Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Feasts of Israel: Symbols of the First Coming

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

Do the Jewish Feasts actually symbolize the First Coming of Jesus Christ?

Dr. David Reagan and I were blessed by having Michael Norten as a guest on our television show Christ in Prophecy. Michael is a Dallas Theological Seminary graduate, formerly a pastor and staffer with Campus Crusade for Christ, and the television personality the Garden Guy. He's written an absolutely fascinating book on the Feasts of Israel titled Unlocking the Secrets of the Feasts, explaining what each one means and how they are prophetically significant. I believe you'll find the following interview with Michael concerning the prophetic importance of the Feasts that relate to the First and Second Comings of the Messiah a fascinating read.

Michael Norten

Symbols of the Feasts

Dr. Reagan: Michael, your book is so full of insights concerning the Jewish Feasts. Give us some nuggets here about some of these Feasts from a Jewish perspective.

Nathan Jones: I particularly liked what you revealed concerning a ritual involved in the Passover. It concerns the wood that is rather like the cross of Christ. Can you tell us more about that?

Michael Norten: Yes, indeed. Justin Martyr had brought this fascinating point out in his writings concerning particularly when the Passover lamb was sacrificed. After the Passover lamb was sacrificed at the Temple, the priests would put the lamb on a pomegranate pole which included a crossbar to hold it up. The priests would take out its innards and wrap them around its head. When you look at that imagery, it very much has the appearance of Christ on the cross who is our Passover lamb.

Dr. Reagan: Oh, Man, isn't that something?

Nathan Jones: That gives me goose bumps!

Michael Norten: Another very fascinating aspect of the Passover lamb involves if you remember, when the angel came to the shepherds and said, "Go to Bethlehem and you'll find the baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger. That will be a sign for you." Did you ever wonder just what that sign was?

Dr. Reagan: Yes, sure I've wondered.

Michael Norten: Well, I didn't even wonder at first. I'd heard that Christmas verse all my life and thought it sounded very nice. Later, though, I found out from the rabbis just what an incredible sign it really is. In Micah 5:2, it said that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. But, also in Micah 4:8 it said he would be announced at Migdal Eder, which means "guard tower of the flock." A friend of mine who does excavating in Israel said that they had discovered the remains of Migdal Eder. It's outside of Bethlehem about five miles. It was a two-story tower.

The shepherds would look out from atop the tower at the field and see the sheep far off. On the bottom floor they would bring in the pregnant sheep to assist in the birthing. Why? Because they were not the lowly shepherds that we think of. No, they were priests that worked at the Temple that were doing shepherding work to make sure the lambs were born without blemish for sacrifice at the Temple. So, when the lamb was born, these priestly shepherds would take strips of cloths that they had made from recycled priestly undergarments and would wrap the lamb tightly so it wouldn't get blemished. Then they would place it in the manger so it wouldn't get trampled. When the priestly shepherds saw the baby Jesus prepared just like their Passover lambs, they must have gone absolutely ballistic. I bet they exclaimed, "This is the Lamb of God prepared for sacrifice, unblemished for Him." That's why they were excited.

Dr. Reagan: Every chapter of your book contains gems like that. You've gotten a lot of them from Jewish sources, both Messianic Jews and Orthodox Jews. From the beginning to the end the book, it's just filled with little gems like that which get me so excited. I just can't recommend your book highly enough.

Michael Norten: When I saw all these little symbols that we as Christians just miss, and how they all point to Christ in everything concerning His First Coming, well I was just flabbergasted.

Point to the First Coming

Nathan Jones: Michael, you've told us a little about how the Feasts of Israel relate to the agricultural seasons and to history, but this is the part we really want to get into. Tell us about the prophetic meaning of the seven Feasts. And, how do they relate to Christianity and to the life of Jesus?

Michael Norten: What I discovered in my research of the Jewish Feasts was like getting new insights into God's playbook on what His plans are for the ages. What I learned is that the first four Feasts are the Spring Feasts, and they were all integral to Jesus' First Coming. The three Fall Feasts are all about Jesus' Second Coming, and they provide just as much detail as the First Coming Feasts.

Nathan Jones: Does the big time gap between the Spring and Fall Feasts mean anything?

Michael Norten: Yes, the time gap represents the large separation between Jesus' First and Second Coming, which is the Church Age.

Each Feast also represents some aspect of salvation. Concerning the Passover, we think of Jesus' justification, when as the firstborn He was sacrificed for our sins so that when we accept His sacrifice in faith and repentance we can stand justified before God.

With the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we think of sanctification, because our sins were buried with Christ as He was buried during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We are to live and walk in a sinless life as Jesus did.

With the Feast of First Fruits, Jesus was resurrected, so with First Fruits we think about glorification.

Then there's Pentecost, which is the fourth and last feast concerning the First Coming. At Pentecost is when the Church got the Holy Spirit. What's interesting is that during the Feast of Weeks the Jews received the Mosaic Law, but 3,000 men died in rebellion. Then, at the first Pentecost after Christ's resurrection when the Church received the Holy Spirit, instead 3,000 men were saved. The Law brought death, but the Spirit brought life.

Dr. Reagan: You are saying the Feast of Pentecost from a Jewish viewpoint looks back to the giving of the Law at Sinai?

Michael Norten: Yes. They had the similar events happen at both Feasts — the giving of the Law and the giving of Grace. Quite fascinating!

Dr. Reagan: So, the first four Feasts point to the prophetic death of the Messiah. For example, the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a feast that points to the prophecy of the burial of the Messiah. Also, the Feast of First Fruits is about the resurrection, and in fact First Fruits always lands on Sunday which is the day when Jesus was resurrected. Then there is a period of 50 days and we come to the Feast of Harvest, or Pentecost, and that is the establishment of the Church and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on that day.

Michael Norten: Right. The Feast of Weeks established Israel basically because they got the Mosaic Law.

Dr. Reagan: All of those Feasts are also fulfilled in the Christian experience. We've even got five months between the Spring and Fall Feasts which represents the Church Age.

In the fourth and last segment of our interview with Michael Norten concerning the Feasts of Israel, Michael will provide some fascinating parallels between the practices of the Feasts and what they symbolize concerning Jesus' Second Coming.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Feasts of Israel: Spring and Fall

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

When are the Feasts of Israel held and what are they all about?

Dr. David Reagan and I were blessed by having Michael Norten as a guest on our television show Christ in Prophecy. Michael is a Dallas Theological Seminary graduate, formerly a pastor and staffer with Campus Crusade for Christ, and the television personality the Garden Guy. He's written an absolutely fascinating book on the Feasts of Israel titled Unlocking the Secrets of the Feasts, explaining what each one means and how they are prophetically significant. I believe you'll find the following interview with Michael concerning the prophetic importance of the Feasts that relate to the First and Second Comings of the Messiah a fascinating read.

Michael Norten

The Spring Feasts

Nathan Jones: Michael, can you give us an overview of the Feasts of Israel? What are they about? When do they occur?

Michael Norten: God gave Israel seven specific Feasts. The first four Feasts are what we call the Spring Feasts. The last three Feasts are called the Fall Feasts.

Concerning the four Spring Feasts, there is Passover, then the Feast of Unleavened Bread, then the Feast of First Fruits, and finally Pentecost. Pentecost is the same Feast that in the Old Testament is also called the Feast of Weeks.

Spring Feasts

Dr. Reagan: Concerning those Spring Feasts, the first three occur very close together, don't they?

Michael Norten: Yes, the happen very close together, except that for when there is 50 days after the Feast of First Fruits to the last of the Spring Feasts — Pentecost.

Dr. Reagan: That would put Pentecost in what, May or June?

Michael Norten: Pentecost almost makes it into the Summer.

The Fall Feasts occur much later, and there lies the longest period of time between the Feasts. That time period has significance, too.

Unlocking the Secrets of the Feasts

For the three Fall Feasts, we have the Feasts of Trumpets which is also called Rosh Hashanah. It's held in the later part of September. Then we have Yom Kippur, also called the Day of Atonement. Five days later the Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated.

Nathan Jones: In what book of the Bible were these Feasts established?

Michael Norten: Leviticus 23. All seven are given in Leviticus 23.

Nathan Jones: These Feasts are all tied to the agricultural system and seasons, too, right?

Michael Norten: Yes. The Feasts also tied to momentous events in Jewish history. The First Feast — the Passover — was to remind the Jews of how God got delivered them out of slavery from Egypt. The Second Feast — the Feast of Unleavened Bread — exists to remind them of the swiftness of leaving Egypt.

Dr. Reagan: How does it remind them of the swiftness?

Michael Norten: The Jews didn't have time for leavening the bread, which means adding yeast so that it rises. They had to travel with flat, unleavened bread and get out of Egypt quickly. Unleavened bread has so much more significance to the Jews and to us now, which I hope we'll get into later.

The Third Feast — the Feast of First Fruits — coincides with the barley harvest. The Feast of First Fruits is a big, big event.

The Fourth Feast — the Feast of Pentecost — is the wheat harvest. Remember that these Feasts were not observed until the Jews finally made it into the Promised Land, of course.

Nathan Jones: The Jews had to wait 40 years from when they left Egypt before they got to the Promised Land and could begin celebrating the Feasts?

Michael Norten: Right.

Dr. Reagan: How did the Fourth Feast get the name Pentecost?

Michael Norten: Pentecost comes because there is 50 days between from the Feast of First Fruits to that feast. It comes from the Greek word pente. Pentecost has to do with the celebration of Jubilee and the Sabbaths, which we'll see is very significant prophetically.

The Fall Feasts

Dr. Reagan: Something like a five month period exists between the Spring and the Fall Feasts?

Michael Norten: Yes, right.

Dr. Reagan: How do the Fall Feasts relate either to the agricultural cycle or to history?

Michael Norten: It's interesting that the number five, like in five months, in the Jewish system is always symbolic of God's grace.

Fall Feasts

Concerning the Fall Feasts, the Fifth Feast — the Feast of Trumpets — is in actuality the Jewish New Year. They celebrate their New Year then.

The Sixth Feast — the Day of Atonement — is when the Jews would be forgiven, having their sins covered for another year.

The significance of the harvest part is tied to the Seventh Feast — the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast reminds the Jews how God took care of them in the wilderness. It was also a time of celebration when all the harvests were finished, including the fruit harvest in the Fall. Their vats were full and the barns were full and they would celebrate God's provision.

Dr. Reagan: Yes, the Feast of Tabernacles is a wonderful celebration time in Israel. It's a time when everybody takes off for a week. It's kind of like our Thanksgiving here in the United States, except theirs is a week long. Israelis will go to the beach, or they go to Galilee, and they take off from work.

Nathan Jones: Michael, do you think God tied these Feasts to the harvests to remind His people to celebrate them?

Michael Norten: Oh, yes, because it all has to do with God's provision.

In the third segment of our interview with Michael Norten concerning the Feasts of Israel, Michael will provide some fascinating parallels between the practices of the Feasts and what they symbolize concerning Jesus' First Coming.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Feasts of Israel: An Unexpected Journey

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

Has there ever been a time in your life when God placed certain people on your path to make it apparent you are supposed to do something specific?

Dr. David Reagan and I were blessed by having Michael Norten as a guest on our television show Christ in Prophecy. Michael is a Dallas Theological Seminary graduate, formerly a pastor and staffer with Campus Crusade for Christ, and the television personality the Garden Guy. He's written an absolutely fascinating book on the Feasts of Israel titled Unlocking the Secrets of the Feasts, explaining what each one means and how they are prophetically significant. I believe you'll find the following interview with Michael concerning the prophetic importance of the Feasts that relate to the First and Second Comings of the Messiah a fascinating read.

Michael Norten

An Unexpected Journey

Dr. Reagan: Ever since the Law of Moses was given to the Jewish people about 3,500 years ago, they have been observing a system of seven Feasts — four in the Spring of the year and three in the Fall. They continue to observe those Feasts today. The Feasts relate to the agricultural cycle, but they are also memorials of great events in Jewish history.

Nathan Jones: Welcome, Michael! You teach on both the Feasts and gardening. I can see a combination going here.

Michael Norten: It all comes together.

Dr. Reagan: I'm so excited about your book, Unlocking the Secrets of the Feasts. The subtitle is, The Prophecies in the Feasts of Leviticus. One of the things that really hooked me on your book when I started reading it was that you actually came to me before you had it published and had me read the manuscript. At that time you didn't have the preface yet. When I finally got the finished book and I read the preface, I think I laughed for the next 30 minutes, because you told three stories: 1) How you got interested in prophecy. 2) How you got interested in the Feasts. 3) How you got interested in writing. Tell us those stories.

Michael Norten: It was an interesting journey how I came to write a book on the Feasts of Israel.

To begin, I decided when I was in college back in the 60's that I wanted to take an adventurous train trip to Mexico City. It was basically a missions trip. Everyone before I left warned me, "Oh, you've got to be careful for there are desperados and they rob people on the trains." I had a big imagination and so I became very nervous.

Once on the train for two days from Loredo to Mexico City, I spent it looking around in the hopes of spotting those desperados before they spotted me. What I saw was a gentleman who had long-hair, a big mustache, and a stern look on his face. He clearly had been around the block a few times. I thought, "There's one of those desperados." As I was watching him, I noticed some people were coming up to talk to him. I thought, "Now this is interesting, for they may be planning their heist." I sort of walked over to find out what they were talking about thinking I would recognize some Spanish. To my suprise, he was talking about Bible prophecy. He was talking about the Rapture, the Tribulation period, and the Millennial Kingdom. I thought, "This is interesting." So, I started asking him questions. I even asked him where I could learn more about all this prophecy? He said, "You might start by going to Dallas Theological Seminary." This "desperado" finally introduced himself as Hal Lindsey!

Later on I did go to Dallas Seminary. Once there, one day I decided with a bunch of our friends to go out to lunch after church at this place called Shakey's Pizza. There people, friends, and strangers alike would all sit together at the same table. As I was sitting at the big table, there was a gentleman sitting right in front of me. He was a bald headed gentleman who had a sheepish grin on his face, and to my surprise smoke coming out the back of his head! I asked him, "Sir, do you realize there is smoke coming out of the back of your head?" He got so embarrassed. He then pulled out this cigarette from behind his back. He replied, "I'm a Jew who has just accepted Jesus as my Messiah. I believe in Jesus as my Messiah. I didn't know what church people thought about smoking. When I saw you church people come in, I decided to hide it." We had a laugh over that.

I asked this man, "What brought you to believe in Jesus as your Messiah?" He told me it was from reading Bible prophecy and how those prophecies were fulfilled. This was fascinating, how he came to see this. As we were leaving he says, "Oh, by the way, the secrets of prophecy are in the Feasts." That lodged in my memory. All the secrets are in the Feasts. This gentleman I came to discover was Zola Levitt!

Dr. Reagan: Oh, no. This was shortly after he had become a Christian?

Michael Norten: Yes.

Nathan Jones: Fascinating that so shortly after Zola became a Christian he had already recognized the prophetic significance of the Feasts.

Dr. Reagan: If some folks don't know, Zola Levitt later became one of the leading Messianic Jewish teachers and television personalities in America.

So, Michael, you were introduced to prophecy by Hal Lindsey. You were introduced to the Feasts by Zola Levitt. What was your third encounter?

Michael Norten: Quite a number of years later, I was sitting in a restaurant here in Texas. I noticed that a gentleman who was sitting at a table next to mine was Tim LaHaye, because I recognized him from the Left Behind series of books. So, I started talking to him about prophecy. Obviously I have to talk about something, for here he was.

Up to that time I was pretty ignorant concerning the Jewish Feasts. At one time I had been asked to teach a series of seven lectures on the Scriptures. I thought, "Well, there are seven Feasts, so with seven lectures, teach on the Feasts." I realized I didn't know really anything about the Feasts. I had asked my colleagues, and they didn't know anything about the Feasts. I had went to the rabbis, some Messianic and some non-Messianic, and asked if they'd please teach me about the Feasts. They were the ones who poured out their hearts to me. I started connecting the dots. I had thought I'd found the mother lode. It was such exciting information.

I started sharing with Tim LaHaye what I had learned about the Feasts. He said, "We've never heard this. We are not taught this. You need to write a book for this is incredible." Well, I had never written a book. Tim LaHaye offered, "Let me teach you how to write a book." Amazed, I thought, "This man has sold more books than Harry Potter, and he's going to teach me how to write a book!" We sat down and he did just that.

So, that's the long path I took and the people who encouraged me to write my book Unlocking the Secrets of the Feasts.

Dr. Reagan: Wow! I tell you, I can just see the Lord's hand in all of that. Hal Lindsey introduced you to prophecy. Zola Levitt introduced you to the Feasts. Then you ran across Tim LaHaye who has this heart for writing and touching people's hearts through writing, and he encourages you to write. And so, you wrote.

Michael Norten: That's right. Now I teach the Feasts and encourage people to read about the Feasts. What I've learned from the rabbis, well, they are just as excited about them as I am.

In the second segment of our interview with Michael Norten concerning the Feasts of Israel, Michael will give us an overview of what the Feasts are and when they occur.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Once Saved Always Saved - Or Not?

Dr. David R. ReaganBy

What about "once saved, always saved"... do you believe that?

This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions at my Bible prophecy forums, even though it is not directly related to Bible prophecy.

When the question is asked in a public forum, I always avoid answering it because I have found that it is an explosive topic that is not productive to deal with publicly. So, I usually answer the question by saying, "I'm sorry, but your question is not relevant to Bible prophecy, so I would suggest that you discuss it with your pastor."

Two Extremes

For those of you who may not be familiar with the issue, it is a debate between those with an Armenian viewpoint and those with a Calvinist view. The Armenian argues that it is possible for a Christian to "fall from grace" and thus become lost. The Calvinist argues that once a person is saved, it is not possible for him or her to lose their salvation.

I believe the extremes of both viewpoints are unbiblical. The extreme Armenian will argue that every time you sin, you lose your salvation unless you immediately repent. I grew up in a church that taught this theology, so I know it well. It creates an acute sense of spiritual insecurity and contributes to emotional instability. As a kid, I remember witnessing people coming forward time and time again at our church services to confess their sins and be re-baptized over and over, to make sure they were saved.

The ultra-Calvinist position is just as bad in my opinion. According to this theology, God predetermines who is going to be saved and who is going to be lost, and there is nothing anyone can do to change their fate. To me, this concept makes God out to be a monster.

I ran across a tragic example of this view several years ago when I was listening to an audio tape of a sermon that had been delivered at a Baptist Church in Denton, Texas. The guest speaker, who was a well-known theologian, began his sermon by asking, "How many of you here this morning have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior?" After a brief pause (during which I imagine most of the people present raised their hands), the preacher said, "I have bad news for you. Everyone of you who raised your hand is lost because you are too naturally depraved to receive Jesus of your own free will. You are therefore trusting in your own works. The fact of the matter is that God has either predestined you to be saved, or He has not, and there is nothing you can do about it."

When it comes to more moderate views on both sides, I could present a seemingly iron-clad argument in behalf of either position, depending on the verses of Scripture I chose to use. And I have found that when that is the case, the truth of the matter usually lies somewhere in the middle.

My View

Here's where I have come out on the issue. I believe we are saved by faith apart from works, and I believe we are kept in a saved condition by faith apart from works. But I do not believe that when I accepted Jesus in faith that I surrendered my free will and became a robot. I believe I still have the freedom to reject my faith in word or in deed — in word, by renouncing Jesus; in deed, by persisting to live in open sin.

As long as I am walking in faith with the Lord, I can say with absolute confidence that I am saved. But I believe it is possible for me to lose that faith, and I base that conclusion on experience as well as the Scriptures.

In my experience I have seen far too many professing Christians walk away from their faith, abandoning their families and getting in bed with the world. I recently read the testimony of a Muslim imam (spiritual leader) who for many years was a Southern Baptist pastor. For years he taught that Jesus was God in the flesh and that our only hope of salvation was through putting our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Today, he denies the divinity of Jesus and argues that He was just a great prophet preparing the way for the greatest prophet, Mohammed.

Those who believe in "once saved, always saved," respond to examples like this by quoting 1 John 2:19 where the Apostle John states that some apostates who had left the Church had done so because "they were not really one of us." In other words, moderate Calvinists will always argue that those who renounce their Christian faith or who become apostate in their beliefs, never were true Christians in the first place.

I'm sure this is true in many cases, but I'm also equally sure it is not true in all cases. I say that with confidence because there are scriptures which, in my opinion, make it clear that a true believer can fall from grace. Take, for example, 1 Corinthians 15:1-2. In this passage Paul speaks of the gospel he had preached, "by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you." If? The New Testament is full of such conditional statements. Consider Hebrews 3:12-14 —

12) Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

13) But encourage one another, day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

14) For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end...

Christians are being warned in this passage to resist evil lest they become hardened by sin. And they are further warned to hold fast in their faith until the end. Why the warning if there is no danger in falling away from the faith?

This is a persistent theme throughout the book of Hebrews. For example, in chapter 6 there is reference to those who once were "enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been partakers of the Holy Spirit" and then have "fallen away" (Hebrews 6:4-6) How can anyone be a partaker of the Holy Spirit without being born again? This has to be speaking of a true Christian.

In like manner, the Apostle Peter describes people who have "escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" and then have become entangled once again in the world. He says their latter state is worse than their first, observing, "it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away." He concludes with a vivid illustration, saying that such persons are like a dog who "returns to its own vomit" (2 Peter 2:20-22).

No Need to Argue

There is another reason I don't like to spend time dealing with this issue. That's because when you get down to the bottom line, the two moderate viewpoints agree!

I'll explain what I mean with an illustration. Let's consider a fellow — we will call him Tom — who has never had any religious experience in his life. He marries a believing woman, and she starts pressing him to go to church with her. He finally agrees, and the message touches his heart and convicts him. He spends several days reading the Bible and then calls the pastor to inform him that he has decided to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

The next Sunday he goes forward and makes his confession. He is baptized, and he starts attending church faithfully and gets involved in an in-depth Bible study. Within two years he has become a deacon of the church and one of its youth leaders.

And then, one night while surfing the Internet, he accidently lands on a porn site and decides to take a peek. In a short time he is addicted. His wife discovers the situation when they receive a credit card bill with over $500 in charges from porn sites. He confesses and asks her forgiveness, but the problem continues, and soon his children discover pornographic videos he has hidden in a cabinet.

The marriage breaks up. Tom begins drinking. He soon moves in with a woman who proves to be a drug dealer. A year later he is found dead from a drug overdose.

The moderate Calvinist would say, "He was never saved in the first place." The moderate Armenian would contend that "he fell from grace." Both would agree he was lost.

So, why all the argument?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Response to the Malachy Prophecy

Dr. David R. ReaganBy

All the claims that the next Pope will be the last one are based on non-biblical "prophecies" of an Irish priest named Saint Malachy (1094-1198). He supposedly prophesied that there would be a total of 112 popes, beginning with Pope Celestine II who served one year from 1143 to 1144.

Pope Benedict XVI

Actually no one knows for certain where the prophecies came from. Wikipedia states, "The prophecy was first published in 1595 by Arnold de Wyon, a Benedictine historian, as part of his book Lignum Vitæ. Wyon attributed the list to Saint Malachy, the 12th century bishop of Armagh in Ireland. According to the traditional account, in 1139, Malachy was summoned to Rome by Pope Innocent II. While in Rome, Malachy purportedly experienced a vision of future popes, which he recorded as a sequence of cryptic phrases. This manuscript was then deposited in the Roman Archive, and thereafter forgotten about until its rediscovery in 1590. On the other hand, Bernard of Clairvaux's biography of Malachy makes no mention of the prophecy, nor is it mentioned in any record prior to its 1595 publication. Some sources, including the most recent editions of the Catholic Encyclopedia, suggest that the prophecy is a late 16th century forgery."

Like the so-called prophecies of Nostradamus, the prophecies of Malachy are very obtuse, and can be interpreted only after the fact. In each case some object or location is mentioned that is tied to the pope being prophesied. For example, Alexander III who served from 1159 to 1181 is referred to in the prophecies as "out of the guardian goose." The fulfillment of the prophecy is said to have been in the fact that his family's coat of arms had a goose on it. Celestine III who served from 1191 to 1198 filled the slot designated for one "from the cattle country." He was supposed to have fulfilled that prophecy because he was from the Bobone family, and those who believe in the prophecies claim that the family name is a wordplay on cattle (boves). Bringing the prophecies up to date, consider what was said of the slot that John Paul II filled (1978 to 2005). He is described as "from the labor of the sun." His fulfillment of that prophecy is supposed to rest in the fact that he was born and entombed on the day of a solar eclipse.

Another problem with the prophecies is that it is not at all clear that Pope Benedict XVI is really the 111th, or next to the last pope, in the series. That's because there were a number of conflicting popes or anti-popes during the time from 1143 when the numbering began.

Approach Malachy's prophecies warily, for they're extra-biblical. We can always be sure of prophetic fulfillment when we stay to the biblical text alone.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Amplified on the Battlefront: Technology to Come

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

Will there be technology during the Millennial Kingdom? How about in Heaven?

On Sunday, January 6, 2013, at the Future Congress 2 Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of Blessings to Israel Ministries on the Rapture Ready Radio Network before a live studio audience. During the 45-minute interview we discussed how the technology that we have today is proof positive that we are living in the end times and so can be expecting the soon return of Jesus Christ.

Brian Thomas

Rapture Ready Radio
(Sound quality is very poor due to ambient mic issues.)

Technology in Heaven?

Brian Thomas: I was looking at HD televisions the other day with their wonderful 1080p resolution. As I was looking at how beautiful the picture was, I thought to myself how the Lord must be saying, "You haven't seen anything yet!" The only thing we can do is speculate about how wonderful Heaven is, but is there any way we can get our minds around anything that God has said about the future for us in the eternal state? When we go away from this side to life to Heaven, will there be technologies and advances that will blow today's tech out of the water?

Nathan Jones: An Atheist scientist a few months ago came out and declared that scientists have pretty much figured out everything there is to know. Just what sort of audacity is that?! I certainly don't think that we've even begun to touch the wonders of God's creation. The Bible repeatedly tells us that God's knowledge and the learning of information is endless.

The Apostle Paul said in Romans 11:33, "Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable His judgments and His path beyond tracing out." In other words, God's knowledge is endless. That in part is what Heaven has in store for us. Some folks believe that when we get to Heaven we will then know everything. I don't think that's possible, because then we would be all-knowing and that would make us God, so that's not the case.

We are going to spend eternity chasing God's knowledge, growing in our relationship with Him, and becoming more knowledgeable. Just think of how many PhD's will be added to my Bible degree after a thousand years or so. And still, the knowledge will be endless. So, when we read what the Bible says in that no mind can comprehend what God has prepared for us, that is really so true. In my limited human physical mind, I can't comprehend, but I can get excited about what the Bible does tell us.

Brian, I loved in your sermon about Heaven where you showed that we will have tangible, physical bodies in Heaven. We will live in the New Jerusalem on a new, perfected earth. We will have a perfected body. You taught that the entire universe is sitting dormant out there now, waiting for the day when it will be our playground.

Who knows what God has planned? Well, I can imagine. I hope God lets me have a nice farm. Maybe God will let me terraform a whole planet. I don't know as the possibilities are just endless. The real riches of Heaven will not be what kinds of technology we can have, but in our growing relationship with our Creator.

Before Heaven, I believe during the Millennial Kingdom there will be quite a lot of technology that man will invent and create. God is going to rule from Jerusalem right here on earth, but that doesn't mean that He won't let mankind use technology. Technology again is just using what we know to solve problems and to make stuff. If God is going to continue to give us that ability, then there could be some fantastic technology coming out during the Millennial Kingdom, and who knows, even during the eternal state.

Who knows what kind of cities God will have us build here or on other worlds or out in space. Maybe God will have all new creations coming out during eternity. It's simply mind-boggling to think about what God has in store for believers in Christ!

Just think what it's like for people who hold on so much to this world and to their HD TV's and who fill their lives with stuff. That stuff is like a rusty old cruddy penny compared to the billions and trillions of dollars of riches that God has for us, and I'm not talking financially here, but about life. People shouldn't flush their lives down the toilet and eventually go to Hell over junk, for that is truly what we have now compared to the riches of eternity. Even our best computers are junk compared to what Heaven has in store for us.

Brian Thomas: Amen to that! So, it's not that farfetched to think that during the Millennium Kingdom Jesus Christ might be driving around in a Bentley?

Nathan Jones: Ha! You know, I've only imagined Jesus driving a donkey, but when you think about it, yes, He could drive around in a car. I always pictured Jesus as more of a big, knobby tired, Jeep type of guy myself.

Brian Thomas: Well, those are some great things that you have shared with us concerning the Signs of Technology. I think that the Scripture does prophey about technology, and I think we are living right in the midst of it. We are living in a very privileged time and age. There are probably many biblical prophets or saints who would back then have loved to be in our shoes today. I tell people all the time to not take for granted what we are seeing here, now what we are experiencing these last days. I do believe that we are the generation who will see the return of Jesus Christ. A lot of us take technology for granted when all these tech signs are pointing to the Lord's return.

In close, please share how people learn more about Lamb & Lion Ministries' technological evangelism. What are some of the great things that you all offer?

Nathan Jones: Lamb & Lion Ministries is non-profit Bible teaching ministry. Our purpose is to proclaim the soon return of Jesus Christ. It was founded by Dr. David Reagan who is our Senior Evangelist. I'm their Web Minister and Associate Evangelist.

We don't just talk about evangelism through technology, we practice what we preach. We use technology to reach the world. Dr. Reagan had the vision of using technology to reach the world and brought me on to help facilitate that. So, concerning technology, we have a television show called "Christ in Prophecy" which is on DayStar, NRB Network, the Church Channel and other networks. We of course have our website at where you can reach all our online resources such as our Facebook group and our Twitter feed. We have a blog if you want a daily dose of Bible prophecy at We have an e-newsletter that comes out every other week concerning Bible prophecy. We have all sorts of videos posted out there. We have a YouTube channel, a Vimeo channel, a GodTube channel, and even a Daily Motion channel to get the word out and share with people around the planet, especially in places where people don't normally hear the Gospel every day, let alone Bible prophecy.

We get out there and reach people we normally couldn't without technology to share Christ with them.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Amplified on the Battlefront: The Sign of End Times Evangelism

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

How has today's social media increased the reach of evangelism? And, how do we protect ourselves from the dangerous areas of the Internet?

On Sunday, January 6, 2013, at the Future Congress 2 Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of Blessings to Israel Ministries on the Rapture Ready Radio Network before a live studio audience. During the 45-minute interview we discussed how the technology that we have today is proof positive that we are living in the end times and so can be expecting the soon return of Jesus Christ.

Brian Thomas

Rapture Ready Radio
(Sound quality is very poor due to ambient mic issues.)

Sign of End Times Evangelism

Brian Thomas: Let's talk about the Internet, particularly the explosion of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. What are your thoughts about the social media phenomenon? There is a good side and a there is a bad side to it, right? Also, what are you seeing as far as Facebook for example being used in the advancement of the Gospel of our Lord?

Nathan Jones: I'm all for Facebook. Our Christ in Prophecy Facebook Group is Lamb & Lion Ministries' own Facebook group. We've got presently over 5,000 people on it sharing and discussing Bible prophecy. We have some fantastic moderators. I love them to death! They're on it 24/7 it seems. We even have one guy in Australia who is a moderator, so that's why I can say it's 24/7. Our faithful moderators take care of the group and make sure it's a safe place. They also weed out any doctrinal errors that may come creeping in. Our Facebook group is just one small example of the many different ways that people are utilizing Facebook to share the Gospel.

I'm signed up for Twitter as well, and people can follow our ministry via ChristnProphecy. I personally follow the tweets of nearly 400 people who every day are tweeting about the Gospel. There are so many people who are following and reading tweets.

Video networks like YouTube is in actuality a social network that is video based and people make and post videos about the Gospel to it all the time. I really like the videos made by a young guy who goes by Blimey Cow. He gets up and kind of rants in a funny way while sharing the Gospel and Christian living. He gets like a million hits for every video even though they are not professionally done or anything. People like him are finding all new and creative ways to utilize the Internet.

The Internet is nothing more than a communication tool. If it is a tool that the Lord has given us for this time period, then we as Christians should utilize it. Maybe it's not your thing, and there are certainly all sorts of other communications tools besides the Internet one can go to. There are still people on the earth who don't have the Internet or have technology, and so we are sending missionaries to reach them and translate the Bible for them.

With so many new technology based communications systems in use today, it really all ties to Matthew 24:14 which reads, "This Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come." Here Jesus is telling us that in the last days the whole world will be given the Gospel. I'm not saying this prophesy will see its total fulfillment in the Church Age, but in the Church age we can certainly reach all sorts of different people we couldn't just a few decades ago.

Because we know that during the Tribulation there will be technologies greatly utilized in at least the first half or so of those seven years, Lamb & Lion Ministries along with Rapture Ready and other Bible prophecy ministries have been building websites and making all sorts of different teaching videos to leave behind for those who will be living during that horrible time. We even have a "left behind" video that we've placed all over the Internet that will be there to evangelize people at that time.

During the Tribulation, God will give the world the Two Witnesses, the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, and even a Gospel angel who will go throughout the whole earth to make sure that every single person in the Tribulation has heard the Gospel so that none are without excuse. Every single opportunity for the fulfilled of Matthew 24:14 will be accomplished at that time.

What we are witnessing with today's telecommunications revolution I think is God's last push to give Christians every means possible in getting the Gospel out before the Tribulation. When those in the Tribulation finally get the Gospel, it's under the circumstances of God's wrath and judgment, so we want people to come to Christ before the horrors of that time.

Tech Protect

Brian Thomas: What about those people who really push hard against computers, push against the Internet, and push against Facebook? There are those who say there are a lot of perverts out there, and they don't want their children on Facebook. What would you tell them? Are there some measures people can take as parents or even just to protect themselves personally that people can get involved with? What advice can you give to them as to how they can use social media like Facebook and Twitter as good tools and can also keep them safe while using them as well?

Nathan Jones: It is getting harder and harder with mobile technologies to protect your children. It was easier when it was just websites. Parents could install software like NetNanny or some other program that filter the Internet. A lot of companies will use WebSense or some other program to block their employees from certain websites. More restricted countries like China and North Korea utilize even stronger methods where they block the telecom relays. So, it is possible to block parts of the Internet, though not totally.

Sustainability is one of the greatest aspects about the Internet, for even if a whole section goes down, it's like a nerve network. The flow of info is rerouted around via a different part of the network, so the Internet is redundantly kept up. You can't take down the whole Internet except through solar activity, and that's why I think solar flares during the Tribulation will be the death of the Internet.

The number one way a person can protect themselves from coming into contact and being influenced by objectionable material on the Internet is discernment. To be discerning is the number one skill a parent must teach their children. Ground them on God's Word, for they've got to be able to make choices for themselves. When they see that picture, or they go across that website, they must recognize and themselves discern that that's not what God wants them to do.

With children it's getting harder and they are using technology younger, so you'll want to install security software everywhere possible. You'll want to put the computer out where everybody can see it, so they cannot hide what they're looking at. That's getting more difficult because of mobile technologies such as cell phones, portable game systems such as the Nintendo 3DS, and all of their other devices which are now connecting to the Internet wherever they are now. You also have to regulate the times they are using them.

Realize that kids as well as parents are going to be exposed to questionable material no matter what. You can go to a message board that isn't even blocked and someone's avatar could be that of a naked person. I've run into that all the time. When I do searches through Google images, many times people have tagging images that are totally inappropriate that shows up under innocent words such as say "licorice" or anything else seemingly non-offensive.

You just can't protect your children totally by software, so you have to do it by teaching them to be discerning. That includes ourselves, so I'm not just saying children. Many adults fall accidently into sin. After all, the Internet is a reflection of the real world. In the real world there are good neighborhoods and there are bad neighborhoods. There are good places to visit and there are bad places. The Internet just reflects that. I would not go to downtown Detroit and hang out safely. I'm not going to go to, though I don't think it exists anymore, but porn sites like that. You have to know not to go to the places that are bad. I agree that it's increasingly getting harder and harder to protect ourselves, but the best protection for your children is that they have a relationship with Jesus Christ, they know the Word of God, and they know how to discern good from evil.

In the tenth and last part of this series on the biblical signs of technology which prove we're near to Jesus' return, we'll look and see if the Bible has anything to say about technology being in Heaven.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Amplified on the Battlefront: The Signs of Space Science and Limits

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

Does technology related to outer space play any part in the end times? And, does technology have limits?

On Sunday, January 6, 2013, at the Future Congress 2 Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of Blessings to Israel Ministries on the Rapture Ready Radio Network before a live studio audience. During the 45-minute interview we discussed how the technology that we have today is proof positive that we are living in the end times and so can be expecting the soon return of Jesus Christ.

Brian Thomas

Rapture Ready Radio
(Sound quality is very poor due to ambient mic issues.)

Sign of Space Science

Brian Thomas: Let's turn to the topic of outer space. That man has figured out ways to travel into outer space and to explore it is just amazing. I'm sure if you would have told some of the Bible times people that someday man will be on the moon and man would be out there among the asteroids and all these heavenly places they would say, "No way!"

What technological advancements concerning space science have we seen in our day?

Nathan Jones: Let me to give you two answers to this. This would cover two different Signs of Technology — Space Science and Limits.

This eighth Sign of Technology is the most tentative. I have no real proof this will be a true sign, but go to Isaiah 14:12 and read about Satan where it says, "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!" Satan is called "morning star" and "son of the dawn." And so, I wonder if the International Space Station that is up in orbit and has cost us half a trillion dollars to build and in which we've put so much time and energy into building has an end times purpose. Did you know you can actually see the space station going overhead in the morning? It looks like a bright morning star, which is a name for Satan given in Isaiah.

Again, this is just my theory, so I'm being hypothetical here, so take it or leave it. But, just think, if the whole earth is being annihilated by the Tribulation and you want to protect yourself, what is the best way to accomplish that? Get off the earth!

Is the space station being built for world leaders to hide in? I'm not trying to be a conspiracy theorist or anything like that, but that Satan is called the Morning Star who will possess the Antichrist one day, and the space station is often referred to as the morning star, seems like an interesting parallel. While the earth is being blown up in the Tribulation judgments, it would make possibly the perfect retreat for the Antichrist to get away from everything happening on earth.

Again, I'm just throwing that possibility out.

Sign of Technology's Limits

Nathan Jones: A definite sign, not a tentative sign, is the limitations on technology. The Bible has revealed certain limits that make us conclude that some technologies cannot go past a certain point. There are three particular limitations.

The first is the limitations on rare metals. All this technology that we have today, especially TV technology, is built with very rare, hard to find metals. Most of these metals can be found in China. China has an abundance of them, but they are not as willing to sell them as much as they used to. One of the reasons that American troops are in Afghanistan, though few really talk about it, is that Afghanistan is rich in these rare metals. So, if we want to have the technology that we have today like for our cell phones, tablets and TVs, we need these metals. Unfortunately, though, they are running out, and they are running out very quickly. So, there is a limit we'll reach soon. There is no replacement for these metals either, unless we are go up and mine a meteorite or some other planet. So, I believe that our technology is coming to an end based on the limited supply of these rare metals used in making so much of our technology.

The second is the limitation of space exploration. We just talked about the space station, so now we read in Zechariah 12:1-3 that in the Tribulation all the nations of the earth are gathered against Israel. When Jesus comes back, in Matthew 25 we read that all the nations will be gathered before Him. So, we are talking about humanity still all being on planet earth. That precludes humans living on a lunar colony, mars colony or anything Star Trek-like where we are traveling extra-solar system. Because all of mankind must dwell on the earth to face judgment, we have already reached our boundaries in space dominion.

The third involves the limitations of technology during the Tribulation. People frequently ask about what kinds of technology there will be during the Tribulation. As we read concerning near the end of the Tribulation, Scriptures start talking about warfare with horses and primitive weapons. Concerning the level of modern warfare today, why are tanks and jets not described? To answer that questions, we must remember that the entire world's infrastructure will be destroyed from the 21 Judgments of the Tribulation. For example, one judgment near the end of the Tribulation involves solar flares which would interrupt power grids. By the end of the seven years, it appears God will have taken away the end time technology as man's crutch, and so the people are pretty much reduced back to primitive fighting once more. Because of the description of these end times battles, the limitations the Bible places on our technology demonstrates we have almost reached the point where it's as far as we can go.

Brian Thomas: I'm glad you touched on those limitations, because I've studied up on them as well since I first began to study Bible prophecy, and like so many I too had that question: "Why in the end are we talking about fighting with horse and chariots?" We don't use those simple technologies today, and so I was greatly puzzled by that.

I know some of the Atheists and Agnostics will try to hang on those Scriptures describing primitive technology in the end times and so declare that is why they believe the Bible is not true because as we don't fight with horses and chariots anymore. They try to scrutinize the Scriptures to find apparent discrepancies. But, there's no discrepancy, for as you said an all out nuclear war would knock out infrastructure essentials like electricity. With no electricity, all of today's tech are going to go away. That means travel and battle will be going back to what is was like in earlier times.

In the ninth part of this series on the biblical signs of technology which prove we're near to Jesus' return, we'll look at the Bible's next tech sign — the Sign of End Times Evangelism.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Amplified on the Battlefront: The Sign of Nuclear Weapons

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

Does the Bible prophesy the use of nuclear weapons in the end times?

On Sunday, January 6, 2013, at the Future Congress 2 Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of Blessings to Israel Ministries on the Rapture Ready Radio Network before a live studio audience. During the 45-minute interview we discussed how the technology that we have today is proof positive that we are living in the end times and so can be expecting the soon return of Jesus Christ.

Brian Thomas

Rapture Ready Radio
(Sound quality is very poor due to ambient mic issues.)

Sign of Nuclear Weapons

Brian Thomas: Let's talk about nuclear weapons. I know there are theories that nuclear weapons are prophesied in Scripture. Revelation speaks of a third of the earth being burned during the Tribulation. Do you think nuclear weapons could be one of the means by which that could happen? Or, do you think the destruction is going to be caused by some other phenomenon such as supernatural?

Nathan Jones: Since the 1940's, humanity has only dropped two atomic bombs — the ones on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. And yet, what people don't realize is that was just during war time, for since WWII there has been over 2,500 nuclear detonations tested on this planet. Nine countries over the last 70 years have been testing nuclear weapons. There's also a tremendous stockpile of nuclear weapons built up all around the world.

Most people who grew up during the Cold War were terrified of getting nuked. I remember as a kid we used to have nuclear bomb drills at school, as if for some reason if you went out into the hall and put your head between your legs you were safe from a nuclear bomb! I still don't quite get that. But, we use to have those drills. Now our kids don't seem to worry about getting nuked, even though there's still a massive nuclear stockpile. Then there are madmen like in North Korea and now in Iran trying to get nuclear weapons. The Soviet Union might have fallen, but the nuclear threat has never gone away.

There is no doubt in my mind that God has been holding back the release of nuclear weapons. We've got thousands and thousands of nuclear weapons all pointed at each other around the world, and it's gotten easier and easier for crazy people to get them, even simpler ones like dirty bombs. We've got madmen trying to build them, and amazingly the world isn't doing anything substantial about it. God has been holding these weapons back until the time is right, and that is for during the Tribulation.

When we go to the Bible and read about certain end times events, some of them clearly sound nuclear in nature. Take for instance the destruction of Damascus in Isaiah 17:14 which goes, "In the evening sudden terror. Before the morning they are gone." Isaiah prophesies that one day the oldest city in the world — Damascus — will be destroyed in one day, and we know from Isaiah 17:9 that it will be because of Israel, a nuclear armed country. Well, how do you destroy an entire city in just one day? Nuclear weapon! There really isn't any other weapon out there that could annihilate a city so quickly.

Another possible reference to the use of nuclear weapons in the end times is take for instance Zechariah 14:12 which reads, "This is the plague in which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem." This is in reference to Armageddon, where we're also told, "Their flesh will rot while they are standing on their feet. Their eyes will rot in their sockets and their tongues will rot in their mouth." This is why in Luke 21:26 Jesus said, "Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world. The heavenly bodies will be shaken."

Another possibility, let's also take a look at the Sixth Seal Judgment in Revelation 6:14-15, "The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains." Certainly, that disaster could be supernatural in origin, but each of these disasters was explained by a First Century man, John, explaining what he was seeing. And, all of these disasters are described as exactly what nuclear weapons would do.

For the Antichrist to wipe out 1.5 billion people at the beginning at the Tribulation merely from conventional war, he wouldn't need a lot of people with guns as nuclear weapons would do the job very quickly. There isn't that much time to kill all those people with a conventional war.

I could read other verses that hint at nuclear warfare, as Revelation is ripe with verses which talk about the annihilation of the planet and the resulting effects that sound very nuclear radiation in origin. As a matter of fact, when you look at the people by the end of the Tribulation, they are covered in sores and boils, which is very much like radiation contamination. Also, the Earth's ecosystem is almost all destroyed, which couldn't be from conventional war, but would have to be from nuclear war along with whatever natural God sends like asteroids and whatnot.

We are told in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-7 that when the Church is removed so is the Restrainer. The Holy Spirit's work through the Church will be raptured out of this world so that man's inhibition can be let loose. The restraint against mankind using nuclear warfare will no longer be there anymore, so man will feel free to use them. The world is facing a very definite nuclear holocaust.

Brian Thomas: In Revelation 6:14-15 that you shared, to me that passage seems like the best Scripture describing nuclear warfare. With the sky receding like a scroll, that sounds like a mushroom cloud. Amazing things are going to take place during the Tribulation, and that I believe includes nuclear warfare.

In the eighth part of this series on the biblical signs of technology which prove we're near to Jesus' return, we'll look at the Bible's next tech signs — the Sign of Space Science and the Sign of Technology's Limits.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Amplified on the Battlefront: The Sign of Population

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

Could the exponential growth in the human population be a sign of the end times?

On Sunday, January 6, 2013, at the Future Congress 2 Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of Blessings to Israel Ministries on the Rapture Ready Radio Network before a live studio audience. During the 45-minute interview we discussed how the technology that we have today is proof positive that we are living in the end times and so can be expecting the soon return of Jesus Christ.

Brian Thomas

Rapture Ready Radio
(Sound quality is very poor due to ambient mic issues.)

Sign of Population

Brian Thomas: Let's look at the technology involved in medicine. How have we seen medicine advance, looking back the last hundreds of years? Certainly we've all seen advancements in medicine throughout history. With medicine so advanced now, where could it go before the Lord returns?

Nathan Jones: Medicine has all to do with the next Sign of Technology — population. Medicine has contributed massively to the incredible size the human population has grown to on the earth today.

Let's look at Revelation 16:12 where we read, "The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East." Now let's go back a few chapters and read Revelation 9:16, "The number of the amount of troops was 200 million. I heard their number."

What we are reading here to give it context occurs near the end of the Tribulation when the Antichrist's kingdom starts falling apart. He's dealing with a rebellion from the King of the South. So, whether he has already divided the world into ten kingdoms or if there is a particular country like Egypt that he is dealing with, all of a sudden the Antichrist hears that the eastern kings are now also rebelling against him.

One of the 21 Tribulation judgments against the world is to dry up the Euphrates River so that it allows the Kings of the East to cross. We read there are 200 million troops crossing. Just think, this was written in the Apostle John's time when there were barely 200 million people on the entire planet, much less a standing army!

Revelation 14:20 tells us the fate of these troops as, "They were trampled in a wine press outside the city. The blood flowed out of the press rising as high as a horses bridle for a distance of about 180 miles." This slaughter of the armies of the world we are talking about here is Armageddon. We are talking about a time when the Antichrist is putting down these rebellions in the Valley of Jezreel in Israel, and there the most massive war begins. Jesus Christ comes back at that time and defeats the Antichrist and all the world's armies outside of Jerusalem. The death toll creates exactly 180 miles of blood risen up as high as a horse's bridle, so about five feet high. That's a lot of people dying at Armageddon!

To put the death toll of Armageddon into context, remember that during the Tribulation there will be seven years of the awful decimation of the human population. In just the first four Seal Judgments alone, 1.5 billion people are killed by the world war and resulting famine and sickness. That by Armageddon the world will still have enough people on the planet to participate in such a slaughter shows that in the end times we have to have an incredible population explosion. Putting such an army together, even after the world is almost decimated, was not possible 2-300 years ago.

Through technology like medicine and increased health conditions and cleanliness and sanitation, the world has produced a human population up well above what we used to be even 20 years ago. Just think, 100 years ago you would have been incredibly lucky if you lived to 40 or 50 years old in most countries. There is a great video on YouTube that shows how the demographics have changed just in the last century concerning population. We've seen an exponential increase in the human population, just passing seven billion, and we have kept on going.

Because the end times calls for such a massive remnant of an already colossal population to create the final battle army, clearly the Bible is calling for a massive increase in population, which therefore becomes one of the Signs of Technology.

In the seventh part of this series on the biblical signs of technology which prove we're near to Jesus' return, we'll look at the Bible's next tech sign — the Sign of Nuclear Weapons.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Amplified on the Battlefront: The Sign of the Image Given Life

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

What will be the technology behind the Antichrist's image given the appearance of life?

On Sunday, January 6, 2013, at the Future Congress 2 Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of Blessings to Israel Ministries on the Rapture Ready Radio Network before a live studio audience. During the 45-minute interview we discussed how the technology that we have today is proof positive that we are living in the end times and so can be expecting the soon return of Jesus Christ.

Brian Thomas

Rapture Ready Radio
(Sound quality is very poor due to ambient mic issues.)

Sign of the Image Given Life

Brian Thomas: When we talk about the Antichrist and the Tribulation and his one-world system of government, do you think that robotics or holograms will play a part or role in it at all? Of course, we can't be certain, but could you see some of that technology being used by the Antichrist and the False Prophet?

Nathan Jones: Oh, certainly. The Antichrist will have the entire world under his power, and that means he has control of the technology of that era.

We can read in Revelation 13:13-15 what the False Prophet does next: "He will perform great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, the Antichrist, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast that was wounded by the sword but yet lives. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast so that they could see and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed."

This story is very familiar to the story in Daniel about Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar was given the prophecy about him being a great head of gold, and it went literally to his head. Nebuchadnezzar decided to make a great statue of himself and he told the people to worship it. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship it. I don't know where Daniel was at the time, but his friends were to be killed for refusing to worship the image. The three were thrown into the fiery furnace, but God saved them.

History will repeat itself again with the Antichrist, and the people living during the Tribulation will witness it. The Antichrist will have the False Prophet create an image of him that people can worship. The False Prophet is a deceiver and Satan is a deceiver, so they do not have the ability to create life. The ability to create is in God's hands alone. They can manipulate and they can pervert, but they cannot create. So, this image which seems to be alive is just that — it seems to be alive, but it's not really alive. And so, there has to be a technological way the Antichrist can create a living image, and there are a few technologies out there that fit the bill.

As for the fire falling down and supposed miracles like that generated by the False Prophecy, well any pyrotechnic expert could make that happen. There is a possibility that the fire from heaven killing people could be laser satellite technology. There are satellites up there from the U.S. military, though I'm no expert on this, but I've read a number of articles, where the military has claimed to be working on laser weapons stationed in outer space. Why shoot a missile when you can just burn them directly with a laser. Maybe that's the case, though I don't know for sure.

There is a lot of talk about the "living" image of the Antichrist being a robot. Robotics have excelled incredibly, especially in Japan. The Japanese even use robots as dance instructors. Crazy enough, some guys are using them as surrogate wives. I guess so you can turn your wife off? I don't know, but I won't go there!

I tend to think that the image of the Antichrist would best be suited as a hologram. Recently, holographic technology has made huge advances in looking realistic. For example, on YouTube I saw Hatsune Miku. She's a Japanese 3D hologram with a vocaloid processor. She in appearances is supposed to be a sixteen year old girl. She actually looks like she's there live on the real stage. She's been given a bluish hue as that goes with her manga look, but her creators could make her look totally human if they wanted to.

Just think, I don't know if artificial intelligence will develop enough by then, but if that type of computer is given an interactive program which interacts with people, and there are programs like that, that could give the hologram a whole personality. Imagine how it could interact with people. It could be any size you want, so many people could worship it all at the same time.

And so, for me, I believe holograms seem to be the best bet as to the technology behind the Antichrist's image. But, again, I don't know as the Bible doesn't outright tell us. People ask, "Couldn't it be purely satanic?" It well could be. It may be both, and I don't know if this is possible, but maybe a demon could posses a hologram or a robot? The liveliness could be demonic in origin and that's its source of life, so I won't discount that. But, if we're talking technology, then robotics or holograms are probably the best bet in making an image appear alive.

Brian Thomas: I recently saw Britain's Prime Minister using holographic technology. He was shown as a hologram, and it was very difficult to tell that it was a hologram and not himself there. Then there's Pastor Ed Young who actually preached a service and has several campuses, and at one of the sites they had him there by hologram. His staff didn't tell their people that was the case, and most of the congregation said afterwards when it was revealed to them it wasn't him but a hologram, said they couldn't tell.

The amazing technology that we have today as we go further along I think is going to improve more and more by the Antichrist's time. I can how very well technology will be a means by which the Antichrist will deceive the world into thinking that he has been killed and resurrected. I agree with you in that I don't think that the Devil has the power to make life or bring life back from the dead. Only God has the power to do so. So, the deception could well be a hologram along with other forms of technology. I wouldn't be surprised at all if holograms played into it.

I've never heard the theory you gave about the pyrotechnics with the False Prophet calling down fire. But, yes, I can really see that happening as well.

In the sixth part of this series on the biblical signs of technology which prove we're near to Jesus' return, we'll look at the Bible's next tech sign — the Sign of Population.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Amplified on the Battlefront: The Sign of the Mark

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

What will be the technology behind the Mark of the Beast, and does it exist today?

On Sunday, January 6, 2013, at the Future Congress 2 Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of Blessings to Israel Ministries on the Rapture Ready Radio Network before a live studio audience. During the 45-minute interview we discussed how the technology that we have today is proof positive that we are living in the end times and so can be expecting the soon return of Jesus Christ.

Brian Thomas

Rapture Ready Radio
(Sound quality is very poor due to ambient mic issues.)

Sign of the Mark

Nathan Jones: The next sign of technology that points to the soon return of Jesus is the development of the technologies that will play into the Mark of the Beast. People are oh so worried about this sign concerning the Mark of the Beast.

What is the Mark? The Mark of the Beast can be found mentioned in Revelation 13:16-17 and occurs during the coming 7-year Tribulation. During that time, the False Prophet will forces everyone — small and great, rich and poor, free and slave — to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead so that no one can buy or sell unless they have taken the Mark. The Mark the passage tells us is the name and number of the Beast — the coming one world ruler referred to in the Bible as the Antichrist. When the Antichrist takes over the world during the Tribulation, near the mid-point, the False Prophet who is the Antichrist's right-hand man will institute a system for buying and selling. This economic system is a one-world economy. That means that those who accept the Mark during that time will have to have the Antichrist's name or number placed on their right hand or on their forehead.

People have long wanted to know what exactly is the technology behind the Mark of the Beast. How can one man control world commerce? Well, anybody who does banking nowadays knows that the money isn't even real anymore. Money today is pretty much electronic numbers floating around computer systems. So, to control it, you'd need a computer system, a network, and an Internet to connect it all together.

Now, whether the Mark is a tattoo or not, obviously John said that he could see it on the right hand or on the forehead. That's "on," not "in." That means that when people proclaim, "Oh, the RIFD chip is going to be the Mark of the Beast," if you can't see it under the skin, then how could the chip be the Mark of the Beast? As the Bible makes clear, the Mark has got to be something visible. It's got to be the number or name of the Antichrist and be readable.

Magnetic ink that is human safe has been invented, so maybe the Mark has financial access information encoded in the ink which is visible on the skin. Merchants then would scan the head or the hand, so all the financial processes would be electronic. I've got to say that encoded data is a wonderful idea, for I hate having to carry around a wallet because credit cards can be stolen.

Again, for a one-world economic system, what's primarily needed is a computer network, e-commerce, and the Internet. The RIFD chip could play into the Mark, maybe underneath the Mark, but I don't know. However the technology plays out, we have the infrastructure today to make it happen. As a matter of fact, when a country today wants to go to war against another or a particular person, they just freeze their assets right in the bank. All of their enemy's money is cut off. So, to control the world's people, the Antichrist and False Prophet will use their ability to keep people from buying and selling who are without the Mark of the Beast.

Remember the Mark is a loyalty mark to the Antichrist. People will take it to show that they are loyal to him and to particularly his master, Satan. Those who don't take it the Bible says will be killed by the Antichrist. Because of their refusal to declare loyalty to this Beast, many Tribulation Saints will be slaughtered at that time. I say Tribulation Saints because these believers are Tribulation-era Christians. They are not the Church, for the Church will have already been raptured. The Tribulation Saints will die en mass or are starved because they won't be able to buy or sell.

Brian Thomas: When you say that the Mark is a visible mark located on the hand or the forehead, that made my mind go back to some images, or renditions I guess you could say, of the Mark from back in 1980's when the barcode came out. I saw pictures of someone who had a barcode across their forehead. So, really, it may not be farfetched. It may not be barcodes, as we won't be here to know the actual technology, but the Mark will definitely be something that can be seen in some way.

You were also saying that we should not be afraid of technologies like barcode readers, because they are not the means of technology that could be the Mark of the Beast, but possibly the foundation by which the Antichrist could implement his system. So, I guess you could say, the Antichrist will hijack some form of today's technology and use that to implement his Beast financial system?

Nathan Jones: Definitely! I've run into a lot of people who are scared about unwittingly taking the Mark of the Beast and as a result being sentenced to Hell. When one willingly takes the Mark of the Beast, according to Revelation, there is no chance for salvation, for you have declared your loyalty to Satan and so you are going to Hell for it. So, people worry, "Oh, no, what if I take the Chip?" Or "What if we have to go to medical codes where there's a barcode?" They are really scared about this kind of technology, buy they don't have to be. Now, a lot of folks who believe that the Rapture happens during or after the Tribulation, they worry about taking the Mark. They worry about who the Antichrist will be. They worry about taking the Mark because they feel that they will live during that time.

Christians today do not have to worry about accidently taking the Mark of the Beast, though. There are so many verses in the Bible, say like Revelation 3:10, that assures us that God will not pour out His wrath on His Bride the Church and that we will be raptured before the Tribulation begins. Since the Antichrist doesn't even implement his global economic system until about 3 1/2 years into the Tribulation, then there is no reason why any Christian today should have any fear whatsoever of taking the Mark of the Beast.

When the time to take the Mark happens, it's not going to be a, "Whoops! I accidently took it." No, the Mark is a loyalty mark. It's a declaration of faith in the Antichrist and Satan. Those people who take it willingly know what they are doing. After 3 1/2 years of Tribulation, and especially after the Gog-Magog Battle, the world knows that God exists. They know who they are declaring their allegiance to. So, no one will accidently take the Mark now and even during the Tribulation. It's just not accidental.

In the fifth part of this series on the biblical signs of technology which prove we're near to Jesus' return, we'll look at the Bible's next tech sign — the Sign of the Image Given Life.