Friday, July 17, 2009


As a result of communicating the information you can read in the posts "PARAGRAPH 67" and "THE DREAM OF A SINGLE, GLOBAL CURRENCY", I have been asked, "Are these events 'signs' that the rapture is soon?"

The question requires a careful answer.

There are no Scripture texts that teach that there are or will be any "signs" leading up to the rapture of the Church. The rapture of the Church is a "signless" event. Since the birth of the Church the expectation has been that Christ could return for His Church at any moment (for example, James 5:9, Second Timothy 4:8). No "signs" or intermediate events are required to happen before the rapture of the Church.

There are, however, "signs" that occur pointing to the coming time of Tribulation on the earth and beyond to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. For example, Jesus Himself discusses "signs" of His Second Coming and the importance of knowing how to recognize them (Matthew 24:32-35). Some events that will take place during the coming time of Tribulation are already beginning to "line up" (the one-world political authority and currency for example, or the nations who will come against Israel at the "Gog from Magog Battle" of Ezekiel 38 for another, and more). These are "signs" that the Tribulation period is soon.

While there are no "signs" pertaining to the rapture of the Church (I use the phrase "rapture of the Church" to distinguish it from other "raptures" throughout the Bible), there is prophetic value to the Church of the "signs" pertaining to the Tribulation and Second Coming. Why? Allow me to illustrate.

Suppose you are driving on an interstate highway. Your know your destination, but there are no "signs" telling you that your destination will be reached in a certain number of miles/kilometers. But there are "signs" for a major city that is beyond your destination. As you observe the distance to that major city diminishing according to the "signs", you know that your destination is even closer than the "signs" indicate.

If there are "signs" for events (the Tribulation and Second Coming) that are beyond the rapture of the Church, that only increases our expectation that the rapture of the Church must be even sooner.

The focus of the Church is not to be on "signs", rather on the destination. Consider Colossians 3:1-2, "Therefore, since you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth."

"Signs" are on earth. Christ is coming from heaven for His Church. We must keep our focus upon Him. His appearing is our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13). Or consider First Corinthians 1:22-23a, "For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified". We are not looking for "signs", we are looking for Christ. Along the way, if we do happen to observe "signs", we rejoice because Christ's appearing for us is that much closer.

When some of you hear about the "signs", a sense of fear comes over you. Maybe this is because you are not prepared for the unfolding of end-time events. You have never personally and specifically trusted in The God-Man, Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and eternal life. Observe First Peter 3:18, "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit." Trust in Christ as your Sinbearer, your Eternal Savior, your Life. When you do, this means that God by His grace has put you in the category of those who have "turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God" (First Thessalonians 1:9). You will experience a new joy and freedom that empowers you "to wait for His Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, Who rescues us from the wrath to come (First Thessalonians 1:10).

It is possible that some of you do not look forward to seeing Christ because you are more attached to your sin and the present world than you are to Christ. If you are in reality a believer who has trusted Christ for salvation, this is not to be so. And, if you are not even concerned about your sin and attachment to the world-system, you may not have ever become a genuine believer at all. As a believer, you have the privilege of this promise and instruction - "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure (First John 3:1-3)."

Genuine believers are being transformed into a greater reflection of Christ's glory every day as we focus upon Him in His Word (Second Corinthians 3:18). We will instantaneously be completely changed into the likeness of His glory at the rapture of the Church (First Corinthians 15:51-52), when we will "see Him just as He is" (First John 3:2).

Do not let a focus on "signs" rob you of hope today. The destination is what is vital, not the "signs". May nothing stand between you and seeing Christ today. He is the joy and hope of life.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Theology And The News

Sometimes when one lets news be known in the way I have attempted in the posts "PARAGRAPH 67" and "THE DREAM OF A SINGLE, GLOBAL CURRENCY", the criticism of engaging in "newspaper theology" comes fairly quickly.

"Newspaper theology" is not a correct approach to interpreting the Bible. At least it is not a correct approach to anyone who believes that the Bible is inerrant, sufficient authority for faith, life, theology, worldview, etc. We should not, having seen something interesting in the news, cram the news into the meaning of a Bible verse, or determine the meaning of a Bible passage by what we see in the news. We should also be cautious about saying that "this" in the news is the "fulfillment of that" in the Bible.

We should, however, learn to evaluate the news in light of the Bible. No, We should not evaluate the meaning of Scripture by the news, but we should evaluate the meaning of the news by the Bible. We should not do "newspaper theology", but we should do "theology newspaper".

Everything in the Word of God will come to pass, including the details of Revelation 13:3-4, 16-17. What the news in "PARAGRAPH 67" and "THE DREAM OF A SINGLE, GLOBAL CURRENCY" points out is that the world is being set up for these future events in an unprecedented way.

"Let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober" (First Thessalonians 5:6).

The Dream of a Single, Global Currency

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev illustrated his call for a supranational currency to replace the dollar by pulling from his pocket a sample coin of a "united future world currency."
"Here it is," Medveded told reporters on July 10, 2009 in L'Aquila, Italy, after the international G-8 summit, "You can see it and touch it."

The coin, which bears the words "unity in diversity", was minted in Belgium and presented to the heads of the G-8 delegations. Medveded said, "The question of a supranational currency concerns everyone now, even the mints. The test coin means they're getting ready." Medveded has repeatedly called for creating a mix of regional reserve currencies as part of the drive to address the global financial crisis, while questioning the US dollar's future as a global reserve currency. Russia's proposals at the G-20 meeting in London back in April, 2009 included the creation of a supranational currency. China also has been a vocal proponent of the global currency system, taking influence away from the US dollar which has dominated global finance and commerce since the end of World War 2. French President Nicolas Sarkozy also joined the band at the G-8 summit in favor of dumping the dollar.

This issue is alerting to those who believe the Bible, especially the warning that the whole world will be forced to use a unified economic system under the domination of a wicked, global leader during the future time of world crisis known in the Bible as "the 70th week of Daniel", the "indignation", (see Revelation 13:16-17). Suspicions are aroused even further when coupled with the release of the encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI calling for a one-world-government, only three days earlier, July 7, 2009 from nearby Rome.

Paragraph 67

Pope Benedict XVI has published his first social encyclical, which was presented at a Vatican press conference on the morning of July 7, 2009 The presentation was made by Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, and Stefano Zamagni, professor of political economy at the University of Bologna, Italy, and consultor of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The encyclical was then released to the public at noon on July 7, suspiciously just one day before the the G-8 international summit was to begin in L'Aquila, Italy.

The official title of the document is "Encyclical Letter CARITAS IN VERITATE of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI to the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women Religious, the Lay Faithful, and All People of Good Will, on INTEGRAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT IN CHARITY AND TRUTH"

The encyclical is mainly devoted to urging a united world to solve the problems of poverty, injustice, terrorism, starvation, racism, etc. on a global level. It is masterfully written, and in compelling in numerous ways. After all, who would want to be found as opposing "integral human development"?

But it is mainly Paragraph 67 that causes the hairs of Bible-believers (Revelation 13:7-8, 16-17) to stand. This paragraph suggests the means by which these global problems will have to be solved. Look at these quotes from Paragraph 67 carefully . . .

"In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION, and likewise of ECONOMIC INSTITUTIONS OF GLOBAL FINANCE, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth."


"Furthermore, such an authority would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights. Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums. Without this, despite the great progress accomplished in various sectors, international law would risk being conditioned by the balance of power among the strongest nations. The integral development of peoples and international cooperation require the establishment of a greater degree of international ordering, marked by subsidiarity, for the management of globalization. They also require the construction of a social order that at last conforms to the moral order, to the interconnection between moral and social spheres, and to the link between politics and the economic and the civil spheres, as envisaged by the Charter of the United Nations."

Now, I encourage readers to check out the entire encyclical for themselves. Defenders of the Pope have already tried to point out that he is not calling for a one-world-political-authority, but is in fact against it All I can say, is that when I read the document I surely see the Pope calling for "A TRUE WORLD POLITICAL AUTHORITY".

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ode to Lost Celebrities

For all his years of exclaiming, "He-e-e-e-e-e-r-e's Johnny!",
did he trust in Jesus Christ?
For all the winners he delivered the money,
did he receive eternal life?

For all her attention over physical appeal,
did she know inner beauty that's real?
For all her fame in acting as an "angel",
did she ever eternity feel?

For all his pushing on infomercials
so people would buy "OxyClean",
did he trust in the death and blood of Jesus
to cleanse him from all of sin's stains?

For all the acclaim from thousands of fans,
did anyone the Gospel tell
to this talented, but sad and lonely boy
who can't do the moonwalk in hell?

For the Scripture says it's appointed for all,
yes even the famous, to die.
On the day their soul is required of them,
then what will their money buy?

For when it's all said and done, and the books are opened,
there will be no one else you can blame;
for all that will matter on that awesome day
is that you've trusted the Lamb that was slain.