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by Bill Rudge
We are rapidly nearing the end of this age and the return of Jesus Christ. Yet, many in the Church are indifferent, lukewarm, or outright apostate. Instead of watching for the coming of the Lord and loving His appearing, many are absorbed in entertainment, social media, and the “cares of this world” or are involved in behavior and practices that dishonor the Lord and are contrary to His Word.
Many parents dedicated their children to God, and vowed to raise them in the instruction of Scripture: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7). However, now they allow (or actually encourage) their children to watch movies that reflect a lifestyle contrary to what Scripture teaches: laced with sorcery and occultism, glamorizing violence, promoting lies and theft, glorifying sexually promiscuous behavior, and taking God’s name in vain.
What does the Lord have to do to wake up this generation and rekindle the fire of commitment and obedience to Him and His Word? How far have we fallen and drifted from pure devotion to Christ (1 John 3:2, 3; 2 Corinthians 11:2)? Will the Son of Man find faith or unfaithfulness when He returns (Luke 18:8)? Will His Church be committed or compromised? Will His Bride be longing for, and awaiting His return, or be with those who actually attempt to fight against Him at Armageddon (Rev. 19:19)?
Get started today on your journey of rediscovering what God desires for your life and family. Recommit yourself and your children to the Lord by making the most important commandment a priority in your life:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30).
by Marvin J. Rosenthal
Jesus is coming again. The implications of that event are staggering and incomprehensible. The wisest and noblest of men cannot fully fathom the impact the return of the Son of God will make on this planet and universe. At His presence, transgressors will be judged, faithfulness rewarded, and righteousness established on earth. The return of Christ will be the vortex of human history. Everyone and everything will be drawn into His direct, controlling force. Heaven and earth, demons and angels, the righteous and unrighteous, time and eternity, life and death – all will be under the dominion of the conquering King when He returns to bring an end to the rebellious epoch of humanity and personally establish a Golden Age.
by Bill Rudge
One day every person on this planet is going to have an unexpected interruption.
It doesn’t matter whether you are sleeping, watching a spellbinding movie, celebrating a birthday, at a concert, on vacation, competing in a sports event, at school or work, in the middle of surgery, driving a car or flying in a plane, attending a wedding or funeral ….
It doesn’t matter whether you are ready and willing or not. When it happens, it happens! You have no control over when it occurs or the power to thwart it. From that point on everything in every person’s life will be dramatically altered – never to be the same. To some it will be a shock and an offense (the audacity of God interrupting my “party”) while to others it will be a welcome and blessed event.
Are you ready for Jesus return?
by Jim Weikal
And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass (Revelation 15:2).
During the brutal time of the Tribulation, many people will accept a false political leader (the beast), worship a false deity (his image), and procure food, clothing, and shelter by participating in an electronically controlled economic system (the number 666).
But there will be those who are victorious over these demonic systems because of the “blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.”
I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her [Babylon], my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues’; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities (Rev. 18:4-5).
The Greek verb translated “piled up” means “to glue” or “to stick together.” These vile sins are stuck together, one on top of the other, until they reach heaven itself.
Contrast the sins of those connected with Babylon, to your sins. We know that no believer is without sin (1 John 1:10). But when we do sin, “we have an advocate with the Father.” An “advocate” is defined as one who assists another or pleads the cause of another (1 John 2:1).
So meditate on this: Jesus Christ is your advocate! Because the righteous One is the payment for your sins, your sins do not pile up. You can go to God and confess your sins to a faithful mediator (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6) and He will “cleanse [you] from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Your sins do not “stick together” like the unrepentant sinners of Babylon. Your sins have been forgiven since you received Christ as your savior. And “no one is able to snatch [you] out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:29).
Jim Weikal is a Biblical instructor at Bill Rudge Ministries.
by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.
One of the prophetic keys to God’s plan before He returns is the restoration of the nation of Israel (Ezekiel 37:21). Through prophets such as Ezekiel, God foretold a day when He would gather the Jewish people from the four corners of the earth and bring them back to the land He had promised them. The fulfillment of this prophecy began in 1948 when Israel became a nation, and continues to this day as more Jews return to the Promised Land.
In biblical times Israel sought assistance from other nations for protection against an impeding enemy. For instance, as the Syrians threatened Israel, King Ahaz called upon the help of Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria (2 Kings 16:7). Later, King Hoshea would try and break his alliance with Assyria as he sought the protection of So, king of Egypt. This decision ultimately led to the northern tribes being conquered and exiled from the land by the Assyrians (2 Kings 17).
In the present, Israel has looked to America as its source of help and protection. However, a new political regime could quickly change the relationship between America and Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech of several years ago, before a joint session of the United States Congress, accurately noted that Israel may have to stand alone. Their position will ultimately force Israel to recognize that her only true source of protection is God Himself. The following words by the prophet Isaiah should be a reminder to Israel of the dangers that arise when trust is placed in man:
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD (Isaiah 31:1).
At the end of his speech Netanyahu quoted the following words by Moses, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them” (Deuteronomy 31:6). It is unfortunate he did not quote the remainder of the verse, because it reminds both Israel and America where this courage comes from: “for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
While many trials and tribulations lay ahead for Israel, God will one day change the hearts of the Jewish people and bring them to a full understanding of their Messiah:
And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son (Zechariah 12:10).
by Bill Rudge
Revelation 6:1-8 foretells Jesus opening the seven seals of a scroll at the beginning of the Tribulation period. With the opening of the first four seals, four horses of different colors with riders who are given various powers over the earth come forth. (This parallels the “beginning of birth pains” foretold by Jesus in Matthew 24).
The rider on the white horse represents the Antichrist who conquers a world in chaos, with a bloodless seizure of power, ushering in a supposedly unequaled time of global peace and prosperity. He will amass great power, deceive the nations, blaspheme God, and eventually demand to be worshiped. A real, potential, or embellished global crisis – perhaps a pandemic – will enable the Antichrist to establish a one-world system by appearing to be the world’s savior. The earth’s inhabitants will follow him, deceived by his false (but short-lived) peace plan for this New World Order.
When the second rider on a red horse goes forth, peace is taken from the earth as violent slaughter and bloodshed ensue. Large numbers of people will slay one another as Antichrist’s illusory peace morphs into worldwide war and massacre.
Third, comes a rider on a black horse holding a pair of scales in his hand. Worldwide warfare and violence will destroy much of the food supply causing shortages and famine. Inflation, poverty, hunger, rationing and food lines will follow. The Antichrist, and his cohort, the False Prophet, will:
cause all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name (Revelation 13:16,17).
The fourth rider goes forth on a pale horse. This cadaverous ashen color symbolizes the name of the rider – Death – with Hades following him. According to Revelation 6:8:
Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
Currently, 25 percent of the people of the earth, would be more than 1.9 billion people. Plagues will follow that will kill one-third of the remaining population (Revelation 9:18).
Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:4-8 parallel the prophecy of these four horsemen of the apocalypse:
Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many. 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. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Brian C. Thomas stated in the September/ October, 2020 Lamplighter magazine:
One of the signs He [Jesus] mentioned was that nation will rise against nation (Matthew 24:7). In the original Greek, this is written ethnos against ethnos which is where we get the word “ethnicity.” In other words, our Lord said that ethnicity against ethnicity would be a sign of His Second Coming.
In that same journal (8/20) Mike Gendron writes:
Students of Bible prophecy are not surprised by events that have been triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s because the Lord Jesus Christ gave us signs to watch for that would precede His Second Coming, and one of those many signs that we are seeing today is “pestilence” (Luke 21:11). It is true that we have seen devastating plagues and pestilences throughout history, but none of them have had the far-reaching global impact of COVID-19. Could it be that our sovereign Lord is giving a merciful warning of a more devastating pestilence that awaits those who do not seek Him as their Savior and refuge?
When Jesus opens the seventh seal (Revelation 8:1), additional judgments commence (trumpet and bowl) in intensifying waves, bringing many to repentance and purifying this earth of its defilement and corruption in preparation for Christ’s Millennial reign. Then the “birth pains” will give way to the birth of God’s Kingdom, thereby literally fulfilling Revelation 11:15:
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.
As has been said by other prophetic writers: Listen closely, you can almost hear the hoofbeats of the four horses of the apocalypse.