The Approaching Darkness

The Tribulation period has many names. Several are found in the disturbing prophecies of Zephaniah:

“The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers” (Zeph. 1:14-16).

The harshness of this coming day is revealed by five descriptive couplets:

1) Trouble and distress, 2) wasteness and desolation, 3) darkness and gloominess, 4) clouds and thick darkness, and 5) trumpet and alarm.

All five couplets are important, but for the purpose of this article, notice the words “darkness” and “thick darkness.” The day of wrath will be a day of darkness that will turn into a day of thick or intense darkness.

The prophet Joel saw a plague of locusts in his day that moved his mind forward to this coming day. He said, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations” (Joel 2:1-2).

Joel is not the only one who said there has never been and never will be another day like it. Daniel and Jesus said the same thing (Dan.12:1; Matt. 24:21). But many Muslims do not understand the severity of this. Some actually want to start a war in the Middle East to trigger the day of the LORD (they call it the day of Islam), because they believe it will hasten the return of their Mahdi (their guided one).

They long for his return because they believe he will lead Muslim forces to victory over the West in the Battle of Armageddon (they call it the Mother of all Battles) and speed up the establishment of Islam as the one-world religion and government.

But God said, “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” (Amos 5:18-20).

The Tribulation period will be a day of judgment, not joy. People will flee from one danger and encounter a greater danger. The darkness will be very dark and there will be no light or brightness in it.

Some do not believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture, but Paul was writing about the day of the Lord when he said, “But of the times and the seasons, bretheren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they [the unbelievers] shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them [the unbelievers], as travail upon a woman with child; and they [the unbelievers] shall not escape.

But ye, brethren [believers], are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye [believers] are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us [believers] to wrath (the Tribulation period is a day of wrath; see Zeph. 1:14 above), but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:2-9).

This day of darkness (the Tribulation period) will begin when the Antichrist confirms a covenant with “many” for seven-years of peace in the Middle East (Dan. 9:27a). Unbelievers will quickly proclaim “peace and safety” and sudden destruction will come upon them (1 Thess. 5:3). The Antichrist will establish an office in Israel for himself and some of his international troops (Dan.11:45). That is where he will be when he meets his end at the Second Coming of Jesus (Rev. 19:19-20; also read Rev. 8:12-13).

Now, recall that Israel and Hamas were at war for seven weeks during July and August 2014. During this time, “many” called for a ceasefire (Egypt, Jordan, England, France, Germany, the U.S., the 16-nation UN Security Council and others) and there were twelve ceasefire’s, with Hamas breaking the first eleven. This “many” used terms such as “sustainable ceasefire,” “lasting ceasefire,” “a long-term ceasefire,” “talks on a final Israeli-PA peace deal,” “a durable peace,” etc.

Some even demanded a ceasefire. It was even reported that the PA plans to ask the UN Security Council to draw up proposal to resolve the conflict (propose a seven-year ceasefire or peace treaty???), set a date for its implementation and enforce it by sending international troops to Israel (see Dan. 11:45 above). U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry even tweeted that Israel needs “peace and security” a phrase that means “peace and safety” (see 1 Thess. 5:3 above).

And it was reported that the UN is ready to force a resolution based on the two-state solution (the division of Israel, Jerusalem, etc.) on the two parties and compel them to abide by it (trouble for Israel; Zeph. 1:15 and Dan. 12:1 above; Jer. 30:7).

In the coming weeks (some say over the next four months), the U.S. is to consolidate all of these ceasefire and peace treaty demands into one document to be discussed, voted on and enforced by the UN. Of course, Pres. Obama claims to have Israel’s back, but, to put it mildly, many people don’t trust him.

I don’t know what will be in the combined document of the “many” that Pres. Obama will come up with (It may have a time factor of seven-years and it may not), but I know that there will be a seven-year ceasefire in the future and things are definitely moving in that direction. But even if Pres. Obama draws up a seven-year ceasefire, the Tribulation period won’t begin until the Antichrist confirms it. And just to be clear, I believe the Rapture and several wars must take place first (Psa. 83; Isa. 17; Ezek. 38-39).

Anyway, the day of darkness won’t overtake believers (1 Thess. 5:4). God’s day children (1 Thess. 5:5) could soon leave, the sun could set soon and what appears to be the approaching darkness will be thick and very dark.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymond.duck@yahoo.com

Goodbye Lady Liberty

Following his famous sermon on Pentecost, the church “continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). And it wasn’t long until Peter preached another famous sermon (Acts 3:12-26). He addressed the men of Israel and eventually said, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21). These are tough words, but I believe Peter told these Jews that God will send a time of refreshing to Israel, then God will send Jesus back, and then Jesus will begin the time of restoration (restore Israel’s position among the nations; restore morality, peace, justice, righteousness, etc. on earth). It intrigues me that God in His foreknowledge knows when the times of refreshing and time of restitution are.

But consider that God gave all of the Promised Land to Abraham and His descendents (the Jews); that God told Abraham that His descendants would live in another land and serve them (live in Egypt and be slaves there) for 400 years; and the reason why they couldn’t have the Promised Land right away was because the iniquity of the Amorites who lived in the Promised Land was not yet full (Gen. 15:12-16). God loves everyone, including the Amorites, so He would not allow the Jews to occupy the Promised Land for another 400 years because the sin of the Amorites was not yet great enough for them to be destroyed. But when the 400 years came and went and the Amorites had reached God’s limit on defiling the land, He would cast them out (Lev. 18:24-28; I Kings 21:25-26).

And consider that God told Judah that He had called upon the people to repent many times, but they did not listen so He was going to use Babylon to destroy Judah, capture many Jews in the north part of the country and make them serve Babylon for 70 years (Jer. 25:1-11). Then, He added that because of Babylon’s sin He would destroy Babylon 70 years later (Jer. 25:12). Before it happened God revealed Judah’s fall and the time of Babylon’s fall (70 years after Judah’s fall). But it did not stop there. God identified several other nations that would drink the “wine cup of this fury” (be destroyed) at that time (Jer. 25:15-26).

Among other things, a cup is a unit of measurement. David’s cup was filled with joy (Psa. 23:5). The believer’s cup is filled with salvation (Psa. 116:13; Jn. 7:37-39). Jesus’ cup was filled with the wrath of God toward the sins of the world (Matt. 26:39). The coming one-world religion’s cup will be filled with abominations and filthiness (Rev. 17:4).

The “wine cup of this fury” contained the wrath of God toward the sins of those nations. Instead of pouring His wrath upon these nations as they sinned, God poured His wrath into a cup. As time passed, the level of His wrath in the cup slowly rose until the “wine cup of this fury” was full. God didn’t punish them every time they sinned, but He was aware of their sins. And their sins caused His wrath to build until His cup was full and He destroyed them.

This process is ongoing, but it can be interrupted and God’s wrath can even be removed from the “cup” by humility, prayer and turning to Him (II Chron. 7:14). Absent that, and I don’t believe it is going to happen in the United States, the cup that contains America’s sins will continue to fill until there is no more room. Then, the Bible teaches that God will remove a leader (Dan. 2:21), or He will destroy a nation (Dan. 5:25-28), or He will give a nation the basest of men (a terrible leader) to rule over it (Dan. 4:17).

God does not change (Heb. 13:8) and it seems that the United States now has the basest of men for a leader (lying, spying, breaking the law, abortion, homosexuality, etc.). This is a clear indication that the cup of God’s wrath is full. It explains why our President’s lying staff, our cover-it-up Senate, our really angry (but never do anything about it) House and the predominantly silent Main Stream Media are allowing the destruction of America’s Biblical foundations. Goodbye Lady Liberty. Your “cup” is full and it grieves some of us to ponder your future.

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do (Psa. 11:3)? See Psa. 11:4-7. What will happen to the wicked (verse 6)? Drink from the cup of salvation before it is too late.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymondduck@bellsouth.net

Without Excuse

As I understand it, God sends His wrath from heaven against sinful people because He created them with the ability to know the truth, but they suppress the truth. People have known about Him and His power since He created everything so those who suppress the truth are really without excuse (Rom. 1:18-20).

Consider those who lived in Judah during Old Testament Times. About 140 years before it happened, God told the Jews they would be taken to Babylon (Mic. 4:10). About 100 years before it happened, God told King Hezekiah Judah’s treasures would be taken to Babylon (Isa. 39:1-6). About 35 years before it happened, God told Huldah the judgment of God would fall on Judah (II Chron. 34:22-28). About 20 years before it happened, God told Habakkuk Babylon would destroy Judah (Hab. 1:5-11). And shortly before it happened, God told Judah Babylon would destroy them because they had ignored His words (Jer. 25:8-11). The Jews were given many chances to repent, but they didn’t do it so their destruction was their own fault because they chose not to listen.

Many people today have the same attitude that the people of Judah had. But instead of speaking through prophets like He did in Judah’s day, God speaks through prophecy writers, pastors, church members, family members and in many other ways. If they won’t listen, He will eventually decide that they have had enough chances. Then His judgment will fall and they will be without excuse.

As I see it, God is kind, loving, merciful, patient and full of grace. He is also holy, righteous and just: characteristics that require Him to deal with sin. He rules over this universe and He has told us how He wants us to live. To live any other way is sin. He doesn’t judge people without reason. He gives people many chances. Sinners can be forgiven, but only by putting their faith in Jesus and giving up their sins (John 14:6). If people choose to ignore this, He will be patient, but absent repentance He will eventually act and it will be their fault.

Also, as I see it, many people don’t want to hear Bible prophecy because the idea that a holy, righteous and just God will send judgment upon people, nations or the world scares them. Some may not be saved or they may have loved ones that are not saved and they prefer to ignore the fact that individuals, nations and the world are accountable to God. They would rather suppress the truth than to face the fact that they or their loved ones need to repent or God will eventually hold them accountable. It is especially scary when it is loved ones that are unwilling to repent. The thought of what might happen to them is difficult for kind-hearted people to think about.

Others don’t want to hear Bible prophecy not because it scares them, but because they don’t believe it, they are turned off by it, they are afflicted by self-righteousness, they have been disillusioned by false prophets, or whatever. They have reached the point where they prefer to hear what the god of their imagination says, than what the God of the Bible says. They prefer to heap unto themselves teachers that will tickle their ears. Those who do that are trying to silence God in their life.

Nevertheless, I believe God wants Christians to keep trying to witness to them. He loves them and He wants them to hear it whether they want to hear it or not. He wants them to have many chances to be saved whether they want them or not. Every time they are told about what is going to happen, how close we may be and what they need to do God is giving them a chance to repent, accept Jesus and go to heaven. If they choose not to do it, that is their decision. And they are not really silencing Christians or silencing God in their life, they are silencing themselves at the Judgment. When they stand before Him there will be no acceptable excuses for ignoring His will.

So keep watching, keep witnessing and respect your calling as a Watchman (Ezek. 3:15-19). In so doing, your heart is right with God whether others listen or not. If they listen, they will be saved and you have a crown. If they don’t listen, it is their decision and it is not your fault. Don’t think of them as though they are going to die in the future. Think of them as though they are already dead and God is really giving them a chance to live.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymondduck@bellsouth.net