I had a question come to mind: If I only had time enough left in my life to write one more article, what would it be? I decided I would call the article, “What If?”
The Old Testament prophet Daniel was given visions of events ushering in the seven years of Apocalypse that were revealed to the Apostle John some 600 years later while he was a prisoner of the Roman Empire on the Isle of Patmos. In the twelfth chapter of the Book of Daniel, we find these words:
…and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. ‘And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. Daniel 12:1b-4
Well over one quarter of what is recorded in the Bible foretells the future. Most non-churched people aren’t aware of this, and sadly, many Christians are also not aware of this because it is so rarely taught in most churches.. Here’s a question: What if all that is found in this book is true? If true, then what is written within its pages demands the attention of every human being on this dying planet.
It was the Old Testament prophet Elijah who demanded a confrontation with Israel’s wicked King Ahab and the people of the nation of Israel on Mount Carmel many centuries ago. His challenge on that day was that they were now going to be required to make a choice concerning whom they were going to worship as God. Was it going to be the One that created them or would it be the false god, Ba’al, whom they were sacrificing their children to. That very same choice is being required today. The Bible, whose true Author is God as He inspired His chosen scribes, has provided us an abundance of prophecies which would show the human race when it arrived at the final generation—the very generation that will witness the ushering in of the seven year Apocalypse and immediately afterward, the Millennial Kingdom of the returned Messiah, Jesus Christ, who will then rule as GOD / KING directly from the city of Jerusalem.
The question is often asked, What if all this religious hocus-pocus is nothing more than an elaborate fairy tale–a myth? But then, What if it’s not? This book, the Bible—to date has not missed with a single prophetic prediction. Of the 2,500 prophecies in the Bible, about 2,000 have been fulfilled to date, and with extraordinary accuracy. That is 80% of all prophecies have already been fulfilled in part or in whole with 100% accuracy. There is no other book like it in existence! It is the actual Word of God and so, it cannot fail. Most of the 1,000 or so prophecies left to be fulfilled, according to the Biblical timeline, will unfold in a relative;y short period of time. God, who exists outside of time, has the past, the present, and the future before Him at all times…and He is in total control of it all.
It is God who created man (not the star people), and He created man as an eternal being. What if this brief sojourn on this planet really is only a passing vapor—as God has said? Man, in his inflated human wisdom seems willing to bet his eternity against what the Almighty has decreed. As humans, we have an uncanny bent to arrogance in what all we think we know. I am reminded of God’s conversation from ancient times between Himself and the man Job in the Old Testament. Here is a brief excerpt of God’s approach to Job and His challenge to him.
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone?” Job 38:1-6
Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it…Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? 40:2, 8
In God’s conversation with Job, He gave him a lesson on how little he really knew and how helpless he really was. It was a reminder that Job was the one that had been created, and God was the Creator. We could all be reminded of this from time to time.
In light of the fact that the Bible is a book like none other, and as it appears that history has unfolded just exactly as it was outlined before the events occurred—often centuries or even thousands of years in advance, isn’t it rather likely that everything else that God has foretold will come to pass with the same unerring accuracy? Wouldn’t even the laws of logic tell us this? And, since the march of human history has now brought us to the very threshold of the unfolding of the Apocalypse, should we not pay very close attention to what was said by the One who controls that very unfolding?
There are always going to be the scoffers. The Apostle Peter wrote about this in the first century.
…scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts (cravings), and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation…But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…2 Peter 3:3-4, 8-10a
It is this very scoffing that concerns me when I listen to people today. Most have absolutely no clue of what is about to unfold right before their eyes! This is why the Bible was given to the human race—so that we would not be caught off guard! But, unfortunately, even most of the church crowd, those who should be reading the Bible, are oblivious. Peter spoke of the “Day of the Lord.” He was speaking of the Time of God’s Judgment coming to a wicked world just prior to the return of Jesus Christ. The world is talking about “Peace and Security” but Jesus warned when the world expects to find peace and safety or security without God, sudden destruction would come. What if that were tomorrow?? It is coming! I find it interesting to note that the theme of the United Nations this fall 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety, and Dignity for All!” That is not the direction the world is heading today!
Another “What if”… What if you were to meet Jesus Christ tomorrow? What would He be like? Most people have a distorted view of Jesus. This is probably due mostly to distorted religious paintings which depict Him as a very delicate, feminine looking man. We have however an eye-witness description given by the Apostle John in the first chapter of Revelation that we might want to consider:
I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day; and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last”…I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and wax dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death…” Revelation 1:10, 12-18
John the Apostle, who had walked and talked with Jesus for about three years, had watched Him being crucified, and then spent time with Him after His resurrection. He had never seen His friend and Master like this! He now recognized Him as the All Powerful Creator of the entire universe and he, John, dropped to the ground like a dead man! John was Jesus’ beloved disciple and this was his instinctive reaction. There is a time coming when all of creation…everyone, whether they want to or not, will fall to their knees before Him. This is because He is GOD, and not just some demigod and there is none other.
This again reminds me of Job. After God had given Job a recounting of many things in creation, including things on earth as well as throughout the expanse of the cosmos, Job’s response was:
“Then Job answered the LORD and said; “Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer you? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.”
What if you were called for a private audience before the Almighty today? What would you say? Would you challenge Him with the great wisdom you have garnered over your lifetime? Or, while your knees were knocking together, would you have the gall to inform Him He’s failed? I doubt it. I am reminded of a fascinating Psalm. It is a record of the three personages of the Godhead discussing mankind. I won’t go into an explanation of the entire psalm at this time but would like to use some excerpts. It starts with the Holy Spirit speaking…
“Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.’ verses 1-3
The Holy Spirit then continues as He addresses the Father and the Son:
“He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure.” Verse 4-5
Toward the end of the psalm, after both the Father and the Son had spoken, the Holy Spirit closes out the discussion by saying…
“Now therefore, be wise, O kings, be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” verses 10-12
We live in a world that is in increasing rebellion against God. The description in the first three verses is quite accurate for our time. People are in a rage all around the world for one reason or another. Many rail against God, His laws, and His will and would like to challenge God’s sovereignty. It is a futile effort. He is the Almighty and will always be the Almighty. What He has decreed will happen. There is no way that his decrees cannot come to be. We are wise to listen to what He has said about the times we are living in and adjust our way of thinking to line up with His. Fortunately, God did not hide the future from us and what we should do in preparation.
Just before Jesus was crucified 2,000 years ago, his disciples took him aside and asked Him, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Jesus then gave them a long list of things that would come upon the earth. There is not time in this article to go into all of these, but Jesus warned that the End of the Age would be a time resembling the Days of Noah and the Days of Lot. He also said that the Apocalypse that would be unleashed upon the world would bring a time, “such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:21). That is a stunning prediction in light of what happened to this planet during Noah’s flood! So, even though the entire world won’t be flooded again as it was in Noah’s day, the destruction will be worse. What if that is true? I am convinced it is, and clearly we are right on the very threshold of the opening blasts from this impending storm. Never before in history have all of the things Jesus predicted to unfold at the end of the age been happening, all at the same time. Today, they are, and they are quickly increasing in frequency as well as intensity!
Arguably, the greatest sign that this world has been approaching the end of the age is the tiny nation of Israel. The Bible calls the Jewish nation, “the Chosen People.” Why? Simply put, because they were chosen to became the vehicle through which the Messiah would be brought into the human race. The Jewish people are no better or worse than any other race on this earth. The Jewish people however were God’s choice of whom he would save mankind through. This choice began with the patriarch Abraham and was carried through his descendants. As we all know, Joseph and Mary were Jewish. The reason Jesus, the Messiah, entered the human race is what Christianity is all about. In fact, it is what the entire Bible is about. The Bible tells the story of man’s fall in the perfect paradise of the Garden of Eden. From the fall on, God began to unfold His 6,000 year plan to save mankind from the corruption of sin and death. God would have to intervene on His own by entering the human race in the body of a human and then pay with His own perfect sacrificial death the required price for man’s freedom. That is what the Good News of the Bible is all about. Part of this amazing storyline is… the Jewish nation.
As history tells us, forty years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Jewish nation was overrun by the Roman Empire. Those that were not slaughtered by the Romans were either carted off as slaves or were scattered to the far corners of the known world. But, it was foretold in the Bible that the Jews would once again be brought back into their own land just prior to the end of the age. The United Nations recognized the Jewish nation once again on November 29, 1947 and on May 15, 1948, Israel celebrated its national independence. For those that don’t know the promises given to the Israelite nation by God Himself in the Old Testament, all of this may be just history. But, to anyone that recognizes the fulfillment of prophecy, there was a prophetic clock that began ticking in 1947 that is impossible to discount. Of course, there are others who do know about this phenomenon but ignore it as pure coincidental history. What if it is not just coincidence?
Without going into detail, right at the end of the Jewish nations captivity in Babylon, God promised to deal with the nation of Israel directly for a total of 490 literal years. It was broken up into three segments: 49 years, 434 years, and the final 7 years. Daniel’s prophecy was so exact that it said the first 483 years would end at the time of the death of the Messiah. History proves that this is exactly what happened…to the very day. But, what happened to the last seven years? That is one of the most important keys to understanding the unfolding of the end of the age! In very short terms, the Jewish nation was set aside after they were dispersed and God’s attention was turned to the Christian Church that was “conceived” in the first century on the Day of Pentecost. The Bible promises that at the end of the Church Age, the true Christ-followers would be removed from this world for two reasons that would have direct effect on this world. The first is to bring judgment to a wicked world for rejecting God and His Anointed One, as described in Psalm 2. The other, is to complete God’s promise to the nation of Israel, by turning all of His attention once again on His Chosen People.
At this point, I would like to share some interesting dates that all seem to come together at the same time…this fall, September 21-23, 2017 (The Jewish Feast of Trumpets or Jewish New Year)
- It is the 70th anniversary of the UN resolution allowing recognition of Israel as a state.
- It is the 50th anniversary, or year of Jubilee, for Jerusalem.
- It is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
- It is the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
- It is the 40th Jubilee since Christ’s death
- 2017 is the 70th Jubilee since Exodus (1483 B.C.)
- 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the retaking of Jerusalem in Israel’s Six Day war.
- 2017 is the 120th anniversary of the first Zionist Congress in 1897.
- 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
NOTE: What is a Jubilee?
Within the Jewish nation, the Jubilee was celebrated every 50th year. During the Jubilee, all properties were returned to the original owners, all Jewish people in service to other Jewish people were set free, and the land was given the entire year to rest, with no planting to be done for the entire year.
In our generation there are an abundance of signs in the heavens shouting out in picture form that the return of the KING of the Ages is now imminent. Even the movement of the constellations are arranged to tell the Greatest Story ever told. One of the greatest of all signs is being formed in the heavens at the very time of this writing…one that has only appeared with these exact details one time before and that was at the creation of Adam. The story began in Genesis and concludes in the Book of Revelation, and it is our generation that is witnessing it. What if all of these things are warning man of impending world shattering events that mankind must pay attention to? What is the cost of ignoring?
What If this is not all just a coincidence? Could God have His hand in all these dates and many more coming together this year? The Church Age is swiftly drawing to a close–much faster than most realize or would care to admit. Could it be this year? If that is the case, true Christians are about to be removed from this planet as promised in God’s Word. This event, commonly called “The Rapture”, literally means “the catching up”, the physical removal from this planet into the presence of God in a split second. Once this happens, this world will not have anything to restrain evil from running its full course. Even though this world is becoming increasingly wicked every year that passes, evil is still being restrained by the Holy Spirit of God operating through the remnant of true believers and followers of Jesus Christ. As soon as the true believers are gone, all hell will unleash on this planet.
On August 21, 2017, millions of Americans were witnesses to “The Great American Eclipse”. The solar eclipse caused a shadow to pass across the entire American continent, beginning on the west coast of Oregon, the 33rd State of the Union, and crossing the 33rd parallel on the east coast of South Carolina. The United States was the only nation affected by this solar eclipse. The last time there was a solar eclipse that crossed the entire nation was 99 years ago, just months before the official end of World War 1. This eclipse however began below Japan and the majority of its passage was over the Pacific Ocean. In contrast, the eclipse on August 21 began right close to the west coast of Oregon and finished right after leaving the east coast of South Carolina. The only solar eclipse like the one on August 21st, according to Space.com, occurred in 1776, the year America gained its independence. Could there be a prophetic significance to this? What if there is?
History shows us that God uses lunar eclipses to speak directly to world events having to do with the nation of Israel. Solar eclipses on the other hand have always been a signal of judgment on Gentile nations. In the case of the Great American Eclipse, what if it was not a coincidence that this eclipse touched no nation other than the United States of America—just as it did the year of its independence 241 years ago? What if it is not a coincidence that there will be another total solar eclipse once again crossing the American continent, this time, from the east to west, seemingly marking the nation with a large “X”? What if these two solar eclipses are bookend signs marking the end of the age on America, the leading nation of Planet Earth?
Could it be that the Almighty is calling to account all of the nations of the world, including the United States of America? I believe that is exactly what is happening. And, what if the accounting God is now calling for is really an accounting being required of every individual? Is it possible that the confluence of events today is warning us loud and clear that the Great Day of the Lord is at hand? Is it coincidence that, at the conclusion of 6,000 years of history since Adam was created, our planet is rocking and reeling, warning us that a great cataclysm is just ahead? Why is there such a great increase in earthquakes and volcanism? Why is weather on the planet becoming so out of control? Why have there been millions of animals, fish, and birds dying since the beginning of 2010? What is causing the great increase of close calls from asteroids and meteors? Why has there been such an increase in fire balls? Why is it that the planet is wobbling worse and worse? Scientists are saying that something within the inner solar system is causing the wobble of the planet to increase? What if all of this is the fulfillment of what was foretold for this generation in the Bible?
What if God’s view of His laws and what man’s views don’t agree? Man demands to have the restraints of God’s laws removed and much of the religious world is in agreement. Should God not intervene when man’s ways threaten His very creation? Mankind left to his own devices will follow the leading of the fallen Lucifer to his own slaughter. The planet is today on the very eve of destruction!
You and I will not save the world, nor can we. But, we can make the determination that will ensure our own eternal life in God’s heaven and maybe even lead someone else in the right direction. What God has planned for mankind in His Kingdom is beyond our imagination or comprehension. The enemy of our souls intends to steal what God has planned for us. It was the fallen Lucifer who lied to Adam and Eve through the Serpent in the garden, telling them that they can be their own gods, and he is still leading men astray with the same lie today. It was Jesus who said, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come to give you life abundantly” John 10:10. Jesus also said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father except by Me.” Narrow minded, you say? Absolutely. The gate is narrow and so is the road leading from it to eternal life. But, it is the only road that will lead there.
Some say that the “Rapture” or the “Catching Away” is a fairy tale, yet everything else in the Bible to this day has proven itself true. No other book dealing with the subject of life, death, and eternity can make such a claim. Is it worth taking an eternal chance because it sounds foolish? What if you are wrong?
I would like to conclude with a passage written by the Apostle Paul:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 1 Corinthians 1:18-21
The “catching away” of the people of God is imminent. What if it were to happen today…tomorrow? What if you only thought of it as foolishness?? I will add one last Scripture which is found in 1 Thessalonians.
…For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. for when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. but you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. for those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. but let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. Verses 2-11
Forever in His Service,