A Sneak Peek into the Real Heaven!

This is Part 4 in a series of posts based on my book, End Times and the Secret of the Mahdi: Unlocking the Mystery of Revelation and the Antichrist. In this series, we examine current events in light of End Times prophecies, and we address how to live confidently in these turbulent times. To start from the beginning, you can read Part 1 here 

In the Book of Revelation, the Lord Jesus gives John a vision of Heaven. It’s a vision of comfort and encouragement for everyone who is burdened by the sufferings of this life.  

I guarantee you won’t be bored in Heaven. You won’t be floating on the clouds, strumming a harp for eternity. Heaven will be filled with all the excitement and love you could ever want. 

But because Heaven can give us so much hope, Satan is fighting hard against it. Satan was thrown out of Heaven; he will never be allowed back in. So he’ll do everything he can to kill that hope within us. 

You can see Satan’s strategy playing out in our country today:  

In February 2015, Salon posted an article called “Ten Reasons the Christian Heaven Would Actually be Hell.” The writer explains, wrongly, how boring and bland Heaven will be.  

Even in our churches today, there is very little preaching on Heaven. Most of it is focused on the problems and blessings of this life, and how to get the most out of it.  

How different are those priorities from the priorities of God’s Word? The Bible mentions Heaven more than 500 times. The Book of Revelation mentions Heaven more than 50 times.  

If you think Heaven will be a miserable and boring experience, I want you to know that Satan has sold you a bill of goods. 

In Revelation, God graciously opens a door into Heaven, and we begin to see Heaven in all its glory. John writes:

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it (Revelation 4:1-2). 

John describes his first glimpse of Heaven—a throne with Someone seated on it. The throne symbolizes the power and authority of our God. He is the Creator and Ruler of this vast universe.

But most importantly, He should be the Ruler of our hearts. If we will step down from the throne of our hearts and put Christ there instead, He will come into our lives with strength and might. 

John continues:

And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. (Revelation 4:3-4).

John sees Jesus, our great High Priest, as having the appearance of gemstones—jasper and ruby. Jasper is a diamond-like white stone, symbolizing the glory and purity of Jesus. And the ruby is a blood-red stone symbolizing the sacrificial blood of Jesus. The rainbow recalls the Covenant rainbow that God showed Noah after the Flood. And the twenty-four elders represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles of Jesus—bridging both the Old and New Testaments.

Next, John gives us a glimpse of worship in Heaven:

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back . . . Day and night they never stop saying: 

“‘Holy, holy, holy

is the Lord God Almighty,’

who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:6b-8).

Although the angels continuously make that proclamation, please don’t get the idea that in Heaven we’ll do nothing but sing a thousand choruses of “How Great Thou Art.”  

Will we continually praise God? Yes! Will we stand around a throne, singing endless choruses? Hardly. Wherever we go in the New Heaven, we will be able to speak to Him, thank Him, and praise Him. With each new discovery, with each new wonder, our hearts will leap with praise.

If you’re afraid that Heaven will be boring, consider this: the same Creator who gave us the incredible beauty of places like the Grand Canyon will be the One to create the New Heaven. If there’s so much beauty in a world broken by sin, imagine what Heaven will be like! 

Everything New 

One of the most important revelations John receives is that the Heaven we think of today is not the final Heaven, the eternal Heaven that Jesus promised to prepare for us. 

As John writes in Revelation 21:1: “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. . . .”

God is going to take a wrecking ball to the universe and start over from scratch. In Revelation 22:5, the Lord tells John, “I am making everything new!”  

This will be the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah:

“See, I will create

   new heavens and a new earth.

The former things will not be remembered,

   nor will they come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17).

But that’s not God’s only new creation. John continues with a sight that must have taken his breath away:

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:2-4).

The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, is God’s new capital city. The New Jerusalem comes out of Heaven, and God announces that His dwelling place is now among the people. He will wipe away all their tears, and death will be no more.

If your heart is heavy these days, I have wonderful news for you: Jesus Himself is going to wipe away your tears and take away your sorrow. 

In the midst of this vision, the Lord gives John a message for all people: 

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children” (Revelation 21:6b-7). 

Jesus wants everyone to have one more opportunity to receive Him as Lord and Savior.

If the Book of Revelation teaches anything, it’s that our choices today will determine our future. Our eternal destiny will either be in Heaven with Jesus—or in Hell with Satan. There is no third alternative. For if God does not judge sin and disobedience—why did Jesus have to die?

He desperately wants everyone to be saved. But He is not willing to save people against their will.  

A neighbor of mine teaches a class in a mainline denomination church. He recently told me, “We’ve been talking about the doctrine of Hell. And every person in that class agrees that God is simply too loving to condemn anyone to Hell.”  

His jaw dropped when I replied, “I completely agree. God is too loving to condemn anyone to Hell. That’s why God sent Jesus to the cross. He’s not willing that any should perish. But people possess the awesome, frightening power of free will. If they reject the gift of salvation, they condemn themselves to Hell.” 

A Vision to Lift Our Burdens

After the New Jerusalem descends, an angel says to John, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 

The angel takes John to a mountaintop to view the New Jerusalem. The city is brilliantly lit by the glory of God, gleaming like a sparkling jewel. It has twelve gates, symbolizing again the twelve tribes of Israel, and it has twelve foundations, representing the twelve apostles. 

Then the angel gives John the city’s dimensions—are you ready for this?—1,400 miles long by 1,400 miles wide by 1,400 miles high. That’s 2.7 billion cubic miles! 

In the New Jerusalem, there is no Temple, because “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22). There is no sun or moon because “the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp” (Revelation 21:23). And the River of Life, clear as crystal, flows “from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city.” (Revelation 22:2)

And wonderfully, in the New Jerusalem, we will find the restored Garden of Eden! There, the Tree of Life will bear “twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2). 

Better yet, among that incredible abundance, we will each have meaningful and exciting work to do. John tells us that we will serve God in the New Heaven. Our work may take us to distant galaxies, and we will reign with God for ever and ever (see Revelation 22:5). 

Today, you may be carrying the weight of a Steinway piano on your back. It might be an enormous load of guilt, or suffering, or worry. Whatever your load, a vision of Heaven will lift your burden.

If you avoid what the Bible teaches about Heaven, then you miss out on one of God’s great blessings. The expectation of Heaven enables us to soar above the problems and frustrations of this earthly life. 

If you’ve never looked forward to Heaven with eager anticipation, I hope you’re beginning to catch the excitement right now. I hope you will begin each day thinking about Heaven. And I hope that as you go to bed each night, your last thoughts will be prayers of gratitude for the wonderful gift of that world to come.

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Battling Toward the Greatest Celebration Ever

This is Part 3 in a series of posts based on my book, End Times and the Secret of the Mahdi: Unlocking the Mystery of Revelation and the Antichrist. In this series, we examine current events in light of End Times prophecies, and we address how to live confidently in these turbulent times. To start from the beginning, you can read Part 1 here 

I once read a story about an elderly man, a man of simple faith, who was reading the Book of Revelation. A skeptic saw him and decided to tease him.  

“Hey, old-timer,” he said, “that’s a strange book you’re reading. Are you sure you understand what it means?”

The old man replied, “It means God wins.”

And that’s what we need to know: God wins.

As we approach the end of Revelation, the future can seem dark. But it’s often darkest before the dawn, and that final dawn is surely coming—a day when Jesus will be victorious and Satan defeated. 

But first, we face the Battle of Armageddon. At the end of the Great Tribulation, the most violent and decisive battle in the history of the world will take place. 

The battle is prompted by the sixth angel, who pours out his bowl upon the River Euphrates. The river dries up, opening a clear path for an invasion by “the kings from the East.” The kings are demonic rulers, and they come leading an enormous army of 200 million soldiers.  

The Bible tells us that invisible kings and princes have been assigned to the nations. As you study everything the Scriptures have to say about them, it seems clear that they are fallen angels — demons — under Satan’s command.

In 2015, leaders of the United States and other countries forged an agreement with Iran regarding nuclear weapons. Our negotiators had no idea who they were negotiating with. I’m certain that, sitting across the table from them, was an invisible presence — the same presence that had once opposed Daniel, the demonic Prince of Persia. After all these centuries, the invisible ruler of Persia still calls the shots there.

Much debate has taken place regarding the location of this great battle. But I believe the Battle of Armageddon will be a spiritual battle rather than a military conflict. And let’s be clear: Spiritual warfare is no less real, and no less deadly, than military warfare. 

The final battle will be a violent, all-out assault against Christ’s church. Satan hates believers because we will inherit Heaven — the paradise that he lost. 

But the tide is turning against him and his supporters. Here John tells us about the fate of the Antichrist and the False Prophet: 

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf . . . The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. (Revelation 19:19-20).

As the drama unfolds, three angels appear with three proclamations.

The first angel flies overhead, proclaiming “the eternal Gospel.” This is the last time the Gospel will ever be offered. 

Next, the second angel announces the fall of Babylon. I believe Babylon symbolizes any culture that sets itself against God’s will. 

Finally, the third angel declares that all who worship the Beast will drink the wine of God’s wrath. There will be no more opportunities for salvation.

But John also hears words of comfort. A voice from heaven says: 

Write this: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them” (Revelation 14:13).

The believers who remain loyal to the Lord Jesus until the end will be blessed indeed. 

Then immediately after the final battle, the bowl of God’s wrath is poured out. Those who suffer God’s judgment are no different from us — except in one regard: We accepted the Lord’s grace; they rejected it. 

Those who turn away from God must face His Final Judgment:

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books . . . Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:12,15).

I don’t gloat over this judgment. God Himself does not gloat over the fate of the wicked. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Yet He won’t overrule our free will. 

The Second Coming 

There are four chapters in the Bible in which Satan and his work are completely absent: the first two and the last two — Genesis 1 and 2, and Revelation 21 and 22. 

Satan raises his serpent’s head in Genesis 3, and he bedevils the human race throughout the Bible. Finally in Revelation 20, God consigns Satan to the Lake of Fire. In Genesis, God pronounces Satan’s death sentence; in Revelation, the sentence is carried out.

Why do increasing numbers of false teachers tell us that Genesis is a myth and Revelation is a mystery? I’m convinced that Satan is behind this false teaching. Satan wants to keep us away from Genesis and Revelation because he wants to hide the truth—that he is already a condemned spirit. 

But Satan’s defeat is precipitated by one all-important prophetic event: The Second Coming of Christ. 

That moment is described in Revelation 11:15, when the seventh trumpet sounds, and the voices from Heaven shout:

The kingdom of the world has become

   the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,

   and he will reign for ever and ever . . .  

The eternal reign of Jesus will begin with an event called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is like no other wedding feast. It will be the Groom’s coronation day—when Jesus is enthroned as King of Kings.

The Marriage itself will occur in three stages: 

In the first stage, Jesus writes our names in The Book of Life. At the moment we repent and invite Christ to take control of our lives, the Lord adopts us into His family. He writes our names permanently in The Book of Life. 

In the second stage, the Lord comes for His bride, the body of genuine believers. We call this the Rapture. 

In the final stage, we celebrate the Marriage Supper, the greatest celebration the universe has ever known. Imagine the guest list: Abraham and Sarah, Moses, David, Elijah, Isaiah, all the apostles, including John, the author of Revelation.

John describes what it will be like then for the believers: 

“Never again will they hunger;

   never again will they thirst.

The sun will not beat down on them,”

   nor any scorching heat.

For the Lamb at the center of the throne

   will be their shepherd;

“he will lead them to springs of living water.”

   “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:16-17).

This is a beautiful message of hope. Our trials will finally be over, and we will have rest. Never again will we hunger or thirst or feel the scorching heat, because the Lamb of God will be our Shepherd. 

And notice this beautiful paradox: The Lamb of God will become the Shepherd. He will fulfill the Twenty-Third Psalm. Our Shepherd will lead us beside still waters, restore our souls, and lead us in paths of righteousness. And we will dwell in the House of the Lord forever. 

The Realization of the Lord’s Prayer

In Revelation 20, we see the ultimate fulfillment of The Lord’s Prayer: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” God’s Kingdom on Earth is realized, and His will is finally carried out planet-wide. This begins Christ’s thousand-year reign, the Millennium. 

Now destruction awaits Satan. He is seized, bound, and thrown into the Abyss for a thousand years. Then, after the thousand years, Satan is released to deceive the nations and to march them to battle. But then fire comes down from heaven and devours them. 

Finally, Satan meets the fate that was prophesied in Genesis 3:15. Jesus, the descendant of Eve, will crush the head of the serpent, who is Satan. Our adversary will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

In the last chapter of Revelation, Jesus says three times, “I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:7, 12, and 20). Clearly, the Lord wants us to look forward to that day when we’ll finally see Him face-to-face. 

To see Him, you just need to be in the Book of Life. You just need to confess that you are a sinner, repent of your sins, and receive Jesus, once and for all, as your Lord and Savior.  

One of the great benefits of studying the Book of Revelation is that it alters the way we live our lives, here and now. Revelation fills us with expectation and hope—and our hope for the future impacts our present-day decisions. 

There’s an acronym for the worldly view of life: YOLO — You Only Live Once. For the believer, that’s simply not true. You live once, you die — and then there’s the resurrection!  

Jesus said, “Yes, I am coming soon!” For those who love Him, those words are a blessed promise. For those who haven’t received Him, those words are a warning — and an invitation. 

Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. Receive Him into your life — and He will receive you into Heaven! There’s no time to lose. 

He is coming soon. 

Will you be ready? 

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Do You Know Your Enemy?

Recently, I introduced a new series based on my book, End Times and the Secret of the Mahdi: Unlocking the Mystery of Revelation and the Antichrist. In this series, we examine current events in light of End Times prophecies, and we address how to live confidently in these turbulent times.

During this age of global terrorism, it seems we often don’t know who our enemy is. Many politicians cannot even bring themselves to utter the words “radical Islam,” let alone understand that many Muslims actually don’t want “peace” nor “democracy.”

We’ve forgotten one of the oldest adages of conflict: know your enemy. 

When studying the End Times, that adage also applies. 

In the Book of Revelation, we meet the Enemy, the Antichrist, at the dawn of the Great Tribulation. Through a detailed vision, the apostle John describes the backdrop to the Antichrist’s rise: 

  •  Revelation 6:1 to 8:5 records the opening of the seven seals, which ushers in a time of unprecedented death and destruction.
  •  Revelation 8:6 through Revelation 11 describes the seven trumpets of judgment, which announce scene after scene of further devastation. 
  •  Revelation 12 then introduces the Dragon, who symbolizes Satan. The enormous red dragon has seven heads and ten horns, representing his immortality and powers.

The first four seals each summon forth a rider on horseback. The first rider comes on a white horse, symbolizing the false promise of peace. This is the Antichrist, arriving on the world scene. During times of terror, he will pose as a champion of peace, a master diplomat, a broker of treaties.  

He will be Satan’s most impressive and frightening creation. John calls him “the Beast,” and describes him in symbolic terms: “The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name” (Revelation 13:1). 

Sound familiar?

Clearly, the Dragon fashions the Beast in his own image. The Beast will have his father’s distinctive traits, except for immortality. He will only seem to be immortal and all-powerful, deceiving the world and causing millions to worship him. 

Just as Jesus is the full expression of God the Father in human form, the Antichrist will be the full expression of Satan in human form. 

During his reign, the Antichrist will make a formal covenant with Israel for seven years. He will permit Israel to restore the Temple that was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., as well as revive the old traditions of Judaism, including animal sacrifices.

But halfway through that 7-year period, the Antichrist will display his treachery and abrogate the covenant. At the altar where the Jewish priests make sacrifices, the Antichrist will set up “an abomination that causes desolation” and defile the Temple. 

The Antichrist will demand that he, and he alone, be worshipped. 

Satan Preparing the World

But Revelation isn’t the only End Times prophecy among the major monotheistic religions. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam devote significant attention to End Times prophecies, and those prophecies share many similarities. They focus largely on events near Jerusalem; they predict the coming of a Messiah; and they see a Final War.

Despite those similarities, there are major differences between biblical prophecies and the prophetic passages of the Quran. One of the most significant differences is the central figure of the Imam Mahdi (Mahdi means “the Guided One”). 

Muslims view the Imam Mahdi as a savior who will lead a revolution to establish a global empire, the final Caliphate. The Mahdi will rule the Earth as the rightful successor to the Prophet Mohammed.  

The Islamic global empire will not be based on peace or love; instead, it will be an earthly militant kingdom under the banner of Islam, which people either will accept or be killed.  

Interestingly, the Mahdi bears a striking resemblance not to the biblical Christ, but to the biblical Antichrist. 

When you study Islamic eschatology, you discover that the Mahdi has all of the power and authority of the Antichrist. Both the Mahdi and the Antichrist possess supreme political and religious authority. They will be worshiped as the head of a one-world religion. Like the Antichrist, the Mahdi will establish his capital in Jerusalem and rule the world from there. 

The Bible says that the Antichrist will target Jews and Christians for destruction; Islamic eschatology says the Mahdi will wage war against Jews and Christians. Those who oppose the Antichrist will be executed; those who oppose the Mahdi will be executed. Like the 7-year covenant that the Antichrist will make with Israel, the Mahdi will make a 7-year agreement with the “Romans”—that is, the nations of Europe. 

Why are there so many striking similarities? 

There’s little doubt to me that Satan is preparing Muslims to accept the Antichrist as their leader. When this counterfeit “savior” arises to impose his bloody reign, Muslims will be well-prepared to welcome him as their long-promised Mahdi.  

But Satan hasn’t been preparing Muslims alone; for centuries he’s been preparing the world for the Antichrist. Today, he is persuading masses of people — including many Christians — that all religions ought to shed their differences. 

The idea of universalism grows ever stronger—the idea that it doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere; there are many paths to God, and a loving God wouldn’t turn anyone away.  

Those sentiments sound reasonable according to worldly wisdom, but it doesn’t come from God’s Word. It comes from Satan. In our fascination with End Times prophecy, we forget that the spirit of the Antichrist is already among us.  

The Antichrist with a capital “A” hasn’t been revealed, but antichrists with a small “a” are all around us, spreading false teaching. As the apostle John wrote, “...as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). 

Anyone who teaches that Jesus is one of many ways to God is an antichrist. Anyone who denies Jesus’ claim to be the only way to the Father is an antichrist. 

The false religion of the Antichrist is not some future religion that will arise during the End Times. It is with us today. It infects the church and pervades our culture.  

The Victory is in Christ Alone

Universalism will feed right into the Antichrist’s schemes for a one-world, false religion. But in the end, he will turn on that false religious system and destroy it. 

Ultimately, the Antichrist will view the false religious system, not as an ally, but as a competitor. He’ll want the whole world to worship him alone. His alliance with the false religious system will last only as long as he benefits. 

But he will be faced with opposition. In Revelation 11, we meet two witnesses who proclaim the Gospel. Though Scripture doesn’t identify these witnesses, they have all the earmarks of Moses and Elijah. They will give testimony for three and a half years, but then the Beast will overpower and kill them. The corrupt government of the Antichrist will leave their corpses in the public square of the great city, where also our Lord was crucified. 

Why will these witnesses warrant execution? Because they will preach God’s message. And by simply speaking the truth, they torment the people of the Earth. 

Today, we see an ever-rising intolerance toward the truth. If you compromise the message of Jesus, the world will love you. But if you proclaim Jesus without compromise, the world will hate you.  

After the bodies of the witnesses lie abandoned for three and a half days, God will breathe life into them again, and they will come to their feet. Everyone around the world will be struck with terror. 

Then the people will finally give glory to God. But they are still unrepentant; it is out of their terror that they give glory to God in order to appease Him. 

Up until the End Times—through thousands of years of human history, sin, and rebellion—God has been patient. Despite the human race blaspheming and rejecting Him, and despite the ungodly persecuting and killing His people, God has withheld His judgment and wrath. 

For now, God continues to entreat people to repent, and to receive His Son, Jesus. But when the day of wrath comes, there will be no second chances. 

The apostle Peter wrote: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). 

Today, the window of salvation is still open—but for how long? God’s patience will come to an end. Let no one assume that He will tolerate rebellion forever. 

Although the scenes of Revelation are disturbing, in the end, God and His people will prevail. Through the Antichrist’s schemes, God will destroy the false religious system—just before He destroys the Antichrist himself.

So don’t lose hope. None of the trials to come can separate us from God’s love and His plan for us. 

As Paul reminds us: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 35, 37).

Therefore, we should spiritually prepare ourselves. Revelation’s central message is not the end of this world, but the glorious unveiling of the New Heaven and the New Earth.

That does not leave us in despair. It lifts our spirits and ignites our passion to witness for Christ. 

I’m more excited today about God’s prophetic Word than at any other time in my life. These are great times for sharing the saving knowledge of our victorious Lord Jesus. I’m grateful to be living in these exciting days.

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Confusion in Babylon, and in America

The confusion in our culture today is akin to a similar time, thousands of years ago, when the people of God had abandoned Him. Out of their arrogance and defiance of God, Nimrod lead them to build a tower to the worship of the Zodiac, another form of self-gratification. God on His part sent them a spirit of confusion. Their speech became unintelligible.

Today, I am compelled to write this post out of sheer frustration at the "babbling" of our own culture. Nothing highlights this spirit of confusion and brings it to the surface more than what we are seeing now at this latest chapter in Islamic terrorism, the Orlando tragedy.

All of the fingers of blame are now pointing everywhere except where they should be pointing. 

In response to the Orlando tragedy, we see fingers pointed at God, pointed at Islam as a whole, or in the one of the more bizarre accusations from a Planned Parenthood offshoot, pointed at a "toxic masculinity & a global culture of imperialist homophobia."

And to top it all, an ACLU staff attorney blamed conservative Christians. Directing his comments to Christians on Sunday, Chase Strangio tweeted: "You know what is gross — your thoughts and prayers and Islamophobia after you created this anti-queer climate."

However, it is the Christian Bible that can actually tell us what is going on. Throughout Scripture, we clearly see that whenever God is out, confusion is in. When God is abandoned, bloodshed reigns.

That is as simple as when you flip the light switch to the off position and the light goes out. Pointing fingers, or trying to analyze how the light went out and who caused it, is no different than mass hysteria.  

Our courts, our government, and our society have long since convinced themselves that biblical morality, or biblical absolutes; have no place in modern "civilized" society. The "absolutes are obsolete." 

But whether they know it or not, by rejecting God’s moral absolutes, they also reject the very God who authored those absolutes. And when God is rejected, His Spirit departs our shore. It’s like flipping that switch to the off position. Only in this case, the Light of the World goes out.

God does not sit in heaven, thinking, How can I hurt these people? Instead, we are only experiencing the natural result of our rejecting Him. 

I know that doesn’t make sense to the spiritually blind. For them, unfortunately, it makes no difference whether the light is on or off. But the children of the light need to understand that our actions have consequences. 

Long ago, Israel had likewise persisted in compromising their faith in Yah-weh. They worshipped self-serving gods and left God no choice but to depart. And when God’s Spirit departed, the Babylonian terrorists showed up.

Then, as with now, confusion ensued. Even prophets pointed fingers and blamed each other for the disaster. All the false prophets who opposed the prophet of God, Jeremiah, wanted to kill him because his prophecy had come to pass.

Now during this tragic time when so many of our fellow citizens are bereaved, we must earnestly pray for them and offer our deepest condolences. In the midst of their loss, we should pray that they will know God as their comforter. 

And above all, we must rend our hearts in repentance on behalf of our nation. We need to cry out to God, in that well-known song, "Come back to our land . . . come back to our land!"

I have no assurance if God will answer our prayers and bless us with His presence once again. But we must keep asking. As Scripture says, "A contrite and broken heart, God will not despise."

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The Relevant Revelation

In my recent book, End Times and the Secret of the Mahdi: Unlocking the Mystery of Revelation and the Antichrist, I offer an action plan for living confidently in today’s turbulent times. 

During the next several posts, I will draw from this book to examine current events in light of end-times prophecies. Today’s post follows Part I of the book, The Revelation of Jesus Christ.

God has used the Book of Revelation as the capstone of the entire Bible. It reveals the ultimate fulfillment of prophecies going back to the beginning of Genesis. And through that, we can discover how to apply those insights to our lives today.

Atheist philosophers tell us that human life is meaningless. But Revelation assures us that God cares greatly about our individual lives — and about the future of Planet Earth. Although things seem to be spinning out of control, God has a triumphant conclusion planned.

But are we ready? Are we ready today for that conclusion?

Though Jesus could return at any time, the signs seem to be aligning for His return sooner rather than later. 

Every day, there is more terrible news from the Middle East — the very region where history began and where it will all end. 

Today, the nation of Israel, the Holy Land, seems all but isolated, including from its old ally, the United States.

Today, more Christians are martyred than ever before.

Today, the rapid and ruthless rise of ISIS has resulted in an actual state that controls large regions of Iraq and Syria, plus parts of Nigeria, Libya, and Southeast Asia.

The ISIS reign of terror crosses national borders, enforcing its rule with beheadings and mass slaughter. But although it is brutal, ISIS provides stability, and many who live under ISIS control welcome the stability of oppression.

I’m not saying that ISIS is the precursor to the Antichrist. But as we look at the horror coming out of the Middle East, it is impossible not to compare those scenes with the Antichrist’s reign of terror, as described in Daniel, Revelation, and other prophetic passages of Scripture.

Daniel tells us that during the time of the Antichrist “there will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then” (Daniel 12:1).

But the signs go far beyond Middle East conflict and much closer to home.

Today, the United States federal debt stands at $18.6 trillion, 74 percent of the GDP. And entitlement spending will soon explode the debt sky-high. Those who pay attention to the global debt crisis can easily envision the global economic collapse described in Revelation 18.   

Also today, we see US government officials trampling our First Amendment rights in ways unthinkable a few years ago.  

Today, religious liberty is endangered as it takes a backseat to political correctness.

Today, fundamental truths about gender and sexual behavior are cast aside, by secular and religious authorities alike. 

Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 that in the church there would be a great “falling away” from the faith before the Day of the Lord. We already see a great “falling away” in the evangelical church. Many churches that once preached the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ have defected. 

Why is all this happening now? The Bible doesn’t tell us, but here’s my opinion:

I believe Satan is intensifying his actions against Christians because he senses that time is growing short. He is desperate to do as much damage as he can, to cause as much suffering as he can, to take as many souls with him as he can.  

Although the headlines are filled with evidence that society is on a collision course with the Book of Revelation, don’t be alarmed.  

God did not give us the Book of Revelation to frighten us, or certainly to let us predict the future. God alone knows the future. But He did give us the Book of Revelation to motivate and encourage us. 

Between the bookends of Genesis and Revelation, the Bible spans the history of the human race. Genesis tells the story of humanity’s creation and fall. Revelation describes the redemption and eternal destiny of all believers.

The Book of Revelation is indispensable. If we did not have Revelation, we would have an incomplete picture of Jesus Christ and the Christian faith. 

The Old Testament presents a picture of Jesus, the promised Messiah. The Gospels present a picture of Jesus, the Teacher, Leader, Servant, the Crucified and Risen One. The Book of Acts gives us Jesus as the Ascended One. In the epistles, we see Jesus as Savior and Lord. 

But only in Revelation do we see Jesus fully glorified, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Judge of all.

In Revelation 1:8, the Lord says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” But the Alpha-Omega statement also appears at the end of Revelation. In Revelation 22:13, the Lord says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” 

Jesus is saying: “I was here at the beginning, I am here now, and I will be here at the end. I was here at Creation, and I will be here when Heaven and Earth are made new.” Jesus is the King of Glory, worthy of honor and praise — the Lord of the Beginning and the End.

John, who was probably closest to Jesus of the Twelve, looked at the glorified Jesus and didn’t say, “I saw my good friend Jesus.” He said, “I saw someone like a son of man.” 

Then he proceeded to describe the Lord’s appearance. The Lord was:

…dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance (Revelation 1:13b-16).

The sight of the glorified Jesus was so awesome that John “fell at his feet as though dead.” 

Certainly we must long for the day when we will see Jesus fully magnified and ruling over all. But as readers of Revelation know, there will be a Great Tribulation, too. But when will that happen? And will the Lord take His church out of the world before the Great Tribulation begins? Only God knows the answers. 

But let’s not get sidetracked by minor details, because then we might miss the big picture. The “big picture” themes of the Book of Revelation are:

First, all who welcome Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will be welcomed into Heaven when He returns. 

Second, Jesus will return as He promised. 

Third, Jesus will sit in righteous judgment over all who have refused to accept Him as Lord and Savior during their earthly lives.

Fourth, when Jesus appears, all who love Him will be with Him forever.

Christians of good will may debate the details of this prophecy, but those four principles are beyond debate. 

So we must be ready. As Jesus tells us:   

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him (Matthew 24:42-44).

If we study the Book of Revelation, it will not merely increase our knowledge. It will change our lives. Because of its life-changing truths, you and I can live each day with eternity in our hearts.

Are we ready for the Lord’s return? 

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End Times Secret

I have taken a hiatus from writing my blog in the last several months for a number of reasons; one of which was to write my new book, “End Times and the Secret of the Mahdi.” www.endtimessecret.com

This book is born out of studying the Scriptures regarding the End Times while simultaneously examining the widespread rise of Islamic thoughts on the subject. Perhaps the most amazing fact I uncovered is the shocking similarity between the biblical “antichrist” and the Muslim “Mahdi.”

Most Christians recognize that the rise and the fall of the biblical antichrist will lead to the return of the resurrected and ascended Jesus Christ. Yet while we anticipate the return of the true Messiah, many modern Islamic writers (both Shiites and Sunnis) have a heightened sense of expectation regarding the appearance of their “messiah,” the Mahdi. To be sure, Sunni and Shiites do not agree on many of the details, but both anticipate the rise of such a person.

 

  •  Sunni Muslims believe that the Mahdi is none other than Jesus himself, whom they do not believe died on Calvary but rather ascended into heaven at the age of 33. They believe He will come back to earth and live for seven years at the end of which He will visit Mecca and declare himself a Muslim. Allegedly He will then turn against the Christians and the Jews and judge the world by establishing the Islamic Sharia.
  •  Shiite Islam has a different view of the Mahdi. Since they follow a different line of succession to Mohammed, their Mahdi (messiah) is identified as the “Twelfth Imam.” He was born in the 9th century, became Imam at the age of five, and supposedly vanished in an event called the “occultation.” Shiites believe that this Mahdi is alive now but hidden until Allah reveals him at a time when the earth is in political and economical turmoil.

 

Now consider the biblical depiction of the antichrist. Paul refers to him as “the man of lawlessness,” “the man doomed to destruction,” and “the lawless one.” Second Thessalonians describes him as one “who will exalt himself over everything that is called god or is worshiped so that he sets himself up in God’s temple proclaiming himself to be God.” (2:3-4, 8). (See also Revelation 13). In Mathew 24 Jesus affirms Daniel’s prophecy regarding the rise of the antichrist, noting that his arrival will spell out the End of the Age. (See Daniel 9:27)

The similarities between the Mahdi and the antichrist are chilling:

1)  Both are associated with the End Times and the Day of Judgment.

2)  They both possess political, military, and religious power.

3)  Both will endeavor to bring the world under one religion.

4)  The Mahdi will force all people to convert to Islam, and the antichrist will make himself the object of worship.

5)  Both will establish Jerusalem as the capital from which they will rule the world.

Whether you are a person who sees value in this or not, I write as a committed Bible- believing Christian who has spent many years in biblical study. My conclusion is simple but not simplistic.

Christ and Christ alone is the hope of the world. He spiritually rules in the hearts of His followers, but the day is coming when He will return to destroy ALL of the antichrists, regardless of their names. Jesus of Nazareth alone will reign and rule forever! 

In this charged political season, we do well to remember that we are not voting for a savior but a servant—one who needs to demonstrate that if he/she has served God faithfully, it is a clear indication that he/she will serve the nation similarly.

If you are looking to someone with a messianic complex, then he/she will simply pave the way for the biblical antichrist, Satan’s sinister representative, who will lead many away from the truth.

Choose wisely and prayerfully! 

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Is God’s Judgment Against Us Inevitable?

America, and the West, seem to be sinking into the abyss, and it’s time to ask: Is God’s judgement now inevitable?

In contemplating the answer, we should consider some of the obvious reasons why judgment could come soon:

 

  1.  The blood of millions of innocent lives is shed and body parts are sold for profit in this country, while our government supports and funds such monstrous activity.
  2. God’s purpose in Creation, and His declared purpose for marriage, has been ignored and ruled against by the highest court in the land.
  3. Police authority is devalued by a great many people and undermined by political leaders.
  4. God-fearing, Bible-believing Christians are forbidden by the U.S. administration from saying the name of their God in the military.
  5. European businessmen and government officials cannot wait to do business with Iran—a leading state sponsor of the persecution and murder of innocent people.
  6. Persecuted Christians from the Middle East and elsewhere are forbidden entry visas into the United States and Europe. And yet illegal aliens—terrorists among them—get in and are given support.
  7. News programs report nearly every day on the rape and murder of Christian women and children by ISIS, while our government leaders cannot be bothered to condemn it, let alone do something about it.
  8. A sex change operation can get you a call from the highest office holder in the land to commend you for your “courage,” while families of fallen soldiers receive nothing.
  9. Those who announce their choice to reject God’s created order become heroes, while those who have taken a vow of poverty and serve the least among us are discriminated against.

 

With those, and many other government decisions made to marginalize righteousness and the righteous, can God’s judgment be far behind?

We can already see the signs of the lifting of God’s hand upon America through the cowardice of today’s politicians. Lying by public officials is rampant (and is even considered a virtue by many). Politicians refer to their political opponents as terrorists, while at the same time, they refuse to label the real terrorists as such.Elected government officials, out of fear of criticism, hide behind parliamentary maneuvers to avoid obeying the Constitution and allowing religious liberty.

We are already reaping the leaders that we deserve.

Twenty-six hundred years ago, a similar situation took place among a people who had once believed in and worshipped the one true God. The rulers and the people of the day had abandoned God.

But God sent them spokesmen to deliver the truth—among them a man named Jeremiah.

Jeremiah warned and warned and warned them that God’s judgment could not be stayed forever. God’s principle of sowing and reaping will be carried out unless there is a perceptible change.

But no one would listen. They mocked God, and Jeremiah was vilified—just as today’s spokesmen are, such as myself.

Sadly, the inevitable judgment came. Terrorists from Babylon entered the “Promised Land” and maimed and killed many and took others hostage. Of course, the same people who had mocked God, then cried out, “Where is God?”

The very God they had insulted, the very God they had rejected, then ironically became the object of their ire for not answering their pleas and giving them the prosperity they wanted.

What form of judgment will God take this time? Only He knows the answer to that. But our country can still turn to Him now, before it is too late. If we don’t, however, God’s judgment will be inevitable.

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The Power of Propaganda

Recently I tweeted a statement that was attributed to Stalin and used by Joseph Goebbels (Hitler’s propaganda minister). Goebbel said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

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All Creation Must Reject the Supreme Court Decision, Part 2

In my last article, we saw how God’s ordained day of rest is indispensable since it was established by the Creator for the good of His creation. Any tampering with that design would spell disastrous consequences.

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All Creation Must Reject the Supreme Court Decision, Part 1

Most of the arguments in support of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage have been positioned in terms of “equality,” “justice,” “fairness,” and “non-discrimination.”

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