Friday, January 5, 2018
Welcome to the year of our Lord Jesus Christ, AD 2018! He was born of a virgin, taught truth and salvation, was killed on a cross for our sins and buried, but rose from the dead and ascended to His Father in heaven. His life marked the division of AD from BC on world calendars. No one in world history has had such power and influence in life, death and resurrection.
Begin this year by proclaiming the glory of the Lord. “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Rev. 4:8). And “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Rev. 5:12).
With the help of the Lord Jesus by His Word and Holy Spirit, I will continue teaching the imminent tribulation start and equipping the saints in the end-time knowledge God has so graciously given to all who by faith believe His Word. Let’s begin with the event Jesus taught was for our knowing the nearness of the time of the end: His parable of the fig tree.
The fig tree being Israel, (Hos. 9:10; Joel 1:7), Jesus said, “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, [things of His Olivet Discourse] know that it is near – at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matt. 24:32–35).
At unique points of biblical history a generation can be found to mean forty years or one hundred years. But generally, and in context to Jesus’ parable of the fig tree, God refers to a generation as the normal lifespan of a man, saying, “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years” (Psa. 90:10). This is important in discerning the truth.
Jesus’ parable concerns the rebirth of Israel. Upon the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus the Roman emperor in AD 70, Israel ceased from being a nation. But God foretold the rebirth of Israel at Ezekiel 37:1–14. Israel’s rebirth marks the beginning of the end of this age. It’s now been seventy years since Israel was reborn as a nation. I believe the next ten years will fulfill the seven-year tribulation, Antichrist’s role, the great tribulation, and Christ gathering His saints in the rapture just as Jesus said, “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31).
From AD 70 Israel lay desolate and overrun by foreigners until May 14, 1948 when David Ben Gurion and a few other leading Jews declared Israel’s statehood. That same day U.S. President Harry S. Truman led the world in acknowledging Israel as a sovereign nation. The very next day, “Arab armies invaded Israel and the first Arab-Israeli war began.” (Source: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). As biblically foretold, that conflict rages today.
That conflict will cease, however, by a quasi-peace agreement when Antichrist “shall confirm a covenant with many for one week” (Dan. 9:27), meaning seven years, which begins the seven-year tribulation. The world will rejoice at the man who brought peace to these warring nations. But God warned that “when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:3).
Sudden destruction comes when, “in the middle of the week he [Antichrist] shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate” (Dan. 9:27). This quasi-peace “covenant with many” will allow Orthodox Jews to rebuild their third Temple and again offer Old Testament-style animal sacrifices, see Rev. 11:1.
After that sacrificial worship runs its course of 3 1/2 years, (42 months), Antichrist, who made the “covenant”, breaks it and “causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev. 13:16–17).
This is what Jesus called the “great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:21). This is when Satan’s full strength and wrath will be poured out on humanity through Antichrist, but especially upon all who claim faith in Christ Jesus. True Christians will be his main target of annihilation.
In the last two millennia there was another time over many centuries when Satan’s henchmen tried to kill every true Christian – and it came through the men who claimed to be God’s Vicar on earth! The brutal torture and death of tens of millions of innocent Christians came at the hands of the popes of Rome and their Jesuit priest death squads!
God said history repeats itself. “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9). From their beginning the popes of Rome appointed themselves as the Vicar of Christ, but when people turned to the God of the Bible and His Christ, and refused to honor the popes as Vicar, and refused to pay the evil papal indulgences, they were hunted down, tortured and murdered in cold blood! It’s coming again!
The pride of the papal throne goes before its destruction, but not before it tries once more to destroy the true people of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Vatican was the only country that refused to acknowledge Israel as a sovereign nation until it made its own agreement with Israel on 12/30/1993, “The Fundamental Agreement Between the Holy See And the State of Israel”.
If you think Pope Francis is the kind, humble and gentle pope the world believes him to be, you would be very mistaken. First, understand that Pope Francis is foremost a Jesuit Priest. He’s the first Jesuit pope, and he, together with all popes, still desires the worship of the religious world.
In the last several years there’s been a collaborative move to unite evangelical Christianity and Roman Catholicism. Many evangelical leaders and pastors are now deceived by Pope Francis. But beware, in 2018 there will be an even greater surge of Reformation denominations and evangelical leaders finding unity with Roman Catholicism. The formation of such an apostate alliance, however, is of the devil.
Speaking of the great end-time harlot filled with wickedness, God said, “The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Rev. 17:4–6). This is because she murders the saints.
Do a computer search of “purple and scarlet”, then click images. You will see Roman Catholic popes, Cardinals and Bishops proudly “arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones”. Read Revelation 17 and 18 and seek God’s wisdom and understanding in this.
There are two types of end-time women in Scripture: the one represents the true Church, but the other, the false church and agents of Satan. The woman of the true Church, “the freewoman” is described at Galatians 4:21–31, and is the woman who, at the time of the great tribulation, “fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days” (Rev. 12:6).
The woman of the false church with her many agents, physically pursues and destroys all the saints of God she can find. It happened before and it will happen again, but on a much greater scale. This time the false church will assert its rule and influence globally, for she is “the great harlot who sits on many waters…The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues” (Rev. 17:1, 15). Roman Catholicism is everywhere.
God warned that the end-times “will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:35–36).
We cannot “be counted worthy to escape all these things” in our strength. We are not sufficient in ourselves. We need Christ to cleanse and purge our lives from sin and unbelief, and trust Him in all circumstances. Daily we must be quick to repent and confess our sins that Christ might be enthroned in our hearts to overcome unbelief and sin, and be set apart to Jesus the Son of God.
Marlin J. Yoder