Convergence!

Every so often a new word or phrase seems to dominate the writings and messages coming from those within the ranks of teachers, preachers, and scholars in the Biblical eschatology community. For instance; “late great” has been used with regard to the planet Earth, the United States, and the church. “Left Behind” and “blood moons” are other examples, as are the words “worldview” and “globalism.” Today the word we are hearing the most is convergence. And, if we take a critical look at the days in which we are living, and compare them to prophetic Scripture, I find this word not only to be apropos, but perhaps the most significant of all descriptive words which we have used to date.

Regardless of where you place your finger in end times prophetic Scripture; whether the writings of the Old Testament prophets, the New Testament apostolic writings, the words of Christ in the Gospels, or in His Revelation to the Apostle John, we find evidence of fulfillment converging on a daily basis. In our Lord’s Olivet discourse alone, recorded in Matthew chapter 24, we read prophetic words which today are being fulfilled as never before.

Matthew 24:5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

There has never been before in history, such a proliferation of religions and religious groups as there are today, with many being led by charismatic men or women who claim divine knowledge or special inspiration. Even secular humanism and atheism have been elevated to religion status, whether they like it or not. Yet, in all of these groups the commonality is they deny the deity and sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, there are many who believe they are eternally secure who in fact are not. Narrow is the way!

Matthew 24:6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Matthew 24:7a For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

At no time in the history of the earth have war drums beat in so many different places. In Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, Indonesia, Central America, South America, the South Pacific, armed conflict is the norm rather than the exception and nearly the entire Middle East is in flames. Conflict rages because of cultural, economic, ethnic, and religious differences and man’s inhumanity to man has never been on greater display that it is today. In the Middle East, the Islamic ideology has given rise to unprecedented persecution of Jews and Christians as well as other Muslims, resulting in mass executions, beheadings, crucifixion, disembowelment, and other horrific forms of murder.

Matthew 24:7b And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

It would take 5000 words alone to describe the crisis in food production which is being experienced worldwide today. Crop failures due to weather events, whether flood or drought, are worldwide and in many areas planting and harvests did not take place because of the conflicts raging there. The possibility of famine is a reality in many countries and food prices in the US are continually on the rise because of drought and disease. The cost of Protein (Beef, Pork, Chicken, Eggs) has risen by as much as 25% in the past year, with expectations that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

Viruses and diseases are growing worldwide, many in near pandemic proportions. The Ebola virus continues to spread in Africa and because of modern transportation, threatens the entire world. Other infectious viruses such as SARS and MRSA continue to mutate and defy antibiotic treatment, and evidence of the Plague has once again appeared in the Western US. Diseases once thought to be nearly extinct such as tuberculosis, polio, measles and the whooping-cough have returned worldwide with a vengeance (and brought to the US again by illegal aliens crossing our southern border with Mexico).

In 2010 the USGS attributed the increase in the reported number of earthquakes to a greater ability to record them, but in an article published July 1, 2014 they admitted that the number of earthquakes registering 5.0 or greater had increased by 50% over the previous 12 months and 65% over the previous 24 months. In Oklahoma the number of earthquakes greater than 3.0 have risen by 23,000% (that is a real number, not a typo) over the previous 12 months. While the Oklahoma activity has been related (whether correctly or not) to fracking, the worldwide increase of earthquake activity cannot be attributed thusly. Additionally, more closely related to the seismic activity of earthquakes is the increase in volcanic activity worldwide. Currently, there are more active volcanoes spewing forth magma and ash than at any time in recorded history.

Matthew 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The “beginning of sorrows” is a phrase that is most often related to the birth pangs experienced by a woman in labor. These labor pangs occur at a point in time when there is a physical convergence of events in the gestational process leading to the birth of a baby. I am not a physician but I was present at the birth of all four of my daughters, and I am a ranch raised cowboy who has birthed horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, as well as a great number of dogs. I can tell you that there was pain associated with absolutely every one of those births. We are living in the days of convergence, the days that the Scriptures describe as “the beginning of sorrows” and the painful birth that is about to take place is described in the Scriptures as a time of “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21

The Olivet discourse in Matthew continues beyond verse eight to describe many more details which we can expect to soon come to pass. For believers, one of the most significant of these is the very fact of the increased persecution of followers of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:9) as this time of tribulation grows nearer. We see that persecution already taking place daily around the world, especially in the Middle East, and of course there is growing evidence of intolerance of, and the persecution of, Christians in the US. However, the blessed hope of the Church, the true followers of Jesus Christ, is the Rapture described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.

Convergence quite aptly describes the growing evidence of the fulfillment of End Times prophecies. Certainly the scoffers described in 2 Peter 3:1-3 are among us today, however God’s Word is true and His prophecies will be fulfilled. The convergence is real, the “beginning of sorrows” has already begun. The Rapture of the Church is imminent, the time of Tribulation is near, and;

Jesus is coming soon!

EvenSoCome

What Really Is the Question?

A few weeks ago the seed of this article was rolling around in my head as I considered the question: Why is it so many people consider the study of Biblical prophecy to be foolishness? Knowing that approximately one-third of the Scripture is prophetic in nature I personally have dedicated my life in service to Christ, to the study and teaching of Biblical eschatology. Anyone who follows what I write is aware that I am continually calling out cultural, institutional, and mainstream “Christianity” and their so-called “churches” for abandoning sound theological doctrine and embracing a liberal theology of compromise, tolerance, and inclusiveness which is no more than dead religiosity.

Now then, since I began ruminating on the question above, the United States and the World have continued their ever accelerating descent into the Last Days, careening from crisis to crisis. From Russia and the Ukraine; to the IS in Syria, Iraq, and now Lebanon and Turkey; to Libya dissolving into anarchy; to Israel’s war against the Hamas terrorists in Gaza, and the resulting rise of anti-Semitism around the world including the US; to the many domestic crisis within the US resulting from the actions of a lawless President and his administration, not the least of which is our open southern border with Mexico. Every time you look at the news (it really doesn’t matter which venue you choose) it seems we’re faced with a new crisis, and almost predictably you will also hear some babbling leftist liberal or deliberately ignorant Islamist supporter, misquoting or taking Scripture out of context in support of the position of the narrative put forth by the “oppressed” terrorists and their liberal supporters, or for the interests of their “progressive” liberal leftist political party. And, follow me here, what boggles the mind is that one part of this group hates Christians (and Jews) and the other part of them call themselves “Christian” while denying the inerrancy of the very Scriptures they are misquoting, and the deity of Jesus Christ.

So, I believe the answer to the question above as well as the larger question as to why Scripture is so often misquoted or taken out of context, can be found within a passage that the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth. ‘“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”‘ 1 Corinthians 2:2-16

In this passage Paul tells the Corinthians that he has come to teach them about Jesus Christ, and not doing so in his own power, but in the power of the Holy Spirit. He tells them that the wisdom of God is available to them, can be revealed to them, if they love God, and this is done through His Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself promised His disciples; “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16 & 17. As He had promised them His Holy Spirit to help them He also told them; “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you” John 16:12-15. Jesus knew that they could not understand these things with a natural mind, but after He sent the Holy Spirit, their minds would be opened to the very things of God and He would bring them understanding in a spiritual way.

The Holy Spirit’s job is to teach us all things, the deep and intimate things of God. So as Paul taught the Corinthians “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” 1 Corinthians 2:14, he was telling them that in their natural state (wherein they did not have a belief in Jesus Christ as Messiah and Savior) and without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit they would not “receive (believe) the things of the Spirit of God.” In their state of unbelief they would simply see them as foolishness even though they could understand the written words. He goes on to say that they could not “know them because they are spiritually discerned” which is to say that it requires the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to have a complete grasp of the Word of God. Anyone can read the Word of God, and anyone can have a rudimentary understanding of what it says, but without a believing faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit cannot teach them spiritual truth.

In his gospel the Apostle John tells us; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” John 1:1-5. He is speaking here of Jesus Christ, Jesus is the Word! The implication is that every jot and tittle of the written Word is from God. The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy; “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16-17. If we truly believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God breathed into the writers by the Holy Spirit, then we must understand that we need Him to help us comprehend it just as much today as when it was first written. An unbeliever cannot know those things which are spiritually discerned. The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:4

The truth of the matter is the Bible is simply not open to interpretation or even analysis by the unbeliever. Without knowing Jesus you cannot know the Word. Even the rulers of Israel, during Jesus’ life, did not know Him, even though they had studied the Word of God every day of their lives. The Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees didn’t recognize their long-awaited Messiah even when He stood before them. Jesus told them; “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” John 5:39-40. They did not see the “Word” which “became flesh” because they did not want to see Jesus as the Christ. No one can see and embrace the truth of the Word of God unless they first come face-to-face with the Word of God, who is Jesus Christ. They must believe in Him for who He is and His finished work of grace for them when He paid their sin debt at Calvary. Without faith in Jesus Christ no one can accept or like truth. When you cannot accept truth you end up embracing worldly values which may satisfy your base desires, but will ultimately leave you devoid of an eternal future.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that unbelievers are intellectually incapable of grasping biblical truth. In fact they do have that capability, but because they reject the truth of the Word of God and who Jesus Christ is, they will be judged for their willful unbelief. The unbeliever or “natural man” may have an intellectual grasp of the entire gospel, but without a embracing it and accepting it as truth in his own life, he rejects God, His Son Jesus Christ, and His indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples; “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe” John 6:63 & 64. So, herein lies the answer to the question, the things of God are spiritually discerned, but unfortunately it’s not just “some” who do not believe today, it is actually a vast majority. And, because they have not the Holy Spirit, they willfully choose to not only ignore biblical prophecy, but the very Word Himself, Jesus Christ.

In 1921 Dr. C. I. Scofield wrote his “Addresses on Prophecy” and within the pages of this book I found this quote. “There is a great deal of the study of prophetic truth, and a great deal of the hearing of the exposition of prophetic truth which has no effect upon conduct or character, simply because it is heard or studied without faith. We bring to it a sort of vulgar curiosity. We desire to know what all these images, and beasts, and horns signify, believing in a way, that there is in them some unfolding of that which is to come to pass, if one can but hit upon the correct interpretation: We may come to the study of prophetic truth with that in mind and derive no profit whatever. It is therefore a believing understanding of prophetic truth which has an influence on either character or conduct.”

As we continue to study biblical eschatology it is my hope and prayer that all of those who blatantly abuse the Word of God will have a face-to-face encounter with Jesus Christ, which transforms them from their liberal ignorance into an active faith. It is also my prayer that in faith they will begin to study and understand God’s prophetic Word. When anyone receives Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior their life begins to change. The natural man that he was, begins to be replaced through the process of sanctification, by the new man who is in Christ Jesus. As he grows in this relationship, the Holy Spirit becomes more and more a reality in his life as he studies the Word of God. The presence of the Holy Spirit in his life enables his mind to know and believe the truth of the Word.

Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Does His Holy Spirit indwell you? Those of us who study the prophetic Word will tell you that the time to make a decision for Jesus Christ is growing very short. We are living in the Last Days, Jesus Christ will Rapture His Church, and a time of Great Tribulation will then enveloped the earth, followed by the physical return of Jesus Christ to the earth to set up His Kingdom.

Jesus is coming soon!

EvenSoCome