Hey — What’s With All the Punditry?
Vol: 19 Issue: 17 Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Every few weeks or so, somebody will drop me an email saying something like, ”Hey! All you ever talk about is politics and current events. I thought this was a Bible prophecy website!”
You’re right. I’m sorry. It is supposed to be dedicated to the movement of Bible prophecy in this generation. So this morning, we’ll discuss Bible prophecy.
According to the Prophet Daniel, in the last days, there will rise to power, a confederation of ten ‘kings’ who will preside over what, combining Daniel’s description with historical hindsight, can only describe a revived form of the old Roman Empire.
Daniel spoke of the ‘people of the prince who is to come’ as being those who would destroy the ‘city and sanctuary’. The ‘prince who is to come’ is the antichrist. The city and the sanctuary were destroyed by the Roman legions in AD 70.
So, if this is the generation that will see the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy, there should exist a political entity that more or less mirrors Daniel’s description.
Of course, such a political entity exists today.
I’d tell you more, but that would be too much about current events and politics and not enough about prophecy.
The Apostle John said that in the last days, those subject to the antichrist’s government will be required to submit themselves to receiving a mark, either in their right hand or forehead, without which, ‘no man might buy or sell.’
This economic mark will be more than simply economics, however. According to the Apostle John, it will also be an expression of worship.
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:15-17)
Of course, while the antichrist has not yet made his appearance on the scene, if he were to show up tomorrow, he’d find that the necessary systems to make all this happen already exist.
But that would require examining current technology as well as the current political atmosphere before one could get any sense of how close such a prophecy might be to being fulfilled.
But if I was going to discuss either the current technology or the political attitudes that lend themselves to the creation of such a system then this would be punditry instead of prophecy, no? Today, we’re going to ignore current events and stick just to prophecy.
The Prophet Ezekiel predicted that “in the latter days” there would arise a great alliance of nations, under the leadership of a political power referred to as “Gog and Magog.”
Gog and Magog will align themselves with the nations of Persia, Togarmah, Gomer, Libya, Ethiopia, and a bunch of others. Once assembled, they will invade Israel.
On the other side are a bunch of other nations; “Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish and all the young lions thereof,” Ezekiel says. These nations will oppose Gog-Magog. Not militarily, but diplomatically.
“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13)
Gog, Magog, (and all the other countries Ezekiel predicted would be allied with them) exist today, in exactly the alliance structure foretold.
And if we were planning to discuss either politics or current events today, well, then, I could tell you who they all were. But today, I am sticking strictly to Bible prophecy.
One of the great mysteries of the Book of the Revelation is the manner of death prescribed for those who refuse to take the Mark of the Beast. In the Big Picture overview, it looks a bit like this:
There will be a false religion that will contain elements of Christian imagery, but doctrinally, John says it will ‘speak like a dragon’. It will demand that those it deems unbelievers either convert to the new religion or submit to death by decapitation.
What kind of religion could possibly win enough popular support to be viable when its doctrine calls for beheading people in the name of its god? Does such a religion exist? Is it possible that this prophecy is coming true in this generation?
If we were discussing current events and politics, I’d be happy to answer all of these questions. But today, we’re only discussing Bible prophecy.
After all, I’m a Bible teacher, not a pundit.
The Apostle Paul once outlined the social, political and moral characteristics that will dominate cultural Christianity in the last days under the general heading of a warning:
“This know also, in the last days, perilous times shall come.”
From there, Paul outlines the things to watch for that will indicate that those perilous times have arrived.
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2nd Timothy 3:1-5)
So, have we reached the point of ‘perilous times’ yet? My answer is, “Absolutely.”
This is a letter-perfect description that, were we discussing current events and politics, would be as crystal-clear to you as it is to me.
But we’re NOT discussing current events and politics this morning. We’re discussing Bible prophecy. (I’m a preacher, not a pundit!)
According to the Words of Jesus from the Olivet Discourse, the generation that will see His return will be one marked by deception, wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes and pestilences ‘in diverse places’.
Does this generation qualify? Does it fit the Bible’s description?
I’d discuss that, but today, we’re avoiding politics and punditry to stick to Bible prophecy.
Jesus also described,
“signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)
He said of these things,
“when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)
But to figure out when these things were beginning to come to pass would require some examination of current events and global politics.
And today we’re sticking strictly to Bible prophecy.
According to the Bible, the antichrist is part of an unholy trinity, consisting of Satan, theantichrist and the false prophet. The antichrist comes to power by deception, Paul tells us in 2nd Thessalonians.
He presides over a government that is party strong and partly weak, like iron mixed with clay, Daniel says.
He controls a global economy and global government, John says. His partner has control of the global religion, which prescribes death by beheading for infidels who refuse to convert.
So, for these to be the last days, there must be a revived form of the Roman Empire, but unlike Rome, partly strong and partly weak, but with a strong centralized government and banking system.
And a viable, global religious system that governs by terror and insists on submission or death by decapitation.
It all exists today and I can prove it. But that would require introducing politics and current events into the discussion. I promised today we’d only discuss Bible prophecy, not politics, punditry or current events. I kept my promise, too.