IT WILL SURELY COME
When the disciples asked Jesus, “What will be the sign of your coming?” As was pointed out in an earlier chapter, Jesus provided a series of predictions that all point to a world in utter turmoil and chaos. Many of the signs specifically relate to the Tribulation period, but several predict the times leading up to the start of the Tribulation.
Jesus first forecasts that “many will come in My name saying, ‘I am the Christ’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:5).
While society has already experienced a rise in self-proclaimed prophets, during the Tribulation, due to the perilous times, they will proliferate. Jesus next added: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6). In 1993, the New York Times listed forty-eight trouble spots around the globe. The Middle East conflict continues to escalate. With the attack on the US on September 11, 2001, the discord came within America’s borders with a serious attack. Thus, the US is currently engaged in a war on terrorism, waged war against Iraq, is keeping a watch on Iran and North Korea which threatened a preemptive strike against the US. The American government has issued a high alert against terrorist attacks from Al Qaeda, and is experiencing first-hand the anxiety that comes from Jesus’s statement about upcoming “wars and rumors of wars.” Along with the US, terrorism, wars and various conflicts threatens nations around the globe.
Jesus continues with “And there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7). In 1996, Newsweek commented in response to the floods, hurricanes, droughts, and earthquakes that struck in so many localities around the globe in that year that “the only plague missing was frogs.” Since then these events have only increased. Other natural events such as polar ice caps, glaciers and mountain top ice melting which will effect habitat and water levels some attribute to global warming.  Jesus concluded that “these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8).
Nearly all of the Scriptures’ criteria are in place for the Tribulation to begin. Daily, the EU is gaining more stature in our world. In the early 1990s, many skeptics doubted that the EU would succeed in uniting economically, and regarded the 1992 program as a project doomed to failure. Not only did 1992 succeed as planned, the EU went onto reach its goals for monetary union, another area that critics regarded as a potential disaster for the Union. Today the euro is worth more than the American dollar. The US media has provided very little coverage of the political evolution of the EU, which is currently evolving into the final world power described in the Scriptures.
The Middle East peace process evolves daily. The European Union’s role over the last two decades increased considerably in the region and the Union can guarantee the peace, especially since it made Middle East peace a foremost priority. As events unfold in the peace process, we can expect to see the Union gain an even stronger footing in preparation for the Antichrist’s treaty.
Even if one disregards the Biblical writings, the Union should raise serious concerns by virtue of its undemocratic institutional structure and its political ambitions. The Union is at a crucial stage in its evolution. As it evolves into a political empire, society will continue to grow wicked, resembling more and more the days of Noah and Lot.
We know that the Antichrist is going to be one of the leaders appointed to the EU Commission Presidency. This man will be responsible for raising the EU to its pinnacle of power. He will virtually be unknown when he takes power and will become strong with a small people. Former Italian Health Minster Tina Anselmi urged people “not to undervalue the possibility of a new and dramatic fascism.” She stated that Mussolini “only had 2,000 votes in Milan at the start of 1922 and yet by the end of the year, he was in charge of the country.” We know that history repeats itself, and despite our knowledge of the process by which dictators come to power, they continue to rise and fall.
The world will not be battling an evil man like Hitler, whom some consider to have been demon possessed, but will be up against Satan himself in a man’s body who will make Hitler look mild. Antichrist launches his fury and rage against the world because he knows that the second coming of Jesus Christ dawns on the horizon. God gives him this time because the Antichrist acts as an instrument of God’s judgment upon the earth. What the conquests of the Antichrist do not destroy, the plagues, earthquakes, and other disasters will. Those who do will have to contend with the Antichrist and his henchmen, and some will end up martyred.
The Mark of the Beast will distinguish the Antichrist’s followers from those of God. By not taking the Mark, one will not be able to buy or sell. Children and relatives will turn over their family members to the Antichrist’s SS. Jesus tells us in Mark 13:12: “Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.” Fathers turn against their own children and have them put to death which epitomizes the belief in the police state that will exist at that time. Jesus tells us regarding this betrayal that “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). We see some of this today in various faiths and have heard horror stories of children turning against their parents and even killing them.
The Headlines to Watch For
he signs and events leading to the Tribulation are so in place that we can speculate on the next main developments to watch for, which are:
•The continued rise of the EU and the demise of the US.
•The building of the third Temple and the Temple Mount area to change for the building of the Temple.
• The forming of the ten or thirteen member political core, which can also start with fewer members and increase upwards to ten or thirteen.
• The Antichrist eliminating three members from either the 27, or 13.
•The increased globalization of this world which will come about via the European Union once it takes the lead as the world’s leading superpower.
•The fall of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
•The further strengthening of the euro.
•A possible global currency, but the euro will suffice.
•Increased earthquakes and natural disasters.
•More wars and conflicts.
•Further elimination of cash in society.
•More use of bio implants.
•Evolution of bio implants, i.e. further technological advances.
•Evolution of computers and their use potentially for a police state.
The God of the Bible and the Tribulation
Despite God’s warnings and the evidence that supports the Tribulation, many believe that it will not happen. Somehow, they think, man will turn his fate around. For others, the prospect of the European Union’s creating a world dictator seems impossible. Others do not believe in God or the Bible as the Word of God. Some cannot fathom that a loving God would allow such destruction and suffering. Why does God allow so much human suffering especially as will happen during the Tribulation. Why would he create man and annihilate him.
The God of the Bible is not an entity that a finite limited mind can understand. Why would God allow the injustices in this world and human suffering. One cannot fathom that God will allow such suffering to happen to the beings he created. When God’s judgments come and the people living are experiencing them they will become angry at God rather than turn to him.
We think of God as all loving and that our lives should be heaven on earth because a loving God will only give us good things. The God of the Bible is a peculiar God. One who has emotions like us, who created us in his image, yet remains incomprehensible to us. God’s ways are not our ways, as anyone who reads through the Bible discovers. He is just in all of his dealings with men. We are finite and God is infinite; thus we cannot completely understand Him. Man fashions the character of God around
his sympathies, and rejects Him. We tell God that if He is not who we think He should be, we want no part of Him. To know God is to realize that we do not fully know, nor can we in this life understand Him. He tells us that His ways are not our ways, or His thoughts ours. The wisdom of God seems like foolishness to men; such as the preaching of the cross. Yet it is the power of God to those who believe.
God tells us that we must have the faith of a child to believe in Him. In examining the God of the Holy Bible objectively, we see that this God is much more complex, peculiar, and esoteric than one’s conception of Him. The more one learns of Him, the less one really understands Him. This is a God who created all things, is everywhere at once and who knows every language and thought of the roughly six billion people who are on the planet. He formed the world in six days and rested on the seventh, and produced a fantastic garden with trees and fruit capable of giving man knowledge and eternal life.
God created the angels and afterwards his next highest form of life: man. Man has never seen his face and if he did he would die. He appeared as a pillar of cloud and a flaming bush. He elects a particular people, the Jews, whose bloodline His Son would come into this world and to whom He reveals Himself. He promises these people a fruitful land; Israel, and leads them to it. He fights wars for them and drives out their land’s inhabitants. In fighting those battles God orders the Israelites to kill every man, woman and child of the nations and tribes that come up against them.
This same God expects his chosen people to love him and if they go after other gods and pagan practices he eventually becomes angry with them and brings on them pain, suffering and calamity in an effort to get them to turn to him.
He set up a system of worship the included the Ark of the Covenant, and a Temple that He designed and He specifies every detail and it is here He comes and meets with His people. He provided Moses with over 600 laws He expected the people to follow. Some pertain to social behavior and others are dietary and others which only make sense to the Creator and He requests animal sacrifice.
One can only question at this point why the God of all ages would request animal sacrifice and such a peculiar set of laws to abide by. Animal sacrifice atoned for the people’s sin. All of this foreshadowed the ultimate sacrifice—His Son who was born of a woman, in a manger, alongside the beds of animals. The men of His day reject and sentence Him to a brutal and cruel death for the most serious of offenders for no greater crime than stating that He was the Son of God. He was born in the most humble of places, lives as a man, and dies unjustly at the hands of His own creation, revealing the meek nature of this mysterious God. But, He rises from His death conquering it. All who put their trust in Him for their salvation and believe that He paid the penalty for their sin which is death will have eternal life and follow Him in the afterlife. He calls this the Gospel. God Himself calls this a foolish Gospel but refers to it as the power of God.
This God also chose to speak through eccentric prophets, some of whom took vows not to cut their hair and to eat only certain foods. While they forecasted His prophecies, these prophets spoke through seemingly bazaar symbolic actions that God commanded them to do.
We know from the prophet Isaiah that he witnessed the Lord sitting on a throne, and the train of His robe filled the Temple. Above the throne stood seraphim—six-winged angels, with two wings to cover their faces, two to cover their feet, and two for flying (Isaiah 6:2). He lives in the heavens, in a throne room with jeweled walls and giant winged creatures, and four faced beings surrounded by lighted wheels. His throne burns with fire and He shines brighter than the sun. He created beings called angels and one of those He created wanted to be like God and He cast him and all of his affiliates from heaven. This event caused the battle between good and evil, God and Satan which will culminate in the battle of Armageddon.
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Jesus) will defeat the roaring lion which walks to and fro from the earth seeking who he may devour. In this not fully understood battle lies the reason for all that is evil in this world.
This God who can part seas, bring fire down from heaven, raise the dead back to life, and perform all kinds of miracles, chooses to work through the natural order of events and requires faith as the prerequisite for pleasing Him as if knowing the difficulty of this for men and women.
As Hebrews 11:6 states: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.”
The figurative language of the prophets seems to belong to another world, and its way of looking at life is alien to our own, yet it is through this language that we have the end time prophecies.
Many scholars have tried to speculate on the future, based on both present and past events. During the Gulf War, some stated that terrorism would greatly increase, there would be thousands of US casualties, and the war would drag on like the one we fought in Vietnam. None of these predictions occurred. Others forecasted that the EU’s economic union would fail. Concerning Islamic fundamentalism, there are a myriad of opinions. Some believe they will be responsible for the next world war. Others state that this is not even a remote possibility due to the various sects within the movement. The US Pentagon issued a report stating that the threat to America’s future might come from Japan. One fact is sure, and that is that the major events that occurred in the past several years remained unforeseen. It seems that in the secular world the events one least expects are more likely to occur than what one anticipates.
The people to whom the prophets directed the predictions disregarded them in their time. The prophetic writings sometimes act at times as a general guide and in some passages a precise road map. When Jeremiah foretold the Babylonian invasion, the Israelites could not fathom its taking place, and did not listen to Jeremiah. False prophets predicted peace. Nevertheless the captivity of the Israelites occurred. Most men would not give a second thought to the idea that the threat to world peace will come from the EU. Not Europe, our allies! It is a mere economic grouping. Many individuals warn about the coming Tribulation. Unfortunately, as in the days of Jeremiah or Noah, most will not believe until the day that the EU, under the leadership of the Antichrist, unleashes its fury. Only then, no historians will comment on how the events that shook the world all came about; for along with these events come the culmination of the age and the second coming of Jesus Christ. It is a remote and distant reality that will never occur in their lifetime. Thus for all of these arguments, I will conclude with the Words of the Lord, out of Habakkuk 2:3: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie: though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come it will not tarry.”
THE BIBLE’S MESSAGE OF HOPE
Bible prophecy presents frightening truths to the reader, but its message is not entirely one of doom and gloom. Believers in Jesus Christ will not go through the Tribulation. God will take them out of the world in the Rapture just before it begins. God provides a way out. His way offers refuge and eternal life.
God’s gift of eternal life with Christ is simple to obtain, but few will take it. All men are sinners. Sin is anything that we say or do that does not bring glory to God. God is righteous, and the slightest sin within us makes us unrighteous in His sight. There is nothing in and of ourselves that we can do to obtain the favor of God. Isaiah 64:6 states: “And all our righteousness are like filthy rags.” God will not even accept one into heaven for his good works. Salvation is by faith alone. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest anyone should boast.”
But Romans 10:13 promises, “For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” God promises eternal life to anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as his personal savior. John 5:24 states: “Most assuredly, I say to you, He who hears My word, and believes in him who sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment; but has passed from death into life.” If you want to be sure that you are saved and that heaven will be your home, pray this simple sinner’s prayer and mean it with all of your heart: “Oh God, be merciful to me as a sinner, I believe that Jesus died for my sins, and trust Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord Jesus for saving me.”
He that believes in the Son has everlasting life: and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36)
- Benjamin R. Barber, “Global Multiculturalism and the American Experiment,” World Policy Journal, Spring 1993, p. 49
- “Going to Extremes,” Newsweek, 26 January 1996.
- Richard Black, “Earth-Melting in the heat? BBC News, May 18, 2007, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4315968.stm
- “Quotes,” European, 2 July-1 August 1993.
The Empire: Bible Prophecy and the EU -Free Edition
The Empire: EU and Bible Prophecy-INT
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The Empire: Ten Kings-3 Plucked up by roots- 7
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