Archive for the ‘prophecy’ Category

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This blog called Prophecy for Today is one that specializes in bible prophecy.  I do not believe in just spewing doomsday dogma at people on the Internet.  Over the past year it has been amazing to me to find support as well as opposition.  Most of the opposition I have been given has been people who do not believe in the authority of the bible.  I always find it very interesting when they comment or try to get a rise out of me.

I am not a doomsday prepper.  I also do not endorse people running for the hills and isolating themselves in fear of what may happen to this world.  Jesus said in Luke’s Gospel, “For whosever desires to save his life will lose it, but whosever loses his life for My sake will save it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and is himself destroyed or lost?” (9:24-25).  The very thing preppers attempt to do is hold on or protect their life.  As Jesus said it is the very thing they will lose.  It is not wrong to work hard and make money and have nice things.  But if that is all we live for then it is pointless, because we gain everything then when we die we lose it all.  Or the stock market crashes and then we lose it all.  Instead of wasting time prepping we should be using that time that God gives us to share the truth of what Jesus did for the world (1 John 2:2).

Jesus came to earth to give humanity hope through faith in Him.  John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  Another way to say the word “begotten” is only.  The emphasis is on the fact that Jesus was God’s only Son.

I do not believe in prepping or storing canned goods.  I believe in a Holy, loving, gracious, and Just God.  Throughout the bible whenever God judged the world or nations, He always provided a way of escape.  He did this during the flood in Genesis 6 then with Moses in Egypt.  God has a plan and though I may not understand it completely I know that He will take of His people.  We have to walk by Faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).  Believe in Jesus for eternal life (John 6:47).

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A article in the Austin Statesman by New York Times writer Jim Yardley entitled “Pope urges World Peace reaches out to other faiths,” ran this past Thursday.  The pope in his first Christmas address urged the world to come together for peace.  He went on to say, “True peace is not a balance of opposing forces.  It is not a lovely facade which conceals conflicts and divisions.  Peace calls for daily commitment.”

Peace is a good thing.  I think any one reading this blog post including this writer would agree with that.  However, the bible claims that there will be no such thing as peace especially in these last days.  The Pope is welcomed to urge the world all he wants however, God has already spoken (Matthew 24:6,7).  The conflict in the Middle East is only the tip of the ice berg of what is to come in the Tribulation.

Matthew says there will wars and rumors of rumors of wars and that nation will rise up against nation.  These says are Jewish idioms for world wars.   There have already been two and there is still a yet third world war that is lurking on the horizon.  The third world war or possibly fourth by the end of the Tribulation will be when the Beast brings the armies of the world against Israel.  The Lord Jesus ends the war with His return (Revelation 19:11-21).

The perspective in which I write is a Pre-Tribulational view of Bible Prophecy.  This means I believe the Lord will return for believers before the Tribulation begins (Daniel 9:27, John 14:3, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:2-3).  Therefore, when I read that the Pope is urging the world for peace I think “That’s great, but it will not be a lasting peace.”  1 Thessalonians 5:3 says, “Peace and safety then sudden destruction comes upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.  And they shall not escape.”  The is saying that the world will achieve some sort of peace (which I believe will happen when the Antichrist or Beast finally gets a covenant signed with Israel and their foes) this peace will not last because the signing of the covenant will signal the start of Tribulation.

All this talk of peace should be taken as a sign that the Lord’s return is coming soon.  Believers should be looking up (1 John 2:28).

I have not written this blog post in an attempt to scare any one.  The purpose of Prophecy for Today is to prepare saints for the Lord’s return and His future Kingdom.  I take a conservative approach to bible prophecy interpretation in order to ensure and allow the word to speak.  Thank you for stopping by.  God Bless.

 

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I was reading the New York Times today and read an article by Michael R. Gordon and Steven Myers entitled “Iran and Hezbollah’s support for Syria complicates peace-strategy.”  There was a quote in the article, which caught my eye, “The big issue is whether negotiations can succeed if the United States, it’s allies and the Syrian opposition do not have more leverage over a seemingly implacable Assad government.”

What interested me so greatly about this article was the United States’ lack of ability to influence peace.  The US has been extremely affective influencing the Middle East for years and now it is seemingly losing it’s power.  What does this mean?  It means we are losing our grip as a world power.  If the dollar lost it’s place with the rest of the world then the US economy would go into a tail-spin.  As it stands right now, due to the high demand of the dollar in the world, America enjoys the luxury of borrowing money at an extremely low interest rate.  In essence if the dollar lost it’s place then the US would be at the party without a chair to sit in.  This someday may happen, the world is wanting to go to a universal currency and it will not be the dollar.  In my opinion the day that happens will be the day that cripples the US.  Inflation will be out of control and those who have money will have either seen it coming or lose everything themselves. The stock market collapse of 2008 is only a glimpse of the enormous problems that await for the US.

I am generally not a gloom and doom writer, however, America has got much debt and it is only borrowing time until the truth of the problem has to be faced.  Where does the Antichrist and Syria fit into this?  The next world power is not on the scene yet, but they will be.  It is not Russia, China, or the European Union.  The next world power comes from the Middle East.  They are not Muslim, but in many respects are likely Christians.  Christian is a broad term and it encompasses everything from Catholic to Baptist to even Mormon (Although this writer would not agree with Mormons being classified as Christian).  Micah 5:5 tells us that this one world ruler called the Antichrist is an Assyrian.  Modern day Assyria would include Syria, parts of Iraq and Iran.

The Antichrist is most likely alive today and could be someone involved in the resistance efforts against Assad (this is merely speculation).  It does seem very plausible.  Daniel 7 calls the Antichrist a “little horn,” which indicates that during the first half of the Tribulation he is rising to world power status.  It will not be until the middle of the Tribulation when he assumes rulership over the world.  Part of what helps the Antichrist gain world fame is that he brokers a peace deal between the Muslim community and Israel (Daniel 9:27).  This covenant is what starts the Tribulation.  Often Christians think that the Rapture starts the Tribulation, it does not.  The covenant is what starts God’s timetable or Daniel’s last week of the 70 (Daniel 9).

It is interesting to watch the drama of Syria and Assad play out.  When all is said and done though Assad will eventually be out and a new government will be set up with the Antichrist taking over or playing a major role in it until he is elevated to rule.

For believers we should have no fear of the coming night or judgment of God.  God has promised that we will escape the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10).  Jesus said, “Believe in me for eternal life”  John 6:47.

Have you ever had that feeling your gut is telling you something?  Sometimes you make a decision opposite of your gut and in the aftermath you think, ‘I should have listened to my gut.’  Some people consider the “gut feeling” as a person’s common sense.  I believe there is some truth in that.

One of the most mysterious things you read in Revelation 4 is about this group called the twenty-four elders.  Much has been made about their true identity.  Some claim they are a type of angel or even a ruling class of angels.  Much of the mystery is based upon the fact that there is very little of any evidence of their identity.  Therefore, most theories regarding them is merely speculation.  However, I will there is one passage outside Revelation that may give a hint into their identity.

In Acts 1 the disciples are meeting in the upper room.  Peter stands up and explains that they need to cast lots (which was the OT way of determining God’s will.  Remember they did not have the Holy Spirit to guide them.  Since the Holy Spirit had yet to arrive they were still doing things the OT way) and the lots fall on a guy named Matthias.  What is interesting to me is why did they feel the need to get a twelfth?  Why was it important?  Jesus choose the twelve himself.  Unless there is a deeper reason for that.  I believe one of the possible reasons could be that the 12 represent half of the 24 elders.  The other 12 would be Jacob’s sons.  In my opinion it makes the most sense, albeit there is little evidence to support my theory.  In Matthew 19:28, Jesus tells the disciples that they will sit on 12 thrones and will judge the 12 tribes of Israel.

In Revelation 4:4, the elders wear white robes, which the saints will also wear (Rev 19:7).  Also the elders wear gold crowns, the crown is something that is to be earned as a reward for a specific type of service.  Salvation is free, however, we are judged according to the works that we will do on earth.  God is a rewarder of those who seek Him.  There is a crown of life (James 1:12), the imperishable crown (1 Corinthians 9:25), the crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4) this is a crown given to those in shepherding roles, 2 Timothy 4:8 the crown of righteousness.  My intent is not to give you an exact list but to support my view that believers are able to earn crowns for the way they live for Him.

Does it really matter who the 24 elders are?  No.  However, I have always been curious about their identity.  Hopefully these verses will inspire you to search out the answer for yourself.

CNN reported that rockets have landed near two of Israel’s most populated cities.  The fighting since Wednesday has let 24 dead and 270 wounded.   The attack was from Hamas militants.  Hamas is a political party that governs the Gaza Strip.  Wikipedia stated that their “1988 charter calls for the replacement of Israel and the Palestinian Territories with an Islamic Palestinian state.”

What does this recent event mean?  There has never been any rest in the Middle-East since I have been alive.  I am sure some will observe what is going on and think nothing of it.  However, this conflict has been escalating and now that the United States has been lukewarm as to their involvement the stage is being seemingly set for the Antichrist to rise up and offer a false peace.

Daniel 9:27 says, “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week…”  The he goes back to verse 26 and the phrase “And the people of prince who is to come…”  The prince to come is the Antichrist or The Beast.  The first 3 1/2 years this covenant will be honored but then he will break it.  Also please remember that the Tribulation will not begin until the covenant is signed.  The Rapture can happen at any moment.

What does this mean for us today?  This conflict is the beginning of a possible all out war.  I would not be surprised at all if Russia were to get involved.   I make that assumption because Russia has been helping Iran and for some reason they seem to be persistent in wanting to have some sort of stake in the Middle-East.  Why?  Probably because they want to be in on the oil that is plentiful in the Middle-East.  Is Russia Gog and Magog?  I lean towards that view.  For a time it looked like Russia would never be a world power any more in the ’90s, however, now they are beginning to assert themselves once again.  Even with all that is happening in the Middle-East, the next thing on God’s timetable is the Rapture.  As Revelation says, “Behold I come quickly…”  May our Lord come back for us quickly.

Revelation 22:1,2 says this, “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  In the middle of the street and on either side of the river was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits each tree yielding its fruit every month.  The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

I grew up in Indiana in an old Baptist church in Zionsville.  One thing that always stuck with me was how I should interpret God’s word.   It is my opinion that God’s word was written for us to take Him literally.  However, unless the different authors of the books use literary devices for example: hyperbole, litotes, or just a simple “as,” “like” for comparison.  For me this clears up confusion when I read certain passages, like Jesus saying if your eye offends you pluck it out.  Does Jesus really want me to pluck out my eye?  No.  It is a figure of speech, meaning be willing sacrifice anything to enter the kingdom of God.

Now when we come to the above passage, like many passages in Revelation it tells us something interesting about the scene in God’s Kingdom.  There is a river of life and in the middle there is a tree of life.  A tree that has different fruit on it.  Then the passage says, “the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”   The bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 that we will have resurrected bodies, “we have borne the image the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.”  So what role do these leaves play?  So here is my explanation, which comes from a Pre-Tribulational Rapture point of view (which means that God will rapture believers today before the Tribulation begins).

When the Lord returns to put an end to the Tribulation, He will immediately begin to set up His Kingdom.  The Overcomers from Revelation 2 & 3 will rule and reign with Christ in His Kingdom.  However, who are the people who are living in the kingdom?  Let me suggest this, the people living in the Kingdom will be the true Jewish Remnant as well as children (who have not taken the mark of the Beast).  Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven was like a child.  The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, because of their sin of unbelief.  They wandered because God was not going to allow that generation to enter the Promised Land.  Who entered the Promised Land then?  The children of the previous generation.  God’s Kingdom will last a thousand years.  Longer than any other kingdom.

These children now in the Kingdom will not have resurrected bodies like those who have died or will be raptured up.  But their bodies will be like those who lived before the flood.  Those people lived extremely long lives.  How that will happen I do not know.  What I do know is that back in Revelation 22:2 the leaves of the tree of life were for the healing of the nations.  The word nations implies gentiles not Jews.  For believers we will have resurrected bodies and have no need for healing.  But the people of t he nations will.  Someone gets hurt during the Kingdom then they will be healed.

It is a pretty mind blowing verse, however, everything in God’s Kingdom serves a purpose.  I believe God will not let children go to Hell.  What is the age of accountability?  That is hard to answer because there is no verse in the Bible to suggest what age it could be.  Technically you have the passage where David loses his kid in 2 Samuel, but it is vague at best. Hypothetically writing I would say the age could be anything under 18.  Your brain reaches full development by the time you are in your early 20’s.  I come to that conclusion based on the approximate age of the youths entering the Promised Land.

Its cool if you disagree with me or whatever.  There is not a verse that specifically says anything about it.  All I am writing is that this could be how things shake down.  I do tend to think that this is how it will be.  My opinion.  Feel free to share your own.

Over a year ago I was listening to a blog talk prophecy radio show by John Claeys and a caller asked a question about the upcoming election.  I will never forget John’s statement to the caller, which was “There has never been a President who was elected to a second term without supporting Israel.”  President Obama is now the first.  He has been cold in his support of Israel.  Therefore, the fact that he got reelected tells me something about bible prophecy.  This is not about political parties or ideology as it is about what God is doing.

In Daniel 7, he describes four beasts.  Each beast is a representative a kingdom that is and ones that will be.  The first is Babylon, then the Medes-Persians, followed by Greece, and lastly the fourth Kingdom which is not necessarily Rome but a new world empire.  I write that it is not Rome because Daniel who correctly identifies Greece before they were really any sort of a power could have done the same with Rome.  This fourth empire is like Rome, but different.  It is more vicious and dominant than Rome ever was.  Daniel 7:23 says, “The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth.  Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth…”  Daniel goes on and says in verse 24, “The ten horns (of the fourth beast) are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom…”  The day of America being a world power is swiftly coming to an end.

I am not one of those doomsday people who believe because Obama got elected that we should all run for the hills and hide in caves.  In my previous blog I wrote about how God is ultimately in control and leading us.  This is all happening to our country because God has a plan and His plan usurps anything that we would want.  Therefore, we should look to God and not our president for our help.

It seems that Obama does not have a good relationship with Israel, also America has seemed to lose it’s influence in the Middle-East.  What does that mean? It means the way is being cleared for a new leader in the Middle-East to rise up.  Who will that be?  He will be the Antichrist or as John calls him in Revelation The Beast.  America will probably be one of the ten kingdoms that Daniel 7 writes about.  The world now is becoming a much smaller place and it will be interesting to watch what will happen here in the next four years with President Obama.  All I know is that God is control.  His plan was for Obama to get elected to set up other things He is doing for His return.  May the Lord come quickly.

The conflict in the Middle-East is as old as the story of Abraham in the bible.  In fact that is where the whole conflict began.  The Libyan strike against the US embassy is not surprising.  These attacks will probably continue until either someone is able to get the terrorist world to agree to peace or another world war then peace.

The bible tells us in Matthew 24:7 says, “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom and against kingdom…”  This little phrase is a Jewish idiom.  An idiom is a common saying that has specific meaning to a certain culture.  In our American culture we use such phrases as, “the elevator doesn’t go to the top floor,” or “they are a few fries short of a Happy Meal.”  If you were to say these phrases to someone from another culture, the true meaning of the phrase would be lost until they understood the culture.  This phrase from Matthew 24:7 is repeated similarly in Isaiah 19:1-4 and 2 Chronicles 15:1-7.

In Jesus’ day this expression, “nation rise up against nation, kingdom against kingdom,”  was a Jewish idiom for a world war, which would come before Messiah.  The Zohar Chadash  says, “At that time wars shall be stirred up in the world, Nation shall be against nation and city against city; much distress shall be renewed against the enemies of the Israelites.”  Also the Bereshit Rabbah says, “If you shall see kingdom rising against each other in turn, then give heed and note the footsteps of the Messiah.”

The world has already seen two world wars.  Could a third world war be coming soon?  It is possible.  According to bible prophecy the world will at some point come together as one (Daniel 7:23-24).  It does not surprise me that Obama has demphasized America’s role in the Middle-East and in many ways America is not as dominant as it once was.  In terms of bible prophecy this was bound to happen at some point.  With America coming to a more even playing field with the rest of the world, it would set up the one world government that the bible speaks of.  However, a major hang up is the Arab world right now.  If there was another world war then it would seem likely that it would end the influence of terrorism in the world.  Then the world would have “peace and security,” that 2 Thessalonians 5:1-3 speaks of.  However, after a brief period of this then sudden destruction with the arrival of the Day of the Lord (the Tribulation).

If you believe in Christ as your savior then you have no need to fear because you will be caught up to be with Him.  You will not experience the horror of the Tribulation (Romans 8:1).

Off the coast of Turkey in the Aegean Sea there sits nestled in the water a little island called Patmos.  The island really would have never been famous had not the Apostle John been exiled there.  It was during this exile that God revealed to him the words and visions for the book of Revelation.

It is in the book of Revelation that we receive a description of what the Great White Throne judgment will be.  Revelation 20:11 introduces us to this judgment.  The throne is called “great” because it is for the Lord, the King or kings.  The color white represents the holiness of God and that every judgment from this throne is just and right (Psalm 97:2).

This judgment occurs at the end of age, which would be after the Tribulation and after the Millennial reign of Christ.  I place the judgment here because the text gives us a few clues which are: 1. Death and Hades are cast into the Lake of Fire (vs 14) there is an end to death, 2. The lake of fire is described as the second death, 3.  It comes on the heels of the final war against God at the end of the millennium.

The people who are judged are not believers in Christ.  This judgment is for those who have rejected Christ.   In verse 12 it tells us that the dead great and small are brought out of Hades to stand before God.  I have heard people say before that they hope their good out ways their bad.   At the Great White Judgment people will be judged by their works (vs 12).  However, nobody will be found righteous enough, because it is not about your works as it is about having life.  The book of life will be opened and time after time people will be doomed for a Christ-less eternity.  Life is only found in the Son.  He can give life because He rose again.   John wrote about this life in John 20:31, which says, “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

It is not my job to make people believe in Christ.  However, it is my responsibility to let people know about the Lord so that they may have life in the Son.  Even our best works amount to nothing.  In the Great White Judgment people will realize only to late that all their good works are not what the Lord wants.  It is all about life and that life can only be found in the Son.

Babylon or Rome

Posted: August 17, 2012 in Antichrist, prophecy, religion

What city will be the hub for the world in the End Times?  There are many schools of thought on this topic.  However, the two most popular are either Babylon or Rome.

The Rome view:  Based on Daniel 2:40-43; 7:7-9, 23-24; Revelation 17:9-13.   Essentially the fourth kingdom of Daniel was Rome.  The clue is that the legs of the statue in Daniel 2 has legs made of iron.  Rome rose to power during the iron age.  Later Rome would have two capital cities, Rome and Constantinople, hence the legs in the statue, to govern the large empire.  Since Rome was never really conquered but was over taken by the Visigoths and later the empire would be somewhat established again with The Holy Roman Empire.  Therefore, the feet of clay and iron mixed of the Daniel 2 statue is a revived Roman Empire.  Revelation 17:9 talks about the harlot riding the Beast (Antichrist) who has seven heads.  In verse 9 the seven heads are identified as 7 mountains.  Rome is famous for being a city on seven hills.   Today there is the European Union and they will be the ten kingdoms (as some say).  Rome is the center of the world at this time in the end of days.  You have your ten kings, who submit to the Antichrist.  Rome is the new Babylon.

I used to hold to the Rome view and if you do, well it is still a good view to hold.  However, I want to propose a different view.  While this view is not original with me, it has the actual city of Babylon as the city at the center of the world during the end of days.

In Daniel, he never identifies the fourth kingdom to rule the world as Rome.  There are hints that it could be, however, he never writes it.  He does identify the Greek, who weren’t even on the scene as major players as the third empire.   The European Union is not the ten kingdoms of Revelation.  In Daniel 7:23, it says the fourth kingdom will devour the entire world.  Also Rome never conquered the world, they didn’t even extend as far East as Alexander the Great did.  Also Rome never fully conquered the Parthian Empire.   The world is in view here and the ten kingdoms make up the entire world not just one area.  The European Union gives us insight as to how this will all work out.

In Revelation 17:9, it states “the seven heads are seven mountains.”  While Rome does sit on seven hills there are also a number of Middle East cities that make this claim as well.  The fact that the seven heads are seven mountains means they are to be taken symbolically.  Verse 10 identifies the seven mountains as kings.  Therefore, it is not Rome the city but rather kings.

Babylon goes back to Genesis 10:2 and Nimrod.  Micah 5:6 says, “And the land of Nimrod at its entrances; Thus He shall deliver us from the Assyrian.”  The Antichrist will be an Assyrian and secondly he will come from the land of Nimrod.  Nimrod founded Babylon or Babel.  In Hebrew Babel and Babylon is the same word.  It makes sense that everything would come full circle in regards to Babylon.  The tower of Babel is where false religion started.

The argument against Babylon is that it is used as a metaphor in Revelation for the spiritual wickedness, which is why it is called a mystery in Revelation 17:5.  However, chapter 18 goes on to describe Babylon’s destruction.  Several passages in Isaiah recount the destruction of Babylon (13, 14) as well as Jeremiah 50 and 51.  While Babylon fell to the Medes-Persians it like Rome was not really destroyed, Cyrus conquered it with very little effort.

One thing I learned in school is that you should not read something into a passage that is not there.  The problem with the Rome argument is that, Rome is never really identified, you can make a good case that Rome is alluded to in scripture.  Then there is the problem of Revelation repeatedly viewing it as Babylon.  Babylon today is being rebuilt.