“If my people…” :: By Terry James

This week I received a thought-provoking email and sense I should explore its contents with you.

We continue, of course, in the midst of this Covid-19 or coronavirus, or whatever you want to call it. That is literally all we can find in terms of news. If news providers or pundits move away from the topic at all, it is only for a brief moment. They are then right back to giving all the statistics and feared statistics. The pandemic’s effect on both the health of the populations of the world and the economies of the world are news-fodder 24/7.

For the prophecy student of the pre-Trib sort, many questions arise. Why was the economy moving upward as if it had JATO (forgive my old US Air Force term, for “Jet Assist Take Off”)?Then, why did that booming economy descend so dramatically as to make many believe a catastrophic crash is surely coming?

The depictions by even many of the prophecy prognosticators are so dire as to put forward that we are now into the Tribulation—the time of Daniel’s seventieth week.

And why should this not be the fear? The abject fear-mongering by mainstream news is at a near bloodcurdling level in some instances.

Here is a brief excerpt from a writer who analyzes and points to things posited by two major newspapers that can be designed to do nothing less than engender trepidation.

The New York Times claims that “the specter of death speeds across the globe, ‘Appointment in Samara’-style, ever faster, culling the most vulnerable.” Others are claiming Trump will cancel the election to rule as a Jim Jones. “Every viewer who trusts the words of Earhardt or Hannity or Regan could well become a walking, breathing, droplet-spewing threat to the public,” opined the Washington Post. (“Wake Up! Your fears are being manipulated,” by Peter Van Buren, AmericanConservative.com, Rapture Ready News, March 27, 2020)

This writer has received a number of emails expressing fear that all of this means the Rapture of the Church has somehow now been pushed back. Since I have written on numerous occasions that Jesus said that it will be like the days of Noah and days of Lot when He next catastrophically Intervenes in the affairs of mankind, the plunging economy and pandemic conditions around the world must mean the Rapture cannot be imminent.

Jesus prophesied that people will be buying, selling, building, planting, marrying, etc., when He next breaks in on this rebellious world. Just like in the days of Lot in Sodom, God’s judgment will begin falling the very day the people of the Age of Grace are called by Christ into His Presence (Revelation 4: 1).

Well, folks, guess what? People are still buying, selling, building, and marrying. The farmers will be planting this spring. While it is true that all of these things are on a frightening, downward trajectory, they are still taking place. This is not the time of Armageddon when none of these things will come close to being done as they are currently. The great Rapture event can literally happen at any moment. And it is my opinion that, despite the pandemic and the subsequent plunge of economy, the Rapture is more likely than ever to be at any moment.

The Rapture is still imminent!

My own view is that this economy will move back into the upward trajectory. But whether it does or not, we will still be buying, selling, and all of the other things mentioned by the Lord Jesus. His Words, like God, Himself, do not change. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever.

So we get back to the purpose of the thinking we are doing based upon the email I received. It was a missive that was meant to salve some of the hurting from the abrasiveness of the fear-mongering we’ve all been subjected to.

Like the Matthew 24:36–42 and Luke 17:26–30 passages about the days of Noah and days of Lot, the 2 Chronicles 7: 14 passage is declared by seminaries and their graduates’ scholarly commentaries to be for the Jews only, and for the time of Tribulation only. These, the “experts”—many of which are my good friends—say we must accept that these portions of God’s prophetic Word don’t apply to the Church. Nor are they for the Church Age, the Age of Grace.

I do not accept these interpretations. I believe these words of Christ in the Olivet Discourse are for the whole world, in every age, but particularly for the end of this present dispensation, in regard to the days of Noah and of Lot prophecy. The 2 Chronicles 7:14 directive from Heaven was indeed for the Jews, the emailer was pointing out. However, it is not exclusively to the Jews.

The Heavenly Father gives the prescription for how to deal with problems of a sin-nature that bring God’s correction and judgment on His people.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14) 

Murray Lorance, the emailer, wrote in part:

While some still argue this is a message directed at only the wayward Jewish people of the Old Testament times, that same theme is introduced from the start of the Christian era in Acts 2.

Verse 38 says, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 3 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”

I interject here: The words of this Scripture about being baptized for your sins, remember, is preached to the new believers in Christ before Paul’s teachings of belief only in the death, burial, and resurrection for salvation (Romans 10:9–10).

Murray continues:

This heart of this initial message is carried consistently through the gospels and the epistles, as well as the final Revelation Word from Christ Himself.

But, to completely appreciate the application of the Second Chronicles passage we have become familiar with, let’s reconnect the prior verse to suddenly see its application to today’s pandemic crisis.

II Chronicles 7:13–14 “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, of if I send the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Now, just to understand how earnest God is, back up to Chapter 6:28–31 for Solomon’s prayer of request to God.

“If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, if there is locust or grasshopper, if their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities, whatever plague or whatever sickness there is, whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or all of Your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own pain, and spreading his hands toward this house, then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know for You alone know the hearts of the son of man that they may fear You, to walk in your ways as long as they live in the land which You have given to our fathers.”

This prayer brought the response of Chapter 7:12 “Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, I have heard your prayer…”

So, will we repent to seek God’s relief, or will just a remnant plead for mercy? Could it be He is stirring hearts everywhere to seek Him? Will you be the watchman on the wall to guide that one back to truth, repentance and His righteousness? [I was delighted when I saw Franklin Graham on an advert on Fox Channel—a one-minute plea, and leading the audience in the sinner’s prayer! How bold! How badly needed in this secular culture.] “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest….! Be that faithful laborer!

If you know the Lord Jesus, you are His person. We are His People.

Let us pray the prayer of 2 Chronicles 7:14 as we look for the any-moment intervention of the Lord Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).

 

The End Is Not Yet :: By Terry James

Let me say at the outset of this commentary that I in no way intend to diminish the dangers presented by this disease. It is a pandemic to be sure, because it is worldwide. The potential is there for massive health devastation and death.

However, the coronavirus has by no means reached anywhere close to historic levels of past deadly pandemics—or even regional epidemics. Not even close. Yet the projections are presenting to the world’s public an end-of-the-world prognosis, to keep it within medical jargon.

Even those who operate issues and events from Christian and even prophetic perspectives are painting a picture that the world is now almost certainly already in an era not unlike that described as the biblical apocalypse.

Aside from the fears about the millions who might die from coronavirus are the just-as-feared economic ramifications of the now officially declared pandemic.

Here are excerpts of some of the dystopian predictions I garnered from just one website to make the point.

  • The financial system is cratering. Banks will begin to fold soon. Many deposits will be wiped out.
  • Pensions are being wiped out right now, exactly along the lines we’ve been warning about for years. If you had exposure to the bubble stock market, real estate will begin to crater soon. Expect a 40% plunge on average, nationwide. Unemployment will skyrocket to Great Depression levels in less than 90 days. [Currency manipulation] insanity being pushed by the Trump administration will result in rapid price inflation across America, putting us on the path toward a Venezuela-type scenario, and more money printing goes to insane levels to bail out everybody and everything in the economy. Dumpster diving for food, the national sport of the failed state of Venezuela, will soon be commonplace in many US cities.
  • The food supply is cratering in many regions, with food distribution hubs gutted and many local retailers cleaned out. City dwellers are “hunting” for grocery stores in rural areas that have more food. We anticipate gun battles over food to commence soon.
  • Speaking of guns, every round of ammunition and every firearm in America is just about gone as of today. Retailers still have some supplies, but wholesalers are wiped out everywhere. More and more experts and even CDC officials are now openly talking about “millions of deaths” in the USA over the next 18 months. (Mike Adams, “URGENT Alert: Financial System Collapsing, Food Supply Collapsing, Hyperinflation Coming, Guns and Ammo Wiped Out, Military Martial Law Plans Leaked,” Natural News, March 19, 2020)

I found other websites forecasting even greater troubles. “America will end as we know it because of the coronavirus crisis” is the conclusion of a number of sites I’ve perused.

Of course, I’ll agree that America as we’ve known it has changed to the point that our founding fathers probably wouldn’t recognize it—at least, not as they envisioned the constitutional republic they created. It is certain most wouldn’t believe how it has turned out in terms of cultural and societal morality. And things like the fiscal irresponsibility of running monetary printing presses, as has been done for decades, with nothing to back the dollar—which itself seems to grow stronger rather than weaker vis-a vis all other currencies—would no doubt flabbergast them.

As we’ve looked at many times in these commentaries, there seems no rational explanation for why the American and global economies haven’t collapsed.

Economists, mostly in the lesser-known blog forums, have pointed to the fact that there will come a tremendous crash at some point. The more renowned financial talking heads of broadcast and cable networks haven’t really examined underlying fiscal structures. They have concentrated on amazement over the ever-rising stock market figures.

Now, it is declared by many that the time of reckoning has come. The coronavirus crisis means the end of all things in terms of economic well-being. Economic/monetary matters have defied the fiscal laws of gravity—as we’ve pointed out—the way Wile E. Coyote defies gravity in the cartoon world. Now we have entered a time that will, many believe, lead to times worse than conditions created by the stock-market crash of 1929.

To those who observe what’s going on through the prism of Bible prophecy, particularly the pre-Trib view of Bible prophecy, things are in tremendous flux. That is, tremendous change is taking place that portends the soon-coming time of the Antichrist regime. This is what must come to pass so that Jesus Christ can return to put an end to human government, which has so egregiously failed at every turn.

However, it is not the end…not yet.

As my good friend Jan Markell says about world conditions in regard to Bible prophecy: “Things aren’t falling apart. They are falling together.” That is, we are privileged as Christians alive at this time to watch the end-times stage being set for all things to unfold exactly like God, through His Holy Word, says they will.

The devil and his minions, both human and supernatural, have tried to accomplish a coup d’état in this nation for the past four years. They have failed at every turn. Now they are, through the crisis at present, determined to change America through the many rushed fixes we are seeing. They hope to attach their tentacles through lockdowns and forced economic/business changes—i.e., ways of doing business—for accomplishing their globalist ambitions. Even with the immense propaganda power of the mainstream media, they have been unable to carry out their attempted coup d’état. This is because, I believe with all that is within my spiritual understanding, the Lord of Heaven has prevented their one-world plans to this point.

This is due to the fact that it is not yet time for the Antichrist world order to emerge. This can’t happen as long as the Church, Jesus Christ’s Bride, is still on this fallen planet.

That’s why the present president has been placed in the most powerful office of the most powerful government on earth. If anyone else held the office at this crucial time, I believe the economy of the United States, and certainly economies of the rest of the world, would have by this time indeed come crashing down. This would especially have been true by now, figuring this pandemic into the economic equation.

This is not to give Mr. Trump undue credit. He is simply living proof of the truth found in God’s Word. The Lord of Heaven raises up rulers and kings, and He brings them down (Daniel 2: 21). That this man is chosen by God to be in the position to which he was elected in such astonishing fashion is a primary reason I believe that the economy that is currently in freefall will again reach previous heights.

Jesus prophesied that when He next intervenes into the affairs of mankind, it will not be at a time of Tribulation-like desperation. It will, he said, be a time of building, buying, selling, marrying, planting. It will be, I believe He indicated, a time of business even more dynamic than usual—just like on the day when Lot was suddenly removed from Sodom, which was judged that very day.

The changes we are seeing at this time are profound. Indeed, America is being reconfigured in a way that will pave the way for what will take place following the Rapture of Christ’s Bride—all born-again believers.

But this isn’t the end. It is however, to somewhat distort the paraphrasing of Churchill regarding the end of the Battle for Britain during WW II, perhaps the end of the beginning of the end.

Jesus said while sitting atop the Mount of Olives just before He died on the cross at Calvary and resurrected for the sin of mankind: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6).

He also said: And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!