Archive | August 2013

The Final Warning

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20a).

*May I say a quick word up front to those of you who are regular Rapture Ready readers? This article may feel a bit like “preaching to the choir” but that is not the intent. It was written in the hopes of reaching those who may be visiting raptureready.com and whose eyes may be opened to the truth of God.

Recently, the British Parliament voted against using military force to punish the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons against its own citizens. The troubling part of the vote was not so much the result but the logic used to justify it. Forget what might be the right or wrong thing to do as it relates to the current situation at the current time. Instead of sending a message to the world that Great Britain stands united to punish the crimes of a brutal regime, they sent the message that they stand united to punish the crimes of the previous American President and his allies. They were more interested in scoring political points against their own Prime Minister than actually debating pesky little concerns like national security and terrorism, which is puzzling given that they’re the main reason for the negotiations that led up to the signing of the Geneva Protocol in 1925.

It is a part of what I like to call the “Moore’s Law of Apostasy”: The apparent doubling of those who turn their collective backs to truth in favor of lies and or hypocrisy about every 18 months. What a wonderful time to be spinning around on planet earth.

As the case of the school-bus-beating of a defenseless 13 year old in Pinellas County Florida shows us, the guilty are going unpunished more and more everyday. Take another case, that of the unapologetic terrorist who murdered 13 and injured 30 other defenseless civilians and service members at Ft Hood Texas in 2009. Mr. Hassan identified himself as a soldier of the Mujaheddin (Muslim guerrilla warriors engaged in a jihad). Mr. Hassan was not prosecuted as a terrorist but was instead prosecuted for workplace violence. His case is headed for years and possibly decades of appeals (11 of 16 death penalty cases in the US military have been overturned) although he wishes to die as a martyr.

There is an exponentially growing movement to change the definition of what the Bible says is morally wrong into what the world says is morally wrong. The world says that the Bible is wrong so the focus is shifting from what is really wrong to what is not really wrong. What’s wrong will be right and what’s right will be wrong. (See Isaiah 5:20 above.)

For instance, does it make sense to turn the “guns” of the drug war away from the streets and toward hospital beds and cancer clinics? With a street drug like marijuana, the main mission of the minority is to alleviate some sort of physical pain; it’s the majority who just want to get “high” and hallucinate. “Like, they just want to escape from reality, man.” In contrast, with prescription medication, hardworking people who are counted on to be of sound mind to get things done in life are the majority who seek medical help to alleviate physical pain while trying not to miss a step of their personal responsibility.

Yes, there exists a much larger amount of people who use street drugs like marijuana and also buy prescription pills from drug dealers on the streets with the sole intent of abuse. Unfortunately, they are not the group of people who are being punished as a result of the DEA breathing down the necks of legitimate doctors and surgeons whose only mission in life is to tend to the needs of the sick and hurting.

So let’s legalize the “recreational” use of a drug that induces hallucinations but criminalize the prescribing of the proper amount of non-hallucinogenic medication needed by those affected with legitimately painful conditions. Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s keep on pasting logos for beer and hard liquor on the sides of racecars and billboards for our children to gawk at. It is both unbelievable and sickening.

Let’s also herald those as heroes who have the “courage” to end the life of their unborn children and mock those who have the audacity to stand up against the brutality of abortion. Yeah, that’s it, those who care are zeroes and those who murder are heroes!

Why stop there. How about those who are attracted to the opposite gender? Are they tomorrow’s “losers”? I wouldn’t doubt it. Let’s legalize the marriage of the same gender and criminalize those who support only marriage to the opposite gender.

It seems like it might be easier to get away with rape or murder these days but don’t even think about trying to get away with being patriotic or loyal to the constitution. Just ask the American Legion and certain Tea Party organizations, among others.

The list obviously does not stop here. It’s just getting started. We haven’t even begun to mention the underlying hypocrisy and greed that is responsible for ratcheting up the racial tension in this country.
How about what’s going on in the majority of churches today? Having an honest and spirit convicting sermon based upon sound biblical principles like heaven and hell, and sin and punishment is viewed as wrong but half naked people and rock music are viewed as right. If the average church-going American from several generations ago walked in on a standard “worship” service today, I believe they would turn tail and run scared back to the sanctity of their own home.

Feel free to add to this list more evidence of the apostasy that is committed every day in our country and across the world. Maybe we should take a giant hammer and nail it to what should be the wall of America’s shame, for all to see. That way “the writing would be on the wall”, so to speak.

“The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked” (Nahum 1:3a).

It seems to me that the only turning back of America is the turning of backs to the truth. This is the final warning.

Double Fulfillment: Part I

The Oracle against Egypt Phase II (Isaiah Chapters 18-20)

Double fulfillment is an understanding of biblical prophecy residing within the Dispensational view of God’s plan for administering the affairs of mankind. A prophecy with both a historic and an expected future fulfillment is viewed as a prophecy that signals double fulfillment. As we all know, history tends to repeat itself. The heart of mankind has remained stained with the same sins since its expulsion from the Garden of Eden, almost 6,000 years ago. Double fulfillment falls right in line with this truth.

If you are looking for an example of a prophecy that signals double fulfillment, then you need to look no further than the current crisis surrounding Egypt. In the Book of Isaiah, immediately following the famous judgment oracle against Damascus, several more oracles concerning Egypt, Israel, and Ethiopia are announced in chapters 18 – 20. Specifically, the prophecies concern civil war in Egypt, along with the waters of its river and sea failing, and the trust put in Ethiopia by Israel.

Just as these prophecies were initially fulfilled between 715 and 671 B.C., current events show they will likely be fulfilled again in the near future. In the past, Israel was led by its leaders to forge alliances with its enemies. Today, Israel is being led to the same fate again.

“Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not been mindful of the Rock of your stronghold, therefore you will plant pleasant plants and set out foreign seedlings; in the day you will make your plant to grow, and in the morning you will make your seed to flourish; but the harvest will be a heap of ruins in the day of grief and desperate sorrow” (Isaiah 17:10-11).

A portion of the prophecy of Isaiah 19:1-15 was fulfilled in the seventh century B.C., when civil war broke out in Egypt following the death of the ruler Terhakah and the subsequent defeat and takeover by Assyria. This initial fulfillment was finalized some 20 years later when Egypt was united again under Psammetichus, likely the cruel master of verse 4.

The second and final fulfillment of this prophecy is beginning to occur today. No one can deny that the streets of Cairo are filled with “Egyptians against Egyptians” and “bothers fighting brothers” and “neighbors against neighbors”. To explore more of the final fulfillment of verses 5 – 15, let’s turn our attention to Ethiopia, as named by the oracle of chapter 20.

A major threat to the future stability of Egypt is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, or the GERD, planned to be the largest hydroelectric power dam on the African continent. The waters of the Blue Nile that flow to Egypt have already been diverted ahead of building the GERD, and are soon to be sealed up after the schedule completion of it in July 2017.

Here is a quote from an article published on usnews.com in August of 2013:

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam, the largest in Africa when it is completed, will be a major boom to the Ethiopian economy, and a major threat to Egypt’s… and within the next decade even without the Ethiopian dam project the stress on the water supply of Egypt will reach the crisis point. Sudan and

Egypt reportedly signed a secret military agreement to bomb the dam, they are so fearful of the Ethiopian project. Morsi in a speech June 10th weeks before his removal said “We will defend each drop of the Nile with our blood.”

Wow. Maybe Morsi read the following Bible verses:

“The waters will fail from the sea, and the river will be wasted and dried up. The rivers will turn foul; the brooks of defense will be emptied and dried up; the reeds and rushes will wither. The papyrus reeds by the River, by the mouth of the River, and everything sown by the River, will wither, be driven away, and be no more. The fishermen also will mourn; all those will lament who cast hooks into the River, and they will languish who spread nets on the waters” (Isaiah 19:5-8).

The building site for the GERD was initially identified by the United States Bureau of Reclamation during a survey of the Blue Nile between 1956 and 1964. Although the Ethiopian government claims that its goal is to fund the entire cost of building the dam, China has emerged as a primary investor. In the near future Israel may likely be tempted to forge an alliance with the primary financier of the GERD to gain some control over Egypt. As we already know, any alliance with China is sure to backfire.

Ethiopia is becoming a major power player in the region, even being relied upon by the EU as the primary broker for peace between Sudan and South Sudan, Africa’s newest nation. If China holds no authority over the GERD, Israel may try to convince Ethiopia to exercise its own authority to dam up the waters of the Nile to cause a great drought in Egypt. This threat would be sure to terrify Egypt.

“And the land of Judah will be a terror to Egypt; everyone who makes mention of it will be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts which He has determined against it” (Isaiah 19:17).

If Israel does indeed trust and forge an alliance with Ethiopia, the following verse sums up the outcome of such an expectation:

“Then they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation and Egypt their glory” (Isaiah 20:5).

The end of the road for this present age is approaching fast, and the signs along the road are becoming clearer every day.

Look for part 2 of this article: “Double Fulfillment: It’s the water stupid.”