Friday, July 29, 2011

According to Oprah: Reality

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

Back in 2008, Oprah announced that she was going to start offering on her satellite radio program a year-long course entitled A Course in Miracles. What is it all about?

Dr. David Reagan and I recently had the pleasure of asking this question of James Walker, President of the ministry Watchman Fellowship based in Arlington, Texas. James is a former fourth generation Mormon who found the Lord Jesus Christ and since then has dedicated his life in trying to lead people out of the spiritual darkness of the cults. Experts on cults and false religions, his ministry has indexed nearly 1,200 religious organizations, cults, occultic groups, and controversial doctrinal practices to aid people in spiritual discernment.


James Walker


Is life just a dream?

James Walker: A Course in Miracles is a New Age foundational classic going back to the 1960's actually. It was written by a woman named Helen Schucman who was a psychiatric practitioner. She was a clinical psychiatrist who heard a voice in her head. That voice identified itself as Jesus and said, "This is a course in miracles, please take notes." And so, over the next few years she received dictated information, which is really channeling. This voice that was telling her "my name is Jesus" had her begin to take notes and from that up comes this book. This method of writing is similar to automatic writing, but it is a form of channeling. From this inner dictation she comes up with a thick book entitled A Course in Miracles. Marianne Williamson later writes a book called A Return to Love which is based on the principles found in A Course in Miracles. Although Helen Schucman died in the early 1980's, her books has become a classic in New Age circles.

The teaching from Schucman's spirit calling himself Jesus tells us that everything that we are seeing right now is actually a dream. It's not here. There is no reality. We are actually sleeping safely in Heaven and all this that we are seeing right now is an illusion. This is another New Age teaching that is borrowed from an Eastern religion called Maya. The idea of Maya is that everything that we see is an illusion, and for many forms of New Age, once you understand that you can change reality by the powers of your mind. You can visualize or say the right words, speak into existence, or think the right thoughts like from the book The Secret, which is another book that Oprah pushes real hard. You can create your own reality. Well, that is all based on the idea that there is no independent, self-identified reality outside what we project from our minds. This is the core teaching found in this year-long course based on Eastern religions that Oprah put out for a whole year on her radio program.

Nathan Jones: Some of the teachings that she made her audience say every day, I just couldn't believe how anyone could say them and still claim to be a Christian. She'll say, "A slain Christ has no meaning," and then the audience all repeats, "A slain Christ has no meaning." She'll say, "The journey to the cross should be the last useless journey." Or how about this heretical statement, "Do not make the pathetic error of clinging to the old rugged cross." Such blasphemous quotes go on and on like this, constantly attacking the Bible and Jesus' divinity.

James Walker: Yes, this is not just some innocuous self-help book. This is an antithesis to Christianity. This is the very heart of sin. And again, this idea of Maya which orders you to reject the whole idea of sin, sickness and death, well we find the same teachings in cults like Christian Science. We find the same thing in the Unity School of Christianity. We find the same thing in the Church of Religious Science. All of this is part and parcel of New Age spirituality.


Jesus came to teach us that we are divine?

Nathan Jones: Eric Butterworth in one of his more popular books which Oprah promotes said, "Jesus did not come to teach us how divine he was, but to teach that divinity is within each of us." That to me sounds like lie from the Garden of Eden, the first temptation.

Dr. Reagan: Oprah said of that statement that if Jesus did claim exclusive divinity, then He was the biggest egotist that ever lived.

James Walker: Yes, it really is always going to come back to Satan's lies from the Garden of Eden. It's an attack on the deity of Christ. It always comes back to the Garden of Eden with what the serpent told Eve, "You will not surely die." This false promise of immortality is apart from the God of the Bible, claiming through reincarnation or whatever means that you are not going to really die.

Secondly, Satan promised your eyes are going to be opened. This is what the New Age calls Enlightenment. Immersed in this enlightened state the third lie comes as the kicker — that you will be as God.

Eric Butterworth was one of the most renowned teachers and philosophers in this area, calling it the Unity School of Christianity, which is a New Age religion. He died I think in 2003 or something like that, but he was one of the biggest teachers of the Unity School of Christianity and this whole idea of the New Age. He was one of Oprah's mentors and she's expressed appreciation for what he had to say.

So, what these New Age teachers like Butterworth are going to teach you is that you are God, but you just don't know it yet. This parallels exactly what happened in the Garden of Eden with the temptation of Eve from the Serpent.

Dr. Reagan: This all reminds me of something that happened to me years ago back in the mid-80's when I was speaking on cults at a conference in Denton, Texas. I had mentioned that the Unity Church is a cult and I gave some reasons why. Denton is a big college center with a couple of universities there and so lots of college students. After my talk, up came two girls who were incensed at me. They said, "How dare you call the Unity Church a cult! We are members of the Unity Church." So, I asked, "Does your preacher ever preach from the Bible?" They answered, "Well, not really. They talk about philosophy and so forth. In fact, we got so upset about it that we went to our pastor and asked him to preach a sermon out of the Bible. He did." One of the girls pulls out an envelope and she has the notes from the sermon on the back. She said, "This is the sermon that he preached last Sunday called 'Why Jesus Believed in Reincarnation.'" I asked, "Very interesting, did he give any quotes?" She answered, "Oh, yes, he said you cannot go to Heaven unless you are born again." This is the kind of deception that exists in these New Age teachings.

James Walker: Yes, absolutely. Oprah may be just one of the most visible signs of this transition from the traditional Christian worldview to New Age spirituality, but it is being repeated millions of times across our country. Oprah is its main leader.


Are there many ways to God?

Dr. Reagan: The ultimate apostasy it seems to me that all this leads to is one that she has mouthed herself regarding the question of whether there are many roads to God. Oprah made this comment, "There could not possibly be only one way to God. Does God really care about your heart or whether you call His Son Jesus?"

James Walker: That's the problem of pluralism. You are always going to find that the false religions are going to say that there are many paths, many roads, many ways to whatever you call God. And, the truth of the matter is that's a very appealing doctrine. If God came to me and said, "James, how would you like it to be?" Maybe I would vote that way, but God never asked me.

We are as Christ followers bound to go with what Christ Himself said. Jesus made it crystal clear when He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life no one comes to the Father except through me" (Jn. 14:6).

On my website at watchman.org, I have the video of Oprah actually saying that there could not possibly be one way to God. She gets all on that. Oprah has a little debate with a woman in the audience who claims Jesus is the only way and is just appalled with her. So, we are not misquoting Oprah. Oprah clearly teaches that there are many paths and many ways to whatever you call God. Go there and watch the video for yourself. You can also download our article "The Gospel According to Oprah" and we document the sources for where we are getting these quotes so you can follow up on the research as well.

The most important thing people can do to avoid being deceived is to be able to understand the Word of God in context, not bits and pieces here and there, to know the truth. The best way to recognize any counterfeit is by knowing the genuine, and the genuine is presented by God through His Word in the Old and New Testaments. That is our best defense in being able to recognize the cults — by knowing the genuine.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

According to Oprah: The Bible

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy


Can going into yourself rather than going to the Bible reveal truth?

Dr. David Reagan and I recently had the pleasure of asking this question of James Walker, President of the ministry Watchman Fellowship based in Arlington, Texas. James is a former fourth generation Mormon who found the Lord Jesus Christ and since then has dedicated his life in trying to lead people out of the spiritual darkness of the cults. Experts on cults and false religions, his ministry has indexed nearly 1,200 religious organizations, cults, occultic groups, and controversial doctrinal practices to aid people in spiritual discernment.


James Walker


Oprah on the Bible

Dr. Reagan: Shirley MacLaine is one of the New Age's poster children. MacLaine was on Oprah's show and she said this, "The way to really find out the answer to life's questions was not by going to the Bible, but by going to your inner self through meditation." When she said that Oprah said and I quote, "You know, that is the same as what the Bible teaches when it says, 'Ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find.'"

James Walker: Yes, it is Oprah misunderstanding the meaning and taking the Bible out of context. When the Bible says to ask and to seek, it is not meaning we are to be asking Shirley MacLaine or yourself. You are not to be looking into the mirror and asking yourself. The problem is many of these New Agers are seeking God, which is a good thing, but the problem is they find God in the mirror. This mirror god cannot give you the desires of your heart. This god you find in the mirror cannot satisfy your deepest spiritual yearnings and longings.

Is the Bible limiting to our understanding of God and ourselves?

Nathan Jones: This quote is really off the wall. "As I read more of Shirley MacLaine's writings and the Aquarian Conspiracy, it seems to me that they are saying that the Bible has always said is that just many of us were brought up with more restricted, limited vision of what the Bible says."

James Walker: What many New Agers will do, and you will find this with all sorts of cults whether it's Mormonism or the Jehovah's Witnesses, is they will take the Bible and they will try to say that the Bible actually teaches their doctrine. You will find this too with the New Agers.

For example, in the Bible where Jesus says "you must be born again," they will say, "Well, see, Jesus said reincarnation and so you must be born again and again and again." When you take the Bible in the whole context, of course, you see that the Bible says, "It is appointed to all men once to die and after that the judgment." There is no reincarnation, but there is a facing judgment time when we'll all stand before God. That is what the Bible really teaches.

New Agers will continue to go through the Bible and pick things out like "the Kingdom of God is within you." They will take verses out of context to make them appear that Jesus and the Bible are promoting New Age spirituality.

New Agers may say Jesus is God, but only in the sense that everything is God. They believe the dolphin is God and the tree is God, so in that sense Jesus is God. But, almost every New Ager would make a distinction between Christ and Jesus. Jesus was a mere man yet an ascended master they would say, whereas Christ is a concept or idea that Jesus had of his divinity and that we all need to have that same Christ consciousness. We can all emulate Jesus by realizing our own divinity within. Again, the idea is you go within yourself to find the truth rather than to God's Word.

Concerning Shirley MacLaine's mention of the Aquarian Conspiracy, Marilyn Ferguson wrote a book called the Aquarian Conspiracy which kind of became a blueprint back in the 1960's. Basically, it was a blueprint for taking what we now call New Age spirituality and mainstreaming it.

It's interesting to look back and realize that some of these New Age beliefs that were the theories they hoped would become something and could be established into society have actually happened now. In the 1980's and 90's New Age spirituality was considered to be off the wall, but now it is mainstream. When you go to a bookstore, New Age teaching is in virtually every section of the bookstores now.


In the last part of this series "According to Oprah," we'll look at how she views reality.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

According to Oprah: God

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy


Is God the Force?

Dr. David Reagan and I recently had the pleasure of asking this question of James Walker, President of the ministry Watchman Fellowship based in Arlington, Texas. James is a former fourth generation Mormon who found the Lord Jesus Christ and since then has dedicated his life in trying to lead people out of the spiritual darkness of the cults. Experts on cults and false religions, his ministry has indexed nearly 1,200 religious organizations, cults, occultic groups, and controversial doctrinal practices to aid people in spiritual discernment.


James Walker


Oprah on God

Dr. Reagan: James, Nathan and I would like to highlight some of Oprah's apostasy from the Christian faith and from her youth by giving you some quotes to respond to. In other words, we don't want to just make baseless allegations here. We want to take the words right out of her mouth and give you the quotes and have you respond to them.

The first quote from Oprah to address is, "The God I believe in is a force. If you believe in rhythm of nature and believe in love, then you believe in God."

James Walker: Yes, this is typical of her. Most Christians hear Oprah talk about how she believes in God, but then they stop right there and they conclude, "Oh, great, Oprah believes in God." But, if you listen to what she says about God, that God is a force, well this is the heart of pantheism. This is not God as He is described according to the Scriptures. The Bible shows us that God is personal. So, the big issue is, is God going to be an impersonal force, or is God going to be a personal God that we can communicate with, have a relationship with, that we can sin against, and that we can repent towards? This certainly is not the God that Oprah currently teaches.

Her theology is the same as the Star Wars movies — "The force be with you, but beware of the dark side." There you have Taoism which believes that the same force which can be so helpful and beneficial also has a dark side and a light side. This in Taoism is called the "yin and the yang." This is Eastern religion being manifest using Christian sounding words like "God."

The idea of a personal relationship with God is foreign to all other religions but Christianity.


Is Oprah a New Ager?

Nathan Jones: How about this one, "I am not New Age anything and I resent being called that. I am just trying to open a door so that people can see themselves more clearly and perhaps be the light to get them to God." Okay, doesn't that mean she is a New Ager? Everything there sounds New Age?

James Walker: She claims she's not a New Ager, and I really think Oprah is not trying to be deceitful here. I don't know her heart, but I think she probably honestly doesn't know that she's a New Ager. She does resent being called a New Ager, but that is typical of people involved. I hear this all the time, "I am not New Age, in fact, I don't even know what New Age is." Well, now wait a minute, if you don't know what the New Age is then how do you know that you have not bought into it and that you've not integrated it into your doctrine and that your philosophy doesn't have some of the basics of New Age?

Oprah is friends with, promotes, and endorses virtually any major New Age teacher from Shirley MacLaine who is the poster child for New Age from the 1980's all the way up to Deepak Chopra to Marianne Williamson. She is promoting these New Agers and promoting their doctrines and philosophy.

I think maybe Oprah just doesn't understand that what she is doing is so New Age, though she should since she herself has been involved in channeling. The movie The Color Purple is what she is most known for, but she later did a movie in 1998 called Beloved where she played the part of a former slave. The movie is filled with all kinds of spiritualism and the occult. Oprah claimed later on several occasions that she actually contacted her ancestors and was channeling the spirits of former slaves in order to get into the part. She wasn't acting as much as she was allowing these spirits to come inside her and she used the word channeling. In fact, she claimed the whole cast was channeling.

From a Christian perspective, we know a dead person cannot make this kind of contact with the living through channeling. The Bible calls this necromancy, which is an attempt to communicate with the dead. From a biblical perspective, we know such an act comes from either a psychological disorder, the person is deceiving themselves, or the very real possibility is that it could be a demonic spirit pretending to be a benevolent good spirit or some kind of dead person. What this really amounts to is a form of spiritism which King Saul was condemned by God for consulting.


In the next part of this series "According to Oprah," we'll look at how she views the Bible.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

According to Oprah: Christianity

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

Is it true that America's largest church is one being pastored by a woman who speaks to millions everyday?

Dr. David Reagan and I recently had the pleasure of asking this question of James Walker, President of the ministry Watchman Fellowship based in Arlington, Texas. James is a former fourth generation Mormon who found the Lord Jesus Christ and since then has dedicated his life in trying to lead people out of the spiritual darkness of the cults. Experts on cults and false religions, his ministry has indexed nearly 1,200 religious organizations, cults, occultic groups, and controversial doctrinal practices to aid people in spiritual discernment.


James Walker


Oprah's Christian Upbringing

James Walker: Absolutely. I would call that the "Church of Oprah." I think that Oprah Winfrey is probably the most influential woman in America right now. And, especially since 1994, the direction of her program, her altruism, and what she does has a spiritual focus to it. A Time Magazine editor called her the "New Mother Theresa." She is a spiritual leader, and the kind of spirituality she is leading us to is not historic Christianity.

Oprah was raised as a Baptist, but really what happened to other countless millions of Americans has also happened to Oprah. She went through a transformation. She moved from her Judeo-Christian understanding of who God is and His nature and she transitioned over to a metaphysical New Age concept about who God is.

The main watershed in Oprah's life, and we can document this, took place in 1994. That is when the major shift took place. She was indeed raised Christian, in fact even as a little girl being raised in the Baptist church she felt that one day she would be a missionary evangelist of the Gospel. It came true, but unfortunately it's really not the Christian Gospel, though.

Evidence early on of her transition from Christianity to New Age theology derived from some misunderstanding Oprah made. She was raised in Mississippi and her father was a very devout Christian, but when her pastor said that God was a jealous God she misunderstood that and thought that maybe God was insecure and so she had issues with Him. Nevertheless, growing up she still maintained her Christian perspective and worldview.

Oprah's worldview as I said all changed in 1994. The reason for this was her pastor at the time in Chicago was a fairly well known and now infamously know minister by the name of Reverend Jeremiah Wright. While Oprah was a member of his church that's when she met President Obama. They met at the church and they were members. There she rejected the traditional Christian faith and turned to what her pastor taught who is a social Gospel preacher. When Oprah rejected the traditional Christian faith she was probably rejecting the type of Christianity promoted by Jeremiah Wright, though we may never fully know the answer to that question.


Oprah's New Age Beliefs

When I say that Oprah has veered off the path from Christianity into the New Age, I use the term "New Age" as kind of an umbrella term. Basically, New Age spirituality is a combination of borrowing elements from various sources, partly from Eastern religions, especially the doctrine of Monism which is the idea that all is one and that one is identified with God. In Monism God is impersonal and everything to them is God. They would claim, "I'm God, you're God, the table is God, the trees are God." There are also elements from Taoism, from forms of Hinduism and some from Buddhism as well.

In New Age teachings, those Eastern religions are mixed in with 19th Century occultism. Some of the New Agers would be involved like Oprah is documented being involved in channeling. Channeling is where a person puts themselves in an altered state of consciousness to allow some supernatural spirit to come inside and take control of their bodies. They believe it's some dead person or some kind of ascended master or some type of angel coming in and taking control of their body. So, there are a mixture of beliefs that we can kind of put under the umbrella of New Age.

While New Age believes in a god and that God is one, they also believe that God is all and everything is God. Technically, this is called Pantheism. A New Age pantheist would be more comfortable saying God is a force or a power or a principle, not that God is a who. They would say to find God one must go inside oneself because all is God. That means you too are God, but you just don't know it yet. So, what you need is some type of altered state of consciousness or some type of event that helps you go within and contact the deity that is within you. It's the same deity within the dolphins, it is within the trees, and it's within all.

Now, concerning what the New Agers think about Jesus Christ, they have a lot of respect for Him. They'll say what a great teacher Jesus was, but they believe that what Jesus taught was New Age spirituality. They'll claim that Jesus recognized Himself as God, but He also recognized all is God. They will misinterpret where Jesus said "the Kingdom of God is within you." Jesus was talking about His own self in saying that the Kingdom of God is in their midst, but they would retort that, no, that's not what Jesus meant to say. He meant that you are God, but you just don't know it yet.

Back to Oprah, she does do a lot of good with orphanages in Africa, giving away automobiles to people, and all those sorts of things. I read last year Oprah's unauthorized biography by Kitty Kelley and I've watched hours and hours of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." She has her own network now called OWN, as if Oprah owns you, which stands for the Oprah Winfrey Network.

After all of this, I still believe that she is sincere. I think that somewhere inside of here there is sincerity, and that's why I'm not giving up on praying for Oprah. I pray for Oprah as I do for other Christians. If she was to become saved she would be a game changer. Could you imagine? If she would just transition to the true God of the Bible and true Christianity, how influential that would be?


In the next part of this series "According to Oprah," we'll look at how she views God.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Twelve Signs of the End Times: EU and the Gospel

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Could the revival of the Roman Empire and the spread of the Gospel be signs of the end times?

On Saturday, April 9, 2011, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of the Blessings to Israel Ministries Saturday podcast show. During the hour long interview we took a look at twelve major end times signs in an attempt to raise the awareness of people concerning the numerous things going on in the world currently, how they relate to Bible prophecy, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.


Blessings to Israel Ministries


#11) Revival of the Roman Empire

Brian Thomas: Is the European Union the revival of the Roman Empire in fulfillment of Daniel 2?

Nathan Jones: The revival of the Roman Empire, yes, I believe it is. The nations of Europe have been at war with each other for hundreds and hundreds of years, and then to have them finally coalesce financially, politically, and now with the attacks in Libya militarily, they are finally organized together since they fell apart from the Roman Empire some 1,500 years ago. We are seeing this revival in our lifetime.

It's interesting that the United States is taking a back seat in world affairs and as of late is following the lead of the European Union, which shows that the EU is an emerging world power.

The EU is pretty frail right now, though. Portugal and Ireland and Greece have gone bankrupt, and Italy and Spain are just about to go bankrupt. They don't really get along all that well politically. But, out of that weak composite of "partly of iron and partly of baked clay" that Daniel described, the revival of the Roman Empire has come. And, out of that weak alliance, Daniel 9:26 tells us that the Antichrist will arise and give it strength and forge an empire. He will give his empire the strength that the European Union lacks today. The European Union is merely a small and weak predecessor to the great and powerful empire that the Antichrist will build and conquer the globe with.


#12) Spreading of the Gospel

Brian Thomas: Jesus in Matthew 24:14 spoke about another sign concerning the world-wide spread of the Gospel. I think that the validity of this sign is a no-brainer because we are seeing it being fulfilled from the standpoint of technologies like the Internet. One can literally be heard all around the entire globe in a matter of seconds. We'll see that come to its complete fulfillment during the Tribulation when the angels go out and proclaim the Gospel to the entire world, as I see it. Do you agree?

Nathan Jones: Yes, I totally agree. The one thing people mistake with this sign is that they read Matthew 24:14 and think the Gospel has to go to every nation, tongue, and tribe before Jesus comes back at the Rapture. That isn't what Jesus is saying at all. Jesus was saying that the Gospel had to go to every nation, tongue, and tribe before His return at the end of the Tribulation. So, the Rapture can happen first before the entire globe gets the Gospel message.

God has a lot of people set apart who will be saved during the Tribulation and be His missionaries. We've got the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 who will witness from Jerusalem during the first three and a half years of the Tribulation. Revelation 7 says God has set apart 144,000 Jews who will come to know Jesus as their Savior. It talks about multitudes from every tribe, nation, and tongue who come to know the Lord, probably because of witnessing the Rapture or because of the judgments. God will even send an angel who will proclaim the Gospel throughout the entire planet.

The result of the evangelism efforts during the Tribulation is that it will make it so the people will know absolutely without a shadow of a doubt that there is a God and He wants them to be saved. They will have no choice but to either side with Jesus by accepting His salvation or with Satan by taking the Antichrist's mark.

And so, the Gospel will march throughout the planet, but it doesn't have to march to every person on the planet during the Church Age we are now living in before Jesus returns for us at the Rapture.


Closing Words of Hope

Brian Thomas: The soon coming of Jesus Christ is a message of hope and joy, and the signs of the end times point right to that message. I want to encourage people away from this whole stigma that Bible prophecy is gloom and doom and that there is so much to be afraid of. There is no gloom and doom to Bible prophecy when we look at the big picture. It is a great message of hope and we have just so much to look forward to. I am excited and I want others to get excited about it as well.

Let us get this message of hope out to the world — that Jesus Christ is returning soon. We will finally see and be joined with our great Messiah.

Nathan Jones: If anyone reading this hasn't accepted Jesus as your Savior, don't wait until the Rapture to find out that the signs the Bible has given us are right. Accept Jesus now! Pray, "Dear, Jesus, forgive me of my sins, and be my Savior." You, too, can be part of the Church. You can go up with Jesus in the Rapture and avoid all the disasters and judgments that are coming to this earth very soon. You can know Jesus for your Savior for all eternity.

Brian Thomas: I want to encourage everyone out there with what the Bible records Jesus Christ saying in Luke 21:28, "When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." We are definitely in the last days and our Messiah is coming soon, so continue to look up.

Blessings to all!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Twelve Signs of the End Times: Israel and Jerusalem

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Could the return of Israel as a nation and her control over Jerusalem be signs of the end times?

On Saturday, April 9, 2011, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of the Blessings to Israel Ministries Saturday podcast show. During the hour long interview we took a look at twelve major end times signs in an attempt to raise the awareness of people concerning the numerous things going on in the world currently, how they relate to Bible prophecy, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.


Blessings to Israel Ministries


#9-10) The Rebirth of Israel and the Controversy Over Jerusalem

Brian Thomas: The hatred of the Jews and their current control over Jerusalem is the center of the controversy that Zechariah 12:2-3 and Zechariah 14:1-3 speaks of reserved for the last days. These verses tell us that Jerusalem would become the center of world controversy. I think we have definitely arrived to that stage, wouldn't you agree?

Nathan Jones: Oh, goodness, if there is any sign we are witnessing right now that would make you and me to believe that Jesus is coming back soon is that Israel is a nation once again after being exiled for 1,897 years. Back in 70 AD, just as Jesus predicted the Temple was destroyed and Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews were scattered throughout the entire planet by the Roman Empire. You can even go see the Arch of Titus in Rome and see the fresco on it that testifies that the Jews and all of their gold items from the Temple were dragged into Rome, so it's a historically supported fact.

We know that the Jews were scattered throughout the planet as a result of the Roman conquest, but amazingly they kept through tradition their own people group and their own identity and because they never did merge into the societies they lived in very well. Always anti-Semitism chased them out of country after country. Finally, with the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and then UN Resolution 181 issued in 1947, Israel was allowed to come and take back at least a small part of their land, though not all of the land God promised them, and become a nation once more.

Israel becoming a nation again after all these centuries is a modern-day miracle. Do we see the ancient Hittites becoming a nation again? Do we see some of the American Indian tribes forming their own nation again? It just doesn't happen, especially after almost 2,000 years. But, it happened to Israel, the major people group of the Bible. This return to the land in fulfillment of Bible prophecies like Ezekiel 36-37 and Isaiah 11:11-12 and 66:7-8 is God saying, "Pay attention, this is a major, major thing happening." In May we came into Israel's 63rd birthday since Israel became a nation again in 1948.

Not only is the controversy over who controls Jerusalem an end times sign pointing to Jesus' soon return, but so is the rebirth of Israel. Jesus in Matthew 24:32-35 talks about a fig tree. In the Bible Israel is sometimes referred to as a fig tree. Jesus said that when it reblossoms, in other words when Israel becomes a nation once again, then we know that the time is short for His soon return.

It just gets me how some Christians will just blow off the miracle of Isreal becoming a nation again as if it's no significant thing. Whole denominations out there are trying to boycott Israel just because it exists. And yet, God wants Israel to exist because the Tribulation is not about the Church. The Church will be raptured and we will be out of here before then.

The Tribulation is in part about the world, the entire planet, and every nation coming against Israel to force them to give up there land and to be destroyed by Christ's victorious return. That, of course, is Satan working in the background. Satan wants the Jews destroyed because through the Jews God's plans will be fulfilled and they will finally as a nation know Jesus as their Savior.

Those who accept Jesus as Savior, both Jew and Gentile alike, who go through the Tribulation and survive will live on into the Millennial Kingdom in their earthly bodies. The Jews particularly will be a priesthood of people on the earth during that time. And so, God has these amazing promises that He made to the Jews.

If Satan can destroy the Jews, he believes it would thwart God's plans. Now, we know that Satan cannot thwart God's plans because God is all-powerful and Satan is nothing compared to Him, so he won't succeed in killing all of the Jews, though many will die. But, he is going to try. So, even though many non-Jews will come to know Jesus as their Savior during the Tribulation, it's about getting the Jews so persecuted that they finally turn to Jesus and accept Him as their Messiah. It says in the Bible that a third of the Jews as a nation will come to Jesus at the end of the Tribulation, and they will be the ones who along with other believers who survived the Tribulation will live on into the Millennial Kingdom in their earthly bodies and procreate and repopulate the planet again.

I have been to Israel a few times and it's simply amazing what they have done with rebuilding Israel in such a short time frame. It was such a barren wasteland that the census could actually count how many trees, something like 18,000 trees, existed in all of Israel. It was an utter wasteland. Mark Twain visited the Holy Land during the 1800's and pretty much declared it a God-forsaken rock. Well, as I was going through Israel it was like a flower-fest. There is more fruit growing there than you can imagine. I think there's like six million people living now in Israel. Supposedly there is actually more rain in Israel than ever before because of the amount of trees and plants they planted has increased the moisture content. Just as Bible prophecy predicted in Ezekiel 36:34-35, the land has been restored along with the people.

The Bible says that God through the coming Gog-Magog Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 will continue to bring the Jews back into Israel from all the corners of the earth. The persecution will get really bad and anti-Semitism will continue to rise around the planet and force all the Jews into returning back to Israel. This return is a major, major sign that proves to us that we are in the season of the Lord's return. Jesus in the Parable of that Fig Tree said that the generation that sees this return — that's you and me — when we see this we can know that Jesus is coming back very soon. So, wow, we are living in exciting, exciting times!


The Super Sign

Brian Thomas: We are living in exciting times. I just wish that the words that you are saying could be spoken in every single church in the entire world, because the Bible is so correct on this. The return of the Jews to Israel and their control of Jerusalem is what so many in the Bible prophecy community call the "Super Sign." It is what the Bible told us to look out for. When we see this happen, we can know the Lord's return is coming soon.

This Super Sign is just so clear cut, yet there are so many out there who say that Israel's return is just a coincidence and that Israel back in the land is merely a historic accident. There are many who would say, "Jesus Christ could return anywhere and it doesn't have to be Jerusalem. It could be New York City. It could be anywhere in the world." But, I say, "Where are you people drawing their conclusion from?" The Bible makes it so clear that Israel is where Jesus will return. People really need to open their eyes to this fact. I'm so encouraged that as you stated there are many who are beginning to recognizing the importance, and I do see that people are recognizing it, too. And yet, there is still a large majority in the Church who seem to be ignoring it, or want to look the other way for whatever reason.

Nathan Jones: Praise the Lord for your ministry, Brian. Blessings to Israel is a great name for a ministry!

A lot of people who disregard the significance of Israel's return say, "Those in Israel are all apostate." As I said earlier, I've been to Israel and it's true that 90% of the Jews living there are secular humanists, while the remaining 10% are Orthodox and do nothing but persecute Messianic believers in Christ. So, there is not doubt that the Jews in this time and age aren't the promised people whom God is talking about. The Church is, but when the Church Age is done, God isn't done with the Jews. He want to convert their hearts to Him. He wants them to respond to His plea that, "Hey, wait, I'm your Messiah. You gave up on me, but I'm still around. I'm going to rescue you out of this your darkest hour. I'm going to be there for you."

While there are so many unbelieving Jews during this Church Age and so mostly the Jews don't know Jesus as their Savior right now, there are many who do. There are over 40 Messianic Jewish ministries over in Israel right now trying to bring their people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We have ministries like yours, Brian, that are here in the United States that encourage people to support Israel. The Lord said in Genesis 12:3, "I will bless those who bless you." I think your ministry will be greatly blessed for anything you can do to help Israel and prepare them for the eventually time when they will accept Jesus as Savior.

Brian Thomas: Well, thank you so much, Nathan, that is very encouraging! I greatly appreciate that compliment. Forming Blessings to Israel is something that God just placed on my heart to get the message out and just be a blessing to the nation of Israel. They are in a state of spiritual blindness, but that veil will be lifted and they will accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah.

What's also great, and I try to get people to understand this, is that as Gentiles within the Church we are not competing with Israel. We are going to all be joined together as one big happy family. And actually, by accepting Christ now, we are already grafted into God's spiritual nation of Israel. I try to get people to understand that. We will be living in eternity as one big happy family under the rulership of Jesus Christ.


The final two end times signs we'll address concern the revival of the Roman Empire and the spreading of the Gospel to the entire world.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Twelve Signs of the End Times: Apathy

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Could the Church's apathy concerning God's prophetic word be a sign of the end times?

On Saturday, April 9, 2011, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of the Blessings to Israel Ministries Saturday podcast show. During the hour long interview we took a look at twelve major end times signs in an attempt to raise the awareness of people concerning the numerous things going on in the world currently, how they relate to Bible prophecy, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.


Blessings to Israel Ministries


#8) Apathy Concerning God's Prophetic Word

Brian Thomas: Let's address the end times sign of apathy.

I once heard a pastor state that most Christians today do not feel Bible prophecy is relevant to their present state of their lives and that instead most are concerned about marital issues, employment, health issues, etc. Immediately upon hearing this pastor say this, I was reminded of Matthew 24:37-39 when Jesus Christ stated that in the last days before His return it would be as in the days of Noah when people would not be concerned about what is about to happen. What could be more relevant than our Messiah returning to earth? He's the one who can bring all of these problems to an end — marital issues, health issues, whatever it is — Jesus can bring all of these heart-wrenching issues to an end. So, how can the good news of Christ's return not be relevant?

Isn't this apathy towards God's prophetic word also be one of the signs that happens before the return of Christ?

Nathan Jones: Yes, it's that Church of Laodicea mentality which claims, "We've got it all together and we don't really need you, God. We are just going to keep on practicing Christianity without Christ, thank you very much." Such an attitude is definitely a sign.

The scoffers of 2 Peter 3:1-4 scoff at the very idea that things are changing. It is sad, really. I mean, all this craziness over Mayan calendars and 2012 and crazy stuff like that ironically makes it so that more people who don't know Jesus as their Savior are the actual ones who know something big is coming. But, it's the Church today that sits under their self-created false impression that instead of Jesus we are the ones who are going to conquer the world for Christ in some Post-Millennial viewpoint and then hand the world that is all saved over to Jesus. That is certainly not what the Bible teaches. That is so not what the Bible teaches.

What's also a sad thing is that we kind of think like Laodicea that we spiritually have got it all together. We condescendingly pat Jesus on the arm like a child and say, "Hey, Lord, we are just going to save the world for you and hand it to you on a silver platter and so you are good to go." But, that is just theologically so wrong. Such an unbiblical attitude gives churches this weird sense that they can ignore the 31% of the Bible that is Bible prophecy.

Another reason for Church apathy concerning God's prophetic word is because a lot of pastors just don't know that part of the Bible. I run into a lot of these pastors and other people who cross our path here at Lamb & Lion Ministries, and so we spend a lot of our time helping churches learn and to teach the prophetic part of the Bible. Pastors just haven't been taught a lot about Bible prophecy in the seminaries, which don't teach it as much. These poor pastors just don't know where to begin. They'll see there are a lot of strange end times viewpoints out there which people get from slicing out a verse or two and ignoring the rest of the context, and so it kind of confuses them. I think a lot of pastors whether they like Bible prophecy or they don't like Bible prophecy some are kind of just throwing up their hands and saying, "I can't deal with it because I just don't understand it. I'm going to focus instead on what I do understand." So, I will give these pastors some credit.

Taking the overall pulse of the Church today, though, we can see this great apathy concerning God's prophetic word hanging over the Church right now, even though the signs are everywhere and should provide a greater understanding of God and His plans for us. I've seen pastors who I know are strictly Amillennial teachers, believing there is no literal thousand year reign of Christ coming and that everything will just pan out in the end, but who lately have with the increase in disasters are starting to wonder, "You know, I think maybe there is more to this Jesus coming back sooner than I thought." So, God is starting to wake the Church up a little bit there due to these other signs, and that's encouraging.


We'll next look at two end times signs concerning the rebirth of Israel and the controversy over who controls Jerusalem.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Twelve Signs of the End Times: New World Order

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Could the nations of the world unifying be a sign of the end times?

On Saturday, April 9, 2011, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of the Blessings to Israel Ministries Saturday podcast show. During the hour long interview we took a look at twelve major end times signs in an attempt to raise the awareness of people concerning the numerous things going on in the world currently, how they relate to Bible prophecy, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.


Blessings to Israel Ministries


#7) New World Order

Brian Thomas: We've heard the term "New World Order" for a long time now. We hear it referred to in so many different ways: the New World Order, the One World Government, the Government Globalization, and Socialism. This coming one-world government will be the foundation of what Revelation 13 speaks of concerning a time when the Antichrist comes to absolute power. He will so control the entire world that no one will be able to buy or sell anything unless they have the Mark of the Beast symbol, which is the number representing the Antichrist's name.

Is this whole push towards globalization of government and world control by socialism laying down the foundation for the Antichrist's rule which will come during the Tribulation?

Nathan Jones: It definitely is. Subsequently, the Mark of the Beast is one of the Tribulation era signs that we today get most caught up in. A lot of people are out there scared about accidently taking the Mark of the Beast. I even wrote an article Stop Panicking Over the Mark of the Beast about this hysteria. People are terrified that they are going to have to take this government mandated Mark, even though the Bible makes it clear it's a mid-Tribulation event and the Church won't even be on earth during that time.

The Bible tells us how the one world leader called the Antichrist will unite the world, most likely very easily because after the Rapture and all the natural disasters the people will be looking for some kind of leadership to fix all of the horrific aftermath. The United Nations or whatever it morphs into will have to band the world together to try to deal with these problems.

Revelation 13:16-18 reveals that the Antichrist will not only rule the world, but so he can find out who is loyal to him goes as far as having his subjects wear his name on their forehead or right hand. It has something to do with the number 666, though we have no idea at this point exactly what it means, although lots of people have come up with some very interesting theories on what it could be. We do know it is a system that is implemented three and a half years into the Tribulation, so again to my brothers and sisters in Christ, we do not have to worry about accidently taking the Mark of the Beast and so be condemned to Hell forever. That Mark system will be set up so only people who follow the Antichrist can buy or sell. This leaves all those people who will accept Christ during the Tribulation having to find some other way to buy and sell. Because of the global financial implications to this system, we can know that the end time Beast system of the Antichrist as the Apostle John and the Prophet Daniel describe is going to be a one world government and one world order.

We can see everywhere today a huge push towards globalism. It doesn't matter which administration you are living under, they are all pushing towards some kind of centralized world leadership, some kind of global authority. The UN is really weak right now, and so it will need to be replaced by the Antichrist system at some point which will have true global governorship and power.

The one-world government will arise founded on crisis. You can't change a whole system of government without there being a huge crisis that the people are facing. During crisis people support radical change in hopes of finding security. The people will be terrified by the Rapture of the Church, being deluded into whatever excuse will be generally accepted as the reason or reasons behind it and fearing they may soon too just vanish. Secondly, the people left behind will be facing an economic disaster. The Third Seal Judgment concerns poverty and people starving. And then, of course, the people will be facing down all the increasing natural disasters that will be devastating the world, all of which are the judgments of God upon the earth timed for the Tribulation. All of these factors will usher in a call for a New World Order.

As awful it is to see it our country in decline as we leave our values behind and as our government looks towards leadership from a global entity rather than our own people, it's just the beginning step for when eventually all the world's nations will turn their leadership and authority over to a one world ruler. The transition of power will happen very rapidly to this false messiah as the world will be looking for him to rescue them from the economic and natural disasters that the 21 judgments of God that will be poured out on the world. And, the Antichrist will reign supreme, though only for a short time until Christ's return.


The next end times sign we'll look at is the Church's apathy concerning Bible prophecy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Twelve Signs of the End Times: Nuclear Weapons and Wars

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Could the creation and usage of nuclear weapons in wars be signs of the end times?

On Saturday, April 9, 2011, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of the Blessings to Israel Ministries Saturday podcast show. During the hour long interview we took a look at twelve major end times signs in an attempt to raise the awareness of people concerning the numerous things going on in the world currently, how they relate to Bible prophecy, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.


Blessings to Israel Ministries


#5-6) Nuclear Weapons and Wars

Brian Thomas: In Revelation 6:14, referring to what happens during the Tribulation, it reads, "Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place." Is this passage referring to nuclear warfare?

Nathan Jones: One of the categories of signs found in Daniel 12:4 is an increase in technology, which would also encompass nuclear technology. It's amazing to think that people were using horse carts and living in mud homes for hundreds and hundreds of years, and then in the late 1700's and early 1800's the world witnessed technology taking off and increasing exponentially. Being a Web guy of course, I have to know the technology behind the Web, and I tell you the technology changes so rapidly and so often that keeping up with it is somewhat of a headache. But, the Bible says that there has to be an increase in technology in the end times as a sign of the time pointing to the Lord's soon return.

We have witnessed in this modern age amazing breakthroughs in technology that explain some of the end times events we read about in the Bible. We can look in Revelation 11 about the Two Witnesses who during the Tribulation God ordains to witnesse to the world and who will share the Gospel during the Tribulation. In the middle of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will come and kill them, and then three and a half days later the Lord will resurrect them. The Bible says that the whole world will see the Two Witnesses die and come back to life. Back before there was television and satellites and global communication technology like that, there was no way the Two Witnesses could have been viewed by the whole world. So, we need that kind of technology to help explain some of these prophetic statements.

The actual use of nuclear weapons is beyond awful. We can get a small glimpse into their destructive capabilities and the lasting effects of radiation from movies like the Terminator series or The Day After, if you remember those movies from the '80s. We all know somewhat about how horrible nuclear warfare really is from those movies.

I believe the Bible definitely talks about the use of nuclear weapons. Take a First Century man like the Apostle John who can only explain what he saw in terms he understood, like in saying the sky is receding like a scroll. That happens to be exactly what a nuclear weapon does. The sky looks like it is scrolling up just after the bomb blast.

We can read in Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 the oracle against Damascus, which is the capital city of Syria and is also the oldest city in the world. The Bible says that in one day Damascus will be destroyed by Israel. Well, the only way technologically it could be done today is if Israel is forced to drop a nuclear bomb on Damascus.

We also read in Revelation 8:7 that a third of the world will be terribly burned up by the scorching sun causing terrible burns. The people in Revelation 16 will have loathsome and malignant sores all over them. We are seeing this happening in Japan right now with the nuclear reactors having gone critical and pouring radiation all over those people trying to contain the leaks. They are getting sores all over them as they are dying of radiation poisoning.

The Bible in Revelation 8 and 9 describes a nuclear war during the Tribulation. The Antichrist as he goes out to conquer the world will use nuclear weapons resulting in about a third of mankind, that would be about 1.5 billion of those remaining from the previous wars of the Tribulation, being killed from the nuclear war. This coming nuclear war will devastate the planet.

Many of the Tribulation judgments that we read about after this global war are mostly all effects from nuclear radiation. We read about the disasters from the sky causing the destruction of the seas and the people having sores all over them. As horrible as our worst nightmare might be, they're nothing compared to the nuclear weapons that will be used at that time and the nuclear holocaust that will befall this planet during the Tribulation.


The next end times sign we'll look at is the emergence of the New World Order.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Twelve Signs of the End Times: Apostasy

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Could the record number of churches falling into apostasy be a sign of the end times?

On Saturday, April 9, 2011, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of the Blessings to Israel Ministries Saturday podcast show. During the hour long interview we took a look at twelve major end times signs in an attempt to raise the awareness of people concerning the numerous things going on in the world currently, how they relate to Bible prophecy, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.


Blessings to Israel Ministries


#4) Apostasy in the Church

Brian Thomas: Let's talk about apostasy in the Church, something sadly unfortunate that no Christian should find any delight in happening. The Apostle Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, "Let no one deceive you by any means for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition." Paul was talking here about the falling away of the church, the apostasy in the church. Have we arrived at this end times sign?

Nathan Jones: When we consider that the leading "evangelical" of our time period is Rob Bell of Mars Hill Church who can write a book that teaches there's no one going to Hell and that God will allow everybody into Heaven and there is no punishment for our rebellion against God, then we know without a shadow of a doubt that the church is in serious, serious trouble.

The Church has become so seeker sensitive, and that can be a good thing in that we want unbelievers to come to know Jesus as their Savior, but we have ended up chasing the believers right out of their churches. We have filled our churches with unbelievers and now are putting unbelievers into the church pulpits. These new church leaders are not saved. They have no fruits of the Spirit. They have no signs in their lives that show that they are saved.

These unbelievers in the pulpits keep writing their apostate books and they keep leading their apostate churches saying every kind of doctrine that has nothing to do with the Bible whatsoever. They teach their own flavor of universalism with its belief that everybody will get to Heaven and that all paths lead to God. This teaching is clearly not true nor biblical because Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life no one comes to the Father except through me." Universalism is the leading teaching of apostates. They believe that Jesus isn't the only way to Heaven and that Jesus isn't the Son of God. It's a terrible heresy to say that Jesus' death on the cross is not enough to get us into Heaven and that we can get ourselves into Heaven. It is the lie straight from Satan in the Garden of Eden.

We are definitely seeing more apostasy in the church today. Second Timothy 4:3 says, "For a time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine, instead to suit their own desires they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." Well, that is exactly what we are seeing today. We now have a great number of people who are saying they are Christians, but they are surrounding themselves with teachers that only tell them what they want to hear and not what the Bible is teaching.

We can go into Revelation 2-3 and read about the Seven Churches. These are seven literal churches Jesus addressed that were in Asia Minor at the time, and they also represent seven eras within church history from the Apostles time going out and starting the churches to today which is clearly the final phase of Church History. This final phase of Church History is defined by the Church of Laodicea. It is the apathetic church. It is the church that thinks it's wealthy and that it's got it all together. We today think we've got it all together, but Jesus says we are naked, poor and blind, and we need to return to Christ. If we don't, Jesus says He will spit us out. There would be just no reason to keep us around because we are lukewarm and bad to His taste with our empty doctrines and egos, and we just don't have it all together whatsoever.

The explosive growth of apostasy is a big sign particularly demonstrated by the Western Church. I've got to say a lot of people get down on the Church today because of our apathy and apostasy that has overtaken us, but on the positive side there are some good spiritual signs. So many people are getting saved around the world. I have an associate who travels down to Asia and to Africa a lot and he says that there are so many people getting saved, especially in Africa. So many Africans are turning against Islam causing the Islamic clerics to be quite scared. They are holding conventions and saying, "Hey, we've got a big problem here. People are converting like crazy to Christianity." So, the Gospel is still marching on and there is still a great need for people to turn to Jesus. But, overall, we are seeing especially in the Western world the decline of the Church here over apostasy and false teaching.

Brian Thomas: I'm so glad you mentioned Rob Bell who really just breaks my heart seeing the type of message that he's putting out there. I think so many of us need to be voices to counter what he is teaching because you are right, he is putting out the message that everybody gets saved, and we know that simply isn't true. The Bible makes it very clear that universalism is not true. What is the purpose of our entire lives here if in the end everyone is saved? No, that is just a great heresy.

Nathan Jones: On some television and radio programs they for various reasons don't want you to name names, but if we are going to talk about apostasy then we have to point out just who these apostate teachers are and what they are teaching. People need to look out for them and be aware. I believe the Lord wants us to make sure that we point out apostasy as Paul did all the time when he said things like, "Don't listen to this guy. He is teaching you something wrong." We have to point out that guys like Rob Bell and some of Rick Warren's teachings which are just totally false teachings. They've got it wrong because they're not using the Bible and the Holy Spirit to guide what they're sharing.


Acceptance of Homosexuality

Brian Thomas: Right! I want to share something that happened last year concerning another case of apostasy in the Church. An article that I was reading stated that on January 3, 2010, a gay couple walked out of the Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church service in Washington, D.C. The reason they walked out was to protest the pastor's statement of, "Sex is only pleasing to God in the marriage bed, and the marriage bed is [for] a man and a woman." Of course, we know as Christians that this pastor was exactly right in what he was stating, but as a result this gay couple decided to walk out in protest, and sadly they found a church in which this type of thing is accepted. They found a church called Covenant Baptist Church which bills itself as a LGBT affirming congregation, which means the pastor supports same-sex marriage. If anyone is not familiar with LGBT, it stands for "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender." This is a group that really promotes and pushes the whole homosexual agenda. And so, this is just another example of where we see apostasy flourishing.

I have to ask myself this question, "How can any pastor of a church who knows their Scripture and sees that right in the Bible it speaks against homosexuality, yet bill itself as a church that accepts same-sex marriage?" And yet, we are seeing this very thing popping up all over the country.

Nathan Jones: Just go to whosoever.org. It's a homosexual website that promotes the teaching that Christians can be homosexuals and also be Christians. This points right back to the end times sign of increasing immorality that is consuming the earth. We know this teaching is not of the Bible and so is therefore a lie. For example, Jesus in Revelation 22:15 described those outside of Heaven in the very end of time who were dwelling in Hell. Why they are in Hell is because they never accepted Jesus. Jesus described them as, "Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral..." Homosexuality in the Bible is said to be sexually immoral. The sexually immoral are lumped in with, "the murders, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood."

God never says, "You can continue to live in immorality and rebellion against me and at the same time you can be saved and forgiven by me." It just doesn't work that way. When we turn to Jesus, when we ask for forgiveness of our sins, it is for forgiveness for all of our sins and not what sins we think are sins and are not sins.

The Bible says that any sex outside of marriage is sexual immorality. The Bible is not particularly picking on the people who are homosexuals, but includes the people who are sleeping around. It is talking about the adulterers as well, and if there is any sin that the Bible talks about the most, it certainly is adultery. These are the very sins the Lord says that are keeping you separated from Him. You just cannot hold onto your sexual immorality and still be a child of God.

Homosexuality being acceptable in the Church is a huge apostasy that is spreading and is affecting every denomination. While it used to be just the Episcopalians who were the ones who obsessing over this, now the debate is taking over the Lutheran churches, the Baptist and pretty much every other denomination. The reason for this is because the denominational leaders and even the pastors are not into the Word enough to understand exactly what the Word teaches on this subject. Or, they don't take the Bible as the inerrant Word of God to begin with and so they pick and choose what they want to believe.

So, yes, apostasy in the Church is just to my amazement right now growing in leaps and bounds. It results in a made up religion. We can't even call these people Christians anymore, because they are making up their religion as they go.

Brian Thomas: I just want to state for anyone who wants to argue for these things, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 states that homosexuality is a sin and those people will not enter the Kingdom of God. Living that lifestyle and having that unrepentant sin and with churches accepting it goes right along with what 1 Timothy 4:1 teaches, that this is nothing but a doctrine of the Devil to accept homosexuality.

God knows what is good for us and He knows what is bad for us. He knows what destroys us. Again, like you were saying, it's not about picking on anyone in particular who engages in sexual immorality like the homosexuals and the adulterers, but God knows this destroys us and so He is looking out for our own good and for what's in our best interest. It is so important for people to understand that.

Nathan Jones: That's exactly right! I think sometimes as Christians we get so offended by that particular kind of sin that we react to these people in an unloving manner. I was getting a haircut a few years back and the lady asked me what I did for a living. I told her I was a reverend or evangelist and since we don't have a church to pastor we kind of just pastor everybody we come across. She replied that she didn't like God because she was a homosexual. She's a lesbian. And, do you know what I did? Instead of jumping out of my chair and saying "forget you" and running out like what is usually the common reaction with most Christians, I had the great opportunity to share the Gospel with her. Well, she had some really interesting views of God and salvation. I finally got down to the brass tacks of it is all that without repentance we are still under God's wrath as John 3:36 tells us. So, no matter if she is a homosexual, or a liar, or an adultery, or any kind of sinner, if we don't ask for Jesus' forgiveness of our sins and flee those sins and turn to Christ then we are not obeying Jesus. How then can we believe that we will live in Heaven with Him forever if we won't obey Him in the smallest things that He asks us to do?


The next two end times signs we'll look at is the emergence of nuclear weapons and warfare.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Twelve Signs of the End Times: Natural Disasters

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Is an increase in the number of natural disasters a sign of the end times?

On Saturday, April 9, 2011, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of the Blessings to Israel Ministries Saturday podcast show. During the hour long interview we took a look at twelve major end times signs in an attempt to raise the awareness of people concerning the numerous things going on in the world currently, how they relate to Bible prophecy, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.


Blessings to Israel Ministries


#3) Natural Disasters

Brian Thomas: I want to speak now on earthquakes. Wow! We have seen so many destructive earthquakes going on just over the last two years. The world witnessed the significant earthquake that hit and flooded northern Japan followed by frequent aftershocks. Japan had the big 9.0 earthquake just this year. We have seen major earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. There have been so many of these earthquakes that they are literally reshaping the earth. In terms of physical land masses, the countries are actually moving several inches and even in some cases maybe even a couple of feet.

In Matthew 24:7, Jesus Christ spoke of earthquakes when He stated, "Nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places." Have we arrived today to the point that Jesus Christ was speaking of concerning these earthquakes happening in various places?

Nathan Jones: Certainly, one of the biggest signs of the end times and the definitely the most noticeable sign is natural disasters.

Concerning the catastrophic earthquake in Japan, it is interesting that the mayor of Tokyo being a Buddhist said something like, "I think God is trying to get our attention." He quickly recanted his statement later on, but even people who don't believe that there is a God as in the God of the Bible are noticing that He is trying to get our attention.

Many people including Christians will look at all these natural disasters and say, "Oh, you know, this is just nature happening." Or, they will pass the cause of these natural disasters off as Global Warning or some man-made event. But, God all throughout the Bible demonstrated that He uses natural disasters to wake people up from their spiritual apathy so they will ask for forgiveness and will turn to Jesus in repentance. Judgment brings repentance.

A British charity called Oxfam went through Red Cross data and found that the earth is currently experiencing approximately 500 natural disasters per year. There was only 120 per year back in 1980. The number of weather related disasters in 2006 was 240, while there was only 60 back in 1980. Between 1985-1994 they found there were 174 million people affected by these disasters each year. This figure has increased today to 70% or 254 million per year. These statistics are about three years old, but the latest statistics that have come out say that we are having so many major devastating earthquakes that we can expect one big one to occur every 45 days. Can you imagine an earthquake like in Japan happening every 45 days?

Earthquakes and other natural disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity. This is leading up to the point which the Bible talks about in Revelation 6:12-14 and 11:13 and 16:17-21, that there will be a number of ultra-devastating earthquakes which will happen during the Tribulation. As a matter of fact, there will be one so bad that the Bible says it will level the mountains across the planet. So, all these disasters that we are feeling now are working their way up to the particular judgments that God has planned for the earth and where a super earthquake will finally totally ravage the face of the earth.

The result to the earth's landscape from this coming super earthquake we can also read about in the Bible. During the Millennial Kingdom when Jesus is back and ruling the planet, we are told in Zechariah 14:10 and Micah 4:1 that Jerusalem will be raised up as the highest point on the earth. The remainder of the earth will remain a flattened plain. The earth will be flat. I live in Texas and it is as flat as a board. I'm going to miss visiting mountains. Imagine all of the people living in mountainous areas like Switzerland and in the Rocky Mountains having their mountains tumble down around them and the resulting amount of death that will unfortunately come of that.

So, yes, all these natural disasters are continuing in frequency and intensity working their way up to the super earthquake which will flatten the world during the Tribulation.

Brian Thomas: From what the Bible says and it's hard to fathom, but what we are witnessing with today's earthquakes can only be thought of as little more than tremors in comparison to the earthquake that is going to come during the Tribulation. That is really amazing!

The nay-sayers out there who believe earthquakes have been going on for thousands of years and are no different now have to run up against the statistics that show they are happening with more frequency and more intensity. Natural disasters are a "labor pains" sign that Christ spoke of in Matthew 24. The world can easily see these things are happening closer together and with more intensity. No doubt exists that we are definitely seeing these things happening today.

Nathan Jones: Definitely! The resulting tsunamis are due to the underground seismic activity, and Luke 21:25 also points out that in the end times there will be the tossing of the seas.

The Bible also talks about signs in the sun and the moon and the stars. Astronomers have been very perplexed lately because the sun seems so very inactive, and then for a bit there got suddenly very active. The Bible particularly talks about the moon becoming in appearance like sackcloth and like blood. "Blood moons" are what we call it today, where the moon because of our atmosphere looks red. There are a series of these blood moons coming. The Bible talks about the stars just disappearing out of the sky.

A lot of these astronomical signs I believe we are not quite seeing the fulfillment of just yet. During the Tribulation, especially during the last part under what are called the Vial or Bowl Judgments, the sun will scorch the earth and the stars will appear to have fallen out of the sky. The full fulfillment of those celestial signs will happen during the Tribulation. But, we are starting to see just the very beginnings of these signs, like say the tossing of the seas in these great tsunamis that have been wiping out so many countries. The partial fulfillment of natural disasters we are already beginning to see fulfilled in this day and age.

Brian Thomas: The tsunami we saw this year in Japan because of the massive earthquake, it was just amazing footage to sit there and watch on television. The videos showed this consuming ocean wave coming in and literally picking up over 50 to 100 cars in places. It just totally obliterated everything in its path. When I saw that, scripture like Luke 21:25 was the first thing that came into my mind. It concerns the seas and the waves roaring. Just a few years earlier in 2004 in the Indian Ocean, we witnessed another tsunami that killed tens of thousands of people. When we see these disasters happening it sounds like we should expect them to occur even more as we approach the Tribulation, and then during the Tribulation period these things will increase even more in frequency and intensity.

Nathan Jones: Oh, definitely. Look at between 1991 and 2004, just 13 years of American history. Nine out of the ten largest insurance-related natural disasters happened. Nine of the ten greatest FEMA relief costs were incurred. Five of the costliest hurricanes in history struck the U.S., and we suffered under four of the largest tornado swarms in history, the worst being the record number of tornados which struck this year. That's all happened just during the last two decades!

The statistics show that we are in an incredible exponential curve of increasing natural disasters that are pointing to the Lord's soon return.

Brian Thomas: Jesus Christ is letting us know. The signs are all around us. He is letting us know that He is coming soon and to get ready.

Nathan Jones: Amen! Isn't it great about the personality of God? For example, when we read in Ezekiel 38-39 about the Gog-Magog Battle — a group of Islamic nations along with Russia that come against Israel in the end times and try to conquer it — it says there a few times that God lets the world know ahead of time that this event is going to happen. Isn't it great that God didn't just leave us in the dark? If we get into the Bible and read, we can understand that the Lord is telling us, "I am coming back soon." He wants us to know. He wants us to be prepared. It's like when Jesus used the story of the virgins waiting for a wedding. They are just sitting waiting keeping their lamps lighted for when Jesus comes. Well, it is that close. Jesus is coming just so soon that we need to keep our lamps lit, so to speak. We need to keep our lives in tune to serving the Lord with the time we have remaining in anticipation of His return.

Brian Thomas: Absolutely! You are so right on that. God didn't have to tell us. He didn't have to warn us at all. He could have just said, "Be ready." And yet, He did warn us to get ready because He let us know what the signs would be that would let us know when it is about to happen.

Nathan Jones: It's just so sad that it takes these kinds of intense natural disasters to get our attention. We are just that stiff-necked and close-minded and self-focused on our own lives that God has to go to this length to bring us to finally admit there is a God and I'd better get to know Him and get my life right with Him.


The next end times sign we'll look at is the growing apostasy in the Church.