Thursday, December 18, 2014

The End Times Sign of Famine: Tribulation Statistics

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

How many people will die due to famine during the Tribulation?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista and I will look at the fourth end times signs of famine prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24:7.

The Truth Will Set You Free

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Famine in the Tribulation

Nathan: The food shortages of today will be nothing compared to the uber famine that will plague the world during the coming 7-year Tribulation. We read in Revelation 6 that a fourth of the world's population is going to die from the first four Seal Judgments. The great Second Seal War will destroy much of the food supply chains so that there won't be any way people can get food. When you level a plant that processes chicken, you're not getting chicken. When you destroy the supply runs by the ships, you're not getting food shipped in anymore. When the stores are destroyed and when crops are swallowed up by earthquakes, terrible events like that which the Bible says will happen, it destroys the way people get food.

Starvation will be a tremendous problem during the Tribulation, to the point that a fourth of the world will die from it. In today's numbers that's 1.5-2 billion people who will die.

Vic: We got a little taste of what food shortages are like here in South Florida. We get a lot of hurricanes, and as soon as there is a hurricane threat, people flood to the stores and buy up all the food. There's nothing left. The shelves are empty and the stores are bare.

Nathan: I've never had to experience a hurricane, but I remember seeing the news on Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. On the news they showed a Walmart and how within hours literally, like you said, every scrap of food was taken from the shelves. People ran in there and bought it all up.

I think we take it so for granted the fact that in our day we can go anywhere and get food. Can you imagine cutting the food supply chains off? Within days our shelves would be empty.

Vic: Just think about a mother who has a newborn baby and needs food, milk, and just the basic necessities. When disaster strikes, that can happen to us, really at any point. Today's disasters point us to this awful sign of famine that the Bible is warning us about.

Nathan: Like we discussed, famine is happening in different places all over the world. Just here in the West we have such a great supply chain, we don't realize this sad fact. Praise the Lord for a good economy based on values that make us productive!

In the future, the world will destroy these supply chains through global wars and earthquakes which will happen during the Tribulation. Both political and natural disasters will cut off people's ability to get food.

I don't know about you, Pastor Vic, but I'm a suburbanite. I don't have a yard big enough to grow food, much less wait the three to four months for it to grow. I'd be in deep, deep trouble. So many in the world aren't farmers, and will be the first to suffer.

Jesus tells us this time is coming when severe famines and pestilence will come upon the world and wipe out a quarter of the population. To think that's 1.5 billion people who will die from starvation.

Vic: I live close to the Everglades, so I guess I'll have to start hunting alligators! Maybe I'll outlive you.

Nathan: Alligator is good eating! But, I don't want to joke about this topic, though. I really don't think you and I can really grasp what it's like not to have food. We can go anywhere and get as much food as we want. In fact, that's why American's are so obese, because we have too much food; more than we know what to do with. It's almost impossible to imagine there not being food a plenty.

But, that's what the Bible says will happen. During the Tribulation there would be such tremendous famine that a quarter of the world's population will starve to death. That's just beyond my ability to understand, but for many people here on the earth, they understand. Some live on only one meal a day.

Vic: That's why we are not making light of the situation, because famine is really is a very, very serious thing.


Hope for Today

Vic: We are hoping everyone will finally recognize that the Tribulation is what the world is preparing for. The signs leading up to the Tribulation are what we are starting to see happening. But, there is hope — the Rapture of the Church. Sadly, there are going to be millions of people who will be left behind, and they are going to have to experience all this disaster and death. That's why we all need to start telling our unbelieving loved ones about Jesus and offer them hope, because once these disasters come, it's going to be unbelievable.

Nathan: It will. There are so many people holding out that don't want to give their lives to Jesus Christ. They want to hold onto their sinful lifestyle. They just want to live their own lives doing whatever they want to do and forget God's protective law. They want to forget the fact that their decisions are hurting themselves and those around them, even killing them, and certainly killing them forever.

There is a time of judgment coming. The Bible is very specific and this point and gives us tremendous detail about it. Jesus even told us what the signs would be so that we can prepare. It's very important that we get our hearts right with Jesus Christ and surrender our lives to Him. We must ask for forgiveness of our sins so we can be made right with God and so that we can inherit those blessings of forgiveness and eternal life.

Vic: That's right. We all have loved ones who don't know the Lord. I think what's encouraging is that we all need to see the urgency in telling people about the Lord. Tell our neighbors, our friends, people at school, wherever you might be, because the only real hope for the future is Jesus Christ. We need to be ready to receive Him. Of course, we also never know when the Rapture is going to take place, but we can see the signs of the end times all around us pointing to Jesus' soon return.

I'd like to encourage everyone that if you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, come and receive a relationship with the Lord now while there's still time. Nathan, how can a person begin their relationship with the Lord?

Nathan: Start by knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ loves you so much. God has been trying to get humanity redeemed, in other words, forgiven of their sins and its punishment of death. God went so far out of His way to accomplish a means of redemption that He sent His only Son, His perfect Son Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place.

When we accept Jesus as Savior and ask Him to forgive us of our sins and be our Lord, then we no longer stand condemned before God. When we accept Jesus our sins are forgiven. We're given a whole new life in Him. We inherit the promises of the Rapture of the Church and to live with Jesus forever in Heaven and all the wonders that entails. That's why it's so vital that you give your life to Jesus Christ right now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The End Times Sign of Famine: Current Statistics

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

How bad is famine in the world today?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista and I will look at the fourth end times signs of famine prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24:7.

The Truth Will Set You Free

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Current Statistics

Vic: Nathan, could you list the first three end times signs Jesus gave in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 before we get into the fourth sign — famine?

Nathan: The first three of the end times signs Jesus told us would increase in frequency and intensity like birth pains before His return were false teachers and false messiahs, wars, and earthquakes. Then Jesus got up to sign number four which is famine.

Vic: Often time when people think of famines they only think about biblical times, like during the time of Joseph, but there are a lot of famines plaguing the world today.

Nathan: Yes, exactly. Remember also in Matthew 24 the first question the Apostles asked Jesus was, "When will the Temple fall?" One of the answers Jesus gave was famines. He said there would be famines before the Temple would fall. We read in Acts 11:27-28 about a man named Agabus who said during this time in the life of the infant Church that some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of those prophets' name was Agabus. He through the Holy Spirit predicted a severe famine that would spread over the entire Roman world. This happened historically during the reign of Claudius Caesar, which was 41-54 AD. And so, the people of the First Century knew about famines because there were some before the fall of the Temple.

Just like in those days, Jesus said that famines will come more frequently and more intensely the closer we got to His return. His response also answers the second question the Apostles asked Jesus, "What are the signs of the end of the age?" This means before the Rapture of the Church.

I've got to tell you, we who live in the West live very well. When you read the statistics about famine in other parts of the world it's just heartbreaking.

Vic: Yes, here in the United States we are very blessed because everywhere you turn there's a grocery store or restaurant. In our city her in Miami we have Publix, which are like Super Walmarts. They sell any type of food you could want and it's just a few minutes away. An abundant supply of food here in the West is why famines are such a foreign concept to us.

Nathan: The world has experienced tremendous famines just in the 20th Century alone. There was the great Chinese famine in 1959-1961 where 43 million people starved to death. Also in Russia in 1921, 5 million people died from starvation. During World War II another million died from starvation. In 1974 another 1.5 million died. In Ethiopia, if you remember back in '84 and '85, there was so much talk about the Ethiopian famine where the world watched reports on TV of 400,000 men, women and children starved to death there. In '96 North Korea experienced a famine where 3.5 million people starved.

Did you know that the occurrences of famines is even worse in the 21st Century, Pastor Vic?

Vic: No, I didn't.

Nathan: We are really isolated here in the West, just like you said. I'm sitting here with a bag of chocolate covered cranberries, and most countries don't even have access to the most basic stables of food. We are really blessed, and I think the reason is because our country was based on Judeo-Christian values, on God's law. Though we are pulling away from our roots, the Lord has continued to provide blessings to America because there are still many believers in Christ living here.

So far in the 21st Century, Bread for the World reports that there are 17 famines going on in the world right now in places such as Myanmar, Malawi, North Korea, East Africa, Kenya and Somalia. They report there are 925 million — that's almost a billion people — who go hungry every day.

Did know that every day almost 16,000 children die from hunger related causes? That means one child every five seconds dies. Just in the last minute, 12 children have died from starvation.

Vic: That is so tragically sad, but because people don't see famine in their own country, they don't think it's really happening. So you're telling us that in the 21st Century 17 famines have occurred?

Nathan: Yes, 925 million people go hungry and 1.4 billion people, a quarter of the world's population, live in extreme poverty.

There are also recessions and droughts going on in the world, especially like this year's drought in California. It's really hitting the food market hard. You've probably gone into your local grocery and noticed food prices have double in most areas.

Vic: Don't get me started on that, Nathan! My wife does the food shopping and rising food prices is something she gets a little bit irate about, especially when egg prices just keep going up. All the simple basics of life are steeply on the rise.

Nathan: Yes, you used to be able to buy an onion for a quarter. Now its like $1.50. Rising food prices push people who are just making ends meet down below poverty level. Did you know that by 2010 famine had pushed 100 to 150 million people below the poverty line?

Vic: I'm originally from the Dominican Republic. I was born there and today my church leads a lot of mission trips there. We go to these villages and it just breaks my heart to see these people's living conditions. Seeing such poverty is a sure reminder of how much we are really blessed here in the US.

Nathan: But, I wonder if our blessings are coming near to an end. I don't know if you've been keeping up with the drought going on in California, but it's getting so bad now that even well water is running out. Hopefully the freak flooding they're now experiencing will help with that.

California is the breadbasket of our nation. We get so much of our fruit and vegetables from there. This year they were talking about not just a drought, but a super drought or a mega drought. Regular food production could not be coming from California anymore which means that our country's resources and ability to get the food that we need will continue to diminish.


In the second and last part of our discussion on the end times sign of famine, we'll be rocked at how horrible famine will be during the coming Tribulation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The End Times Sign of Earthquakes: Final Three Prophetic Quakes

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

How bad off will the earth be after the final three prophetic earthquakes?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista and I will look at the third end times signs of earthquakes found in Matthew 24:7.

The Truth Will Set You Free

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Three Prophetic Quakes

Vic: What are the final three of the four prophetic earthquakes?

Nathan: The second is the Sixth Seal Judgment of Revelation 6 which says a great earthquake will literally bring every mountain down and every island will be moved from its place. There will be a global earthquake in the 9.0 range that will level the earth, and it will happen near the beginning of the Tribulation.

Then we read about a third prophetic earthquake. That's when the Two Witnesses that God sends to share the Gospel with the world from Jerusalem, in the middle of the Tribulation they are going to cause a severe earthquake. A tenth of Jerusalem will collapse during that earthquake and 7,000 people will be die. The survivors will see this earthquake and they will give great glory to God because they realize that God is behind it.

Then we get to the end of the Tribulation for the fourth prophetic earthquake. That's what's called the Sixth Bowl Judgment. This is the biggest earthquake that the earth will have ever experienced. Revelation 16 says no earthquake like this Bowl Judgment quake has ever occurred since man has been on the earth. Verses 18-20 read:

And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

The great city of Jerusalem will be split into three parts. The cities of the nations like you just listed, Chicago and Miami, will collapse. Every island will flee away. Just think, Hawaii might sink into the ocean, and the Falklands. The mountains won't even be recognizable. God will take the mountain ranges of the world like the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains and flatten them. That 's how bad the earthquakes are going to be around the world. The topography of the world by the end of the Tribulation will be unrecognizable when compared to today's maps.

During that last, dreadful earthquake, the people experiencing it will think it's the end of the world, and it is.

The closer we get to Jesus' Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation the more the world will be suffering like the last few minutes before a baby is born. That's when the wife is screaming at the top of her lungs how much she hates her husband. She's gripping his hand with an iron grip. The pain is so intense. The baby's head is crowning. It's about to come out. That's the worst of it.

Likewise, when the world gets to this Sixth Bowl Judgment earthquake, it will be like no earthquake the ever preceded it. It will be the most intense. People will be dying left and right.

God causes this great quake to judge the world for its sin. When the Two Witnesses experienced that third earthquake, Revelation says the survivors were terrified and gave great glory to the God of Heaven. That's what God is trying to do. He's trying to get people to wake up and take their souls seriously. Sometimes you have to shake up a person's life before they get serious about the eternal and give their hearts and lives over to Jesus Christ.

Vic: Of course, this is all part of God's plan leading into the Millennium. We are going to see some beautiful things that God's going to do during that following thousand years, but before that there will be tribulation.


Shaking Your Faith

Vic: These are the great signs of the end times. I believe that every year, every time we turn on the news, we just see these signs increasing in intensity, right?

Nathan: And the world will just keep on going like that. Why these earthquakes and wars around the world increasing more frequently and more intensely? It's because Jesus said they would. Like birth pains, the end times signs will come more frequently and more intensely the closer we get to Jesus' return.

Therefore, you have to ask yourself, how are you going to respond to this truth? You see the signs around you and so you know that Jesus is going to come back soon. Is your heart ready for Jesus Christ? Have you prepared your life to live with Him forever in Heaven? Or, are you willing to be separated from Him forever in Hell? You've got to make that decision before it's too late.

Vic: We always like to end with an encouraging message of hope for anyone who maybe doesn't have a relationship with the Lord. Nathan, would you share with that person how they can begin a relationship with the Lord?

Nathan: God has given us so much because he loves us so much. After all, He created us. But, we have been separated from Him because of our sin. Sin is rebellion against God. Our hearts don't want God in our lives because we want to do it on our own. But, if you look at your life, you will realize you can't do it on your own very well. Life's a mess, and we need Jesus Christ. To have eternal life we need that rebellion forgiven.

The sentence for our rebellion against God is death. God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, the perfect God and man, to die on the cross for our sins. When we believe in Jesus as our Savior and we put our faith and trust in Him and ask for forgiveness for our sins, He'll forgive them and He'll save us. The death penalty is taken off of us and we know we can live forever with Him in Heaven.

We just need to accept that in our hearts by praying, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." He promises to forgive us of our sins and give us a whole new life.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The End Times Sign of Earthquakes: First Prophetic Quake

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

How miraculous is the earthquake of the coming Gog-Magog War?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista and I will look at the third end times signs of earthquakes found in Matthew 24:7.

The Truth Will Set You Free

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The First Prophetic Quake

Vic: Nathan, the Bible speaks about prophetic earthquakes, right? We know that the earthquakes we are experiencing today are just the beginning of them because they are going to keep getting worse and worse.

Nathan: Yes, once the Rapture of the Church happens and the Church is out of here, it's not the end of the earthquakes yet. They will hit the earth more frequently and more intensely the closer we get to Jesus' return at the end of the seven-year Tribulation. In fact, the Bible prophesies there are four prophetic earthquakes coming up.

Vic: The Battle of Gog and Magog and some other end time events are also going to create some incredible earthquakes, right?

Nathan: Yes. When I say Gog and Magog, there is a war coming which Ezekiel 38 and 39 calls the Gog-Magog War. Out of all the prophetic wars in the Bible, the Gog-Magog War is described in greater detail, even more than Armageddon. It's the war where Russia leads a coalition of Iran, all the 'Stan nations, Turkey, Libya, and most of North Africa against Israel. It's a tremendous push to destroy Israel once and for all.

Ezekiel says Russia will be led by an entity called Gog. Whether that's a person or a demon, I'm not sure. He wants the spoils of Israel. By then Israel will have defeated its neighbors surrounding them, which we read about in Psalm 83. Israel will have to defeat its hostile neighbors around them, causing the nation to grow bigger and stronger. With its gas and natural resources, Israel will start becoming more of a world power. Russia doesn't want that, and so it forms this coalition of nation. Russia will lead a coalition of nation down to destroy Israel. Little Israel, even with their expanded might, doesn't stand a chance against a united Islamic and Russian front.

What's amazing in Ezekiel's prophecy is that we read that God steps back into human history. He destroys the invading armies by infighting and by fire from the sky. The prophecy says God also sends fire on their nations and destroys them. Picture a world where Russia and Islam are no longer really a world player anymore. That time is coming.

Another of the ways in which God will destroy those armies is with a tremendous earthquake. In Ezekiel 38:19-23 we read of a great earthquake in the land of Israel. Mountains will be overturned. The cliffs will crumble. Every wall will fall to the ground.

The Gog-Magog War could happen at the beginning Tribulation or just before the Tribulation starts. The Bible doesn't tell us, but it's clearly a future event that is related to the Tribulation. The earthquake will be so powerful in the land of Israel that the mountains of Israel will be overturned and the cliffs will crumble. The armies attacking Israel will be swallowed up by this earthquake.

It's fascinating seeing this prophecy given about 90 to 95 AD by God to the Apostle John about something that will happen in the future. Bible prophecy is very exact and descriptive.

Vic: The Bible prophesied that Israel would become a nation again, and it has. It's so awesome to see this prophecy fulfilled in our lifetime.

Nathan: Yes, the regathering of Israel is one of the most prolific prophecies in all the Bible. As a matter of fact, the Bible says the Jews will look upon the regathering of Israel as a nation a second time as an even greater miracle than before when they were rescued from the Egyptians at the Exodus.

Also, as a result of the Gog-Magog earthquake we just talked about earlier, Ezekiel says that all the Jews of the world will want to return to Israel. About half of the world's Jewry is in Israel right now. The other half primarily is in your area, Pastor Vic, in Aventura, and also up in New York City and Philadelphia. But, after the earthquake happens, there will be something inside the Jews that will cause them to want to move to Israel.

There are three main reason why I think the Jews will all want to return to Israel. One, they will see Israel become a great nation. Two, the nation will be protected by the Antichrist who will make a covenant with them of protection, although he will break it 3.5 years later. Three, and this is unfortunate, Antisemitism will rise. The people of the world will hate the Jews so much that they'll have to move to Israel just to find a place of safety.

Vic: That's incredible! I'm sure someone reading this now is probably freaking out and saying, "What is going on?" But listen, we want to encourage you by saying that if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, we believe the Rapture will take place first and we will be out of here, so we won't even feel the shaking.

Nathan: Amen. In our day there will continue to be earthquakes. Believers in Christ will continue to have to suffer through different trials and tribulations while on we're living on this earth. But, the Tribulation, that's the one major event where God will bring His wrath down upon this world for seven years. That's still future. And, it's not for the Church to experience.

When I say the Church, I'm referring to all those who have accepted Jesus as Savior. We will be the ones raptured up to Heaven.

Vic: That's right. You mentioned to us this incredible earthquake that's going to level mountains and cities, so that means the cities of today like New York and Chicago are going to be completely leveled?

Nathan: Well, there are four prophetic earthquakes, starting with the Gog-Magog earthquake, so any one of those four prophetic earthquakes could affect those cities that you listed.


In the fourth and last part of our discussion on the end times sign of earthquakes, we'll look at the final three of four prophetic quakes.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The End Times Sign of Earthquakes: From the Temple to Today

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Are earthquakes increasing in frequency and intensity?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista and I will look at the third end times signs of earthquakes found in Matthew 24:7.

The Truth Will Set You Free

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Quakes Before the Temple Fell

Vic: Now we read from Luke 21:11 where Jesus reveals, "There will be great earthquakes, famines, pestilence in various places and fearful events and great signs from heaven." Tell us about the end times sign of earthquakes.

Nathan: Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13 are all parallel passages. The Apostles were listening to Jesus' teachings and were writing them down from their own point of view, and some of them put the signs in different order, but all the signs are equal in each parallel passage. I'll follow Luke 21, for normally pestilence would come first if you were reading Matthew 24.

Earthquakes Jesus said would definitely also be a sign that would be increasing more frequently and more intensely the closer we got to His return.

For the first question, the Apostles wanted to know when the Temple would fall. Well, before 70 AD there were quite a number of signs of earthquakes. As a matter of fact, when Jesus was crucified, Matthew 27 tells us that there was a tremendous earthquake. It was so big that the dead rose from their graves! They were walking around Jerusalem after the Crucifixion because of the huge earthquake that happened there. Also, when Jesus was resurrected, according to Matthew 28:2 there was a violent earthquake that shook the whole city of Jerusalem.

Another powerful earthquake happened to Paul and Silas who were in prison in Philippi. Acts 16:26 tells us that when a violent earthquake formed the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open and everyone's chains came loose.

The town of Laodicea which we read about in Revelation 3 in 60 to 61 AD was destroyed by a violent earthquake, though quickly rebuilt. The town of Colossi where we get the title for the book of Colossians was destroyed by earthquakes so many times that eventually the people just abandoned it. They got so tired of rebuilding.

There were a lot of earthquakes shaking the world up before the fall of the Temple. But, they would be nothing compared to when we get closer to the end of this age, and then finally the end of the Tribulation.

Vic: In Matthew 28:51 it says concerning Jesus' Crucifixion, "Then, behold, the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom and the earth quaked and the rocks were split and the graves were open." It also says that many of the bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised and coming out of the graves after His resurrection. They went into the Holy City and appeared to many. That's just an incredible passage! All of this happened from that earthquake.

Nathan: Yes, it was another sign that God gave to the people to convince them that Jesus is the Messiah. Even the centurion while he was watching Jesus being crucified and seeing how the sky went dark for three hours and the violent earthquake that followed, he saw those signs and he responded to them. He concluded, "Surely this must be the Christ." That's important that we look at the signs that God's given us in the Bible that talk about the end times, like in Matthew 24 and Luke 21, for we too need to respond to those signs by getting our hearts ready for the return of Jesus Christ.

Vic: Amen and praise the Lord!


Quakes in Our Day

Vic: Nathan, as the time draws closer to the end of this age, we are going to see earthquake statistics grow, right? Just by looking at all the news today, all the wars and natural disasters going on now, it's pretty clear that both wars and earthquakes are increasing in frequency and intensity.

Nathan: As we get into the answer to the question about what will be the signs of the end of the age, we must remember that this age culminates with the Rapture of the Church. That's the taking of believers in Christ up to heaven before the seven-year Tribulation befalls the earth.

I agree that the statistics do prove that the earthquakes are coming more frequently and more intensely with each passing year. A British charity called Oxfam analyzed a set of data that the Red Cross and the United Nations reported. They've concluded that there's been a four times increase in earthquakes in the last 20 years. There are about 500 major earthquakes a year. Just back in 2006, there were only 240. In 1980, even less, only 60. So, we went from 60 to 240 to 500 major earthquakes in just the last 25 years.

Vic: That's incredible! We recently just had a major earthquake in California and another in Chile.

Nathan: I like to check out the usgs.gov website. The United States Geological Survey website has this great interface that reports on all the earthquakes that are happening around the world. The site has a real-time map that pinpoint major earthquake occurrences. They also show you how high they are on the Richter Scale. Usually if you get a 5.0 earthquake or greater then that's considered a tremendous earthquake.

Remember when an earthquake happens, for each point on the Richter Scale that it goes up, it's an exponential curve. The scale is not like steps on the stairs where you get one and then a level two and then a level three, like it's going up a stairs. Instead it's an exponential curve where level two is twice the strength of a level one, and level three is three times the strength of a level two. So, as we go up this Richter Scale up to the nines, they get exponentially more and more intense.

We are seeing just in the last 20 years how level fives and more are occurring more frequently and more intensely. Daily on that site you can usually see large earthquakes. New Caledonia had a 5.0. A few places in Indonesia experienced a 5.6 and a 6.2. Mexico had a 4.6. Tonga had a 4.9. Costa Rico had a 4.6. Western India in the Antarctic ridge had a 5.0.

Science is proving that earthquakes are shaking the earth more frequently and more intensely. Jesus said that is exactly what would happen the closer we got to His return.

Vic: What's amazing is all of these quakes are happening right now. This isn't something we're expecting coming in the future. You can literally go to this website and see this end times sign right before us.

Nathan: Yes, just go to usgs.gov and look where they keep track of all the earthquakes. Just like the UN and the Red Cross, they are all reporting that earthquakes are occurring more frequently and more intensely.

Oxfam also reports that between 1995 and 2004 there has been a 70% increase in earthquakes. That results in 254 million people being affected by earthquakes every year.

Vic: Wow, Nathan! People don't really understand the seriousness of what's going on. A lot of people are being effected every year by these earthquakes.

Nathan: Nearly 174 million people were effected by earthquakes between '85 and '94. That number has now increased to 254 million. That's almost double! A quarter of a billion people live with some earthquake effecting them. That's just terrible to think about.

Earthquakes are even popping up in places where they've never been before. For instance, there have been some in Oklahoma. Oklahoma isn't even on a fault line, but they've been experiencing an endless series of 1.0 and 2.0 earthquakes. It just doesn't make sense why Oklahoma would even have earthquakes.

Vic: That's scary because we are here in Florida and its flat land here, and according to the Bible, we are going to get earthquakes, too. We may even sink into the sea! Thank the Lord we won't be here when that happens, right, Nathan? Because we will be raptured?

Nathan: Exactly. When you talk about water, it reminds me of a tsunami. Do you remember the tsunami that devastated Japan back on March 11, 2011? It was created by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. It's super rare that the world gets hit with something that powerful. The quake was underwater and created a 133 foot high tidal wave, which is one of the five most powerful ever recorded. When that massive wall of water swept over northern Japan it caused 235 billion dollars in damage and killed 15,854 people and injured almost 27,000 others. People were washed out to sea and thousands of buildings collapsed. The tsunami was a tremendously terrible disaster.

You probably are familiar with the stories of the nuclear reactors that the tsunami affected in Japan, right? Well, a lot of them started going critical because of that tsunami. When we have such powerful earthquakes like that, they do far more damage than just shatter buildings. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has been spewing radiation into the water systems and the radiation has been traveling across the Pacific, now finally even reaching off of the California coast.

Earthquakes cause tremendous interruptions to power grids and services. When you have no power and no services, people start running out of food. They get desperate and crime goes up. Earthquakes create major, major social problems.

Vic: I remember reading there was an actual shift in the ground so that when you look at the affected areas of Japan they've actually been moved some. From the satellite view, it really looks incredible with all that devastation.

Nathan: The wall of water was tragic. It just started spreading over all of Northern Japan, erasing highways and farm fields and burying whole cities. Like you said, the tsunami actually moved one of the Japanese islands a few inches. Can you believe the earth moved that much?

Vic: Now that's amazing!

Nathan: Japan is still trying to recover from it.

Vic: Nathan, I was born in the Dominican Republic. My family immigrated here around 1976 or 1977, somewhere around there. Can you imagine an earthquake that big hitting the Dominican Republic? It would be gone along with Haiti.

Nathan: Yes, you're not kidding. Haiti was hit just a few years ago and it leveled most of the capital city there. It was probably one of the biggest disasters in the last five years. I believe you and I had a radio program discussing that a few years back.

Vic: Yes, in fact we did, and actually individuals can still get a hold of that program if they need to by getting hold of us at Twave.tv


In the third part of our discussion on the end times sign of earthquakes, we'll look at the first of four prophetic quakes.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The End Times Sign of Earthquakes: The Three Questions

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

What does Israel's Temple have to do with the end times sign of earthquakes?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista and I will look at the third end times signs of earthquakes found in Matthew 24:7.

The Truth Will Set You Free

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Three Questions

Vic: Today's topic will be the end times sign of earthquakes found in Matthew 24:7 and Luke 21:11.

Nathan, in previous episodes you've taken us through an incredible journey of the signs of the times in Matthew 24 and the parallel passages in Luke 21. You last talked about the end times sign of wars which Jesus revealed in Matthew 24:6. I wanted to ask if you might recap the background of Jesus' lesson in these passages?

Nathan: Certainly. Jesus and His disciples were at the Temple and His disciples were just oohing and aahing with their mouths hanging open. They're just so amazed at the wealth of the Temple. The Temple was the religious heart of Israel at that time, and these disciples were just poor fishermen who'd never seen buildings like the Temple.

And then, Jesus all of the sudden says, "You see all these things? Assuredly I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down."

You can imagine the Apostles' mouths were just hanging open in shock. As a matter of fact, it took them all the way until they walked across the Kidron Valley to the Mount of Olives to build up enough courage to ask Jesus why He said that. When they did find their courage, they actually asked Jesus three different questions:

  1. When will this Temple fall?
  2. What will be the sign of the end of the age?
  3. What will be the sign of Jesus' coming?

Jesus answered each of these questions. Each answer applied to different time periods associated with each question. For example, "When will the Temple fall?" We know that the Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 AD. What were the signs leading up to the fall of the Temple? The second question, "What will be the signs of the end of the age?" That's referring to the end of the Church Age. That's where we are at right now. We are living at the end of this age just before the rapture of the Church. Then the third question, "What will be the sign of Jesus' coming?" This refers to Jesus' Second Coming at the end of the seven-year Tribulation that's coming to this earth.

Each of the signs that Jesus gives proceeds each of these three questions, except for the tenth and last sign. Also, the closer we get to the Second Coming, the more frequent and more intense these signs will happen. Jesus compares the signs of His Second Coming to birth pains.


First Two End Times Signs

We've covered two of the ten signs Jesus gave in answer to the Apostles' questions. The first sign discussed was false teachers and false messiahs. Jesus revealed they'd be all over the place. With 500 cults in the United States alone, we are just drowning in false teachers and false prophets.

The second end times sign that we discussed was wars and rumors of wars. Certainly we are living in a time of tremendous warfare. Every day some nation in the world is attacked or worrying about someone attacking them. Can you believe there are 38 wars going on right now? Millions and millions of people were killed in the Twentieth Century alone. The Lord says those wars would come more frequently and more intensely the closer we got to Jesus' return.

Then we read from Matthew 24:7, "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, there will be famines, pestilence, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."

There are four signs listed right there.

Vic: Nathan, you gave us some incredible statistics concerning how many people got killed during wars in the last century. You were talking about like 100 million or something to that extent?

Nathan: Most people underestimate just how many people died in the Twentieth Century. Statistics tell between 160 to 187 million people died through all the wars of the Twentieth Century. The 21st Century already appears to be bloodier than the previous.

Yes, there has always been war, but Jesus said they'd come more frequently and more intensely and the death tolls would get higher the closer we get to Jesus' return.

Vic: Amazing! It's very eye-opening to look at the context of history. We can only conclude that we are seeing these end times signs of false teachers and wars are becoming more and more like super signs in a sense.


In the second part of our discussion on the end times sign of earthquakes, we'll look at the quakes that happened before the Fall of the Temple up to the present day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Forgotten Promises of Christmas

Dr. David R. ReaganBy

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus each year during the Christmas season, let's remember the promises that were made to Mary when she was visited by the Angel Gabriel:


Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
And you shall call His name Jesus.
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father, David,
And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever;
And of His kingdom there will be no end.

- Luke 1:31-33


Seven Glorious Promises

This magnificent statement contains seven promises. Four of them relate to the First Advent of the Lord, and they have thus all been fulfilled. Mary did conceive and bear a son. His name was called Jesus. He was great, and He was called the Son of God.

The last three promises which Gabriel made to Mary have not been fulfilled. They relate to the Second Coming of Jesus:

  1. He will be given the throne of David.
  2. He will reign over the house of Jacob.
  3. There will be no end to His kingdom.

I call these three promises the "forgotten promises" of Christmas because they are not taught by most churches in Christendom today. That's because most churches take the position that Jesus will never return to this earth to reign. This is called the Amillennial viewpoint.


Promises Spiritualized

The Amillennial view is based upon the supposition that the Bible does not mean what it says. To substantiate the viewpoint, its proponents are forced to spiritualize Scripture.

Thus, in their interpretation of the passage quoted at the beginning of this article from Luke, they convert the throne of David into the throne of God and the house of Jacob becomes the Church. They then conclude that the promises have been fulfilled in the current reign of Jesus from His father's throne over His Church.


The Throne of David

There is no doubt that Jesus is currently reigning from His father's throne over His kingdom, the Church. But to identify that reign with the one promised to Mary takes a great leap of imagination.

The "throne of David" is not the throne of God. The throne of God is in Heaven. The throne of David is in Jerusalem (Psalm 122:5).

Jesus Himself clearly differentiates between the throne of God and His own throne in Revelation 3:21. In that verse, Jesus says that He will one day allow believers to sit with Him on His throne just as His Father has allowed Him to share His throne.

Jesus is not on the throne of David today. He is sitting at the right hand of His Father, on His Father's throne. He will occupy the throne of David when He returns to earth to reign from Mt. Zion in Jerusalem (Isaiah 24:21-23).


The House of Jacob

The "house of Jacob" is not the Church. This is an Old Testament term for the children of Israel (Ex. 19:3). The Church is never referred to in Scripture as the house of Jacob.

The Bible teaches that a remnant of the Jews will one day accept Jesus as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10 & Rom. 9:27). This will occur at the end of seven years of terrible suffering called the Tribulation, or "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7).

When Jesus returns at the end of that time of suffering, the Jewish remnant will be gathered to the land of Israel and will be made the foremost nation in the world (Ezekiel 37:11-28 & Zechariah 8:22-23). Jesus will then rule over the house of Jacob.


The Eternal Kingdom

The current Church kingdom is not an everlasting kingdom. The Church Age kingdom will end with the rapture of the Church.

The Church kingdom will be followed by the Millennial kingdom when Jesus will reign over all the earth from Mt. Zion in Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1-4). That kingdom will last one thousand years (Revelation 20:1-7).

The final, eternal kingdom of Christ will be established on a new, perfected earth (1 Corinthians 15:24 & Revelation 21:1-8).


Believing God's Word

Why can't we accept the promises made to Mary to mean what they say? The first four meant exactly what they said. Why must the last three be spiritualized? The only reason for spiritualizing them is to force them to conform to some preconceived doctrine.

I believe God knows how to communicate. If God had intended to promise Mary that her Son would reign from Heaven over the Church forever, He would have said so. Instead, He reaffirmed to her the promise He had made many times through the Old Testament prophets that His Son would reign from David's throne in Jerusalem over Israel and that He would be given a kingdom that would last forever (Isaiah 9:6-7 & Ezekiel 37:21-28).

If the promises God made to the Jews did not mean what they said, then how can we be sure that His promises to the Church mean what they say? I believe God means what He says.


A Christmas Hope

During the next Christmas season I am going to praise God for sending His Son to die for my sins.

I am also going to pray that God will soon send His Son again to fulfill the "forgotten promises" which Gabriel made to Mary. I thank God that He never forgets a promise.