Goodnews Christian Ministry
"The Father who is the source of life has made the Son the source of life; and, because he is the Son of Man, has appointed him supreme judge. Do not be surprised at this, for the hour is coming when the dead will leave their graves at the sound of his voice: those who did good will rise again to life; and those who did evil, to condemnation." ---John 5:26-29
"Therefore, expect me -- it is God who speaks --
on the day I stand up to make my accusation;
for I am determined to gather the nations, to assemble the kingdoms,
and to pour out my fury on you,
the whole heat of my anger."
The power of Christ which engineered the Christian era on earth was not simply the result of potent government urgings commanding the promotion of Jesus as the religious cornerstone of the nations.
It was propelled far more dramatically by the fact that so many people who lived in those times had a deep faith in the Good News that was being preached to them. This was the real millenium -- the driving force that gave the reign of Christ on earth all of its power -- a monumental acceptance of righteousness by so many rank and file citizens throughout the world.
For almost two millenia, faith in Jesus Christ was the major philosophical movement on the planet. The Gospel of Christ attracted more people to it than any other teaching ever preached. (See Graph).
It's fervency was deep, and produced an era profoundly spiritual -- an era in which faith in God encompassed all aspects of daily life from the 1st Century until our own.
During that inspired period of Christian excitement, Jesus was proclaimed victoriously on earth and the broadcast of His message in loud and clear terms was supported by virtually all western governments -- not merely because church leaders demanded it -- but more, because the people, themselves, hungered for it.
Men came out of the darkness into the light because, in the weight of their conscience, they wanted to please God and do good.
Not everyone knelt to God, of course, but so many did that a deep undercurrent of religious passion enveloped the western world for almost 2000 years -- sparking a fervor for Jesus that touched almost every household within reach of the Church.
That was yesterday when the millenium of Christ reigned powerfully on our planet. Unfortunately, today we are watching that marvelous age grow now rapidly historic.
A rebellion is in progress -- a falling away from the faith of those times -- the great revolt which Paul warned stood between the fervency of the Apostolic world and the insipid nonchalance now beckoning the appearance of the man of perdition.
Today, the unabashed enthusiasm for Jesus that ruled millenial times has been replaced by a disintegration of faith that is bringing all that previous passion to an embarrased end.
The Church and all its heirarchy are still here, but the ears of the populace who once were so attentive are now turning deaf to Christ.
Not really wanting to hear what Jesus has to say, or believing that His Gospel is relevant to our times, most of the world's citizins have decided to turn their backs on His message and walk away.
And, "On these grounds is sentence pronounced: that even though the light of God has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds are evil." (Jn.3:19).
"If I had not come, if I had not spoken to them, they would have been blameless; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin." (Jn.15:22). "If I had not performed such works among them as no one else has ever done, they would be blameless; but as it is, they have seen all this, and still they hate both me and my Father." (Jn.15:24).
The sympathetic support of the government for Christian doctrine is over. The nativity plays in the schools are gone. The wisemen of our time have long since abandoned their pursuit of the star of Bethlehem.
All this has made John's warning suddenly viable to us: "And now sentence is being passed on this world..." (Jn.12:31). The grounds for this sentence -- rejection itself.
What the world is deserting today is the light which God dedicated to the world that holy night that changed the calendars when He consecrated with shepards and angels His living temple on earth.
That first Christmas was the signal to the world that God's promised light had come to earth. Built on a Hebrew template called the Feast of Lights, Christmas displays to the world a far brighter light -- the Star of God. "I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark; he will have the light of life'." (Jn.8:12).
Long before the Light of God appeared, the Law had foreseen His coming. Moses tried to prepare the people of Israel for that moment, warning that they had to listen and obey Him under penalty of death. The people waited in great expectation. Over the years, Hebrew tradition prepared a backdrop to highlight the moment.
So it was, when the moment was near that in the dead of winter, on the 25th day of Chislev in the Jewish calendar, an eight-day celebration called the 'Festival of Lights' began.
The Hebrew month of Chislev correlates with December, and the 25th day of that month with the celebrated birth of Jesus, both firm indications that Holy Spirit engineered the design that intertwines them.
This Jewish 'Feast of Dedication' (Hannukah as it is also called) honors the rededication of the Jewish temple after it had been defiled by the forces of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
The Festival of Lights proclaims the cleansing of the temple and its altar by Judas Maccabees in the aftermath of the Old Testament incident on which Daniel's 'Abomination of Desolation' was based.
The Holy Spirit superimposed these two celebrations, touching one with the other in calendar time for good reason. The true re-purification of God's temple occurred, not by the hand of a Maccabee, but with the birth of Jesus Christ.
Born on earth in a dedication ceremony directed by God Himself, Jesus cleansed the temple with a whip and a cross -- driving out its desecrators and bringing true worship to the altar of God.
That is why the Church celebrates the birth of Jesus in the schematic framework of Hannukah.
Moses, having been given authority by God to make the Old Testament the template for the new covenant, carefully chronicled a series of holy festivals and feast days, almost all of which now have Christian counterparts which have superseded and fulfilled what they originally stood for.
The incognizant argument that Christian festivals were formed on pagan holidays is quite false. The fact is, virtually none were. All Christian holy days carefully follow the Hebrew schematic laid down by Moses and his heirs.
Pagan holidays and festivals may have co-existed with Jewish events, but in the Church calendar all Christian holy days have been structured on Jewish and Hebrew feast days defined in the Old Testament by Moses and the prophets.
Christmas (the Feast of Dedication) is no exception. And, as with all the other Hebrew and Christian date combinations, these two dates are united thematically.
It was in December (the 25th day of Chislev) at the feast of Hannukah, that Jesus first revealed to the world the fact that He was God:
"It was the time when the feast of Dedication was being celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered round him and said, 'How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly'. Jesus replied: 'I have told you, but you do not believe me...the Father and I are one'." (Jn.10:22-29).
The Jews were furious at this reply and planned to stone Him for it, because, in language as plain as they would ever hear, Jesus had just let them know in a public proclamation that He was, indeed, the Christ.
His December declaration is a proclamation we repeat with bells, carols and music every time the season surrounding this feast returns.
In the same way and season that Jesus announced His Messiahship, we restate His revelation in public as emphatically as we possibly can, but we use a calendar that follows the sun, not the moon.
Since the Hebrew calendar is based on lunar months and the Christian calendar on solar months, Hannukah and Christmas, though close, cannot be united. The Jewish date rotates around the Christian date like a floppy appendage.
There is deep symbolism in this because the days of the Hebrew calendar, built on the reflected light of the moon are always in a state of flux, falling on a different day every year -- immitating the traditions of the elders, which change this way and that because they are only a reflection of the light of God.
Focusing on that symbolism, the Christian calendar follows the sun because it is fixed on the testimony of the Son of God, i.e., the direct Sonlight of heaven. Its days, therefore, are fixed and usually constant.
Since one calendar offers fluctuating days and the other does not, it is impossible to assign a fixed Christian date that precisely coincides with the fluctuating Hebrew day -- but in this case, both are celebrated on the 25th day of their coincident winter months (Chislev/December).
So every December, on a 25th day, and honoring two versions of the temple flame, the celebrations of Christmas and Hannukah both appear and each are are surrounded by a festival of lights. "The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone." (Is.9:1).
The lights of Christmas signify that Jesus is the light of the world -- a proclamation we repeat on every anniversary of the celebration of His birth. It is the Christian world's public prophecy affirming His Divinity.
Our proclamation clarions throughout the world in the loudest terms, with bells and music, this message for all to hear and take notice:
"For there is a child born for us, a son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace. Wide is his dominion in a peace that has no end, for the throne of David and for his royal power, which he establishes and makes secure in justice and integrity...forever." (Is.9:5-7).
The feast of lights, therefore, is the day when proclamation and prophecy unite.
Today, it has become a beacon increasingly ignored. The Christmas season has evolved into the holiday season; the music has become secular, the lights pagan, and a fantasy called Santa Claus now rides his sleigh aross department store floors. A veil of blindness has descended on the land, because the lights of Christmas have begun to herald darkness instead of Jesus.
Blind and leading the blind, society's false prophets -- it's self-appointed watchmen -- the reporters of the media who fill their newspapers and the airwaves with stories of the terror and mayhem of our times, fail to address the ethical collapse that has spawned all this disaster.
"...turning his gaze upward, then down to the earth, he will find only distress and darkness (the blackness of anguish) and will see nothing but night." (Is.8:22). Such are the headlines of our times. They wail loudly about the distress but are blind to the cure.
When God mortised the relationship between the dates of Christmas and Hannukah, it was not a unique event in scripture -- He did the same with Easter, structuring it on Passover. And again, Pentecost, which He superimposed on the Feast of Weeks.
He did the same with the exile to Babylon, allowing both Hebrew temples, which formed the bookends of that dispersion, to burn to the ground on the very same calendar day.
Making certain that future Jewish leaders would be able to grasp the fact that the exile to Babylon had two meanings and that each was related to the other, the Holy Spirit orchestrated the unique coincidence by date of the twin distructions of the Hebrew tabernacle.
Solomon's temple was burned down on the 10th of Loos -- a Hebrew lunar month that borders the end of August in the Christian calendar. Its destruction sent the Jews into the captivity of Babylon.
More than 650 years later on the very same Hebrew day, the 10th of Loos (August 29th in 70 A.D.), the temple of Herod was burned to the ground by the Romans who again deported the Jews into a second 'slavery of Babylon' -- this time an exile so far-reaching and enduring that Rome came to supplant the whole meaning of Babylon.
The fact that the Holy Spirit superimposed the new covenant's capitivity of Babylon on top of its Old Testament counterpart went unseen to all but a few.
But in the future when the a similar symbolism is repeated with Christmas, it should be more noticeable -- especially since we now know there is divine precedent for it.
On the 25th day of Chislev, in the year 167 B.C., a momentous sacrilege occurred. The altar in the Jerusalem temple was desecrated by the forces of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
This event was memorialized by the prophet Daniel, who termed it the 'Abomination of Desolation'.
Incredibly, three years to the day later (again on the 25th day of Chislev), the profaned temple was purified and the rights of the Hebrew altar were restored. Both events -- the temple's desecration and its purification -- occured in different years, but on the very same calendar day in the Old Testament.
It was in response to the purification of this desecration that the leaders of Jerusalem memorialized the 25th day of Chislev as the Jewish Festival of Lights.
And so it is that Christians, on the 25th day of December, celebrate the moment when Christ's arrival in the world purified the religion of God.
Jesus' reign on earth -- His victory over Satan -- has been celebrated on that same day ever since.
This date is a major sign for the future as well.
Just as the desecration and purification of the temple at the time of Antiochus coincided on the same date in the Mosaic calendar, the Christian counterparts to these two events will mirror one another as well, but play out in reverse.
The second has already occurred -- the true purification of the altar. This is an event that we celebrate as having taken place on the 25th day of December in the city of Bethlehem almost 2000 years ago.
The transgression of that cleansing, the Abomination that desecrates Christ's everlasting covenant has not yet occurred, but so that all will know it when it happens and understand just how intricately God is involved in what has occurred, the 'Abomination' spoken of by Daniel will be erected by the Beast on Christmas day, and that will bring this prophecy full circle.
We have seen many examples in this book how God has defined the new covenant of Christ on top of the framework of Moses.
While the two covenants have seriously different rules, they superimpose on an identical framework -- the Old Testament serving as a template for the new. This is why Jesus was so insistent with his disciples that the Old Testament be fulfilled in everything that He did.
God gave Moses authority to architect the template, and then interwove Jesus into the framework which Moses had defined.
That is why we see all Christian holy days superimposed over the days in the Old Testament that God had earlier put in place for them under the guardianship of Moses.
God's directive to Jesus that He fulfill the Mosaic template in precise terms did not disappear with the cross. It is a rule that God has decreed must be followed all the way to Armageddon.
Since Jesus has informed us that the last days will be cut short for the sake of the survival of the elect, it seems unlikely that the momentous appearance of God will occur on the 25th of December in echo of the beast's abominating sacrilege.
Yet a shortened period could still follow the Hebrew calendar framework, nonetheless.
God may well 'purify' the beast's abomination of the communion offering by scheduling Christ's Second Appearance at the time of Yom Kippur. Such a 'time-shortening' would interconnect Daniel's prophecy with the Torah's schedule, entrancing the third and holiest day in harmony with the Mosaic schematic.
For this reason we can prophetically assume that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will coalesce with the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles, close to the holiday of Yom Kippur -- the highest holy day in the Hebrew chronology.
Yom Kippur is the most important Hebrew holiday, and yet its counterpart is still not celebrated in the Christian Church as a defined holy day. This would seem a glaring ommission. But it is not. Yom Kippur is not celebrated by Christians because the day's final fulfillment still lies in the future.
That is not to say the season has been ignored, however. Just the opposite. The Feast of the Tabernacles corresponds to communion. And Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, nestled within the 7-day Tabernacle feast, corresponds to the Sonlight of Christ.
This God-given 'Sonlight' is a 'day of Atonement' that will continue to radiate as long as the light of Christ shines on earth. Therefore, it constitutes a 'daylight' that has blazed steadily for almost 2000 years.
The Godhead is Trinitarian, and each of its three parts has been given its own day of honor. This formula was developed and given pre-eminince in the Old Testament. God told the House of Israel, "Three times a year you are to celebrate a feast in my honor." (Ex.23:14).
This declaration by the Spirit of God in scripture is the reason why in the Law of Moses three great feast days encircle the Hebrew calendar.
These three holy occasions in Hebrew law are Passover, Weeks and Tabernacles. We have already seen that God has superimposed Christ's day, Easter, on Passover and the Holy Spirit's day of Pentecost on the Feast of Weeks.
We must assume, then, that the Day of God (the Day of Judgment) will fall at some point within the 7-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, close to Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is the highest holy day in the Hebrew religion. It is the Day of God as specified by the Law of Moses and always falls in either September or October in the Christian calendar.
The actual Day of God, of course, is that awesome moment in the future when God, Himself, will come and take His seat on a throne in the sky above the city of Jerusalem to sit in Judgment on all the people of the earth.
In other words, it is the Day of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
It is clear that spiritual patterns exist quite frequently in the scriptures. The seasons, themselves, point to this fact.
God created this world so that everything in it signals the plan of Christ. In spring, the time of new birth, the Easter of Christianity occurred. Christ freed mankind from sin. The first fruits of His harvest came 50 days later, on the day of the Feast of First Fruits (The Feast of Weeks), a day Christians call Pentecost.
And in summer, at the heart of the yield, God's harvest of souls in great abundance produced a millenium of Christian rule in the world.
Fall is a time of gathering and plowing. It is the time on earth when the harvest ends and the tares are taken to be burned. It is in this season that the millenium will come to an end.
Winter is desolation. It is the time of the Abomination and the destruction of the treaty. The beast will erect his desolating sacrilege, and terror will grip the earth.
Most Christians search the pages of the Book of Revelation for an explanation of the things to come, but the secrets that this book contains cannot be opened without first using the key of Daniel.
Jesus proved this when He spoke of the desecration of the altar: "So when you see the disastrous abomination, of which the prophet Daniel spoke, set up in the Holy Place (let the reader understand) then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains..." (Mt.24:15-16).
The Lord has requested our 'understanding' in regard to the location of the 'Holy Place'. This highly unusual bracket in a declaration by Jesus is fascinating and it strongly suggests that this sanctuary is not in the place most readers think it is.
The Holy Place in this prophecy is not a future or soon-to-be erected Jewish temple in Jerusalem.
Nor is this a reference to the Roman destruction of Herod's temple just after Nero died. No 'object' of desolation was set up by Titus and his Roman forces following that destruction.
In fact, it was not until many decades later that the Roman's constructed a pagan temple on the rock of Abraham. And when they did, there was little need for the kind of Christian flight in panic called for by Jesus.
Daniel's words are about an event that we must 'understand', then, in terms of Jesus Christ.
There are some Christians who feel that Jesus will come and renew His kingdom around the framework of a new Jewish state in Jerusalem -- one in which the fallen temple of Herod has been rebuilt and Jewish sacrifices resumed.
It is this kind of thinking that has kept the prophecies in the Book of Daniel sealed.
The only way to unlock Daniel's words is to sever their ties to Moses -- to do with them exactly what Jesus did with all the rest of the Old Testament.
Leaving Moses behind and bringing Daniel's words to Jesus Christ and to the new covenant breaks the seals instantly; but it does so only when the liturgy of the sacrifice is understood in Christian terms.
Christian liturgy plays a fundamental role in the world's continuance and is therefore much more important to world survival than many people think.
The abolition of the peace treaty and the end of the world are intricately tied to the Rebel's desecration of the liturgical elements of Christ's sacrifice.
Jewish liturgy is not an issue here. The guardian is gone. Only the real Father remains. Jesus is not returning to rebuild the guardian.
The Jews cannot bring Jesus to themselves, they have to leave the guardian behind and go to Him.
And that is exactly what will happen in Jerusalem some day, but not until all of scripture has been completely fulfilled.
First will come the Revolt against the Church, and after that the Wrath -- a time of terror beyond human comprehension. At the helm of that wrath will be a monster unsurpassed in all of history -- the man of Perdition -- a beast similar to Adolph Hitler, but far worse.
He will come to the world in the image of Satan himself. A man so cunning that he takes many unawares -- just as Satan himself does. This tyrant will make war on Jesus Christ and in that war destroy the visible framework of the Christian Church.
To understand the mammoth proportions of such a catastrophe, one has only to comprehend the population percentages in the territories destined to fall under the Rebel's future control: most of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean and much of Africa. Perhaps even parts of the Caribbean and South America.
Almost a billion Christians live in these areas today -- a region boasting tens of thousands of churches. And the Man of Evil will attempt to destroy them all -- the 'perpetual sacrifice', the 'sacrifice and oblation', 'the 'sanctuary citadel', the 'holy covenant', the 'Book of Truth' -- all of it. Everything Daniel has described.
Not just in Jerusalem, but in every part of the world under his control.
This perpetrator of the 'disastrous iniquity' will desolate the real sanctuary -- the sanctuary of Jesus Christ.
Daniel's words are formed on Christian references, not Jewish references. They reflect the world's final war against Christianity -- a war in which the Jews will play a strategic role, but not the central role. The center will remain forever in Christ.
Knowing that, the Book of Daniel is unsealed.
Since the Book of Daniel has been clouded by God with divine instructions that it not be opened until the last days arrive, it's disclosure in our time is certain confirmation that the final sunrise may not be far away.
The book of Daniel has remained sealed throughout Christian history -- its words a mystery to all who have tried to penetrate its secret meaning.
But all that has now changed. The locks on this book are being taken off, and this has coincided almost perfectly with the reconstruction of a Jewish nation in Palestine -- the two events which the Bible has always maintained would be the ultimate clues that the destruction of the world was near at hand.
Since the events which Daniel wrote about have already started to happen, there can be little question that the final countdown is now in progress.
The 'he-goat' and the 'ram' have fought their first battle at the Euphrates and are now awaiting conditions which will launch the second.
The days just past have produced incredible warfare involving inconceivable violence and weapons, with whole kingdoms rising up and falling apart as the world molds itself into the final die cast by God and revealed by Daniel. "Violence rules on earth and one tyrant cancels out another." (Jer.51:46).
As this turmoil unfolds, the power and influence of Christ's message on earth has begun to crumble and be rejected.
Foreseeing these days, the writer of the Book of Chronicles said that a time would come when every man on the globe would be made to participate in the violence. (2 Chron.15:5).
While the 20th century is part and parcel of the final days, it is just the beginning of the lawlessness -- just a prelude to what lies ahead.
Every sign in the world in this century has been a beacon pointing us to Armageddon. Just when we think that we have seen the most devastating events possible, something new happens to show us that worse events remain on the horizon.
And each time something happens in the world, the media icons at the TV studios rush to the pundits to find out what it means. The answers they receive are always full of knowledge, but usually they are wrong.
No matter how many times we try to analyze it, the future keeps surprising us.
With the recent spate of western victories in the world a global peace that just a few years ago looked unattainable has begun to look suddenly possible. The war-minded nations of the earth are now talking about disarming -- beating their nuclear weapons, as it were, into plowshares.
But few have done so.
The talk is there but not the resolve. And soon it will be too late. Daniel warns that at the very pinnacle of its triumph, the west will collapse and all hope for peace will disappear in the dust of its downfall.
The Bible teaches us that peace on earth can only come from Jesus Christ. And it predicts that the world will abandon that peace, crush it, and destroy itself in warfare as it searches in vain for another.
The optimistic views of peace are only an illusion anyway. (Ez.13:16).
Even in this period of quiet the battles continue to rage all around us. The circumstances may have changed, but the hostility driving the anger has not gone away. It has gotten worse. "Peace! Peace!' they say, but there is no peace." (Jer.6:14). "Peace!' each says to his neighbor, while in his heart plotting a trap for him." (Jer.9:7).
The silo's and the missles that lie within them are not being torn down. On the contrary, more nations are adding to them. The violence that has enveloped the world in this century continues to grow, unchecked on a multitude of levels.
That is because what the world has lost in this century is not its thirst for war, but its faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The one event which makes the end of the world so certain is the people's rejection of the message brought by Jesus. "On these grounds is sentence pronounced:
that though the light has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds were evil." (John 3:14-19). Paul defined this moment of rejection as the 'Great Revolt'.
We can see this Revolt in terms of church attendance world-wide, but only barely. It is much more visible in the world's change of behavior. This we can see clearly.
There are still many people proclaiming their faith in Christ, but instead of converting their lives to His service, they are abandoning 'the Way' for a life in opposition to it.
Vast numbers of Christians no longer bother even to attend church. When they do, it is only occasionally -- on certain holidays, for instance, or when nothing else is going on.
But the real collapse is not external. It is inside the heart. The failure to worship Christ comes from an internal failure of faith. And since it is faith alone that blocks the wrath, the secular revolution swirling around us today points to certain disaster.
The violence, the sexual misconduct, the self-indulgence, the hostility against discipline, and the world's general abandonment of the teachings of the Gospel -- this is what has exploded across the earth in our century.
The outer shell of the religion is still in place, but its inner power is dissolving as we watch.
The Bible has given us clear warning -- this disintegration of internal faith is the very mechanism that will power the wrath which Jesus warned about.
The wrath is the inevitable human consequence of Godlessness. Violence cannot come from Jesus Christ, it can only grow in His absence.
This is the war. Rebellion, itself, then, is the mark of the beast. The war is this world versus God.
The final moments of this war will find the front lines pushed back by the world's armies all the way to Jerusalem itself.
"See how your enemies are stirring, see how those who hate you rear their heads. Weaving a plot against your people they say, 'Come, we will finish them as a nation, the name of Israel shall be forgotten!' Unanimous in their plot, they seal a treaty against you...those who have said, 'Let us take for ourselves possession of the Dwellings of God!" (Ps.83:2-12).
Everything concerning the last days is fixed on a metaphoric calendar detailed by Daniel.
That calendar as we have shown, has roots in the ancient past -- roots that began in the victories of Alexander the Great and which grew to fulness in Antiochus' desecration of the Jewish altar -- an act whose corollary in our time presages the end of human civilization and the return of Christ.
The period of time between the final victory of Alexander the Great and the coming of Antiochus was 156 years.
Tracing Daniel's calendar, all the events he described will happen just as he has predicted them, and, since the Lord has decreed that the days of the end be cut short, we can expect the events of the last days to pass much more quickly than in Antiochus' time.
And as they do, the world's assaults against the two Houses of Israel will escalate and grow increasingly violent -- a violence that will ultimately touch every human being and which will not end until we are all in the air with Jesus.
All of these events are built on a framework which encompasses 6000 years.
This time-frame started in Eden with the birth of Adam and Eve when God breathed His spirit into man. And it all went awry when Satan rebelled and placed his stamp of rebellion on the new life God had created.
Banished from that tranquil garden and scattered throughout the nations growing out of the Euphrates valley, these two fallen spirits began to sow their seed into the population that surrounded them.
During the 5800 years that followed, modern civilization was born and a soil of God grew with it, eventually following Abraham out of Babylon's valley and settling within him and his family in the land of Canaan.
His descendants went to Egypt and were rescued, but sin overtook them and finally they were all sent back to Babylon where God's whole purpose in all this was brought to fulfillment.
In Jesus Christ God had led civilization to the millenium -- the time of rescue.
With the soil tilled and ready, the seed of righteousness was planted. The people of God were offered a way of escape.
As that 6000 years now draws to a close, God's offer is drawing to a close with it. When the seventh day of God dawns in the world, the Law has declared, everything that belongs to God must return with Him to the kingdom He has prepared.
From its very first day the Bible has always pointed us to the future, not the past. The clock that God has set before us measures 6000 total years and its hands now stand at 5758 in that measure.
Pointing only to Jesus, the Bible is the story of how God has raised up the people of the world to meet His righteousness face to face -- everyone brought by God to Christ's valley of decision.
Human civilization began to form in Babylon almost 5800 years ago and now in that same valley forces are gathering which will bring all earthly promise to an end. Only those who choose to remain loyal to Jesus will be saved.
At this writing the second war between the west and Media/Persia has not been fought.
This proves that we have not yet reached the point in history which corresponds metaphorically to the death of Alexander. Symbolically, this means that the western world still rules the earth.
In Daniel's time-line we appear to be situated somewhere between the two victories of the west over the east -- a time that would correspond in the ancient template to the middle of Alexander's reign.
In that template, Alexander's sudden death prefigures the collapse of the governing influence of western civilization over the rest of the earth.
When that collapse occurs, the political balance of the planet will change drastically; as nations in Europe, Asia and the Middle East coalese into the framework of the ten nations of the Apocalypse. The East will rise to great power.
Since these events are still in the future, several of the kingdoms governing the earth in the last days have not yet been formed, a fact which shows that we are now at the very beginning of the world's final rebellion against Jesus and his Gospel of peace.
The prophet Daniel has outlined a sequence for the last days that can be plotted with surprising clarity once that progression is launched.
This sequence begins with the war between the 'He Goat' of the West (who crosses the earth without touching the ground), and the 'Ram' of the East whose two horns are defeated in the conflict.
Since this event has now begun to unfold, we can follow the rest of Daniel's formula and watch as the events he wrote about -- the final doors in scripture's prophecy -- open before our eyes one by one.
The unlocking of each these doors is the final proof that everything is going by the Book of God. Extrapolating Daniel's chronology, the future will unveil a series of events not unlike those listed below (this list, first published in 1991 was updated in 2003). Scriptural references can be found in the two books which define each of these prophecies, chapter by chapter, in greater detail:
1. We have already seen Jerusalem rebuilt and the two wars at the Euphrates predicted by Daniel. These two wars led by the military forces of the United States fulfilled Daniel's prophecy of the western 'He-Goat' which toppled the eastern 'Ram'. It was accomplished as Daniel predicted, with forces that crossed the entire earth without touching the ground.
2. According to Daniel, these wars will structure a boundary between North and South near the Euphrates river. It will divide East from West, a circumstance that implants a kind of "Maginot line" at that river for the End Times. U.S. forces currently stationed there are a sign that this line is now in place.
3. That is to be the boundary the kings of the east cross when they later invade the western world.
4. The militant move to the Euphrates is described in the Bible as a major act of rebellion and will be pushed by leaders who promote a violent solution to the problems in Israel. This polarization of peaceful people versus war seekers will extend all across the planet. It will involve all religions and precipitate violent confrontations in every nation. Until the last day peace on this planet will not be seen again.
5. The Bible tells us that Jerusalem will be rebuilt in the last days. The Book of Chronicles specifies that Israel's return is to be predicated on a decree issued by the "Prince of Persia".
6. Today we see Jerusalem rebuilt as per prophecy, but the decree by the 'Prince of Persia' has not yet been issued. There is a discrepancy here, and it is resolved by the words of Jeremiah who said God would grant an early return to a group of Jewish miltary leaders.
7. Jeremiah predicted that God would move the 'king of Babylon' to allow certain Jews to return to the land of their exile, but warned that it would be a return made ahead of time (i.e., ahead of the decree of the "Prince of Persia" which the Book of Chronicles mandates as the official authorization for that return).
8. We can see the terms of that early return in the Book of Jeremiah, chapters 42 through 44. Jeremiah intimates that the Jewish return to the Holy Land in 1948 came about as a codicle to the treaty Christ made on the cross with Babylon. That treaty commanded the Diaspora (the scattering of the House of Israel into Babylon).
9. The House of Israel consists of two 'houses', Christians and Jews.
10. The Diaspora is still in effect. It mandates that the people of God remain peaceful and without ambition except to do good, and empowers the living continuation of Babylon's world so God can rescue His people from Satan's grasp. The world should have ended with Christ's appearance when He brought God's Word of judgement, but the treaty gave Babylon a short reprieve.
11. Because God allowed an early return ahead of schedule (i.e, before the appearance and proclamation of the "Prince of Persia") he ordered Jeremiah to enforce two strict conditions on the army leaders who head the return. First, they must stay within the boundaries specified by the king of Babylon's edict, and second, they are to remain completely peaceful. Jeremiah's conditions show that the ingathering is about the Jews being reconciled to God. It is not for nation building.
12. Jeremiah warned that both of those conditions will be violated by those participating in this early return, and it would have disasterous consequences.
13. Prophecies show that the remnant of the Jews who have returned to rebuild Jerusalem will become warlike and turn to a nation known symbolically as "Egypt" for military protection.
14. True to this prophecy, modern Jewish leaders have sought out the protection of the U.S. military, signing a defense pact between the United States and Israel. This military alliance was pushed by Jewish leaders who promoted militarism as the solution to the threats which confront the rebuilders of the fledgling Israeli nation.
15. The Jewish remnant will also build, according to prophecy, settlements in "Egyptian" lands, ignoring the boundaries specified by the king of Babylon's edict. Today there are hundreds of such settlements in Palestinian lands that lie outside the U.N. mandate.
16. Settlements in lands not given them and preemptive warfare against the Arab people are major violations of the two terms Jeremiah specified as essential to Israel's safety and security.
17. Jeremiah warns that dire consequences of those violations will begin when a nation known symbolically as "Egypt" sends its forces to the Euphrates river and set up outposts there. This prophecy began to be fulfilled with the American conquest and military occupation of Iraq.
18. These western outposts will later be overrun by a massive northern army with eastern ties that will cross the Euphrates and march all the way into Jerusalem, annihilating during the invasion the disputed Israeli settlements. Jeremiah indicates that all the settlers there will be killed when this occurs.
19. Jeremiah indicates that the assassination of the "pharaoh of Egypt" will be the definitive "proof" that all of these terrible things will happen just as written (Jer.44:29-30).
20. The "Egypt" in this prophecy may follow the format of the "Egyptian" cryptogram defined above, i.e., a symbolic Egypt in the visage of the U.S.A., or it may have already been fulfilled in the death of Anwar Sadat, president of actual Egypt, who was murdered by militants of his own people for signing a peace treaty with Israel. More likely, the former, with Sadat as a forewarning.
21. The United Nations as we know it will soon fracture. The nations will restructure themselves into four coalitions, i.e, four alliances of nations.
22. According to Daniel, following closely on the western Gulf War victory, at the height of its power, the political influence of the United States across the world will collapse. The world will splinter politically It will be "scattered to the four winds". This signifies a fracture of the western world at the very moment it should be uniting against the rising forces of the east.
23. One of these four alliances (the smallest) will expand into the ten-nation confederacy which Daniel calls the 'Kingdom of the North'. This is a ten-nation republic from the north, fully eastern in character that will form sometime after the second Gulf War. It will probably have similarities with the now-defunct Soviet Union, but it will bear, if not the heraldic insignia of "Persia", probably its distinctive symbolism.
24. That Persian focus will be concentrated in the Parthian east: probably involving nations stretching from the Black Sea and Mesopotamia through Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Indonesia, etc. These areas today are largely dominated by Muslims, mostly Shiite, and are growing more militant by the hour, a fury fueled by still small Al Queda elements as well as others equally hostile to the west. Other Asian and European nations will likely join this eastern bloc, since it also carries the prophetic title, "the kingdom of the north".
25. Isolated from Europe and the historic western world, the United States will give its support to the Israeli alliance that controls the southern Middle East. This western coalition will help constitute Daniel's 'Kingdom of the South'. It will likely include Muslim Arabs who have broken with the Persians.
26. Heralding what is coming, cosmic signs will intensify.
27. According to Christ, a number of large earthquakes will strike population centers all across the world.
28. Frightening events will occur in the skies and in the heavens.
29. The seas will roar and become unmanageable; so much so, that scripture says people will die of fear over what menaces the world. According to the Book of Revelation, the counterpart to the "seas" in prophecy is the world's people. This prophecy indicates that not only will there be frightening oceanic disturbances, there will be a tumultuos clammoring among the people on earth as well: riots, marches, etc.
30. The signs that life's lease on the earth is about to be cancelled by God will increase dramatically. Yet few will repent.
31. Disease, pestilence and famine will increase dramatically. These manifestations are already in progress, but scripture seems to indicate an intensity far beyond what we have seen so far. Man-made plagues may add to these pestilences.
32. Famine indicates economic collapse. The attack of 9/11 which showed enormous symbolic damage to world trade foreshadowed an economic collapse of great proportions.
33. Jesus warned that there would be wars and rumors of war. Since 1914, when world War 1 erupted, the planet has been plagued almost continuously with global warfare on a scale unprecedented in all of history. The Book of Revelation warns that Satan will mobilize the world for war, so we can expect that process to continue, worsening until the day Satan is destroyed.
34. Love in most people will grow cold on account of the world's violence. Gangs, lawlessness, and terrorism will encompass the planet.
35. Finally, the Church itself will come under attack and many will fall away. Those attacks will continue and become in the end so violent that Christians across vast areas of the planet will be forced to flee to the mountains and hide in caves for protection from those who will be bent on killing them.
36. Christians will be hated worldwide. Early indications of that hatred have already been noted. A recent Gallup poll indicated that American trust and confidence in churches has fallen from almost 70% favorable to about 40% favorable. Those statistics cover all churches, not just those accused of priestly violations.
37. Many false prophets will arise. According to Jesus, some will produce great signs and portents. Others will advertise that Christ is hidden somewhere -- in the desert or some other secret place known only to themselves. Jesus warned us not to listen to them.
38. A military treaty aimed against the Persians will be signed between the Arabs and Jews.
39. A treaty between Jews and Arabs will occur in stages over a period of years and the alliance will form a part of what Daniel calls 'the Kingdom of the South'. This affiliation seems impossible now, but it appears necessary to fulfill the visions for the two adversarial groups Daniel specifies, i.e., North (Persians) and South (Israel and allies) pitted against one another.
40. A series of conflicts will erupt between Israeli and eastern forces. The book of Daniel shows many battles see-sawing back and forth during this period. Some of this may reflect conflicts which have already taken place between Palestinian and Jewish forces.
41. The kingdom of the north will be composed of ten-nations. Once they have coalesced into a fighting force, the north will invade the south, storming across the Euphrates river, overrunning the western outposts guarding the river, and speed south into Israel where they will annihilate the "settlers" in the valleys.
42. These eastern troops will power their way into Jerusalem itself, but instead of destroying the nation of Israel, will make a treaty with it and then move north toward Europe.
43. Most of Europe will be conquered by the east during this assault. This conquest of western countries will reverse western dominance over the world for the first time since the days of Alexander the Great.
44. None of this could happen unless the United States had first terminated alliances with the conquered nations before these attacks occur. Another possibility is that the U.S. may be temporarily disengaged in some way, possibly by natural disaster or some other catastrophe. U.S. threats (see below) suggest it will probably be the former.
45. Daniel's words concerning this assault are quite specific. Much of the European continent will fall to the forces of this first 'king of the North'. Still not satisfied, he will carry his warfare across the Atlantic to the Western Hemisphere where Daniel says he will make many conquests. It will prove to be a fatal mistake.
46. Because the 'King of the North' defied western threats (probably U.S. threats) not to invade towns in the western hemisphere, Daniel says a "magistrate" will put a stop to his advances "in a way that he cannot repay outrage for outrage and he will turn back to the strongholds of his own country, but there he will stumble, fall and never be seen again". The defeat will be overwhelming. The "magistrate" in Daniel's vision is a western military leader, almost certainly representing the United States.
47. In the place of this fallen "King of the North" will appear a monarch bent on extorting the treasury of the "royal splendor" (probably the Vatican since Italy will be controlled at that time by eastern forces). This will mark an ominous turn in events because it will be the first sign that the rising violence is about to directly involve the Christian Church and the Christian people per se.
48. The attempt to tax the treasures of the "royal splendor" will fail. The short reign of this extortioner will end with his untimely death.
49. Taking his place will be the one the Book of Revelation calls the beast -- the great Rebel of the End.
50. He will have his beginning in a very small following, but through treachery he will greatly expand his sphere of influence. In the way that Daniel describes him, he seems to bear a likeness to Osama Bin Laden. Prophecies show that he will probably arise in an area close to the Black Sea.
51. Using intrigue and subterfuge he will quickly push into existance a new small nation.
52. Then, gaining control of two of the countries in his predecessor's ten-nation confederacy, he will combine these three into a single nation. Swiftly thereafter, he will greatly magnify his position and take command of the entire eastern republic.
53. Considering himself Parthian, the Rebel will align with Persia either politically, religiously or symbolically (or perhaps all three) calling himself (or the world will call him) the "Prince of Persia", one of the key titles the Bible assigns to him.
54. Launching a surprise attack on Arab and Israeli forces, this Rebel will decimate the South, and take control of a part of Jerusalem.
55. During this period he will come very close to ending the world, a fact documented in the Bible. The lies told at the conference will be to no avail, however, because the appointed End is not yet.
56. The "Ships of Kittim" (a United States naval armada) will mobilize against him.
57. Backing down from a major confrontation with the Americans, the beast will abandon the part of Jerusalem that he has just conquered.
58. Going home enriched from his conquests, he will begin his attack on the Christian Church. All Jewish and Christian worship centers in the Eastern Hemisphere will be targeted by his armed forces.
59. After a brief period, the beast will decide to assault Jerusalem once again, but the outcome will be different this time. Prepared for his move, the ships of the U.S. will come and oppose his forces. There will be a battle and the Rebel will be worsted and have to retreat.
60. Furious at having been disciplined in this way, the Rebel will launch a major assault on the Christian establishment. He will burn down all Christian churches throughout his empire and order the deaths of everyone who refuses to renounce affiliation with Jesus Christ.
61. The world's ultimate declaration of war on the Christian Church will take place in a dramatic act of violence -- the assassination of the leading Bishop of Christ on earth.
62. Thwarted by the United States from attacking Jerusalem a second time, the Rebel will furiously assault the religious bastions of his own empire. His troops will enter the Vatican and make it a headquarters for warfare their fortress.
63. Symbolising his victory over Babylon, the Rebel will enter St. Peter's Basilica and place himself on its "throne". He will declare himself a god, and demand his own worship. This will fulfill the ancient Roman prophecy concerning the reincarnation of Nero as a Parthian conqueror in the last days. This will be the rebirth of the Roman Empire predicted in prophecy.
64. As the 'Prince of Persia', he will issue a proclamation that will end Christ's treaty with Babylon (a proclamation that will officially end the Diaspora to Babylon). With this edict, defined by the Bible's Book of Chronicles, the Rebel will officially end the Babylonian captivity which has bound Christians and Jews to worldly exile since the time of Christ.
65. It will end the 'Peace Treaty' Jesus made with the king of Babylon on the cross.
66. The Rebel will instruct his forces to place the Abomination of Desolation above the altar in St. Peter's Basilica. This defilement, Daniel wrote, will put an end to the 'Perpetual Sacrifice' (the Eucharist of communion). It's consequences will be irreversible. It will bring the Wrath. From this point on, prayer will not alter the sequence to follow. This is the moment when everyone is warned to flee to the mountains.
67. In these actions (taking command of Babylon) the 'Prince of Persia' will become by his own proclamation, the 8th head of Babylon in the biblical sequence of 'beasts'. These 8 'heads' of the beast are the 8 'war-heads' launched against the House of Israel by Satan. Because he is a reincarnation of one of the previous seven, only seven are counted.
68. His proclamation is also the moment when the exile to Babylon officially ends for all. A small band of surviving Christians in Rome will begin a journey from there back to Jerusalem (out of the captivity to Babylon). This journey will signify the exiled "House of David" (the Christian world) returning to be united with Jerusalem bringing together into one, the two 'Houses of Israel'. Scripture indicates the journey will take 3-1/2 years.
69. Vatican City symbolizes the City of David (i.e., the city of Christ). It will return home from exile to the temple mount in Jerusalem, its historic site, symbolizing unity between the two cities. The person leading this return will be Michael the Archangel, born into the flesh for this moment. The Jews failed to see John the Baptist as the Elijah scripture prophesied. For this reason, they have set a cup for Elijah at every Passover Seder in anticipation of his coming, which all Jews still wait for with great expectation. Michael will fill this role for them. He will be their "Elijah", and they will recognize him when he arrives.
70. A great earthquake will rock Jerusalem, splitting the Mount of Olives, and dividing it into two parts. At about the same time, the Jewish Western Wall will collapse, fulfilling Christ's prophecy concerning the toppled stones of Herod's temple.
71. The Rebel will not only destroy in great part the Christian church on earth, he will also replace traditional Muslim beliefs with his own idealogy which honors money and gold and ostentatious living. He will demand that everyone worship him as a god and obey his new theology. He will bribe the military commanders who support him by giving them great rewards for obedience.
72. A branding will be initiated in the areas controlled by the Rebel. It will dilineate all who accept the madman's terms and agree to support and worship him. This is the "mark of the beast".
73. Searching for those who still believe in Jesus, and refuse to be marked, the Rebel's forces will scour the countrysides. The Psalms tell us that every cave in the country will be the scene of violence.
74. Having secured Rome for himself and made it his throne, the beast will resurrect the ancient Roman empire of the Caesars and bring it back to life.
75. His insanity will be such that he will decide to end the world on a whim because he has been blocked by U.S. (Kittim) forces. Ordering his armies toward Jerusalem in an assault of unprecedented dimensions, he will initiate the unthinkable.
76. The smoke of the holocaust he unleashes will plunge the earth into darkness. Perhaps launching his nuclear warheads toward the U.S. and the rest of the world, the Rebel will precipitate a day of terror unlike any other in history, nor will ever be again. In the resulting firestorm, with missles apparently flying in all directions, even the beast's own homeland, Magog, will be reduced to ashes.
77. With skies darkened by dense smoke from one end of the planet to the other, the moon and sun will competely disappear from view.
78. Their homelands ablaze, and the smoke of the fires darkening the sky above them, the world's military forces will gather in the hills and valleys of Palestine encircling Jerusalem, in preparation for the final battle.
79. The sign of Jesus glowing in the north will suddenly appear in the clouds.
80. Standing guard inside that hallowed city , a peaceful contingent of Jewish soldiers and citizens will prepare themselves for what seems to be inevitable annihilation. Praying and trusting that God will rescue them in fulfillment of the Promise, they will prepare for the final battle -- the war the Bible calls Armageddon.
81. But there will be no fight that day. No war. Instead, suddenly, in the middle of the night out of the skies will come the fiery spears from heaven, proving that nature, itself, fights on the side of God. The armies of the Rebel will disappear in the fury of God's own rocketry. So will the militants of Israel. In the morning everything will be silence and the armies will all be gone.
82. Leading a small band of Christian refugees from the burning North toward Jerusalem will be Michael the Archangel, the 'Elijah' expected by the Jews.
83. Having been freed from "Babylonian" captivity, The City of David will return to Jerusalem in the form of these refugees.
84. When the citizens of Jerusalem see Michael and his group of followers coming from the Mount of Olives, they will call out the predestined signal; "Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Mt.23:39).
85. Hearing the shout, Michael will call out the command. At that moment, the stones Muslim forces used to seal Jerusalem's 8th gate the 'Golden Gate' on the east side of the temple mount will collapse allowing the gate to fall open.
86. Upon hearing Michael's call, the angel Gabriel will blow his trumpet. Instantly the skies will separate and Jesus will brillliantly appear on the clouds of heaven in all His glory, instantaniously shining from one end of the world to the other.
87. The world will disappear and be replaced by the thrones of Judgment. The books chronicling our lives will be read and everyone will be brought to task for the kind of life they lived when they were on earth.
88. According to the Book of Revelation, many of those who fall under judgment will be herded together and led to a great burning lake of sulphur . The fires of this lake will never go out. Satan and his wickedness will be no more. His long war against God will be over.
89. The gates of heaven will be unlocked and those who are deemed worthy (the people Jesus chooses) will be allowed to enter the new kingdom, God's paradise of eternal life.
90. Jesus said that "when these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand." (Luke 21:28). The meaning of all these signs and portents is salvation and eternal life, not death and disaster. Jesus shows us that prophecy is about the proof of God, it is not about the future. The newspaper tells us the future. God tells us what is true.
91. "And he told them a parable, 'Think of the fig tree and indeed every tree. As soon as you see them bud, you know that summer is now near. So with you when you see these things happening: know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all will have taken palce. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." (Luke 21:29-31).
92. The true meaning of the end of the world is death itself. Everyone who dies comes into this moment suddenly and without warning. Every person must recapitulate the tribulation in their own lives, holding on against formidable forces all the way to the end. Those who succeed will gain eternal life. There is an End, yes, but it consists of billions of "ends" leading up to that final day.
Author's note, 2003:
The preceding list is a thumbnail sketch of some of the more salient prophecies defined in our two books, "The Clock of God" and "The Last Days of Babylon". Scripture references and quotations for all these prophecies can be found in great detail in the chapters which elaborate an in-depth analysis of these and many other visions of scripture.
Moses ordered in the Old Testament that the people were to "wash and clean" for two days and on the third day, see God face to face.
The Bible tells us that one day to God is a thousand years. It has been 2000 years since Jesus was born, a term that would constitute 2 "days" to God. This tells us that the people have washed and cleaned for "two God-days" in baptism and conversion.
The third day actually began January 1, 2001. Nine months later, the east attacked the world trade centers in New York and destroyed them in a 'Pearl Harbor-like' attack. This assault occurred nine months from the beginning of the third day. That is the length of time it takes a human being to be conceived and born.
This shows us that the entire "third day" is to be structured in the fulfillment of Daniel's vision. That means the world is in for a violent future from now on. We now know that it will apparently involve poison gas, biological warfare, weapons of mass destruction, radioactivity and random acts of terrorism worldwide.
Paul said that God lets us see these things only dimly (1 Cor.13:9). That is because God wants conversion and obedience the actions that get us into heaven. The dimness and error surrounding our visions show that God gives us prophecy as a proof, not as a scoresheet. There are sufficient mistakes in these visions to insure that the blind will remain blind to the end, and that those with sight will always see.
Bible references for all the prophecies listed above have already been shown.
Since the ten-nation eastern coalition does not yet exist, there is still time for prayer -- prayer that the world will turn away from its recent course toward annihilation, abandon its revolt against the Gospel and repent in the name of Jesus Christ.
The power of prayer is more powerful than anyone can imagine. More powerful than all the armies in the world combined.
When the secrets of the visions of Fatima were revealed, one of them, the second of the three, asked the world to pray for the conversion of Russia. As the years passed, this request seemed to grow more and more preposterous -- as unlikely a scenario as could ever be imagined.
Then suddenly, out of the blue, and at the height of its military power, it happened.
The atheistic regime in Russia was out of power. Overnight, Leningrad became St. Petersburg once again. On the news a few months later, one could see the new president of Russia leading Easter services in a Christian church.
The collapse of the communistic Soviet Union proves that it is still possible for the people to change an atheistic course and choose another way. But the only way that can work is Jesus Christ.
As the world grows more antagonistic to Jesus, the closer the Anger will come.
The Law declares that the only way that this wrath can be held back is for the churches to pitch their tents close to the Testimony of God (the Gospel of Jesus Christ). "...the Levites are to pitch their tents round the tabernacle of the Testimony. In this way the wrath will be kept from falling on the whole community of the sons of Israel." (Num.1:53).
Two things are evident in this proclamation of the Law. One, the wrath of the last days is tied part and parcel to faith. And second, the fate of the entire earth is dependent on the church's adherence to the Word of God. The Revolt itself will bring the wrath.
Pure faith is so powerful that even after sin opens the door to the Avenger, one church on earth will remain shielded from the worst of the terror.
Although the Rebel will rule much of the planet, scripture shows that his cruel grasp will not envelop everyone. The church 'in Philadelphia', for instance, will escape it: "Because you have kept my commandment to endure trials, I will keep you safe in the time of trial which is going to come for the whole world, to test the people of the world." (Rv.3:10).
Isaiah indicated that this church was somewhere 'in the islands of the sea'. (Is.24:15-16).
A clue to its identity is offered in John's declaration that it was one of the seven churches to which he was writing. Since these seven are all metaphoric, Philadelphia can be seen as a metaphore for either a geographic location, or for a particular type of Christian behavior.
It's true meaning probably involves both.
In a world-wide Church that sits on the globe's seven continents, John's prophecy may allude to the one continent on earth destined to escape (almost to the last day) the Rebel's personal terror -- the continent where Christ's faith is said to shine the brightest.
Isolated in the islands of the sea, and protected by a military strong enough to counter the powerful lords of the East, that continent seems certain to be the Western Hemisphere, and to involve especially, the United States and probably Canada.
Another, less widely shared meaning of this quotation in the Bible, however, is spiritual and implies that pure faith and perfect obedience leads to early selection by God. This interpretation has its roots in the popular quotation, 'the good die young'. It is also the driving mechanism for the prophecy of rapture.
A few hours before he was taken prisoner by the prince of this world, Jesus told his disciples, "When I sent you out without purse or haversack or sandals, were you short of anything? 'No' they said. He said to them, 'But now if you have a purse, take it; if you have a haversack, do the same; if you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one, because I tell you these words of scripture have to be fulfilled in me: He let himself be taken for a criminal." (Lk.22:35-37).
Just as each of us must duplicate the life of Jesus in our own lives, so must the Church as well.
This means that the stages which Jesus had to pass through -- coming to God, being baptised, being tempted by Satan, recovering and working in God's service, and then finally passing out of life by violence and hostility -- must be repeated by the Church and by each of its members.
Some are spared the final act of violence in their lives (see above), but most of us must pass through it: "Up to the time of John it was the Law and the Prophets; since then, the kingdom of God has been preached, and by violence everyone is getting in." (Lk.16:16).
From that moment all the way up to the present time, "the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm." (Mt.11:12).
The destructive brutality of the world has become so rampant that it is rarely even recognized as violence to anyone but its victims -- a drunk driver, a careless doctor or nurse, the transmission of diseases by sinful actions, merciless isolation, molestations and child abuse, greedy landlords and financiers, a system which shuts its doors in peoples faces and turns them out to face calamity.
Despite all our efforts to dodge the disasters which loom at the end of our lives, most of us will be crucified by them -- especially when we are trapped in a system which has its eyes riveted on making money and blind to everything else.
The Bible predicts that this kind of behavior leads directly to momentous physical calamity -- especially devastating earthquakes:
"Listen to this, you who trample on the needy and try to suppress the poor people of the country. You who say, 'When will New Moon be over so that we can sell our corn; and sabbath, so that we can market our wheat? Then by lowering the bushel, raising the shekel, by swindling and tampering with the scales, we can buy up the poor for money, and the needy for a pair of sandals, and get a price even for the sweepings of the wheat?"
"God swears it by the pride of Jacob, 'Never will I forget a single thing you have done'. Is this not the reason for the earthquakes, for its inhabitants all mourning, and all of of the land heaving like the Nile..." (Amos 8:4-8).
Most of the great earthquakes of the End have not yet arrived.
Amos' words suggest that they will appear in concert with a time when the poor are being exploited in a way which is greater than at anytime in the past.
As the world grows increasingly hostile to Jesus and to his commandments, people's greed for money and the trappings of wealth has increased dramatically. Along with it, the ranks of the homeless, poor and unemployed have rocketed in number.
Complaining about the 'cost' of these outcasts, and defying grave warnings in scripture concerning the terrible consequences of such actions, business leaders have begun to lead a bold attack on welfare to the poor. Like Amos said, money has become their only object. They call it a 'bottom line', and they think of nothing else.
As a consequence, the gap between rich and poor has become enormous. Forty years ago there were no billionaires in the world. Today there are thousands. Millionaires, once scarce, now number in the millions.
And all the while the ranks of the poor are burgeoning.
Paralleling this polarization of wealth and poverty, the world has experienced an increase in rioting and growing civil unrest -- all the turbulence and rage that Jesus warned would precede the last days.
Very soon we can expect the great earthquakes to come -- God's final warning that something even more terrible is about to happen. Amos' pronouncements will come true.
How earthquakes can be related to greed is a mystery, but God has given His angels great power on earth to do His bidding. "The angels are mighty heros who enforce God's word." (Ps.103:20).
It can be argued that the earthquakes will impact the poor just as terribly as they do the rich, but the same argument can be made for Armageddon as well. "Creation is maintained by God's rulings" (Ps.119:91), but it is utterly destroyed by sin.
When the people leave the way of God, the wrath falls on the whole community, not just a part of it. A drunk driver does not only destroy himself, the innocent have to bear his burden as well. It is the same with the wrath as it is with the blessing.
That is because the old covenant is a group covenant. When a large number people live in God's righteousness, an aura of blessing covers the community and good and bad alike both benefit from it.
This is a law built right into the creation itself and exists separate and apart from the Judgment. It is a law of justice that is dispensed throughout the entire world, because "no nation is excluded from God's ownership." (Ps.82:8).
It was precisely because the old law was blind like this, impacting good and bad alike, that God sent Jesus to rescue the good. Jesus took us out of that law because it only responds to the group. If the majority sin, then all die.
God freed us from that kind of justice and raised us up to a higher Judgment that is able to descriminate between good and bad and punish only those who are evil.
Rejecting Christ's offer of higher justice, this world must succumb to the old rules.
Scripture teaches that wickedness is bringing our planet to a violent end -- a violence mirrored in the warnings and events which precede that end.
Therefore, at a certain point, as a sign that this world's persistant tyranny against the poor and homeless has reached a peak, the earthquakes will come in fulfillment of the prophecy showing the nearness of God in the heavens as He makes His final approach to the Seat of Judgment now being erected for Him in the skies above Jerusalem.
"Quake earth, at the coming of your Master, at the coming of the God of Jacob..." (Ps.114:7).
Those whose greed caused all this or helped to promote it will have great reason to collapse in bitter anguish when that Day of God arrives and presents itself in full sight.
The end of the world will come in response to behavior. This is the essential meaning of the Revolt. "This people's leaders have taken the wrong turning, and those who are led are lost." (Is.9:15).
Those who preach that all you have to do is mouth the name Jesus with an ascenting tongue and God's salvation is yours no matter how you behave are wrong.
The inscription written on the gate has never changed: "It is not those who say to me, 'Lord, Lord', who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven." (Mt.7:21).
There are over one and a half billion Christians on earth at this very moment and all of them proclaim that Christ is their Lord. But for many, their behavior does not echo their mouth.
Despite the size of the Church something must be very wrong inside it or our enemies would not have gained the kind of power in the last few years that has spurred God to begin turning out the lights.
The proof of the Revolt is all around us. God is not pleased. He is wrapping up the harvest and bringing the world to it's destiny with Armageddon because wickedness has risen to prodigious heights -- inside the Church and out.
"To the man of discretion, wisdom means a watch on his own conduct, but the folly of fools is delusion." (Pr.14:8). Delusion in religion is believing in our own idea of God and paying no heed to the words Jesus actually spoke.
This error is addressed in the scriptures: "Trust wholeheartedly in God, put no faith in your own perception." (Pr.3:5). We cannot manufacture our own salvation. What we, ourselves think has no power to give life.
"Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear these words behind you, 'This is the way, follow it'." (Is.30:21). Obeying Christ -- this is faith. This is true belief. And this is eternal life.
"I tell you most solemnly, whoever keeps my word will never see death." (Jn.8:51).
But as for the veneer of lip service, there is no 'belief' in that. Just delusion. Trying to use magic incantations and catch phrases so that we can go on pursuing the 'good life', chasing after this world and its riches, has no power except blindness.
The riches we pursue have bound the poor in a poverty so cruel that it cries out day and night for God's vengeance. It is only folly to chase after something like that.
Jesus is not a watercolor to paint a thin veneer over a sinful life. Ezekiel said that we must rebuild the wall completely, not just plaster it over.
Behavior is the key to both life and death because this world is about to be judged on its behavior.
At this very moment the thrones of justice are being set in place. When the King comes, he will separate the wicked from the just, measuring how each behaved (Mt.25:31-46), and rewarding each one of us according to the conduct of our lives. (Mt. 16:27).
Because the Rebel's attack on Christianity will duplicate for the Church the events of Christ's passion, the quotations in scripture match. "To arms! We will launch the attack in broad daylight." (Jer.6:4). When this assault takes place, the preaching of the Gospel will be at its highest level ever.
"I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight." (Amos 8:9). 'Noon' means that the attack will come when the light of Christ is shining at its brightest intensity. When the attack occurs, the world will know more about Jesus and His words than any people in past history.
But suddenly, at its most brilliant point, a world in Revolt brings twilight. "Despair! The daylight is fading already, the evening shadows lengthen." (Jer.6:4). There will be churches everywhere but the faith inside them will disappear.
So in the end, there will be darkness -- a darkness that will mirror the charcoal skies of Armageddon. "To arms! We will launch the attack under cover of dark..." (Jer.6:4-5). In its assault on the Church, the world will duplicate the attack by the prince of this world on the person of Jesus Christ, whose ministry was about to peak when he was taken by the soldiers in the darkness at Gethsemane. (Jer.6:4-5).
Instantly, the millenium will come to an end and the second war will begin. In that assault the Rebel will erect his abomination over the altar of Christ's sacrifice, abruptly terminating the treaty of peace which Jesus made with the world.
This will bring God's harvest on earth to a sudden end. With the light of Christ in this world extinguished the rest of the disaster will take place under the cover of theological darkness.
At what point this will happen, no one can tell. God has made these dates secret because repentance and conversion by the world can alter the timetable.
If the prophecy of Joshua that the the light of Jesus Christ on earth will last 'almost two days' can be applied to the preaching of Christ on earth -- an event which has now lasted almost 2000 years -- the time is very close indeed.
The 2000th anniversary of 'anno Domini' is less than two years away. The 2000th anniversary of Pentecost will occur sometime between 2030 and 2033 A.D.
We can assume, then, by Joshua's prophecy, if there is no sweeping repentance, that the Church will be under fierce attack by the time these latter years arrive.
It must be remembered that these years do not mark the end of the world, they mark the end of the millenium. They usher in the days of Gog and Magog and all the hordes of the East -- soldier's, John said, that will number like the sands of the sea, and whose goal is to burn the western world to a cinder. (Rv.20:8).
The specter offered is that of an ocean of warriors stretching from Germany to China -- armies from every country in Asia -- amassing in the Middle East for combat against the west on a scale unheard of in human history.
In the wake of their march across the world, only the flames and smoke of catastrophic ruin will remain of Babylon.
Although the duration for their final assault has been precisely defined in scripture, the timetable for the warfare leading up to this period is not included in these numbers.
The 'three and one half year' definition only details the world's military assault on the Church itself, it does not define the term of violence destined to overwhelm the nations. That will last a good deal longer.
As far as the Rebel's religious assault is concerned, however, that may not even last the full 1290 days. Jesus said that the days of the end have been cut short for the sake of the survival of the elect.
How much they have been shortened, or where the cuts have been made, no one can tell. At this point, world survival for even a hundred more years seems questionable. Even fifty years may be too long if there is no revival of faith.
But as far as the actual Day is concerned, no one will know until the moment the sky rips open and the Son of God appears through the rent.
All that we can do now is watch as the final episodes begin to unfold in the events around us, knowing that this day will come sooner than almost anyone suspects.
It is a day completely dependent on the conversion of the Jews. "My people refused to listen to me, Israel refused to obey me, so I left them to their stubborn selves to do whatever they pleased. "
"If only my people would listen, if Israel would follow my ways, at one blow I would defeat their enemies and strike at all who attack them. Then those who hate God would cringe, their doom being sealed forever..." (Ps. 81:11-15).
All the signs surrounding us now prove that scripture has told us the truth -- that God's offer of reconciliation is real, and so is the disaster beyond that offer.
Seeing these signs we can be certain that Christ is the Son of God, and that every word He spoke is accurate and will happen just as He announced.
Yet not a single one of these signs have slowed the Revolt or prevented it from occurring.
Who is listening? Disbelief is rampant and growing greater every minute. "In the evening you say, 'It will be fine; there is a red sky", and in the morning, 'Stormy weather today; the sky is red and overcast'. You know how to read the face of the sky, but you cannot read the signs of the times." (Mt.16:2-3).
That is why the war of the end, though predicted loudly and clearly from the very beginning will catch almost everyone unawares when it suddenly comes. Even many churchmen have closed their eyes.
So when the invasion from the North occurs, it will arrive just as Jeremiah said it would and when it does, the world's reaction will be exactly as he predicted:
"Announce it in Judah, proclaim it in Jerusalem! Sound the trumpet in the countryside, shout the message aloud: Mobilise! Take to the fortified towns! "
"Signpost the way to Zion; Run! Do not delay! I am bringing you a disaster from the North, an immense calamity. The lion is up from his thicket, the destroyer of nations is on his way, he has come from his home to reduce your land to a desert; your towns will be in ruins, deserted. "
"So wrap yourselves in sackcloth, lament and wail, since the burning anger of God has not turned away from us. "
"'That day -- it is God who speaks -- the king's heart will fail him, the princes' hearts will fail them too; the priests will stand aghast, the prophets stupefied. People will say, "Ah, Lord God, how utterly you deceived us by saying: You will have peace -- even when the sword is at our throats!"
"When that time comes, this will be said to this people and to Jerusalem: From the bare heights a scorching wind blows from the desert on the daughter of my people -- not to winnow or to cleanse! A wind, full of threats, comes at my command. "
"Now I myself am going to pronounce sentence on them!' 'Look he is advancing like the clouds, his chariots like a hurricane, his horses swifter than eagles. Trouble is coming! We are lost!' Wash your heart clean of wickedness, Jerusalem, and so be saved." (Jer.4:1-14).
The end of Babylon is the end of God's offer. His command is dire because the time has grown so short and wickedness is making it shorter still.
That is why we must consider the little time there is left as our final opportunity to repent and to keep the commandments of Jesus which mean eternal life and to hold fast to the faith we have in the promise of God so that we do not lose the precious gift he has offered us.
There is still time, but it is fading fast -- and once gone, God's offer will never come again.
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