt awake and realize that Jesus could literally be coming any second! Your brain whirls with joy, excitement, thankfulness, and feeling of, “I don’t have enough time to do what God has me here to do!”

Waking up to the reality of what Jesus Christ has promised for His Bride, for the church, and of the eternal joy that awaits us, is the greatest comfort and motivation possible. It gives me courage, hope and joy, no matter what life brings.

This book is for “those curious souls not satisfied with being left in the dark” – for us members of the body of Christ, and for anyone who wants their days on this earth to count (just put your faith in Jesus Christ alone and join us in waiting for Him)! And I hope you’ll pick it up, and be amazed and jolted awake by the promises of God examined inside it’s pages.

You can find Jeff’s book anywhere books are sold – I recommend Harvest House Publishers or ThriftBooks. And you can find him on Instagram @jeff.kinley and @prophecyprospodcast, or on his website jeffkinley.com.

Thanks for reading! And remember you can find me at Generation 23:00 on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor, Rumble, YouTube and Telegram, and Anna.gen2300 on Instagram to keep up with me and the truly amazing promises I find every day in God’s word!

I’ll catch you next time – unless the Rapture comes first.

The Blessed Hope

It’s been on my heart to share why the Rapture is such a deep source of hope – for me and for everyone who believes Jesus Christ, who trusts in His death and resurrection to be made right with God.

I’ll start with the clearest teaching on the rapture found in God’s word, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18:

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 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. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Not only are these words comforting, but exciting! Even in the darkest hours, this promise gives hope.

Because I could not carry on without hope. Who can? How can we face the reality of suffering, from the everyday unkindness we encounter, to the heavy sorrow of death, unless there’s a purpose and an ending to it all?

Also, who would choose to experience the wrath of God which He promises will be poured out on this earth, when there’s a way to escape it? Yet so many choose to.

This post is about the one thing that offers hope and escape for all of us: The Rapture.

When my life gets stormy, I need an anchor – don’t we all? An anchor of hope that the storm will pass and I’ll make it through. And the waves have been pretty choppy lately. Sometimes I don’t know which is harder to bear: the personal struggles that touch every part of me on a daily basis or the need and strife of the entire world and every person that I feel so powerless to alleviate.

But not just any anchor will keep me secure. Only one which cannot be moved by anything will do that – one which no force can budge, no time erode, no person change. The only power like this, which has no power greater than itself, is God – and to make it personal, His promises concerning His church.

When boat-toppling waves seem to keep coming over my boat, I never quite despair because I know God will never let my anchor be shaken loose – His promise to take me home will always stand. I can never be lost in the sea of life, and I know will still be there when all the storms stop and He sails me home.

And He will bring me home: that’s the blessed hope.

That term comes from this passage in Titus:

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

Jesus Christ, my Savior, is coming back for me and for all of His church!

Why must the Rapture happen?

Jesus said He would come back, and for definite, specific reasons:

  1. To receive us to Himself:
    1. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14
  2. To deliver His own from His and the Father’s wrath coming in the tribulation described in Revelation:
    1. “…even Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come” 1 Thessalonians 1:10
  3. To complete our salvation and redeem our physical bodies:
    1. “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-53
  4. Because He is the Bridegroom, and He has a wedding to bring His bride to! (It’s Jewish tradition for the groom to come get his bride for the wedding ceremony at an unspecified time):
    1. “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7

These are reasons why the rapture is happening – because of the promises God made.

Why does the rapture give me hope?

Because it’s a sign-less event – a prophecy which could come to pass at any time… any time.

  • Any time… I will be leaving the difficulties of this world.
  • Any time… I will be in the perfect presence of God.
  • Any time… my Savior and Bridegroom will be keeping His promise to come for me!

You see, a sign-less prophetic event means that there is nothing that God’s word tells us must happen before the specific event can happen. It’s always been that way with the Rapture. That’s why Paul, in that letter to the Thessalonians refers to “we” – he was expecting Jesus Christ to return in his lifetime.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The fact that Christ hasn’t come back yet, doesn’t mean the Bible has been proved wrong. Peter tells us that He’s waiting. He’s waiting for more people to be saved. Peter wrote: “The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (Amplified translation).

Why the word rapture? | In 1 Thessalonians 4:18, the original Greek word is: harpazo, then translated to Latin: rapturo, then to English as caught up – hence calling this teaching “rapture”; and it means ‘to snatch away.’ The extended definition in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon is: “used of divine power transferring a person marvellously and swiftly from one place to another, to snatch or catch away.” (In case you’re wondering where the term ‘rapture’ comes from)

So, the fact that this is a sign-less event gives me hope in knowing I could be taken out of here at any time.

Because it’s a rescuing event – Jesus is coming for His bride before the Father pours out His judgments on the earth.

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Revelation 3:10

Some people object to the rapture because it seems like wishful thinking, like an escape made up by some Christians who want to find a way out of God’s judgments during the Tribulation.

But if you look at the Bible literally no one needs to make up a miraculous escape! It’s right there! Is it so far-fetched to believe that God would spare His children and Christ’s bride from His own wrath? There is no greater wrath than this. And it’s totally different from the tribulations the church has gone through for the past 2,000 years – i.e. much worse.

Then on the flip side of wrath, there is the anticipation of Christ’s return. There are two parts to the future coming of Jesus that Paul talks about, part one is for the church, and part two is with the church (both are a part of the teaching which people term “The Second Coming”):

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. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 {Part one}

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war… He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Revelation 19:11, 13-14 {Part two}

Then the Lord will go forth
And fight against those nations,

As He fights in the day of battle.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two
… Zechariah 14:3-4 {Part two}

There must be two parts, because in the first, Jesus stays in the air, and in the second He comes to stand on the earth. Also, if the saints are behind Him on white horses when He stands on the earth, how can they be caught up at the same time?

I’m counting on this rescue because 1) Jesus tells us that He’s returning to bring believers back with Him to His Father’s house, (not to judge the world, but rescue believers) and 2) He also told us that He’ll keep the church from the hour of trial that’s coming on the whole world (in John 14 and Revelation 3, respectively). He’s taking the church off-world, that’s clear from these passages. 1 Thessalonians 4 makes that especially clear: there’s a meeting in the air coming!

When I read all of these passages together, and take them literally, there’s only one point in the future when a rapture could happen: before the tribulation coming upon the whole world.

I won’t go on, as this isn’t a dissertation on a pre-tribulation rapture. But I couldn’t keep from touching on the subject, because it’s part of the greatness of the hope to be found in the promise of the Rapture.

It’s a personal event – The greatest hope for me is that it’s an act of love by my Savior – it’s personal. Jesus promised He would come back for the church and bring her back home to be with Him.

At any moment I could be face to face with the One who loves me perfectly. I’ll be away from struggle, illness, decay, and evil, and surrounded by love, justice, peace, joy, wholeness, and life!

But the greatest part is that I’ll be with Him, and there is no one like Him, my Yeshua, the Messiah. No person, no experience can compare to Him. He is the very definition of perfection, and He loves me! It’s humbling – and what joy! Just imagining it gives me the deepest, most satisfying joy I’ve ever known.

Knowing this, being absolutely sure that it could happen to me, lifts my heart and gives me joy no matter how dark life becomes. It’s amazing how nothing has ever stamped out that joy.

So, why even talk about the Rapture?

Well, who doesn’t want to think about the greatest joy possible? That’s why I talk about it! I love to think about it, and when it gives such joy, how can I keep it to myself? This hope, this joy, is available to everyone – yet so often people throw it away, or don’t even want to look at it. They reject Christ before even listening to what He has to say in His word (a.k.a. the Bible). Why?

What else have you – has any one ever – found which offers such hope and that’s based on what the actual God of the universe has revealed to us in written form?

Read it, I implore you! I implore all of us, those who know Jesus and those who don’t, to examine (or re-examine) His beautiful, unchanging words. Ask God the hard questions and listen to what He has to say through the promises already given to us in that best-selling book, the Bible. The answers are all right there, and He wants to reveal Himself to you!

That’s the best part about studying all the end times prophecies: they reveal so much about God.

Oh, the depth and the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! He did not leave His church as orphans in the 1st century, and He is still the same – He promised the Helper (the Holy Spirit) then, as He redeemed them and us spiritually, and now He promises to bring us to Him. They counted on Him then and He came through. We can count on Him with equal certainty now to do what He said.

“‘I will come again and receive you to myself…’ For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout… 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.” John 14 and 1 Thessalonians 4.

I hope these words bring you comfort and hope.

And I’ll say it again: read His words. Mine have no power – His are power. They’re just amazing, so read them!

Thanks for reading! And as always, you can find this post in audio/video format on Spotify, Anchor, Rumble and YouTube, and find me on Instagram and Telegram.

A Resource Everyone Should Use!

A review of The Prophecy Pros’ Illustrated Guide to Tough Questions About the End Times by Jeff Kinley and Todd Hampson.

(These two gentlemen are also hosts of the Prophecy Pros Podcast!)

God orchestrated this timing, because, after making a post about why studying Bible prophecy is important, I’m reviewing this book, which the perfect place to start if you want to get a better grip on the subject!

This book is:

  • Clear
  • Organized
  • Absolutely packed with Bible references
  • Easy to understand

This book is written to help you.

It makes getting a grip on Bible prophecy accessible. Even if you know nothing about what Bible prophecy is, what it talks about, where in the Bible to find it, or even you have no idea what the “End Times” are, this book takes you to the Bible, and lays out what God says about those things to come – the end of the earth as we know it.

It’s a pretty exciting read!

It’s like a roadmap, letting you know where to start, the places to go, and how it all looks from a birds-eye view, including the end of ends. Because that’s what the Bible is doing through prophecy: giving us the big picture of history. It’s a map that is there to be understood – it just takes a bit of examination to thoroughly make sense of it all and see how it weaves through all of history.

Here’s how it’s organized:

  • The book is organized in a way that makes it easy to read chapters out of order. Each chapter focuses on one subject, and are basically in {the Biblical} chronological order.
  • Each chapter is divided up into digestible sections and paragraphs, each of which is a question. This is because the book is organized around those “tough questions” about the end times.
  • For example, chapter three, ‘The Rapture/Appearing’ is organized like this:
  1. Are We Supposed to Watch for Signs?
  2. What Did Jesus Teach About Signs?
  3. What is the Super Sign?
  4. What Are the Geopolitical Signs?
  5. What Are the Signs of Nature?
  6. What Are the Spiritual Signs?
  7. What Are the Cultural Signs?
  8. What Are the Technological Signs?
  9. What Are the Signs of Convergence?
  10. How Close Are We?
  • Each question is answered within a page or two, and in straightforward English. Every answer is given using words meant to be clear and easily understood, and if there’s a theological or complex word, it’s defined.

Here’s how it’s clear and easy to understand:

  • There are a lot of terms and interpretation techniques swirling around Bible prophecy, which this book also defines, clearing away much of the fog of confusion.
  • The authors take the literal, common-sense approach to reading the Bible, which adds to the un-complicating of end times prophecies that this book is aiming to accomplish. That’s really a key to being able to understand Bible prophecy, because then it’s not open to imaginative or subjective interpretation. Where one prophecy is confusing, a place can be found for it on the timeline by looking at the clearly defined prophecies, and there are often multiple references to the same prophetic event scattered throughout the Bible which can shed light on the more confusing verse.
  • One of the most exciting things is the presence of lots of stats and charts. This helps make the information easy to remember.

But maybe the best part is how many Bible references there are!

  • Nothing is said unless they can reference it in God’s word. There are book, chapter and verse references scattered throughout every paragraph. That is what gives this study of the end times such power: it’s based totally on the word of God. If this wasn’t the case, it wouldn’t be worth the paper it’s printed on. But it’s apparent, even from a casual flip-through, that Jeff Kinley and Todd Hampson have taken care to study and unpack these end-times prophecies so that we can understand as clearly as possible what God is communicating.

So if you’re looking to study Bible Prophecy, and don’t know where to start, check out The Prophecy Pros’ Illustrated Guide to Tough Questions About the End Times! (Available on their website.)

If you prefer audio, check out The Prophecy Pros’ Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify for digestible bites about end times prophecy by Jeff and Todd. The episodes are under 30 minutes, and in the same clear, understandable style as the book.

You can also find the Prophecy Pros’ on their website prophecyprospodcast.com and on Instagram @prophecyprospodcast.

Thank you so much for reading! Remember that God wants us to understand the words that He’s given us, including end times prophecy!

Bible Prophecy: To study or not to study…

Why do I – or does anyone – study Bible prophecy?

I was talking about this with a close friend the other day, and I appreciate the fact that she doesn’t consider me too eccentric because I’ve started focusing so much on Bible prophecy. Still, I wish the church at large taught us more about Bible prophecy, because I feel like I’m in a shrinking minority within an already shrinking minority – studying prophecy and being a Bible-believing Christian, respectively. We’re missing out on the joy, assurance and motivation to live for Christ that a thorough knowledge of prophecy can bring!

For the last 25 years of my Christian life (which is all of it), up until a few months ago, I knew prophecy in the Bible was important, but it seemed a heavy subject, and, though generally decipherable, honestly, a bit confusing. It was something to study once in a while, and to instead just focus on the reality of Christ here and now in my daily study. (Although Bible prophecy is actually focused on Christ, too – more on that later.)

So what’s changed? What switch flipped in my brain?

It was the hope I found in Bible prophecy – a hope like nothing else. It is the promise of a future that is literally the best imaginable (not just by me, but by any human brain), which is so certain, that, for all intents and purposes, it’s happened already (because in a way it has, since God’s the one who’s making it happen)! I’ll be with Him, and every other believer, separated from death, sorrow and suffering forever. God’s put down His own Holy Spirit as a guarantee of that!

Specifically, what got me started, was that I was dwelling on heaven because my grandpa went up there back in March, and, boy, does the hope of heaven get real when someone who’s lived in the same house with you goes to be in the physical presence of Christ! That’s one aspect of that hope I was talking about, and another one that got me really excited is that I’ll be there, too, one day – and it might be closer than I’d thought.

So I started digging deeper, and I didn’t realize how out of the loop I’d been! The Middle East has been simmering away very nicely, as well as the decaying state of the church and the world, just like I’d been hearing for years that they would be but didn’t expect to see for a while yet.

It was like I’d been working on a puzzle, looked down at the ground for a second, then when I looked up, someone had put all the pieces together! Well, almost all.

It was 2020 that seems to have put every timeline into warp speed. I think we can all agree it was an unusually chaotic year – and in ways that lead straight down the road to Bible prophecy.

I watched one video, then another, then a lot more, and everyone kept pointing out the ways that events in the world are lining up unusually closely to what the Bible says will happen in the last days. It was so exciting – and a bit alarming – that I wanted to really study the Bible for myself to see if these teachers were right and to have the prophecies at my fingertips so that I could observe events to see if things were as far along as they seemed.

**A word about teachers: If they consistently line up with what the Bible says – what all of the Bible says – and interpret Bible prophecy literally, keeping God’s character and person in mind (and keeping Him as the plumb line), then they’re teaching is reasonable, powerful, and consistent. (They don’t set dates or contrive complicated calculations for the day of the rapture, either.)

So I started digging into Revelation, Daniel, Matthew 24, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and reading Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah and all the old testament prophets, looking up words and writing timelines – and my perspective grew more hopeful and more excited…

In fact, I had a major shift in my perspective.

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.

1 Thessalonians 4

Now, this no longer seems like a distant promise. I’m not saying with 100% certainty that the rapture will occur in my lifetime, but if we put this promise in the context of all the other prophecies yet to happen, I’m ready for the rapture to happen any time!

You see, there are no signs or prophecies that must precede the rapture, but after some study and learning I realized that there are prophecies that must precede the tribulation and Christ’s return to earth, and those can be observed. I’d never thought about that before. I assumed that the world would become more God-less before the rapture came, but that there was nothing that could give us any hint that it’s getting close. But, like I said, there are observable signs that the events after the rapture are getting close – which also means that the rapture is getting close!

I also didn’t realize just how many prophecies there are in the Bible. Lots of Christians (including me up until a few months ago) think of prophecy as a peripheral subject in the Bible, but 27% of all of God’s word is prophetic! I’ve mentioned this before, but it still strikes me quite forcibly. Now, this does include prophecies from Christ’s first coming, but, out of the 300+ prophecies about Christ Himself, only 100-something have happened, which leaves over 200 left that will happen!

Which means, that if we don’t study Bible prophecy, there will be significant gaps in our understanding of God through His word. The Bible is God revealing Himself to us – He wants us to understand Him, or He wouldn’t have bothered to give it to us – so prophecy is included in that. He wouldn’t have put prophecy in there if He didn’t expect us to be able to understand it (especially in these days, when we have completed Bibles). Prophecy is in there for very important reasons.

One of these reasons is in 1 Thessalonians 5:

For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5

People say that we shouldn’t spend too much time studying Bible prophecy because we can’t know when Christ will rapture His church – this passage is even misinterpreted to say we can’t see the signs of the last days before they’ve started. But it’s those “who shall not escape” who will be taken by surprise – not those who’ve been reading the words God gave us. He doesn’t want us to be taken by surprise! Why? Because knowing what will happen – especially knowing it’s getting close – is purifying (like John says in 1 John 3:3): we’re driven to share Christ’s salvation to the world and we don’t lose heart because we know we’ll be seeing our beloved Savior soon (literally at any moment).

For those who have trusted in Christ, our joy, our finish line, our rest is coming! We know for certain that it is – we don’t know when, but we know God keeps His promises, because He always has. And He gives us the signs of prophecy to give us hope.

One of the greatest, most precious effects of studying Bible prophecy is seeing just how faithful and able God is to keep His promises. He kept them so precisely and definitely in the past that I know I can 100% rely on Him to keep every promise for the future.

This is why studying Bible prophecy is hopeful and exciting! God promises that the hope of seeing Christ face-to-face is purifying – yet how can we be changed by this hope if we don’t see the great ways that God has kept, is keeping and will keep His promises?

For anyone who hasn’t trusted in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life, Bible prophecy is literally the most terrifying thing possible.

But if you are in Christ, literally the most wonderful promises are what Bible prophecy is talking about as far as you’re concerned!

1 Thessalonians 4 says it best: comfort one another with these words.

Thanks for reading! I pray that God will use this humble effort to help reveal the precious truths of Him and His promises to all who read this!

Maranatha! Until next time, unless the rapture comes first…

Why does Bible Prophecy matter?

This really struck me!

Because that’s a fundamental reason why Bible prophecy matters.

When over 100 events foretold in the Bible have happened just as it says they would, a person either has to deny history or believe that the Bible is true.

Because the prophecies in the Bible that have come to pass are so easily verifiable. Biblical texts can be dated, and any events they prophesy can be dated, so it’s easy to check if the prophecies have happened just as the Bible said they would.

So, have any happened that we can verify?

Off the top of my head, I can think of three that could easily be disproved by history – yet, importantly, have not been disproved, and are, in fact, easy to verify:

  • The birth, life and death of Jesus Christ, and when He would come.
    • Micah 5:2/Matthew 2:5-6; Zech 9:9/Matthew 21:4-5; Isaiah 53/Matthew 27:38
    • Daniel 9:25

  • The four Gentile kingdoms that would rule the known world: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.
    • Daniel 2:31-43, 7:2-7, 17

  • The return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel after being dispersed among the nations.
    • Ezekiel 36, Jeremiah 16:14-15

All of these can be verified – locations, people, nationalities, scale, even the dates in the case of when Christ would come the first time – by contemporary historians and accounts, by visiting the cities and countries these prophecies reference even today (think: Jerusalem, Israel, Babylon, Iran, Greece, Rome…), by visits to museums, even by quick searches on the internet for historic maps and timelines and travel blogs! These all corroborate, or literally testify to prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled.

And the evidence that prophecy has come to pass just as God’s prophets wrote down is rather overwhelming when one sits down and actually considers what’s there to see.

  • Micah 5 mentions Bethlehem by name, and…

It’s actually there!

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel.
..” Micah 5:2

  • Daniel 9:25 gives us the exact information for calculating when Israel’s Messiah would appear to His people the first time:

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 command to restore the city of Jerusalem came to pass and is recorded in Nehemiah, and of course the Messiah coming to His people is recorded in Luke 19. (The “weeks” are referring to 7 year periods; 7 years = 1 week.)

Here’s a precise calculation of the days in between:

If you want to study this for yourself, I can’t recommend The Coming Prince by Sir Robert Anderson highly enough! It’s all about the 70 weeks of Daniel, and gives you all the necessary components for calculating the dates.

  • The succession of world empires prophesied in Daniel is even easier to verify. Just visit the British Museum in London, and you can see artifacts from every single one! (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.) King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a statue, with a gold head, sliver chest and arms, bronze belly and thighs, iron legs, and feet made of mixed iron and clay, and if we study history, we see that Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome were all world empires that succeeded each other.1

(Somehow I didn’t manage to get any pictures of their prolific collection of Greek artifacts…)

Here’s a summary of what Daniel wrote concerning those kingdoms in 504 BC, during the reign of the first kingdom of the prophecy, Babylon, and it’s king, Nebuchadnezzar:

This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay…. This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory… But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything… {Daniel 2}

Actually, some skeptics think the book of Daniel must have been written after the fall of the Roman empire because this passage describes history so exactly!

  • My last example is Israel becoming a nation again after the Jews had been scattered in over 100 nations all over the world for nearly 2,000 years. And this is pretty easy to verify. You can hop on a plane to go see it.

Here’s a clip about Israelis celebrating their 73rd independence day back in April:

I love this quote from The Prophecy Pros Illustrated Guide to Tough Questions About the End Times concerning Israel becoming a nation:

“Experts also call it the super-sign because of the sheer magnitude (and statistical impossibility) of this sign coming to pass… Jeremiah’s prophecy reminds us that Israel becoming a nation again was a greater miracle than Moses parting the Red Sea.”

And here’s that Jeremiah prophecy:

“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.” {Jeremiah 16:15-16}

I could go on, but the point of the quote (from the top of this post) is clear.

…prophecy admits of no half-faith.

Either the Bible is wrong or it’s right, and if so many prophecies have come to pass exactly as God said they would, now we’re just waiting for the remaining prophecies to play out in real space, time and history.

There are 333 prophecies about Christ alone. 109 were fulfilled when He came the first time – so there are 224 left to go! Including:

  • His coming to gather the church in the clouds
  • His coming again to stand on the Mount of Olives (just outside Jerusalem)
  • His defeating the Antichrist and the armies gathered against Him when He returns to earth

So, if you have a half-faith in what you’ve heard about the Bible (or even no faith), how do its verified prophecies impact you? What are they saying about God and His ability to bring to pass whatever He says?

Either there are prophecies that have come to pass or there aren’t. And the precision and accuracy of the Bible’s prophecies that have occurred so far are realities we can either accept or deny. But they have happened and we can see that.

Because God promised they would.

Prophecy in the Bible is all about God. That’s it.

If they didn’t come to pass as He said, then they would prove Him a liar, weak and incapable of keeping His promises – His word would mean nothing, and in-correctly fulfilled prophecies would invalidate everything else He’s ever said. It’s His name that’s at stake.

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel…
Besides Me there is no God.
And who can proclaim as I do?
Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,
Since I appointed the ancient people.

And the things that are coming and shall come,
Let them show these to them.
Do not fear, nor be afraid;
Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
You are My witnesses.

Is there a God besides Me?
Indeed there is no other Rock;
I know not one.’ ”
Isaiah 44:6-8

But fulfilled prophecy shows Him to be the all-powerful, all-knowing, self-existing, faithful, loving, one true God that He proclaims Himself to be.

And remember, there are hundreds of prophecies yet to happen.

So let’s believe God and be looking for them, because they could be happening soon!

Breaking Middle East News!

It’s rather alarming (and exciting in a roundabout way) to see the alliance of the war of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 coming closer together. Aligning is the word I would use.

There was a short but jam-packed Middle East update from Amir Tsarfati of Behold Israel this morning, and I wanted to share it!

I’ve talked a little about the Ezekiel 38 war, but if you’d like a more comprehensive look at the Biblical and historic context, here’s another video from Amir on the subject:

If you know Christ, you’re living in exciting times!

What are we looking for? {Part 2}

Thanks for continuing with me on this topic! Now I’m looking at what’s going on in the world which look like ticks on the last hour clock.

A Quick Reminder That’s why I want to talk about these things: from what I see and what I read in the Bible, we really do seem so close to the end of the last hour.

  • Which means God’s judgment is coming…
  • Which means you are running out of time to be saved by Him!
  • Or, if you know Him, we’re running out of time to share the glorious truth of Christ with the world!

I just don’t want us to forget the reason and therefore the urgency for talking about the last hour – and the fact that we can see it coming to an end!

To get going, here’s what I mean when I talk about “the world”: It is anyone who has a spirit that is separated from God and has rejected reconciliation with Him, and is therefore not a part of the true church, which is everyone who has been reconciled to God through Christ alone. That’s the nutshell definition.

So, here’s what the Bible has to say about the world in the last hour:

2 Peter 3: …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.” {This can also be seen in churches.}

2 Thessalonians 2: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at workThe coming of the lawless one 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.

2 Timothy 3: But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.

Matthew 24: And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

I see a trend… Can you see a trend? Of course, history shows us that the world has always been like this in some degree. But it’s the frequency and intensity of our day that indicate we’re approaching the end of the last hour.

Because it’s not simply a trend that we now observe, but acceleration. (Remember that this trajectory is what we see in the church? See my post: What are we looking for? {Part 1} for more on that.)

And this is an acceleration of lawlessness.

So, what is lawlessness, exactly?

The translation from New Testament Greek is: contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness. Which law?

In a nutshell, it’s the righteousness of God.

An expanded definition would be the knowledge of God – knowing what He’s like, that He’s without evil, that He’s the Creator of all things, acknowledging God as the source of wisdom and as truth itself.

So, that is the law, and the rejection of it is the lawlessness.

Romans 1 gives us a vivid picture of the trajectory of lawlessness. This cycle has occurred throughout history, reaching its zenith just before the judgment of God is poured out (think of the flood, the tower of Babel and Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis, or the captivity of Israel to Babylon in 2 Kings). Genesis 6 describes this: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (this was just before the flood). That’s where lawlessness leads, and when God’s judgment comes.

Romans 1: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Do we see the world going in this direction?

I would suggest we look at the spirit described in this passage, and then look at the world’s spirit right now – Where does the world seem like it wants to go and is actually striving to go?

Because it definitely wants to go somewhere without God or His truth.

And it wants to go there in one spirit, which is not God’s spirit, but that spirit of lawlessness. That’s what the acceleration is leading to: oneness in lawlessness.

And we sure see that Godless spirit promoted everywhere, don’t we?

I think of the “Coexist” bumper sticker (quite popular here in California), made up of symbols from many different religions. How about the idea of open borders? Or agencies that have authority and jurisdiction over the whole world in order to deal with world crises like COVID? What about the United Nations? Isn’t this what happened at the tower of Babel?:

The trend is clear – and has been so throughout history: oneness, with mankind at the center, apart from God.

I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of what’s going on in the world, but if you take an objective look at the world today, especially the western or “westernized” world, we can see a longing for peace, hope, love, and, above all, unity among people and nations – but instead it keeps falling into chaos with wars, sickness, financial instability, hatred between groups and individuals, and unprecedented confusion.

Why does humankind want peace and unity? Well…

  1. Because that’s the state in which God created the world, and specifically His design for man’s unbroken relationship with Himself, and therefore meant for it to be.
  2. Because Satan, the prince of this world, longs for it in order to thwart God’s intention for humankind – he promotes a counterfeit to the unity God intended, based on men rather than God.
  3. Lawlessness is at work, “raising the dough” of the bread of lawlessness until it’s ready, and God withdraws His restraining power, allowing Satan to complete the rise as the world’s desire for a God-less society is realized.

So, why does the world still seem to be falling into confusion, hatred and suffering instead of achieving this unity? Well, when whole societies strive for peace without God, the source of truth, what can you expect?

One day the world will think it’s achieved unity apart from God through lawlessness – but it won’t (and can’t) last very long.

This God-less society realized is what we see in Revelation. For all of history mankind has been trying to throw off the authority of God, and once the last hour strikes, God will remove Himself as a restraining influence.

[The Holy Spirit will still be here, just in a somewhat different capacity – still saving souls and revealing truth, but not restraining as He’s doing now through the church.]

Mankind will finally get what it thinks it wants, and this will be the result – what the world will look like when this lawlessness has reached it’s peak and is ready to be put in the oven of God’s judgment.

  • The world – after plunging into chaos (1) – comes together under one ruler (2), one economy (3), and in one spirit that rejects the true God.
    • For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matthew 24:7-8
    • A man will rise up and be allowed to rule the world, bringing what people think is peace and unity.
      • The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast… And all the world marveled and followed the beast. Revelation 13
    • Israel will be kicked out of her land (again) and nearly destroyed.
      • 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: I will bring the one-third through the fire” Zechariah 13
    • The world ruler will prevail over Christians.
      • It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. Revelation 13
    • There will be an inclusive religion without God, which the whole world will be a part of.
      • So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”… And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb… Revelation 13

The coming of the lawless one 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.

2 Thessalonians 2

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work

And when it’s reached it’s capacity, the lawless one will be revealed.

This is when Satan’s influence will be unleashed as he rules the world through this lawless one, this Beast of Revelation – known to many as the Antichrist.

This lawlessness now, which is accelerating, is the spirit of 1) Satan, 2) the Antichrist, 3) all who reject Christ. 1 John 2 makes it clear what this lawlessness is: He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

So, what do we do with this information? Well, there’s a choice to be made.

Why would anyone want to be a part of that lawlessness? Of a world whose defining characteristic is a hatred of God? Especially when it is so simple to avoid it: he who acknowledges the Son has the Father alsoIf what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. (1 John 2)

The lawless world will look like this:

So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast?”Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb… Revelation 13:4, 6-8

 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13:16-17

For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury… In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow Revelation 18:3

Judgment is coming.

Believe God now! Receive the life that He offers freely in Jesus Christ!

Looking at the world, can’t you see that it’s more lawless, more without God than ever? This is a resounding tick on the last hour clock!

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

I’m hoping to soon put together a post about how this spirit of lawlessness is preparing the world for the Antichrist – the Beast of Revelation.

But for now, thanks so much for joining me, and I pray that God will use my humble endeavors to help illumine His truth in His word to you! So, until next time, unless the Rapture comes first!

We are asleep: A book review of 'Wake the Bride' by Jeff Kinley Generation 23:00

The church is Jesus's bride and she should be excited for Him to come for her – but is she? Jeff Kinley opens God's word, and inspires believers with our Savior's call to be ready for Him – because He loves us and is bringing us back to glory – and His call to unbelievers to join us by putting faith in Him to not miss out on the hope of His return. "Jesus's voice today trumpets reveille to a drowsy bride…Wake up. Rise up. Look up! And it's a voice we will hear again, maybe soon. A voice calling us skyward. Beloved, behold, your bridegroom comes. Wake up bride! Make yourself ready!" | Read the blog: gen2300.com | Find Gen2300 on Telegram @Generation 23:00 | On Instagram @anna.gen2300 | On Spotify, Google podcasts, Anchor as Generation 23:00 |
  1. We are asleep: A book review of 'Wake the Bride' by Jeff Kinley
  2. The Blessed Hope
  3. Bible Prophecy: To Study or Not to Study?
  4. Why does Bible Prophecy matter?
  5. What are we looking for? {Part 2: The World}

What are we looking for? {Part 1}

What’s next?

As the days tick by, and I study God’s word, I find myself wondering which ticks on the last hour clock I’m seeing. Because I want to be seeing what’s really there – fitting current events into Bible prophecy, versus fitting Bible prophecy into current events (or jamming them in). I can only live in reality if I study God’s timeline with care and precision.

And I can say that, from what I’ve studied and observed, what I see in the world is lining up with many of God’s blueprints for the last hour (and what comes after).

Of course, the prophecies about Israel are being fulfilled in sparkling clarity before our very eyes, but what other Bible prophecies are we looking for?

Well, there are plenty I can see happening or getting ready to happen. Some seem to be specific, and some more general.

I touched on some of the general prophecies in my post Where in the Bible are the Prophecies? Most of the prophecies relating to the Church are of this variety, as well as many that relate to the world (although not all).

I think there’s a key word to spotting these general prophecies happening in real life: acceleration – in frequency and intensity.

The idea that the conditions the Bible describes in the last hour accelerate can actually be seen in the Bible:

Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:11-14

They’re referred to as “labor pangs” (which we would term contractions now), increasing in intensity and speed as the end approaches:

For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. I Thessalonians 5:2-3

When I look at the church and the world today, these verses really do describe both. Let’s look at some more verses that expound on these ideas of what it will be like in the last hour for the church.

{I’ll look at the world in the second part of this post.}

The Church:

2 Thessalonians 2: Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 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 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 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

2 Timothy 3: But know this, that in the last days… all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Jude:  But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

I John 2: 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. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us… Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

Revelation 3: Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked

I won’t expound too much, because if you look at these verses and then at the church at large, their increasing fulfillment is pretty clear.

I see three categories in these descriptions of the church during the last hour:

  1. God is restraining evil and His judgment of it by His Spirit in believers until He and they are taken out of the way (2 Thess. 2).
  2. The church will be purified, with the true body of Christ being set apart from those who are falling away.
  3. There will be a falling away from the truth in the church, with many, many false teachers arising who entice professing believers away – false prophets (Matt. 24), imposters (2 Tim. 3), liars denying Jesus is the Christ (1 John 2), mockers who ridicule God’s word (Jude). It will also fall away when becomes puffed up, basing its success on its wealth (Rev. 3).


Think of the true church – holding to the truth of God’s word as literal, real and completely from God – as a rubber band that is being stretched thinner and thinner as lawlessness expands. In centuries past, the rubber band was much thicker, when God’s word was considered inerrant and infallible in more church congregations, therefore making it’s restraining influence more impactful on the lawlessness in the world. But as more church congregations doubt the trustworthiness of ALL of God’s word, and fewer individuals put their faith in Christ alone, the rubber band’s width has shrunk. It’s the Holy Spirit in true believers that is actually doing the restraining, so the rubber band will never snap – before it is overwhelmed, God will take it out of the way, lawlessness will engulf the world and then He will pour out His judgment.

Do we see this? I do! Many friends of mine who believe that God’s word is without error and is actually the perfect word from God have a real struggle finding a church that teaches and functions according to that reality.

Look up doctrinal statements on church websites – how many say that the Bible is God’s inspired and inerrant word? How many actually have doctrinal statements? How many will capitulate to popular philosophies and movements so as not to offend the world? How many emphasize love and don’t tell people they’re slaves to sin and that Jesus Christ came to be their Savior? “All are welcome” – well, of course, because Christ came to save all people – but are churches with those signs on their buildings actually telling people so once they’re inside? One step further in this decay is seeing churches on my visits to the UK that aren’t even used as churches anymore – they’re community centers or clubs or even cafes. Where is the church being the church?

Specific prophecy: the falling away. Moving from general to specific, 2 Thessalonians mentions the falling away. What is this, precisely? I don’t have a definitive answer for myself, yet. So look for a post at a later date, once I’ve done some studying. It could be the culmination of the “falling away” process – but don’t quote me on that, yet. As I said, more studying (and a separate post) needed! However, it is clear from Scripture that there is also a general falling away.

The rubber band now is being stretched to the limit. (And we’ll get to the “lawlessness” of 2 Thessalonians 2 in part 2.)

But the band still there! And that leads me to…

Purifying and Falling Away

I lumped these two together because I see these two things happening at the same time. One could say that each produces the other.

The word for “falling away” in the New Testament Greek is literally translated “falling away, defection, apostasy,” and the Thayer’s Greek Lexicon adds “from true religion.” And once some people have defected, that means there are some remaining who haven’t, who are “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2); this is the church being purified. And it’s happening at a very fast rate these days!

Like John said: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us…

But where do we see these people going when they go “out from us”?

I see professing believers going for a myriad of teachers and teachings – all of which deny that the Bible is the literal, straight-from-God, without-error complete word of God. That’s what they all have in common, no matter how diverse the places are to which people are defecting – or falling away.

Now, teachings/teachers which question whether the Bible is inerrant and God-breathed have been plaguing the church from the beginning (Paul, John and Peter often correct erroneous teachings in their epistles), so how can anyone say that this happening in our day can be interpreted as ticks on the last hour clock?

We go back to the word acceleration.

Questioning the reliability of God’s word is everywhere! In the world and in churches. Like I mentioned before, finding a church which teaches the whole of the Bible as error-less, literal, and God-spoken feels nearly impossible these days. People take the word of science professors over the word of God, call the Bible racist, intolerant, colonialist, patriarchal, deny God’s promises to Israel and say they belong to the church, allegorize prophecy, mix Scripture with philosophy, write books and “translations” which don’t take God’s authorial intent into account, and on and on… Often the people who are spreading these un-Biblical teachings are affiliated with supposedly Christian groups – some are even pastors!

{Speaking of pastors, my very first pastor now has a ministry where he deconstructs false teachings of specific teachers and movements – by name. He’s Jim Steel, and you can find him at Standing True, on his YouTube channel and podcast, Biblical Minute! He truly loves Christ and His word, and does his research.}

Because of technology, never in history has the spread of defective teaching been so easy, or so fast, either. In the church of Acts, congregations had to wait for a parchment to be delivered. How fast could defective teaching spread using that method? Years, I’d say. But now a pastor can read a blog published 2 minutes ago, re-tweet it, and infect all of his followers (not to mention his congregation), who can then spread it themselves just as fast! Never in history has communication been so fast and easy. Again, acceleration.

And the fact that so much un-Biblical teaching has spread testifies to the reality that discernment is on the wane. People just don’t seem to detect when they hear something contrary to the word of God – especially because that old dragon, Satan, uses his favorite trick of mixing a lie with God’s truth. This what the Bible calls “leavening.”

The general falling away and the mystery of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2 are both leavening processes. It’s like when you mix ingredients for bread, including the yeast, and you set the timer for it to rise to a particular size – the yeast (formerly known as leaven) reacts with the flour, water, salt, etc. to expand the dough. That’s what happens when Satan mixes a little lie with God’s truth – it continues through human teachers to this day, until the false church and the lawlessness of the world are ready to be baked.

So, these are all things that you can actually see now.

Now, we don’t want to leave out the things that this acceleration is leading up to… Because God has end goals for everything that happens, and He tells us what those are!

  1. The church being purified
    1. Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27
  2. The church being filled and completed
    1. …that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ… Ephesians 3:8
      1. Christ is being preached to the world until the “fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25).
  3. For the church to be ready for Christ’s coming for her
    1. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6
    2. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Philippians 3:20-21
    3. but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:2-3
      1. This hope and readiness is purifying!
  4. The church’s gathering to Christ
    1. 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. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
  5. Escaping God’s wrath! We’re used to restrain now, but we’ll be out of the way one day.
    1. how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:9b-10

So, I want to challenge you a little…

If you’re in a church, do you see an acceleration of teaching that doesn’t have God’s word as the ultimate authority? Do you see those who hold to God’s word as such being ignored, sidelined, maligned or even attacked? Do you see the church’s influence on the world toward righteousness diminishing, and many pastors and Christians who are accepted by the world because they don’t disagree with it?

If you don’t, then it is absolutely vital that you take a good look around and ask God to help you see! This could save you from falling away yourself, and change you from a professing believer, to one who has an unshakable hope in Christ and the truth of God’s word! Or strengthen your faith in better understanding God’s truth.

If you do see it… I feel your discouragement! Believers standing on God’s word alone as truth can feel totally inadequate to do a jot to dispel the engulfing darkness of lies and shine the light of truth. Thankfully, that’s not our job! God’s truth can never be changed or undone or lose its power, even if the entire world rejects it.

  • John 16:33 is still in effect: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” And Christ is coming back! He’d just told the disciples a couple of chapters before: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself (John 14:3). Now that is hope!

If you’re not in a church, 1) don’t let this stuff discourage you from seeking God’s truth, because if you just compare any church to what the Bible teaches, then you can find a real one. And 2) the mess and confusion of today’s church is Bible prophecy being fulfilled. So, 3) stop doubting God, because time is running out for Him to save you!

If the church is in this state – and accelerating – as the Bible warned us it would be, then it is a loud tick on the last hour clock.

But God isn’t done with the church yet! He’s still adding to it! Remember…

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.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:7, 9

I’ll be doing a “part 2” of this post soon, all about what to be looking for in the world that show us we’re in the last few minutes of the last hour. So, check back or subscribe if you’d like to know when it’s up!

Thanks for joining me, and remember to keep your eyes on the clock! Until next time – unless the rapture comes first!

Where is Israel on the last hour clock?

“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Revelation 19:10

I want to start with an analogy: think of the ticks on the last hour clock as Israel – Jesus Christ is the reason for the clock to exist in the first place – And the result the clock is supposed to produce the restoration of man to God, both of Jews and everyone else, by revealing God’s plan through Christ. The end of the book of Revelation makes this clear: ‘And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.’ God wants to restore everyone to the perfection He intended, not to judge them. Prophecy is about how He has done and will do both through Jesus Christ – I just want us to remember that.

This post focuses on the fact that we couldn’t even read the last hour clock without Israel. Just like when we learn how to read a clock, we can learn how to read the direction of the world and what God is doing with it by understanding what He’s done, is doing and will do with Israel.

Ever since Abraham, God has been working out His plan for the world through Israel. His promises to this nation are unconditional, which means that He’s still working out His plan for the world through Israel!

Thus says the Lord,
Who gives the sun for a light by day,
The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(The Lord of hosts is His name): “If those ordinances depart
From before Me, says the Lord,
Then the seed of Israel shall also cease
From being a nation before Me forever.”
Jeremiah 31:35-36

Until the sun and moon stop working, Israel keeps ticking away on the last hour clock. Take this latest clash with Hamas.

This particular attack from Hamas (and we might as well say Iran), isn’t precisely foretold by any of the Biblical prophets, although the spirit of those organizations is.

Psalm 83 has been the spirit of Israel’s neighbors for decades:

For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

Attacks on Israel such as the war of Independence in 1948, the Six Day War in 1967, the Yom Kippur War in 1976, and the several intifadas launched against Israel in the last few decades, were motivated by the spirit of cutting them off from being a nation (as Psalm 83:4 makes clear). If you keep reading that passage, the historic names of the surrounding Arab nations are there – Edom, Moab, Ammon, Assyria…

But this particular attack wasn’t primarily provoked by the sheer existence of Israel – it was a political move by Hamas (who control Gaza) to gain and/or prove their popularity with all of the Palestinian people after the Fatah party president Mahmoud Abbas canceled their elections several weeks ago (when he realized he would lose – to Hamas). Notice that the West Bank/Abbas section of the Palestinians haven’t been firing rockets at Israel; it’s been the religious arm of the Palestinians in Gaza, where Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are in control. The former is focused on the national/statehood aspect, and the other on spreading Islam (which explains their position as a proxy for Iran).

All of that being said, there are prophetic ticks in this latest middle east action. So let’s examine the situation to see what they might be.

These would be:

  • That Israel is secure and prosperous
  • None of her neighbors are condemning her, at least not strongly (apart from, of course, Iran and Turkey), and are certainly not attacking on behalf of Hamas or the Palestinians, and neither are any of the important players in the western world.

Now let’s look at how those could be ticks on the last hour clock.

  1. Israel is secure and prosperous.

Ezekiel describes them as “a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gate,” with “the waste places that are again inhabited,” and “a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land” (Ezekiel 38:11-12).

As the last hour ticks down, the Jews will be back in their land, gathered from the nations (see: WWII), and growing: their population, economy, stability.

I’ll touch on a few of the ways Israel is growing:

They’re planning a new oil pipeline to the Mediterranean, which could move 1.2 million barrels from Eilat to Ashkelon!1

They’re making deals with countries in the region, like the $10 billion investment of the United Arab Emirates into the Israeli economy.2

As of this year, Israel is now in the top-20-economies-in-the-world club, at number 19, with $43.7 thousand per capita.3

They’re also innovating on the forefront of many fields: medical, agricultural, scientific, technological, and more.4

Israel also has a military that you don’t want to mess with…5 The technological capabilities are first-class, with very precise targeting systems, and the space-age interception of the Iron Dome.

Israel’s Iron Dome interceptors seen on the right as Hamas launched rockets from Beit Lahia, northern Gaza, on Friday. Anas Baba/AFP via Getty Images

They export worldwide, being the 9th largest exporter of tropical fruit in the world.6

 “But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown.” Ezekiel 36:8-9

Now the ceasefire has begun on Israel’s terms. It’s a unilateral ceasefire because that gives Israel the power to eradicate any future threats that even think about arising in Gaza. Israel is confident and strong enough to tell the world that this is how it’s going to be.

I could go on, but you get the picture!

Israel must be in this situation, because a) God promised it, b) they have to be in a position of some prestige and importance in the world to “confirm a covenant” with the prince that shall come, a.k.a. the Antichrist (Daniel 9:27), and c) be prosperous enough that Rosh, Persia, and Gomer will come down to plunder its riches.

It’s certainly taking the right steps to be in that position.

Some keen observers have pointed out that Iran may be testing the waters, seeing how able Israel is to defend itself. Israel is surrounded by terror proxies of Iran: Hamas to the south in Gaza and the Houthis in Yemen with rockets that will now reach southern Israel, Hezbollah in Lebanon to the north, and Shiite militias in Iraq to the east, plus Iran itself building underground silos to house rockets that will reach to every part of the Middle East. But Iran obviously has decided that now is not the time to attack Israel outright. Not that they outright told Hamas to attack Israel, either – as I mentioned, their rockets were launched to gain support and prestige among the Palestinian voters – although much (if not all) of their weapon supplies came from Iran at one point or another. And Hezbollah has distanced itself from any missiles that were fired from within Lebanon’s borders.7

I would hazard a guess that Iran will never feel strong enough to take on Israel without serious help. And that guess is based on the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel 38, where Persia (ancient name for Iran) is a part of an alliance with Rosh, Gomer, Put and Kush. And this event is based on Israel being there, and – I would further imply – so strong, that it takes the involvement of a superpower, plus several other countries, to actually invade, and that other countries outside of the alliance will not feel it necessary or prudent to intervene on Israel’s behalf.

My first thought when I heard of the Hamas conflict with Israel over the past couple of weeks, and Israel’s unquestionable ability to deal with it swiftly and effectively, was, “Wait, doesn’t Israel need to be somewhat militarily weak in order for the alliance in the war of Gog and Magog to be emboldened to attack them? And wouldn’t the possible liberal and weaker government that was in the works play into that?”

Then I started connecting some more dots, and, as this post has so far demonstrated, I could see that the current events are actually lining up in a more effective way than my snap judgment had perceived.

2. Israel is not being universally condemned for this conflict by her neighbors or other governments.

The most significant of non-condemners are Israel’s Arab neighbors:

  • The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, Kuwait, and even Saudi Arabia have been practically silent about the entire issue.8
    • Some of these countries, plus Egypt, have called for a ceasefire, and some have even voiced a willingness to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas – a much more restrained response than during past conflicts.
    • An interesting observation is that Turkey has spoken very vehemently against Israel, and in support of Hamas (Turkey is actually a supporter of Hamas) – remember their going to Russia to say it was time to teach Israel a lesson? Interesting because they’re going to be a part of the Ezekiel 38 alliance.
  • The United Arab Emirates has actually told Hamas that planned infrastructure projects are in danger if they continue to attack Israel.9

There have also been some significant supporters from Europe and other parts of the world, who have been unequivocal in their support of Israel’s right to defend itself:8

  • Greece
  • Germany
  • Czech Republic
  • Italy
  • Hungary
  • Ukraine
  • Slovenia
  • Poland
  • Japan
  • Slovakia
  • Austria

That last one was rather significant, with the JCPOA talks being in Vienna. Their raising the Israeli flag atop the chancellor’s building was something the Iranian ambassador didn’t appreciate – as evidenced by his cancelling his meeting with the Austrian foreign minister.

The Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Ukraine all flew Israeli flags over their capital cities, and the rest tweeted or officially stated their support of Israel and condemnation of the rocket fire from Hamas. The German, Czech and Slovakian foreign ministers actually just visited Israel to show their support!10

The U.S. position is slightly more complex, but our government has expressly stated that we support Israel’s right to defend themselves.

Summing Up

So, where do these ticks put Israel on the last hour clock?

Israel is respected and strong as she has never been since she became a nation in 1948 – and certainly since she was dispersed in the 1st century!

Even I, who am relatively young in my experience of history and world affairs, remember when Israel seemed to be constantly attacked and in danger of being overwhelmed by her hostile neighbors. It seems that almost overnight she’s soared to prosperity and influence – which makes me think that the last few ticks left on the last hour clock will fly by!

She’s flown pretty high, but she could be a bit more prosperous and influential. It will need to be enough to test the friendship of that last member of the Ezekiel 38 alliance to become hostile towards her: Russia.

“Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.” ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: 11 You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’— 12 to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.” Ezekiel 38:8-12

Based on these verses, at the time of the attack:

  • Israel is:
    • Brought back from the sword
    • Gathered from many people
    • A land which had long been desolate (and is no longer)
    • A place where its people now dwell safely
    • A place of unwalled villages
    • A peaceful people – who just want peace
    • A place filling with plunder-able goods: oil, technology, food, diamonds…

It looks to me like she’s nearly ready!

Remember, it’s laid out in God’s plans, so it was always bound to happen. And how exciting to see it with our very eyes!

It’s also a blaring reminder that so many people are running out of time to escape the judgment that will come on the world when the last hour strikes. Christ has done everything so that we can escape judgment and have pure, perfect eternal life with Him – to know Him as we were created to do, without the hindrance and separation of sin – and all we have to do to get those things is to trust Him and trust in Him to keep His promises.

Because He always keeps His promises! And, except for His first coming to earth to be the Savior, there have never been so many prophecies fulfilled as there have been in the generations since 1948!

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. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!” Matthew 24:32-33

So, don’t forget that God wants you to be saved and is still waiting to pour out His judgment…

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

But the time is near!

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. Revelation 1:3

So – keep your eye on the clock until next time, or the rapture comes!

America is Sliding down into Bible Prophecy

For a patriotic American, the news is depressing. For a Christian trusting the promises in God’s word, it’s exciting.

The latest news that the U.S. is leaving the Middle East, and General Mackenzie’s admission1 that we don’t have air or sea superiority for the first time anywhere since the Korean War, tempts me to be ashamed of being an American in this day and age.

But the U.S. isn’t a major player in Bible prophecy – at least it’s not mentioned specifically. So it needs to step down as a major power, or at least be sort of subsumed into a one-world governing system. And that never could have happened under an America-loving patriot like President Trump. Where does “Make America Great Again” fit into a one-world government?

Because there must be a central, worldwide government for certain Bible prophecies to occur, a country like ours, with such a large population, powerful economy, and world influence, has to be on board with being an enthusiastic part of the world community, promoting the world coming together and breaking down barriers like borders, religion, currencies, and languages. And with our current government, we are certainly heading that direction.

The progressive agenda supported and advocated (and pushed) by the party currently in power is the same agenda that progressive governments are promoting all over the world. Just like in the U.S., Europe has opened it’s borders in many countries, marginalized religion, legalized or at least allowed immorality, including the deaths of so many unborn and the redefinition of gender and marriage. The most important belief that much of the western world shares is that saying God is the only God is wrong (‘intolerant’ and ‘hate speech’ would be popular alternative terms), and being kind and accepting of everything is what’s important.

This also fits right into the one world religion that must come about once the antichrist and the false prophet rise to power. It’s a belief that can be assimilated into nearly every religion.

(Bible-believing Christians excepted – it’s not a religion, anyway.)

(Another hitch would be extreme Shiite Islam, but the most powerful of those Muslim countries, like Iran and Turkey, will be reduced to negligible powers after the first war of Gog and Magog, which happens before the rise of the antichrist, so they won’t be putting up any barriers to the one-world religion. This includes a stubbornly nationalist Russia.)

Not only does America need a progressive government, but a weak government, if it’s going to fit into it’s likely place in Bible prophecy. And not just the government, but the policies it implements need to weaken the country as a whole: military, economy, education, and, fundamentally (and as I’ve already touched on), morals.

The remarks of General McKenzie are a testimony to our military being kept weak. I mean, look how it was only two years ago, when General Soleimani was just plotting to attack a U.S. embassy – and wham! Iran didn’t bother us for a while.

And now we’re leaving. Their boats hassle us in the straights of Hormuz, their drones take photos of our aircraft carriers, and they send rockets to our air bases on at least a weekly basis. Now we’re negotiating with them. What’s happened? Our government’s policy is to be friends with Iran, which apparently doesn’t entail a strong military presence. (Which we could have, by the way. I mean, we did a year ago.)

I don’t want to go on and on, so I’ll just gloss over the economy, which, as we Americans know, took a big punch when the lockdowns hit. Plus, all of the plans to switch to “green energy,” which will eliminate many current jobs in traditional energy.

As for education… I just sigh. Before the lockdowns hit , when it became hard to get any education at all, actual knowledge being taught to students had dwindled to sad depths. Instead it’s been mandated to teach godless ideologies. Teachers have been given perimeters that they’re increasingly compelled to keep inside of, so students are taught very incomplete pictures of history, English, and science in your average school (in higher and lower education).

And I’ve already touched on morals, which have never been so nearly non-existent in this country.

This state of America of course fits certain passages of Scripture exactly.

Look at 2 Timothy 3:

 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.

But, regarding America, there are more ticks on the last hour clock than it’s moral decline.

  • Our withdrawal from the Middle East means that Israel will be looked to as the most stable power in the region – thus able to make it’s own alliances – ˆˆˆthus having alliances in place which the antichrist can confirm (Daniel 9:27 – “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“).
    • This will also increase Israel’s position as an influential player, with other countries seeking economic and military deals with them (like the United Arab Emirates, who have invested $10 billion in Israel’s economy2 – after also signing the Abraham Accords).
  • Our leaving the Middle East also means that Iran will have more freedom to menace Israel and countries that have alliances with Israel (although Israel does an efficient job taking care of itself even now), which is another step closer to Iran’s allying with Russia and Turkey in attacking Israel in the war of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38:6, “Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah and all its troops from the far north“).
  • Our recent antagonizing of Turkey has pushed that country closer to an alliance with Russia (these two will need to be allies in the war of Gog and Magog against Israel).
    • I’ll quote a larger bit of Ezekiel 38 where he prophesies about this war: ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh3, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops...”‘
  • Now that we’re withdrawing from the Middle East, and trying to be on good terms with Iran, Russia seems to have become the greatest power in the area, with Turkey going to Russia to ask them to teach Israel a lesson after their latest defensive raids on Hamas in Gaza4, and Hamas asked Russia to request a ceasefire with Israel.5 They’re turning into the police of the Middle East, now. And if Russia is the dominant power there, then once they decide to plunder Israel, the Ezekiel 38 war will not be preventable by anyone but God (who will break all of those countries, and the one world religion will be able to rise with the Antichrist – the Day of the Lord will be in full swing).

It’s mind-blowing to hear the day’s news – to hear these ticks on the last hour clock almost with my own ears!

I have to give a loud shout-out to Behold Israel, the ministry of Amir Tsarfati, as a gold mine of real time information from the Middle East. He lives in Israel, and gets his information practically from the horse’s mouth. Every week he gives a live ‘Middle East Update,’ and I would highly recommend watching the last three, which are on Turkey, America leaving the Middle East, and the battle over Jerusalem. He also has a telegram channel, where he posts lots of updates every day.

I get a lot of my Middle East news from him, as well as TV7 and ILTV channels on YouTube (both are Israeli news sources).

I do want to add that America is not yet completely useless as a tool for good – it appears that until the church is taken out of the way (raptured), the U.S. will still be the most influential country in terms of it being a restraining influence on the depraved state of the world and on God’s judgment, because it is still influential in the world. It is still declining, and faster than ever before, but until the church is taken up, and the Holy Spirit with us, we as a country can still have the largest impact on the world as far as spreading the gospel of Christ and restraining the influence of evil. The impact is lessening, but it’s still there. God’s not done with using the church until He’s done. Then we’re gone, and the world will have no restraint on its God-less ways – and God won’t be restraining His judgment, either.

So, with America in this state – a country in a cooling relationship with Israel, a lessening of international power and prestige, rife with internal struggles and moral decay – I say to myself and to my fellow Americans (and I live in California, not exactly a paragon of liberty and righteousness at the moment), don’t lose heart, because when we look at the Bible, things are actually falling into place.

I’m sad that the pieces require America to decline, and that I’m a part of the generation to see it. But how can I remain depressed, when I see that it fits into God’s timeline to take the church out of here, execute His judgment, and then begin His reign on earth!

If you look at God’s promises, Israel is the loudest tick on the last hour clock, so we can assess America’s place in Bible prophecy by looking at it’s relation to Israel.

  • During the battle with Hamas right now, America is not taking Israel’s side – in fact, they are calling for both sides to de-escalate.6
  • America has also re-instated aid to the Palestinians, after the previous administration stopped it.
  • America leaving the Middle East means we will not be there to defend Israel, as we’ve often done in the past. We’re leaving them to be the only stable country in the area. (But they may enjoy being able to make decisions without us interfering.)

I’ll leave it there, because I could keep updating this post indefinitely, as events keep pouring in!

So, as Americans, what should we do? (Although this question basically applies to everyone.)

The rapture could come any second, with the ticks on the last hour clock so close to midnight, so if you are in Christ, keep spreading the gospel! We need to bring as many people as we can with us to our wedding with our perfect Bridegroom and eternal life!

If you don’t have faith in Christ – why not? The world doesn’t have answers for the chaos, for the loss of America as it used to be. But the Bible does. The Bible is filled with God’s promises, some of which He’s already fulfilled, and some which are definitely close… You can look at the Bible on one hand and current events on the other, and they fit together! The reality is there, and all God says to do is believe it – believe Him!

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Revelation 1:3

Keep your eye on the clock! And, if the rapture doesn’t come first, until next time!

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