Hope for the Future!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

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Is there hope for the future? Are things going to get better? It sure doesn’t seem like it, does it? Economic, political and social conditions appear to be rapidly DETERIORATING and getting WORSE day by day, and it is becoming more and more apparent that we face VERY difficult and trying days ahead! Time is running OUT, not just for SOME nations, but for the entire WORLD!

But as bad as the present global situation is, with wars, famines, pollution, social upheavals, crime, the collapse of moral standards in countless formerly-Christian nations, and the threat of thermonuclear war hanging over our heads, it is reassuring to know that all these things were PREDICTED in detail in the BIBLE thousands of years ago! (See Matthew 24:1-11; Revelation 1718) Even the present great apostasy and loss of faith amongst Christians in recent years was predicted in God’s Word! (See Matthew 24:12; 1Timothy 4:1; 2Timothy 3:13; 2Thes.2:2,3.)

Before God finally sets things straight, the Bible predicts that things are going to get even WORSE!–Very soon! In these last days of Man’s history on Earth before Jesus returns, a Devil-possessed dictator known as the ANTICHRIST will arise and set up an anti-God one-World government! He will make WAR on God’s people, and his oppression and persecution of Christians will be the worst that this World has ever known! (Daniel 8:24; Revelation 13:7; Matthew 24:21,22)

But even though the immediate future of the World is growing darker and blacker, and in fact is getting worse all the time, there IS hope! The NEAR future is NOT so hopeful, but the future just BEYOND is GLORIOUS! For after the Antichrist & his forces have ruled for only a few SHORT years, the Bible promises that Jesus Christ will return and completely CRUSH them in the catastrophic Battle of Armageddon! He will then set up HIS Kingdom of HEAVEN ON EARTH, and rule as King of kings and Lord of lords! The famous Millennium!

So no matter how bad these coming days may seem to be, for those of us who love Jesus, even BAD news is GOOD news! Because we know that the sooner things get WORSE, the sooner they’re going to get BETTER AFTERWARDS and the sooner JESUS is going to return and put a STOP to this present madness! Luke 21:28 says, “And when these things begin to happen, lift up your heads, for your Salvation draws near!” When the Antichrist’s forces really start taking over, look UP, because Jesus is coming soon! So look UP! Be ENCOURAGED! “This generation shall not pass away till all these things shall be fulfilled!” (Matthew 24:34)

No matter how much the Antichrist forces try to suppress and wipe out God’s children, they will never completely defeat us! There are going to be MILLIONS of true Christians who will live right through these terrible times and be here to greet the Lord when He returns at the END of this time of Great Tribulation! (1Thes.4:16,17; Mat.24:29-31)

In spite of ALL the Enemy will try to do to stop us, no matter WHAT lies ahead in the dark days to come, NOTHING can conquer Christ’s righteous cause, and everything is going to work out right in the End! The darkest hour is just before dawn! The glorious dawn when “the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings!” (Malachi 4:2) and Jesus shall return to rule the Earth! So keep “looking up”, “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ”! (Titus 2:13)

Jesus promised, “In the World you SHALL have tribulation.” He promised that without a doubt we WOULD have troubles, problems and trials, and even suffer persecution for His name! But what did He tell us to do? Moan and complain and retreat in despair? NO! He said, “REJOICE and be EXCEEDING GLAD! In the World you shall have tribulation, but be of GOOD CHEER, for I have OVERCOME the World! And lo, I am with YOU always, even unto the end of the World! I will never leave you nor forsake you!” (Matthew 5:10-12; 28:20; John 16:33; Hebrews 13:5)

JESUS overcame the World, and because His Spirit lives in OUR hearts, WE can overcome the World too! He promises in 1John 4:4, “You are of GOD, little children, and have OVERCOME them, for GREATER is HE (Jesus) that is in YOU than he (the Devil and his anti-Christ forces) that are in the World!” “And THIS is the victory that overcometh the World, even our FAITH!” (1John 5:4) If you believe in Jesus and just keep trusting in Him and His Word through all your troubles, you’ll emerge triumphant, despite all the trials and tribulations that come your way! (See Revelation 12:12,11)

Despite all the oppressive might of the Antichrist, despite the coming economic collapse, the plagues and famines, the wars and persecution that we are soon to face, we shall OVERCOME! “Neither tribulation nor distress nor persecution nor famine nor nakedness nor peril nor sword…shall separate us from the love of Christ! In ALL these things we are MORE than conquerors through Him that loves us!” (Romans 8:35-37)

WHY will GOD allow HIS OWN CHILDREN, whom He LOVES, to go through such trials and tests? Well, first of all we know that “ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love God.” (Romans 8:28) He allows us to “go through the fire” so that we may be PURIFIED and PURGED and come forth BETTER vessels, and be WORTHY to rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom of Heaven on Earth! He promises us, “If we SUFFER with Him, we shall also REIGN with Him!” “And to him that OVERCOMETH will I grant to sit with Me in My THRONE, and I will give him POWER over the nations.” (2Timothy 2:12; Revelation 3:21; 2:26) (See also 1Peter 1:6,7; Revelation 7:9,13-15; 2O:4; Daniel 11:35.)

Will YOU be faithful and true to Jesus NOW and in the coming days so that you will be WORTHY to govern the World with Him TOMORROW? That bright and glorious tomorrow of Heaven on Earth when He rules in a Thousand-Year Reign of Love, justice and peace! How small our trials and problems will seem then! “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are NOTHING compared to the GLORY that shall be REVEALED in us!” (Romans 8:18) “For eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.” (1Corinthians 2:9) “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1Thessalonians 4:18)

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Activated

World Government

By Scott MacGregor

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The most outstanding and ominous sign of the end of the world as we know it, to which the Bible devotes numerous chapters, is the rise of a Devil-possessed tyrant known as the Antichrist, or “the Beast,” who is given authority “over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Revelation 13:7). Is the world heading towards a global government, as this verse seems to imply?

The idea of a world government has been discussed since ancient Greek and Roman times, and in the last few hundred years by such notables as Dante, Hugo Grotius, Immanuel Kant, Victor Hugo, Karl Krause, Alfred Tennyson, H. G. Wells, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Bertrand Russell, and Mahatma Gandhi. The decade or two after World War II is regarded as a sort of “golden age” of the movement for world government. Seventy-two million people died in that war, 47 million of them civilians, and a general revulsion against such barbarity led to many people embracing such things as the World Federalist Movement in the hope that a strong global body would not let the nations of the world go to war again like they had. The European Union (which now includes 27 nations, with more seeking admittance) had its beginnings at this time.

Now there is a European Parliament and a European Commission (which is in many ways similar to a cabinet), and if the EU reform treaty is ratified there will be an elected President of the European Council. Many of these nations are also members of NATO and have a common and somewhat integrated military structure. Eighteen countries (three are not even in the European Union) have now adopted the euro as a common currency.

The African Union (which includes 53 African nations) was formed in 2001 and aims eventually to have a single currency, a single integrated defense force, as well as other institutions of state, including a cabinet for the AU Head of State.

In 2004 the nations of South America signed the Cuzco Declaration, a two-page statement of intent, announcing the foundation of the South American Community, modeled after the European Union, including a common currency, parliament, and passport. According to Allan Wagner, former Secretary General of the Andean Community, a complete union like that of the EU should be possible by 2019.

The stated aim of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (comprised of 30 Asian countries, including the mega states of Russia, China, and India) is to ultimately transform the Asian continent into an Asian Community.

And then of course there is the United Nations (which is the only truly global organization, with 192 member states). Although seemingly impotent on many fronts, it still is the hub for many organizations that affect our lives, such as the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Commission, the International Labor Organization, UNESCO, the International Court of Justice (the World Court), the International Criminal Court, and the World Bank.

The globalization of the economy is now a reality, with each national economy—some to a very large extent—dependent on other nations’ economies. The mass media is also global through satellite TV and the Internet. In fact, the Internet is a virtual global community, with millions of its users living vicariously as avatars in global online “lives” in places like Second Life, not to mention global social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

The idea of global governance is also getting enthusiastic support. Global governance isn’t necessarily global government. In fact, its advocates will adamantly deny that global government is anywhere on their agenda. Their idea is that international agreements and protocols will govern international behavior. A good example of this approach is the United Nations Global Compact, which is an initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies.

When you start looking into it, a multitude of international and supranational bodies, treaties, and protocols have at their core the idea of promoting regional and global cooperation and integration. Now even when taken as a whole, this all might seem to still be light years away from the formation of the world government that Revelation 13:7 implies. Consider, though, that as recently as 40 years ago few people took the idea of a European Union seriously. Some of those countries had been bitter enemies and fought untold wars for centuries, but look at them now. Perhaps a world government isn’t so far away after all.

In addition, Europe is a region that students of Endtime prophecy look to for signs of change in the directions foretold in the Bible. This interest is primarily generated by the visions of the Old Testament prophet Daniel, especially the vision recorded in chapter 7 of the book that bears his name. There he saw a dreadful ten-horned monster, which most Bible scholars agree symbolized the Roman Empire—ancient to us, but futuristic to Daniel. “I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one [identified in other passages as the Antichrist], coming up among them” (Daniel 7:8). Geographically the Roman Empire included a big slice of Europe, but perhaps even more importantly, Rome’s forms of government, law, heritage, and culture permeate that part of the world to this day. Those 10 horns make another appearance later in the Bible, on the last head of a seven-headed monster—the Beast of Revelation chapter 13. Could Europe be destined for such prominence in the Antichrist’s scheme of things?

Back to a global government. Will it happen? The Bible seems to indicate that it will. However, it seems it will have trouble remaining cohesive, as the Bible describes the Antichrist waging a number of wars with rebel nations.

In any case, two things are certain: Whatever happens, God will take care of His own, and if you are on His side, you will be on the winning side when the Antichrist comes to his ignominious end and Jesus Christ establishes His kingdom of love and peace on Earth. Then we will have global government, but it will be the best one imaginable, where everyone can be truly happy.

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Activated

14 Major Points of the Endtime: An Overview of Endtime Bible Prophecy

Compiled by Joseph Candel
From the writings of David Brandt Berg

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The Bible not only tells us about yesterday, it also tells us about tomorrow. It is full of thousands of detailed prophecies that describe specific people, places, times, situations, and events. Many of these prophecies are about the final period of man’s kingdoms on earth, a period known as the Endtime—the time in which we are now living.

 
1. Signs of the times

The Bible gives us numerous “signs of the times,” signs and signals that we are to watch for so we can know exactly how close we are to Jesus’ return. These signs include drastic upsurges in the number and severity of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes (Matthew 24:7); the Gospel being preached in all the world (Matthew 24:14); dramatic increases in international travel and scientific knowledge (Daniel 12:4); a great “falling away” from the true God as “evil men and seducers grow worse and worse” and deceive many (2 Thessalonians 2:3; 2 Timothy 3:13 KJV); unpre­cedented selfishness and lack of natural affection (Matthew 24:12; 2 Timothy 3:1-4). All this results in “distress of nations,” with “men’s hearts failing them from fear” (Luke 21:25-26)—signs that are all obviously being fulfilled today more than ever before.

 
2. Rise of the Antichrist

One of the most important signs of the Endtime is the rise of a totally godless anti-Christ world government led by a demonic dictator who will actually be fully possessed by Satan himself, the world leader known as the Antichrist. In desperation, the world will turn to this political superman, hoping that he will be able to solve pressing problems, cure economic ills, unite international politics, end religious squabbles, and defuse the nuclear time bomb (Daniel 8:23-25; 11:21,24; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

 
3. Signing of the covenant

The Antichrist will sign a seven-year covenant, or agreement, by which he will bring a measure of world peace by reconciling the world’s major religions (Daniel 9:27a). Through this covenant he will also somehow settle the current crisis in the Middle East by working out a compromise between the Arabs and the Jews, enabling the Jews to rebuild their Temple and resume their religious animal sacrifices (Daniel 8:11; 9:27; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:4).

During the first half of the Antichrist’s seven-year reign, people are going to think that he is wonderful because he will have brought some peace, restored the world’s economy, redistributed the wealth, helped the poor, solved the Middle East crisis, and promised religious liberty (Daniel 11:21-24,39).

 
4. Breaking of the covenant

But suddenly, halfway through his seven-year reign, the Antichrist will break the covenant (Dan­iel 9:27b), invade Israel from the north (Daniel 11:28-31), abolish all traditional religious worship (Revelation 13:7-8), declare that he himself is God (2 Thessalonians 2:4), and demand that all the world worship him and his “image,” which could be some kind of computerized robot.

The false prophet—the Antichrist’s chief aide, who deceives the world—will make this image to the Antichrist (Revelation 13:11-14) and place it at the site of the rebuilt Jewish Temple (Daniel 11:31). This image, which the prophet Daniel referred to as the “abomination of desolation,” will “speak” and somehow have power to cause those who refuse to worship it to be killed (Revelation 13:14-15). Jesus said that when we see this abomination of desolation standing at the Temple, we will know that the last three and a half years of man’s rule on earth has begun—a time of “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:15,21).

 
5. Great tribulation

During this final three-and a-half-year period, the Antichrist will enact a mandatory one-world credit system, creating a cashless society. The Antichrist government will use this new credit system to try to force everybody to submit to and worship the Antichrist, because no one will be able to buy or sell without a personal credit number, the “mark of the Beast,” in their hands or foreheads (Revelation 13:16-18). But God’s children and many others will refuse to worship the Antichrist or receive his mark, and the Lord will take care of them (Revelation 12:6,14).

While the Antichrist and his followers are persecuting and trying to kill their enemies, God is going to let loose pestilences and plagues that will attack the followers of the Antichrist (Revelation chapter 8; 9:1-11; 11:3-6). The Tribulation will be like the last days of the children of Israel in Egypt, before Moses led them out. God’s prophets will do mighty signs, wonders, and miracles to defend the Gospel and God’s children, while God sends plague after plague on their enemies (Revelation 11:3,5-6).

A number of wars and the Antichrist’s worldwide persecution of all who refuse to worship him will make the Tribulation a time of trouble “such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). But the Bible also tells us in several places and in several corroborating ways exactly how long the Tribulation will last—three and a half years, or 42 months, or 1,260 days1 from when the Antichrist sets up his image at the Temple. God revealed this to encourage us to hang on and keep going for Jesus during what will be a very difficult period for Christians (Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 13:5; 12:6,14; 11:3).

During this time, “the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many” (Daniel 11:32-33). The people of the world are going to be more desperate for the truth than ever, and those who know God’s Word and are faithful witnesses for the Lord are going to teach and encourage millions. In spite of all that the Devil’s forces will do to try to stop them, millions of God’s children will keep going for God till the very end.

 
6. Nuclear war

At some point, possibly toward the end of the Great Tribulation or even after the Rapture (point 7), 10 “kings” will join forces with the Antichrist and together they will destroy with fire “Babylon, the great whore” in a final judgment. From a number of Scriptures, this sounds like 10 of the leading nations of Europe (or perhaps “10 kings” refers to the European Community as a whole) will unite with Russia and turn on the United States in a nuclear first strike that will destroy her in “one hour” (Revelation 17:12-13,16-17; 18:2,7-8). How and when all of this will play out is still unclear, but as the time draws nearer, we will see exactly how these verses will be fulfilled.

 
7. The Rapture

At the end of the final three and a half years—“immediately after the tribulation of those days”—just when the Antichrist thinks he has the world in his grasp, Jesus will return to rescue all of His children out of this world. The Antichrist’s forces will be shocked as they, too, see the Lord coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory (Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 1:7).

When Jesus returns, all of God’s saved children will be gloriously resurrected in what is known as the Rapture. The apostle Paul writes: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twink­ling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). The graves of all the Christians who have already died will burst open and they will receive new supernatural bodies, like Jesus’ body after He was resurrected. “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” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

 
8. Marriage supper

In the Rapture, Jesus has come back to catch His bride, His Church, out of the evil clutches of the Antichrist and to whisk her away to unite with Him and each other in the grandest, most glorious and thrilling wedding party that’s ever been held, the great marriage supper of the Lamb in Heaven, where the Lord will reward all His faithful children with beautiful, eternal “crowns of life” (Revelation 19:7-9; 2:10).

 
9. Wrath of God

After the Lord rescues and raptures His children to be with Him, the horrific vials of the great “wrath of God” will be poured upon the Antichrist and his evil forces still remaining on earth—the most horrible plagues the world has ever known! God’s angels of judgment are going to give the Antichrist and his forces what they deserve (Revelation 11:18; 14:9-10; 16:1-11).

 
10. The Battle of Armageddon

On a plain in what is now northern Israel, the Antichrist will lead his armies in this major campaign against those who still oppose him. But Jesus and His army of saints—all of His born-again and now resurrected children from throughout the ages—will return to earth on majestic white horses to utterly defeat and destroy the Antichrist and his evil forces in the apocalyptic Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:12-16; 19:11-21).

 
11. The Millennium

The earth will be restored to a perfect, Garden-of-Eden state (Isaiah 11:6-9; 14:7; 65:25; Hosea 2:18), and Jesus and His saints will set up the kingdom of Heaven on earth (Daniel 2:44; 7:18,22,27; Revelation 5:10). The Devil will be bound and cast as a prisoner into the bottomless pit for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3), and the world’s unsaved inhabitants—those who survived the Battle of Armageddon—will be forced to do what’s right. Then and only then, under the righteous rule of Jesus and the saints, will all wars cease. The world will at last be governed fairly and well with true justice, liberty, peace, plenty, and happiness for all (Isaiah 2:4; Revelation 2:26; 20:4-6). This thousand-year period is known as the “Millennium.”

During the Millennium, the resurrected saints will have new supernatural bodies with amazing powers like Jesus had after His resurrection (Philippians 3:20-21; Luke 20:36)—invincibility; complete freedom from pain, sickness, and death; abilities such as being able to fly, appear and disappear, change their appearance, read minds, communicate with each other telepathically, and stop wrongdoers with as little as a thought or a glance (1 John 3:2; John 20:19,26; Luke 24:31; Acts 10:40-41).

Those on earth will still be in natural bodies, like the ones we have now, and will have none of the saints’ supernatural powers, so they will be fairly easy to rule over with the love, wisdom, and power of Jesus and His personal leadership. Because everyone will see God’s glorious power and kingdom, there won’t be any unbelievers in the Millennium (Hebrews 8:11; Habakkuk 2:14). But sad to say, there will still be some unreceivers—those who won’t yield or obey, but rather choose to stubbornly and defiantly rebel when they get the chance, at the end of the Millennium (Isaiah 26:10).

 
12. The Battle of Gog and Magog

At the end of the Millennium, Satan will be released for a “little season” from the bottomless pit where he has been imprisoned—just long enough for him to deceive those unconverted rebels who will again follow Satan to the full, in open rebellion against the Lord and His government.

This rebellion will result in the catastrophic Battle of Gog and Magog, in which God will send down fire to devour them completely. In fact, it is such a horrible fire that it will completely burn up the surface of the planet, and the atmospheric heavens will roll back like a scroll and depart with a great noise (Revelation 6:14; 2 Peter 3:10). The entire surface of the planet will then be recreated into a beautiful new Earth with no more seas (though there will likely still be bodies of water), no more pollution, and no more Devil, for he will have been cast into “the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:7-10; 21:1).

 
13. The Great White Throne judgment

After the climactic Battle of Gog and Magog, the unsaved of all ages will be resurrected for the final Great White Throne judgment, where “the books are opened” and they will be given their final sentences according to their works and assigned to their places in the hereafter (Revelation 20:11-13). The worst and most cruel and wicked will be sent to Hell or Purgatory for punishment and purging, while those who tried to be good but were unsaved because they had not heard the Gospel, whose names will be found in the Book of Life, will be given a chance to receive Jesus and enjoy the marvelous new Earth (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4; 1 Peter 3:18-19).

 
14. The new Heaven and new Earth

God’s great heavenly city will then descend from above to the beautiful, re-created planet Earth, and God Himself will dwell with us, right here on earth (Revelation 21:1-3). The heavenly city will measure nearly 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) long, 1,500 miles wide, and 1,500 miles high (Revelation 21:16).

The entire city is made of pure gold, like clear glass (Revelation 21:18), and through those transparent walls we will be able to see out onto a beautiful, fully restored and re-created earth, which will be populated by new nations who will truly have learned the righteousness, goodness, and love of God. And eventually, because of God’s mercy and justice, all punishment on earth and under the earth will end. Almost everyone who has ever lived will finally be reconciled to God and live either with the elect within the heavenly city or else outside the city. “For God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”
(2 Peter 3:9). “Who desires all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow … and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).

Will you enjoy the Rapture, the wedding party, the millennial heaven-on-earth, and God’s eternal, heavenly city? Are you one of the saved who will be allowed to live in that great city? Receive Jesus as your Savior, if you haven’t already, and you’ll be granted instant, permanent citizenship to that great golden city and be given a foretaste of what Heaven and eternal life will be like, right here and now!

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Activated

Signs of the Times: The Coming Economic Crash

By Joseph Candel

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Many analysts and respected economists warn that a devastating worldwide economic crash is coming. Although not specifically predicted in the Bible, such an event is in line with key prophecies regarding the Endtime and would almost certainly hasten their fulfillment—particularly the rise of the world dictator known as the Antichrist and the implementation of his universal credit system, the mark of the Beast (“666“).

Modern economies are built largely on faith. People have faith in their currencies, but it is misplaced faith. They don’t realize that their currencies are not backed by any substantial amount of physical assets, such as gold or silver, and are issued by governments that are often deep in debt. When people do lose faith in their currency, its value plummets, stocks slump, and their country’s entire economy crashes.

In this era of Internet trading and globally linked economies and stock markets, a sudden and drastic downturn in one major financial market could create a worldwide panic that would send the global economy tumbling down like a house of cards.

In one possible scenario, if the American economy were to fail because of some international crisis like a major war in the Middle East or a severe oil shortage, the rest of the world could rapidly lose faith in the U.S. dollar. The dollar and other dollar-based currencies and international stocks would lose much of their value and, as a result, banks and financial markets worldwide would likely fail. Such an economic crash would also most likely lead to widespread political and civil chaos.

Another major factor is the international debt crisis. Nearly every nation in the world has been enticed by powerful international financiers, working through the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to take out huge loans at interest rates that make it impossible for them to ever pay off their debts.

Why do you suppose the World Bank, the IMF, or anyone else would give out billions in loans that they know can never be repaid?—Because when nations fall into bankruptcy and default on their loans, the lenders gain control of their economies. As the Bible says, “The borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). That’s the real reason the international financiers loaned those countries the money in the first place, to gain control!

The World Bank and IMF are now dictating the economic and other internal policies of these nations—their governments, their industries, their banks, virtually everything. They are running these governments by proxy through financial pressure. Just look at the economic problems that have plagued Argentina and other countries in recent years and you can see where all of this is leading.

The world’s present economic woes are not accidental or merely the result of “basic market forces at work,” as we so often hear in the news. Through manipulation of the world’s money—cleverly choreographed crashes followed by temporary rebounds and more severe crashes—more and more of the world’s money is making its way into the hands of a few, while more nations are being pushed toward bankruptcy and forced to surrender control of their economies in return for foreign loans.

As time goes on and the situation worsens, there will be even more economic in­stability in the money markets of the world and unprecedented ups and downs in the major economies. When that happens, people are going to look for a savior. Paul Henri Spaak, first president of the General Assembly of the United Nations, once said, “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 whether he be God or devil, we will receive him.” And that’s exactly what the world is going to do!

The people of the world will look for a financial superman to bring stability and prosperity, and when the Antichrist comes on the world scene and appears to do just that, they will hail him as a hero and welcome his rule and new economic system. He will “rescue” them from the economic ruin he led them into, and his plan will have succeeded—for a time.

* * *

The time to get ready for these soon-coming events is now, and the best place to start is by receiving Jesus as your Savior, if you haven’t already. Then learn to stay connected to Jesus in prayer so He can guide you and provide for you in the troublous times to come. Study what the Bible has to say about the coming Antichrist world dictatorship and other Endtime events so you won’t be caught by surprise when they happen, or duped into following the Antichrist. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Jesus has promised, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. … I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe” (John 14:27,29).

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Anchor

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

By David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-anchor“For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.”
—Hebrews 10:37 (Unless otherwise indicated, all Bible verses are from the King James Version)

The rule and reign of the Antichrist is going to look like the final triumph of man without God. God will look like He’s been defeated, and the church will look like it’s been destroyed. But what the Antichrist and his forces are not counting on is the supernatural, omnipotent power of God! God is going to get His greatest victory out of the seeming greatest of all defeats.

Just at the hour when the fiendish Antichrist thinks he has everything under control, at last he’s worshipped by the whole world and he “sitteth in the temple of God, as God, showing himself that he is God,” (2 Thessalonians 2:4) suddenly like a bolt from the blue, Jesus comes and snatches all of His children out of this world—all believers who refused the Mark of the Beast in either their forehead or their hand and refused to worship him, but preferred to love and live and even die for Jesus.

Just after that darkest hour in world history will be the brightest dawn. Jesus is going to come back and rescue His own, His church, His people, everyone who loves Him and knows Him, who believe He is the Son of God, the Messiah. He’s going to say, “Stop the world! I want them to get off!” And “they that are alive and remain are going to be caught up together with Him in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

Jesus’ Second Coming is the major prophetic endtime event for Christians, as it will signify the end of this world as we now know it, as well as our place in it in these present physical bodies. Following His coming will be our complete translation and rapture as we’re caught up together with Him in the air and taken off into heavenly places. His coming is the pivotal point, the end of this present life and work on earth, when “time shall be no more” for us, and we will enter the great eternal now. (Revelation 10:6–7)

The times and seasons of the Second Coming

God has a set time and schedule for the return of His Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth to rescue His people. He’s going to come right on the button, just like these space launches which have a preset countdown. Only there aren’t going to be any problems to delay His countdown. Jesus is going to fulfill His Word. You can rest assured that He is not going to change plans and come contrary to all the things that He Himself taught and the prophets and the apostles wrote. He is not going to misfire, but His return is going to fulfill the specific, detailed prophecies of His Word regarding endtime events which must come to pass before He returns.

The final countdown to Christ’s Second Coming will start after the Antichrist has been revealed as the great world leader who “confirms the covenant with many for seven years” regarding Jerusalem and Jewish temple worship. (Daniel 9:27) It’ll be exactly 1,260 days until he breaks it and abolishes it and begins the Great Tribulation period by setting himself and his image up in the holy place to be worshipped, and commanding that everybody receive his mark in their forehead or hand.

Jesus Himself said, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, then shall be Great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:15,21) When that image of the Antichrist is set up in the temple at Jerusalem in the midst of that seven-year covenant period, then will begin the Great Tribulation period for which His Word gives us the exact three-and-a-half-year length over and over again in so many different ways that you cannot possibly misunderstand it.—Three and a half years, (Daniel 7:25; 9:27; 12:7; Revelation 12:14) 42 months, (Revelation 11:2; 13:5) and 1,260 days. (Revelation 11:3; 12:6)

Jesus warned us not to expect His return any sooner than has been predicted. He tells us, “When I come, you’ll know it.” The sky will light up like permanent lightning from one end to the other, and there will be such a sign in the heavens that you couldn’t possibly mistake the fact that Jesus is coming.

“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:27) He says there’s going to be light shining from the east to the west like lightning. The whole sky is going to light up and stay lit when Jesus comes, while we’re gathered to meet Him in the air, and the whole world is going to watch it.

“For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” (Matthew 24:28) He’s speaking in cryptic, very puzzling language, saying, “Wherever the body is, there will be gathered those that feed on Christ.”—A rather unsavory comparison that we, like vultures, feed upon the body of Christ. But He said, “Except you eat of My flesh and drink of My blood, you’re not going to have any part in Me.” (John 6:53–58) So here He’s speaking of our gathering together or rapture to Him. Wherever His followers are, they’re going to be drawn like a magnet, like the eagles to the carcass, like vultures to the body, who have to eat and feed upon Christ to live spiritually. Wherever the carcass is, there will all of us little eagles be gathered together.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all of the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:29–31)

What could be more cataclysmic, dramatic, terrific, and more obvious than the coming of the Lord as described here by Jesus himself? The whole sky will be lit up like lightning, the saved of all ages will be literally “gathered together” in the air, the sun and the moon will be darkened and meteors will be falling, and Jesus Himself will appear in the atmospheric heavens, causing the unsaved to mourn and weep as they see His coming in the clouds “with power and great glory.”“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:1–3)

It will be like sudden destruction, suddenly, without warning. Because their false prophets have been telling them, “Everything’s peaceful now, and you don’t have to worry about anything. We have our world government, we have our Antichrist, we have our Messiah, we have our superman to run the world now, and everything’s going to be okay. Peace and safety.” And then sudden destruction hits them! Jesus returns, rescues His Bride, and God begins pouring out His final wrath and judgments on the Antichrist’s world empire.

“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day (of Christ’s Second Coming) should overtake you as a thief.” (1 Thessalonians 5:4) Christians who know His Word and have “discerned the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3) are not going to be surprised. You may not know the precise day or hour, but you’ll certainly know when approximately three and a half years from the placing of the abomination of desolation has passed, and will be looking for and anxiously awaiting Jesus’ return.

“Ye are all the children of light and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5–8)

Jesus’ magnificent Second Coming won’t catch His children by surprise, like a thief in the night, as it will the rest of the world. “They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30) Our rapture, our resurrection, is part of our triumph, our God-given victory, our great exodus from this world.

In Revelation it says, “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.” (Revelation 1:7) What greater witness could there be than the resurrection and the rapture? That’s the final witness, when they actually see Jesus and see us rise from the dead and from the earth to meet Him in the air.

Nobody’s going to be left behind that loves Jesus. Nobody’s going to be left behind that has received Jesus as his Savior. No one is going to be left behind who is saved. Not a single, genuine, Bible-believing, Christ-trusting, Jesus-loving Christian is going to be left behind, not one. For “we shall all be changed,” (1 Corinthians 15:51) and we will all be raised. He’ll send His angels out to gather His children from everywhere, from all around the whole earth, and He won’t leave one behind. He won’t forget one, not one. Isn’t that wonderful?

 
 
Copyright © The Family International. All Rights Reserved.

Activated

Responsible Earthlings

By Richard Johnston

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The issue of climate change is a charged one, but also one that can’t be ignored. We can debate the causes and culprits till the cows come home, but the fact remains that this planet is our collective home for now, and we each share in the responsibility for it.

I’ve read articles by several Christian writers who have, I think, taken a sensible and scriptural approach: God has appointed us stewards over His creation, and it is our responsibility to care for it and manage its resources (Genesis 2:15). On the other side, I have read what I think is an irresponsible approach, based on a skewed application of certain other Bible passages. It goes like this: Earth’s surface and atmosphere will one day be destroyed in a global conflagration, and God will create a new and better world on the remains of the old (Psalm 102:25–26; 2 Peter 3:7–12; Revelation 21:1), so it doesn’t much matter what we do to it now; it’s all going to burn up anyway. Why bother ourselves with trying to preserve it if God has other plans?

Yes, God is going to give our planet a makeover, but not until after the millennium, the 1,000-year period of relative heaven on earth that follows Jesus’ second coming. And according to both biblical forecasts and present-day pundits, the world that Jesus will take over when He returns will be in a sad state indeed. By then, the problems we are creating today will have been compounded by a reign of global terror known as the great tribulation, led by the devil-man known as the Antichrist, which will be followed by the apocalyptic battle of Armageddon. Jesus will put things right, but the cleanup won’t happen magically or all at once. It will be a better world right from the start, because one thing that does more damage to the environment than almost anything else—war—will be banned (Isaiah 2:4), but there will be much physical cleanup work to be done, and Jesus isn’t going to do it all Himself.

“That’s not my problem,” some say. “I’ll be home safe. Jesus will take me to heaven when He returns, and all will be forgiven because I’ve received Him as my Savior.” Yes, everyone who has received Him, either dead or alive, will rise to meet Jesus in the air at His coming and be whisked away to heaven, and yes, everyone’s sins will be forgiven, but there is something else to consider: In heaven, each will be rewarded according to his or her deeds in this life. “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10. See also Daniel 12:2–3; 1 Corinthians 3:11–15).

As much as I, old egalitarian that I am, like to speak of the equality of all humankind, heaven is not going to be a classless place. Those who have lived by the precepts of loving God and loving others as best they could (Matthew 22:37–39) are going to be at the top of the heap, while those who have lived me-first lives are going to find themselves with pretty meager rewards in the next life. They get into heaven because salvation is an irrevocable gift not based on merit, but they may not get very far past the door.

It won’t surprise me if many of those people end up helping with the monumental restoration projects that will be carried out during the millennium, after the battle of Armageddon and other prophesied catastrophes. There will still be mortals, the people who managed to live through the great tribulation and its aftermath, and they will be busy doing what mortals do, trying to make a life for themselves and their families. But the immortals, all the believers, both those who were dead and those who were alive when Jesus came back for them, will also have a role to play. “They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6). The Bible is clear that those who have proved themselves responsible will hold positions of responsibility, while others who have not proven themselves worthy of such trust will have to help out in more menial ways. As in the parable that Jesus told about the nobleman who turned his wealth over to his servants while he journeyed to a far country to claim his kingdom, authority will go to those who have earned it. “Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.” (See Luke 19:11–27)

Earth will eventually get a complete renovation, but before that happens we still have a little over 1,000 years to try to make it a happy, healthy place. Live responsibly.

 
 
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Activated

Fast Forward to the Future—From Now to Eternity

By Scott MacGregor

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Have you ever been reading a suspenseful book and peeked at the last page to find out how it ended, or have you ever fast-forwarded a movie to see how the plot was going to develop? Have you ever wished you could do that with time itself—fast forward to find out what’s in store for this world of ours? Well, you can.

The Bible contains hundreds of prophetic glimpses into the future that describe specific people, places, times, events, and world conditions (Amos 3:7). Many of these prophecies are about the time in which we are now living—a period referred to as the end time.

Here is a brief summary of what the Bible indicates is ahead, in chronological order:

Where we are now

1. Signs of the times

The Bible gives numerous signs to watch for so we will know when Jesus’ return is drawing close. These signs include the gospel being preached throughout the world (Matthew 24:14), dramatic increases in international travel and scientific knowledge (Daniel 12:4), and a great falling away from the true God (2 Thessalonians 2:3) as ungodliness and perversions proliferate (2 Timothy 3:1–4,13). All of this results in “distress of nations,” with “men’s hearts failing them from fear” of the future (Luke 21:25–26). Clearly these signs are being seen today.

The coming world government

2. The Antichrist

One of the most momentous signs of the end time will be the rise of a godless world government, led by a man whom biblical prophets described in various terms but who is now commonly referred to as the “Antichrist” (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4; 1 John 2:18). At first many will regard him as a savior because he will appear to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as the inequitable distribution of wealth and consumption of resources; long-standing hostilities between nations, ideologies, and religions; exploitation of the poor; and economic instability. He will come to power through intrigue and nonbelligerent means (Daniel 11:21,24), but is in fact a man of war (Daniel 8:23–25). He will be in league with Satan, and in the end will become the embodiment of evil (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:4–8).

3. The covenant

The Antichrist will either initiate or be directly involved in an agreement—a “holy covenant,” as the Bible calls it—that will temporarily bring a measure of peace and security to the world (Daniel 9:27a). The signing of this covenant will signal the start of the last seven years of man’s dominion (Revelation 11:15).

Approximately three and a half years into the agreement, after surviving what sounds like an assassination attempt (Revelation 13:1,3), the megalomaniacal Antichrist will break the covenant, declare himself God, and abolish all other religious worship (Daniel 9:27b; 11:23,28,30b,32,36).

4. The image of the Beast

When the Antichrist breaks the covenant, the mysterious “abomination of desolation” will be erected in the precincts of the rebuilt Jewish temple (Daniel 11:31). In the book of Revelation, the abomination of desolation is called the “image of the Beast,” and it has “power to both speak and cause those that do not worship it to be killed” (Revelation 13:14–15). However, those who willingly comply will be doomed along with the Antichrist upon Christ’s return (Revelation 14:9–10).

Could this image be some sort of cybernetic representation of the Antichrist that is endowed with artificial intelligence?

Big trouble ahead

5. The great tribulation

Jesus said, “When you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place… 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” (Matthew 24:15,21). We know from other passages that the great tribulation will last for three and a half years, or 42 months, or 1260 days (measuring months and years by the ancient standard used in the Bible’s original manuscripts: 30 days per month; 360 days per year) (Daniel 12:7; Revelation 13:5; 11:2–3; 12:6,14).

A monetary system will be put in place under which no one will be able to buy or sell without a personal account number, the “mark of the Beast,” in their hand or forehead—the infamous “666” of the Bible’s book of Revelation (Revelation 13:16–18).

This system could have been in place earlier, but it’s at this time that participation is made mandatory, perhaps tied in with a universal ID system. The mark of the Beast could be issued in the form of a microchip implant containing the individual’s personal data, similar to those already being used to tag people in high security jobs.

The Antichrist will become possessed by Satan, and his government will persecute those who refuse to yield to his dictates (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 12:17). But God will help those who resist the Antichrist, and in their defense will unleash horrific pestilences and plagues on the Antichrist and his followers (Revelation 9:1–6). Two of God’s end time prophets will perform miracles and publicly defy the Antichrist (Revelation 11:3,5–6), and other believers could have similar powers (Daniel 11:32b).

6. Nuclear war

At some point, probably near the end of the great tribulation, the Antichrist and 10 “kings” who join forces with him will destroy the mysterious “Babylon the great” in what sounds like a nuclear holocaust (Revelation 17:3,5,12–13,16–18). Scripture indicates that this Babylon is not the ancient city or empire by that name, but rather the worldwide capitalistic and materialistic system (Revelation 18:2,8–11,19). Today that system is epitomized and led by the USA. Visions received by the prophet Daniel indicate that the 10 kings who join with the Antichrist emerge from the ancient Roman Empire and thus could be from Europe (Daniel 2:40–43; 7:24).

Reversal of fortunes

7. The second coming of Jesus Christ

At the end of the great tribulation—“immediately after the tribulation of those days”—Jesus will return “on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” to rescue those who have received Him as their Savior, commonly referred to as “the saved” (Matthew 24:29–31; Revelation 14:14–16). The Antichrist’s forces will be shocked as they see the saved from ages past resurrected in new immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:51–52), and “then we [saved] 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” (1 Thessalonians 4:16–17). This event is known as the “rapture.”

8. The marriage supper

Immediately after the rapture, the grandest celebration ever, “the marriage supper of the Lamb,” will be held in heaven (Revelation 19:6–9). The “Lamb” is Jesus (John 1:29), and His “bride” is the saved from all ages—those He has just rescued and those He has resurrected, collectively (Romans 7:4). At the judgment seat of Christ, they will each be rewarded according to what they did with their lives (Matthew 16:27; Romans 14:10b,12; 1 Corinthians 3:13–15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 2:10b).

9. The wrath of God

While the marriage supper of the Lamb is happening in heaven, a number of devastating plagues described in the Bible as the “wrath of God” will be happening here, and the Antichrist and his forces will be the targets (Revelation 11:18; 15:6; 16:2–4,8–12,17).

10. The battle of Armageddon

Then, on a plain in what is now northern Israel, the Antichrist will muster his armed forces for his final campaign against the nations that still oppose him. This is the famous “battle of Armageddon,” in which Jesus will return with His heavenly army to defeat and utterly destroy the Antichrist’s forces and deliver those who have opposed his tyranny (Zechariah 14:3–5; Revelation 16:14,16–17; 19:11,14,16).

The Antichrist and his leading henchman, the False Prophet, will both be cast alive into the lake of fire, a place of punishment (Revelation 19:19–21), and Satan will be imprisoned in the “bottomless pit” (Revelation 20:1–3)

Order restored

11. The millennium

Jesus will set up His kingdom on Earth and rule for 1,000 years over those who have survived the battle of Armageddon and the cataclysms surrounding it—people who were neither followers of the Antichrist nor saved and rescued by Jesus at His return (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 11:15). The resurrected saved from throughout the ages will govern with Jesus (Daniel 7:18,22,27; Revelation 20:4,6), and restoration of the war-damaged world will begin. All wars will cease (Isaiah 2:4), the world will at last be governed justly (Psalm 67:4; 72:3–4; 98:8–9), love for God and others will be the rule of the day (Matthew 22:37–39), and Garden of Eden-like peace and harmony will be restored (Isaiah 11:6–9; 14:7; 65:25; 43:19–20; Hosea 2:18). This period is known as the “millennium.”

Judgment day

12. The battle of Gog and Magog

At the end of the millennium, Satan will be released from the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:3). There will not have been any unbelievers during the millennium, because everyone will have been able to see Jesus (Habakkuk 2:14; Hebrews 8:11), however, there will be those who refuse to receive Jesus as their Savior and submit to His benign but firm rule (Isaiah 26:10), and they will join Satan in an open rebellion that will culminate in the catastrophic battle of Gog and Magog. There the rebel forces will be obliterated (Revelation 20:7–9), and Earth’s entire surface and atmosphere will be purified by fire (2 Peter 3:10–12; Revelation 6:14).

13. The great white throne judgment

Then all of the people from the beginning of time who did not know about or believe in Jesus will be resurrected to stand before God’s throne and be judged. They will be either rewarded or punished according to their works, and will be assigned to their respective stations in the hereafter (Revelation 20:11–13; 21:5–6a). Satan will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).

Eternity!

14. A new Earth

Earth’s surface and atmospheric heavens, which were burned up in the battle of Gog and Magog, will then be beautifully recreated, even better than before—truly heaven on earth, “in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).

15. The heavenly city

God’s golden heavenly city, the dimensions of which are an astonishing 2,200 km [about 1,400 mi] square at the base and 2,200 km high, will then descend to the recreated Earth (Revelation 21:2,15-17). It is referred to in the Bible as the “mountain of God” and the “tabernacle of God,” suggesting that it is pyramidical (Zechariah 8:3; Revelation 21:3a). God and Jesus will dwell in that city with those who love and serve Them (Revelation 21:3,7,22; 22:3). Read the Bible’s grand finale, Revelation chapters 21 and 22, for a full description.

And that is the happy ending!  Although there are dark days in the near future, we can take heart in knowing that God is in control and a bright, beautiful, eternal tomorrow is not very far away.

(For more detailed explanations of the end time and beyond, check out The Future Foretold, The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist, and From the End to Eternity by Aurora Production.

 
 
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