Prophecy Article Today: "SUMMARY OF WHAT WE MAY EXPECT"- Keith L. Brooks

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A BRIEF SUMMARY OF WHAT WE MAY EXPECT

By
Keith L. Brooks


 



Fulfilled prophecy is conclusive evidence of the divine inspiration of the Bible.

          "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like 
     me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My 
     counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isa. 46:9, 10).

None of the sacred books of other religions have in them a prophetic element.  The reason is not hard to find.  Had the authors attempted to foretell future events, they would have left behind them the strongest evidences of their deception.  The God of the Bible alone grasps the ages.  God's Book alone is largely made up of prophecy, and none can deny that the march of the ages has corroborated His prophetic statements.

These prophecies are so detailed and so specific, and they were recorded so long before the events transpired that they cannot be accounted for on the basis of human foresight.  Thousands of volumes have been written throughout the Christian centuries showing how bible predictions have passed literally into history.

The Apostle Peter wrote, "The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (II Pet. 1:21).

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts" (II Pet. 1:19).

Herewith we set forth a few of the prophecies having to do with the consummation of the age in which we are living.  As you read them and compare them with the events of which our daily papers are full, recall the challlenging question put by our Lord to the religious leaders of His day: "Can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (Matt. 16:3).


                                            International Conditions Preceding Christ's Second Coming

Constant rumors of war (Matt. 24:6).
Increasing world conflicts accompanied by pestilence and famine (Matt. 24:7; Isa. 13:4, 5).
Economic perils such as the nations have never known (Matt. 24:21,22; Mark 13:19; Dan. 12:1).
The people impotent to help themselves (Ezek. 7:17,18).
Gold and silver valueless as exchange (Ezek. 7:19).
Disastrous earthquakes (Matt. 24:7).
Increasing commotions within nations (Luke 21:9).
Fearful sights and great signs (Luke 21:11,25).
People's hearts failing for fear (Luke 21:26; Isa. 24:17,18).
Perilous conditions in general (II Tim. 3:1-5).
Collapse of great fortunes (Jas. 5:1-8).
Nations utterly broken down (Isa. 24:19,20; 51:6).
Days of darkness and gloominess (Joel 2:2).
Hellish war devices (Joel 2:3-5).
World empire attained; its final destruction (Dan. 2:40-45).
Many traitors, "fifth columnists" (Mark 13:12; Luke 21:16; II Tim. 3:3,4).
National revival of Israel (Mark 13:28).
Russia and German, as one, eventually attempt to grab riches of Palestine (Ezek. 38,39).
Increasing persecution of Christians and Jews (Dan. 7:21,22; Jer. 30:7,13-16; Matt. 24:9; Mark 13:13).
Final rise of an anti-God world dictator demanding allegiance of all (Dan. 7:24-26; Rev. 13:1-18); honors the god of forces (Dan. 11:36-39); overthrows many nations (Dan. 11:41, 42).
Wastes of Palestine cultivated after many centuries of barrenness (Isa. 43:19,20; Ezek. 34:26,27; 36:4-10,30,34,35).
Hebrew language revived after being long dead (Zech. 3:9).
Jews return to Palestine in large numbers (Isa. 43:5,6; 49:19; Jer. 23:3; 30:3; Ezek. 11:17,18; Hos. 3:4,5).
Seven years of consummation--the Great Tribulation--time of awful trouble for the Jews (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:27).


                                            Religious Conditions Preceding Christ's Second Coming

Organized atheism mocks religion (Jude 18).
Rulers take counsel against God (Ps. 2:2,3).
True religion waning, iniquity abounding (Matt. 24:12,38).
General apostasy in Christendom (II Thess. 3:3).
Increase of spiritualistic practices (I Tim. 4:1-3).
Religion largely a matter of form (II Tim. 3:5; Rev. 3:16,17).
Many will not endure sound doctrine (II Tim. 4:3,4).
Damnable heresies spring up overnight (II Pet. 2:1-3).
Religious fakers work seeming miracles (Mark 13:22).
Preachers ridicule the teaching of Christ's second coming (II Pet. 3:3,4).
A great world religious federation takes shape, headed by a false prophet of great power (Matt. 24:5,11,24; Rev. 13:11-18).
A great religious war is headed by the Beast with Palestine as the cockpit (Zech. 14:1-3; 12:2,3; Rev. 16:16; 19:11-21).
Jew-hatred once and for all judged (Isa. 49:26; 60:14; Jer. 30:16,17).


                                                                 The Climax

In the midnight hour of the age the Lord Jesus Christ comes first for His own (Matt. 25:6).
Every eye shall see Him (Rev. 1:7).
Christ in Person (John 14:3; Acts 1:11; I Thess. 4:13-18).
Sleeping saints are raised, living believers are translated to meet Christ in the air (I Cor. 15:51-54; Phil. 3:21; John 5:24-29; I Thess. 4:15-17).
The Great Tribulation followed by His glorious coming (Matt. 24:29,30).
The Beast Empire destroyed (Dan. 2:45).
Throne of latter-day dictators wiped out (Dan. 7:9-18).
All evil forces removed (II Thess. 1:7-10; Matt. 13:41).
All wickedness punished; righteous rule established (Ps. 98:8,9; Isa. 2:4-22; 13:11,12; 24:21; 26:20,21).
Peace restored to the Holy Land, the homeland of Israel (Isa. 60:15-22; 62:1-10; Jer. 31:4-13; 33:7-18; Ezek. 34:12-14,23-28).
The Jews worship the King of kings (Ezek. 36:22-38; 37:21-28; Hos. 14:4-9; Zech. 12:10-12).
Christ's glorious and universal reign (Ps. 47:5-9; 72:1-17; Isa. 11:1-12; 25:8,9; 35:1-10; 65:17-25; Mic. 4:1-8; Zech. 2:10-13; 14:20,21; Rev. 21:1-7).

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Prophecy Article Today: "The Conundrum " -Jack Kinsella

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The Conundrum 
Perspective on the News 
Thursday, May 19, 2011 
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor 

I first began working on the internet in 1991. I can remember the excitement when the first graphical internet interface (now known as an internet browser) came out. Before that, one 'browsed the net' by typing text commands on a black screen.

Computers were maddeningly slow, everything was black and white and they crashed early and often -- but the information was generally pretty solid in those days. 

(It was one of the reasons that it took a full week to gather enough research material to put together the 22-minute broadcast script for 'This Week in Bible Prophecy') 

Once the graphical interfaces were introduced, the first, crude web pages started to appear. Soon after, the information superhighway started filling up with detours from information to infotainment. 

The early web was top-heavy with conspiracist websites eager to prove their various conspiracies, Satanist websites, porn, and, interestingly, fundamentalist Christian websites. 

I say 'interestingly' from the secular perspective; spiritually speaking, it was the perfect place to find them. Jesus Christ went to seek and to save lost sinners. 

The best way to seek sinners is to go where the sin is. And in this generation, the internet is where it is at. 

(I can't remember exactly when I launched my first website, but it was somewhere in the mid-nineties. Seems like yesterday -- and a million years ago.)

In any case, the internet was soon so filled with disinformation that I developed a personal confirmation policy that demanded at least three separate and independent sources confirming the information was true. 

I admit I came in late on a lot of breaking stories, but I am not a reporter so much as an observer. Neither is it my goal to be an advocate. Let me explain: 

I see the moral collapse of our society as clearly as do any of you. I am as abhorred by abortion on demand as the most militant among you. I am as disgusted with the current administration's pandering to special interests as any of you are. 

I am as alarmed over the administration's handling of the serial crises facing us as is the most paranoid member of our fellowship. I am as opposed to the United Nations as the most ardent nationalist reader, and I am as worried about the Marxist indoctrination of our children in the public school system as you are. 

But it isn't the mission of the Omega Letter to advocate for change, but rather to observe that change as it is underway and comment on how it relates to the overall outline of future history from the perspective of Bible prophecy. 

That isn't to say that the Omega Letter is wholly neutral -- that wouldn't be honest. I express my opinions freely enough, but I am not an advocate for any agenda other than leading as many of the lost to Christ as possible while there is still time. 

Every day, there is some event in the news that serves to confirm the truth of Bible prophecy, which confirms the existence of its Author. If Jesus is truly real, and if He is truly coming back, then the skeptic has no refuge from the choices placed before him. 

And no excuses, either. 

While it is the Omega Letter's mission to observe current events, we do not advocate for any particular outcome. It is a conundrum for me. Allow me to share it with you. 

I believe that, while each of us has free will choices before us, the outcomes are already known to the Author of history. This is where it gets conundrumy. (I made that word up. I like it, though) 

The hyper-Calvinist takes predestination to the level where, since all is pre-ordained, there is no need to do anything except 'go with the flow'. No need to give the Gospel, God already predestinated who would be saved. Let God sort it out. 

But I am not a hyper-Calvinist. I believe that it is incumbent upon each of us as individual members of the Body of Christ to do our job for the Kingdom, and that each of us has the free will choice to either accept or reject the task set before him. And that our choices have eternal consequences. 

But Bible prophecy lays out the details of events as they will befall one generation, somewhere in time, to the exclusion of all other generations. 

All Bible prophecy for the last days includes some relationship to the physical existence of a nation/state called "Israel." 

Until 1948, no such nation/state had existed historically since its destruction by Sargon II in 702 BC. Jesus said that the generation that would see the restoration of Israel would witness the conclusion of human history. 

The Bible lays out, in detail, the national and international trends, geological disturbances, ethnic unrest, wars, plagues, signs in outer space, etc., that will conspire together to bring about the events of the Tribulation Period. 

The Bible says, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2nd Peter 1:21)

So, we have two levels of predestination to look at here. 

Individual predestination, in which a believer is chosen for salvation 'from the foundation of the world' -- which would seem to preclude evangelism. 

Now, view it from the next level, that of the constant fulfillment of Bible prophecy before our very eyes. 

It is being fulfilled by men making free-will decisions. But they are still fulfilling their predestined roles (or Bible prophecy would fail). 

I applaud conservative advocacy groups who rally against abortion or work to clean up the public airwaves, or to reform the public school system, or to get conservative justices to the Supreme Court. 

But the mission of the Omega Letter is to point out how trends dovetail with Bible prophecy, not to work to reverse them. 

God will use the efforts of the various advocacy groups according to His foreknowledge of the role they will play. (It's confusing, isn't it? I TOLD you it was 'conundrumy')

But the mission of the Omega Letter is to serve as the watchman on the wall, and to train up other watchmen to help give the warning. 

Not to abandon the post to help with pre-emptive defensive fortifications elsewhere. There are already people in God's plan that He has called to do that. 

It is the mission of the Omega Letter to watch and to give the warning, being mindful of the consequences should we fail to do the job.

"Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:"

"But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand." (Ezekiel 33:6-7)

Jesus is alive. And He is coming back soon. You’ve been warned.

 

 


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Prophecy Article Today: "100-Pound Hailstones" -Thomas Ice

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100-Pound Hailstones

Dr. Thomas Ice

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And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe. -Revelation 16:21

 

The plagues, judgments, and disasters in the Book of Revelation and in other biblically prophetic passages are not understood by some as literally descriptive of miraculous events that God will bring one day upon mankind. Instead, non-literal interpreters of these passages say that these descriptions are either symbolic for a non-historical event or they insist on a naturalistic interpretation. Such approaches have a difficult time accepting the fact that God will actually throw 100 pound hailstones at mankind during a future tribulation judgment. What are passages like Revelation 16:21 saying? Is this to be seen as a future supernatural event or is it best understood naturalistically as a past event?

 

Preterist Sophistry

"It is quite impossible that such gargantuan hailstones can be accounted for under the most aggravated of meteorological conditions," declares Dr. Kenneth Gentry. "Yet Josephus records for us an event so visually and effectually similar that what he records must be the fulfillment of the Revelational prophecy."[1] Dr. Gentry's belief that Revelation 16:21 was fulfilled in the first century, as recorded by Josephus, is further explained in the following:

 

Not only is the size mentioned the same (one talent, . . .), but the boulders thrown by the Roman catapults were white colored, as are hailstones. Would not the effect of the catapulting stones be virtually that of a hailstorm of such proportions?

. . . Revelation's prophecies find an impressive fulfillment in almost literal fashion in the Jewish War.[2]

 

Scripture Interprets Scripture

Dr. Gentry believes, at least in theory, that, "Scripture interprets Scripture."[3] Yet when it comes to dealing with this particular item, Dr. Gentry prefers Josephus to God's Word. This is true, in spite of the fact that Scripture has a fair amount to say about this subject. However, when one takes into account what Scripture actually says on this matter, it does not support preterism. This is likely the reason why Josephus is to be preferred by Dr. Gentry and so many preterists.

It is interesting to note that Dr. Gentry chops his quote of Josephus and does not include the part where Josephus says that when the Romans left their stones white, the Jews saw them coming and were able to dodge them. It was only after the Romans blackened the stones that they were able to inflict damage on the Jews.[4] Thus, in the later and effective use of the stones by the Romans, they did not actually resemble white hailstones as Dr. Gentry contends. Is this what Dr. Gentry means when he says the prophecies of Revelation were fulfilled "in almost literal fashion in the Jewish War?" Hardly! When biblical prophecy is fulfilled, it is always clearly and evidently fulfilled.

 

Scripture and Hailstones

What does the Bible have to say about the Lord fighting with hailstones? First of all, the oldest book in the canon of Scripture says, "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of distress, for the day of war and battle?" (Job 38:22-23) This passage clearly teaches that God has a storehouse of hail, specifically for "the time of distress," and "for the day of war and battle." Is this just metaphor or "almost literal" language?

When you start looking at instances in the Bible where God uses hail against Israel's enemies they start to add up. God used hail against Egypt during the seventh plague (Exod. 9:22-26). In this instance it was clearly literal hail and not just a metaphor for bad weather. This plague was not a result of human agency. Only God was involved in fighting for Israel against Egypt. There are a number of Old Testament passages that refer to God's use of hail in a battle context (Psa. 18:12-13; 78:47-48; 105:32; 148:8; Isa. 28:17; 30:30; 32:19; Ezek. 13:11-13; 38:22).

Meteorologist and Bible teacher Charles Clough says, "The proper way to understand prophecies of catastrophes is to follow the apostle Peter's approach and look at the true record of God's past historical judgments (2 Pet. 3:5-7)."[5] The most significant passage for our study is the hailstone incident in Joshua 10. The passage says, "And it came about as they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-horon, that the Lord threw large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword." (Joshua 10:11) This is a clear example of the implementation of the purpose stated in Job, that the Lord has a storehouse of hail for the very purpose of "the time of distress" and "for the day of war and battle." Here God fights with divinely directed hailstones during a time of distress and on the day of war and battle on behalf of Israel. John Calvin notes:

 

In the second slaughter the hand of God appeared more clearly, when the enemy were destroyed by hail. And it is distinctly stated that more were destroyed by hail than were slain by the sword, that there might be no doubt of the victory having been obtained from heaven. Hence again it is gathered that this was not common hail, such as is wont to fall during storms. For, in the first place, more would have been wounded or scattered and dispersed than suddenly destroyed; and secondly, had not God darted it directly, part would have fallen on the heads of the Israelites. Now, when the one army is attacked separately, and the other, kept free from injury, comes forward as it were to join auxiliary troops, it becomes perfectly clear that God is fighting from heaven. To the same effect it is said that God threw down great stones of hail from heaven: for the meaning is that they fell with extraordinary force, and were far above the ordinary size.[6]

 

A point of similarity between Joshua 10:11 and Revelation 16:21 is found in the fact that both passages describe the hailstones as large in size. They are said to be "large" in Joshua and "huge" in Revelation. Clearly Joshua 10:11 is a supernatural event and I believe that Revelation 8:7 and 16:21 will prove to also be direct miracles from the hand of God.

 

Naturalistic vs. Supernatural

Preterists like Dr. Gentry, not only mistake what will be in the future to be a past event. They also make what will be supernatural to be the result of a naturalistic cause. When it comes to interpreting the details of Revelation, preterists, more often then not, pull out the equivalence of their first-century newspapers-Josephus-and start reading the headlines to find a correspondence which they say has already fulfilled this passage. Inevitably, such an interpretation is a naturalistic one that does not require God to do anything. In this instance they say that it was the Romans who fulfilled what the Bible says God did.

Such first-century newspaper exegesis is similar in approach to that which preterists criticize some futurists in our own day who attempt to correlate Bible prophecy with current events. Yet they do the very same thing. The only difference between preterists and those they criticize is about 2,000 years in time.

The only similarity between Revelation 16:21 and an event recorded by Josephus in his Wars of the Jews is the phrase "one talent." Yet preterists latch onto that similarity, in spite of the fact that there is no contextual correspondence between Josephus and the other words and phrases in the passage. E. W. Bullinger notes that, "Josephus says that stones of a talent's weight were thrown by the Romans against Jerusalem (Wars iii. vii. 9). Surely God can send from heaven what man could send on earth."[7] In fact, earlier in Revelation God used hail and fire as a judgment upon mankind. "And the first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up." (Rev. 8:7) Was this also recorded somehow as fulfilled by an event from Josephus?

Both Revelation 8:7 and 16:21 will be real, supernatural events since both correspond to the regional plague of hail in Exodus 9:22-26. As Bullinger reasons, "The plague of hail in Egypt was real (Ex. ix. 18-21). So is this. Why not?"[8] Apparently the reason why this event would not be a future supernatural event is because of the preterist assumption.

Revelation 16:21, labels this event a "plague," just like in Exodus. How could the use of catapults by the Romans in a.d. 70 be viewed as a plague from God? Every plague that God sends, either in Exodus or Revelation is something that God does himself. Not one plague in either Exodus or Revelation is said to be mediated through human agency. All are direct, miracles wrought by God Himself. The preterist, naturalist interpretation shifts the glory from God to man. Not a good thing for anyone to do!

Dr. Gentry's naturalism is evident when he said, "It is quite impossible that such gargantuan hailstones can be accounted for under the most aggravated of meteorological conditions."[9]Quite right! These are specially prepared hailstones from the heavenly storehouse in heaven as Job 38:22-23 tells us. Scientist Dr. Henry Morris says of Revelation 16:21, "This hail will not be the usual form of hail-that is, ice produced by violent updrafts in atmospheric storm cells."[10]If anyone has a problem with such a view, then they would likely have a problem with the other miraculous events of the Bible, both past and future.

Dr. Gentry's naturalistic, and thus symbolic interpretation is questionable because of another textual factor. Dr. Robert Thomas notes, "it is doubtful that men would blaspheme God because of something symbolic only. The Egyptian plague of hail was literal, so this one must be too."[11] Preterism totally fails in their interpretation of this text to explain more than one aspect of the passage, let alone the entire verse.

 

Conclusion

We have seen that Revelation 16:21 is an interesting test case of the naturalistic interpretative approach of preterism, verses the supernatural understanding of the text by futurists. By letting Scripture interpret Scripture we must conclude with Dr. Thomas who says, "The Egyptian plague of hail was literal, so this one must be too."[12] That's right! Because the Lord threw down great hailstones from heaven hitting only the Amorites in the days of Joshua provides a precedent that He does such things. The fact that these great hailstones in the battle of Joshua only hit the enemy and not the Israelites is further proof of God's divine intervention. It would also be the envy of modern smart weapons technology.

Charles Clough concludes, "The same fire, smoke, hail, thunder, plague, and earthquake of the Old Testament judgments once again appear in Revelation 6-18. These terms are not exaggerations and metaphors. They point to a final culmination in God's program of separating good from evil throughout all creation. God's past judgments thus model His future judgments."[13]

Even if we did not have the Old Testament precedent of Job, the Exodus, Joshua, etc., I believe the passage in Revelation 16:21 is clear enough to take it as a literal, future, supernatural event. With the Old Testament support, it is mere sophistry to attempt any other interpretation. Maranatha!

 

Endnotes

 



[1] Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (Atlanta: American Vision, 1998), p. 246.

[2] Gentry, Before Jerusalem Fell, p. 246.

[3] Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1992), p. 160.

[4] Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, book V, chapter VI, paragraph 3.

[5] Charles Clough, "God's Pattern of Judgment," in the Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible, NKJV (Chattanooga, TN: AMG, 2001), p. 1470.

[6] John Calvin, Calvin's Commentaries, 22 vols. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), vol. iv, p. 151-52.

[7] E. W. Bullinger, Commentary on Revelation (Grand Rapids: Kregel, [1935] 1984), p. 493.

[8] Bullinger, Revelation, p. 492.

[9] Gentry, Before Jerusalem Fell, p. 246.

[10] Henry M. Morris, The Revelation Record: A scientific and devotional commentary on the prophetic book of the end times (Wheaton: Tyndale, 1983), p. 322.

[11] Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8-22: An Exegetical Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), p. 277.

[12] Thomas, Revelation 8-22, p. 277.

[13] Clough, "God's Pattern of Judgment," p. 1470.


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Prophecy Today Q&A: "Judgment Time Line" -Jack Kelley


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 Prophecy Today  Q & A

"Answering the Questions in Prophecy Biblically"

Jack Kelley

Judgment Time Line

Q. Is there any indication in the scriptures of how far apart each of the judgments are spaced during the 7 year tribulation period? And specifically at what point of the tribulation does the 6th Seal Judgment take place?

 

A. I’ve seen a number of time lines proposed, but all of them are subject to speculation, since John didn’t indicate any specific schedule.  And since the Bowl judgments make up the entire Great Tribulation both the Seal judgments and the Trumpet judgments have to occur in the first 3.5 years of Daniel’s 70th Week.  Assuming an even spacing, that means they average about one every three months in the first half of the 70th week and one every 6 months during the second half.

I think all the judgments take place in chronological order.  If so that would place the 6th Seal judgment a little less than 18 months into the 70th week.

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