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

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
by David Miles. Used with permission.

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.

The Rapture

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/.

Great White Throne Judgment

Bill Rudge

Artwork by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1982, 1992. Used by permission.

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).

The Books

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.

The Invitation

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

Photo 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!

Astonishing Prophecies

by Bill Rudge

1880s Bible at BRM. The prophecies and descriptions in ancient Bibles are the same as today.

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.

Globalism

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.

‘Spot On’

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/.

Winds of Globalism

by Bill Rudge

Photo by Bruce Adams

The presidential election was many days past with many questions and concerns. Peace and joy were removed from many homes and replaced with conflicts and disagreements – sometimes outright hostility. Many people were overcome by worry and fear concerning the election and the coronavirus. However, I assured them that the only way to be at peace is to strengthen ourselves in the Lord by remembering His past faithfulness and to have a biblical perspective regarding national and world events; encouraging them to reflect on the following scriptures and how they relate to us today.

An important and timely truth is spoken through King Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, when the ten northern tribes of Israel were removed from his control. First Kings 12:15 says, “It was a turn of events from the LORD.” Verse 24 of this same chapter reiterates this by stating: “You must not go up and fight against your relatives the sons of Israel; return every man to his house, for this thing has come from Me.”

God’s Warning

Daniel provides additional insight concerning the course of nations and their leaders:

He [God] removes kings and raises up kings…. The Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes (Daniel 2:21; 4:17).

God forewarned many times in Scripture what would happen to Israel, Judah, and other nations for abandoning the ways of the Lord and tolerating wickedness and injustice. The Bible provides and history proves what befalls a nation that forsakes the LORD Who has so richly blessed and protected them.

During a time of ongoing wickedness and disingenuous repentance the nation of Judah wondered:

Have You completely rejected Judah? Why have You stricken us so that we are beyond healing? We waited for peace, but nothing good came; and for a time of healing, but behold, terror! (Jeremiah 14:19).

The idolatry, immorality and injustice of the leaders and people of Judah became so repulsive to God that Jeremiah 15:1 records these strong words:

Then the LORD said to me, “Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of My sight, and let them go!”

There came a point in Judah’s wickedness that it became ineffective to intercede for the nation because of its persistent unrepentance. Even prayers by Moses and Samuel would not deter judgment. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary states concerning this:

The Lord refuses to avert judgment from His people; His decision to punish them is irreversible. Therefore the continued intercession of Jeremiah or of any others cannot succeed. The people’s incorrigibility has placed them beyond the power of prayer. Moses and Samuel would have been unable to move the Lord from His decision. The Lord commands that the nation be sent from His presence.

Without wholehearted national repentance, Judah’s fate was sealed. Her widespread indulgence in sin and rebellion before the Lord rendered her insincere, self-serving remorse, insufficient to alter the course of God’s judgment. The question today is: How close is America to a similar fate? (A couple other enlightening sections of Scripture to read and ponder at this historic time is Jeremiah 7:1-34 and Ezekiel 33:23-33.)

God Takes No Pleasure in the Death of the Wicked

Excerpts follow of what Ezekiel was told by God:

“Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, cut off its supply of bread, send famine against it … or if I should send a plague [pestilence] against that country and pour out My wrath to cut off man and beast from it, even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness. How much more when I send My four severe judgments: sword, famine, wild beasts and plague to cut off man and beast from it! When you see their conduct and actions, you will know that I have not done in vain [without cause] all that I have done,” declares the Lord GOD. “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 14:13-23; 33:11).

What the Apostle John foretold in Revelation is a mirror reflection of Ezekiel’s prophecy of God’s “four severe judgments”:

When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth (Revelation 6:7-8).

Don’t Gloat

Let me briefly interject another biblical truth here: Those nations which rejoiced over Judah’s judgment would incur similar punishment. Edom is just one of several nations in the Bible God judged for hostility against His people or for “celebrating” over their demise. Excerpts follow:

Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir [Edom], and prophesy against it and say to it, “Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I am against you and will stretch out My hand and make you a desolation and a waste.’ Because you have said, “These two nations [Israel and Judah] will be mine, and we will possess them,” although the LORD was there, therefore as I live, declares the Lord GOD, “I will deal with you according to your anger and according to your envy which you showed because of your hatred against them. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have heard all your revilings which you have spoken against Israel and have spoken arrogantly against Me; I have heard it.” Thus says the Lord GOD, “As all the earth rejoices, I will make you a desolation. As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel because it was desolate, so I will do to you. You will be a desolation, O Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am the LORD”’ (Ezekiel 35:2-15).

This sounds eerily similar to what will occur after severe persecution and martyrdom of those who come to faith in Jesus Christ during the Tribulation period:

Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” (Revelation 16:4-6).

Forboding Winds

While Christians are wearing each other out “fighting” over the coronavirus and politics, the real battle is already in play. To stand in the midst of what is coming we will need every ounce of strength and must be unified in genuine faith and commitment to Jesus Christ. This is a day and age to know Scripture and have discernment.

Remember, Jesus, as well as the apostles Peter, Paul and John, warned of unprecedented difficulties and pervasive deception in the end times. It is worth noting that Jesus’ first admonition in His famous Olivet Discourse was to “Take heed that no one deceives [misleads] you” (Matthew 24:4). Therefore, Jesus’ foremost warning concerning the end times is of delusion and deceit.

There is no doubt that the foreboding winds of global government, a one world economy and a prejudiced religious system (tolerating virtually anything but true Christianity) are blowing across America and the world. Earth’s final kingdom (Babylon) before the second coming of Jesus Christ will be a unified political, economic and religious system.

In order to implement this global society there needs to be a crisis (or potential crisis) which generates enough fear to make the masses willing to accept the recommended solutions. The only nation powerful enough to thwart a world government and all that entails is the United States. Therefore, the U.S. has to be transformed from nationalism to globalism. This being accomplished, the global elite will be able to dictate every aspect of the lives of virtually everyone on this planet – unwittingly leading to the fulfillment of Revelation 13 and the worldwide reign of the one revealed in Scripture as the Antichrist.

Two thousand years ago the Bible forewarned that the Antichrist would come disguised in false peace and unity. Under the pretense of solving the world’s crises he will initiate a global society with the inability to buy or sell without his mark on your hand or forehead – surrendering your total allegiance to him and his rule. Comply or die!

For over 30 years I have warned about what is coming, striving to prepare the Body of Christ for what is now upon us. Globalists may refer to it as The Great Reset but the Bible calls it the coming kingdom of the Antichrist. What seems so brilliant and beneficial will result in the darkest and most diabolical period in human history.

Nevertheless, we must not be discouraged or fearful, because all our future hopes and dreams are in Christ – not in ourselves, not in a political party, not in a world leader and not in a worldly kingdom. (Read John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 15:51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.)

Let those who so desire to have their kingdom on this earth enjoy their day and their temporary empire: they may get what they want, but they will not want what they get (see Revelation chapters 17 and 18). This temporary time of unprecedented unity, prosperity and immorality is rapidly coming upon the world and its “church,” but it will be a unity, prosperity and immorality (anything goes) of which you will not want any part! Scripture identifies this global system as Babylon the Great, Mother of Prostitutes and of the Abominations of the Earth (17:5). No wonder God calls His people out of her “so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues” (18:4).

Is There Hope?

As believers in Jesus Christ, our day and eternal Kingdom is also coming – after the destruction of Babylon the Great. We will inherit all we could ever imagine or desire – and far more! Our inheritance in Christ will abundantly satisfy us for ever and ever.

Jesus puts everything in perspective:

What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26).

Assuredly, one day the following prophecy will become a reality:

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever (Revelation 11:15).

In the midst of Jeremiah’s extreme lamentations for Judah’s destruction by the Babylonians, the Holy Spirit inspired him to pen the following promise for the people of his time (and for us today):

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him (Lamentations 3:21-25).

What Should We Do?

At Christ’s first coming many people expected the Messiah to provide political conquest, but Jesus came for spiritual redemption. Today, many people’s prayers and energies go toward political conquest, while God’s priority at this time is for us to share His Gospel in our local community, across cultural barriers and throughout the world (Acts 1:8). A Christian’s top priority must be for evangelism and leading others to Jesus Christ. Certainly you realize that one does not make it into the Kingdom of God because of political persuasion or even on account of good morality; access into God’s eternal Kingdom is only gained through accepting the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the atonement for our inherent sin.

In recent years, many political factions have been determined and committed in their quest to establish their “kingdom” on this earth. How much more should followers of Christ be determined, committed – unified – in bringing people into His millennial and eternal Kingdom?

As believers in Jesus Christ we must have greater passion in reaching people with His love and truth than in obtaining political power and control over this nation and the world. It is imperative that we focus the majority of our remaining time, energy and resources toward reaching this world for Christ before His return. May we be found faithful when He comes!

Signs of the Times

Global Government

The ultimate goal of the globalist agenda is widespread surveillance and control over people’s lives, including our jobs, our religious activities, our medical care, our travel and our buying and selling. Historically, we have seen that every serious crisis has brought about new opportunities for government control. This coronavirus crisis will eventually pass, but the government will never forget how easy it was to take control of our lives. The push for a global government, coupled with the necessary tools for surveillance technology, will one day enable the Antichrist to introduce his mark that will control a global economy.

Mike Gendron, The Lamplighter, August 2020

Satan’s Marathon

If you have never jogged before, you probably will not wake up one morning and decide to run a marathon that day; you must begin a conditioning process. Well, the marathon Satan wants to run (and win) is to impose the “mark of the beast” on the entire population, thereby gaining global dominion.

To achieve this goal, he must gradually condition people to accept it. Real and fabricated crises push us toward a global government – which eventually the Antichrist will control.

Not being able to buy or sell without a mask will eventually give way to not being able to buy or sell without a mark.

Hostility toward those who don’t wear the mask, and reporting fellow citizens (even family members) to the authorities for non compliance, will give way to much greater hostility for those who refuse to take the mark and unite for the supposed common good of the world.

Bill Rudge

How Can You Prepare?

by Bill Rudge

There are things coming on this nation and world that will require extraordinary faith, strength, courage, discipline, determination, discernment, integrity, commitment and love to endure. What is coming will affect every facet of your life. So how can you be prepared? My suggestion is to begin immediately to get into the best possible shape – physically, mentally, emotionally, and above all, spiritually.

Now is the time to:

Research Scripture – consistent and intense Bible study, investigation, reflection, and meditation on God’s Word – with special focus on end time prophecy.

Reach the heavenlies through prayer (and fasting if able) using the ACTS acronym: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.

Renew your mind by replacing disturbing and distorted images and messages of the media with that which is beneficial.

Replace negative and destructive emotions such as hatred, bitterness, revenge, lust … with love, joy, peace, self-control (all fruits of the Spirit).

Respect your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, by fleeing immoral behavior and anything else that dishonors the Lord.

Regenerate your health. We are living during stressful times when we need a strong immune system. Instead of overindulging in unwholesome food and unhealthy snacks (which lead to the host of unwanted ailments and diseases that are surging today), substitute “junk food” and “empty calories” with nutritious food the Creator designed you to consume. Instead of sitting around watching television and following social media, get some exercise and proper rest.

Implementing the above, along with God’s Spirit (Zechariah 4:6) will enable you to stand victoriously in these days. The alternative is not very comforting so don’t sit idly by and do nothing – do what God’s Word clearly teaches.

The Vortex

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.

The Audacity of God

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?

Meditate On This

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.