Archive | April 2019

Becoming Antichrist: Vol. 1

I don’t agree with the authors of the following article regarding the body of Christ not being able to know the identity of the Antichrist. Never the less, they make a number of excellent points…

 

by Pete Garcia & Randy Nettles

 

I do not think about the Antichrist often, nor do I want this to seem as if I am glorifying him in any way, shape, or form, but I have at times, wondered about a few things.  How does Satan go about selecting the Antichrist? Is he alive today? Does he know he is the Antichrist? If he does know, when and how did he find out? What does he hope to achieve? Does he have a long-term plan, or is it more like playing out things as they unfold? Is he like the Hitler with the unsustainable four-year economic plan? Or is he like the Hitler with his thousand-year Reich plan? Does he know his fate? Does he care?

The Scriptures has much to say about antichrist. Not only is it a real person(s), or a human condition, but it can also be a zeitgeist (spirit of the age). Not only are there antichrist(s) (little ‘a’), but a final, literal, future Antichrist (big ‘A’) who assumes control over the entire earth. Here are the four passages (all New Testament-all from John) that use the actual term antichrist.

  • [Deceptions of the Last Hour] Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 1 John 4:3
  • Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:22
  • And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 1 John 4:3
  • [Beware of Antichrist Deceivers] For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.  2 John 1:7

In a broader sense of the word (referencing both the Old and New Testament), an antichrist is one who opposes God, His agenda, or His people. Although there are only four New Testament passages using the term antichrist (antichristos, Greek-ἀντίχριστος), Scripture affords us an abundance of clues as to the nature of the coming future Antichrist. He is called the worthless shepherd, little horn, man of sin, the lawless one, son of perdition, the beast, the dragon, and the rider on the white horse. However, we are not told who he is. Granted, every generation has had their favorite candidates, and up until now, they have all been wrong. The reason we know they were wrong, was well, all of those Roman Emperors, Catholic Popes, and brutal tyrants have thankfully come and gone and yet we are still here.

Fortunately, as born-again believers, we will not be here to find out who he is when he is finally revealed. The Apostle Paul writes in his second epistle to the Thessalonians that the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming (2nd Thess. 2:7-8). First, the Restrainer can be none other than God the Holy Spirit. Second, Christ must destroy the Antichrist at His coming; no other death will suffice.

Some Preliminary Discussions

Since the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view is to my knowledge, the only eschatological view that identifies the Holy Spirit as the Restrainer, critics of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view scoff at the Holy Spirit/Restrainer interpretation. The reason they scoff is because the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead and as such, is both omnipresent (everywhere at once) and will remain in the salvation business even after the Rapture.

I (as do other Pre-Trib believers) whole-heartedly agree with them.

However, let us deconstruct this passage even further.

What this phrase taken out of the way does notmean, is that God the Holy Spirit is physically (or spiritually) removed from the earth, because that would be impossible. What it does mean is that His role will change, specifically, because of the Rapture (or removal) of the Church from the earth will necessitate a change in function. For those who do not understand this idea of what changing roles means, just think back to Acts 2 Pentecost and the giving of the Holy Spirit to those Jewish believers’ fifty-days after the Resurrection. Keeping that in mind, ask yourself-

1. Did God the Holy Spirit exist on the earth before the Acts 2 Pentecost? Yes He did.

2. Did His role change from Old Testament to New? Yes it did.

3. Can the Holy Spirit exist on the earth after the Rapture? Yes, He Can.

4. Will His role on the earth be different from before the Rapture? Yes, it will.

So the main question becomes, what will the primary role of the Holy Spirit be after the Rapture? Well, what was the primary role of the Holy Spirit before Christ came?

The Holy Spirit had many different roles over the history of the world. During Creation, He was the energizer or life-giver (Gen. 1:2, 2:7). From Adam to John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit’s role included empowering select persons to accomplish specific missions (for ex. Moses and David). He could infill someone from a young age (Samson) or even before birth (John the Baptist), but could also depart from people for whom He once indwelt (for ex. Samson and Saul). He overshadowed Mary at the Incarnation (Luke 1:35), visually descended upon Jesus at His baptism, and at the incarnation of the Church at Pentecost (Matt. 3:16, Acts 2:1-4).

However, after He was given as The Helper at Pentecost, His role in this dispensation was to permanently seal those believers into the universal, singular, Body of Christ (ex. 1 Cor. 12:27, Eph. 5:23) until the day of Redemption, which is the Rapture (or Harpazo). For those who have already died, will receive their glorified bodies just ahead of those of us who are alive at His coming for the Church. We shall be instantaneously translated from mortal to immortal and from corruptible to incorruptible. This is in part why we groan within ourselves for, awaiting our birth into glory (Romans 8:23). The groaning gets worse as the days get darker. What changes after the Rapture, is that the Holy Spirit will no longer restrain the dark forces from interacting here in the human domain.

After Christ’s body (the Church) is removed fully from the earth, they will have unfettered access to our physical realm. Therefore, in strictly mechanical terms, although Christ ascended to the Father forty-days after His resurrection, He still has His body (the Church) here on earth carrying out the Great Commission. This is why I said the incarnation (putting on of flesh) of the Church. Once the Holy Spirit infilled those believers, we were not born, but began to grow and gestate much as a baby does after it is conceived. Remember what Christ said,

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:18-19

First, Christ is building His Church- not the Pope, not Martin Luther, not the Southern Baptist Association, nor any other human organization. Second, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Clearly, when reading the summarized accounts of Daniel’s 70th Week in Revelation 13, we see that authority has been given to the Antichrist to overcome the tribulation saints, so this group cannot be the Church. For two-thousand years, Satan has been trying to stamp out the Church. Moreover, the more he crushes it, the more it grows. This is not the case inside the 70th Week. This is also, why God has to resort to using Angels to proclaim the gospel (Rev. 14:6), because there are so few remaining on the earth during this time.

Secondly, at present, what the Church binds on earth means that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16). And since the Church has direct access to the throne of God (Heb. 4:16), the things we war against here on earth (Eph. 6:12), not only has heavenly authorization, but divine execution on our behalf. This is what restrains Satan and his demonic forces at present, from plunging the world headlong into darkness. Trust me, if Satan could have done this, he already would have.

Once the Church is physically removed from the earth, the path to salvation goes back to one similar to that of the Old Testament. Salvation by faith through grace, yet, the believers (tribulation saints) are not permanently sealed by the Holy Spirit as we are now. They must maintain their faith, and can lose it should they take the mark of the beast, or apostatize in some other way (Matt. 24:13, 2 Thess. 2:10-12, Rev. 12:17). In fact, the only ones we do see who are specifically mentioned as being sealed by the Holy Spirit, are the 144,000 Jewish male virgins, 12,000 from each tribe (Rev. 7:1-8).

It is for this reason, that the book of Revelation often paints strange and bizarre images of demonic beings waging war on mankind in a visually symbolic way. We often try to relegate these images to things we understand in order to make some sort of sense of it all. However, the reason we cannot understand it, is that for the past two-thousand years, the spiritual domain has not been open to us. Once we are removed, those “bizarre images” so many have relegated to pure symbolic mumbo-jumbo, will be mortified to see them fill their headlines and reality.

In summary, even though we cannot know the identity of this Antichrist this side of the Rapture, the bible is not silent on the nature of this wicked man. My hope and prayer is that this article may serve as a warning to those left behind and perhaps persuade some, to avoid him and his mark of damnation. In the next Volume, we will look at the forerunners of The Antichrist.

The Eastern Gate

By Daymond Duck

I wrote this article before going out of town for several days, so most of it is not about current events (there are some current events at the end of the article).

In Old Testament times there was a wall around the city of Jerusalem, and there were several gates in that wall.

One of those gates was called the Eastern Gate (It was also called the Golden Gate, the Gate of Mercy and the Beautiful Gate).

Ezek. 44:1-3 records a very interesting prophecy about the Eastern Gate:

“Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.”

The Lord was saying that there will come a time when the Eastern Gate will be shut because the Messiah passed through it (Jesus passed through it at His Triumphal Entry), and no one will pass through it until the Messiah comes back.

In 70 A.D., the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple.

In 1517 A.D., the Ottoman Empire (the Turks) took over the Middle East.

At some point in the 1530’s or 1540’s, the Turkish ruler Suleiman the Magnificent heard that the Jews believe that their Messiah would come from the east and pass through the Eastern Gate (Christians believe this will be Jesus’ Second Coming).

Suleiman didn’t want the Jewish Messiah to pass through the Eastern Gate, so he ordered his people to shut it and seal it up.

They closed it in with bricks, but that was just one part of the prophecy. The other part of the prophecy said the Eastern Gate will remain shut until the Messiah appears and passes through it.

In 1967, both Jordan and Israel almost opened the Eastern Gate; but both nations failed, and the Eastern Gate is still shut.

This is how Jordan failed:

Jordan controlled East Jerusalem. Jordan’s king wanted to open the Eastern Gate and build a hotel against the inside of the wall so that people could enter his hotel through the Eastern Gate. Jordan’s king sent workmen, equipment and materials to the Eastern Gate to knock out the bricks and open it up. The workmen moved their equipment and materials to the Gate and left it there for the night. They intended to go back the next day to break the gate open.

That night, the 1967 war between Israel and Jordan broke out, and Israel captured East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. The king’s crew could no longer break open the gate, and his hotel never got built.

This is how Israel failed:

The 1967 war broke out, Israeli troops captured the Temple Mount, and some of Israel’s military leaders wanted to blow open the Eastern Gate to send tanks and troops through it for an attack on Jordan. Other Israeli military leaders were aware that the Scriptures say that the Gate will remain shut until the Messiah appears and passes through it. Israel’s military leaders discussed blowing open the Eastern Gate, but the leaders that were familiar with the Scriptures won the debate.

Israel attacked Jordan from a different location. The Jordanian troops were caught by surprise, and Israel won the war. Since capturing it, Israel has not allowed the Eastern Gate to be opened.

Following the 1967 war, Israel agreed to let Jordan administer activities on the Temple Mount, and Jordan agreed to let Israel be in charge of security on the Temple Mount. The two nations also agreed to maintain the status quo on the Temple Mount.

In 2005, the Palestinians tried to occupy an area on the Temple Mount just inside the Eastern Gate. Israel wouldn’t allow the Palestinians to occupy that area, and the Palestinians rioted.

The disagreement went to court, and a judge ordered the area next to the Eastern Gate closed to everyone. Israel installed a fence with an iron gate leading to the Eastern Gate, and access to the area on the inside of the Eastern Gate was blocked off with a fence, a gate, a chain and a lock.

Calm prevailed on the inside of the Eastern Gate from 2005 until Feb. 2019.

On Feb. 22, 2019, the Palestinians rioted, destroyed the lock on the iron gate barring access to the Eastern Gate, and took over the area butting up against the inside of the Eastern Gate. Rumors circulated that the Palestinians intended to build another mosque and hold Muslim prayers inside the Eastern Gate. Prime Min. Netanyahu said he wouldn’t allow it.

Mr. Netanyahu gave the Palestinians until Monday, Mar. 11, 2019, to leave the area near the Eastern Gate. Palestinian leaders ignored Mr. Netanyahu’s ultimatum.

A group of Jewish settlers said the Palestinians were breaking their agreement with Israel to keep the status quo by illegally opening the area inside of the Eastern Gate for a mosque and Muslim prayers. They said the status quo that Israel and Jordan agreed to no longer exists. They added that the door is now open for Jews to ignore the status quo and build a synagogue on the Temple Mount for Jewish prayers. They said the Israeli government should not agree to any settlement of this issue unless Jews are allowed to pray on the Temple Mount too.

Israel and Jordan started holding high-level talks to resolve the issue, but they couldn’t reach an agreement.

On Mar. 9, 2019, the King of Jordan went to Washington to seek help to resolve the issue in his favor, but it didn’t work.

On Mar. 11, 2019, Mr. Netanyahu’s deadline came, and the Palestinians were still occupying the forbidden area inside the Eastern Gate.

Israel had a large number of police and security forces in the area.

On Mar. 12, 2019, a protester threw a Molotov cocktail at a police cart in the area. Israeli security forces closed the entrances to the Temple Mount, arrested some of the protesters, and ordered everyone on the Temple Mount to leave.

There was another court hearing, and the court told Israel to keep the area closed; the judge gave Jordan 60 days to respond to the court order.

I am not privy to Palestinian secret schemes and motives, and I don’t know how all of this is going to come out. But I do know that Jordan wanted to open the Eastern Gate to send in workers, material and equipment to build a hotel in 1967, and I tend to believe that opening the Eastern Gate is what the protesters want to do now.

I believe their ultimate goal is to thwart the prophecy in the Bible.

Nevertheless, the issue hasn’t been settled; and I rejoice over the fact that the Eastern Gate is still closed and that it could soon be opened to greet the coming Messiah.

Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
duck_daymond@yahoo.com

 

Absolute Truth

 By Daymond Duck

On a daily basis, the news continues to show that God’s Word, including Bible prophecy, is absolutely true.

Here are several examples:

First, it was recently reported that Pope Francis told the king of Morocco that Jerusalem is the “common patrimony (inheritance) of humanity and especially the followers of the three monotheistic religions.”

I interpret this to mean that Pope Francis believes that Jerusalem belongs to the world and especially to the three religions that trace their roots back to Abraham.

If I am right, Pope Francis is either totally in the dark about what the Bible teaches or he is a false teacher that doesn’t believe the Bible.

God does not contradict His written Word.

Second, I was recently honored to speak at the Mid-America Prophecy Conference in Tulsa, Ok.

Dr. Mike Gendron, a former Roman Catholic and an expert on Bible prophecy, was one of the speakers.

Dr. Gendron is a former corporate executive and the founder of Proclaiming the Gospel ministry.

He has devoted his life to exposing false doctrines in the Roman Catholic Church.

I said to Mike, “I am not ready to say that Pope Francis is the False Prophet, but I admit that he has me wondering about it. What is your opinion?”

Mike’s reply went something like this, “If we are as close to the return of the Lord as it seems, we have to admit that he is the only candidate on the scene.”

I got the impression that Mike believes that the Roman Catholic Church and Islam will come together to form the one-world religion, and Pope Francis is the most likely person to head it up.

Considering the Pope’s age (82) and that he would have to be alive and active until the end of the seven-year Tribulation Period, a one-world religion would have to be close.

Third, the Bible is clear that God is against the division of the Promised Land.

Three days before the April 9, 2019, Israeli elections, the polls showed that Prime Min. Netanyahu would lose.

In a TV interview on Apr. 6, 2019, Prime Min. Netanyahu promised to extend Israeli sovereignty over all of the Jewish settlements on the West Bank, if he was re-elected.

He said he will not allow the Palestinian Authority (PA) to rule over the Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

He may let the PA rule over some Arab communities on the West Bank, but he will not allow them to have a separate army, air force, etc.

Mr. Netanyahu’s strongest opponent called these promises irresponsible, and the election suddenly flipped.

Mr. Netanyahu took a Biblical stand against dividing the Promised Land, and he came from behind over the next three days to win re-election.

Fourth, the disciples asked Jesus about the sign of His coming, and of the end of the age” (Matt. 24:3).

Among other things, He said, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (Matt. 24:32-35).

Notice two things: 1) Jesus said when Israel is young and growing you will know that His return is near, and 2) Near means the generation of Jews that sees a convergence of all of the prophecies won’t pass away until everything is fulfilled.

In 1948, Israel became a nation again.

In 1967, Israel retook East Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Golan Heights.

In 2018, the U.S. moved its embassy to Jerusalem.

In 2019, the U.S. recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

In 2019, Prime Min. Netanyahu said he intends to annex the Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Israel is literally a young and growing nation that will soon be 71 years old.

Fifth, in late March, the city of San Antonio, TX, banned Chick-Fil-A from doing business (buying and selling) at the city airport because of the company’s religious beliefs.

This is a good example of the Mark of the Beast that will be used to force people that want to buy and sell to support world government dogma.

San Antonio has been asked to reconsider its decision to keep Chick-Fil-A from buying and selling its products because of the owner’s religious beliefs, and we should pray that they do.

In the meantime, please support Chick-Fil-A for standing on the Word of God.

Sixth, on Apr. 13, 2019, Israel struck Iranian targets near a Russian base in Syria.

Israel has taken responsibility; it has been reported that several Syrian, Iranian and pro-Iranian troops were killed, 17 others were wounded, and satellite photos show that the destruction was extensive.

The Iranians are furious because Russia didn’t try to shoot down the Israeli jets.

It turns out that Pres. Trump had sent a back-door message to Vladimir Putin to leave Israel’s jets alone.

Mr. Putin understands that Pres. Trump might protect Israel if Russia starts trying to shoot down Israel’s jets.

Please pray for the U.S. to continue to support Israel.

Seventh, this week it was reported that another new gas field has been discovered off the coast of Israel.

This solidifies Israel’s position as a global energy superpower.

It also adds to the proof that God’s Word, including Bible prophecy, is absolutely true.

Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
duck_daymond@yahoo.com