Thursday, June 1, 2023


Biblical prophecy is an essential factor in living godly lives in an ungodly world, which is why Jesus and the N.T. writers wove prophetic themes throughout their teachings. These give believers that much needed “two-world” view (living in this world with an eye on the world to come). But prophetic teachers and their teachings have a vulnerability, and that is the ease into which speculations become part of the teaching. Perhaps it is done to make their teaching more exciting or relevant. For example, the Rapture is an imminent event for which no “signs” are given in Scripture. So, when a preacher has a sermon with the title “Three Signs that the Rapture is Soon,” he has just ventured onto extremely thin ice biblically. He might point to the explosion of evil or to various happenings in nature. But things like earthquakes, famines, and wars or upswings of evil, are not signs of the Lord’s coming for His church. These have been present in all of human history. (Christ mentioned them in His prophetic discourse and the Revelation gives much detail, but they take place during the 7-year Tribulation).

Since prophecy is about the future and has not happened yet, it is more difficult to prove prophetic speculations to be in error. Months later when the speculations have not come to pass, most have forgotten what the prophecy teacher has said, giving him leeway to speculate some more. However, the church does have the Scriptures and believers are to use them in carefully evaluating prophetic statements. This is not a new issue, as the early church faced it as well. A look at 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 might be helpful. 

Believers in the first century church. The followers of Jesus at Thessalonica were being persecuted for their faith. The Apostle Paul assured them that the Lord Jesus was fully aware of their afflictions and one day Jesus would come in power and glory and execute a severe judgment on the persecutors. They had the power now, but the tables would be turned and their judgment would be great (2 Thess. 1:5-12). But this situation of persecution opened them up to some false prophetic teaching. So, the Apostle penned some truths previously given, along with some new information about the future.   

The Rapture of the church – 2 Thessalonians 2:1. He said, “keeping in mind truth about our gathering to the Lord” (the Rapture), let us go over some facts about “the day of the Lord”. The “day of the Lord” is used some 70 times in the O.T. to speak of that period in the future when God will uniquely enter the affairs of mankind. It often refers to the terrible days of the Tribulation, and sometimes includes the millennial kingdom. So, the “day of the Lord” is a period of slightly more than 1,000 years. These believers were in a terrible time of persecution and some alleged prophetic teachings from three sources (2:2) was that they had entered the “day of the Lord.” This, of course, meant that the rapture event did not take place before the Tribulation; something which Paul was clear about in 1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-17; 5:9). Or maybe, they missed the rapture. 

The Appeal to be calm and not agitated – 2:2. Their reaction to the idea that there was no imminent rapture and that they were going to experience the “wrath of God,” caused fear and anxiety in these new believers. Erroneous prophetic teaching had quickly brought distress to them. Paul told them to calm down and to listen carefully to his apostolic instruction. Generally, erroneous prophetic speculations do result in negative responses coming into the lives of God’s people. 

The distorted prophetic teaching and the answer to it 2:2-4.  The authoritative claims made by the false teachers came through (1) “spirit” (a claim to divine revelation of some sort); (2) a message (some teachers’ sermon); and (3) a letter (a letter claiming to come from Paul himself). From these three sources they were being taught that the Tribulation period had already begun, which Paul calls “deceptive” teaching (2:2). It negated Paul’s previous instructions (2:5) where he had clearly taught that the church will be taken out of the world before the Tribulation and, therefore, will not experience God’s coming wrath in the “day of the Lord”. It can be shown that God’s wrath is found throughout the entire 7-year period (1 Thess. 1:10 and 5:9) which shows that the church is removed prior to the start of the Tribulation. Paul then explained that two distinct but related events are at the start of the Tribulation (“day of the Lord”), and neither of these had taken place, showing the false nature of the prophetic teaching that had come their way. The first event is the uniquely terrible falling away (apostasy) from the truth of God within the church itself. He uses the definite article (THE apostasy) which speaks of the well-known, specific, spiritual rebellion within the church at the end of times (1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; Jude; 2 Pet. 2; 2 Cor. 11:13-15). The term “apostasy” is used throughout the Bible of sinful revolt against God. And while the church has always had to deal with false teachers and their false teachings, this rebellion against God and His truth will be so very unique in its breadth and depth. The second event which takes place at the very start of the 7-years of Tribulation is the revealing of the Antichrist. His unveiling as the Antichrist indicates that the “day of the Lord” had begun. The word “revealed” is placed in an emphatic position in the text by Paul, and looks at a very specific moment when this will happen. And we know when it is and what it is that reveals this man as Antichrist. According to Daniel 9:27, it is when this man, as a ruler of a western nation, enters into a covenant with the leaders of the nation of Israel, which will guarantee Israel’s peace and safety. That covenant signing starts the “day of the Lord.” And that obviously had not taken place in the first century. So, the teaching given to these Thessalonian believers that they were already in the “day of the Lord” itself was clearly false. The prophetic speculation was in error and the Word of God revealed that error. 

     Paul added three descriptions of this man. He is: (1) a man characterized by sin (lawless as regards the laws of God); (2) the “son of perdition” revealing his final, eternal doom, as Paul noted in 1:9; and (3) one who is an “adversary” of God and Christ. He will even sit in the holy place within God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be deity. No such individual had appeared in the first century. The world now waits for the rebuilding of the Temple of God in Jerusalem, which is necessary for this event to take place.  

The restraining of lawlessness – 2:6-7.  God alone can put a lid on sin and on these final great manifestations of evil. While Satan is referred to as the “god of this world,” he cannot do whatever he wants. God has the ultimate authority over all creatures. God’s “holding back” of sin is presently going on. We can only imagine what it will be like when there is no restraint on sin and evil. But the day is coming when this restraint of sin will be removed (2:7) because the Restrainer (“he” = the Holy Spirit) will take Himself out of the restraining business. When that happens, sequentially, it is “then” that the Antichrist will be revealed. So first, the restraining of sin is gone and then the Antichrist will be unveiled. The Holy Spirit’s work of restraining sin will be gone. This points to the removal of the church. The church, even with its flaws and inadequacies, is a significant deterrent to lawlessness in this world. The Spirit uses the church to restrain evil in this world and with the church gone, that restraint is also gone. Now, we must not make the mistake of saying that the Holy Spirit is taken out of the world. It is the work of restraining sin that is gone. It is impossible for the Spirit to be removed out of the world because He is an omnipresent person. Also, His ongoing ministry of regenerating people is required for the millions of people to be saved during the period of the Tribulation.

The short but deadly career of the Lawless one (the Antichrist) – 2:8-12. The Apostle then added some truths about the Antichrist which also shows that this key figure was not then present, and therefore, the “day of the Lord” had not come. In summary, here are the key points that Paul made.

  1. HIS VERY SHORT CAREER WILL BE ENDED BY JESUS HIMSELF. After the Antichrist is revealed, he will be the key figure on the world’s stage for 7 years, with 3½ years of which he is ruler of the world (Rev. 13:5). When Jesus appears (2:8) at His 2nd Coming, the Antichrist will be thoroughly defeated and will be taken alive and placed into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:19-21). Not a lengthy reign.

  2. HE HAS AMAZING SUPERNATURAL ABILITIES. His ability to work miracles will be Christ-like, but he will lead people into that which is false. His abilities come from Satan himself, with whom he is intimately associated. His ability to deceive will be something that has never ever been seen before (Rev. 13:2-7; Matt. 24:24). He will have “power” (which comes from Satan); “signs” (to show that he is messiah); and “wonders” (which cause awe in people). Never before has God allowed such a display of miracles that seem to validate sin and evil.

  3. HIS INFLUENCE OVER THE UNSAVED. He spearheads the battle for the souls of men. All people will hear the gospel (Matt. 24:14), but those who will not accept God’s offer of eternal life will easily fall victim to the deceptions of this man. The result will be eternally catastrophic as God then allows them to be deluded (2:11-12). They heard and understood the truth of God, but preferred the pleasures of unrighteousness. These people crossed the spiritual line of no return and their temporary pleasures would soon be replaced by eternal anguish.

Reminders for us today. (1) God has given everything that we are to know about future persons and events. He did not leave out some needed information. But we need to become more understanding of what He has revealed so that we can better evaluate prophetic teachings and speculations. So, we must study. (2) We need to be discerning (maybe even suspicious) of those who say that “God spoke to me” about this or that matter. That is a claim of authority, and it is often used to try and ensure credibility to what is being said. The Apostle John (1 John 4:1) taught the believers of his day to carefully evaluate any and all who make such claims. We dare not naively accept these claims. (3) We must not forget how important the prophetic word is for living godly lives. We may hear prophetic speculations that never do not materialize. But we must not get discouraged to the point that we walk away from the prophecies of the Bible. (This has taken place all too often in individuals as well as in entire local churches). God’s prophetic word is there for our benefit and is vital in maintaining our spiritual health.

       God has set forth His plans and purposes for the end times. Jesus guaranteed that He will return and that He will make all things new. And we will be a part of that…what a wonderful future we have…our best days are ahead of us!

Monday, May 1, 2023


The Lord Jesus issued a warning to His followers: “be on the alert for you do not know which day your Lord is coming” (Matt. 24:42). This warning was apparently given by Jesus because He knew that losing focus on His return is a real possibility. Believers tend to lose focus since Jesus just seems to be taking His time in coming back. And while this might be considered understandable, it is also spiritually dangerous. When our view of the future fades, then we become quite vulnerable to our Enemy who delights to trap us in his schemes and philosophies. In the interest of making sure we are staying awake, consider again what is taking place in our world. 

  • ISRAEL. The Scriptures are quite clear that Israel is key to our understanding of end times events. When Israel became a nation some 75 years ago, the prophetic landscape changed dramatically. With the Jews back in the Land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, many end time events, which focus on the Jewish people, and their land were open to fulfillment. This is the most significant of prophetic truths. Israel, after so many centuries, is now in their land. This is no small matter. But there could be more. Israel today is sharply divided (just like the USA). The coming Tribulation period begins when the leaders of Israel make a treaty with a western leader (the Antichrist). But one wonders what would cause this fiercely independent nation to seek outside support and enter into such an agreement. It is within the realm of possibility that both outside threats combined with inner turmoil could bring about this treaty signing. Israel’s enemies, within the country and outside of it, are doing their best to create and encourage division. (Similarly, almost 2,100 years ago, in the days of the Maccabees, the fledgling nation of Israel was beset with outside threats and great inner turmoil. The leaders of Israel allowed that up-and-coming western power, Rome, to come in to stabilize their situation. Rome entered and Rome ruled). Whatever the reason in the present, Israel will seek outside help from the individual we refer to as the Antichrist. So, as we interpret current events, the key indicator to end time events is the fact that Israel is back in their land, which opens the door to prophetic events being fulfilled.

  • IRAN. It is not new news that Iran wants to destroy the Jewish state and drive Israel into the sea. The regular rhetoric out of Tehran is that there will be nothing left of Israel after Iran is through with them. This is their passion. Iran continues to prepare for an all-out war on Israel. The Ayatollahs have strengthened their position by cozying up to both China and Russia. Iran is getting ready for war with Israel and is arming itself and its proxies. The recent severe earthquake that hit Turkey and northern Syria provided Iran with a cover for accelerating arms shipments to Syria, and to its own Revolutionary Guard in Syria. Pretending to bring in plane loads of aid to help with earthquake relief efforts, Iran instead brought in large amounts of military equipment to use against Israel, using the northern Syrian airport at Aleppo as the staging area for this influx of armament. Ezekiel 39:5 clearly states that Iran (Persia) will be a key participant in the end times attack on Israel. Iran is willing and it is getting ready.

  • RUSSIA. For over a hundred years, communist Russia has been a plague on this earth. Russia has brought misery and death to millions. And they are not done. Ezekiel 38 declares that they will lead the end times invasion of Israel to wipe out God’s chosen nation. Behind the scenes, Russia is actively supporting Iran and the terror groups directed by Iran. And while we might think that Russia is totally occupied with Ukraine, the reality is that their interest in the middle east, and Israel, is growing. Periodically, Russia will warn Israel about Israel’s “invasion” of Syrian air space. Events transpire so very quickly in the world we live in, and Russia, with troops in the region, could become actively involved in a war against Israel in a matter of days. Russia has an eye on the natural gas reserves of Israel as well as other sources of Israel’s wealth. And Ezekiel states that this will be a strong motivating force which will trigger the end times battle (Ezek. 38:12). Russia is present in Syria and is very much an enemy of Israel, ready to take that land.

  • THE UNITED STATES. Most reading this article would likely agree that our nation is in a rapid moral and spiritual decline. We can be thankful for the men and women in positions of some power who are good people, attempting to stop this moral freefall. But marginalizing God and His laws, as our nation has done, has certain and terrible consequences (Rom. 1:18-32). That our country is in a dangerous decline is seen by both believers and non-believers. Unfortunately, the church is not the salt and light it should be as many church leaders have given in to the culture. While some churches remain steadfast in their loyalty to Christ and His word, more and more churches have pathetically made accommodations to the perversities of the culture and are even embracing (perhaps unknowingly) New Age mysticism and occultism. In seeking to be loving and relevant, the church generally has become irrelevant. The moral/spiritual decline of the USA is also true of Canada and Europe. Western culture is looking more and more like Sodom and Gomorrah. The chaos, division, anger, and violence that we observe will only worsen. But into that unsettled situation will arise a man who will be intelligent, powerful, attractive, and capable. This man (who is the Antichrist), is the leader of a western nation (Dan. 7.). He will step onto the world stage to be the savior of mankind. When the church of Jesus Christ is removed from the world at the Rapture, it will take little time for this Satanically-empowered man to take over.

  • CHINA. The Scriptures do not appear to have too much to say about China in the end of times but might give hints about that nation. China today is deceiving, threatening, bribing, and lying as it strives towards world domination. They do seem to be making some headway. It should be observed that the sixth trumpet judgment in Revelation (Rev. 9:16) foretells an army of 200,000,000 involved in the killing of 1/3 of what is left of the earth’s population. This takes place towards the end of the Tribulation period. It is not stated, but it is possible that this huge army could be from China. China has the population and the military to fulfill this horrible role of the destruction of much of humankind. And they could also be part of the vast numbers who descend into “God’s winepress” (Rev. 14) where they will be overwhelmed by the terrible judgment of God targeting unbelieving nations who hate Israel. China, however, does not appear to be the major player in the end times, as the Scriptures focus on the Antichrist, the western leader. But if they are the nation of the sixth trumpet judgment, then they are ready for action.

If we stop and observe and think about what is going on in our world, surely, we can see that the Scriptures have given us enough information to keep our eyes on the heavens “from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). It is foolish for us to try and set a date for the Lord’s return and the unfolding of end time events, but it is equally foolish to live today without keeping one eye on the heavens. The truth of the imminent return of Jesus is designed to help us keep the main things, the main things; and to help us with our ongoing struggle with the world (culture), the flesh and the devil. Jesus’ words about the tribulation and His Second Coming apply nicely to us and the Rapture, when He said: “lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). 

Saints, keep wide awake.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Replacing Isreal With The Church

Having just returned from the land of Israel, our group was reminded again of how biblically significant Israel is both historically and prophetically. To be walking in those places where O.T. kings and prophets lived and where Jesus and the Apostles proclaimed God’s truth is always a wonderful experience. But that land also remains central in biblical prophecy. End time events must take place as the prophets and the Apostles declared. Yet, a large percentage of the Church today believes that God is basically done with national Israel and has transferred promises made to Israel over to the Church. They teach that the Church is the “new Israel.” 

  Is the church the new Israel? This is not an “ivory tower” subject. It is not unimportant to believers. This is a subject which impacts how one interprets a great many scriptures in both the O.T. and N.T. And it can impact the very character of God who made covenant promises to Abraham and his descendants (through Isaac and Jacob). Has national Israel been replaced by the church of Jesus Christ? The simple answer is “no.” But there are certain points that need to be emphasized. 

The View of Replacement Theology (RT).  RT holds that Israel’s sin and unbelief, revealed in their rejection of Jesus Messiah, caused God to set aside national Israel completely and permanently and to replace them with the Church. The unfulfilled promises given to Israel have been transferred over to the Church. This position is set forth by “replacement” theologians as seen in the following two quotes.

“What further statement could be needed in order for us to say with assurance that the church has now become the true Israel of God and will receive all the blessings promised to Israel in the Old Testament.”  (Wayne Grudem, “Systematic Theology”, p. 863)

“The Old Testament records two kinds of promises which God made to national Israel: national promises and spiritual promises ... .The spiritual promises are still being fulfilled through the church today. Israel’s national promises all have been fulfilled or invalidated because of unbelief.”  (Wm. Cox, “Amillennialism Today”, p. 83)

While some RT believe that there is a future salvation for Israel, it is clear that Israel has no special role anymore in fulfilling God’s work and will.

What Replacement Theology Must Prove from the New Testament.  The Old Testament writers were abundantly clear that the covenant people of Israel would be God’s means (through Messiah of the line of David) of bringing a restoration of all that was lost back in the Garden of Eden, when mankind fell into sin. If this reality was to change, it would be up to the Apostles, as Christ’s designated channels of revelation (John 16:12-15) to show that this change did take place. RT must show: (1) that God’s covenant promises to Abraham and his descendants will not be fulfilled to Abraham’s descendants; (2) that God clearly and expansively declares that the N.T. church has replaced Israel (in other words, a detailed theological discussion); and (3) that after 1500 years of “Israel” meaning a specific ethnic group, it has now been redefined by the scriptures. These they have not proved as they can only come up with passages that “imply” or “suggest” the position they are attempting to establish. The absence of any N.T. discussion of the Church replacing Israel is significant because God spent some 2,000 years (from the days of Abraham) declaring that Israel was His chosen people, His covenant nation. (For a detailed discussion of this, see my book “Understanding End Times Prophecy”, pages 103-120).

God’s Covenant with Abraham.  God entered into a covenant with Abraham around 2100 B.C.  It is essential to be aware of the nature of this covenant if indeed God has ended this covenant with Abraham. First, it was an unconditional covenant, meaning that it would depend on God alone for its fulfillment. An unconditional covenant is essentially a promise made by one person to another. This is why the Apostle Paul, nine times in Galatians 3, speaks of the Abrahamic covenant as a “promise”. God promised Abraham and his descendants’ certain things. Israel’s failures could not cancel the covenant because fulfillment did not depend on them. If Israel sinned, then there would be consequences for them (and there was). But canceling the covenant would not be one of them (Note Psalm 89:30-34). Psalm 89 speaks of the Davidic covenant and Jeremiah 31 reveals the New covenant (both of these are expansions of the Abrahamic covenant). Psalm 89 was likely written in view of the failure and downfall of some Judean king (perhaps Jehoiachin) which caused people to wonder if God had changed His mind concerning the Davidic covenant. However, in Psalm 89, numerous times God swears that He will not lie to David, but will fulfill that covenant. It is significant that God speaks of it as “My covenant” (not “our” covenant) in 89:34. In Jeremiah 31:31-34, seven times God declares “I will”, which underscores the unconditional nature of the covenant. God will bring about a complete fulfillment to the covenant. It depends entirely on Him and not on Israel’s obedience.

A second important truth about the nature of the covenant is that it is everlasting (“until the end of the ages”) or eternal.  God declared this to Abraham numerous times (e.g., Gen. 17:7, 8, 13, 19). To further define this, the Scriptures state that as long as the universe is in existence (and it still is), then the covenant will be in force (note Jer. 31:35-37; Ps. 89:35-37). Being eternal/everlasting has lost all meaning if the covenant can be terminated this side of the new heavens and earth.

The Ratification of the Covenant.  Ratification seems to be the most neglected aspect in this discussion. “Ratification” simply conveys the point that something is now legally binding. When a document is signed and the stamp of a notary is affixed to it, then it becomes legally binding. In Genesis 15, God graciously helped Abraham’s weakened faith by ratifying the covenant with animal sacrifices. This point is critical because once and for all God declared that He was legally committing Himself to fulfill all the covenant’s provisions to Abraham (and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob).  It is also good to observe that God alone went between the pieces of sacrifice, which emphasizes that He alone would fulfill the covenant.

Remembering that it would be up to the N.T. apostles to let us know that Israel was being set aside and replaced by the Church, we should observe that they do just the opposite (as in Romans 11:25-27). The Apostle Paul makes a powerful point in Galatians 3:15 when he states that no one can change a ratified covenant. The provisions of such a legally binding covenant cannot be changed, and this includes the parties of the covenant. So, no theologian can now change the covenant parties from God and Abraham to God and the Church. Here is Paul’s statement.

“Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations; even though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. Now the promises (ie an unconditional covenant) were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.”

On oath, God declared that He would fulfill all the points in His covenant. Not to do so, would cast significant doubt on the character of God. To change the parties of the covenant from national Israel to the Church of Jesus Christ goes against God’s covenant promises to Abraham; goes against the critical point that ratified covenants cannot be changed; and against the testimony of Moses, the O.T. prophets and the N.T. apostles that Israel has a clear, prominent future in God’s plans to restore and to reconcile all that was lost in the Garden of Eden.

The presence of the everlasting, unconditional, ratified, and unfulfilled O.T. covenants require that they be fulfilled to the same people who were the original party in the covenant. That party is national Israel. 

Believers would rightly expect God to give us a detailed revelation about His change in plans, if indeed the promises were being switched to the Church from Israel. We should, for example, expect to see the Apostle Paul in Ephesians take several chapters to give us a detailed discussion about the change. After all, in Ephesians he was writing about the “church.”  After some 1500 years (from the days of Moses) of being told that Israel refers to a national, ethnic group of people, it would be quite helpful if Paul spelled out that the term applies now to something else. And furthermore, it would be essential to hear God’s explanation on how and why He changed a ratified covenant, which He, on oath, declared He would fulfill to Israel.  

The church is the “new Israel”? Without the space to go into detail, it is helpful to observe that “Israel” is used about 2,000 times in the O.T. and it is always used of national Israel. (A believing Moabite, for example, was never called an “Israelite”). “Israel” is used 73 times in the N.T. and 70 times there is no doubt at all that it refers to a racial, national group. The three other times (Rom. 9:6; 11:26 and Gal. 6:16) it also refers to national Israel, though RT gives great effort to try and prove otherwise.

RT is paddling their canoe against a very strong exegetical current. The eternal, unconditional, unfulfilled, ratified Abrahamic covenant, along with the consistent use of “Israel” in both testaments and the lack of N.T. explanation of change comprise a very powerful current. And we would suggest that no amount of paddling will bring them to the place where the Church is now the “new Israel.” It is not.


Wednesday, March 1, 2023


Seven years of terrible trouble ahead! It would seem that it would be less complicated and a lot more pleasant if Jesus would just come tomorrow and rid the world of conflicts and evil. He could do that. He could issue the order that all creation must obey and the marvelous messianic age could start and life would be beautiful. That, however, is not what He has revealed about the future in the Scriptures. But still, why bother with seven years of tribulation, which Jesus Himself said would be the worst time in all the history of mankind (Matt. 24:21). Of course, God has purposes for what He does and He has revealed His main purposes for this time.

The primary purpose for this coming seven years of great trouble is that of salvation. God desires that people are redeemed and experience what He originally intended for mankind. The Tribulation will be the greatest time of salvation ever. And this amazing time of evangelism will begin with the people of Israel. Daniel 9:24 is abundantly clear that one of God’s great goals for this seven year period is to break the spiritual rebellion of Israel and bring the covenant people back to Himself. This will take place, as the Apostle Paul spelled it out to the gentile believers in Rome, in Romans 11:25-29.


The covenant that Paul refers to is the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34). This is the covenant that deals with the removal of sin. It is a covenant made with Israel and in it
God promises that Israel will eventually come into that covenant. Seven times the text records God saying “I will” do this, indicating that this is an unconditional covenant where He Himself will insure its fulfillment. Israel rejected the Savior when He came the first time and nothing much has changed in some 1990 years. What is it that will cause Israel to come to Messiah Jesus?  The nightmare of the Tribulation will do it. With the outpouring of supernatural judgments from God and supernatural miracles of deception from Satan, the spiritual blindfold on Israel will be torn away and Israel will “look on the One they have pierced” (Zech. 12:10). Israel will look back with horror and sorrow at what they did to their own Messiah, and will return back to their covenant keeping God. While not every single Jewish person will turn to Him, the Scriptures are clear that the nation, as a nation, will indeed turn and be saved.

From the very beginning, God’s salvation was for all mankind. He chose Israel as the vehicle to bring salvation to people. As a “light to the gentiles,” Israel did not do a very good job. It seems that they were an embarrassment to their God most of the time. But that light will shine intensely during the Tribulation, so that millions of gentiles will also be saved. It is very likely that the famous 144,000 of Revelation 7 (12,000 from each tribe in Israel) will be the great evangelists of this time. They, along with others, will spread the gospel throughout the world, so that every human being will be aware of the truth that the God-man Jesus died on a cross to pay the full price for the salvation of mankind (Matt. 24:14), and that He arose from the grave conquering Satan, sin and death. Salvation is free and available to all who place their trust in Jesus Christ. Revelation 7:9 speaks of “a great multitude, which no one can count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues” who had been saved by the blood of the Lamb. And for clarity, these are specifically said to be martyrs from the first part of the Tribulation period (Rev. 7:14).

As God delights to save people today, He will happily save millions during the seven worst years in human history. Sometimes believers today say that they hope Jesus might delay His coming for the Church (the Rapture event) because they want to see certain family members or friends come to be saved. Of course, it is wonderful that there is a desire for these to be saved. But remember that the nightmare of the Tribulation will strip away the diversions and false ideas that occupy the attention of folks in our culture. Reality will quickly set in. People will be faced with a much clearer view of real life and will have to choose between Christ and Antichrist; between eternal life and eternal death. Many will buy into the lies of Satan and his minions, but many will see eternal realities and place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. God will accomplish His primary purpose for the time of Tribulation, and that is saving Israel and millions from among the gentiles.

  God’s second purpose for the time of Tribulation is to bring judgment on unbelieving men and nations. All of creation must be made aware of the fact that no created being can, with impunity, violate those righteous standards of God. Today, in our culture, God’s righteous rules are mocked and aggressively violated. More and more, people openly defy God and His standards of truth and morality. These rejoice in their evils and depravity. It is true that God is amazingly patient with sinful people (see Exo. 34:6-7), but eventually that patience will end and both man and angels will witness the wrath of God. Psalm 2:4-5 says that God sits in heaven and “laughs” and “scoffs” at this aggressive evil and “then He will speak to them in His anger, and terrify them in His fury.”  Revelation 6-18 spells out in considerable detail what that “fury” will look like; as some 80% of the world’s population dies in this terrible time, and the world is rocked by unprecedented judgments. The very sad part of this is that many people know full well that these are judgments from God. But instead of repenting and embracing the gift of eternal life, they curse God and refuse to repent (Rev. 16:9, 11, 21). And this is not just a local experience, as all the nations of the world will experience the righteous judgments of God. 

When Jesus returns at His Second Coming, He will then “sit upon His glorious throne” (Matt. 25:31) and inaugurate the messianic age on the earth. Daniel 12:11-12 indicates that there will be a 75-day period between His Second Coming and “day #1” of His messianic kingdom. During those days, purification, organization, and renewal will take place, as saved mankind joyfully enters into the greatest of times. What we now long for will come to pass, as God, on oath, declared it will come. 

The Apostle Paul’s admonition given centuries ago is still apropos for today:


Wednesday, February 1, 2023



The Bible is crystal clear that mankind’s rebellious rule on this earth will come to a thunderous conclusion when that satanically empowered man rules the world at the end of time. The Antichrist, as he is commonly referred to, gets his power, his amazing abilities, and his unprecedented ruling authority from Satan, the “god of this world” (Rev. 13:2; 1 John 5:19). For a fairly short period of 3½ years he will ruthlessly dominate all of mankind. Globalism will then arrive and it will be ugly and evil. 

Many today are naively working to bring their utopian globalism into existence. They believe that a world government which has eliminated democracies and free market economies is the solution to the ills of the planet. And the “elites” of mankind, in their great wisdom, will solve mankind’s problems. To do this, nations need to be diminished and the traditional family neutralized. We will take a brief look at their efforts after we review what the Bible says about the Antichrist (“the beast”; “the man of sin”; “the lawless one”; “the little horn”; “the king who will do as he pleases”). He is the final, great globalist, and one who does rule all the nations of the world.

The Biblical Antichrist 

This coming Antichrist has, according to the Bible, four distinct phases to his career. First, he will start his career as the ruler of a western nation.  Daniel 7 makes the point that his kingdom (nation) arises out of the old Roman empire. He will be ruling (as president, king or prime minister) at the time of the Rapture. However, he will not at that time be identified as the Antichrist. He will rule a western nation (one coming out of the old Roman empire). Since Satan does not know when the end times are coming (note Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:36), we can conclude that Satan has a man, at this very moment, ready to step into the role of antichrist. The second phase of his career begins when he signs a treaty with the nation of Israel (Dan. 9:27). By covenantal agreement, he will be a supporter and protector of Israel. It is the signing of this treaty that identifies this one as the Antichrist.  Daniel (in 7:24; 11:40-45) reveals that Antichrist is a man of war and he will begin by militarily defeating three kings (kingdoms), with seven others simply submitting to him (Rev. 17:11-12). He is a man of war and with Satan’s help overpowers these 10 nations from the area we call Europe (again coming out of the old Roman Empire). All of this takes place during the first half of the Tribulation period. This will be a bloody period as at least 2 billion people will die (25% of the world’s population). Then at the mid-point of the 7-year Tribulation period, several great events take place, such as Satan being cast out of heaven and confined to the earth. It is at this mid-point that Antichrist is killed (assassinated) and then supernaturally returns to life (Rev. 13:3, 12, 14). He dies physically and then will return to life. But this is not seen as a “resurrection” (as he does not appear to have received a resurrection body). This shocking and powerful event catapults Antichrist into the third phase of his rule; that of being the ruler of the whole world (Rev. 13:5-7). This phase will last for 42 months (3½ years comprising the second half of the Tribulation). He will be worshiped as he functions as the absolute, ruthless dictator of the world. This is when Jesus warned Israelites to flee from the land; and this is when God’s people will be slaughtered by this evil man. This will be his time of world domination. Globalism arrives. The fourth and final phase of the Antichrist’s career begins when King Jesus comes at His Second Coming and totally defeats him and casts him into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:19-20; 20:10). It is the final phase of his career because Antichrist will never, ever leave that place. Today, many in the world are actively preparing to bring in a one-world government. They see themselves as unusually wise, however they are terribly ignorant of the end result of globalism.


The Present, Aggressive Push Towards Global Rule

  1. Those Involved.  Some 55 years ago, the Club of Rome (World Economic Forum) was formed. It meets annually to devise and implement ways to eliminate democracies and sovereign governments. They view themselves as the “elites” of the earth, who because they are the world’s most powerful financially, politically and socially, are best equipped to solve the world’s problems. At their annual meeting last month in Davos, Switzerland, American John Kerry uttered these humble words: “It’s pretty extraordinary, that we, a select group of human beings…are able to sit in a room and come together and actually talk about saving the planet.” These “elites” are convinced that they only can save the rest of mankind from their problems. These folks certainly do not appear to be lacking in arrogance. 

  2. The Motives.  Global governance was and is what motivates the Club of Rome. They would do this by solving the world’s problems (real or imaginary) and neutralizing democracies, like the United States. A global government is the goal.           

David Rockefeller in his “Memoirs” stated: “…some even believe that my family and I are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as internationalists and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure; one world if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty and am proud of it.” 

They apparently really believe that globalism is the answer and they are the only ones who are capable of implementing it. Of course, they do not acknowledge that governments are God’s idea and that the traditional family is essential to healthy governments. And they appear quite ignorant of what their beloved global government will look like in the hands of the Antichrist.

  1. The Method.  In order to accomplish their global goal, they concluded that they needed to find a common enemy against which they could get independent nations to unite. This enemy did not need to be real. They tried several. But in their book, “The Next Global Revolution” they declared: “in searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea of pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.”  And, they could have included pandemics in their list. They say that the gross negligence of mankind caused these things, and therefore, mankind must step in to aggressively save the planet. And since the independent nations of the earth cannot seem to do it, it is left to the “elites” to do it. Everyone reading this article can see many of these matters being played out in our own government, and in governments all over the world.

World Economic Forum (Club of Rome) and the Antichrist.  At this point, we need to be careful. We cannot say that the Antichrist will be a card-carrying member of the World Economic Forum. However, Antichrist will be one of the “elites”, since he will lead a powerful nation (one that can defend Israel). It is highly probable that their efforts for the past 50 years will provide the framework for what the Bible reveals about globalism and Antichrist. Mankind clearly has traveled a long way on the path to globalism over these past 50 years. Consider when Covid-19 arrived and the whole world was locked down. Consider the present irresponsible massive borrowing and spending in order to deal with such things as climate change; an activity known to weaken a nation. Consider the attack on the traditional family by the gay-lesbian-transgender community. On close inspection the fingerprints of the World Economic Forum are seen.

  1. Satan’s Involvement. The Bible reveals that behind these ideas which challenge God’s standards are demonic beings. The “god of this world,” Satan (1 John 5:19) is active in his own world. His hatred for God’s laws and people are ever present. The “elites” may not see Satan, but he is there. Their successes are really his successes. Satan’s passionate desire has been to be like God (Isa. 14:13-14), and to be worshiped. The closest he comes is the second half of the Tribulation, where in the global empire, Satan and Antichrist are worshiped by all the world (Rev. 13:4-8).

  2. God’s Involvement.  God has determined all the end time events, down to the smallest detail. Everything He has declared will come to pass, and that includes man’s last final rebellion, the global government of the Antichrist. Even that evil empire will cause God to be glorified, as millions will reject that man and his evil and will turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and a guaranteed entrance into His glorious kingdom. That kingdom will last for 1,000 years which stands in stark contrast to the measly 42 months of Antichrist’s reign

  3. Our Involvement. The Church will be raptured out of this world before Antichrist is revealed. However, as we live at this moment in time, not knowing exactly when these end time events will unfold, we must be involved. We know that the globalists will have their 15 minutes of fame and will appear to win. This is God’s plan and we cannot, of course, stop it from happening. But this must not deter us from: (1) making disciples for the Lord Jesus; (2) still advocating for God’s standards and principles to be in our culture; (3) be sharing our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) with a culture that is becoming increasingly characterized by hopelessness; (4) within the church be insisting that the Bible be proclaimed clearly as God’s inerrant, authoritative Word without compromise; (5) be disciplining ourselves towards greater holiness in our lives; (6) be doing good deeds so that our heavenly Father is glorified (Matt. 5:16). A lot to do and perhaps not much time to do it.                                 

Even so, come Lord Jesus

(NOTE: Some information was taken from Dick Morris’ online January 14, 2023 article “How Globalism is Conquering the Globe”, and from the Patriot Post of January 18, 2023 in an article, “Destination Davos”, written by Douglas Andrews) 

Sunday, January 1, 2023



         Flipping the calendar to January usually brings some moments of reflection with it, as we think about what this new year might bring our way. For Bible-believing Christians, the beginning of the year causes us to wonder if this is the year that Jesus comes for us, and if perhaps the long-awaited end of times will descend on this world. And these thoughts are not irrational as the world does appear to be looking more like the days of Noah and the conditions found in Sodom and Gomorrah. And then, of course, we wonder what our personal futures will be like, as we contemplate issues of health, finances, and relationships. What will this new year bring?

God, in His infinite wisdom, has chosen not to tell us the specifics concerning what will take place in our 2023, which is probably a good thing. (Do we really want to know that we will be injured in a car crash in July?) However, there are certain truths that are fixed and do apply to this coming year. Even though some truths are familiar, they might help in giving us some perspective about 2023. First, the bad news.

Evil will triumph temporarily. The Apostle John reminds us that this world (culture) “lies in the power of the Evil One” (1 John 5:19). So, we ought not be too surprised when, after rejecting God’s standards, people twist life around and now “call good evil, and evil good” (Isa. 5:20). The Apostle Paul’s powerful and revealing discussion of the downward slide of a nation makes it so very clear that our nation has fallen under the wrath of God. (Read Paul’s expose of nations who walk away from God’s truth in Romans 1:18-32, and see if you can reach any other conclusion). And things will get much worse on this planet during the coming Tribulation period when the satanically-empowered Antichrist will successfully seek out believers in Jesus and destroy most of them (Rev. 13:7). And while the Church will be raptured prior to this time, millions will come to faith in Jesus after the Rapture, but will be martyred for their faith in Messiah (Rev. 7:9-14). It looks like the storm clouds are forming.

The Church will apostatize. One of the sad realities about Israel in the Old Testament was that those charged with keeping that nation close to the Lord (priests and leaders) miserably failed. Unfortunately, the church will follow this pattern and there will be a great departure from God’s truth (2 Thess. 2:3). The false church of the Tribulation will be the zenith of coming “apostasy.” But before the Tribulation, the warning is that there will be a massive invasion of false teachers into the church who “in the later times will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). And “the time will come when they (believers?) will not endure sound (healthy) doctrine,” but rather will turn away from God’s revealed truth and flock to those teachers who tell them what they want to hear (2 Tim. 4:3-4). That time seems to have come, and most likely in 2023 this turning away from God’s truth will only accelerate. Watch out for more and more preachers who subtly (or not) will cast doubt on the verbal inspiration and authority of the Scriptures. This is often seen as they try and accommodate the Scriptures on cultural issues such as abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, God as the creator and the God-ordained structure of the home. Biblical prophecy will be further distorted and/or marginalized. Since the Garden of Eden, Satan’s approach has been to cast doubt on the veracity and authority of God’s truth. The Bible says that the church will not do well at the end. Does it not seem that we are in this time?  

The Antichrist is alive today. Satan simply does not know when God is going to commence end times events. (In Matt. 24:36, not even holy angels have been given the starting date of the end times. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Satan has been clued in on this critical piece of information). As a result, Satan has always had a man ready to go at a moment’s notice. Such a man exists today within western culture. Daniel 7 is clear that out of the old Roman empire will come this powerful but wicked end times personality. So, he will not come from Russia, China or many other places. Whoever this is, he will be a ruler of a single nation. Then when he signs a covenantal agreement with Israel (Dan. 9:27), he is revealed as the Antichrist. If time passes and there is a “delay” in the start of end time events, Satan will replace the “present” Antichrist with another and will be ready to go. The stage is pretty much set for the last act in this play on planet earth, but we just do not know the time when the curtain will be raised. God’s timing has always been perfect, and we can be sure that the Sovereign Lord will not be a minute early or late for the curtain raising. Now some good news.

We are in the kingdom for such a time as this. Long ago when the Medes and Persians ruled the world including Israel, Mordecai the Jew gave an insightful word to his niece Queen Esther. When the Jews were facing annihilation, Mordecai told her that she was probably in her position as the queen for “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). In other words, Esther was sovereignly placed there by the Almighty God to be His instrument in saving His people. And so, it is true with us. We are not here on this planet, at this time, by accident, but are here for “such a time as this.” God has His purposes and we are here to carry out His purposes. This is not to say that as individuals we will change the world, but it does mean that our Lord has things for us to do. He has people that need the Savior and we are the evangelists. He wants truth, His truth, proclaimed and defended. He has individuals who need His touch in their lives which will be done through believers. He is waiting to hear from praying believers. We probably think of ourselves as “little” and “insignificant,” and we are probably right. However, that is exactly the kind of person that God has chosen to use over the millennia. We are here in 2023 because we have work to do for the living God. This could be our best year yet. 

We can presently live in this culture with peace and joy. Anxiety, worry, and fear are tightening their grip on our culture, which is the growing opinion of many, Christians and non-Christians alike. 2023 is worrisome. Jesus noted that in this world we will have trouble, but believers can live in peace (John 16:33). He had stated a few minutes earlier in His discourse that His peace was different from the world’s peace (John 14:27). The world’s peace depends on the circumstances of life being good and pleasant. But Jesus’ peace comes because of who He is and what He has done. A person who has placed their faith in Jesus is immediately, positionally at peace with God (Rom. 5:1). The believer has a harmonious relationship with God and is no longer at enmity with Him. But peace is more than something positional, it can also be true of us as we live in this culture. In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul declares that “the peace of God…shall guard your hearts (emotions) and mind (thoughts) in Christ Jesus.”  In this culture, unbelievers simply cannot comprehend this tranquility and harmonious relationships that are available to followers of Christ. As troubles appear, believers are to come to the Lord God with “thanksgiving” and pray about those troubling matters. When troubles come, believers need to shift their focus off the troubling matter and onto the Lord; who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and good. We may not know what 2023 will bring, but we do know that our Lord Jesus does. Peace can be ours, and joy can be ours as we abide in Christ and live obediently to Him (John 15:11),

Jesus will return and rule over the entire world. The Bible does not stutter or stammer on this matter. It is never IF Jesus will return and rule the world, but always WHEN He will do it. Psalm 2 is such a powerful reminder of what is going to take place (Take a moment and read this Psalm…good for the mind and soul). Contrary to some theologies, Jesus is not presently fulfilling Psalm 2, and this is made certain by numerous scriptures. For example, Hebrews 1:5-2:8 speaks of Jesus ruling as the One who fulfills the Davidic covenant. It includes the statement that “we do not yet see all things subjected to Him” (2:8). The point is that He is not, at this moment, ruling as Messiah. But He will. And Psalm 2 records the declaration of the Sovereign God that He has installed the Anointed One as king in Zion (2:6) and has given the nations of the earth as His inheritance (2:8). This is such an encouraging scripture. Today, many political leaders are corrupt and abuse their authority. But it is established and settled that God will set aside all of these and that Jesus’ reign on this earth will be in righteousness (Isa. 11:4-5). And the God who cannot lie says He will make all things right. We can hope that it all begins in 2023. 

It is important that we rehearse these and similar truths regularly. So, if by any chance you are concerned about many things that might come in 2023, remember that Jesus promised: (1) all authority has been given to Him (Matt. 28:18-20), and (2) He is our Good Shepherd and He will always be with us (Matt. 28:20; John 10:11_15)). No force or person can thwart His power, and He is constantly watching over us, His “sheep.” Our task now is to “abide” (remain in fellowship) with Him and live obediently (John 15:1-12). As the old song goes: “trust and obey for there is no other way.”