With so many world events apparently running headlong into fulfillment of prophecy in recent weeks, it seemed good to share some prophetic updates and things to look for.
No matter what a person believes about end times, the end of the Book makes it clear this world is headed to the end of the government of man, culminating in the return of Jesus to set up His earthly kingdom. He does so at a time Israel is on the brink of destruction, and comes literally riding in on His white horse to save the day. Revelation 19:11
Here are some characteristics common to persecution through the centuries. Do you see them in our day?
News flash - Christians aren't persecuted just for being Christian
Church culture would have us believe Jesus was sent to the cross just for being Jesus, amd Christians are persecuted just for being Christian, but that is not the case. The old question, "If you were accused of being a Christian would there be enough evidence against you?" isn't exactly accurate. If we look at what the Bible actually says, we will see a spirit at work in our day. These were the charges against Jesus:
1: Treason. 2: Tax evasion. 3: Potential violence. 4: Being against popular culture.
#1, Treason - defined as 'betrayal of one's country'
Christians are not persecuted JUST for being Christian - that is the surface. Roman Governor Pontius Pilate asked Jesus: "Are you King of the Jews?" That was what it all pivoted around - treason - are you against Rome?. But when Pilate realized Jesus wasn't a direct threat he would have released Him, but the people kept the focus on treason, shouting: "We have no king but Caesar!" Even ISIS views Christians and for that matter, Muslims who don't believe as they do in the Caliphate, as traitors. (Matthew 27:11, John 19:15)
Until Christianity was legalized in the 3rd century, treason was the charge against Christians because they claimed to serve another king - they weren't in court just for being a Chrisitian. The Caesars demanded worship as gods, Christians refused, and that was treason, worthy of death.
Root accusations of treason can be disguised within many other charges
Therefore we look for evidence in culture and government of that spirit at work - a spirit that seeks to criminalize faith in Christ as treasonous to a nation's well-being, purpose, and greater good.
From Jesus throughout history, Jews and Christians have been blamed as the cause of a nation's ills, because they refused to be good patriots - good Romans, good Nazi's, or Communist party members. Look for the nations to increasingly look at Jews and Christians, as well as politically conservative people, as the cause of a nation's problems, which will degrade to a point they accuse them (us) as un-patriotic. Pick your nation, that's the spirit behind it.
Look at the progression - it doesn't start as full-blown treason
In the first 6 months of Jesus' ministry when John the Baptist and He were ministering at the same time, John 3 says the Pharisees and various religious rulers stood by and listened to what each said. But things escalated over the next 3 years to the point of plots against Jesus: "And they took counsel how they might destroy Him." (John 11:53)
In the USA when The Patriot Act was passed after the 9/11 attacks, it granted the government freedoms on spying and arrest that were unprecedented. I asked "What do you think of this Father?" and He immediately replied: "Laws that were designed to protect my people will one day be used against them."
#2, Jesus was accused of tax evasion & financial wrong doing
In Luke 23:2 we are told another charge against Jesus: "And they began to accuse Him saying, 'This man perverts the nation, forbidding the paying of taxes to Caesar, and saying He is a king."
Back at the time of the Patriot Act the Father also told me: "The IRS will be used to persecute my people." I realize these 2 points are to an American audience, but the spirit behind such things is common to all governments sliding toward anger directed at conservatives, Christians, and Jews.
In this day of electronic communication, finances, and government spying on citizens to a degree never before possible, realize that any government so determined could produce convincing evidence of a person's moral or financial wrong doing just by breaking into accounts and making them say whatever they want.
Rabbit trail, which means a slight detour off the path - what 666 means
Much ado has been made of the 666 of Revelation 13:18: "This is wisdom. Let him that has wisdom count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is 666." The previous verses say a person cannot buy nor sell without that mark on their forehead or wrist.
Note that the first rule for understanding prophecy is that it had to have made sense to the original hearers/readers, and then also must make sense to future hearers/readers. In John's time when Rome took slaves they took away their name and gave them a number instead, branding their forehead or wrist with that number. This indicated the person was a slave to Rome and their economic & political system..
A great trivia trick is to ask 'Who wrote the book of Romans?', and most will say "Paul". But Romans 16:22-23 says: "I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you...and Quartus, a brother."
Tertius is the Roman number 3, and Quartus is the Roman number 4, indicating slave #3 received dictation of Paul's letter to the Romans, and a co-worker was slave #4.
The 666 is easy to explain. We look to Jesus as the truth, and then to Satan's perversion to understand the 666. So what is Jesus going to do at the setting up of His kingdom on earth, which will basically be a 777, God's number of completion? (6 being the number of man as man was created on day 6)
King Jesus will unite these three elements over all mankind: Political, economic, and religious unity. 777.
Therefore 666 is man's government trying to unify politics, economics, and religion - 666.
Dictators, Kings, Caesars, and to our day, rulers have tried to build their own 666. Rome was able to unify their world politically and economically, but not religiously because of those pesky Jews and Christians. They got to 66 but not to 666.
Fast forward to Nazi Germany. Hitler was able to unify his nation politically and economically, but not religiously because of Jews and Christians, though they tried to exterminate them all. Fast forward to the USSR. Stalin was able to unify the nation politically, economically, but not completely in the religion of atheism because of Jews and Christians.
One day there will be a man in the area of Europe and the Mediterranean, who will try again to bring the unity of man's perfect government as seen in the 666. He will unify things politically and economically, forcing all to be part of the system to buy/sell, and he will seek to unify religion as well.
Think of an economic system that would be against people raising their own fruits and vegetables, thereby side-stepping the system - So look for future government control over people making their own gardens.
But again, Christians will be seen as preventing that final '6', and eventually the nations will seek to destroy Israel as the last obstacle standing in their way.
I'm out of room for this week, points 3 & 4 and much insights next week, until then,