“So, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Matt 24:33)
Yeah. If you happened to be on my subscriber list last October, you got my email. The one that wasn’t supposed to send unless the Rapture happened, or something equally apocalyptic. The one that said it was a special “last word” from me.
You got it, and so did many, many other people. Trust me, I felt pretty darn foolish! And very apologetic toward anyone I might have upset.
But the funny thing is… I don’t know why it sent. MailChimp just went rogue. Yes, I had the email drafted and set up in MailChimp, but it should only have sent in the case where I failed to cancel my special “The Rapture May Have Happened” blog post. Which I didn’t. Nothing hit my RSS feed that should have triggered that email. I had another email in place with a very similar RSS set up… and it did not go out.
Weird, weird, weird.
I was forced to conclude that, for whatever reason, the Lord wanted that email about the Rapture in circulation. That email was meant for someone, somewhere. So I decided I needed to talk on my blog about it. To put down in one place the highlights as to why I’m so sure the apocalyptic last days the Bible warns us of are very imminent. Sure enough that I drafted a blog post and email notification in case it happens. (To my great chagrin, when the email got triggered early!)
Here goes. Top four reasons I believe the end of our age (the “last of last days”—the rapture and Biblical apocalypse) are very imminent:
I think I won’t get much debate on this from people who believe the Bible is to be taken at its word. The idea that the Lord will regather the Jewish people to their land in the Last Days is all over the Bible. In the Parable of the Fig Tree (Matthew 24:32-35, Luke 21:29-33), Yeshua made this regathering the “super sign.” He uses the fig tree as an object lesson for how it’s important to know the signs of the times. It’s clear from the context—especially from a debate He had with the Pharisees earlier that very day, after which the Pharisees “understood that He was speaking about them” (Matt 21:18-45)—that the fig tree is a symbol of the nation of Israel.
Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. (Matt 24:32-34)
So… when you see the fig tree reborn…
How long is a generation? Eighty years? Ninety? And are we counting from 1948 (70 years ago), when Israel was established by the U.N., or 1967 (50 years ago), when the Israelis won back Jerusalem? The answers to these questions aren’t clear, but any way you do the math…
The clock is ticking. Time is short.
Israel back in the land is Clue #1. “He is near, right at the door.”
On the subject of the validity of Biblical prophecy. Did you know that, from the prophecies of Daniel and Ezekiel written around 600 B.C., you can work out May 14, 1948 to the day? The ancient prophets predicted the exact date the nation of Israel was restored. (Daniel 4; Ezekiel 4:4-6; Go here for the full walk-through.) In fact, modern Israel is a dramatic fulfillment of scores of prophecies. There’s a fascinating list here,
Yeshua also says in both Luke 21 and Matthew 24 that epic disasters will mark the transition at the end of our age.
Here’s something that didn’t occur to me until recently. Isn’t it interesting that, during the exact weekend we had a starry virgin giving birth up in the heavens (Sign #4, below), a hurricane coincidentally named Maria ruptured a huge dam on the ground?
A picture of water breaking if there ever was one. Odd, yes?
Did you know that the laboring woman motif is used dozens of times in the Bible, and is almost always linked to the last days or the outpouring of God’s judgment?
I’ve been quieter on the subject of disasters since the Forty Days of Repentance ended at Yom Kippur. But that doesn’t mean the disasters have gone quiet! I keep looking around to see whether things have gone back to normal–and I’m convinced they haven’t. Since Yom Kippur, we’ve suffered:
Here’s a tally of the heart-breaking toll from the California wildfires last year:
…and that’s in California alone. ☹ I’ve yet to find a good tally of the toll of 2017 wildfires nationwide—or worldwide. This past year also saw wildfires decimate areas of Spain and Portugal, Canada and Brazil.
And the unusual tropical storm activity didn’t end with Maria.
But here’s what hits me hardest. Googling “Volcano News” has been bringing up some sobering stuff.
Oh, and the enormous Yellowstone caldera is experiencing unusual seismic storms too. But experts tell us that’s nothing we should worry about… :-/ Meanwhile, wildfires raged in California, in Portugal, in Spain, in Brazil.
Many out there may accept that global warming accounts for the storms. But what about volcanic activity? Are we to believe that a degree Celsius of surface warming accounts for that too?
Think of all the passages that couple “smoke” or “thick darkness” with the wrath of the Lord:
Psalm 18:7-9, Psalm 68:2, Psalm 97:2-5, Psalm 144:5, Is 9:18-19, Is 30:27, Is 51:6, Joel 2:2, 2:30, Zeph 1:15, Acts 2:19.
I’m sure that’s not a complete list!
For me, it begs a question. Could we be watching the Lord set something up? Is all this visible tectonic activity one final warning, one last plea for us to sit up and pay heed?
The handwriting on the wall, if you will?
For the day of the Lord is coming;
Surely it is near,
A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness. (Joel 2:1-2)
Ezekiel 38 tells us that in the last days, a coalition will come against Israel. While there is debate about the exact location of Rosh and Magog–many scholars believe this refers to modern-day Russia, while others believe it’s Turkey–there’s no debate that Turkey (Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, Beth Togarmah) and Iran (Persia) are included in the coalition, along with Sudan (Kush) and Libya (Put).
We may be seeing the Ezekiel 38 lineup forming…
Many students of prophecy have flagged the significance of the fact that former foes Russia, Turkey and Iran seem to be aligning around overlapping interests in Syria.
On 11/22/17, three of these five powers met. That picture evolved further on the next day, when Sudanese President al-Bashir traveled to the southern Russian city of Sochi to meet with Putin to discuss “nuclear power cooperation.” Al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and war crimes in Darfur, requested “protection from the U.S. aggressive actions.” (Muslim logic, anyone? :-/ )
Have four of five pieces in the Ezekiel 38 prophetic puzzle just fallen into place? And is the inclusion of Syria in the picture a preliminary to the fulfillment of Isaiah 17:1, which says that Damascus will be reduced to “a ruinous heap?”
Last December, the U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that called for the withdrawal of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. A few days later, the U.N. General Assembly approved a harsh resolution condemning the U.S. move. This wasn’t a surprise, but what was a surprise was the vote tallies: 14 to 1 and 128:9. On the Security Council, only the U.S. supported Israel and Jerusalem.
Brothers and sisters, we live in a day when prophecies are leaping off the Bible’s pages and into the headlines…
“Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around…. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.” (Zech 12:2-3)
Ezekiel also says a group of nations will express concern.
“…the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder?…’ ” (Ezek 38:13)
While, again, there is not complete agreement on the modern identities of these nations, many scholars believe ancient Tarshish included southwest Britain, where tin has been mined since ancient times. If so, the young lions would be Britain’s colonial offshoots… E.g., the U.S.!
And all over the headlines last month, joint actions against Syria/Iran:
Exactly how the Ezekiel 38 war will align with other aspects of end-times prophecy (e.g., the Battle of Armageddon—Rev 16:16) is a matter of debate among scholars. We may well be on the brink of finding out.
“I am God, and there is none like me.
At the beginning I announce the end,
proclaim in advance things not yet done;
and I say that my plan will hold….” Is 46:10
I’ve posted quite a bit on the Revelation 12 Sign, and yes, I’m still a believer. I never felt it necessarily meant the Rapture would happen right away. But it seems clear to me God queued the Sign up at Creation, exactly as foretold in Revelation, for our generation. It’s just too big a coincidence otherwise.
We also had the 2014/15 Blood Moon tetrad—no, the rapture didn’t happen then either, but during the time period between the first lunar eclipse and the fourth, ISIS rose and the Syrian civil war began and the world became a whole lot bloodier for all of us. The Muslim diaspora that resulted has changed the face of Europe. I think it will be unmistakable in hindsight that the Blood Moon period represented a prophetic turning point. (Ask a Christian in Iran or Egypt whether the Great Tribulation has begun!)
Also noteworthy: the Elul 1 eclipse that cut a swath across the U.S. last August 21. Yes, solar eclipses happen regularly, but this one was seen by an estimated 220 million people—perhaps the largest audience for a total eclipse ever. And the timing, falling on the first day of this year’s Forty Days of Repentance and in dramatic proximity to the Revelation 12 Sign, seems to me to underscore its importance. As I’ve stated many times on this blog, the way both events lined up so nicely with the prophetic Fall Feasts of the Lord seemed to indicate these days aren’t “business as usual.”
Check out what Luke 21 says. Yeshua speaking!
And they [the Jewish people] will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. (Luke 21:24-28)
The first verse gives you the eviction of the Jews under Hadrian in ~135 A.D., and the 1800-year Jewish diaspora, in a single sweeping sentence! Then the context jumps to the end of the Age of the Gentiles (Church Age). Yeshua says here that the following will mark the end of the Age of the Gentiles.
I don’t claim any special prophetic gift and I’m not going to dignify this one by calling it a “sign.” But now and then the Lord speaks to me in a particularly pointed way. I fasted and prayed through most of Yom Kippur 2017. That night I had a vivid dream. I’ll spare you the details, but the dream ended with a poignant image of a door irrevocably closing—and me playing the part of the foolish virgin, trapped on the wrong side (Matt 25:1-13). Knowing I’d blown it because I wasn’t ready and there was no way I could make it right.
I don’t expect a dream I believe the Lord gave me to convince you. But trust me, I wouldn’t wish that feeling on anyone. Can you picture how happy I was to wake up? I know now how Scrooge felt after his sobering encounter with The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. When he woke up and realized the dream had passed and redemption was still an option.
Does any of this mean the Rapture (or the apocalypse) will happen this week? This month? This year? No, God is not constrained to doing anything I imagine. He is the One “able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20). But for me, it continues to build a picture that says “soon and very soon.”
Brothers and sisters, don’t get caught on the wrong side of that door…
If you’ve never opened God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus (Rom 3:23, 6:23), please please please be persuaded to do it now! It’s simple. Just tell God from your heart that you admit you’re a sinner that needs a Savior (“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23) that you’re done running your own life, and that you’re ready to make Jesus Lord of your life.
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (Rom 10:9-11)
The decision that saves you is that simple!
Simple… But no one said living it out will be easy. Especially now, in these “last of last days.”
A sincere thank you for the time and attention you’ve devoted to this post! Here are links to a few articles on Israel that might interest you.