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End Times Today With John Claeys: Episode 5

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VOICEOVER: Welcome to End Times Today with Author, Speaker, and Bible teacher: John Claeys. In today’s episode we are going to continue exploring “The Great Escape.”  

Before we do, I’d like to remind you all that is available at End Times Today Dot Org. You can sign up for notifications concerning upcoming episodes, watch previous broadcasts, and even send in your own questions for John. 

In addition you can get a copy of John’s book Impending Apocalypse by going to End Times Today Dot Org. 

Before we dig into our Prophecy presentation today, let’s take a look at what’s happening in our the world right now. Here’s John Claeys

What in the World Is God Doing?

Broadcast 5

German Intelligence Report Reveals Iran's Attempts to Obtain Nuclear Technology - Benjamin Weinthal
Iran remains hell-bent on developing the deadliest weapons on the planet, according to a Baden-Wurttemberg state intelligence agency document released Monday. "They aim to complete existing arsenals, perfect the range, applicability and effectiveness of their weapons and develop new weapon systems," the report said. "They try to obtain the necessary products and relevant know-how, among other things, through illegal procurement efforts in Germany."
    The document noted Iran's strategy to circumvent export restrictions and embargoes, saying Iran "can procure goods in Germany and Europe with the help of specially established front companies, and in particular bring dual-use goods to the risk countries. Typical bypass countries include the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and China."
    Last week, Germany's Foreign Ministry reversed a policy that previously labeled the Iranian regime's calls to exterminate the Jewish state as mere "anti-Israel rhetoric," and said Tehran's language is now anti-Semitic. The writer is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Fox News)

The IAEA Did Its Part regarding Iran, Now It's Time for the World to Act - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Jacob Nagel and Andrea Stricker
The new report of the global nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on Iran's implementation of its agreements under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) paints a disturbing picture of Tehran stonewalling the agency on an investigation into alleged undeclared nuclear materials and activities directly related to the development of nuclear weapons.
    Iran, an NPT member, is party to legally binding accords - which are separate from the 2015 nuclear deal - that require Tehran to provide complete declarations about its use and production of nuclear material and to permit immediate and unrestricted inspections by the IAEA at any site the agency deems necessary to visit. Since the end of January 2020, Tehran has refused the IAEA access to two nuclear sites of concern and declined to answer questions about a third.
    The IAEA can go only so far in investigating and reporting on its findings. It has done its job to report Iran's non-compliance, and it is now up to the board of governors to act. The board can support the agency by passing a resolution by 2/3 of its 35 members finding Tehran in breach of the NPT. It is past time for the world to unite around the threat of Iran's nuclear program. This should start with the IAEA's board of governors recognizing that Tehran's nuclear program is not peaceful.
    Brig.-Gen. (res.) Jacob Nagel, a senior fellow at FDD, served as head of Israel's National Security Council. Andrea Stricker is a research fellow focusing on nonproliferation at FDD. (Newsweek-Foundation for Defense of Democracies)


VOICEOVER: It’s amazing to see what’s going on in the world. Now let’s consider what in the Bible God is saying to us, as we ponder the question “The Great Escape.” Here’s John to shed some light on this mysterious concept

What in the Bible Is God Saying?

The Great Escape: Part III

Viewer screen: The rapture of the Church

In the past two broadcasts, we have looked at the rapture of the Church, which is when Jesus will come from Heaven into the sky, but beyond the view of anyone on earth. At that amazing event: 

1) Jesus will bring with Him believers who have died; then, 

2) faster than one can blink, those believers will receive their resurrected bodies; and a millisecond later:

3) Believers who are still alive on the earth will be caught up into the sky with Jesus and receive their glorified bodies, as well.

We learned in our last two broadcasts that:

The rapture will occur on the very day the Tribulation period begins.

This means:

Not one person who has believed in Jesus for eternal life PRIOR to the rapture will experience the Tribulation period.  

We also learned last week:

We need to be ready at all times for Jesus’ coming for us! 

We can see that the rapture is drawing near.

However, though Jesus presented these events as occurring suddenly, catching many off-guard, this does not mean believers in Christ cannot know when these prophetic occurrences are close at hand. As we observe God at work in the world today, we can see that the rapture is drawing near.  

I want to surface 2 indicators showing we are drawing close to the rapture and the Tribulation period.

1) The continued influx of Jews into the land of Israel in fulfillment of Ezekiel 37 to prepare for the salvation of Israel. In fact, because immigration into Israel has already reached an apex and is now “nearing zero growth from immigration,” it may be that the number of Jews God has appointed to be in the land when the day of the Lord begins is close to fulfillment. 

2) The control of Jerusalem by Israel in 1967 signaled the fulfillment of “the times of the Gentiles” (Lk 21:24). Thus, God has been turning His focus from the Gentiles to Israel for salvation. 

So, we can know these events are drawing near. And God wants us to be ever ready so we will finish well. Finishing well means we obtain the privileged opportunity to rule with Christ in God’s kingdom!

Jesus illustrates the importance of being ready for His coming by the use of a parable in Mt 24:45–51. Let’s look at that parable together:

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season [the time of preparation prior to the return of Christ]? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 

In this critical teaching to his followers, Jesus portrays a Christian (“servant”) entrusted with a ministry of serving others. In these verses, the Christian applies Jesus’ exhortation to be ever-ready, for His coming by faithfully obeying his master. He carries out the charge to nourish (“give them food”) fellow believers by teaching (feeding) them God’s Word—right up to his master’s return.

* * * [Viewers’ screen: re-list verses 45-47.]

Due to the faithfulness of this servant, his Master will “make him ruler over all his goods.” This represents the reward of rule in Christ’s kingdom for the believer who finishes his life faithfully to Christ. Verses 45–47 illustrate the important truth that only those believers who finish their lives faithfully to Christ will rule with him in the future kingdom of God. Thus, the first half of this parable presents the illustration of a believer responding well to Jesus’ exhortation to live in readiness for His coming; for that believer will be well rewarded for it.

But the focus of this parable makes a critical change in verses 48–51. Let’s look at those verses:

“But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat hisfellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for himand at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint himhis portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The change is signaled by the word “but.” Jesus illustrates here that this same believer could make a different choice. Notice the phrase: “If that evil servant”—the very same believer in Christ could have a very different response to Christ’s admonition which would change everything for him or her.  

* * * [Viewers’ screen: re-list verses 48-51.]

The change in response for this believer begins by this change in thinking: “ ‘My master is delaying his coming.’ ” Instead of believing Jesus could come soon for us, this believer begins to think that Jesus won’t be coming any time soon. This leads to the unfaithfulness depicted in this way: [He or she] “begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards. . .” 

* * * [Viewers’ screen: re-list verse 49 only.]

“. . . begins to beat hisfellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, . . .”

Instead of living in readiness for the coming of Christ, this believer mistreats his fellow Christians and lives for self-gratification, while keeping company with those who live without restraint. 

* * * [Viewers’ screen: re-list verse 49 only.]

“. . . begins to beat hisfellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, . . .”

From this we see living in readiness for Christ’s return = serving others, living soberly (in self-control), and keeping company with committed believers (Heb 10:24-25).

* * * [Viewers’ screen: re-list verse 48 only.]

“But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ . . .”

What causes the differing behavior between these two pictures of Christians presented in this passage? What is it that creates the second picture—that of a Christian who finishes unfaithfully to his Master? The fatal mistake this believer makes, which leads him to live such a wasteful life, is that hebelieves his Master will not soon return (verse 48). 

* * * [Viewers’ screen: re-list verse 48 only.]

“But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ . . .”

Unfortunately, not many churches or Bible teachers teach on the imminent return of Jesus. Thus, many Christians: 1) don’t know anything about the rapture; or 2) don’t believe Jesus could come soon; or 3) believe Jesus won’t come in the air till after the Tribulation period. As a result, 

* * * [Viewers’ screen: re-list verse 50 only.]

“. . . the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for himand at an hour that he is not aware of, . . .”

The believer in Christ with this mindset, who lives unfaithfully for Christ—not preparing for His soon coming—will be caught off-guard. That will lead to this experience:

* * * [Viewers’ screen: re-list verse 51 only.]

“. . . [Jesus] will cut him in two and appoint himhis portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

At the Judgment Seat of Christ, Jesus will assemble all believers in Him to publicly assess their faithfulness. Instead of being rewarded with rule in Christ’s kingdom, the unfaithful believer depicted in verses 49–51 will experience great regret at the judgment seat of Christ. 

* * * [Viewers’ screen: re-list verse 51 only.]

“. . . [Jesus] will cut him in two and appoint himhis portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

When believers appear before Christ in the future, they will have a complete absence of sin. Since sin is what impedes our desire to please Christ, then when we appear before him one day, we will, at that time, want to please Christ with 100 percent of our being! Imagine, then, how a Christian will feel appearing before Christ and realizing he finished his life in self-gratification instead of living for Christ! At that point, any word of rebuke from Jesus will be like cutting the sensitive believer in two! 

* * * [Viewers’ screen: re-list verse 51 only.]

“. . . [Jesus] will cut him in two and appoint himhis portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The unfaithful believer will then have the unfortunate fate of being assigned “a portion with the hypocrites.” A hypocrite is one who misrepresents who he really is. For a Christian, this would mean not living as a child of God—in other words, not living as a faithful follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

* * * [Viewers’ screen: re-list verse 51 only.]

“. . . [Jesus] will cut him in two and appoint himhis portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

To be assigned a portion with the hypocrites means this unfaithful Christian will possess the same reward in the kingdom as other hypocritical Christians—those who did not live as children of God. This is actually an extremely serious consequence! 

* * * [Viewers’ screen: re-list verse 51 only.]

“. . . [Jesus] will cut him in two and appoint himhis portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The outcome of the judgment for the unfaithful believer will result in an eternal experience that will be far less fulfilling than it could have been, missing out on the incredible joy, intimacy with Christ, awesome honor from him, significant position, fulfilling service, etc. that God desires for us in his eternal kingdom. And above all, this believer will realize he disappointed his Savior and King!

Keep looking up!

Here is our application: Keep looking up!

Bud Wood used to run Shepherd’s Home, a home for the educable retarded and those with Down’s syndrome. He taught them the gospel of Christ, and he stressed to the residents that Jesus may appear in the air at any moment for believers in Christ. 

Keep looking up!

The worst maintenance problem at the home during Bud Wood’s tenure there was dirty windows. The residents at the home would constantly go to the windows, press their faces against the glass, and excitedly look into the sky and ask, “Is Jesus coming?! Is he coming?!” 

The Bible teaches we are to live with this kind of expectation. 

In Our Next Broadcast

While we have seen that the rapture will occur on the very day the Tribulation period begins, something else will actually start the clock ticking on the Tribulation period. Join us next time on End Times Today to discover the ticking clock of the Tribulation period. 



Questions / Answers

VINA FROM AUStRALIA WRITES Q: I believe that Jesus died for my sins, and the sins of the world, that he is the way and the ONLY way, and that he promised eternal life to all that come to him. But to me that is a "mental assent," something that may preachers of eternal security says cannot be, that it must be more than just that, so those of us who want to believe are left to wonder "More what?" I hope this makes it clear to you why I (and I'm sure many others) are left to wonder...am I saved, or not? And I even read one other well-known teacher the other day who said that we can't even believe unless God grants the faith to do so! Some days, John, I just feel despair, and I'm left to wonder: How do we know? --- Vina, Australia

A: Vina, preachers who have twisted the simple gospel of Jesus (and there are a lot of them who have) call that "mental assent"; but to believe is to be persuaded that something is true. That is clearly the meaning of "believe" in English; and it means the same thing in both Greek and Hebrew, which is why the translators translated those works as "believe." 

Think about what those who have twisted the gospel are saying--that believe means more than believe. Then they usually add things like one needs to repent, have accompanying works in one's life, be committed to Jesus, etc. That's not only illogical; it's absolute nonsense! It not only twists the gospel; it twists the meaning of language, as well. 

One example of the meaning of “believe” can be seen in Acts 28:24 where Luke makes this statement: “And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved.” Notice that “persuaded” is contrasted to “disbelieved”. The antithesis of “disbelieve” is “believe”; so if “Persuaded” is substituted as the antithesis to “disbelieved,” “persuade” is clearly a synonym of “believe.” 

Preachers who twist the gospel confuse two separate issues: 1) the free gift of eternal life with 2) the cost of discipleship. They are separate issues in the Bible, but too many intermingle them. That they are separate can be seen by the differences between the Gospel of John and the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). The material in the Gospel of John is 92% unique., meaning that 92% of the material in the Gospel of John is not found anywhere else. However, the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) have a lot of material in common with each other. In fact, the reason they are called the Synoptics (which literally means “to see together”) is because they have so much in common with each other. 

Well, common material indicates a common purpose; and unique material indicates a unique purpose. The Gospel of John, which has so much unique material, has a unique purpose: It is the only book of the Bible that has the written purpose of being written to show readers how to receive eternal life. However, the Synoptics have a discipleship purpose, which is why you won’t find a clear presentation in them of how to receive eternal life.

But, unfortunately, preachers who don’t understand this go to the Synoptics to find the gospel. And what they come up with is a Biblically inaccurate presentation that eliminates assurance from believers and keeps unbelievers from simply believing Jesus for eternal life. It is really sad!

But I have one more thought: What kind of loving Father would want to confuse His children about whether they really belong to Him or not? Would that be very loving? No! That would be emotionally abusive! There are so many preachers who are guilty of emotional abuse and of characterizing God as an emotionally abusive Father! Because God loves us enough to have sent His Son to die for us, He longs for us to know we are His children—that we have eternal life with Him! This is why God tells us in 1 John 5:13: 

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

DIANE FROM ARKANSAS WRITES Q: Reading about the Judgment Seat of Christ in your book.... and the timing of it.... makes me wonder about those who are there NOW but haven't YET stood before the Lord at that Judgment.  Anything in the Bible that gives information about how they're feeling now about that?   --Diane, Siloam Springs, AR

“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For 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. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences” (2 Cor 5:9-11).

A: Good question, Diane. Well, we know that the "sanctified" version of how a believer feels, as he or she looks toward the Judgment Seat of Christ, is found in 2 Corinthians 5:9-11. There we find that the Apostle Paul had a mix of feelings about it--that of wonder, awe, exhilaration, and (healthy) fear / trepidation. ​However, those feelings existed (along with great motivation to fare well at the Judgment Seat of Christ) prior to him finishing his life. Now, he knows he will fare well, as there is kind of a pre-reward reception granted to believers in heaven, so they know, with a fair amount of certainty the result of their assessment.

I say that based on some examples we have in Scripture. For example, Jesus has been pre-rewarded with the highest honor of sitting at the right hand of the throne of God, though He has not yet received His full reward of ruling in the kingdom.

Stephen had a reception of great honor at his death; for the Lord Jesus (who has been sitting since He ascended to heaven) stood to honor and welcome Stephen into heaven (Acts 7:55-56).

God granted Paul to know at the end of his life that he would be well-rewarded (cf. 2 Tim. 4:6-8). 

A white robe will be given to each of the faithful martyrs of the tribulation period, following their deaths (and prior to the return of Christ--see Rev. 6:9-11). As presented in Revelation, the white garment symbolizes reward for enduring faithfulness to Christ (cf. Rev. 3:5, 18). 

So, I believe that believers in heaven already have an idea of how they will fare at the Judgment Seat; but they will not fully grasp what they will receive at that assessment until they have experienced it. I believe, therefore, there is excitement (for faithful believers), looking forward (with some adrenaline rush) to standing before their Lord who will praise and honor them. 

However, I believe that unfaithful believers are not looking forward to that assessment. They are more likely fearing their turn before Christ. 

For everyone else in between the highly faithful and the very unfaithful, there will be a mix of feelings as they face the most significant moment of their lives.


VOICEOVER: What a great discussion we've had today. We hope that today’s broadcast has encouraged you to look to the Skys as we watch for the return of Christ. 

A COUPLE OF QUICK REMINDERS. If you’d like to sign up for notifications, see recent episodes, or even ask John a question you can do that and more at ENDTIMESTODAY.ORG 

If You can also get a copy of John’s book, Impending Apocalypse you can also do that at Endtimestoday.org. Thanks for watching and we will see you next time on End Times Today, With John Claeys.


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