NM

Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.


Dec 31, 2012

Coping with the New Norm in Natural Disasters

There is no denying the fact that natural disasters have been on the upswing in the United States. In the past two years, floods, drought, tornadoes, and hurricanes have occurred with record frequency. In the past week, the year 2012 added to its list of destructive weather a powerful winter storm that hit the southern states hard.

The big news from this weather event was the number of tornadoes it generated: There were 40 tornado reports. The National Weather Service has determined whether some of these reports were just straight-line winds. Since the old record is only 12, it is almost a certainty that we will pass the record for the most number of tornadoes occurring on Christmas Day.

While the Gulf states were getting hit by tornadoes, an ice storm was generating wide-scale damage here in central Arkansas. Terry and I live in the city of Benton, AR, and our city had its worst weather of this type since 2000. There are trees down all over town, and a third of the city is without power.

I'm currently sitting at a desk in the Arkadelphia, AR, Days Inn, so it goes without saying that the power is out in our neighborhood. Since Terry lives right across the street from me, retreating to his house was not an option. Terry's son, Terry Jr., has set up a heater to keep their house warm, and they have a generator. My house is about 55 degrees.

I did have two battery power units that helped me through the first day of the outage. I have a mobile internet card to act as a backup when my cable modem fails. Once the battery units ran out of juice, I headed south on the interstate.

The key functions of the site continued despite my absence. Since the folks who labor to maintain RR are spread out across five states, the daily news, message board, and RR radio carried on as normal. The only real snag was the addition of new articles, which is a task that I solely manage.

Terry and I had talked about how we would operate if there were a major weather event in our area. The plan was for me to hit the road before a big storm. Unfortunately, in this case, the weather service provided no warning about how bad the ice was going to be. Since there are all these tall trees on the side of the road, I learned that it's best to wait out the storm before making your retreat.

I think it’s important for every student of prophecy to plan around the increase of last-days birth pangs. For example, Memphis, Tennessee, is a nice city, but I would never live there because of its proximity to the New Madrid fault. I would have the same caution about living in any of the other earthquake risk zones. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes and you don't have the option of moving, there are things you can do to lower your risk of calamity.

There is no way I could give my blessing to someone who had a home destroyed and wants to rebuild in the same location. I'm sure most of victims of Hurricane Sandy will rebuild their homes in the same spot. Since it is already a given fact that another hurricane will come within 100 years and damage their new homes, the possibility of a shorter time scale would give me pause. The people who rebuilt after the great flood of 1993 on the Mississippi River found themselves repeating the disaster in the great flood of 2011. The way things are going, the next great flood might only be a few years away.

Bible prophecy warns that calamities will only increase as we get closer to the Tribulation hour. In the near future, there may be other disasters that we find ourselves being forced to cope with, but we do have hope for relief. Jesus told us that all these warning signs would be the calling of our final redemption.

"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21: 8-11, 25-28). 

--Todd


Restraining Sudden Destruction

Author’s note: I am operating on generator power, the ice and snow storm of Christmas Day having felled trees and power lines. Thus, I’m way behind on things, including preparing for my Future Congress II presentation at Dallas next week. Plus, I’ve had the granddaddy of all colds since Christmas Day. I say all of that to say I hope you will understand that I am sending a Nearing Midnight article that ran earlier in 2012. This is the only time I’ve offered a retread, and certainly would prefer to send a new update. However, I was going to write on this very topic –“The Restrainer"--because the evil we see occurring all around in our society and culture today is observably becoming worse. The shootings, for example, are serving the devil’s multiple purposes–to take the lives of God’s creation–man—and to incite those who want to take away from Americans the one right–the 2nd Amendment--that truly stands between we the people and a potentially dictatorial government, should one raise its ugly head. One can only imagine the horrific assaults that will take place from the fallen minds of men, inspired by the demons of hell, when the Restrainer removes to Heaven with Christ’s call, “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1-2).

There is a sense among many at this moment in history that impending disaster presses against the fabric of life on planet Earth from every side. This is not mere paranoia pushing against the collective, anxiety-ridden psyche of a world uncertain about its future. The threat is real, and it is in Bible prophecy. A quick scan of issues, events, and anticipated actions testify to the reality of the threat and validates the angst.

Israel is ground zero for much of the fear pressing upon a world full of dread. The Jewish state is considered the trigger point for possible nuclear conflict in the Middle East–conflict that is sure to spread globally once unleashed. Iran is the antagonist that is the cause of the most immediate threat to regional and world peace–although the world diplomatic community seems intent on making Israel responsible for keeping war from erupting. This is the way it is, despite the fact that the Iranian regime’s leaders threaten to wipe Israel off the map.

It is puzzling to many as to why there hasn’t been an uncontrollable explosion there in the ancient Bible land. Israel’s restraint has been remarkable, considering the threat from its neighbors, particularly from Iran and its developing nuclear program. Rumors continue to fly of war-making against that program, thus to eliminate atomic weapons that will almost certainly be unleashed against Israel if allowed to come to fruition.

The world is in absolute economic chaos. Everywhere one looks, there are untenable fiscal circumstances that threaten not only national, but continental and even planetary economic implosion. Greece is the most recent to require a $170 billion bail-out--done, incidentally, with money that doesn’t really exist. Debt forgiveness and other sleight-of-hand chicanery are at the root of the “fix”--a trick similar to the trillions-of-dollars, smoke-and-mirrors maneuvering employed to keep America’s financial ship afloat for these months since the current administration began to wrestle with the controls of power.

Like in the case of the Israeli/Iranian threat to world peace, it is dumbfounding to many as to why these economic pressures, pressing in upon the fabric of world stability, haven’t ruptured the building bubble and collapsed the global monetary structure. The worldwide terrorism factor--wrapped up in militant, fanatic Islam and the ongoing jihad declared against anyone and everyone who refuses to bow to Allah--amazingly hasn’t broken through the fabric of the world’s relative stability. Tremendous pressure from that quarter is on the rise in a mighty way, however.

No matter at which of Israel’s enemy neighbors one looks, there is seen the arising of Islamist insurgency. The Muslim Brotherhood--which, inexplicably, continues to be viewed by mainstream news and the Obama administration as a benign embryo of democracy on the ascent—is spreading its malignant tentacles through the Arab Spring assaults on governments in the region. They seek to replace present dictatorships with other dictatorships, controlled by an oligarchy-like rulership.

Why, many puzzle, has that incendiary movement not torched the combustible Mideast situation, igniting the conflagration the world’s diplomatic community fears?

I wrote at the beginning of this commentary that these pressures that represent a cataclysmic threat are in Bible prophecy. The end-of-the-age combination of absolute evil will, God’s prophetic Word says, comes much like the antediluvian age of Noah’s day, which ended with a great, destructive deluge.

Daniel the prophet put it this way: “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined” (Daniel 9:26).

Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection would, the prophet foretold, set in motion events that will culminate with mankind’s final war that will be fought this side of Christ’s return. The desolations of that era will be like a flood--i.e., the war of good versus evil will include many troubles, which God’s Word outlines for anyone who truly is a watchman in the last days.

Jesus told those watchmen (mentioned in Mark 13: 37) that when we see all of these things, including great wars and rumors of war, that we are to know that the end “is not yet” (Matthew 24:6). But we are to be looking up, because He is very near to His time of return (Luke 21:28).

When is the end coming, then? We know from Daniel’s prophecy that a flood of issues and events with evil at their core will mark the end. Jesus Himself prophesied that the time of His coming will be like it was in the times of Noah’s day and like Lot’s day in Sodom (read Luke 17:26-30 and Matthew 24:36-42). Things will be moving along relatively as usual for those times.

We must remember that those times were filled with godlessness and great evil, even though people were buying, selling, marrying, planting, etc. Jesus then said that the same day Noah went into the ark, and the same day that Lot was taken from Sodom, God’s judgment fell. He said it will be exactly like in those days at the time He returns.

That first phase of His return will be at the Rapture of His church–not at His Second Advent (Revelation 19:11). We can know that is true, because at the time of His Second Coming at Armageddon, it will not be business as usual. The earth will be almost completely destroyed, and nearly three-fourths of mankind will have been killed by that time.

Prophetic observers of God’s Word are witnessing that end-times onslaught of pressures from evil that Daniel called a flood. But, that flood hasn’t broken the dam holding it back. This is amazing even to many who watch and believe in prophetic stage-setting. Why hasn’t the Middle East completely exploded in war? Why hasn’t the world economy imploded, bringing about worldwide financial collapse? Why have the Muslims been allowed to continue to set up their long-desired, worldwide caliphate, while Israel more and more is viewed as the troublemaker that might be the instigator of war?

Paul the apostle, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, told us the reason things haven’t yet completely come apart--why evil hasn’t yet taken over:

And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:7-10)

The KJV word “withholdeth” in the Greek language is katecho. It means to “restrain.” So, this prophecy by Paul is about the one who will “restrain” evil, until He is taken out of the way. The Restrainer is God the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity. God Himself is restraining the evil, which can’t take over the world and be ruled by Antichrist.

How can God be “taken out of the way” so evil and Antichrist can take over for a time? This will happen only when the church–all believers in Christ (the born again) are taken to Heaven in the Rapture. The Holy Spirit indwells each and every Christian at present. When the church is raptured from the earth, the Holy Spirit will serve a different purpose in God’s plan for the consummation of human history. He will no longer restrain the evil thoughts of mankind. He will no longer govern the consciences of those left behind to endure the Tribulation–the final seven years of history before Christ’s Second Coming. It is no wonder that Jesus said that time will be the worst that has ever been, or ever will be (Matthew 24:21).

It will be hell on earth when the Restrainer no longer restrains evil as He does in this present hour. Jesus says that at the time the Holy Spirit leaves His restraining office, judgment will fall that very day (again, reread Luke 17: 26-30 and Matthew 24:36-42).

That stupendous change for all of mankind can take place at any moment. Here is what Jesus told us further: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).

--Terry


HeavenVision: Glimpses into Glory

 

The book about my heavenly encounter on Good Friday of 2011 –HeavenVision: Glimpses into Glory—is now available by the publisher in this pre-release for our Rapture Ready friends and family.

Many of you have ordered the book, and the publisher tells me yours will be delivered shortly. Thanks so much to each who have ordered through the publisher’s website, or through the Toll Free phone number – 1-877-887-0222.

I sense strongly that this is a most important book for these times so near the exhilarating moment of Christ’s Calling His Church in the Rapture. This sense comes not from anything special about myself, because there is nothing extraordinary about the author of the book. However, the things that are reported in HeavenVision, I believe, the Lord wants shared, especially with His Watchmen on the wall.

If you believe in the importance of the message contained within its pages, once you’ve had a chance to read it, I hope you will spread the word through your blogs and email, as well as personal conversations, that it is abook worthy of being read and further disseminated.

I again thank you, in advance, for your help in making folks aware of HeavenVision: Glimpses into Glory.