בְּאַחֲרִ֥ית הַיָּמִ֖ים תִּתְבּ֥וֹנְנוּ בָֽהּ
In the latter days you will understand it.
‘Great turmoil on all the inhabitants of the lands.’
‘And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. (I)So nation was [b]destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity.’ 2 Chronicles 15.5-6.
This passage from the Bible describing the situation about 2900 years ago sounds like situation we are seeing in the world today. We see a whole number of crises are hitting the world.
- Global debt has reached $250 trillion with economists warnings of a potential crisis greater than 2008, which could bring down the world economic system.
- Environmentalists are warning that we have only a short time to save the world, but we are not doing nearly enough to do so, as natural disasters increase, threatening the end of civilisation.
- War, bad government, poverty and drug fuelled crime gangs have brought some nations to the brink of total collapse, sending millions of refugees in search of a safer home in richer nations, but destabilising them in the process.
- Growing conflict between Russia and the West. Breakdown of arms limitation treaties and weapons of mass destruction created. Threats of new forms of warfare involving cyber attacks on a nation’s infrastructure, able to bring down its electric grid or water supplies.
- The Middle East is racked with conflicts, with a variety of causes – Islamist terrorism and fundamentalism, tribal conflicts, corrupt governments and the 1400 year old split between Sunni and Shiite Islam. Christians driven out of lands they have lived in for centuries. Israel threatened with destruction by Iran and its allies.
- In Europe and North America the widespread abandonment of Christianity is leading to a spiritual void and confusion. A breakdown of family life and moral values in society, leading to growing disfunction of society at all levels. Violence, drug and alcohol abuse, minority groups, especially the LGBT lobby imposing their views and lifestyle on society. More and more people are suffering from physical and mental health issues and social services are unable to cope.
You can hear about this all the time in the news, but there is one piece of information, which the media never reveals. All these things line up with the prophecies of the Bible for the last days of this age. Here are some examples:
- There will be an increase in wars, famines, plagues and earthquakes. Luke 21.10-11.
- The earth will be full of violence ‘as in the days of Noah’ and many people will be afraid of what is going to happen. Luke 17.26-27, Luke 21.25-6, Genesis 6.11. Lawlessness will abound. Matthew 24.12, 2 Thessalonians 2.1-12.
- There will be sexual immorality ‘as in the days of Lot’ (Sodom and Gomorrah). Genesis 19, Luke 17.28-9, Matthew 24.12, Romans 1.24-27, 2 Timothy 3.1-9.
- There will be widespread pollution of the earth and destruction of the environment. Isaiah 24, Revelation 8.6-11.
- There will be a restoration of the Jewish people to Israel. There will be a conflict over Jerusalem which will involve all nations of the world. Ezekiel 36-9, Zechariah 12-14, Luke 21.20-24, Revelation 16.16.
- There will be a globalisation process out of which an antichrist government will emerge. Revelation 13.
- There will be an increase in technology and travel. Daniel 12.4.
- There will be false prophets who will lead people astray and cause confusion about God and salvation. Matthew 24.5, 24.23-27, Revelation 17.1-6.
- There will be an attack on the basic truths of the Bible and persecution of Christians. Matthew 24.9-11, 2 Timothy 4.2-5, 2 Peter 3.1-9.
- The message of the Gospel will reach all nations despite opposition and persecution. Matthew 24.9-14, Matthew 28.18-20.
Where is leading?
Out of all this the Bible prophesies that there will be a time of the Great Tribulation, a unique period of trouble on earth, unlike any that has been before or ever shall be again. Jesus said, ‘For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.’ Matthew 24.21-22. If God did not cut short this time it would bring an end to life on earth.
In a parallel passage in Luke 21.25-28 Jesus said ‘There will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, 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. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.’
The word used in the Greek text for the ‘distress of nations with perplexity’ is ‘aporia’ which means ‘no way out’, in other words a crisis with no solution. So when you see such a crisis coming on the nations of the earth, be ready to meet Jesus because He is coming soon.
Scriptures in Daniel and Revelation indicate that the Great Tribulation period will be seven years long, with a dividing point at the middle of the tribulation period (3 ½ years). The book of Revelation chapters 6 to 19 gives details on this period. During this time the following will happen:
- The four horsemen of the Apocalypse will ride out bringing false peace, war, famine and death. Revelation 6.
- A great multitude of people, Jews and Gentiles, will turn to Jesus Christ as Saviour. Revelation 7.
- A series of disasters / judgements will fall on the earth bringing great destruction and large scale death. Revelation 6, 8-9, 15-16.
- One known as the Beast or the Antichrist will come to power. He will be given power by the devil and will bring in a dictatorial world government in which you cannot buy or sell without ‘the Mark of the Beast.’ Revelation 13
- There will be a final world war (Armageddon), centring on Israel. Revelation 16, 19 (see also many prophecies in the Old Testament, especially Zechariah 12-14).
- At this time Jesus will return. He will come this time with all divine power at His disposal as King of kings and Lord of lords. He will bring an end to war, overcome evil and judge the world in righteousness. Revelation 19.
- He will set up His Messianic Kingdom for 1000 years on earth reigning from Jerusalem bringing peace and justice to the world. During this time Satan will be bound and unable to deceive the nations. Revelation 20, also Isaiah 2, Ezekiel 40-48, Zechariah 14 and other passages in the Old Testament.
- After the 1000 years are over, Satan will be released for a brief while, set off his final rebellion against the Lord after which he will be thrown into hell, along with all who are on his side. The present earth and heavens (universe) will be burned up and God will create a new heaven and new earth in which the redeemed will live forever. Revelation 20-21.
The hope for the believer.
Before He touches down on the earth for the Second Coming the Lord Jesus will take all who believe in Him out of the world into His presence in the event known as the Rapture of the Church. Paul describes this event in 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18:
‘For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.’
Jesus said this event will happen at any time, unexpectedly: ‘But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only … Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’ Matthew 24.36-44.
The emphasis on the unexpectedness of this event and need to be ready for it to happen at any time leads many to believe that it will happen before the Great Tribulation begins. This means that those who have a saving faith in the Lord Jesus now will be snatched away by the Lord and taken to safety. Those taken will then return with the glorified Lord Jesus at His Second Coming to earth, in glorified bodies to reign with Him during His Millennial kingdom. If you want to know my reasons for coming to this conclusion, get my DVD set ‘The Rapture, the Great Tribulation and the Millennial Reign of the Messiah’, also the CD of my talk on Matthew 24 on the timing of Messiah’s coming.
Paul described this coming event as the ‘blessed hope’ of the church and tells us how we should live in the light of this coming event: ‘For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.’ Titus 2.11-14.
The dust of Jerusalem and the last generation.
An extremely rare, minuscule biblical stone weight inscribed in ancient Hebrew script with the word “beka” was discovered in rubble taken from excavations at the foundations of the Western Wall. The “beka,” a First Temple-period weight measure used by pilgrims paying their half-shekel tax before ascending to the Temple Mount, was recently discovered by a volunteer in the City of David’s wet sifting project in Jerusalem’s Emek Tzurim National Park.
In Exodus 38.26 we find the word ‘beka’ used of the weight for the gift brought by the Jewish people for the maintenance of the Temple: “a beka for [a]each man (that is, half a shekel, according to the shekel of the sanctuary), for everyone included in the numbering from twenty years old and above, for 603,550 [people].”
Archaeologist Eli Shukron, who directed the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority Shukron said in a press release, “When the half-shekel tax was brought to the Temple during the First Temple period, there were no coins, so they used silver ingots. In order to calculate the weight of these silver pieces they would put them on one side of the scales and on the other side they placed the Beka weight. The Beka was equivalent to the half-shekel, which every person from the age of 20 years and up was required to bring to the Temple.”
“This is a word that is used both inside and outside of the Bible. You can see beka written in the Bible and what it was used for, and there you have it,” he said.
“This three thousand-year-old Beka weight, inscribed with ancient Hebrew was likely used in the First Temple, anchoring once again, the deep historical connection of the Jewish People to Jerusalem,” said Doron Spielman, Vice President of the City of David Foundation which funded the excavation.
Israel has a passion for archaeology and delights in finding items which connect the Jewish people today to the Hebrews who lived in the land in the times of the Bible. Discovering items with Hebrew writing on them in Jerusalem is seen as a justification for Israel’s claim to sovereignty over this city and the land of Israel. It is also seen as an answer to the claim that today’s Israelis are an alien invading force taking the land from its rightful Arab owners.
This is a fulfilment of the words of the Psalmist written perhaps at the time this beka stone was dropped in the ground in Jerusalem: ‘But You, O Lord, shall endure forever, and the remembrance of Your name to all generations. You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favour her, yes, the set time, has come. For Your servants take pleasure in her stones, and show favour to her dust. So the nations shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth Your glory. For the Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory. He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer. This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.’ Psalm 102.12-18.
The Psalmist sees a time coming when the Lord will have mercy on Zion and the Jewish people will return to their ancient capital city. At that time it says that ‘Your servants take pleasure in her stones and show favour to her dust.’ As the archaeologists search through the dust of Jerusalem they discover stones and fragments which point to the truth of the Bible record and also vindicate the claim of the Jewish people to Jerusalem as their capital city now, despite the fierce opposition of the nations of the world.
The Psalmist goes on to say that this shall be written for ‘the generation to come.’ The Hebrew phrase is ‘le dor acharon’ which can also be translated the ‘last generation.’ The last generation before what? Again the Psalmist gives us the answer to this ‘The Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory.’
This verse tells us two important things. Firstly the one who is behind the end time building up of Zion (the restoration of Israel and Jerusalem to the Jewish people) is the Lord Himself. He is delivering on His covenant that He would give to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob (the children of Israel) a multitude of descendants and the title deeds of ownership of the land of Israel (Genesis 15, 17, 26.2-5, 28.13-15, Exodus 6.2-8). If Israel is dispersed and scattered from the land as a result of disobedience to the Lord or unbelief, God will cause them to return in His time (Deuteronomy 28, 30), because of the covenant made with their fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). Whatever modern Israelis believe or do not believe about God and the promises of the Bible, the Lord is at work, overruling historical events and bringing back the people of Israel to the land of Israel and restoring Zion.
As we read in Jeremiah 31.10: “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, (Hebrew ‘Goyim’ = Gentiles) and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’ Jeremiah 31.10 According to Jeremiah 30.24 this will happen in the period known as the last days: ‘In the latter days (be acharit ha yamim) you will consider / understand it.’
So again we ask the question, ‘The last days, the last generation before what?’ The Psalmist says ‘The Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory.’ The one who appears is the Messianic King, who is also the Lord appearing in glory. This ties in with a number of prophecies in the Hebrew Bible, including Zechariah 14, when the Lord comes at the last battle over Jerusalem: ‘Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east.’ Zechariah 14.3-4.
Psalm 2 is a Messianic Psalm which speaks about God’s intervention at a time when the nations of the world are coming together to oppose God’s purposes and the Messiah:
‘Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” Psalm 2.1-3
‘His Anointed’ in Hebrew is m’shiacho which means His Messiah. In other words these nations are going to be anti-Messiah or anti-Christ. They want to remove the restraining influence of God’s law and take counsel against God’s purposes. Exactly what the nations are doing today as the spirit of antichrist and lawlessness takes possession of the world system. Jesus gave one of the signs of the last days as lawlessness, saying ‘Because wickedness is increased, most men’s love will grow cold.’ The word for wickedness in Greek is ‘anomia’ which means against the ‘nomos’ or law of God. The nations will also be against God’s purposes for Israel.
On 3rd December 2018 the UN General Assembly, which represents the nations on earth in our time, approved six anti-Israel resolutions, including two that reject Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. The Temple Mount, the location of the two ancient Jewish temples, which stood on the site in Jerusalem’s Old City for a total of nearly a thousand years, was referred to only by its Muslim name, the Haram al Sharif. UN Secretary General Guterres said that Israeli and Palestinian leaders must recognise a two-state resolution to the conflict ‘with borders based on the 1967 lines and Jerusalem as the capital of both states – East Jerusalem being the capital of the Palestinian state.” This means that Israel must withdraw from the Old City of Jerusalem and all its settlements around the city on the eastern side. This is also the minimum demand for peace from the Palestinian side, but Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu has said many times that Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty remains the capital of Israel.
This conflict lines up with Zechariah 12.2-3, another prophecy of the last days, where God says:
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”
All the nations of the earth speaks of the United Nations. As they come against God’s purposes for building up Zion, they will discover His wrath and indignation. Back in Psalm 2 we read:
‘He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree”:
The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” Psalm 2.4-9
He advises the nations to be wise and ‘kiss (worship) the Son’ and trust in Him as they repent and believe. Psalm 2.10-12. The references to the Son in this Psalm point again to Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, who is the Son of God, and who is coming as Messiah of Israel to claim His inheritance in Zion and in the nations. He will rule over the nations at His coming and settle once and for all the issue of who Jerusalem belongs to.
All of this ties in with the words of Jesus in the New Testament. He spoke about the dispersion of the Jewish people from Jerusalem following the destruction of the Temple and of Jerusalem in Luke 21.20-24 and also implied their return to Jerusalem:
‘But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.’
From this we see that the dispersion of the Jews will not be a permanent condition. The day will come when Jerusalem will no longer be ‘trampled’ or ruled by the Gentiles and ‘the fig tree’ of Israel’s national life will blossom again:
‘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, know that it is near—at the doors!’ Matthew 24.32-33, see also Luke 21.29-33.
The fig tree is used as a symbol of Israel’s national life in Hosea 9.10 and Jeremiah 24. Jesus spoke of the fig tree that would be ‘cut down’ if it did not bear fruit (Luke 13.6-9). He cursed the fig tree that did not bear fruit as a result of which it withered away (Matthew 21.19). Both these passages spoke of the coming withering of the national life of Israel after the disaster of the Jewish revolt and the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in AD 70.
So the budding of the fig tree is the reversal of this process, causing the revival of the national life of the Jewish people in the land of Israel, which has taken place in our time. Jesus said when you see this happening you know it is a sign of something much greater to follow, the return of the Messiah. The budding of the fig tree – the rebirth of Israel as a nation along with all the other signs of the second coming which are taking place in our time – is a wake up call to the world that Jesus is coming back.
So to come back to our theme from Psalm 102, when the Lord builds up Zion, bringing the return of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and the land of Israel, He will appear in His glory. This wonderful event is on its way as we see the Jewish people back in the land and taking pleasure in the stones of Jerusalem, while the antichrist nations gather together to fight against the Lord and His purposes. The last word will be with the returning Messiah, as He appears in power and glory to bring an end to war over Jerusalem and to set up His Messianic kingdom.
‘And the Lord shall be King over all the earth in that day.’ Zechariah 14.9
It’s not easy to leave the EU.
So said French President Macron at the Salzburg summit of EU leaders in September. It’s not easy to write about it for this magazine either, because whatever I write now, the situation will have changed by the time the magazine gets into print in January.
At the time of writing (December 13th) Mrs May has delayed the vote on her Brexit deal while she tries to get some concessions out of the EU, with the hope that it can then be accepted by parliament. A majority of parliament are set against the deal and will vote it down, while the EU have said that it won’t change the deal on offer, so that looks like a lost cause. Jeremy Corbyn says the Tories have to make way for Labour to form a government and put through the deal they propose. Labour’s proposal appears to be to leave us about 90% still in the EU as opposed to Mrs May’s which leaves us about 50% still in. The Tory Brexiteers want their own more radical deal in place, but as things stand they have no chance of getting such a deal accepted in the EU or parliament, so that looks like a lost cause too.
That leaves two possibilities, no deal, which Tory Brexiteers would be happy with, or no Brexit, which much of parliament would be happy with, but which would be seen as a betrayal of the 17 million people who voted for Brexit in June 2016. This is now on the table after the EU court of justice has ruled that the UK can unilaterally revoke its Article 50 request to leave the EU and thus reverse Brexit. No Brexit is clearly the preferred option of most of parliament and the British Establishment, led by the BBC, which has campaigned against Brexit since day one of the vote. There are now calls for that option to be put in place by a second referendum in which people will be subjected to immense pressure to vote to remain in the EU.
Clearly there are ‘dark forces at work’ as Dominic Raab said when he quit as Brexit Secretary after learning what was in Mrs May’s deal. In Isaiah 24.16 we read about the ‘treacherous dealers who deal very treacherously’ in the last days’ scenario.
After the Brexit vote in 2016 I wrote in Light for the Last Days: ‘The EU has always been a key part of the grander strategy by the global elite to destroy national sovereignty and bring in a world government, through eventually amalgamating the EU with other trading blocs. The EU was created by a Western elite who have been surreptitiously working to build a global government. To this end the EU has spent half a century pursuing a goal of continual expansion and ever-closer union within its borders. Now Britain has had the nerve to reverse this process and vote to exit the EU. This goes against the global government agenda.’
Back in January 2018 I wrote in the Prophetic Witness magazine about ‘Best for Britain’, a pro EU group, backed by international globalists like George Soros. They have been campaigning to frustrate Brexit and keep Britain in Europe, with remarkable success. Their plan involved:
- Giving parliament the last word on any Brexit deal.
- Using the Scottish and Irish situation to maximise problems for Brexit. They said ‘The Irish border question will be the crunch point that could sink Brexit.’
- Changing the Labour Party policy on the EU line and working to bring Labour to power and a second referendum in which public opinion would be pressed into voting to remain in the EU.
From the EU’s side they have done everything they could to make it difficult to leave. We should not be surprised at this, knowing that the nature of the EU is to take sovereignty from independent nation states and transfer it to the Union. Giving sovereignty back to nation states once they have joined the EU is against their rules.
The European Parliament’s Brexit Co-ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, has said Britain cannot be allowed to take back full control of its borders. Verhofstadt gave a speech to the European Parliament in which he blamed the crisis in the EU on the fact that ‘member states are reluctant to transfer new sovereignty and powers to the European Union. The only way out of this crisis is a new transfer of powers to the European Union and the European Institutions.’ France’s President Macron is joining with Germany’s Angela Merkel to push for deeper EU integration with a single Eurozone budget and a European army. Mrs Merkel spoke at an event in Berlin, titled ‘Between Globalisation and National Sovereignty’, saying: “In this day nation states must today – should today, I say – be ready to give up sovereignty.”
There is a growing resistance to this process within Europe. Both Macron and Merkel are losing power in their own countries, while Eurosceptic parties have taken power in Hungary, Italy, Poland and Austria. The Italian government is now on a collision course with Brussels over its budget and threatens to cause a crash in the currency if it defaults on its debts, which looks highly likely. A number of commentators are saying that the Euro currency as it is today is unsustainable and may not survive.
France is also seething with anger at the policies of President Macron, as the recent demonstrations in Paris and other French cities, have shown. The unrest is said to be linked with an anti-globalisation, anti-EU movement in the country. Senior politicians are also warning of the ‘Fracturing of France,’ a breakdown of law and order in the suburbs of big cities, as radical Islamists take them over and seek to install a ‘substitution civilisation.’ Philippe de Villiers, a French politician and novelist, said “We may be living the end of a civilisation – ours.”
The Islamisation of Europe and the social problems caused by mass migration is fuelling a right-wing reaction which is challenging EU policies. Hungary, Austria, Italy and much of eastern Europe have governments which wish to stop migration at the external borders of the EU and limit freedom of movement across internal national borders.
Brussels is ordering these nations to open up their borders to migrants. In the end they many need to take control by cracking down on dissent on the issues of migration and the economy and banning opposition political parties. The EU parliament has passed a motion calling on EU member states to ban ‘neo-Nazi and fascist’ groups and to set up special police forces to combat hate crimes and hate speech and counteract the spread of “fascism, racism and xenophobia.”
The problem with this is that although there are those who are racist and dangerous, there are others who just wish to defend traditional European culture, who find themselves branded as racists and fascists by the ‘politically correct’ liberal establishment. We by no means support fascism or racism. We also see that the political left has hi-jacked this issue to the extent that those, who question mass immigration or the imposition of multi-cultural, multi-religious values on European society or the Islamisation of society, may be called racists, or fascists and guilty of ‘hate crimes’. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that criticism of Muhammad constitutes incitement to hatred and endangers public order, meaning that in Europe, you are not allowed to criticise Muhammad or Islam. Any criticism of homosexual life style or the imposition of transgenderism on our children may also be considered a ‘hate crime.’
If we are right that the EU is the revived Roman Empire of prophecy then it is inevitable that it will become a dictatorship, suppressing views it considers dangerous. Some of the views it wishes to suppress really are dangerous and harmful, but some of them could include ours. For example:
- The best explanation for how we came to be here is Genesis 1.1 ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’
- Therefore God made us male and female. Gender is not fluid, but determined at birth and cannot be changed.
- Marriage is only between a man and a woman. Homosexual practice is sinful and contradicts God’s plan in creation.
- There is one way to God through Jesus Christ and no other name by which we may be saved. Therefore Islam, Hinduism and multi faith religion have no salvation in them. People need to be converted through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose again from the dead.
The EU fits in with the ‘iron and the clay’ of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream:
‘And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.’
The iron and the clay represent the final phase of human government before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this vision the stone smites the image and it is broken in pieces then the stone becomes a great mountain and fills the earth. The stone represents the second coming of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords, with all power at His disposal to bring an end to the corrupt world system and set up His Messianic kingdom. The iron and the clay represent a revival of the fourth empire of Daniel 2 and Daniel 7, the Roman Empire.
The iron and the clay mingle together but do not adhere to one another. One interpretation of the iron and clay could be a mixture of democracy and dictatorship, an unstable coalition which, on one level is falling apart, but on another level holds together, until it is broken by the coming of the Lord.
Revelation 17 also contains a prophecy which is relevant. It begins with a vision of a woman riding the beast. Outside the EU building in Brussels there is a statue of a woman (Europa) riding a bull (a beast). This is based on the Greek myth of the Rape of Europa. This image has also been used on Euro coins. The EU’s parliament building in Strasburg is modelled on a painting by Brueghel of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). This image has also been used on EU posters announcing the unification of Europe.
Babel is the same word as Babylon in the Hebrew Bible and Revelation 17 describes the ‘woman riding the beast’ as Mystery Babylon the Great. Revelation 17 also describes a succession of seven kings, one that ‘is’ (the sixth king) and one that is to come. The sixth king, in power at the time of John writing the book of Revelation, is the Roman Empire. The one that is to come and arises out of Rome is the seventh kingdom or the revived Roman Empire.
It is interesting that the founding treaty of what has become the EU was the ‘Treaty of Rome’ and that EU leaders have themselves connected the EU to the Roman Empire. Henri Spaak, one of the founding fathers of the EU and one-time secretary general of NATO, said about the day the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957: ‘We felt like Romans on that day. We were consciously recreating the Roman Empire once more.’
He also said at that time: ‘We do not want another committee, we have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, and to lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he god or devil, we will receive him.’
Europe needs a man with a plan at this time. If the antichrist kingdom is to arise out of the EU, then we should expect that such a man is waiting in the wings! Revelation 17 says that the beast or the Antichrist will arise out of this seventh kingdom, perhaps propelled to power by the crisis within it. He will be given power by ‘ten kings’ who ‘receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind and they give their power and authority to the beast.’ Revelation 17.10-14.
It is likely that the EU will face massive strains in the days to come. Some countries may leave (hopefully ours), but it will not totally fall apart. It will remain partly strong and partly weak, until the Antichrist takes over and solidifies it for a short time before it reaches its appointed end at the Second Coming of Christ. Then all governments will be replaced by the government of God as ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ and He shall reign for ever and ever!’
I fervently hope that despite the machinations of our ‘treacherous dealers’ in government and in the land, Britain will still manage to leave the EU.
However, as President Macron said, it is not easy to leave the EU. It was not easy to leave the Roman Empire either!
The Cashless Society and the Mark of the Beast.
Up until relatively recently in human history, using coins or some form of notes or bartering were the only way to exchange goods or buy and sell. In the first century when the Book of Revelation was written, the idea that you could buy and sell with a number that is attached in some way to your body would have seemed incredible. However that is what the Apostle John wrote down when he said that in the final period before the second coming of Christ ‘no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name … His number is 666.’ Revelation 13.17-18.
For centuries people have wondered what this mysterious prophecy could mean. Now we may be seeing the way to its fulfilment. Already we have credit and debit cards which link our bank accounts to our person by means of a unique number and enable us to buy and sell without using cash. HSBC Global Economist James Pomeroy produced a report titled “A world without cash: The impact of the rise in electronic payments.” He sees a world in which the use of cash is “in severe decline” and highlights the benefits of a cashless society, mostly centring around convenience, cost efficiency, better monetary control, and security.
Pomeroy says that from a consumer standpoint, a cashless society is convenient, the speed of transactions increases with efficiency. For business, the ability to reduce the cost associated with managing cash is a significant benefit. For governments, digital cash offers the ability to track down tax evaders more efficiently and combat crime. Banks that don’t hold cash don’t get robbed, and generally, people carrying around a traceable digital payment method are not ideal targets for physical robbery.
One of the issues of using credit and debit cards is the need to ensure that the card being used really does legitimately relate to the person using it. Memorised pin numbers are one way to do this, but some form of biometric ID is the best way to secure identity.
This push towards a cashless society using biometrics is happening worldwide. We have examples of it happening in the United States, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany, Israel, parts of Africa and Russia. The world’s two most populous states, China and India have made great strides in this direction. In China the first ‘Cashless Alliance’ in the world, aims to eliminate physical credit cards and cash. India has set up the world’s largest biometric database, known as Aadhaar ID, which assigns a unique 12-digit number to Indian residents, backed by their fingerprints, iris scans and certain demographic details. This becomes the basis for financial transactions.
Biometric ID uses DNA samples, fingerprints or iris scans of the eyes to create a database which can potentially identify every person on earth. It is also possible to link the person to the database by a microchip on the body. This is already being used in Sweden to pay for items like train rides and for making your ID secure. A company called Biohax has already “installed” around 4,000 chips in customers, inserted just below the thumb. They can use the implant to open secure doors, pay for tickets, and share emergency information with medical personnel. Biohax recently held talks with several British legal and financial firms about fitting their employees with microchips, including one major company with thousands of employees.
Paying for a train journey with an implanted microchip in Sweden
After a Wisconsin based company, Three Square Market, started embedding microchips in its workers in 2017, the newspaper USA Today carried an article saying ‘You will all get chipped eventually’. It explained the benefits of microchips as chipped customers wave their hands to pay for goods, pass through airport scanners and passport controls, open doors, start cars and operate home automation systems.
The problem is that when you become part machine / computer / world wide biometric database, there is someone controlling that technology. That can give the elites and the government an exceptional opportunity to control the population, especially if they also control the world’s money system.
This raises the next relevant question. Could the whole money system change in such a way that using such a system to buy and sell becomes mandatory for all citizens? It couldn’t happen as things are now, but it is possible that a global financial crisis could bring something like this in.
Former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, recently warned that the world is in danger of sleepwalking into a repeat of the near financial meltdown of 2008. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the global forum for central bankers, has agreed with him. It warned that surging risky debts, rocky financial markets and signs of a growth slowdown threaten to strike the world economy at a time when central banks have little ammunition left to fight back.
Global debt today is around $247 trillion, which is close to 2¹/₂ times the size of the global economy. The US is running up a $1 trillion a year deficit, increasing its overall debt to $21 trillion, while household debt stands at $13.3 trillion. In September 2018 UK national debt reached £2 trillion. There are fears for the future of the UK economy if Brexit goes badly. Imbalances in the Euro currency mean that it will probably collapse sooner or later. One factor which could cause this to happen sooner rather than later is Italy. Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and is in deep trouble economically with national debts of around €2.4 trillion. Its new Eurosceptic government wants to pass a budget which will break EU rules, precipitate a crisis, and could result in Italy crashing out of the Euro. In that case the European Central Bank and Euro currency could collapse, creating a global economic crisis.
Across the Atlantic economic forecaster Peter Schiff has warned: “The US economy is in so much worse shape than it was a decade ago. The US government is going to be given a choice between defaulting on the debt, or else massive runaway inflation.” At the same time the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency is being challenged by the BRICS countries (BRICS = alliance of nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). They have aligned against the petrodollar system, whereby large international purchases are made by using dollars in order to make payment.
This system is very beneficial to the US economy, and any change to it could fatally damage the dollar. According to financial analyst Dick Allgire of Crypto Viewing, the US Federal Reserve already has a contingency plan for this. It involves a ‘coming transformation of our nation’s payment system set for 2020, under the ‘Faster Payment Environment’ using a cryptocurrency system, that is compliant with the Patriot Act and biometric identification.’
Cryptocurrencies are digital forms of exchange, the most well known of which is Bitcoin. At the moment these are privately owned and operate outside of the control of central banks or governments, but that could all be going to change in the event of a world financial crisis involving major currencies like the dollar and the Euro.
A report by the financial commentators ‘Capital and Conflict’ claims that the central banks plan to use a coming crisis to bring in a cashless society in which people are put onto a new digital centrally controlled system. Here is a quote from the article:
‘Central banks should create digital currencies and play a critical role in the global payments system, including the settlement of transactions, argued International Monetary Fund president Christine Lagarde in Singapore on November 14. She publicly floated the idea that central banks – not the private sector – should create and manage digital currencies. Centralisation allows for control. Decentralisation does not. By centralising they seek control of money because their real goal is political power. This is the War on Cash that we have written about for years. It is the systematic destruction of your ability to collect and hold wealth outside of the financial system. The money system of cryptocurrency, with the advent of technology and a cashless society, is now the fastest, cheapest, and most thorough route to complete political power over the lives and private choices of billions of people.’
In our January 2018 edition of Light for the Last Days we carried an article (available on request) showing how China is implementing its Credit Score system which gives the government power over the citizens’ ability to buy and sell. Now bankrupt Venezuela has brought in a similar scheme which enables the Maduro regime to take measures against citizens who criticise the abuse or corruption of the socialist government. Citizens found their fingerprints rejected for buying groceries (even in cash) and their bank accounts frozen. A totalitarian regime could ask for no better tool for social control than to know, through spending habits, exactly who opposes it and then to cut them off from any and all financial transactions whatsoever.
If you put all this together you have a credible scenario for the fulfilment of the Revelation prophecy:
‘He 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. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.’ Revelation 13.16-18
I am not saying that using credit cards or taking a microchip now is accepting the Mark of the Beast, but all these things are preparing the way for this system to be set up. According to the Book of Revelation when this system is set up it will be accompanied by some kind of act of worship or submission to the power behind the beast, the dragon or Satan:
‘He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.’ Revelation 13.15.
Modern technology is creating the possibility of a hologram being created which can cause an image of a person to appear and speak in different places without the person being present. In 2014 Turkish leader Erdogan sent a giant hologram of himself to speak at a meeting in Izmir in Turkey. Erdogan is certainly an antichrist figure, who is suppressing his opponents and forcing people into submission to Islam.
Whatever this image turns out to be, it is controlled by the antichrist spirit, which no one who belongs to Jesus can accept. In Revelation 14.9 we read ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation.’ In other words taking the mark will result in eternal damnation.
According to Revelation 7 there will be a great number of people who ‘come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ This means they become followers of the Lord Jesus during the tribulation time. Many of these will be put to death as a result of the actions of the Beast. ‘It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.’ Revelation 13.7-10.
Could anyone survive as a Christian in this time? According to the timing given in Revelation there will be three and a half years between the setting up of the 666 system and the return of Christ to the earth, which is a relatively short time. It does appear that there will be survivors of the tribulation period who will be rescued by the Lord at His second coming to the earth. In Matthew 24.13 Jesus says ‘He who endures to the end shall be saved.’ One interpretation of this verse is that Jesus will save physically those who survive the tribulation from death rather than having their souls saved.
Though it is the beast’s intention to implement the 666 system worldwide, some passages indicate that he will not in fact achieve this and will face opposition. In Daniel 7.24 we read that ‘he shall subdue three kings’, so presumably they are part of an opposition movement to his rule. In Daniel 11.36-45 the king of the north and the king of the south come against him and at Armageddon the ‘kings of the east’ enter the scene, presumably also in opposition to him (Revelation 16.12-16).
Maybe the survivors will find some way of not taking the mark and staying alive through an underground survivalist network. However this is accomplished, they will have to trust in the Lord and seek His strength and help through believing the truth of His Word:
‘God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.’ 1 Corinthians 10.13.
‘And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4.19.
‘And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.’ Revelation 12.11.
‘For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ Philippians 1.21.
At the end of the seven year tribulation period, God will bring judgement and disaster on the kingdom of the Antichrist and the evil world system he has set up. Babylon the Great will end up being totally destroyed:
‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit. … And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” … Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore.’ Revelation 18.2-11.
The Book of James also contains a similar warning for the last days: ‘Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. … Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. … Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.’ James 5.1-8.
The coming of the Lord is indeed at hand. The fact that we see the possible fulfilment of these things described in the Book of Revelation is just one more sign of the soon coming of the Lord Jesus.
3 ½ years after setting up the Mark of the Beast system, the final war of Armageddon will take place:
‘Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. … And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.’ Revelation 16.12-16.
The passage indicates that the beast and the false prophet under the control of Satan gather these armies together. Their motive is not so much to fight against Israel, but against the returning Lord. This is a futile endeavour because the Lord Himself will return with all power and destroy these armies:
‘Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. … And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.’ Revelation 19.11-16.
He will throw the beast and the false prophet straight into hell and bind Satan and cast him into the abyss where he will be unable to carry on his work of deception:
‘And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.’ Revelation 19.17-21.
‘He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.’ Revelation 20.2-3.
With the opposition to the Lord crushed, the ‘kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our God and He shall reign for ever and ever.’ Revelation 11.15. In that kingdom there will be peace and justice as the earth is filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 2.1-4, 11.9. Satan will be bound and unable to deceive the nations during the 1000 year period when Jesus is reigning on earth.
Those who were taken in the rapture of the church (including all who were saved during the time between the first coming of Jesus and the rapture) will return with the Lord in glorified bodies (1 Corinthians 15.50-56, Zechariah 14.5, Jude 14-15, Revelation 19.14).
Those who died during the tribulation period as believers in Jesus will be resurrected and have a part in the Messianic kingdom: ‘Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.’ (Revelation 20.4). Old Testament saints will also be resurrected: ‘And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life,
some to shame and everlasting contempt. … Go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.’ (Daniel 12.2,13).
Saved survivors of the tribulation will go into the Messianic kingdom in their natural bodies to repopulate the earth. Unbelievers will be cast out (Matthew 25.31-46). Jewish believers will enter into the redeemed Israel in the Messianic kingdom, while unbelievers will not be admitted (Ezekiel 20.33-42). This will be the moment at which ‘all Israel will be saved’ according to Romans 11.25-27, when the “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” (Isaiah 59.20).
The Lord will be present on earth during this 1000 year period, ruling from the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40-48). Ezekiel describes the glory of the Lord entering the Millennial temple (Ezekiel 43.1-7, 44.1-2) and concludes his description of this temple by the words ‘the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.’ Ezekiel 48.35.
At this time He will fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah 2.1-4 when the word of the Lord will go out from Jerusalem and ‘He will teach us His ways and we will walk in His paths’. One result of this will be that all military training and manufacture of weapons will be abolished and there will be no more war. His rule will be perfectly just as we read in Psalm 72.2-4: ‘He will judge Your people with righteousness, and Your poor with justice. … He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, and will break in pieces the oppressor.’ As a result the earth will be ‘full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’. Isaiah 11.9.
There will be changes in the climate, geography and even animal behaviour (Isaiah 11.6-9) during this time. Rivers will flow in the deserts and once desolate places will now be teeming with life: ‘The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose … For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.’ Isaiah 35.1-6. Ezekiel 47.1-12 describes a river flowing out of the restored Temple in Jerusalem flowing down to the Dead Sea, where now there are no fish. This river will bring life wherever it goes, so that there will even be fishermen at Ein Gedi, on the shores of the Dead Sea. Along the bank of the river will be trees used for food and for medicine.
The possibility of sin will be greatly restrained, because the Lord will reign with ‘a rod of iron’, in other words He will prevent people behaving in the destructive ways of sin as they do today. No drug or alcohol addiction, pornography, gambling, occult or violence will be permitted. False religions will be banned and there will be only worship of the one true Creator God revealed in the Messiah. As Satan will be bound in the bottomless pit he will be unable to sow his evil influence on people.
Nevertheless there will be people who will be unhappy with the reign of the Messiah and inwardly rebelling against Him. Those who go into the Millennial kingdom in mortal bodies will continue to reproduce and have children. Speaking of this time Ezekiel 47.22 speaks of those ‘who dwell among you and bear children among you.’ Zechariah 8.5 says ‘the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.’ Isaiah 11.6-9 speaks of a little child leading the animals which are now no longer wild or dangerous.
These passages cannot be interpreted as an Old Testament vision of heaven. Jesus tells us there will be no more marriage in heaven and therefore no more reproduction of children (contrary to the false belief of the Mormons!): ‘For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.’ Matthew 22.30. Another reason why these passages about the Messianic kingdom cannot be about heaven is that those who are born during this time have the capacity to sin. In Isaiah 65 we read about this period:
‘For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. ‘No more shall an infant from there live but a few days,
Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.’
This means that during the Messianic kingdom the life span will be greatly increased but there will be the possibility of sin being committed. Those who do sin will have their life span decreased. Again this is in contrast with the New Jerusalem (heaven) where there will be no death and no sin will be allowed to enter in. Speaking of the New Jerusalem in heaven, John writes: ‘But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.’ Revelation 21.27.
Because sin remains a possibility during this time Ezekiel describes the offering of sacrifices for sin in the Millennial Temple (Ezekiel 40.38-43, 44.18-27). The nature of these sacrifices is a subject of some controversy and I will not get into that at the moment, but the fact that the passage speaks of a ‘sin offering’ indicates that sin remains a possibility in this time.
The capacity to sin will be greatly restrained during this time, by the godly rule of the Messiah Jesus present on earth and the absence of Satan as the deceiver and tempter. However according to Revelation 20 at the end of the 1000 years Satan will be released from his prison and go out to gather to himself those who are inwardly hostile to the Lord and giving way to their sinful nature. They will join Satan in his final doomed rebellion, which will be put down by the Lord and cause the end of the world:
‘Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.’ Revelation 20.7-10
Following this the wicked from all ages will appear before the Great White Throne of God and be cast into hell. (Revelation 20.11-15). God will then create a new heavens and new earth in which righteousness will dwell for ever:
‘Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. … And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” … But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Avoid hell and choose heaven by making sure you have a glorious future in the kingdom of our God now by accepting Jesus the Messiah as your Saviour and Lord.