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A global apocalypse is coming-and may be imminent! The Bible predicts a looming Armageddon that brings cataclysmic destruction, worldwide holocaust, and spiritual warfare, reaching a climactic showdown while the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Jesus warned this seven-year era of doom will be unlike any period in human history, making it the ultimate end-times, epic thriller. All of this…
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Description: God’s Future Tribulation Prophets: Raining Plagues upon the World
WAIT FOR INTRO, MUSIC, AND VOICEOVER
VOICEOVER: Welcome to End Times Today with Author, Speaker, and Bible teacher: John Claeys. This episode is entitled, Prophets of Power: Raining Down Plauges
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We’ll take a look at the prophets of power and plagues in just a moment, but first let’s see what’s happening in our the world right now. Here’s John Claeys
What in the World Is God Doing?
Viewer Screen: “Israel, UAE reach historic peace deal: ‘We can make a wonderful future,’ ” by Lahav Harkov & Omri Nahmias (Jerusalem Post)
Israel and the UAE agreed to full normalization of relations in a phone call with US President Donald Trump, marking the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years.
The agreement will include establishing embassies and exchanging ambassadors, investments into the Israeli economy, trade, direct flights between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, . . . and cooperation in matters of energy and water.
Viewer Screen: Historic Peace Treaty: Israel & the UAE
This is being called an historic peace treaty between Israel and the UAE. But how does it concern Bible prophecy?
For years I have been telling people that the seven-year treaty of Daniel 9:27—the one that inaugurates the Tribulation period—will be confirmed with Israel by leaders of ten nations. In addition, I have been saying that five of those leaders will be from Middle East nations. Ten years ago, perhaps five years ago, that seemed an impossibility. After all, Middle East states were avowed enemies of Israel. Yet, with the rising threat of Iran, leaders of nations such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, and Qatar have recently been sidling up to Israel.
This recent treaty—of historic nature—appears to be one more dramatic illustration of God being at work in the Middle East to lay the groundwork for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. If I am reading this properly, this agreement may signal that we are closer than we think to that end-times treaty with Israel. After all, it is one thing for these Arab states to have secret relations with the Jewish state, but to come out publicly with this kind of agreement is something entirely different.
No doubt, God is arranging the actors on the stage of end-times fulfillment.
This is: “What in the World Is God Doing?”
FULL STOP. WAIT FOR MUSIC AND VOICEOVER
VOICEOVER: Thanks John! It’s amazing to see what’s going on in the world right now. Now, we’d like to connect that to what in the Bible God is saying to us, as we take a look THE prophets of power: Raining down plagues. Here’s John to explain.
What in the Bible Is God Saying?
Prophets of Power: Raining Down Plagues
Viewer Screen: Prophets of Power: Raining Down Plagues
Two events occurring a little more than a year apart illustrate the power of God. On March 5, 1979, the most powerful burst of energy was recorded by man. The Dallas Times Herald described it in this way: “The burst of gamma radiation picked up by the satellites lasted for only one-tenth of a second. But, in that brief instant, it emitted as much energy as the sun does over a period of 3,000 years. If the sun had belched out the same amount of energy, the earth would have vaporized instantly.”
The second demonstration of pure power occurred on May 18, 1980. It was then that Mt. St. Helens exploded with what is probably the most visible indication of the power of nature that the modern world has ever seen. National Geographic described the blast in this way: “At 8:32 that morning, the explosion ripped 1,300 feet off of the mountain with a force of ten million tons of TNT, or roughly equal to five hundred Hiroshimas. Sixty people were killed, most by a blast of three-hundred-degree heat traveling at two hundred miles per hour. Some people were killed as far as sixteen miles away.
“The blast also leveled one-hundred-fifty-foot Douglas firs, as far away as seventeen miles, and a total of 3.2 billion board feet of lumber were destroyed, enough to build 200,000 three-bedroom homes.”
Though that kind of cosmic power is truly mind-blowing, neither one of those examples is really anything more than God moving his little finger. Throughout the Bible, glimpses of God’s staggering power are presented through prophets of God.
The two prophets of Rev 11 will be given immense power and authority by God. However, by understanding v 14 of Rev 11 properly, we will experience an even greater awe of the power of these two prophets.
Viewer Screen: “The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly” (Rev 11:14).
This second woe includes God’s use of these two prophets to judge the earth, as presented in verses 3–13. But this woe also connects the ministry of these two witnesses to the first six trumpet judgments of Rev chapters 8 and 9. Let’s do a brief overview of the 1st 6 Trumpet Judgments:
1st Trumpet: 1/3 of Vegetation Destroyed
2nd Trumpet: 1/3 of Sea Life Destroyed
3rd Trumpet: 1/3 of Fresh Water Made Deadly
4th Trumpet: 1/3 of Sun, Moon, Stars Darkened
5th Trumpet: Insect Sting Produces Unbearable Pain
6th Trumpet: A Calamity Kills 1/3 of Mankind
By the way, the Bible reveals three series of judgments during the future Tribulation period. They are:
The Seal Judgments, occurring throughout the 7-year period;
The Trumpet Judgments, occurring, primarily, during the 1st half of the Tribulation;
The Bowl Judgments, occurring the 2nd half of the Tribulation
Now, putting the Trumpet Judgments in some perspective, let’s return to our discussion. In response to the first four trumpet judgments, and in anticipation of the remaining ones, an angel in heaven introduces three coming woes:
Viewer Screen: “And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!’ (Rev 8:13).”
Following the fifth trumpet judgment, the author of Revelation makes the following comment:
Viewer Screen: “One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things” (Rev 9:12).
We don’t see the announcement regarding the second woe until the end of the segment describing the two prophets of God in Rev 11. Then, in v 14—immediately following the episode of the two prophets—this declaration is announced:
Viewer Screen: “The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly” (Rev 11:14).
This means that the ministry of God’s prophets is connected with the woes of the trumpet judgments of Revelation, as the second “woe” seems to point back to the two prophets. In fact, the first six trumpet judgments are proclamations of God’s displays of power through these two witnesses. They are a presentation of the plagues with which the two prophets will strike the earth. Notice the description of these prophets in Rev 11:6:
Viewer Screen: “These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire” (Rev 11:6).
Note, especially, the portion of the verse I have underlined: “to strike the earth with all plagues.” The first six trumpet judgments upon the earth, located in chapters 8 and 9, reveal that a third of the trees will be burned up; all green grass will be burned up; a third of the sea will become blood; a third of the living creatures in the sea will die; a third of the ships will be destroyed; a third of the waters will become bitter, leading to many men dying from the water; insects will attack men with a sting so horribly painful that men will seek to commit suicide but will not be able to accomplish it; and a calamity will kill a third of mankind.
The descriptions of these plagues portray the awesome measure of power God will grant these prophets. The demonstration of this miraculous power will be signs that these two prophets are indeed sent from God, and the world had better pay close attention to the message they will bring!
Interestingly, the 7th Trumpet is not announced till after the ministry of the two prophets. It is the declaration of God’s coming kingdom to the earth. That the 7th Trumpet does not occur till after the ministry of God’s two prophets indicates that their ministry occurs during the time of the Trumpet Judgments.
Inhabitants of the world will understand that these two incredible prophets of God are responsible for the plagues of Rev chapters 8 and 9. A strong clue to that effect is found in Rev 11:10, when, after the deaths of the prophets, this scene plays out:
Viewer Screen: “And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth” (Rev 11:10).
Due to the amount of torment the unbelieving world will endure at the hands of these two prophets, they will be so excited about the deaths of these two prophets that they will celebrate and even give gifts to one another.
Viewer Screen: The God of Judgment
As prophets of God, the two witnesses of Rev 11 represent God to the world. Due to the nature of their ministry, God is portrayed through them as a God of judgment upon a rebellious world, not as a sweet, grandfatherly type.
Satan will use this particular depiction to deceive the world. Satan will trick unbelievers into thinking that the God of heaven is an enemy of the people on earth.
Furthermore, Satan will use his deception to lead the world’s inhabitants to worship his man, the beast of Revelation, as their god. The devil will inaugurate this man as the leader of the world, ruling over it for the final three and a half years, immediately prior to the return of Christ.
We might be tempted to ask at this point how a God of love can be responsible for the kinds of judgments we see in Rev chapters 8 and 9. The answer is that these judgments are actually a demonstration of God’s love for mankind; for He will use them to draw people to him. God knows that people find their ultimate fulfillment and blessing in a relationship with Him, whereas people experience destructive and tragic lives apart from God. Thus, if severe judgments are what are needed to draw people into a relationship with God, then to bring those judgments upon the earth is a demonstration of great love toward people. It’s what we might call “tough love.”
As we mentioned in past broadcasts of End Times Today, in the near future, Jesus will remove all believers in Him from the face of the earth and bring them to Him faster than one can blink. This is oftentimes called the rapture of the Church. But, because God has never left the world without a witness to Him, at the very moment believers are taken from the earth, two Jewish men in Jerusalem will believe in Jesus as the Messiah, the Giver of eternal life. From these two, God will reach the world with the good news of Jesus Christ in seven years. But these two will have help. At the very beginning of the Tribulation period, 144,000 Jews will believe in Jesus, as a result of the ministry of these two prophets of God. God will then launch these 144,000 worldwide to reach every tribe, tongue, and nation for Christ.
Join us next time on End Times Today as we learn about the amazing 144,000 evangelists in the broadcast we are calling “144,000 Ultimate Followers of Jesus.”
FULL STOP. WAIT FOR MUSIC AND VOICEOVER
VOICEOVER: Thank you John for helping understand these incredible characters of Bible Prophecy. Before we go let’s take a look at some questions from viewers just like you.
Questions / Answers
VOICEOVER: our question comes from Don in Brooklyn, NY: I have been having my Quiet Time in the book of Daniel and am now at chapter 8. Both in chapter 7 and chapter 8 is a reference to the “Little Horn”. In your view are they the same individual or are they two different individuals. I look forward to your reply. —Pastor Don, Brooklyn, NY
A: I’m so glad you asked this question, Kelley. I believe Jesus will catch most of the Church (the universal body of believers in Jesus Christ) unaware—as a “thief in the night”—when He comes at the Rapture of the Church. I believe that most Christians are asleep at the wheel in terms of Bible prophecy, particularly the rapture. But I don’t believe every believer in Jesus will be caught as a thief in the night. Notice the injunction the Apostle Paul gave to believers in 1 Thess 5:2, 4:
Viewer Screen: For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief” (1Th 5:2-4).
The “day of the Lord” refers to the Tribulation period. I have underlined the pronouns in these verses to provide contrast, which is what Paul is doing in these verses. He is saying that unbelievers will be caught off-guard by the coming of the Tribulation period, but believers should not be.
But Paul is not guaranteeing that no believer will be caught off-guard; but he is saying they should not be caught unaware.
As we have shown in past broadcasts of End Times Today, no one who has believed in Jesus for eternal life prior to the rapture of the Church will enter into the Tribulation period. Yet, Jesus indicates in Mt 24 (particularly in verses 36-51) that some believes will be caught unaware by the rapture. In fact, I believe many will be; but not all.
So, how could this be if no believer enters into the Tribulation period? If the rapture occurs at the very moment the Tribulation period begins, then it is possible for believers to be caught unaware by that simultaneous event.
Believers who, at that time, are seeking the Lord with open hearts—those Jesus describes as looking for their Master’s coming—will not be caught off-guard. Yet, even faithful believers will not know the day or the hour, as Jesus proclaimed in Mark 13:35:
Viewer Screen: “ ‘But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’ ” (Mar 13:32).
Let’s say we can see God at work in the world today, bringing together the pieces of the puzzle for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. And let’s say that I have been correct that God will first bring down the Iranian regime; then He will bring together ten national leaders to work together with Israel on the seven-year treaty that will kick-off the Tribulation period. Even if we know that those leaders are working on the treaty that will inaugurate the Tribulation period, at which point we will be caught into the sky to be with Jesus, we still won’t know the day or the hour. A treaty could take days, weeks, months, or longer to hammer out. Even if we know what we are seeing, we won’t know the day or the hour. I hope that makes sense, and I hope that answers your question, Kelley. If it doesn’t, please let me know.
Thank you for tuning in today to End Times Today. I will look forward to seeing you next time.
Q: I have been having my Quiet Time in the book of Daniel and am now at chapter 8. Both in chapter 7 and chapter 8 is a reference to the “Little Horn”. In your view are they the same individual or are they two different individuals. I look forward to your reply. —Pastor Don, Brooklyn, NY
A: That is a reference to the same individual. I describe this individual in my book The Impending Apocalypse. He is the end-times king of the North, who will arise from Iraq and conquer the Middle East and northern Africa before becoming the beast of Revelation who will rule the world for the last three and a half years prior to the return of Christ.
Q: I read where you said that the invasion from the north described in Ezekiel 38 was the rebellion at the end of the 1000-year-reign of Christ on earth, but in an article, you wrote that the burying of the dead at the end of this battle would be at the end of the 7-year tribulation when Christ returns to set up His kingdom. I’m a little confused. —Bob (Alfred), Williamstown, WV
A: Good question. Yes, the Ezekiel 38 scenario will occur at the end of the millennial reign of Christ. The burying of the dead is found in Ezekiel 39, a chapter which will find its fulfillment at the very end of the tribulation period in connection to the return of Christ. (Ezekiel 39 is a different vision than is chapter 38.) Thus, the invitation to the birds to eat the corpses in Ezekiel 39 is also found in Revelation 19 in order to connect these two passages to the same event. A massive amount of people who will have invaded Israel for the express purpose of warring against Christ at His return (He will return to the Mt. of Olives, just outside of Jerusalem) will be killed. Their bodies will be buried seven years into the millennial kingdom as a lesson to all who would dare rebel against Christ during His reign. (I don’t know if you realize this, but there will be two types of people in the millennial kingdom–glorified believers and people who have not believed in Christ dwelling in mortal bodies. This latter group will stem from children who are allowed into the kingdom, who will grow up, marry, have families; their children will grow up, etc. They will be given opportunity to believe in Christ, but many will not–as is evident in Revelation 20:7-10.)
Q: Why does sin have to be reconciled? Why did God send a part of himself to suffer on earth?
How does Jesus’ crucifixion give us a “pass” on our sins? Yes, it is the ultimate sacrifice for which we are eternally grateful, but why does it save us? —Blaire, Cedar Rapids, IA
A: Without the reconciliation of sin, all people would be eternally lost—eternally separated from God. God cannot have anything to do with sin (in fact, Habakkuk 1:13 reveals that God cannot look on sin); thus, we would not be able to live with God forever apart from sin being dealt with.
To deal with sin, God sent His perfect Son, Jesus, into this world in order to live a perfect life so He could offer a perfect sacrifice as our substitute.
By the way, God could not remain a perfect Judge by ignoring sin. What kind of judge would allow crime to go unpaid? Only an awful and unjust judge would allow that, and God is not that. In fact, God could not remain perfect if He allowed sin to go unpaid.
In addition, if God allowed sin to be unpaid, sin would remain with us forever. Every bad thing we experience is due to sin being extant (in existence). Thus, all of the suffering, aging, sorrow—in fact, problems of any kind, including even death are consequences of sin dwelling in this world. What a horrible and hopeless future we would face if sin went unpaid.
I should also pause here to make the point that only a perfect offering could be made for our sins. This is because God is perfect and, therefore, has perfect standards. Those standards must be met in order for people to be able to spend eternity with God. Jesus met those standards and then offered Himself to take our place as the perfect substitute.
When Jesus went to the cross, He took upon Himself ALL of our sins—every sin we would ever commit from the moment we drew our first breath to the moment we draw our last one. As Hebrews 10:12 declares, Jesus “offered one sacrifice for sins forever.” That means that there would never be a sin that Jesus did not pay for.
When He died, He satisfied God’s demands regarding sin (see 1 John 2:2)—for all people for all time. He removed sin (John 1:29) as a barrier to eternal life.
As a result, one can receive eternal life—simply by believing Jesus for it. After all, by His life and death, He did everything needed to be done to make payment for sin and to procure eternal life, so He could offer it as a free gift. This is why, just before He died, He cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) That statement meant “Paid in full!”
Jesus’ death does not give us a “pass”; it paid for sin and its consequences. However, people still need to receive eternal life in order to be with God forever; and they receive it simply by believing Jesus for it (see John 3:16-18; 5:24; 6:47; 11:25-26; etc.).
FULL STOP. WAIT FOR OUTRO VOICEOVER.
VOICEOVER: Thanks so much to John, for the information in today’s fascinating episode.
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