Thursday, April 13, 2017

Understanding the Times

In 1 Corinthians 10:6, Paul says that the sins of the Israelites in the wilderness happened as an "example" that we might not follow in their footsteps. On the other hand, we find many positive models of faith in the Old Testament we can follow such as some men from the tribe of Issachar.
In 1 Chronicles 12:32 we read this about them: "Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command." What did they understand? They knew it was time to make David king over all of Israel, not just Judah. They understood the times in which they lived.
The Pharisees, during the time of Jesus, lacked such insight. In Matthew 16:1-4, Jesus scolded them for not recognizing Him as their long-awaited Messiah. They correctly predicted the weather based on signs in the sky, but they missed all the signs identifying Jesus as the promised One of Israel. They failed to understand the times in which they lived.

What about us today? Do we understand the times in which we live?

There are eight times more references regarding Jesus' return to earth than for His first appearance. In Matthew 24, Jesus repeatedly instructs us to be watching and ready for His return. He said this after providing many signs of His return so we would know when that time was drawing near.
In spite of this, many believers remain asleep today. They hear no urgency regarding Jesus' return in their churches. Instead, many pastors downplay any imminence regarding Jesus' appearing. They tell us that Jesus will someday bring heaven to us, but not any time soon.            Jesus' return is a far distant event, they tell us, without any relevance for our current lives.
This is NOT how the early church regarded Jesus' appearing.

Early Believers Eagerly Awaited Jesus' Appearing

If there is one thing that the Lord has impressed upon me during the past year, it's that the Apostles instilled an eager anticipation of Jesus' return in the hearts of early believers.
In 1 Corinthians 1:7 Paul said this, ". . . as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ." The apostle repeated this same thought in Philippians 3:20, "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." The sense in both verses is not just that of simply waiting, but of an eager anticipation of Jesus' return for them. The believers in Corinth and Philippi deeply longed for Jesus' appearing. They watched for it with great desire as well as fervent expectation.
We also see this same sentiment among the Thessalonian believers. Turning to Jesus, away from their idolatry, led to their eager awaiting of His return (see 1 Thess. 8-10). In Titus 2:13, Paul said that the result of  turning to Christ signified, among other things, "waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." For these early followers of Christ, believing the gospel was synonymous with waiting and watching for Jesus' appearance.
A GEICO commercial portrays a spy fleeing from both armed men and a black helicopter. His phone rings as his adversaries appear ready to capture him. Thinking the call is from those coming to rescue him he answers the phone shouting, "Where are you?" We then see and hear his mom calmly talking about squirrels in the attic after which the narrator says, "If you're a mom, you call at the worst time. It's what you do."
Reflecting on what Paul said in the verses quoted above, we might expect him to say something similar: "If you believe the Gospel, you live in expectancy of Jesus' return. It's what you do." Passage after passage in the New Testament points to Jesus' appearing as our immediate expectation.
New Testament believers watched for and anticipated the appearing of Jesus as something that could happen at any moment.

The Early Church Also Watched for Jesus' Return

Many object to the idea of such imminency reasoning that if this was the expectation of New Testament believers, why did no one in the early church, after the time of the apostles, believe this?
Church history tells us a much different story than what many might expect.
The Didache, which means "teaching" in the Greek, is a brief document from the early decades of the Church that provides insight into its beliefs regarding Jesus' return or the Rapture, as we call it today. Scholars believe the Didache originates from as early as AD 70, although it likely was not formally compiled until around AD 300.
Chapter 16 of this short document contains instructions regard watching for the coming of the Lord, "Watch for your life's sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord will come."

Reflecting on Jesus' command in Matthew 24, the Didache reflects the same imminency regarding the Lord's appearing that we see in throughout the New Testament.
The church, well into the fourth century AD, remained almost uniformly premillennial. The early church looked for Jesus to return, setup His kingdom, and reign for 1,000 years. Prominent early church fathers such as Papias, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and Tertullian strongly advocated the literal interpretation of Revelation 19-20. They uniformly proclaimed their belief in Jesus' return to reign upon the earth!

Irenaeus, a prominent early church father of the second century AD, believed Jesus would return for His church before a period of tribulation upon the earth. In his famous book Against Heresies, Book 5, Chapter 29, he said this, "And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, 'There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.'"

Using the same terminology as Paul did in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Irenaeus said Jesus would take believers out of this world before a time of great tribulation upon the earth. Irenaeus, writing late in the second century AD envisioned the Lord coming for His church just as Paul promised in 1 Thessalonians 4. This would happen, according to Irenaeus, before a time of tribulation on the earth.
Another reference to the imminency of Jesus' return comes from a most interesting person in church history known as Ephraem the Syrian (also known as Saint Ephraim of Edessa). Born in AD 306, he became a monk, a poet, a writer of hymns, and a preacher. Some believe he attended the Council of Nicea in AD 325.

In his sermon entitled On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World, Ephraim clearly referred to the Lord coming for believers before the day of the Lord, before the tribulation. As such, he strongly encouraged believers to be ready for the soon appearing of Jesus to take His church out of this world after which the world would be engulfed in a time of great turmoil and suffering.

The belief in the imminency of Jesus' return for His church did not end with the apostles. It carried over into the early centuries of the church. As late as the fourth century AD, we find an example of someone warning believers to be ready for Jesus' return ahead of a period of tribulation upon the earth.

What Are the Signs Today?

Fine, you may be saying, but how does that relate to us today? Is there any evidence Jesus is coming soon? After two thousand years of waiting, should we still be expecting Him to appear at any moment?
YES! (I'm so glad you asked!) There are many, many signs we are living in the days leading up to the Great Tribulation and hence to Jesus' return for us just prior to that, known as the Rapture.

In Matthew 24:15, Jesus repeated Daniel's prophecy that a coming world leader, the antichrist, would defile the temple in Jerusalem during a time of tribulation upon the earth. Irenaeus, 150 years later, also wrote about how the antichrist would someday perform such an abomination in the temple.
Although the Jews currently have no temple, a group known as the Temple Institute is busily preparing for its construction. The architectural designs are complete as are many of the furnishings for the Third Temple. The altar is ready for sacrifices and if you are a Levite, you can attend a special school to train for serving as a priest in the new temple.

The signs Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:4-14 are coming true today as never before in human history. Indicators of Jesus' return to earth at the end of the tribulation abound today. Earthquakes, wars, rumors of wars, famines, and persecution of believers already occur with increasing frequency and intensity and will continue to do so all through the tribulation. Just like birth pangs, these signs are occurring more frequently and with greater intensity.
Ezekiel 38-39 speaks of a great war against Israel in the later days. Remarkably, we see the nations lining up exactly and precisely as predicted in these chapters. The nations prophesied to come against Israel have now joined forces as never before in history. The countries that remain on the sidelines during this conflict, including Saudi Arabia, are now aligning with Israel, at least to some degree.

Each day, we see increased tensions between Israel and the leaders of this coalition: Russian, Iran, and Turkey. The discoveries of rich deposits of natural gas and oil in Israel add to the intrigue and provide much motivation for these countries to someday attack Israel.
As Amir Tsarfati recently stated, today we see the history being written that will lead up to the great conflict of Ezekiel 38-39.

The Bible also predicts that a one world government and one world religion will engulf the world during the Tribulation. The foundations for both these realities are carefully being laid so that once the Church is gone, they can quickly be put in place. Not since the time of the Roman Empire has there been such an emphasis on unifying the planet under one world order.
With so many indicators of the approaching tribulation abounding today, why do so many preachers push Jesus' appearing to the far distant future?
Why do so few believers recognize the signs of Jesus' soon imminent return? Why do so few really understand the times in which we live?

I am often perplexed myself by these questions.
Why do so many pastors as well as believers do not understand the day in which we live and hence do not watch for Jesus' return?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


by Pastor Mike Taylor

2 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:2-3)

Many think that maybe I spend a lot of time on Israel with so much attention on the Middle East, and in particular the nation of Israel.
Prophecy has a habit of coming back to Israel, as this tiny nation is the linchpin in studying Bible prophecy and what is coming upon the earth, which may have already started as birth pangs. Jesus described the signs of His return in Matthew's Gospel:
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:3-8)

Jesus describes the events of His return as a man who is standing on the Mount of Olives in that perspective. Without Israel, prophecy doesn't make much sense. Many believe erroneously that the Church has replaced Israel as God's focus for the end times, so they have no use for prophecy. These blinded people are called Preterist. They believe that all prophecy has been fulfilled in 70 AD and Israel as a people have been cast away and replaced by the church. Of course, they are wrong, so why do I think that?

Center of Global Attention

In our modern world, you don't listen to the news very long, before it comes back to Israel. Israel is at the top of the world's agenda and my mission when I post such messages, is to keep my focus on documenting the world's slide toward the coming Tribulation using secular sources to demonstrate the accuracy of Bible prophecy when speaking of Israel.

Bible prophecy for the last days and through the Tribulation is centered around Israel beginning with Daniel's 70th week prophecy:
24 “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:24-27)

This passage points that the End of this Age centers around Israel and she becomes the  mile marker of where we are in prophecy. The closer she looks to be in trouble for her very existence and possible annihilation, the closer we are to the return of Christ , Who, according to scripture prevents that from happening.

The Eternal Generation

In a very real sense, what we are witnessing is not the actual fulfillment of prophecy for the last days.  The next prophetic event to be fulfilled in the Church Age is the Rapture.  Then the events of the Tribulation follow.  Both remain future -- near future, we would argue.

So instead we are eyewitnesses to various stages of the coming process of the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. The Bible says that there are a number of seemingly unrelated events that take place in ONE generation, and I would argues WE are that generation that are seeing this events being played out, right before our eyes, on the world stage.

Bible Prophecy Demands A Jewish State

Some people scoff and say that their mother or grandmother was looking for the return of Jesus Christ and it didn't happened. So they say “What makes you so sure that His return is any closer than it was for them”. I point out to them that in their time of their aged family when they were alive, there was one element that was missing. Israel had not been born a nation just yet, so Bible prophecy and the countdown to the return of Jesus Christ for His church and the beginning of the Tribulation was not in their radar screen, but it is on ours. 
Bible prophecy makes numerous references to the existence of a Jewish state, we call Israel in the last days.
In the prophecy of the valley of dry bones, God makes a point of revealing this truth to His servant Ezekiel and by extention, to us. 
11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the  Lord.” (Ezekiel 37:11-14)
And furthermore, the Bible also demands that Israel be in possession of the city of Jerusalem in the last days. Although Israel endures international disputes, but none the less, they captured the city and returned it to Israeli sovereignty. This happened in 1967:

6 “In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.
In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 12:7-9)

And because of Israel being in her promised land again, and capturing the Holy City of Jerusalem, the Bible prophesies numerous conflicts with her neighbors where God has judged their anger against Israel. Let's look at a few passages.
"Because you have said, 'These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess them,' although the LORD was there, therefore, as I live," says the Lord GOD, "I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you." (Ezekiel 35:10-11)

But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israelall of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 36:8-11)
We await the next two wars that will involve Israel personally and she will be supernaturally saved by God Himself ..
2 “For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. “ 9Psalm 83:2-8)

This passage describes the neighbors surrounding Israel coming again trying to drive Israel into the Mediterranean Sea, but God intervenes and they are not successful.

13 “O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.
14 As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;
15 So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.
16 Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O Lord.
17 Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth.” (Psalms 83;13-18)

And we await the final conflict before the Tribulation begins, and it may be that the Church of the Living God may not even see this battle, as I believe that this will bring to bear the confirmation of a covenant already in place, by none other, than the Anti-Christ.
15 "And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.” 'Ezekiel 38:15-16)
Prophecy students will recongize this as the Gog-Magog invasion of Israel that will destroy 5/6 of the invaders carrying back the plague to their homeland as the survivors come to their countries.

Bible Prophecy Demands A Global Government

Throughout history, men have sought to rule the world.  And throughout history, other men have resisted the attempt.  In the last two global wars, the effort began with the conquest of Europe. 

Following the last attempt, the Benelux Treaty brought together the first six European states, forming the nucleus of the modern European Union.  Wars couldn't unite them.  Peace did

23 “ And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.” (Daniel 8:23-25).

The same global war was responsible for the creation of the United Nations.  The UN created the template for a global government.  But the UN is an organism with 191 heads and no brain.  It doesn't take a political scientist to see it is a failed experiment. 

How Europe will eventually replace the UN is unclear, but it is the most likely candidate -- the world would never accept the US or Russia. Europe would be far more acceptable.  The Bible says it will happen.

1 “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” (Revelation 13:1-5) So begins the global government of the AC.

Bible Prophecy Demands a Global Economy

The global economy is a reality.  The prophecy of the Mark of the Beast [Rev 13:17] demands a system whereby the buying and selling of individuals will be tracked and monitored.  Those outside the economic system of antichrist will be 'unable to buy or sell'. In one of my last messages, I spoke of technology increasing at a lightning pace, to where even now, humans can have computer inplanted in their brains to compute thousands of times faster than a normal human, and this technology that was not possible just 50 years ago, has grown to where every man and woman on this planet can and will be monitored for compliance of the coming New World Order. Technology to accomplish this is in place.

Entry into the system requires some kind of mark of allegiance to the coming Antichrist.  Tracking sales is a reality.  Nobody can function in today's economy unless they are in the 'system'.  If you doubt it, get a bank account without a Social Security number or try and buy a new car using cash. 

Bible Prophecy Demands a Global Religion

The coming Mark of the Beast is an economic system to track all human activity, but is also a system of worship. Thre is coming a man, who may be on the scene right now, who will arise having two horns like a lamb but speaks as a dragon.

11 “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”(Revelation 13:11-14)
There is only one religious system in place today, that could and will command allegiance from all those who are left on this planet after the removal of the Church of Jesus Christ. Some think it will be Islam, but I am a proponent that after the Gog-Magog war's total defeat of invading armies who are mostly if not majority Muslim by birth, Islam will be decimated and never to rise again. That leaves only one other religion with the clout to pull this off. That system is the Roman Catholic Church headed by the coming false prophet found in their leader of apostacy, the Pope in Rome.

A counterfeit Christianity preaching another Jesus and a different gospel has been the accusation of many concerning the Roman Church.  They are already well entrenched in mainstream Christian denominations that teach salvation by works, church membership or ritual and have for centuries. 

6 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9)

There are many religions that preach another Gospel besides what was first delievered to the saints and all of them are demon inspired, but we know of one religion on earth who has more adherents and has perverted the Word of God for nigh 1700+ years...Need I say more?

The war on terror has also created a global suspicion of fundamental anything. 

What is a Fundamentalist?

Since we have been fighting the war on terror for a number of years, the world is suspicious of anything that is called “Fundamental”. 

To a Christian, a fundamentalist is one who practices the fundamentals of Christian faith, eschewing traditions of men and preferring the Word of God, but the world has a different perspective. . 

The secular world looks at fundamentalists, be they Jewish, Christian, Muslim -- they're all bombers.  Christian fundamentalists blow up abortion clinics, Jewish fundamentalists blow up Arabs and Muslim fundamentalists blow up anybody.  That is the prevailing propaganda that fills our news reports daily and is a perception that is being fostered in the sheeple that are easily led astray.

It isn't a stretch of anyone's imaginastion for the sudden legitimization of “so called faith” no matter what flavor of the month is being presented, whether it be Jehovah, Jesus, Isa, or Allah. These will be eventually blended together and there is been a big push by one mainline religion to bring all religions home to the “Mother Church”. It will promote a global ecumenical belief in one “god” for all. Those who hold the “old ways” will be considered fundamentalist and be eliminated. 

I get lots of email asking where we are in Bible prophecy right now.  Israel was reborn in 1948.  The Benelux Treaty was signed in 1948.  The World Council of Churches was created in Amsterdam in 1948.  The transistor -- the invention credited as giving birth to the Computer Age [making possible a global economy] was invented in 1948. 

The General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trades [forerunner to the World Trade Organization] was signed in 1948.  Where are we in Bible prophecy right now?  Jesus said 'when these things begin to come to pass, look up'

28 “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”(Matthew 24:28-35)

Look at how things have progressed in the last almost 70 years since Israel became a nation. Are you astonished, or is it becoming the new norm to you? Jesus said this generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled.
34 “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:34-39)
I know I keep bringing this up and I wouldn't say it so much if where not so important for the salvation of mankind and not being thrown head long into the coming Tribulation. What is a generation, that Jesus spoke of? Psalms 90;
The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10)
A little simple math will alert the Bible reader, that we are approaching 70 years since Israel was made a nation. This is not a prediction, as Jesus said in Matthew 24:
  “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36)

So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.” (Mark 13:20-30) 

As noted, this development surrounds and swirls within the tiny nation of Israel. If you want to know how close we are in Bible prophecy, then watch Israel and compare it to God's Word. 
Where are we in Bible prophecy right now?

Near.  Even at the doors.

This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying for your salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a friendly, listening ear, then email me at, God bless you all.


Monday, April 10, 2017

The king of the world; Out of the Shadows comes the Antichrist

“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”(12:4), “for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end”(12:9). Daniel was told 2700 years ago when this prophecy would be understood. John is told for this future generation: “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand” (Revelation 22:10). Referring back to chapter 1:19 where John saw the things that are and will come to pass. We are in the time of the end, what Daniel sealed will be revealed. At this time in the end when knowledge increases throughout the earth. This has a dual meaning, knowledge in our technology age has increased (doubling nearly every year) But it is also meant for those who seek Gods Word. They will begin to understand what was unable to be known centuries before. We will begin to get a clearer understanding of what was written as the end of the age escalates. Daniel was told about this knowledge, “none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand” (12:10).

Prior to Christs coming a falling away from the faith (inside the visible church) will occur. It will be noticed by those who are practicing the faith. Paul in 2 Thess.2 warns us living at the time, “Let no one deceive you by any means.” Repeating the same warning Jesus did in the beginning of his discourse in Matthew twenty-four about the succession of events at the end of the age. The Laodicean church becomes the dominant type; it is the only church Jesus has absolutely nothing good to say about, it had no commendation, only rebuke. But those inside it have much good to say about themselves.

Paul reminds the Thessalonian believers about what must occur in order for the Antichrist to be revealed. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 says: “For the mystery of iniquity (lawlessness) is already at work: only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.” The mystery of lawlessness, in Greek mystery is musterion meaning to hide or conceal. In the ordinary sense a “mystery” implies knowledge withheld, not easily detected or understood.

What is hidden will one day be revealed and brought to a conclusion. Just as in Jesus dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, so the counterfeit, Antichrist will be the full and final embodiment of the devil. He will be the “mystery of iniquity,” manifested. In v.6 of 2 Thessalonians the Apostle Paul writes “and you know what is restraining, that he may be revealedin his own time.” The normal word for time is chronos, but here the word for time here is kairos, which is translated to mean the “time of opportunity.” The man of sin who has been is withheld from appearing in the world for a particular time will come to its fruition. This restraining force opposes evil and holds back its growth, preventing the man of sin (v.3) from coming into his time of power. Human government is part of Gods plan to restrain evil (Romans 13) but it cannot be powerful enough to restrain or hold back the antichrist, for at this time it falls under his control. Once the restraint is removed evil will no longer be in check and will increase dramatically and spread to all.

For a time the development of the world preparation would be hindered or restrained until it no longer needs to be restrained 2 Thess. 2:1-70. At the time Paul wrote this epistle, (He) was being prevented from being revealed. Over 1900 years later: the lawless one is closer to being revealed. The mystery of iniquity that is already in the world is growing, but is restrained by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit that is present on earth [who is also in individual believers, and the Church] continues to be restraining (hinders, prevents) the antichrist from revealing himself. At a certain time He, the restrainer will no longer prevent him, the mystery of iniquity. It will be revealed in a man, the lawless one. Eventually this will bring the world under one head, an individual leader.

What has withheld him is slowly being removed; as we see lawlessness is increasing. Like the flood waters rising with Noah, the world will at a certain point enter the tribulation, that day the restraining will completely be removed. What he has waited millennia for will finally take place. He comes when everything is in its right place; the timing is based on the nations and with God.
The mystery that was operating throughout the world in Pauls day increases. Jesus says in the end “lawlessness will abound.” John writes, “sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4-5). In other words it will overtake any good in the world. The final conflict between the mystery of lawlessness and the mystery of Godliness will take place. It is the revealing of sin, the one who brought sin to mankind, will be in the man of sin, the son of perdition, the lawless one.

Dictators assert themselves to power because the people are not vigilant for freedom, they become lazy, asleep. If one looks at all the scriptural descriptions by Jesus, Paul, John etc and how they describe the end of the age; the term that most encapsulates it is deception (Jesus used this 4 times in Mt.24).
2 Tim 3:1-5 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
Perilous in Greek chalepos, means through the idea of reducing the strength; difficult, i.e. dangerous, or (by implication) furious: Thayers describes it as 1) hard to do, to take, to approach 2) hard to bear, troublesome, dangerous, harsh, fierce, savage. Now lets read the descriptions, “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” Morals will run amok in the culture because of churches with no Holy Spirit.

We are told there are many antichrists that have already come, but there is still the last and most important one of all. He will culminate all of the dictators into one. He will be the shrewdest most conniving murderer, liar, destroyer of them all. "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. "Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity” (Dan. 8:23-25) this verse is filled with descriptions that will match a certain individual at that certain time.

All is prepared for the man of sin at the end of the age, when rebellion reaches its culmination. Many antichrists, many false prophets, those who operate as false teachers in the church are corrupters of the truth have the spirit of this one who is to come. It will increase apostasy by a succession of individuals, who would operate by the spirit of antichrist. Unknowingly, many people have become involved in a co-operation with what the Bible calls the spirit of antichrist.

As the spirit of antichrist increases in the world it is also brought into the church by the corrupted teachers, you know who they are, they are the ones that mention hell only because Christ went there to be tortured by the demons. They divide the body with their own lies because they are anointed by the one who is to come, the false Christ. We are in that age of fruition. There is a real disconnect on what is important, what affects us. Commercial prophecy conferences state the obvious but avoid the real issue, the apostasy, which sets the door open for the fallen anointed one’s entrance. He comes within the framework of the increasing apostasy, as the church will no longer hold to Bible doctrine, few will recognize him for who he is, but there will be those who will  and they will speak. Few will listen.

In our day most people cannot recognize evil, even when it is staring them in the face. Maybe it is because of the pervasiveness of moral relativism that has intruded the culture and the church. They insist that its best to think good of everyone, be positive, not negative. Our new viewpoint insists on the majority being liberal, non-judgmental, having no discretion, avoiding scrutiny.
Will the church recognize the one who is the counterfeit the Bible warned of? How, when they are surrounded by counterfeits and have nothing to say. Antichrist is revealed to the world in the middle of the tribulation, Christians should be able to identify him at the beginning. There are a number of qualifications he will fill that connect the dots. That is what we will look at as we understand what is taking place.
But we are living in some very evil days and its NOT going away, but only going to get worse, far worse. Outlook: we are ripening for the picking.

So many people have amassed a large amount of influence, money, power, controlling the world banks, commerce and food (seeds) etc. The majority want to see some kind of global governance over the nations. Some think it is the most beneficial, compassionate and logical thing to take place at this stage. They are unknowingly being influenced being moved into position by the very one who wants to rule the world. So preparation is already underway for his acceptance in the various facets of life. His “lawless” spirit working in prominent people is already in place, when he comes, his rise to power will be quick.

The spirit of antichrist will spread like a net over the world and become the norm. The world stage must be prepared for this leader. His rise and acceptance will be seamless, many will see it as destiny. In real life terms he offers himself to the people as the ultimate problem solver. He will be liked, and loved by all. He will pass legislation that will appear to help everyone. He will be seen as the greatest humanitarian, a stature that is liken to Jesus. And he will accept this. They will claim that he is a man of light that can remove the darkness. They will recognize his intelligence and his charisma will win them over. The anti-Christ will have a worldly appeal for mankind to accept him. Besides having a supernatural attraction, he will quite possibly be young and handsome as the world looks to the outward and is impressed more with looks and charisma than with the substance. Much the way Israel did with their first king Saul.

Look at the changing landscape. Fraudulent is the one word that describes this whole period and execution of this mans leadership. As the song goes everybody wants to rule the world but only one person will get the chance, temporarily. He will positionally be set up as the King of the world, we call them presidents. But he does not publicly become known, famous by his religious view. Beginning in politics, he can be the president of one nation and will consistently rise to prominence.

He comes as a politician to unify the nations; Watch politics carefully. For people to allow this particular man to be president over all the countries, he would have to convince them of his worth. That he can lead the world into prosperity and peace and a new era (a golden age) that all will share in and none be excluded.
Some thoughts on his overall demeanor. He will be the quintessential narcissist, everything will be about him. He will love to be spoken of and be on people minds everyday, it will like devotion (worship). It is unlikely he would rise in a 3rd world country that would have no resources and is struggling with poverty. It would be a country of influence. Take for example, if this man rose in America, what would he have to do? He would have to lead it down a path he has decided. Maybe by taking it hostage or destroying its foundation of law and religion and rebuild it in his own image. Any influence of that countries traditions for good and God will first be diminished to come under his control. This is why we read the finance and commerce system will directly be linked with his name if he is to have control of everything. Once you make the culture secular you can begin again and introduce whatever religious system, or non religious system you want. After success, he can easily convince others to follow his system.

We have heard for so many years by preachers that he is alive and biding his time for his revealing. Of course we have heard the same from the new age movement and their hope for Maitreya to be revealed. If he is to be a ruler of some country, logically it would be strong and influential. If you have the strongest country controlled all the others will fall in line. So he will either control the country, or take it out by some means.
For centuries people wondered how this would be competed. Many think a single man will be picked and groomed. I dont see this as strategic. We can learn from history and the many dictators that have already come on the scene. The old saying of not putting all your eggs in one basket applies. Satan will have his hand on a number of people, developing them to be the one. He may not know which one it will be until that certain time. But God will, and will allow only one of them to go all the way, prophecy will be fulfilled. Certainly one cannot know ahead of time, absolutes on this matter are hardly possible.

There are those who have already come that have openly claimed to be the Christ, the Messiah, (Matt 24:5, 24). False messiahs copy what they can of Jesus to have people accept them. Paul had the future in mind, when the spirit of antichrist will be embodied when wrote I Jn. 2:18 “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.”
All these “antichrists” are precursors of The Antichrist, in whom they will find their climax. We know it is nearing the time by how many came before. We may see many men acting in the same nature of the Antichrist before he appears. It may be that many men will be chosen to be the Devils surrogate and fail until God allows one of them to be him.

None before him will compare to the power and ability this last one will display. It will find completion during the ultimate rebellion against the true God, bringing those who reject the truth under one head, an individual leader known as the Antichrist.
One needs to first study the nature of Christ (holiness) to identify the one that will oppose him and replace him temporarily, convincing the world he is Christ (not Jesus). All his characteristics will be understood by his nature, as one who replaces Christ and opposes him. All the opposite qualities and characteristics of Jesus will be working in him but he will still be admired, because he comes when the world is lawless.
After studying the activities and functions of the true messiah we should be equipped to recognize the false one. Those who know the Lord Jesus will be repulsed by everything this person does, because he will be against Christ and all that is holy. Others who think He is Christ will be against those who speak out about him. Its not just recognizing evil but will you identify it, and him; will you resist him if you are here.
Lets look at some general comparisons of antichrist to Jesus Christ to illustrate the nature and the context of the counterfeit.

The “Lamb” is the Savior of sinners; The “Lamb” speaks of sacrifice and the gentleness of Christ; the “Beast” persecutes and kills the saints (Revelation 13:7). The “Beast” describes the fierceness and cruelty of the Devils nature through the man who is Antichrist.
While Jesus was humble and meek, this man will exhibit incredible charisma that will be manifested to manipulate the masses to accept his words as if they are the only right choice. He will be boastful, insolent, and aggressive. The false messiah will copy everything he can of Jesus, but he will cause division, but not for what is right; though the people will be convinced it is for their good.

When the Savior entered this world, He came saying, “Lo I come to do Thy will, O God” (Hebrews 10:9); but of the Antichrist it is written “And the king shall do according to his will” (Daniel 11:36). The Antichrist will set himself up in direct opposition to all authority, both Divine and human. He comes in his own name to do his own will, which is the opposite of Jesus. He will promise freedom but bring bondage. He will act meek but exercise strength.
Jesus is the way; the false messiah will have his way. Jesus is the truth incarnate - The false messiah will be the lie incarnate. He will act in the nature of Satan, a liar. He will be the best liar anyone has ever seen. Where someone may tell the truth, he will twist it into a lie. He will lie and will convince people he is telling the truth.

The son of perdition is the false shepherd. He leads the people to destruction. He will kill, steal and destroy but it will look like he has a benevolent reason. Hitler killed 1/3 of the Jews; by the end of his rule Antichrist will have killed 2/3 of the Jews (Zech. 13:8 though he will try to eliminate every one). It is this nation that becomes his special target because he knows the scripture where Jesus required the Jews to call upon him for his return (Mt.23).
He will promise prosperity while at the same time bankrupt people and their lives. We are told he loves money. It says this “the king will do as he pleases.” He will rule as king and convince the people he has the answers to everything. And implement his policies to solve it all. One of them will be the economic problems (Rev.13).

Satan's man will pose as God's man, offering an alternate plan of rescue, but not from sin, but from war. Peace will be his platform. He will also promise peace and prosperity, the good life here and now.
Christ is the Son of God, having the same nature as his Father (Luke 1:35). He cannot eliminate Jesus out of history so he may refer to Jesus Christ as “a son of God,” not the only begotten son of God. We see this in embryo today. The Antichrist is called the son of Perdition, by having the same nature as Satan (2 Thess. 2:3)
Many parallels could be cited to show that he copies what Christ did in the very opposite manner. But this will not be so obvious at first because he will be deceptive in his works and words as he substitutes himself as the Messiah of the world.