Tag: REVELATION

FROM POLITICS TO REVELATION: 2 of 2

Hi. In part One I discussed the persecution of President Trump, and the condition of our alleged “news” media. I explored the growing understanding that there is a cabal of many in positions of power who think that we voters are irrelevant in the quest for a perfect world. In this second part, I will continue this theme, and attempt to extrapolate and apply it to the book of Revelation. Is what we see happening in the current political battle in the United States at all relevant to Biblical end-time events?

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The establishment big-wigs believe they are the experts, in anything, and they know best for us, despite our vote. This has been the view of Marxists and Communists all the way along: in fact, of any form of tyranny. Why do billionaires such as Soros and Ted Turner promote socialism? What do they, who have become rich through capitalism, have to gain from socialism, which in theory forces financial “equality” on everyone? Of course, in their future state, they plan to be exempt from financial equality, just as the elite in any socialist or communist state is. I think they see themselves as being part of that Party which will tell us all how to live, right down to the tiniest detail of our lives-because they know best and we are ignorant. The freedoms America were founded to establish and protect have to go, in order to create that magical, mythical global utopia.

How will it all affect the Christian population? Unbeknown by many, the movement towards a Leftist state is already affecting many Christians. If we didn’t have such organizations as the ACLJ, a law firm which defends people of faith all the way up to the Supreme Court, any public expression of Christian faith might already be banned, because the haters of our faith are hard at work to smother us and ultimately shut us down. To many of those in high position, the Church and evangelicals specifically are to blame for all the ills of society. I myself was told as much by my college tutors: we are to blame for centuries of misogyny, racism, slavery, homophobia, the rich-poor divide, and poverty, among other things.

Some analogies have been drawn between certain Biblical characters and their cultural conditions, and Trump and his own situation. This is not to claim that Trump is at all a Biblical figure or a type, but the similarity between, say, Nehemiah’s situation and Trump’s is remarkable, right down to the vehement opposition to his building of a border wall. I’ve spotted another similar comparison. In the second book of Kings we read that Judah had been ruled by a succession of ungodly kings, leading all the people into idolatry and immorality. Until, that is, Josiah came along (2 Kings 22 to 23:30). He attempted to reverse the rot. It was a “Make Israel Great Again” campaign. For years he worked hard and diligently to fix what had become of the kingdom. However, God had already decided to judge the nation. Nothing, at that point, was going to hold back what was coming upon the land:

“Nevertheless, the Lord did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger”.

With all that’s happened in the United States and the Western world in recent decades: its slide into gross immorality, its widespread rejection of the Creator, its movement towards globalism (remember-God divided the nations at Babel), the abortion of many millions of babies-is it perhaps now “too late” for the Donald Trumps of the world (and there only seems to be one) to turn things around? Can one man avert what many millions have no intention of averting, as he attempts to fight off all his opposition? It seems to me that even if he’s around for four more years, that fourth year could be the end of the tether for freedom.

How does this all relate to Revelation, and to every one of us who profess faith? Human nature and especially government has always leaned towards corruption and coercion: what’s so different now? Of course I don’t know when the events of Revelation will begin, but there are some clues for us to watch out for. I wrote a few weeks ago about “The Party of the Beast”, and, without any direct finger pointing, discussed the kind of people who will bring to power that one man who, the Bible says, will be the king of all tyrants. Who would love him and help him, as Scripture says a majority will?

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I showed that he and his followers will be opposed to the nation of Israel and its possession of Jerusalem, as the Democratic Party is and as President Obama was. The betrayal of recently-rebuilt Israel and its hold on Jerusalem is central and pivotal in Biblical end-time events. I discussed how they will embrace and enforce a global financial and political system which will affect every individual, so bypassing national law and national boundaries, and ending individual liberty. This is consistent with Democratic policy: they want open borders (ie no borders) and they want to empower various agencies and treaties (such as the Paris Accords) which will weaken national sovereignty.

Also in a socialist state, the will of the individual is surrendered for the good of the state as a whole. The beauty of the Constitution is that it protects us against this eventuality-so long as it is implemented. The world according to Antichrist will see no individual liberty, except to commit immorality.

The leader’s manner will be marked by unashamed deception, such as the Democratic and media deception that Trump was a Russian agent. His rule and those who follow him will be totally embracing of gross immorality, just as the Democratic Party embraces all forms of sexuality and now even transgenderism, which God hates. They will be opposed to the Christian Church, which many Democrats have already shown they would be a part of, even forcing Catholic nuns by law to pay for abortions, as Obama did. It’s Democrat-run cities and states which have shut down churches while allowing bars to remain open. Refer to John McArthur’s battle with California in this regard.

In summary: deception, immorality, globalism, open borders, opposition to the true Church, and opposition to Jerusalem being in Israel’s hands. All of these are clear Biblical indicators of the kind of people who will one day take sides with the man the Bible calls “The man of sin”, and who will help to fulfil the forecast contained in Revelation and other Scriptures. Are they warming up for Revelation, or will our modern day Josiah this time succeed in staving off judgment? Will the corruption be held off for four years or a lot more? Only time will tell.

THE POLITICAL ROAD TO REVELATION:1 of 2

“All’s fair in love, war and politics”, according to an old poem with later augmentation: the three most cut-throat endeavours of mankind! To be sure, politics and the struggle for power has been dirty and aggressive throughout human history, but is there perhaps something different about what’s happening in the current struggle for power in the United States? Since the US is the global superpower, the rest of the world and its balances of power stand to be affected by what happens in the US. What is the struggle leading to? History doesn’t stand still for long: it consists of change, for better or for worse. In this two-part post I will arrive at some answers to these questions. Beware-this is a lengthy essay, and expresses strong political views!

I heard that even in the UK, my country of origin, the BBC has been hiding the scandal which is confirmed by information found on a laptop belonging to Joe Biden’s son, which is that Joe Biden’s family has been benefitting financially in a big way for decades from his behind-the-scenes dealings with other nations. News corporations in the US worked feverishly for two years, along with a special council, to pin the charge of treason onto Trump, but now they seem totally uninterested in the evidence showing Biden’s financial dealings with China and Ukraine. They’re busy trying to hide this and other stories, and push others out there, sometimes openly expressing their choice of candidates for election. But they also have a way of reporting things in such a way as to promote their choice without making the bias obvious to the many who are too trusting of experts.

People who know the truth tut, complain and whine, but the majority who even become aware of the level of propaganda in news stories are too busy with their lives to realize the import of it all or to do anything about it. It’s a sense of impotence which robs us of our passion in such things: the sense that I as one individual am powerless to change the big picture.

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We’ve always known that politicians (many, but not all) feather their own nests at our expense. Trump has proved in a few short years that our manufacturing industries and so our jobs and our wealth didn’t have to go oversees as they did for decades after all. The movement to China and other nations was for the benefit of politicians and their political dealings and their families and chums on both sides, and for the corporations who made use of cheap labour overseas. The unknowing chump who paid for it all was the American and the European taxpayer. Now, at this point in time, the “swamp” as Trump calls it, is attempting to fight Trump’s stand against global governance. For years they told us that we are now inescapably intertwined with other nations, at the cost of our own jobs, prosperity, wealth, and before long, our laws, values, and ultimately our religion. The UK had almost been subsumed by the European Union and its laws, until Brexit occurred.

The fact is that we as a population-the people who do all the hard work and pay taxes and entrust our nations to the “experts”-are being perpetually lied to on a monumental scale, by the very institutions we pay for: government, politicians and so-called “news” media. We thought we lived in the “free” West, where everything is open; where government is there to serve the people; where what the people say matters; where news people are working faithfully to relay all relevant facts and to uncover truth. Instead, what we are allowed to hear and see is being selected or even manufactured in order to promote an agenda; an outcome.

It’s almost considered a tired cliché to call to attention dystopian societies created for novels-Nineteen Eighty Four being perhaps the most notable example-as they relate to current events. In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, we read of a future one-party state, in which an invisible elite governs perpetually. The masses are drugged and mollified and amused in order to keep them happy enough not to rebel or complain; the traditional family is extinct; total sexual “freedom” is institutionalized, and any person deviating or even being seen to complain or question is dealt with.

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As in all dystopian novels, the state controls all “news” outlets, so that what the masses hear is entirely what the leadership wants them to hear-nothing more and nothing less. I submit to you that this is the goal of present-day elitists. Even social media sites are taking sides in the election. There’s an active band of super-rich and super-influential characters who think that they alone are qualified to run the nation and the world, no matter what the masses think or how they vote. In 2016 Donald Trump interrupted their little plan by getting elected.

How else do you explain the extremity of hatred for Trump and his supporters, even before he got elected? The lies, the unaccepted election victory, the failed Russia-collusion smear aided by leaders of America’s own FBI and CIA: the failed impeachment attempt; the global (not just national) vilification; the attempt to foment no less than a race war by labelling Trump and his supporters as white supremacists; the blame for Coronavirus deaths on Trump alone? Never mind reasoned debate to achieve the good of the country-that’s all old hat now. That’s old school: it doesn’t achieve their ends. The gloves are off, and just as Marx himself taught, you’ve got to get mean and dirty to overthrow the system.

The intention is to become as forceful and as deceptive as is necessary, to fool enough of the voters into agreeing, until real elections aren’t needed any more. They’ve provided our drug and our mollification: our “soma”, in the form of entertainment and the stuff we all collect and live for. We have license to commit almost any sexual act our depraved minds can imagine (and the rest is on the way). We have an almost total media monopoly to feed us the “news”-propaganda-we should know (that Trump is an ignorant, tyrannical idiot who’s the puppet of Putin), and we have a global elite, attempting to cement upon us one party rule.

Too extreme a claim, you think? Then why did the last administration and heads of the intelligence agencies, with the aid of the major news corporations, conspire to frame Donald Trump as a traitor and a Russian agent?

THE PARTY OF THE BEAST

Bible prophecy speaks of a future time when a political leader will emerge to world-wide influence, power and popularity, immediately before the return of Jesus Christ. There’s enough detail in Scripture to give us quite a clear picture of his character, his beliefs, his actions, and even his appearance.

Given that we can know to a large degree what this man will be like, and what he will do, and that he will be adored by all those who side with him, it seems logical that we can also project a character portrait of those who will help to propel him to power, and who will therefore share his views and opinions.

What kind of people will love him? Do we see such people at work in positions of power today, or at least, attempting to negotiate themselves into positions of power? Can we recognize any preparatory activity, or party prototypes? God doesn’t vote left or right, and there isn’t one party of the saved and one of the damned, but perhaps we can see some indication of who is most likely to follow the Beast and help him in his quest for power. Of the many indications we have, here are a few which are most relevant:

1/ He will fill a position of strength and extreme power, including military power which outmatches any other (Revelation 13:4; Daniel 7:7).

2/ He will think a lot of himself and will be very boastful (Daniel 7: 8 and 11). His boasting will extend to blaspheming God and God’s people (Daniel 7:25).

3/ He will work to “change set times and laws” (Daniel 7:25).  No doubt an entire book could be written on the meaning of this phrase, but briefly, it refers to rejecting the ways and natural laws God established for humanity, and which have guided people from the beginning. This would include natural marriage, family commitments, moral integrity, and a respect for life and property.

4/ He will be a “master of intrigue” (Daniel 8:23). “He will cause deceit to prosper” (Daniel 8:25). He will be a model for those who are deceitful. This is echoed throughout Bible prophecy-its a distinguishing feature.

4/ He will be helped by those who have become completely wicked (Daniel 8:23) . This is also echoed throughout Scripture. The question is, what does Scripture mean by wickedness? The answer is, to intentionally live life in disobedience to the ways of the Creator. Included in the list of wickedness which God will judge the world for is murder-a disregard for life- and immorality (Revelation 9:21).

5/ He will be a man of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:3). This doesn’t mean primarily that he will habitually break the laws of human government, although that may well be part of it-he will have no integrity in his dealings with others or those he leads. More directly it refers to the intentional turning from what we know to be true according to what our Creator has taught us, in Scripture and in our innate conscience and nature itself. Paul also informs us that his followers will “delight in wickedness” (verse 12). There will be no shame over the things they indulge in and teach others to do.

6/ He will be the ultimate globalist, as will his followers who will agree with everything he says (Revelation 13:7-8; Daniel 2:43).

7/ He will hate the nation of Israel, the nation which gave us Jesus Christ and the Judeo-Christian ethics which our civilization has been loosely based on (Matthew 24:15:22; Revelation 12:13-17). He will have a scheme to weaken and betray Israel (Daniel 9:27 with Matthew 24:15). The nations of the world, which will at that time be associated, will gather to attack Israel in an attempt to remove the Jews from Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:1-5). This ruler will be a hater of Judeo-Christian belief, history, religion and influence.

8/ He will hate and oppose Jesus Christ and Christ’s Church (Revelation 19:19; 13:7).

In summary, this man will be, perhaps quietly at first, a God-hater and a Church hater. He will oppose the nation of Israel and its  possession of Jerusalem. Being hostile to the Church and Israel, it’s likely that he will agree with those who blame all kinds of wrongs or perceived wrongs on the Church, and on Israel. He will also despise Western history which to a considerable degree has been shaped by these.

He will want to change ancient, natural and established ways of decency, righteousness and goodness, while promoting and supporting  immorality. He will be a globalist; the consummate controller of others via overbearing inter-national government. He will be arrogant and boastful. He will be incurably and shamelessly deceitful, accusing others of all kinds of things which he himself is guilty of. He will have a strong hand on all financial transactions (Revelation 13). He will take the reigns of a political entity which has awesome military power, which he will use. He will, of necessity, be backed by those who control and pass information onto the rest of us, i.e. news and information sources, or, if you like, “fake news”.

As time goes on, keep your eyes on such trends in government and on those who wish to govern us. Which party and which candidates in our political scene match up to the will of the Beast of Revelation?

 

RAPTURE 17: WHEN? PAUL’S CLEAR STATEMENT!

Last time I discussed what Paul didn’t say about the rapture, which omission is a strong indicator of its timing. Here, in a mercifully shorter post, I’ll briefly include what Jesus didn’t say. Then I will point out one of the clear statements which Paul did make concerning the rapture’s timing. I once ignored such statements, as others do now…

WHAT JESUS DIDN’T SAY

In his Olivet Discourse Jesus spoke of the destruction of the temple, which was to occur a few decades later (Matthew 24:1-2). When his disciples then asked him about the end of the age, he summarized what was to come, from verse 4 and ending at verse 14. Then He gave them the clearest clue, or the most significant event to look for, as the trigger of last-days events. He called  it “the abomination of desolation”, first spoken of by Daniel (verse 15). The abomination of desolation will occur in association with the revealing presence of Antichrist on the temple mount in Jerusalem. According to Jesus, this will effectively be the sign that the turmoil of great tribulation is beginning. In verse 21 we read:

For then will be great distress, unequaled from beginning of the world until now-and never to be equaled again”.

When Antichrist goes to work on the temple mount, said Jesus, there will be “great distress”, unequaled through all history. This initial sign of tribulation given by Jesus aligns with what Paul wrote, saying that the first signs of “the day of the Lord” would be a “falling away” and the revealing of the man of sin. 

Neither Jesus or Paul said anything about a rapture or a gathering of believers happening before the “abomination” event. Why not? Paul did tell the Gentile church about the rapture in  his first letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 4, so why didn’t he tell them in his second letter that it would occur as a first sign, in order to put their fears to rest? Jesus spoke about the resurrection and the gathering of his elect at the end of the tribulation: why didn’t he say anything about a gathering which would precede tribulation events? Neither of them said anything along these lines:

When you see millions of believers vanish from the earth, know that the time is near”

Instead, Jesus said :

..but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (verse 14).

MYSTERY UNVEILED

Pre-tribulation teachers answer the problem of why Paul and Jesus omitted talk of the rapture while discussing the Day of the Lord by saying that the rapture was a “mystery”. But Paul did speak about the rapture, in his first letter to the Thessalonians-the one before the second letter in which the signs of the day of the Lord are given. He also discussed the rapture in his first letter to the Corinthians, saying, “I tell you a mystery”. He didn’t say “I know a mystery but I’m not going to tell you what it is”. He didn’t say, “Behold, I hide a mystery from you”: the rapture was an open topic. Thessalonians and Corinthians (and so probably others also) were told about the mystery. And we too know it, because we’ve read these letters many times. Yet when giving the initial signs of the Day of the Lord, Jesus and Paul said nothing about the rapture!

Another pertinent fact is that Jesus was in fact speaking to his  closest disciples during the Olivet Discourse: people who would shortly become the first members of his spirit-filled, saved and sanctified Christian Church at Pentecost. To them-born again Christians-he gave the signs of tribulation and things to look out for during that tribulation.

A CLEAR STATEMENT: 1 THESSALONIANS 3

Paul’s wish and prayer was that the Thessalonians would be, “…blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones” (1 Thess. 3:13). This thought about being blameless is echoed by John in one of his letters:

And now, dear children, continue in him so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming (1 John 2: 28).

Paul hoped that the Thessalonians-predominantly Gentile believers- would be blameless and holy when Jesus comes “with all his holy ones”. When, according to Scripture, will Jesus come with all his holy ones? Is it in a pre-tribulation rapture, or at his visible appearing to the entire world? Paul answers the question himself:

God is just: he will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels” (2 Thess. 1:6-7).

Didn’t Paul want the Thessalonians to be “blameless and holy” at a secret coming of Jesus, years before Christ’s “blazing fire” appearance with all his holy ones? Why be in the presence of Jesus for seven years before you have to be “confident and unashamed before him at his coming”? And the “relief” which the Thessalonians would receive, says Paul, does not come before the Tribulation, but at the visible appearing of Jesus Christ to bring judgment and rewards.

Paul is telling the Thessalonians that he wants them to be blameless and unashamed when Jesus appears in his grand entrance for all the world to see-which is at the end of the tribulation. This statement-ignored by pre-tribulation believers-directly contradicts the concept of a pre-tribulation Rapture.

Thanks for reading. This post is an updated and edited excerpt from my book, “All Left Behind: The Case Against a Pre-Tribulation Rapture”, by Nicholas Fisher, available on Amazon.

RAPTURE 11: THE TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS

DO THE 24 ELDERS IN REVELATION CHAPTER FOUR DEPICT THE CHURCH HAVING BEEN RAPTURED BEFORE THE TRIBULATION? This is one of the questions I examine in chapter 7 of my book*

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(The Four and Twenty Elders Casting their Crowns before the Divine Throne, c. 1803–5. William Blake)

Chapter 7 of my book is entitled “Multitudes In Heaven”. It examines the major scenes we read throughout Revelation in which there are large numbers of people or angels gathered. Who are they, and what is their significance? I will just excerpt the most relevant sections of chapter 7 on this blog, the first excerpt being today’s post.

THE TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS

When John is called up into heaven after Jesus dictates to him seven letters to seven churches, he sees around the throne of God (among many amazing sights) twenty-four elders, all seated on thrones. Some pre-tribulation teachers believe that these elders represent the raptured Church, or the raptured Church plus important Old Testament figures. Because the elders are there in heaven with their white robes and crowns before any of the tribulation events are described, experts see this as evidence that there will be a pre-tribulation rapture, which John, they say, had just demonstrated for us by being called into heaven.

The elders sing of redemption (5:9-10) and the NIV translates certain words in their song to ‘they’ and ‘them’, suggesting the elders are referring to the redemption of others who are not present. Pre-tribulation teachers insist that these words ought to be translated ‘we’ and ‘us’, just as they are in the King James Version, meaning that the twenty-four are actually the people who’ve been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. In other words, the redemption the elders are singing of is their own, and that of the entire Church. This scene, say the experts, signifies that the Church will be in heaven before the tribulation, because it’s described before any of the tribulation events are described, and before any of the seals of the scroll are opened.

There can be no doubt that the elders do represent the Church, because angels are not redeemed, but humans are:

…for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (5:9 KJV).

However, the observation that these elders are in heaven before the seals of the scroll are broken does not automatically prove a pre-tribulation rapture. To aid in a different way of interpreting this scene, we can ask if the seals, as they break, are setting in motion the real future events they foretell. Was John transported not only to heaven but forward in time, to witness real-time implementation of the judgments of the book? Or was he being given a prophecy; a fore-telling; a representation of the events yet to come? Was he seeing a picture; a vision of the future, rather than the real thing?

My first observation in answer to this is to recall that John had to see the entire sequence of Revelation events, or he would not be able to relate them to us. There would be no point in him being taken into heaven mid-way through the Revelation events, if it was his job to relay it all to us: he would only know half of the story, as would we. And without meaning to take this point to the absurd extreme, there would be no point in him being taken to heaven at the end of all the events for the same reason. He had to see the whole thing. The reason John was taken to heaven before any of the seals are seen to be broken is that he had to witness all the events Jesus wants us to know about.

Next, notice that when John arrives in heaven and surveys the scene, the elders are already there and settled in. They didn’t arrive at the same time as John in his ‘rapture’ (chapter 4 verses 4 and 9 to 11). Therefore, if the rapture takes all believers, living and resurrected, why did John arrive late for the party? Why are the twenty-four already sitting there like they belong, while he’s only just arrived and wondering what it’s all about? Why isn’t the entire raptured Church there, instead of just a small representation? Isn’t Jesus “the disciple whom Jesus loved”? Then why isn’t he one of the twenty-four elders? Why isn’t he sitting there on one of the thrones with a white robe and a crown on his head? Why doesn’t he say, “Oh, Hi Peter! Hi Thomas! Hello Paul-good to see you! Oh look-there’s me over there!

And why didn’t any one of the twenty-four say to John “Hey John-it’s great to see you-we’ve been waiting for you!”

The twenty-four elders are not only settled in, but they already know everything about what’s going on and proceed to tell John (5:5; 7:13-21). This seems strange since John was an original member of the Church, and one of Jesus’ twelve disciples. But on the scene he isn’t even invited to take his place with them. Surely, there should have been twenty-three elders and one empty chair for John?

The answers to all of these questions must be that these elders John sees are not the literal Church or literal Church founders or apostles, they only represent them. It isn’t literally Peter and all the others of Jesus’s inner circle sitting there. John has not traveled forward in time to see the actual, live, real-time events of the tribulation. Instead he’s watching something like an informative, inspirational documentary; a staged vision which represents the most significant aspects of the tribulation.

On top of that, The prophecies of Revelation are not all in chronological order from chapter 5 up to the end: they’re told and re-told. The story is told in some detail, then we’re taken back to see some different detail.  Some of the events and scenes and characters of the Revelation are not just of tribulation events, but they span the entire history of mankind. For example, consider the Harlot: Mystery Babylon. She’s been “riding the beast” of human history. She’s been an integral companion to the kingdoms of the world all the way along.

Some prophecies in Revelation speak of the past, and some of the future: they’re  not all events of a seven-year period. Therefore it’s not necessary to conclude that the representatives of the redeemed in heaven are, by their presence, foretelling a pre-tribulation rapture. The fact that the twenty-four only represent the Church, and that the entire Church does not seem to be present, must be significant. Why would only twenty-four Church members sing of their redemption, if the entire Church is there? Why do only twenty-four represent the Church in this scene, if all are there? Shouldn’t they all be described as being one body at this point, if the entire Church has been raptured?

Moreover, the fact that the Church is not mentioned by name in heaven is very significant evidence against the pre-tribulationist’s claim that the Church is not mentioned as being on earth in tribulation passages of Revelation. The Church is no more “mentioned” by name in heaven than it is on the earth. 

It seems most likely that this scene is speaking of the status of the Church in a history-wide sense, and of the future authority the Church will have when they reign with Christ.

*My book, “ALL LEFT BEHIND: THE CASE AGAINST THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE”, by NICK FISHER, is available in paperback and electronic form on Amazon.