June 6, 2016

nmThe Rapture Barrier

The granddaddy of all questions related to Bible prophecy is this: “When is Jesus coming back for the Church?” Thousands of people have wasted their lives trying to calculate the unknown date. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t receive an email from someone who claims to know the date for the Rapture.

Jesus told His disciples that they would not know the hour of His return. Because the Lord repeated himself four times in the space of a few verses and added the story about the 10 virgins to illustrate the point, there can be no doubt the Rapture will be a surprise event.

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

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42).

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13).

As we get closer to the Tribulation, it is likely that events related to Bible prophecy will be preempted by the Rapture. We know from (2 Thessalonians 2:4-7) that some type of removal needs to take place before the Antichrist can be revealed—so we won’t see him on the world stage talking about his idea for peace between Israel and the Muslims.

If all the world’s central banks laid out a plan for an economic system that would based on microchip implantation, Christians with the most basic understanding of the mark of the beast would know it’s time to start packing their bags.

The “think not” factor is the only explanation I can come up with to explain why so many situations around the world are now locked in a holding pattern. Here are five examples:

1. The Nation Debt Crisis

Most Western nations have a huge problem with deficit spending. Because it is so easy to spend now and pay later—the world is drowning in a sea of IOU debt. Japan has a debt bubble that has no historical comparison. The debt-to-GDP ratio is a mind-blowing 330 percent. At the moment, the Bank of Japan owns 35 percent of Japan’s government debt and at the current pace of buying it will hit 63.3 percent at the end of 2020.

The pattern set by 100 other nations, should have already caused Japan to experience hyper-inflation, causing the value of the Yen to plummet on currency markets. But for years now, the opposite has happened. Just last week, Japan announced it was unable to generate inflation. This financial miracle seems to have allowed the Japanese to endlessly print money without any consequences.

2. Third world Countries in Freefall

For the past several years, Venezuela has been in a continuous economic downturn. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. Right now, riots have become commonplace, and government food stores are empty of basic goods. A group of army members were so hungry that they stole several goats and butchered them for food. With people starving, you would think there would be a revolution. Brazil is another nation locked in a meltdown mode.

3. The Nationalist Parties Are Spinning Their Wheels

Another festering problem in Europe is the growth of nationalist political parties. Despite having frustration with illegal immigration as a natural ally—time and time again, these right-wing parties fail to grab power. The election occurs; yet they always come up short at the ballot box. Austria just had an election where Alexander Van der Bellen of the Green party defeated the Freedom Party. Van der Bellen had previously stated that he hates Austria. On two occasions, he compared the nation and patriotic citizens to fecal matter, and yet, he still won.

4. America’s Major Hurricane Drought

One odd holding pattern involves the tropical storms of the Atlantic. For some unknown reason strong hurricanes have stopped hitting the continental United States. This month marks a record 127 months since a major hurricane has made landfall in the U.S., according to (NOAA), which keeps data on all the hurricanes that have struck the U.S. since 1851.

The last major hurricane (defined as a Category 3 or above) to hit the U.S. mainland was Hurricane Wilma, which made landfall in Florida on Oct. 24, 2005. We set this record two seasons ago. What makes this calm even more mysterious is that during the last year records for worse ever hurricanes was set in four other regions of the world.

5. The Preservation of Key Christian Leaders

You can even get the sense of this holding pattern in the longevity of our top Christian leaders. Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, recently told a gathering of pastors that her father—the 97-year-old legendary evangelist’s vital signs are great, and there must be a reason why God is keeping him alive.

Lotz, who has previously said that she believes the Rapture will occur during her lifetime, reasoned that the fact that her father is still alive might have something to do with the return of Christ. This statement may be viewed as wishful thinking until you consider that the top names in prophecy such as Hal Lindsey, Jack Van Impe, and Tim LaHaye. They are each advanced in years and have all been at death’s door at some point in the last couple of years. A pattern of preservation, it seems to me, emerges.

This log jam of world events might just turn out to be a fluke. If, however, it is related to the Rapture, a resolution—that great Harpazoevent, almost certainly must be in the near future. We are already at the point where people are starting to wonder about the strange development of individual events that they see taking place. Any longer of a delay should make folks understand that it is the hand of God at work.

“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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).


nmPeace Quest Continues

Today’s date of posting this “Nearing Midnight” article is the 72nd anniversary of D-Day. The allied forces on June 6, 1944, wanted to accomplish two things as they steamed toward the coastline of France. They were intent on defeating and destroying the Nazis’ ability to make war. Thereby, they were determined to establish peace that had been taken from the world on a global scale–primarily by the Germans–for the second time in less than a half century.

In reality, however, planet earth has never completely escaped–that is, has never been totally free–of war in recorded history. And, that includes the earliest biblical history. Cain first went to war with his brother, Abel, over jealousy that created rage that ended in the first murder. Man has been killing man ever since, with the slaughter continuing to manifest even on our city streets on a growing scale. I give you as example the streets of south Chicago on which during weekends in particular the black-on-black killing is horrendous.

The governmental authorities, both those in the city of Chicago and the present federal government, at whose heart sits the current presidential administration, hardly even acknowledge that a problem exists in the inner cities. The news conglomerate dutifully also ignores the deadly problem.

There is a satanic cover-up on the war that is raging, taking peace from life in America. The same forces covering up our domestic conflict are dedicated to the cover-up directed at keeping the world at large from knowing about the true causes and effects of the war going on in the Middle East. And, that conflict is destined to bring all of mankind to history’s final war of this quickly fleeting age. God’s Word tells us that it is the quest for such a peace that will eventuate in the most terrible time in human history. Jesus said as recorded in the Olivet Discourse that it will be a time so terrible that it would destroy all flesh on the planet if He did not return to put an end to the warfare.

Daniel the prophet said the peace that the world will seek will be indeed produced and enforced by the “prince that shall come” (Daniel 8:25; 9:26-27). It will be, the prophet Isaiah said, a covenant made with “death and hell” (Isaiah 28:15, 18). It all involves the Middle East, and, as I said, the news media, as well as our government–and for that matter, the governments of the world–refuse to even acknowledge the true causes and effects of the conflict that makes the quest for peace necessary.

This peace is in the making this very moment while you and I consider these matters in this commentary.

This quest for peace, as I and other prophecy observers have mentioned many times, is the number-one signal of where we stand on God’s prophetic timeline. We are watching God’s prophetic Word in the process of fulfillment, as we are seeing other prophesies in process of fulfillment. The Gog-Magog forces, for example, are coalescing; the religions of the world are beginning to amalgamate, agreeing that there are many ways to Heaven; the effort to establish one world order is on the move through Agenda 21, 30, and in other ways.

But, again, it is the desire for a Middle East peace, with Israel held up as the sticking point, that the world intensely desires. The world’s diplomatic community and the global news conglomerate refuse to hear or propose any narrative other than that which declares the tiny Jewish state guilty of holding up the peace process.

The following news excerpt proves the point, in my view.

The Arab league supported on Saturday France’s Middle East peace initiative and all international efforts to create lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, AFP reported… Speaking before the ministers, [Palestinian president Mahmoud ] Abbas said that the time has come to “mobilize Arab and international wills” towards creating a Palestinian state, however said in order to do so Israel would have to make serious policy changes. Abbas called for NATO forces to replace the IDF in the West Bank as part of any peace deal that leads to the creation of a two-state solution. He also rejected the idea of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. (“Arab League supportive of French peace initiative,” JPOST.COM ,TOVAH LAZAROFF, 05/29/2016)

The pressures are great on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government to give in to world diplomatic insistence that Israel give land for peace. That is something, of course, God says will, when it eventuates, bring total war upon the whole world (see Joel 3:2.) This will be the cause and effect of that great, fearful conflict we have come to know as Armageddon. It will be the result of seeking a false, deadly peace, rather than that lasting and perfect peace that can only be instituted by the Prince of Peace.