Letter to the Church in America is based on the letters to the seven churches in Revelation. It was written by Bill Rudge during a time of intense fasting and prayer in 2011. Rich Miller is the narrator.
Category: End Times and Prophecy
The War on Christ
by Bill Rudge
“The kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him.” Revelation 19:19
There is a deliberate and intensifying war against the Christ of Scripture. Why? Who is motivating it? What are they doing? Where is it leading? Two U.S. based religious freedom groups inform us that anti-Christian persecution is on the rise in America and the attacks are dramatically proliferating. Atheists, agnostics and “skeptics” seek to silence Christian expression. Scriptural values are considered repressive, biblical truth divisive and evangelism is labeled a hate crime.
Why such hostility toward the name of Jesus? Scripture foretells that one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10, 11). Those who do not want this to become a reality are inspired to do everything possible to stop it. Revelation 12:17 foretells a generation such as ours where Satan will be so enraged against God that he will make intense war on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Revelation 19:19 tells us that the Antichrist and the kings of the earth and their armies will gather at Armageddon for the express purpose of making war against Jesus Christ when He returns to establish His Kingdom. Zondervan Bible Commentary states that these “kings of the earth” are allied with the Antichrist and embody the fullness of Satan’s attack against Jesus Christ in the great final showdown. But their efforts will prove futile as Jesus will overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings (Revelation 17:14).
In light of this intensifying war on Jesus Christ and growing hostility toward believers in His name, should we quit witnessing and stop doing evangelism? No way! We must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29). Many awesome things are happening through this ministry, and other ministries, as we pierce the darkness with the Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Never before have we had such unique opportunities to share the Gospel with so many confused, disillusioned and fearful people. We ask you to earnestly pray we will continue to boldly, accurately and powerfully proclaim the Good News to this generation.
The time is at hand when Christians virtually have to stand for their faith and convictions or forsake them. Those who refuse to take a bold, uncompromising stand for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ will deny Him. Every professing Christian must choose whether he or she will be a Cultural Christian – beliefs and lifestyle determined by contemporary society, or a Biblical Christian – beliefs and lifestyle based on Scripture. There is an eternity of difference – so choose wisely.
It will become increasingly unpopular and potentially dangerous to be a witness for Jesus Christ. The compromisers, lukewarm and cowardly (Revelation 3:16; 21:8) – out of fear for their lives or loss of property and prestige – will either refuse God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ (even though they are convinced of its truth) or they will deny Him in times of persecution. Those who conform and compromise for the sake of convenience instead of depending on God to give them the courage and strength to stand and make their lives count will be no better off (unless they truly repent) than the murderers and the sorcerers (Revelation 21:8).
It has been said that a strong person stands up for himself; a stronger person stands up for others. But I say the strongest of all stands up for his testimony of Jesus Christ. As believers we must unashamedly proclaim the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
May our hearts cry out, “Come, Lord Jesus. No longer let Your name be profaned. No longer allow Your truth to be perverted. May Your name be exalted in all nations and Your will done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
May you have a blessed Christmas and let your light shine brightly. That is what Christmas is all about – the birth of a Savior for a lost and dying world.
Almost Upon Us!
by Bill Rudge
In 2003, Karen and I were fleeing the California wildfires through a canyon.
The flames were closing upon us, but somehow we escaped. Shortly thereafter,
that canyon was consumed by the fires. In the same way, many prophecies
concerning the end times are close upon us.
For over 40 years I have attempted both to alert and prepare the Body
of Christ for what is coming. End time prophecies are lining up in this
generation! Just a few more steps and we will be at Revelation 13: unable to
buy or sell without a mark in the right hand or forehead. All that is needed is
a global leader to rise up using available technology to enact total control and
domination, “protecting” us from a global crisis – real or fabricated.
Multitudes of people are wandering aimlessly, caring only for today, and
disregarding what is coming upon this earth – just as in Noah’s day (Matthew
24:37-39). The many “signs of the times” being fulfilled, reveal just how
close we are to Christ’s coming. This is not a day and age to be lukewarm,
but to remain faithful, know Scripture, have discernment and stand strong as
witnesses for Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word.
by Bill Rudge.
The name “Babylon” traces its origin to “Babel,” which symbolizes idolatry, sorcery, immorality and rebellion against God. Babylon was founded by Nimrod and was the site of the first organized system of idolatrous religion exemplified in the Tower of Babel (Genesis 10:8-10; 11:1- 9). It was there God confused their language and scattered them over the face of the earth.
Babylon is used in the book of Revelation to exemplify the apostate church and religious system of the last days, through which all nations will be made drunk with the wine of her immorality (Revelation 14:8; 17:2; 18:3, 23).
Mother of Harlots
Babylon the Great is a mystery that will be revealed in the end times as an ecumenical amalgamation of the universal apostate church, false religion and New Age spirituality. She is rightly called the Mother of Harlots because all false religion can be traced to her. Dr. T.V. Oommen, a research scientist and biblical scholar, originally from India, studied the history of religions. He told me he was convinced the origins of all idolatry, the occult and false religions (cults) stem from Babylon and the Tower of Babel.
Harlot is a metaphor for idolatry or religious apostasy. This spiritual prostitute will intoxicate the leaders and inhabitants of the earth with her abominable and blasphemous teachings and practices. Revelation 17:15 identifies the “many waters” on which the great harlot sits as “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues [languages].” Her association with the kings of the earth reveals the scope of her influence. That this woman sits on the beast indicates the Antichrist will initially support her (Revelation 17:3). The apostate church will cooperate with the False Prophet in forcing people to receive the mark of the beast on their right hand or forehead and will influence the masses to worship the Antichrist and his image.
The Antichrist will use the apostate church to help catapult himself into power and to unify his global kingdom. However, he will hate this materially wealthy, morally corrupt and politically influential apostate church, and will bring her to a sudden end (Revelation 17:16-17). Her destruction probably occurs after the Antichrist desecrates the rebuilt Temple and proclaims himself to be God! He not only breaks his covenant with Israel, but also turns on the apostate church. Tolerating only himself to be worshiped, he will destroy anything that even remotely resembles Christianity.
This is the frightful (but just) end of the apostate church. Designed to be the bride of Christ, a light and evangel to the world, the apostate church has become a spiritual prostitute, involved in every loathsome practice imaginable, being “drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus” (Revelation 17:6).
Soon after the destruction of Babylon (Revelation 18:8- 9), the Antichrist, False Prophet and the kings of the earth and their armies will meet their end at Armageddon during Christ’s Second Coming. In contrast, true believers will rule and reign with Christ during the Millennium. The faithful will inherit all God has prepared for those who overcome (Revelation 21:7).
The Perfect Storm for Deception
As a new Christian in the early 1970s, I read accounts in the Old Testament about the immoral and idolatrous acts of the Israelites – and the resulting judgments. I thought to myself, “How could God’s people be so foolish as to participate in such wicked and rebellious behavior, and do so repeatedly?” Yet today, such behavior is the accepted norm in far too many churches.
As the world increases in defiant rebellion and refuses to repent of its obsessive appetite for immorality, many in the church not only accept, but endorse, celebrate and even participate in these practices as the Israelites did with the idolatrous Moabites (Numbers 25:1-3). The prophet Ezekiel said, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing – the great abominations which the house of Israel are committing here, so that I would be far from My sanctuary?” (Ezekiel 8:6).
Israel’s apostasy caused God to distance Himself and no longer hear their prayers. The Israelites turned to spirits and mediums for guidance and listened to false prophets who led them astray – to their eventual destruction. I think the Lord is likewise appalled by what is going on in many churches today! Some beliefs and practices are so appalling that I can not even put them in print. Are we, by our detestable practices, driving the Lord from our churches and our land? Have we so lost the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of God’s Word that we must resort to entertainment to draw a crowd? The nineteenth-century pastor Charles Spurgeon said, “The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.”
Truth has stumbled in the street as our culture drifts further and further from God’s Word. It seems obvious that as one biblical principle after another is cast to the wind, and one virtue upon another is trampled to the ground, there is a parallel loss of God’s blessing and protection as calamity after calamity confronts our nation, and one freedom after another is taken from us. Many have so little spiritual discernment that they will not understand until all is lost!
To reverse the chaotic state of our country, we must cry out to the Lord, truly repent and turn from the wickedness that is enveloping our society and infiltrating the church. If the body of Christ does not sincerely repent and purify herself, be assured that even greater judgment will come to America and persecution to the church. We must change our course before intensifying darkness on the near horizon completely overwhelms us.
For many years I have warned about increasing apostasy in the body of Christ and issued a call to return to biblical Christianity. Jeremiah prophesied God’s impending national judgment on apostate Judah for 40 years before it came to pass through the invading Babylonians. Some may not believe God’s prophesied judgments are coming to this generation – but unless we truly repent, they will!
Age of Love, Peace and Unity
The Bible foretells a blessed age to come of love, peace and unity. However, before Christ’s Millennial Kingdom comes, Scripture warns of an unprecedented time of deception. No warning is more stressed concerning the time before Christ’s return than that of deception and delusion: false teachers, false prophets, false prophecies, false signs and wonders, false unity movement and false peace. All this will lead to the ultimate false messiah in the diabolical reign of the Antichrist, and his accomplice – the supreme false spiritual leader, identified as the False Prophet.
No wonder Jesus’ foremost admonition in the Olivet Discourse is to beware and watch that no one deceives you. Paul the apostle foretells that before Christ’s coming there will be a great apostasy and the man of lawlessness (Antichrist) will be revealed. A strong delusion will come upon all who do not love the truth and they will believe Satan’s lie that the Antichrist is the promised Messiah and Savior of the world.
It is obvious that the world is being prepared for the deceptive and seductive reign of the Antichrist who will receive his authority from Satan. He will usher in a short-lived, false peace before he proclaims himself to be God in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. He will seek control over, and worship from, every human being on earth (2 Thessalonians 2; Revelation 13).
A Powerful Delusion
False prophets, influenced by demonic entities, will perform impressive miracles to validate their lying messages. There will be an escalation of false signs and wonders, as well as strange phenomena.
Today, many Christians and even pastors lack discernment – deficient in knowledge of prophetic Scripture, devoting little time to the study of God’s Word and prayer, while spending too much time in unprofitable activities, sometimes engaged in behavior which compromises them morally. They are not prepared, nor are they preparing the body of Christ for what is coming. Their focus is on “pleasing themselves and people” rather than contending “earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3).
Is it any wonder that people today are increasingly rejecting biblical truth while embracing atheism, paganism, mysticism and occultism; throwing off moral restraints to follow a path of wanton pleasure. With the need for spiritual discernment disregarded, we are living in an ideal environment for the perfect storm for deception.
While the Bible and faith in Christ are systematically removed from today’s culture, there is an insatiable appetite for sorcery, supernatural phenomena and powers, as well as growing violence and sexual immorality. Today’s generation is being programmed through movies, music, the printed page, media and the Internet. Consider the influence of alcohol, mind-altering drugs, the growing popularity of mind-body-spirit healing techniques, and meditative practices to achieve altered states of consciousness. No wonder Paul wrote that a “deluding influence” will come upon them in the end times and they will believe what is false (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
What do you think this generation will do when the Antichrist appears, whose coming “will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)? Of course they will idolize him, for just as Revelation 13:8 states, “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast [Antichrist] – all whose names have not been written in the Book of Life….”
Since Jesus and the apostles warned about apostasy and deception in the end times, why are so many pastors accepting or endorsing unbiblical and anti-biblical teachings under their watch as shepherds?
Several years ago I performed the wedding of a professor from an elite university. Attending the wedding was an out of state pastor. At the reception she told me of her concern for the Church and how attendance was dwindling. Continuing in conversation, she informed me that she believes in evolution and accepts virtually all beliefs and lifestyles. She also told me about several techniques she had learned and was teaching to her congregation – techniques that were pure New Age spirituality.
I told this pastor she needs to examine, in context, the prophecies of Jesus and the apostles concerning Christ’s second coming. I assured her that just as the prophecies of Christ’s first coming were accurately fulfilled, so will the prophecies of His second coming. Besides, Jesus and the apostles precisely foretold the spiritual condition of the Church in the end times. She was unfamiliar with Paul’s prophecy in Second Thessalonians chapter 2 about the great apostasy and strong delusion, yet she is part of its very fulfillment. I pray God opens her eyes and the eyes of all pastors and believers to have discernment and to stand strong for biblical Christianity in these times of compromise.
Do those who distance themselves from the clear teachings of Scripture, and who embrace today’s corrupt culture not realize they are actually fulfilling end-time prophecy? Are they unaware of, or simply ignoring:
- Jesus’ warning of false prophets, false christs and of being lukewarm (Matthew 24:5, 11, and 24; Revelation 3:16);
- Paul’s warning of apostasy (falling away from the faith), false signs and wonders, deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 9-12; 1 Timothy 4:1);
- Peter’s warning of false prophets and false teachers who introduce destructive heresies (2 Peter 2:1-15);
- Jude’s warning of godless men who change the grace of our God into license for immorality (Jude 4);
- John’s warning to not be deceived by false signs and miracles (Revelation 13:13-14 and 19:20).
The beliefs and practices of many Christian leaders and their followers exemplify what God’s Word warns believers to come out from. This is not a day to drift from Scripture or to accept so called “new revelations,” but a critical time to remain firmly grounded in the Bible, lest the prophecies of falling away from the faith become true of you, your church or ministry.
A Word to Pastors
As Shepherds, you are responsible to the Lord regarding what you teach and what you allow in your church. Protect your flock from false teachers – from wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Develop discernment through consistent, deep Bible study and prayer. Resist the temptations of greed and immorality. Don’t be consumed with desire for pleasure, popularity and power.
Don’t fade into the pages of lukewarm Christianity as did the Laodicean church whom Jesus warned would be vomited out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16). Note that our Lord extended mercy and offered restoration to the Church at Laodicea: “Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19).
Take a few minutes to ponder Jesus’ parable of the faithful and the wicked servants the master put in charge of his household (Matthew 24:45-51). When the Lord returns, may you prove to be a wise and loyal servant.
Do not let a fearful day of reckoning await you because you built your own kingdom on earth, twisting God’s Word to condone your beliefs and lifestyle. Rather, receive honor in Christ’s Millennial Kingdom because you remained faithful to Him and His Word.
Remember, the days in which we live require much faith, courage and discernment which come only through knowing Scripture and being led by God’s Spirit!
Overview of Revelation
Mark of the Beast – 666
by Bill Rudge
In countries around the world, including the U.S., personal and religious freedoms are being lost at unprecedented rates. Texts, e-mails and cell phone calls are monitored. Surveillance videos are virtually everywhere. Increasing numbers of people are being injected with ID chips in their hands. Posts on social media and the Internet are removed if not consistent with current mores.
I wrote the following for a message shortly after 9/11:
We have lost many freedoms in America since the September 11 terrorist attack. The day and age of privacy has come to an end. Being anonymous anymore is almost impossible. We have seen increased security at airports, sporting events, concerts, schools, malls, government buildings, and public events. Surveillance cameras abound and even scanners that see through clothing.
While advanced technology for identification and surveillance appears to be a necessary fact of life in this increasingly violent and information- saturated world, soon virtually every person on this planet will be monitored – and eventually controlled. More sophisticated methods of identification and the compiling of background information on every single human being on this planet are being developed.
A global leader will arise, revealed in Scripture as the Antichrist, but coming in the guise of goodness and peace, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light! Every person who identifies with his regime will have an identification mark in their hand or forehead in order to be able to buy and sell in the global economy.
The time approaches when the powers that be will impose a test of loyalty and means of identification in Antichrist’s regime with the actual 666 foretold and forewarned in Revelation 13. Many will be quick to take the mark of the beast so strongly warned against in Scripture (Revelation 13:16, 14:11, 15:2, 16:2, 19:20, 20:14). Following the rapture of the true Church, everyone alive during the Tribulation period will either take the mark or be eliminated.
A World Gone Crazy
by Rick Renner
You and I are living in strange times! We are actually living at the very end of the age – and as a result, we are going to see and experience things that no other generation has ever witnessed. Some things will be so far-fetched and bizarre that as rational, thinking people, we will find it incomprehensible. Indeed, to many of us, it already seems that common sense has been thrown to the wind on various fronts, replaced with irrational beliefs that are cheered on by a morally delinquent culture. But as those born to live in this hour, we must simply accept it as fact. You and I will be witnesses to strange developments as we near the end of this last-days time frame.
– How to Keep Your Head on Straight in a World Gone Crazy, Used by permission.
The Last of the Last Days
After leaving the Temple complex and crossing the Kidron Valley, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, giving His disciples (and us) an astonishing panorama of the end times (Matthew 24). He forewarns that the time just before His return would be the most difficult and distressing in all of human history. Leading up to those desperate days will be what Jesus refers to as the “beginning of birth pains”: great deception; wars and rumors of wars; earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places (Matthew 24:6-8; Mark 13:5-8; Luke 21:8-11; see also Revelation 6:1-8 concerning the four horses with riders).
These “beginning of birth pains” are followed shortly by: unprecedented natural disasters across the planet; escalating activity of evil spirits, wickedness, immorality, violence and persecution; an increase in lawlessness which “will cause the love of many to grow cold”; widespread apostasy (falling away from the faith); a totalitarian government led by a world leader (Antichrist) and a deceptive religious leader (False Prophet); along with terrors and great signs from heaven. This may not be the scenario we want, but it is what Scripture reveals and is a sad commentary on this generation.
The good news is that in spite of the hatred, betrayal and persecution of Christians, the Gospel will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations. The greatest revival in history will occur at this time of tribulation.
Heading To Judgment
While the term “last days” refers to the entire church age since Pentecost, the apostle Paul gives indicators that will proliferate as we near the end of the church age: But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness [religion] although they have denied its power. Keep away from such people as these (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
The depths of depravity to which our nation and this world are descending is disheartening to those who love Christ and His Word and cherish truth and righteousness. As our decadent society free-falls into the chaos of unrestrained, out-in-the-open, uninhibited, gratuitous immorality, brutality, sorcery, thefts, lies and profanity—the masses will ignore these prophecies foretold in the book of Revelation and throughout the Old and New Testaments.
As Jesus’ promised return draws near, God’s Spirit is bringing as many to salvation as will heed His beckoning call. God is loving, merciful and long- suffering and has already delayed the unleashing of His wrath. In His desire for people to come to repentance, He is orchestrating increasing and intensifying signs of impending judgments spoken of in Revelation and other prophetic Scripture, intended to bring those who will to repentance while cleansing the earth of the evil that has defiled it.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless (2 Peter 3:9-14).
Open your eyes and you will see clear indications that cataclysmic events are on the horizon, to be meted out to a world that denies its Creator, blasphemes His name, distorts His truth, perverts His ways, disobeys His commandments, rebels against His standards, opposes His Word and persecutes His followers! Unless there is widespread, genuine repentance, this generation is rapidly heading to judgment.
Scripture indicates that Jesus will return for His Bride (true believers) before the Great Tribulation commences, rescuing us from “the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10). The Rapture could occur anytime (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53) so be ready!
Dr. Ed Hindson, former professor at Liberty University eloquently stated: “‘Nobody knows the time of My coming.’…The point is that nobody knows the time, so don’t waste your time trying to guess the time, be ready all the time because Jesus can come anytime.”
Philippians 3:20-21 encourages us with words of promise as we await the rapture and the transformation of our mortal bodies into immortality: Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Will Christ Find Faith On the Earth?
In His parable of the Woman and the Judge, Jesus asks a relevant question for today’s generation, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). The sad reality is that in the case of many supposed Christians the answer will be, “No.” Yet for believers in Christ who love Him, study His Word, look for His coming and are empowered by His Spirit to walk in faithfulness, the answer will be an emphatic, “Yes!”
The question put to you today is: When Jesus Christ returns, will He find faith in you? Are you crying out to God for help and deliverance in the midst of these difficult times or are you looking to someone or something else such as science, technology or New Age techniques to rescue, protect and guide you?
Are You Distressed?
Although Lot was living in corrupt Sodom, God rescued him from its devastating judgment because Lot “was a righteous man who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)” (2 Peter 2:7-8).
The LORD commanded Ezekiel, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst”(Ezekiel. 9:4).
Is your soul tormented? Do you sigh and groan over what is going on in America and the world? Are you sorrowful and remorseful by what you see?
May our hearts cry out: “Come Lord Jesus! No longer let Your name be blasphemed. No longer allow Your truth to be perverted and twisted. No longer allow violence and murders to devastate this nation. No longer let lies and corruption prevail. No longer stand by as sexual immorality and sorcery seduce this generation. May truth and justice triumph! May Your name be exalted in all nations and Your will done on earth as it is in heaven. Come Lord Jesus and establish your kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy!”
The inhabitants of this earth will either fall on their knees in repentance or be brought to their knees in judgment. My continual prayer is: Lord, use me and this ministry to turn the hearts of the people back to You. Help me to prepare them for what is coming and to inspire them to walk in faithfulness until You return!
Lift Up Your Heads
The prophetic book of Daniel states concerning the time of the end: “Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand” (Daniel 12:10). While many people waste their time viewing images on the Internet and watching movies laced with violence, immorality and sorcery, others study Scripture and end time prophecy. Who will have discernment as prophetic events continue to unfold?
Jesus said, “Now when these things [signs of His coming] begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). In the day and age we live it is of utmost importance to get our hearts and lives right with the Lord and study His Word— then, no matter what happens, we will have discernment, wisdom, peace, courage and strength in the midst of it.
Be assured, Jesus Christ will come again and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords over the entire earth and all creation. Those who have put their faith in Him as the promised Messiah, Savior and Lord, will experience indescribable peace and joy throughout the millennium and eternity!
May all God’s people, with eager anticipation, be “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)!
Messiah Is Coming
by Dr. David R. Reagan
Orthodox rabbis are reading the signs of the times and calling their people to prepare for the Messiah’s immediate appearance. Meanwhile, the Church is asleep, ignoring God’s Prophetic Word and refusing to pay attention to the Signs of the Times.
What an irony! The first time Jesus came, it was the Jews who refused to believe. Today, it’s
the Church that is caught up in unbelief while the Orthodox Jews are anxiously watching for the Messiah while making fervent preparations for Him. The Lord’s Second Coming is not going
to catch the Orthodox Jews by surprise. What is going to surprise them is His identity.
– The Lamplighter – May-June 2021, Used by permission.
Are You Ready for REVELATION?
The following is a brief visual synopsis of what is ahead according to the book of Revelation. Produced for Bill Rudge Ministries by Rich Miller.
To check out more videos, please click on the following links:
For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.
For Living Truth For Today (BJ Rudge) YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.
For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website: https://billrudgeministries.wordpress.com/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows/.
Prophecy Update: Examining Where We Are Through the Lens of Scripture
As we currently face global conflicts, pandemics, and natural disasters, many wonder if we are close to the return of Jesus Christ. Pastor BJ addresses this important issue by providing a biblical perspective on how to understand the times that we live in.
Prophecy Update: Is Russia and Ukraine the War of Gog and Magog?
UPDATE, part 2: Examining where we are through the lens of Scripture.
As we continue to see war rage in Ukraine, many wonder if this is a sign of a future war foretold by the Prophet Ezekiel. Pastor BJ addresses this issue by looking at the details of this war in light of current events.
Mountain Peaks of Bible Prophecy – Part 1
by Bill Rudge
To download this Podcast please click here.
Great White Throne Judgment
A terrifying encounter – indescribable and beyond comprehension – awaits those who do not receive God’s provision of salvation. It is an inescapable event that every human being on this planet should soberly contemplate – judgment will one day be a reality to multitudes who remain in the valley of indecision, indifference, or defiance toward Jesus Christ, the only means for a restored relationship with the Creator.
Ultimate and Final
Scripture informs us that following Christ’s millennial reign on earth (during which believers will rule with Him) the Great White Throne Judgment occurs. The bodies of all unbelievers throughout the ages – even those whose ashes were scornfully spread hoping that God would be unable to judge them – will be re-materialized to stand before Him. Every person who is not part of the “first resurrection” will be part of this “second resurrection” – those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will be raised from the dead to stand before the Great White Throne Judgment:
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
This Great White Throne Judgment is the ultimate and conclusive decision – bringing greater trepidation and eternal significance than any other decree throughout history. White typifies the perfect holiness and purity of God and assures that true justice will be determined and pronounced. There is no rainbow around this throne (unlike the throne in Revelation 4:3) nor any mention of the Lamb because the rainbow and the Lamb exemplify God’s grace, mercy, and redemption. At this judgment the Door of Salvation is closed.
During the Tribulation period when Jesus opens the sixth seal, the sky recedes like a scroll when it is rolled up (Revelation 6:14). However, before this Great White Throne Judgment, earth and heaven (physical universe) flee away (disappear) from the presence of the One seated on the throne (Revelation 20:11). There will be no place to hide as people do with the opening of the sixth seal when they hide in caves and among the rocks of the mountains (Revelation 6:15-17). The contaminated universe will be “uncreated” – going into a temporary nonexistence for God’s final judgment foretold many times in Scripture (Matthew 10:15; 11:22, 24; 12:36, 41, 42; Luke 10:14; John 12:48; Acts 17:31; 24:25; Romans 2:5, 16; Hebrews 9:27; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:7; Jude 6).
Two books will be opened for every individual appearing before the Great White Throne Judgment. First, God will examine each person’s deeds as recorded in the Book of Works containing the record of the thoughts, words, and actions of every unsaved person who ever lived. The truth of the matter is that all have sinned, violated God’s commandments, and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Without Christ, no one is found worthy to enter into the Kingdom of a holy, just, and righteous God.
Second, the Book of Life (similar imagery to the registry of citizens kept by ancient cities) is opened to see if the names of the condemned are recorded there. Since they did not receive God’s provision of salvation (those before the time of Jesus Christ looking forward to the coming Promised Redeemer and those after the cross looking back to Christ’s sacrificial death for the sins of the world) they must be forever banned from God’s presence (what many of them supposedly wanted anyway). Without having accepted Christ as Savior, they are without hope.
There will be no excuses, no exceptions, and no exemptions; no future appeal from God’s final verdict. Anyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire because they did not believe or receive God’s clear pronouncement:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
Millennia ago the psalmist warned that the ungodly would not be approved in God’s judgment:
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous (Psalm 1:5).
Jesus made an even more alarming statement that should make all of us stop and ponder whether He is truly our Savior and Lord:
Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7: 21-23).
Kneel or Stand
You can kneel before Jesus Christ as Savior now or one day stand before Him as Judge. It will be far more fearful to stand alone before the Creator at the Great White Throne Judgment than it is to live for Him in our world today. When King Belshazzar of Babylon merely saw fingers from God writing of his impending judgment and the end of his kingdom on the wall, “his face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking” (Daniel 5:5-6). What will it be like to see God, your Judge, face to face, knowing that He is about to pronounce your eternal destiny?
Those who reject Christ’s sacrificial death as their only means of forgiveness will discover the reality of Hebrews 10:31: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Yet, today is still the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2)! My prayer for you is that you make certain that Jesus Christ is your Savior and Lord, and that your name is written in the Book of Life.
Immediately following the Great White Throne Judgment, John saw a new heaven and a new earth and the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband (Revelation 21:1-2).
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city…. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the Root and the Descendant of David, the bright Morning Star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost (Revelation 22:14-17).
The preceding is excerpted from Bill’s upcoming book on The Last Days.
Woe to Those Who Call Evil Good
by Bill Rudge
Virtually everything we once knew to be wrong is now considered right, and what was once believed to be bad is now deemed good. Our culture has strayed so far from God’s Word that people are blind to the lies that are deceiving so many. The prophet Isaiah accurately commented about such a reversal of morality: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).
In contrast to the corruption today, the apostle Paul admonishes:
Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you…and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks (Ephesians 5:3-4).
The apostle Peter admonishes:
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all your conduct….Abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do – living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 1:14,15; 2:11; 4:3-5).
Be Aware: Four Stages of Decline
There are four stages through which those living an aberrant lifestyle could mislead people:
Tolerance and Acceptance: Initially, they say they just want us to tolerate and accept their lifestyles.
Endorsement: After tolerance and acceptance, they push us to endorse their lifestyles – which most have done.
Celebration: After endorsement, they push hard for us to celebrate their aberrant lifestyles. Many are doing so.
Punishment: Finally, they want to punish (removal from social media, lawsuits, loss of income, incarceration…) anyone who does not accept, endorse and celebrate their corrupt lifestyles.
Conquer or Be Conquered
Sexual immorality is not just a “disease” that will eat you like a cancer, it is sin. It is contrary to God’s intended purpose for His creation and needs to be, as Scripture says, “Crucified” (Galatians 5:24). Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:16).
The apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 3:5-8:
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things….
If you do not overcome the sinful nature, be assured, it will overcome you. Control your flesh or it will control you. Be set free from your vices or be enslaved by them. Conquer your weaknesses or they will conquer you! They will bring you to ruin and hurt the many others you touch through your life and example.
Path to a Victorious Life
Why live a life of continual defeat, frustration and guilt when you can live an abundant and victorious life through Christ? God’s path may not always be easy, but it is the most rewarding – both in this life and the one to come. While overcoming sexual immorality can seem daunting, God will give you the strength to tear down the strongholds and to be all that He intended you to be – even in our sex-crazed culture.
Open your heart to receive that which far surpasses any physical pleasure: a life of purity, peace, and power is worth every effort to obtain it. Sincerely repent and receive God’s forgiveness. Attitudes and actions will change as your mind is renewed by God’s Word (Romans 12:2). The fruit of the spirit – one of which is self-control (Galatians 5:23) – will develop as the power of God’s Spirit works in and through you.
May your life be transformed to live victoriously – the victor in a great contest!
by Bill Rudge
Many astonishing prophecies in Scripture confirm divine inspiration and indicate how close we are to Christ’s return. We’ve selected just a few to consider.
End time Scripture foretells the establishment of a world government (Revelation 13:7; 17:15-18; Daniel 7:23), a global economy (Revelation 13:16-17), and a universal religion (13:8-12; 17:1-2, 15).
It is obvious that a scenario is unfolding revealing the creation of a global system of political power, economic control, military might, and religious unity. Just as Scripture foretold, we are rapidly heading toward a one-world government, a one-world monetary system, and a one-world religion.
A leader will arrive on the world scene coming in the guise of peace and unity – supposedly presenting solutions for the world’s dilemmas. The book of Revelation identifies this person as the Antichrist who will take the reins of the world through deception and intrigue, ultimately leading humankind in a unified rebellion against the God of the Bible. The Antichrist’s cohort will be instrumental in uniting the world’s religions into an ecumenical movement tuned to eventually worship the Antichrist.
Mark of the Beast (666)
Revelation 13:16-18 makes known how the Antichrist and False Prophet will obtain and maintain control of this global society:
He [False Prophet] also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast [Antichrist] or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.
Temple in Jerusalem
For 2,500 years (since 586 BC when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, taking Jews captive to Babylon) there was no independent nation of Israel. Yet the prophets foretold that end time events would focus in and around the tiny nation of Israel, and that in the middle of the seven-year Tribulation period, the Antichrist will desecrate the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. The Apostle Paul mentions in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 that the Antichrist “sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” John, in Revelation 13:14-15, reveals that an image set up in honor of the Antichrist will be given breath so that it can speak and that all who refuse to worship the image will be killed.
The Two Witnesses
What about God’s Two Witnesses in Revelation chapter 11? For centuries people were baffled by these verses about the entire world looking at their dead bodies. Yet the whole world is now capable of seeing their corpses displayed on the latest form of visual media. Revelation 11:7-12 provides the context:
When they [the Two Witnesses] have finished their testimony, the beast [Antichrist] that comes up out of the abyss [bottomless pit] will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified [Jerusalem]. Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.
The Two Witnesses will prophesy for 1,260 days until they finish their testimony at which time the Antichrist is able to kill them. For three and a half days their dead bodies will lie in the street of Jerusalem as people from every tribe, nation, and language will look at their corpses. It is interesting that although these Two Witnesses are from God and empowered by Him, the world will be so undiscerning and unrepentant that they will despise and reject them. Many, many people – deep in rebellion against the God of the Bible – will rejoice over the deaths of the Two Witnesses and celebrate by exchanging gifts.
Amazingly, this prophecy of the entire world looking at their dead bodies can now be literally fulfilled through worldwide television, global satellite transmission, and Internet technology.
I have been in many villages around the world. Some of the places were so remote that the people stared at me because they had never seen a white person in real life, let alone someone with blue eyes. Yet even in these secluded areas there was usually someone – whether it was in a hotel, business, or someone’s house – who had a television or computer with people gathered around to watch events as they occurred around the world.
Every Eye Will See Him
Echoing the words of Daniel 7:13, Revelation 1:7 promises:
Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.
How could the apostle John in the first century A.D. predict this universal viewing by his own inspiration? It would have been impossible without a true revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Flesh Will Rot
Zechariah 14:12 gives a horrific description of the plague that will strike all the peoples who gather to go to war against Jerusalem:
This is the plague with which the LORD will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.
Although this refers to a supernatural judgment by God on the forces gathered against Israel in the end times at Armageddon, it is eerily similar to what would happen to those within the radius of the detonation of a thermonuclear bomb. The faces and skin of the invading armies melt like hot wax dripping down a candle. While prophecies such as Zechariah 14:12 may have seemed like science fiction not too many decades ago, modern weapons now can cause its very fulfillment. And keep in mind that God’s spoken word (by which He brought the universe into being) is far more powerful than any nuclear explosion.
The Earth Will Be Burned Up
Second Peter 3:10-14 states:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire [melt with fervent heat], and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.
These verses were once used by skeptics to disprove the Bible. How could there be a fire big enough to burn the whole world? People derided these verses before World War II, but after the emergence of nuclear weapons, able to melt the basic building blocks of matter itself, many began to see the potential for the fulfillment of these prophecies – even apart from God’s supernatural intervention. The nuclear weapons of today are many times more powerful than the two bombs which decimated Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945.
Prophecies Have Not Changed
Should one think these prophecies are just a modern translation of the Bible or have been reworded to reflect our times, I have an 1862 and an 1880s Bible (long before any reasonable explanation for the fulfillment of these verses came to light) and they say the same thing. Likewise, the prophecies and descriptions in even ancient Bibles are the same.
The Lord Wants None To Perish
There is widespread awareness that some amazing prophesied events are happening on the world scene. Those who believe in Jesus Christ know that the Lord’s coming draws near. It would be wisdom for us to commit our lives to the God who inspired these prophecies.
The Lord has delayed His coming because:
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
Today is the day to make certain your heart and life are right with the Lord. Do not delay – the prophetic clock is ticking and nearing the midnight hour. Always be prepared to meet your Lord by way of death or rapture. Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!
The Example of the United States
by Dr. David R. Reagan
We were founded as a Christian nation, committed to Christian values, and God greatly blessed us. But in the 1960s, we began to thumb our nose at God as a cultural revolution was launched. Our society quickly descended into a cesspool of sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, abortion on demand, legalized gambling, rampant blasphemy and a flood of pornography. Our national slogan became, “If it feels good, do it!” We adopted a hedonistic lifestyle, calling evil good and good evil.
God responded by raising up prophetic voices to call the nation to repentance. One of those was Dave Wilkerson, pastor of Times Square Church in New York City. I call him “God’s Jeremiah to America.” In the 1970s he began writing a series of books in which he clearly outlined the sins of America and warned of judgments from God if we did not repent. Like Jeremiah, his popularity plummeted because people – even church people – did not want to hear his “doomsday message.”
When the prophetic voices were ignored, God began to place remedial judgments on our nation – things like our defeat in the Vietnam War, the plague of sexually transmitted diseases and natural disasters in the form of monster earthquakes, killer tornados and hurricanes.
So, true global warming is on its way! But, more importantly, the Signs of the Times are screaming that we are on the threshold of the Tribulation. Meanwhile, the Church needs to wake up to the Signs of Nature and all the other signs that are converging for the first time ever. But for that to happen, our nation’s pastors need to get serious about the fact that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return, and they need to start proclaiming that fact from their pulpits.
The Church needs to stop yawning and start yearning for the return of Jesus. Maranatha!
– Lamplighter, May-June 2020 – Used with permission.
Will You Be Ready?
by Jim Weikal
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30).
In the above verses Jesus warns believers that He, the Son of Man, will return in circumstances similar to the pre-flood days of Noah and the destruction of Sodom. Specifically, He refers to eating, drinking, marrying, buying, selling, planting, and building. The emphasis of Messiah’s prophetic warning is on the people’s enjoyment of life’s mundane matters so much so that the return of the Son of Man catches them unaware.
We need to take a look at what the days of Noah were like: “God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth’” (Genesis 6:12,13).
The Hebrew word translated “corrupt” means “to ruin” and the verb “always refers to a ruin effected in the realm of community or individual experience” (Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament). The Hebrew word for violence is “hamas,” which means “wrong, do violence to, treat violently.” The lexicon goes on to state that the word “is used almost always in connection with sinful violence . . . [and] is often a name for extreme wickedness” (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament).
The people living during the time of the flood and the destruction of Sodom had become so involved with, or so tolerant of, corruption and violence that they went on with life as usual. The majority had no idea what was about to overtake them. Eight people were saved from the judgment of the flood and only Lot and his family were saved from the sulfuric destruction of Sodom. Jesus gives us a solemn warning in Matthew 24:44: “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”
Do not allow yourself to become so familiar with the corruption and violence of our time that you are not looking for, or are not ready for, the Son of Man’s return! God is a righteous God and He will judge corruption and violence as we have seen in the past. Only a very few people were ready to face God’s past judgments. How about you today?
Jim Weikal is a Biblical instructor at Bill Rudge Ministries.
by Darlinda McDonald
The Last Days was written in 1999 but is so relevant for today! Bill Rudge is ‘spot on’ as he reveals what’s ahead for the body of Christ, the apostate church, and the world.
We are living at the most exciting time in the history of the world. Our generation has the potential more than any other generation to see the fulfillment of Revelation. We have had false prophets. We have had wars and rumors of wars. We have had earthquakes, famines and pestilence. But never before in history have we seen such an increase in both intensity and frequency of these and many other signs that indicate Christ’s return is near. This book is an eye-opener. It will stir you to readiness.
Some topics are:
• Seven Mountain Peaks of Bible Prophecy
• Signs of the Times
• Mark of the Beast
• Global Society
• Unity of Religion
• Increasing Persecution
• Apostate Church
• Defeat of Antichrist
• God Has it All under Control
• Paradise Restored
Bill and BJ are in the process of updating and expanding this book on The Last Days. In the meantime, the 1990s edition is available free of charge upon request or as an e-book at https://billrudgeministries.wordpress.com/2000/05/30/the-last-days-e-book/.