Nearing
Midnight

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




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  •  

    May 4, 2015

    Storing Up Wrath

    The Bible is very plain about the judgment that all lost souls face in the afterlife. The wicked also face the possibility of suffering God’s vengeance in the material world. There are times when God decides He has enough of someone’s misdeeds, and He decides to take action.

    King Nebuchadnezzar was cursed by the Lord because he boasted about his achievements. The Bible records in Daniel 4:30 that the king spoke with great pride saying:

    “Is not this great Babylon that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” (As soon as the words left his mouth, he became insane and lived like an animal for seven years.)

    Herod Antipas, the Roman-appointed ruler of Galilee, was also judged by God for pride. In the Good News Bible, Acts 12:21-23 states:

    “On a chosen day Herod put on his royal robes, sat on this throne, and made a speech to the people. ‘It isn’t a man speaking, but a god!” they shouted. At once the angel of the Lord struck Herod down, because he did not give honor to God. He was eaten by worms and died.”

    The music world has had many singers who reached demigod status. A very high percentage of them have suffered early deaths. A study by Sydney University found that Pop and Rock stars die up to 25 years younger than the average person. People with lofty titles like:

    “The King of Rock & Roll” (Elvis Presley), “The King of Pop” (Michael Jackson), “The Queen of Psychedelic Soul” (Janis Joplin), and “The Voice” (Whitney Houston) have all come to an untimely and tragic end.

    There are many reasons why I think that Barack Obama should be suffering from God’s natural judgment. History is one indicator. Of the nineteen U.S. presidents who have been elected to a second term, only seven avoided a troubled or failed second term. Because pride and arrogance naturally build up with every administration, it’s easy to see why the last six presidents with two terms have suffered from this curse:

    George W Bush: The housing bubble burst on his watch. The financial crisis was caused by loose economic policy that resulted from people being approved for loans that they were unqualified to pay back. The meltdown in 2008 almost destroyed the economy. The Bush administration added $4 trillion to the nation debt.

    Bill Clinton: Special investigator Kenneth Starr uncovered Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton denied the allegations in a televised appearance on January 26, 1998, but was later forced to recant. The Republican-controlled House impeached him but he was saved by all of the Democrats in the Senate voting for an acquittal.

    Ronald Reagan: The Iran-Contra affair was a major distraction during Reagan’s second term. The administration sold weapons to Iran to gain the freedom of hostages held in Lebanon, illegally diverting the profits to the Contras, a rebel force fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Lt. Col. Oliver North and retired naval officer John Poindexter were both convicted of obstructing Congress. Reagan’s knowledge of the arms deals remains a mystery.

    Richard Nixon: Five members of Nixon’s Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP) were arrested for breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate complex. Nixon became implicated in the break-in by ordering a cover-up. He became the first president to resign when it became clear he faced impeachment.

    Lyndon Johnson: The Vietnam War conflict started during the Kennedy administration. Johnson presided over a major escalation of fighting, sending an additional 35,000 troops to Vietnam each month. After the North Vietnamese launched their deadly Tet offensive, confidence in the campaign quickly collapsed. Johnson chose not to run again after being confronted with protestors who would often chant the line, “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?”

    Dwight Eisenhower: During the height of the Cold War, a U-2 spy plane operated by the CIA was shot down by the Soviet military. Eisenhower denied the plane was in Soviet airspace, but Kremlin leader Nikita Khrushchev proved Eisenhower to be a liar by parading pilot Francis Gary Powers before the media. Khrushchev compounded Eisenhower’s embarrassment by walking out of the U.S.-Soviet peace talks. His chief of staff became embroiled in a bribery scandal before being forced to resign.

    Over recent years, I’ve noticed that the judgment of sin has largely dried up. King Herod was struck down for allowing people to compare himself to God. Today, we have people who claim to be God.

    Kayne West—the obnoxious rapper—is one of the worst of these offenders. He has repeatedly portrayed himself as some type of deity. In 2013, West released the song titled “I Am a God,” and he has given himself the title Yeezus. He has preformed blasphemous acts on stage with a mock Jesus. West sees the fake Jesus and comments:

    “White Jesus, is that you?” After West spews out a load profanity, the mock Jesus ignores this offense, instead telling the audience to see the light in Kanye -- as if West is some kind of saviour.

    If these deeds aren’t bad enough, Kanye West now has his own version of the Holy Scriptures for sale. His version has the name for God replaced by his own: “In the beginning Kanye created the heaven and the earth… And Kanye said, “Let there be light: and there was light.”

    The only explanation I can think of for why calamity has not struck Kanye West, Barack Obama, and dozens of people of their caliber is because God is storing up wrath for the Tribulation hour. Sin has become so pervasive. God has given up on the judgment of individuals. We are in the calm of a storm that will judge all of humanity. For Rapture Ready believers, this is another indication that we are living in the last of the last-days.

    “But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to every man who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 2:6-10).

    --Todd


    Listening for the Midnight Cry

     This section of Rapture Ready is termed "Nearing Midnight." Our purpose is to chronicle issues and events of the current times in order to forewarn that the call of Christ to His Bride, the Church (all those who are born again --John 3:3) is near.

    We can say this with certainty because of the many signals given off by those issues and events. These look to be the prophetic signs of the coming Tribulation period--human history's last seven years leading to the return of Christ to planet earth at the time of Armageddon. Jesus said: "And when you see all these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your head for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21: 28).

    Paul the apostle wrote about this moment of redemption: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4: 4: 16-17).

    John, "the beloved disciple," wrote from his exile on Patmos about his vision of that moment of redemption:

    After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. (Revelation 4: 1)

    This shout from Christ, Himself, is likened to the moment when the midnight hour of human history has been reached. The black, boiling clouds of the Tribulation will have shrouded the whole planet in a veil of God's wrath because of man's rebellion. We see that moment as represented in the parable of the ten virgins.

    And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. (Matthew 25: 6)

    Despite all the seminary-degreed protests to the contrary, this is the same moment Jesus prophesied in the Olivet Discourse, in what I believe is the most profound declaration about this midnight hour at which time He will next catastrophically intervene into man's history. I refer to the Lord's foretelling the coming judgment at the time of the Rapture, as given in the following. Note that Jesus prefaces His prophecy by saying:

    But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36)

    The Rapture is an unknown time; it is imminent–can happen at any moment. The Second Advent can be counted down, because a precise number of days are given to the time Christ returns at Armageddon. The Lord then gives a description of what the world will be like at that unknown hour--unknown by anyone but His Father.

    But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (Matthew 24: 37-42)

    Most of my theologically degreed friends--and I love them as my Brothers in Christ--say that Jesus was addressing the Jews, not the Church. This, therefore, has to be His addressing the time of His Second Advent at the end of the seven years of Tribulation. However, I believe, as did my good friend Dave Hunt, that the Lord would not speak confusion into prophecy. At the time of the Second Advent at Armageddon, as many as three-fourths of the world's population will have been killed through the terrible judgments given for that era. People will not be doing the things people in societies and cultures do during normal times. And, the time of Tribulation will be by far the worst in human history, according to the Lord's own words (Matthew 24:21).

    Dave Hunt spoke to these matters many years ago at a forum I attended. He started his presentation by talking about the title of the topic he was assigned.

    [My] topic is “Is the Rapture in the Olivet Discourse?” Well, I’d like to talk on the topic “The Pre-Trib Rapture in the Olivet Discourse.” I couldn’t quite handle that question. I couldn’t justify why there ought to be any question at all. Why the Pre-Trib Rapture, or the Rapture, or the Church, or anything else was in the Olivet Discourse. ("The Pre-Trib Rapture: Is It in the Olivet Discourse?" Dave Hunt, Pre-Trib Study Group, Dallas, Texas, December, 1998)

    Dave Hunt, one of the most thorough and brilliant students of the Bible of my acquaintance, talked then about how the Olivet Discourse is declared by the seminary doctoral hierarchy to not address the Church or the Rapture in any way whatsoever. He went on to say that the Olivet Discourse, as he understood it, came about in response to specific questions the disciples asked Jesus. They wanted to know when the destruction of the temple and city would take place, and what would be the signs of His coming, and of the end of the age. Dave said Jesus responded with the many signals He gave. Jesus didn't say that He was referring to His Second Coming at the time of Armageddon. Dave asked: Why is it necessary to adamantly say that it couldn't be the Rapture Jesus was talking about in answer to their questions?

    A common reason given for the Rapture not being referred to in the Olivet Discourse, Dave Hunt said, was that the disciples there with Jesus couldn't understand about the Rapture, because they didn't understand about even the Church at that point.

    Dave reminded that Jesus told the disciples at another time that He would go away, but would come again and receive them unto himself, and take them to Heaven, where He will have prepared dwelling places (mansions) for them (John 14: 1-3). The disciples didn't understand this, either, but it was about the Church, and Jesus told them about it. Dave said this coming for the disciples (the Church) couldn't be the Second Advent, because He will return at that time of Armageddon with the saints--including the disciples to whom He was speaking. The disciples didn't understand that, it is true, Dave said. But, Jesus was nonetheless speaking about the Rapture. The common sense of the things Jesus was saying fit perfectly--as Jesus' teachings always did.

    Dave Hunt concluded:

    I don't believe that His response had to be limited to what they understood. But I think He could tell them things that they didn’t understand, and not necessarily in a way that they would understand... I can’t think of any reason—rule of logic or exegesis—that would say the rapture can’t be in the Olivet Discourse." (Ibid.)

    Jesus expanded on His "days of Noah" analogy to the time when He would return at the Rapture:

    Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17: 29-30)

    Be alert! Keep your head up and senses attuned to what the headlines are saying to your spiritual ears. The midnight cry might be the next words you hear.


     

    ***Midnight Cry –You must hear this!***

     

    Perhaps no other song more reflects the Glorious Rapture of the Church than does The Midnight Cry”. We have  put a link to what we believe is the most thrilling rendition of that song we’ve heard (although all renditions are great.)

     

    Shawn Crane is the singer. Shawn and his family are part of  Terry’s family, in his heart. We hope you will enjoy Shawn’s version of this tremendous song.

    Send it as you wish through out your various social media outlets.

     

    Link to: Midnight Cry

    --Terry