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: “Back from the Future:
Incredible Examples of Living for Jesus”
WAIT FOR INTRO, MUSIC, AND VOICEOVER
VOICEOVER: Welcome to End Times Today with Author, Speaker, and Bible teacher: John Claeys. This episode is entitled, Back From The Future
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We’ll take a look at Back From The Future 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: Antisemitism in the World Today
The event that launches the Tribulation period is the confirmation of a 7-year treaty of “pace and security” between Israel and leaders of ten other nations. The inauguration of this treaty starts the clock ticking on the 7-year Tribulation period and begins a 3½-year period of peace for the Jewish state. Though the expectation for Israel, regarding this treaty, is for a 7-year era of peace, Bible prophecy reveals that this treaty will be broken after 3½ years.
This breach is connected with the arrival of the beast of Revelation who will rule the world for the last 3½ years of the Tribulation period. He will be empowered and controlled by Satan.
Viewer Screen: Satan: The Leader of Antisemitism
Because the Jews are chosen by God in a very special way for a special purpose, Satan is totally anti-Semitic; and, so, Satan’s man, the beast, will also be antisemitic. During the last half of the Tribulation, Satan, through the beast, will especially seek to eliminate all Jews who believe in Jesus during that period of time. Thus, antisemitism will hit a new zenith in the history of mankind. During that era, the beast will strongly incentivize people worldwide to turn in Jews who have believed in Jesus. When that call is made, to the authorities the beast’s troops will arrive to arrest Jewish believers, after which, they will be condemned to death.
While the Great Tribulation will showcase a level of anti-Semitism even higher than what was showcased under Nazi Germany, Satan is prepping the world even now to reach those heights of hatred toward the Jews.
One way Satan is propelling antisemitism is through the BDS movement—boycott, divest, and sanction the state of Israel.
Viewer Screen: After 15-Year Hostile BDS Campaign, Israel Has Only Become Stronger - David Mayand Benjamin Weinthal (Washington Times)
On July 9, 2005, Omar Barghouti, then a graduate student in philosophy at Tel Aviv University, launched a campaign to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) the State of Israel. In a May 2020 podcast in Arabic, Barghouti confirmed that BDS seeks to eliminate the "Zionist state." Yet, after 15 years, Israel has only become stronger economically and diplomatically.
BDS has notched successes among American academics, church groups and campus organizations, although many U.S. lawmakers have condemned BDS.
BDS is simply another form of antisemitism.
Antisemitism is also promoted through the media. For example, a recent article cited the NY Times as a promotion of antisemitism.
Viewer Screen: New York Times Claims Internationally Embraced Anti-Semitism Definition Is (C "Disputed" - Tamar Sternthal (CAMERA)
After citing a specific example, the writer of this article stated that “ as the lone Jewish state in the world, the NY Times believes it is fair game to attack [Israel] . . . as being Hitleresque, and as being an occupier of land that doesn’t belong to it simply because it is Jewish.”
The author of this article goes on to provide examples of antisemitism found in the media, as well as those portrayed in academics regarding Israel include: "Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis," "Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions," "Applying double standards by requiring of it behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation," and "denying Israel the right to exist."
As the next article points out, Satan’s antisemitism is alive and well on college campuses:
Viewer Screen: Today, the Real Rebels Defend Israel - David Suissa (Los Angeles Jewish Journal)
These days, many feel it's cool to go against Israel and take the side of the Palestinians. . . . On college campuses especially, piling on the attacks on the Jewish state is the safe [and conformist] choice.
Anger at Israel has become the world's default position. You can never get in trouble today for bashing Israel. . . .
Antisemitism is discussed in a personal way in the following article:
Viewer Screen: I'm Glad We're Finally Talking about Anti-Semitism - Arielle Tchiprout (Cosmopolitan-UK)
I'm a 25-year-old British-Israeli Jewish woman, and I have experienced anti-Semitism my whole life. Anti-Semitism . . . continues to exist now, although now it's often skillfully disguised behind criticism of Israel.
In school, . . . Kids would sing "Throw the Jew Down the Well" song when I entered a room. . . . , while another boy . . . whispered "synagogue monkey" into my ear with such venom I felt faint.
My parents received late-night phone calls saying, "die Jew, die."
The final article,
Viewer Screen: An Israeli Responds to Criticism from American Jewish Comedians - Shany Mor (Forward)
describes how it is trendy to . . . call the Jewish state racist, even by American Jews. This article provides an example of American Jewish comedians who do just that.
Antisemitism is alive and well in the world today. In fact, it appears to be growing in terms of physical attacks on Jews, as well as a growing acceptance of anti-Israel positions. It appears that Satan is preparing for the antisemitism that will control the world in the Great Tribulation.
God is allowing this building of antisemitism to prepare for the coming Tribulation period. He will use it to bring Jews to faith in Jesus, He will glorify Himself as He protects and delivers Israel from extinction, and He will demonstrate to the world at large that He is a God of loyalty, love, and grace as He uses antisemitism in its climactic form to usher in the coming kingdom of God.
And that 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: Back From The Future. Here’s John to explain.
What in the Bible Is God Saying?
“Back from the Future: Incredible Examples of Living for Jesus”
Viewer Screen: Back from the Future: Incredible Examples of Living for Jesus
As we have learned in past broadcasts of End Times Today, God will raise up two Jewish men through whom He will reach Israel with the good news of Jesus Christ during the first 3½ years of the Tribulation period. The very first fruit of the ministry of these two prophets of God will be 144,000 Jews believing in Jesus for eternal life at the very beginning of the Tribulation.
In our last broadcast, we did an overview of these144,000, finding that they will be faithful, trustworthy, and truthful. As such, they will be entrusted with the gospel as God’s special ambassadors into the global mission field and will be used by God to reach the nations for Christ.
In this week’s broadcast, we want to see the 144,000 for who they are, incredible examples of living for Jesus. Before we examine their examples, I want to show that the primary reason the 144,000 are presented in the book of Revelation is because of their examples to us.
Viewer Screen: Purpose of Revelation: Encourage believers to remain faithful through tough times in order to obtain awesome, eternal reward.
I believe that the book of Revelation has a very practical purpose; it was written to encourage believers in Jesus to remain faithful to Him through difficult times in order to obtain awesome, eternal reward. That reward will be co-ruling with Jesus in God’s future kingdom.
This is a very similar purpose to that of the book of Hebrews. However, while Hebrews encourages believers by going back into the past to portray examples of believers who finished faithfully for the Lord (such as in Hebrews chapter 11), Revelation launches us into the future to show believers there who will finish faithfully for Christ. The examples of faithful believers in Revelation are those who will live through the most difficult time in human history to remain faithful to Christ—the Great Tribulation, the last 3½ years of the Tribulation period. As a result of them remaining faithful to Christ during difficult times, they will rule with Christ in His kingdom, which is particularly shown in Rev 20:4-6.
So, that is why the 144,000 appear in Revelation; they are there to serve as examples for us to emulate. Though the beast—the world ruler for the last 3½ years of the Tribulation—seeks to hunt them down to torture them and kill them, they don’t hide to protect themselves. Instead, they go global, seeking to reach people for Christ.
Viewer Screen: The 144,000 will be trained by God’s two prophets.
Undoubtedly, after the 144,000 believe in Jesus for eternal life, they will be taught from God’s Word for some time prior to going out as evangelists. Since they are Jewish, they may already have an understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures, what we call the OT. So they will particularly be trained from the NT.
This training will be necessary in order for them to be fully prepared to make disciples of Jesus—that is, to not only lead people to believe in Jesus for eternal life, but to also baptize and to teach them, as Jesus mandated in Mt 28:
Viewer Screen: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’ ” (Mat 28:18-20).
Note the command to “make disciples of all the nations.” Did you know that in 2,000 years of existence the Church—the universal body of believers in Jesus Christ—has never accomplished this? But, in 3½ years of the Tribulation period the 144,000 will accomplish this mandate. Note what is revealed in Rev 7:9-14:
Viewer Screen: “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, . . . . ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’ ” (Rev 7:9-14).
These verses are linked with a lengthened description of the 144,000 which precedes verses 9-14. Thus, the 144,000 will be used of God to reach “all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Amazing!
The 144,000 will be special instruments to fulfill Jesus’ words in Mt 24:14:
Viewer Screen: “ ‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.’ ”
Notice that when the 144,000 complete their ministry, “the end will come.” “The end” refers both to the end of the Tribulation period and to “the end of the age.” Jesus uses the term “the end of the age” (particularly in Mt 24 and 25) to refer to the end of the period of mankind’s history from Adam to the end of the Tribulation period. Jesus will return to the earth to end this age and to inaugurate a new age—the kingdom of God upon the earth.
Let’s return to Mt 28:19-20 where we see the term “the end of the age” once again:
Viewer Screen: “ ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’ ” (Mat 28:18-20).
The indication in this injunction by Jesus is that believers are to be making disciples of others, by baptizing them (after they believe in Jesus for eternal life) and by teaching them; and they are to do that till “the end of the age.” That is exactly what the 144,000 will be doing, that which we should be doing now.
So that these 144,000 will be devoted and effective followers of Christ in a most difficult age, they will sit under training by God’s two prophets. Following that period of time (which could be most of the first half of the Tribulation period), they will go out from Judea (southern Israel where Jerusalem is located) before the midpoint of the tribulation period. (We know this timing by some definite and major clues given to us in the book of Revelation. For time’s sake, I will simply refer you to my book, The Impending Apocalypse where I explain those clues.)
Viewer Screen: “These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (Rev 14:4).
Last week we noted that descriptions of the 144,000 present them as wholeheartedly faithful followers of the Lord Jesus Christ once they believe in him for eternal life. To underline that truth, they are also presented as being free from spiritually adulterous relationships with the pagan world system. That should be especially challenging to us and should move us to ask the question: How has the world gotten ahold of us? In other words, have the constant bombardments of media, including social media, and of those who have been affected by media gotten to us—the barrage of messages encouraging pride, anger, greed, lust, and the constant encouragement for Christians to lower, or even change, their standards?
Perhaps we need to fight those assaults with even more fervent prayer, asking God to mold us in the example, who is the model for the 144,000; we need to do battle by spending concerted time in God’s word, asking Him to use His word to transform us into the image of His Son, the Lord Jesus.
We also learned this about the 144,000:
Viewer Screen “And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Rev 14:5).
In other words, they speak the truth. They will not compromise God’s word, including the gospel of Jesus Christ.
How are we doing in the area of truth-telling? How are we doing in refusing to compromise God’s word.
And, as we have touched on, the 144,000 will be given:
Viewer Screen: “. . . the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev 14:6).
Do we seek to reach others with the good news of Jesus Christ? Are we asking God to use us to clearly and boldly present the amazing offer of Jesus—that He gives eternal life, life with God forever, to anyone and everyone who simply believes Him for it?
As we think about the 144,000, think about how their examples might encourage us to become even more serious about following Christ from their example. Certainly, we should be encouraged by their example of great faithfulness of “following the Lamb wherever he goes”—that is, of complete obedience no matter what the cost might be. And, we should be encouraged to imitate their boldness in holding to the truth by proclaiming Christ to many others. In addition, they encourage us to remain faithful to Christ through our most difficult times, as they will continue in great faithfulness during the most difficult time in the history of the world. If they can live faithfully for Christ during the Great Tribulation, we can live faithfully for Christ today.
In our next broadcast, we will discover a mysterious and shadowy character from the Middle East, one who could be alive today. Join us here at End Times Today as we confront “The Rise of the King of the North.”
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
Our first question comes from Vickie in Beaumont Texas. She writes: My niece asked me about the fate of Jews when they die. She is confused by the fact that the Jews are God's chosen people and that we worship the same God so she thinks they will be taken care of. Do you have anything that I can share with her concerning this? Thank you. ---Vickie Beaumont, TX
A: It is true that the descendants of Abraham, the Jews, are God’s chosen people; however, the apostle Paul, who is Jewish, explained that only those “of faith” are “sons of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7). In the context, he means that only those who have believed in Jesus as the Christ—as the Giver of eternal life—are the Jewish descendants who will be experiencing God’s promises to the Jews, including being in God’s kingdom. In addition, Paul explains in Romans that a “true Jew” is one that is “circumcised of the heart” (Romans 2:28-29), meaning one who has believed in Jesus for eternal life. Paul continues this explanation in chapter 3 and 4 of Romans; then later—in chapter 9—he shares that Jews as a whole have missed out on being justified before God because they have sought to be justified by their works (by trying to keep the law), instead of by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 9:30-33). But the good news is that one day the Jews who are alive will believe in Jesus, as Romans 11:26 tells us; yet that does not change the fate of those who die without believing in Jesus.
As Paul tells us in Romans 4, only those who have believed in Jesus are justified before God; this includes Jews and Gentiles. Therefore, only Jews who have believed Jesus for eternal life are God’s chosen people.
Our next question comes from Belinda in Texas. She writes: In your book, you state the two prophets will be the only believers in Jesus at the very beginning of the tribulation period. Does this mean they will be the ones who ultimately bring the 144,000 to Christ? I absolutely loved the way you presented these topics! I especially think you did great presenting the 144,000. The way you presented the meaning behind the expression "virgin" was incredibly insightful. Nevertheless, I do believe that these 144,000 will not be the only ones calling to repentance during the seven years of Tribulation. I think many will mourn and repent after they realize that they were left behind. Many of these will be people like us that are studying the Word and that will know what exactly is happening. I believe that they will turn their heads to God at that time. ---Belinda, Jefferson, TX
A: After removing the Church (all believers in Christ alive on the earth), God will begin the seven-year tribulation period with two Jewish prophets who will believe in Jesus at the very moment the rapture takes place (as God has never left Himself without a witness upon the earth--from the time of Adam onward). As Daniel 9:24-27 (see my two chapters on this passage) shows, that seven-year period is a time of God's focus upon Israel (as Jer. 30:7 states, "a time of Jacob's trouble"). Thus, God will use these two Jewish prophets to reach many thousands of Jews during the first three and a half years of that seven-year era, but the 144,000 will be the first ones who will believe in Jesus, as Rev 14:4 reveals that they are “fisrstfruits” of the ministry of the two prophets. Those 144,000 will stay around Jerusalem to learn from the two prophets, but will then fan out across the globe prior to the midpoint of the tribulation period in order to reach the nations with the gospel.
I don't believe the world will even notice that the rapture has occurred, because at the moment the rapture occurs, the seven-year treaty with Israel will go into effect, world leaders will proclaim, "peace and security," then sudden destruction will hit (a nuclear attack, most likely). This will result in global warfare (cf. Matt. 24:6-7; Rev. 6:3-4; etc.). Thus, though millions will be missing due to the rapture, the world will believe they may have become casualties of the global warfare. There will be so much going on at that point, that the world will not put it together with the rapture for some time. (However, I believe that the beast of Revelation will have an explanation of the missing Christians that will involve the rapture--but that is not till three and a half years have passed following the rapture.)
Those who mourn in repentance will be Jews in Israel, as Zechariah 12 shows. And in the context of Zechariah chapters 12-14, that will take place right at the end of the tribulation period. For they will call to God for deliverance, and He will respond by sending Jesus to the earth to deliver believing Jews. (This is all in my book.)
FULL STOP. WAIT FOR OUTRO VOICEOVER.
VOICEOVER: Thanks so much to John, for the information in today’s fascinating program. Don’t forget, If you’d like to sign up for notifications, see recent episodes, get copies of John’s books, or even ask John a question you can do that and more at ENDTIMESTODAY.ORG. In addition if you are interested in becoming a financial pattern with this or any of the shows produced by Free Grace International, you can donate at endtimestoday.org. Thanks for watching and we will see you next time on End Times Today, With John Claeys.