By James Jacob Prasch
The Return of Elijah's MinistryWe"re looking at the "Day of the Lord". Now, in Hebrew the day of the Lord is not called "the Day of the Lord", it"s actually called the "Day of Yahweh". From the fall of man, until that time, it is "the time of Satan". Jesus said directly that Satan is the god of this world. This will intensity in the Last Days. Certain things happen. What happens is this: God is the God of history. He exercises lordship over history. But with the manifestation of Antichrist, we"re told in the book of Daniel he will think to change the laws and the times. (Daniel 7:25) And they will be given into his hand for two "times, a time, and a half time". Revelation and Daniel both break the last seven years of history into two halves of two "times, a time, and a half time" â€“ 3-1/2 lunar years, 1,260 days by the lunar calendar, thereabouts.
There are a number of things that teach about this "times, time, and a half time", one of which foreshadows it â€“ prefigures it â€“ is what happened in the days of Eliyahuw Hanawbe, Elijah the prophet. Remember, it was 3-1/2 years when it did not rain. During that time he was in conflict with Ahab and Jezebel. Understand the pattern â€“ this is Jewish midrash. Naboth"s vineyard was coveted. Jezebel turns the king Ahab against Elijah because Elijah tries to defend Naboth"s vineyard. The wicked woman turns the king against Elijah.
Jesus uses Jezebel as a metaphor for the spirit of false religion in the book of Revelation. "You tolerate the woman Jezebel who beguiles My servants, who seduces My servants."
John the Baptist â€“ "Yochannan Hamadvil" â€“ and Elijah â€“ "Eliyah Hanawbe" â€“ have the same spirit. They"re not the same person, but they have the same spirit, same anointing, same commissioning, same calling, same character. John the Baptist comes before the First Coming of Christ in the spirit of Elijah. And again, the wicked woman Herodias turns Herod against "Elijah". It"s the same pattern.
We have to understand that will happen in the Last Days. The vineyard â€“ that is, Israel â€“ will be coveted. In fact, the church will be coveted. Christendom will be coveted. At this time during this period, the ministry of Elijah will again come into play in some way. The false religious system of the world personified in Jezebel will turn the political system against God's people, bringing it into conflict with Elijah. What happened with Elijah happens with John, and it happens again in the Last Days. There is nothing going to happen that has not already partially happened. Now, the Last Days will be singularly unique, but there are things in the past that foreshadow it. If you want to know what"s going to happen, look at what did happen. Prophecy is pattern. Having said this, let"s understand what "the Day of the Lord" is.
The Day of the LordWe"re going to look at the "Day of the Lord" as it concerns both Israel and the church. 2 Corinthians 1:14.
Just as you did partially acknowledge us, that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you.
This is not the "Day of Yahweh", but the "Day of the Lord Jesus". The New Testament explains in greater depth and in greater detail something the Old Testament Hebrews only understood in parts. We know that the "Day of the Lord" is inaugurated with the return of Christ.
Matthew 24:22, look at what is says carefully. In the Olivet discourse, Jesus says this:
And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.
That word there is "koloboo". "Koloboo" in Greek is how they translate the Aramaic. It is a word for "amputate". Had it not been cut short â€“ had it not been amputated â€“ nobody would survive. You think of gangrene in a limb or an extremity. No orthopedic surgeon takes any delight in amputating someone"s limb. But if you have medistatic bone cancer, osteocarcinoma, or if you have a form of gangrene, and it"s a question of letting the body die or amputating the limb, he will amputate the limb in order to save the body. That"s the way it is. It will take a radical intervention by the Lord Jesus in the form of an amputation to preserve human existence. There"s going to be an amputation.
Once that amputation takes place, once the faithful are removed, God pours out His wrath on the kingdom of Antichrist. He pours out His wrath on the kingdom of Antichrist. We must draw a distinction between "tribulation" and "wrath"; they"re different words in Greek. God's people â€“ the faithful church â€“ will never experience the wrath of the Lord. But the cohorts of Antichrist will experience the wrath of the Lord. The "Day of the Lord" takes place when the church is removed. The faithful bride, the faithful church is literally amputated, taken out of here. When that happens then God pours out His wrath. This is the "Day of Yahweh", the "Day of the Lord".
We"re told in the Hebrew Scriptures â€“ one of the passages â€“ "be ye not anxious for the day of the Lord". (Amos 5:18-20) We shouldn"t want it to come. We should want Jesus to come, but the "Day of the Lord" is something completely different.
The Babylonian CaptivityLet"s begin looking, please, for the book of Joel, the Hebrew prophet Joel. Joel was the first prophet who prophesied for the Babylonian captivity. And like all of Israel"s prophets, Joel prophesied for at least three time frames. He prophesied for his own time and the events leading up to the Babylonian captivity, he prophesied for the First Coming of Jesus, and he prophesied for the Second Coming of Jesus, sometimes all in the same breath, certainly in the same passage. When we read Joel, or prophets like him, we have to always be aware what was for his own time, what was for the First Coming of Christ, and what"s for the return of Christ. Or what is for a combination â€“ both, when things happen again. What happened with the Babylonian captivity teaches about what will happen in the Last Days.
Now, you remember Nebuchadnezzar built the image, didn't he, to be worshiped. Nebuchadnezzar desecrated the Jewish temple. The image â€“ if you read the dimensions in Aramaic â€“ it comes to six-hundred and sixty-six with the steps and so forth in the book of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar entered the "Beautiful Land". And in the last days of Judah before the captivity, the people were being misled by their leaders. There were only a few people like Jeremiah and Barach telling the truth. The people on a popular level chose to follow the false prophets who were telling them things like, "Victory"s coming." "Blessing is coming."
"Prosperity is coming." They were being given this one message by all these prophets. People like Jeremiah were giving the opposite message. The people on a popular level chose to follow the false prophets and negate the voice of the true ones. The Last Days will be the same way. Most of Christendom will follow the false prophets and reject the people telling the truth. Israel will reject the true voices God has sent to it: Messianic Jews, Jewish believers who preach the Gospel. They would rather follow the deceptions of the rabbis. What happened then will happen again.
It Happened AgainNow, it also happened in 70 A.D. The same, exact pattern that happened in the last days of Judah with the Babylonian captivity happened in 70 A.D. In the Olivet discourse, Jesus begins talking about 70 A.D. before He talks about anything else. "Not one stone will be thrown down upon another". Pay attention.
The mystery religions of Babylon that began with the Tower of Babel, with Nimrod â€“ those mystery religions that began in Babylon â€“ made their way through Asia Minor, particularly the city of Pergamum, "where Satan"s throne is", and from there into the Greco-Roman world. Today those same mystery religions are preserved in things like Free Masonery, Roman Catholicism, the Greek Orthodox Church, and so forth, but the root of those things is in Babylon. The early Christians identified Rome with Babylon because they knew that Rome had become the new home of those mystery religions. That"s why in his epistle, Peter writing from Rome says, "She who is in Babylon greets you."
The Babylonians destroyed the first temple on Tishah be"Av, roughly the 9th of August. They surrounded the city as Jeremiah predicted. The Romans destroyed the second temple in 70 A.D. the exact, same day: Tishah be"Av. The first temple and second temple were destroyed the same day. But it was only the early Christians who understood this is the same as Babylon. The Jewish believers escaped. They remembered what Jesus said, "When you see it surrounded, flee to the mountains."
A Type of RaptureAfter the apostle James had been martyred, a cousin of Jesus names Simeon was the pastor â€“ the senior pastor â€“ of the church in Jerusalem. The Romans inexplicably withdrew the siege very temporarily and the Jewish believers escaped to a place called "Pellah". Not "Petra", but "Pellah". They thought that was going to be the Rapture. And in fact it was a type of the Rapture, but they escaped. The way that those believers escaped before all hell came upon Jerusalem is exactly what will happen in the end.
If you want to know what the "Day of the Lord" will be like, read Josephus" "The Wars of the Jews". What happened inside Jerusalem after the believers escaped is what will happen to the whole planet. It"s a microcosm of what will happen to the whole planet. Starvation became so terrible, women began fighting over afterbirth. They were waiting for women to deliver babies so they"d have something to eat. That is what happened in Jerusalem. More than that, the partisans â€“ their own people, the sikim, the Zealots â€“ were more cruel and barbaric than the Romans were. It was something inside the city as well as outside. The "Day of the Lord" is prefigured by what happened in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. after the church was removed.
Now there are many other things in the Bible that teach about the "Day of the Lord", what this period will be like, but for our purposes think of what happened in 70 A.D. Only those who followed Jesus made it out of there; the others were left and something terrible happened. And it will happen again.
Now, in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed the temple, they set up Pagan incense on the temple mount where the Holy of Holies had been and began worshiping the incense, worshiping their gods where the Holy of Holies had been. After the believers escaped, they understood this to be the "shiqqutzim meshomem" â€“ the "Abomination of Desolations." Once again, what happened then is a microcosm, a shadow, a picture of what will happen at the end.
Now, I"ll go through this again for the sake of new believers. Joel prophesied about the Babylonian captivity. What happened at the time Joel prophesied â€“ predicted â€“ is a picture of what will happen in the Last Days. But it also fulfilled partially in 70 A.D. What happened in 70 A.D. as Jesus warned in the Olivet discourse in Matthew 24, that is a picture of what the "Day of the Lord" will be like. Only it will not just be something local in Jerusalem, it will be the entire planet; an entire planet of people going through that kind of a situation. Can you imagine an entire planet of people waiting to fight over a maternal afterbirth to have something to eat? Can you imagine? If you read Josephus, it is shocking. It is horrific.
Now, Jeremiah laments this. The book of Lamentations is called "Eichah" in Hebrew, and it"s read on Tishah be"Av. It"s read the day the temples were destroyed. Ritually in the synagogues to this day, the rabbis read the book of Lamentations â€“ "Eichah" â€“ where Jeremiah laments the destruction that took place. Only Jeremiah was also rescued, wasn"t he? He got out of there with his followers. Before this happens, the faithful people always have a ticket out. Our task in this conference is to make sure you have a ticket.
The InsectsWith this in view, turn with me to the book of Joel, chapter 1. "Yo"el Hanawbe".
The word of the LORD that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel.
What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten;
What the swarming locust has left, the hopping locust has eaten;
And what the hopping locust has left, the destroying locust has eaten.
Joel uses insects the way that Daniel uses monsters. These insects are pictures of political entities â€“ invading political entities. Daniel generally uses beasts, Joel uses insects, the book of Revelation uses both. Notice there are four swarms of locusts, four different swarms of locusts. The Babylonian captivity of the Jews took place in four invasions. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians invaded four times, and each time there was a greater and greater deportation of Jews.
This idea of a systematic deportation is exactly what happened in the Holocaust of the 1930"s and 40"s. They built a wall around the Jewish ghettos â€“ the "shtettles" â€“ and they would deport a certain amount the first time, a certain amount the second time, a certain amount the third time, and then the rest the fourth time. That"s exactly what happened with the concentration camps in the 1930"s and 40"s, very much in the character of Nebuchadnezzar; the same demonic spirit.
Deception in the Last DaysNow, you"ve got these four swarms of locusts. Look what follows it in verse 5. What does Joel say?
Awake, you drunkards, and weep;
And wail, all you drinkers of wine,
Because of the sweet wine
For it"s been cut off from your mouth.
Understand the deception being perpetrated against the body of Christ today. I"m going to speak very directly.
This is a Calvary Chapel. In the earlier years of Calvary Chapel, Chuck Smith kicked somebody out of Calvary Chapel essentially. His name was John Wimber. He was part of Calvary Chapel and Chuck Smith booted him out, gave him the boot â€“ in effect. Because he began teaching things that were based on experience instead of on Scripture: Experiential Theology. Wimber went into mysticism, he went into Gnosticism, he went into New Age philosophy putting it into Christian terms. And he would later align himself with people from Kansas City who said they were prophets. One of these people, Mike Bickle, said the rapture of Elijah was a judgment. Telling people "rapture" of God is a "judgment"? "Elijah was too negative", so God had to remove him in judgment.
Another one of his prophets was Bob Jones. That was his name. A man found to be in serious sexual immorality (this was publicly known â€“ I"m not throwing mud), but another was Paul Cain. Paul Cain, John Wimber, Mike Bickle â€“ they came to England and they had a big, huge conference in London in August of 1990. And they told the people from England and from other places that the "Latter Day Rain" was going to happen, the "Manifest Sons" would be revealed, there"d be a great outpouring of God's Spirit. And this revival would come and begin in England and then spread to Germany and then into continental Europe.
Well, it so happens I live in England (most of the time), and I can tell you that since the "great revival" prophesied for October of 1990 â€“ that"s when they said it would happen â€“ five times more mosques than churches have been built in England. For every church that"s been built, five mosques have been built since 1990. The Methodists close one church a week, the Church of England closes two to three churches a week, one mosque a week opens in England. They prophesied falsely, they predicted things that didn't happen, and they made these predictions in the name of the Lord. It was then revealed about two years ago that Paul Cain is an alcoholic and a homosexual. But you had all of these Charismatics (and I am a Charismatic â€“ I certainly am not a Cessastionist) following people who were making these predictions, who were alcoholics, who were homosexuals, and were telling people things they wanted to hear.
The people cheered them. They believed this was the "Latter Day Rain", the "Manifest Sons". And then they went on to say they were "the locusts who were going to devour". We"ll come to that in a moment. Look at the next verse, 5.
Awake, ye drunkards, and weep.
The same churches who follow the Kansas City crowd followed people from Toronto, Canada and later Pensacola, Florida. And there was a South African gentlemen (who doesn"t like me) named Rodney Howard-Browne. (He actually denounced me in front of about 8,000 people in Melbourne, Australia because I put out a video showing what he was doing.) And he actually goes around singing a song â€“ I"m not kidding you, this is the song â€“ "Drinking at Joel"s Place". He sings a song, "Drinking at Joel"s Place", telling people to get drunk in the Holy Ghost and to fall in hysterics.
Now, that is what they are saying about the book of Joel. Look what Joel says about the book of Joel. They say they"re drunk, Joel says sober up. They say to laugh, Joel said to weep. No revival has ever begun with people laughing. Every revival has begun with people weeping in repentance.
Can There Be Revival?Can there be a great, End Times revival? The Bible speaks more â€“ much more â€“ of a great, End Times falling away, of a great, End Times apostasy than it does a revival. Now, there is to be a second outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Israel and the Jews during this time. That is true. But it will come during the time of "Jacob"s Trouble". During "HaTekufa ha Tsorat Yakov", the darkest hour of their history that takes place at this period. It will not be a happy time.
If revival comes â€“ pay attention â€“ it will be like the revival before the Babylonian captivity. What was the revival before the Babylonian captivity? It was the revival of King Josiah. The sin had become so treacherous, particularly the genocidal sacrifice of Jewish children to demons like Molech under King Manasseh. King Manasseh sacrificed and killed all these kids. So even though a repentance did come, even though a revival did come, God said the axe won"t fall in your lifetime because you"ve been faithful, but the axe still must fall; things have gone too far. Pay attention.
I don"t say revival can"t come. I don"t say the "Day of the Lord" cannot be, in theory, be delayed. But the axe must fall. Why? Look at it. 40 million babies aborted in the United States in non-therapeutic abortions since "Roe vs. Wade". 40 million! Had they not done that, the Social Security system would not be in trouble. That same generation responsible for "Rove v. Wade" is now going to reap the whirlwind...euthanasia will be the next battle. The demands on the public health care systems, on Social Security, "We can"t let these people go on living into their 90"s and into their 80"s with improved medicine â€“ we have to let them die." Otherwise the system â€“ mark my words â€“ it will go from "voluntary" euthanasia to "involuntary" euthanasia. That fetus had no choice about being aborted, neither will that generation that aborted them. They will reap what the sowed. It is inevitable that the judgment of God must come on the western world. It must fall on the Protestant democracies.
If revival comes, the most you can do is delay the inevitable. Things have gone too far. "If my people, who are called by My name will turn and pray, I"ll heal their land" â€“ that is true; but it can only be true in the way it was in the days of Josiah. Things have just gone too far. Too far. This is not to say we shouldn"t pray for revival â€“ we should â€“ but understand when it comes it will only delay the inevitable. A chance for more people to be saved. God will increase and return His grace ultimately back to His ancient people Israel.
Sober UpSo for this to come about, Joel is saying, "Sober up." Today, major denominations are telling people, "No, get drunk". The word is "sobreizo" in Greek. We"re told to practice self-control. The fruit of the Spirit is "egkrateia" â€“ "self control" â€“ they are saying be out of control. If someone is not in control of themselves, the Holy Spirit is not in control of them.
I went to Toronto, Canada on business and I visited that lunatic asylum with the cross on the roof to see what was going on. The first thing that I noticed was that everyone was talking about experience, nobody was talking about Jesus. And they kept saying, "I couldn"t control it! I couldn"t control it!" Well, the fact that you couldn"t control it proves it"s not God. The fruit of the Spirit is self-control.
Just think of somebody that used to be an alcoholic who becomes a Christian. An alcoholic, let"s say. I was a cocaine addict when I was a teenager, but let"s say somebody"s an alcoholic. The Lord delivered me from cocaine â€“ actually He did â€“ but for somebody else, the Lord delivers them from alcohol addiction. If that person goes into a pub or a bar and begins drinking again, is the Holy Spirit in control of them? No. A beer to them is what cocaine is to me: death. If the Holy Spirit was in control of them, they"d be in control of themselves. When people sin, the Holy Spirit"s not in control of them, are they? When we sin, the Holy Spirit"s not in control of us at that instance. We"re grieving the Holy Spirit. "I know it"s God, I just couldn"t control..." The fact that they couldn"t control it proves it"s not God we"re told twice in the New Testament. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is "egkrateia". Now, notice that they"re saying the diametric opposite of what Scripture says.
Blow A TrumpetChapter 2:1 of Joel.
Blow a trumpet in Zion,
Sound an alarm on God's holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
For the day of the Lord is coming near;
A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness.
Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains,
A great and powerful people;
Their like has never been seen before,
Nor will be again after them
To all the years of all generations.
Fire devours before them
A flame burns after them.
The land is like the garden of Eden before them
But after them a desolate wilderness,
Nothing escapes them.
Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like war horses, they run.
As with rumbling of chariots
They leap on top of the mountains,
Like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble,
Like a powerful army drawn up for battle.
Before them people are in anguish;
All faces grow pale.
Like warriors they charge,
Like soldiers they scale the wall;
They each march each his way,
They do not swerve from their paths.
They do not jostle one other,
Each marches in his path;
They burst through the weapons,
They are not halted.
They leap upon the city,
They run on the walls;
They climb up into houses,
They enter through the windows like a thief.
The earth quakes before them,
The heavens tremble,
The sun and the moon are darkened
The stars withdraw their shining.
The same as the Olivet discourse.
The Lord utters His voice before His army;
For His camp is exceedingly great,
He who executes His word is powerful.
For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome,
Who can endure it?
"Yet even now," declares the Lord,
"Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
Rend not your garments but your hearts."
Return to the Lord,
He"s gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love
And He relents.
But they wouldn"t blow the trumpet in Zion. This corresponds in figure to the Hebrew Feast of Trumpets. Today, the rabbis gave the Feast of Trumpets a completely different meaning than the Scripture does. "When the people in the city hear the shofar, will they not tremble?" It"s a convocation and a warning. It"s the Jews being regathered to Israel for the Great Tribulation. The Jews are not going back to Israel for a picnic or a blessing; they"re going back to be deceived by the Antichrist, to make a covenant with death, and to go into a holocaust in which two-thirds of them will be wiped out.
My children were born in Galilee. My own children are Israeli Jews born in Galilee. I firmly believe in the prophetic purposes of God for Israel and the Jews, I believe in Israel"s right to exist as a nation. I"m appalled at the pressure America and other governments put on it to acquiesce to Islamic barbarism. Nonetheless, I"m still left with the fact that there is no peace without the Prince of Peace. There is no blessing without the atonement of the Messiah.
When you see Jews getting on planes and ships going to Israel, they may as well be getting on a train going to Auschwitz or Buchenwald. There are organizations claiming to be "Christian embassies", claiming to be "wings of eagles" who say, "Just get the Jews back to Israel and God will save them." Two-thirds of them are going to be wiped out. Yes, all Israel will be saved, those who look upon Him who they pierced will be saved, but the others are going to be killed. The Jewish people need Jesus the Messiah. Do not support any organization or ministry that does not give the Jews the Gospel.
Now, one of the reason our ministry supports Brad Antolovich â€“ Calvary Chapel Jerusalem â€“ is because, oh they"re bringing Jews back from Ukraine and Russia, and they"re helping Jews with humanitarian aid, but they"re giving the Jews what they need the most: the Good News of Yeshua the Messiah. There are good ministries and there are bad ones. Unfortunately, a lot of the money goes to the bad ones.
Changing the MeaningThe rabbis changed the meaning of Trumpets. You know what they call it now? "Rosh Hashanah." "Happy New Year". Now, biblically they should be saying, "Oy v"voy", "Woe upon woe!" When the trumpet is sounded, let the people tremble. But instead of saying, "Oy v"voy", "Woe upon woe!", the rabbis are telling Jewish people to say, "Happy New Year!" But they"re not saved; they don"t know their Messiah, Yeshua.
What do you do when the church, when its leaders instead of telling people to sober up are telling them to get drunk? Or instead of telling them to fall down and weep, they"re telling them to fall down and laugh. Israel"s blind, the church is blind. So much of Israel is blind. Only a small remnant, albeit a growing remnant of Jews, no the truth that Jesus is the Messiah. The proportions are not much different. In a Calvary Chapel you general don"t see the same degree of error you see in most other churches and denominations today, but they"re all going with this kind of stuff, one fad after another. Pensacola, Pepsi-Cola, Purpose Driven, anything as long as it"s not biblical, they"re going to do it.
Pay attention. Jesus said directly, "When you see these things happening, lift up your head, your redemptions draws near." The book of Revelation is the only book of the Bible with a special blessing promised for reading it. There"s a blessing for reading all of it, but there"s an actual, literal blessing â€“ Jesus promises a blessing for reading it. So who are people listening to? Events are happening in the Middle East today, but the Scripture warned us. Things are happening in Europe. The re-confederation of Europe in non-democratic Europe is exactly what Daniel said and is happening today. "When you see these things happening, lift up your head, your redemption"s draws near." We see the "Day of the Lord" drawing near, so who are people listening to? I"ll tell you who they"re listening to: They"re listening to a man in California named Rick Warren who said don"t study Bible prophecy, it"s a diversion. Jesus says when you see this stuff happening, you better get into this book and understand what"s going on. "Oh no, don"t do that", says Rick Warren. Who cares what Jesus Christ said? Why do we need Him when we have the Purpose Driven? I can prove it; he said it, as well as at least a dozen other things co-equally as crazy and as dangerous. You see the deception?
Increasing DeceptionThere are three kinds of people in God's economy as the "Day of the Lord" draws near: There"s the Jews, the Gentile nations, and the church composed of both Jew and Gentile. There"s the Jew, the Gentiles, and the church.
Satan has the Jews deceived; they don"t recognize their Messiah, except for a faithful remnant. Satan has the nations deceived. That leaves the church. He"s trying to deceive you and me.
When they asked the Lord Jesus at the Olivet discourse, "What will be the sign of Your coming at the end of the age?", He spoke of wars one time, rumors and wars one time, famines one time, earthquakes one time, pestilence one time â€“ one time, one time, one time â€“ persecution one time, but He warned of deception perpetrated against the Elect four times. In fact, the first words out of His mouth â€“ "Lord, what will be the sign of Your coming at the end of the age?" â€“ "See to it that no one leads you astray." The first words out of His mouth. He warned about deception perpetrated against you and me, your family and my family, your church and my church â€“ He warned about that four times more than any other sign of the end.
If you asked me when I was a young believer back in the early 70"s, or even if you asked me 15 years ago, or even 10 years ago, why I though it was the Last Days, I would tell you, "Israel, the European Union, destruction of the environment, globalization of the world economy" â€“ I would have told you all that stuff. Now in fact, I"m even more convinced that stuff is prophetically significant now than I was 10 years ago; I"m even more convinced that stuff is prophetically significant now than I"ve ever been. But it"s no longer the clearest signs. The clearest signs of the return of Jesus and the approach of the "Day of the Lord" is deception perpetrated against the Elect: The numbers and caliber of the people who are believing it and buying into it and subscribing into it.
How can anybody in their right mind think they can be out of control when the Bible says be in control? How can anybody in their right mind say don"t study prophecy, when Jesus said we should? Deception. He"s got the Jews, he"s getting the church. "Blow a trumpet". No, it is not "Happy New Year", it is "Oy v"voy".
The Locust ArmiesNow these armies of Babylon, represented by locusts, appear again in the book of Revelation. In other words, what happened with Nebuchadnezzar is a shadow of what will transpire eschatologically in the future, the Apocalypse. You understand? What happened with the Babylonian captivity will happen again. Turn to Revelation 9, please.
And the fifth angel blew his trumpet...
(Now, remember the trumpets.)
...and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace. And the sun and air were darkened with smoke from the shaft.
What does it say in Joel? The sun will be darkened, a star will fall from heaven.
Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth. And they were given power like the power of scorpions on the earth.
Well, here"s the locusts, they"re coming again. Look what they did the last time. So what does the church do? What should we do? We should blow this and warn people Jesus is coming. "No, don"t do that," says Rick Warren. "That"s a diversion." What are they doing? Can you believe it? These locusts are the demon cohorts of Antichrist. These locusts, who had a literal fulfillment in the Babylonian army, are a picture of the demon cohorts of Antichrist in Revelation 9.
I have been â€“ not to churches â€“ to stadiums. Stadiums â€“ not with hundreds, not with thousands, but with tens of thousands of born again Christians, supposedly â€“ and you know what they were singing?
"We run on the city, we run on the walls,
Great is the army who carries his word."
They think they"re thinking about themselves. They think they"re singing about them. They think, "Daddy"s locusts". These are the great army. Yes, it"s called Yahweh"s army, it"s His army of judgment to bring His own people to repentance like the Babylonians were. They"re actually singing about the demon cohorts of Antichrist and they think they"re singing about themselves.
The Absence of Doctrine"Blow a trumpet in Zion, Zion. Here we come. Latter Day Rain, Manifest Sons, the Manchild, Kingdom Now." This whole global peace plan, you know what it is? Kingdom Now theology. Over-realized eschatology, post-millenialism. Hyper-Charismatics don"t have any doctrine; they go by experience, feelings, mysticism. They don"t have any doctrine.
So where do they get their doctrine? They go to hyper-Calvinists called "Reconstructionists", the followers of Rushdoony, David Chilton, Greg Bonson, Gary North. Reconstructionists, people who believe that the church has to take over the institutions of government and finance and establish the kingdom of God before Jesus comes. So you have a hyper-Calvinist kook and a hyper-Charismatic kook, where does this Charismatic get his eschatology? Where does a "kook" get his doctrine? Well, quite obviously and quite logically, he gets it from another kook.
â€¢ "Kook" + "Kook" = "Kingdom Now".
â€¢ "Kook" + "Kook" = "Manifest Sons".
â€¢ "Kook" + "Kook" = "Manchild".
â€¢ "Kook" + "Kook" = "Global Peace Plan".
There is a global peace plan, but you know what bothers me most about Rick Warren"s "Five Point Global Peace Plan"? It"s not God's. It"s about education, it"s about social welfare, it"s about all those things, but it doesn"t talk about the Gospel. It doesn"t even talk about salvation.
They are being set up for this. They actually sing this. They"re singing about Antichrist"s army and they think it"s about them! Pay attention. David Hocking and myself were talking about this in Germany. Remember when Jesus warned, "When you pray, do not heap up empty phrases like the heathen do"? In Hinduism it"s a mantra. Over and over and over and over. The whole "Mary" thing in Catholic countries is so strong you can"t tell them, "Look, Mary says she needs a Savior" because they"ve said too many rosaries. Like Goebbels, Hitler"s propaganda minister said, "If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it"s the truth."
They get into the mantra. So we have what some people call the "7-11 choruses": 7 words, repeated 11 times. Where do these people get their theology? They get it from mindlessly singing choruses as if they were a mantra. The people in these churches who went to this lunacy â€“ you see, there"s no exposition of the Word, they just sing and sing the same thing over and over, but it doesn"t dawn on them much of what they"re singing is not even Scriptural. They become inundated by it like a mantra. It is the same as Hinduism .
The Eastern InvasionThis is the third time â€“ third time â€“ eastern religion has permeated â€“ invaded â€“ the western church. Jeremiah warns of it in chapter 5: "My people are filled with influences from the east."
The first time it happened was with the post-Nicean fathers, particularly in Alexandria; that was the first time eastern religion invaded western Christendom, with the Gnostics.
The second time was when the Crusades brought the influences of Hinduism and Sufi Islam into Europe. The second time was the Crusades. The whole thing with little girls dressed like brides for the community and counting their prayers on beads, that was all copied from Muslims and Hindus. The flagellation things in the monasteries and convents, that was all copied from Shi"a Muslims. That was the second time.
This is the third time eastern religion has invaded the western church.
2004, the National Pastor"s Conference in San Diego, the keynote speaker â€“ I"m only telling you what was on the agenda â€“ 11:30 to 1, Rick Warren. After a coffee break, you know what the next session was? Yoga. It"s on the Internet. (At least it was.) The National Pastor"s Conference! These are Evangelical pastors! Yoga! They don"t have a clue what"s happening.
That day should not overtake us like a thief. He"s coming like a thief in the night, but it shouldn"t overtake us like a thief. It"s going to shock people, it"s going to surprise them, but it should not shock or surprise us. Let"s look. What should we be doing?
The Proper ContextTurn with me again to the book of Joel 2.
Blow the trumpet in Zion,
Call a solemn assembly,
Gather the people, consecrate the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children, even nursing infants,
Let the bridegroom leave his room
And the bride her chambers.
There"s a reason for that. Remember Jesus warned they"ll be marrying and given in marriage?
Let them gather between the vestibule and the altar,
Let the priests, the Lord"s ministers weep
And say, "Spare Your people, O Lord."
Make not Your heritage a reproach,
A byword among the nations.
Spare Your people, O Lord.
A "text", out of context, in isolation from its co-text, is always a "pretext". Satan is great at taking Scriptures out of context. Look what he did with Jesus. He tried it with Jesus. That whole argument between Satan and Jesus in Matthew 4 was from the book of Deuteronomy. Satan would pull a verse out of context, Jesus would answer him in context. Whatever Jesus answered was from Deuteronomy because everything Satan raises from Deuteronomy â€“ he was great at taking certain verses out of context. It"s simple: A text, out of context, in isolation from its co-text, is always a pretext.
So they"ll point out in Peter"s charigma in the Book of Acts 2 that he quotes from Joel 2:28.
Afterwards it shall come to pass I"ll pour out my Spirit on your flesh, and your sons and daughters will prophesy.
That"s true. But first of all, in its context, it"s mainly focused on Israel and the Jews. Secondly, it doesn"t precede calamity, it follows it. They"re buying into a big lie. Buying into a big lie. It doesn"t matter what you say.
Does It Matter To You?Last week I was in Hawaii and the Lord put in my way the biggest con-artist, false prophet, money preacher in the world. Eyeball to eyeball, I with him. Eyeball to eyeball, I told him he was a false prophet, that I can prove he"s made these predictions in the name of the Lord that didn't happen, that he needs to repent and get out of the ministry. It doesn"t matter what I told him. No, it doesn"t mean I shouldn"t have told him. Ezekiel says tell them anyway, even if they won"t listen. It"s like serving an indictment, but they won"t listen. It just doesn"t matter to them. The question is, does it matter to you? Do you want a ticket out of here? The "Day of the Lord" is coming.
There is a message. The message is not, "Get drunk", the message is not to lose self-control, the message is not, "Happy New Year". The message is you pick up your Bible; this is the message. What does it say in Amos? "Set the trumpet to thy mouth."
Blow a trumpet in Zion.
Sound an alarm in my holy mountain,
The day of the Lord draws near.
You see CNN today? You watch Fox News today? The "Day of the Lord" draws near. But when the biggest preachers in the world are giving the flock the opposite message, what chance will the sheep have from these wolves when their own shepherds give them over?
No, there is a message. The message is the "Day of the Lord" indeed draws near.
Blow the trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast, call an assembly, a solemn assembly,
Gather all the people, consecrate the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children, even the nursing infants.
Remember what Jesus said about the nursing mothers.
Let the bridegroom leave his room
Let the bride her chamber.
Blow the trumpet in Zion,
Sound an alarm in God's mountain!
The day of the Lord draws near
Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord weep
And let them say, "Spare thy people, O Lord."
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