Be Very Alert!- By Val Hollard (NZ)
On Watch at the Door. No 224, August 16, 2016
THE BIRTH PAINS
In Matthew 24, the disciples ask Jesus questions about His coming and the end of the age. The signs include false christs, wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilence and earthquakes in various places which are the beginning of birth pains, but the end is still to come. Are these disasters taking place already, or is something far more devastating to come? What is “the end?”
Comparing Scripture with Scripture, some scholars have lined up the birth pains Jesus talks about with the Seals in Revelation 6. The parallels are striking.
Matthew 24:4-5 False Christs – “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
Revelation 6:1-2 Seal, 1 Antichrist – “And behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given to him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.”
Matthew 24:6 Wars – “And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that you are not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
Revelation 6:3-4 Seal 2, Wars – “And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him who sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given to him a great sword.”
Matthew 24:7 Famines, death – “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Revelation 6:5-8 Seals 3 and 4, Famine and Death – “And… lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see that you do not hurt the oil and the wine… And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and the rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
Matthew 24:9 Martyrs – “Then they shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”
Revelation 6:9-10 Seal 5, Martyrs – “I saw under the altar the souls of them who were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”
Matthew 24:29 Sun, Moon and Stars – “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”
Revelation 6:12-14 Seal 6, Sun, Moon and Stars –“… And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when it is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”
Matthew 24:30-31 Rapture and Resurrection – “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Revelation 7:9-14 Multitudes in Heaven, Resurrection – “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;… And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, Who are these arrayed in white robes? and where did they come from?… These are they who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Though many people believe that we are already seeing a lot of the signs mentioned in Matthew 24 and Revelation 6, there is good reason to believe that what is coming after the Antichrist appears will be much more devastating.
In WWII, about 60 million people were killed. The apostle John tells us that when the pale horse appears, a fourth of the earth will be killed. That is a huge number, whether it is in area or number of people.
During the Black Death in the 14th century it is estimated that 30-60% of Europe’s total population were killed, about 50 million people. It is described as the greatest catastrophe ever. Today, antibiotics are becoming increasingly ineffective.
We know too that world economies are on the verge of collapse. America has a 19 trillion dollar debt which is impossible to pay off.
The Seals of Revelation 6 line up closely with what Jesus told the disciples about the end of the age in Matthew 24. The Antichrist has not appeared yet, so these birth pains must still be in the future. I expect that the birth pains/Seals will be extremely severe, and hardly anyone is prepared for this.
The birth pains culminate with the Day of the Lord. Following the birth pains there is good news and bad news. It will be a wonderful birth for believers who will be raptured up to be with Jesus. But the birth for unbelievers will be horrendous as they will face the wrath of God on the Antichrist’s kingdom when the devastating Trumpet and Bowl judgments fall on the earth, far more severe than the signs.
WHERE DOES THE ROAD TO ROME LEAD?
With many more evangelicals uniting with Rome, it is interesting to see what is in store for them! The Catholic World Youth Day (WYD) 2016 is now over. I watched the commentary for Day 5 and wondered how any Bible-believing Christian could possibly call Christian what happened in Poland!
One of the saints for WYD was Sister Faustina. It was said that God left her a promise, “Whoever venerates this image will not be lost.” This image of “divine mercy” was presented to Pope Francis. Scripture expressly warns about venerating images which will not save anyone but send them to hell. The pope was called “holy father” over and over again in the 54 minutes, a title reserved for the Father in heaven. In John 17 we are told how Jesus prayed to His Holy Father.
A large “door of mercy” was specially built for WYD. It was described as “a holy door created for the holy father.” It had the same red and blue as in the picture of “divine mercy.” Holding the hands of some of the youth, the pope passed through it. There are certain criteria to be met if you are to receive the plenary indulgence when you pass through. It is necessary to make a profession of faith in the church afterwards, to receive communion for 20 days before or after going through the door and to receive the sacraments of confession 20 days before or after.
It is extremely sad to see how much Catholicism has deviated from the Word of God. Does the blood of Christ cleanse from all sin? Or do you atone for it yourself in purgatory and get plenary indulgences to shorten you time there? Is Jesus the door through which we must go to have forgiveness? Or can you go through a physical door to get sins forgiven? Does Jesus open and shut doors? Or can a sinful pope do this? Catholics are led astray because they do not know God’s Word but rather follow the traditions of men. There is a wide gulf between the Christianity of the Bible and Catholicism and Roman Catholics should not be called Christians.
In John 10, Jesus says He is the gate/door for the sheep. Whoever enters through Jesus will be saved. I am so pleased that Jesus did everything for me. It just takes faith to be saved. No works needed, but Spirit-guided works after you have been saved will show the world that you do have faith. I don’t need to go through physical doors, venerate images or anything else. And I can quietly confess my sins at home here and be totally forgiven. There are over a billion Catholics putting their faith in the wrong place and are heading to hell. They are not followers of the Jesus of the Bible but rather followers of the pope and traditions at odds with the Bible.
It is also very saddening to see so many evangelicals who once held firmly to the truth falling for the false teachings of Rome. Among those who attended another event, the Together 2016 event in Washington D.C., were Josh McDowell and Ravi Zacharias who failed to deliver the true Gospel of Jesus Christ alone. Nick Hall, the organizer of the conference, called the pope, “His Holiness.” It is easy to see how a One World Religion is being prepared by Rome for the coming Antichrist.
Pope Francis says that it is wrong to identify Islam with violence and that social injustice and idolatry of money were among the prime causes of terrorism. Imam Abdel Qader Mohammed thanked the pope for saying that true Islam is not a religion of violence, but of peace. The pope can’t seem to stop misleading people.
World Vision claims to be a Christian charity but it is well-known for its anti-Israel bias. Recently it has been accused by a senior Israeli Knesset member who used to head the Shin Bet intelligence agency of funnelling tens of millions of charity dollars to Hamas in Gaza for terror purposes.
A lead Attorney in an anti-Clinton fraud case has been mysteriously found dead, adding to the “Clinton body count.” The number of deaths of people associated with the Clintons – many dozens – who have died by suicide or murder or even in a mysterious plane crash is staggering. The latest is the death of Shawn Lucas who along with a filmmaker recently served papers regarding a fraud class action lawsuit against the Democratic Party.
In Russia, Christians are refusing to stop sharing the gospel despite Putin’s ban on evangelism. The law requires Christians who want to share their faith with others, even on the internet, to obtain authorization documents from a religious association. There are fines for those who do not comply. The new law has led Franklin Graham to cancel a persecution summit in Moscow.
AN OCCULT ADDICTION?
It seems that people are easily becoming addicted to Pokémon Go. Recently, the app’s features were updated and the entire game was reset. This left many players having to start again from the beginning. One player wrote, “I was level 14 and I had just caught charmander today. *actually crying*” And at the Olympic Village in Rio there is outrage at how Brazil can host the Olympics but not Pokémon Go.
J K Rowling’s latest book is out. Large queues formed and the book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, sold out in no time. Presales through Amazon are at the highest level since 2007, when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released. It has also opened as a 5-hour long play at the Palace Theatre in London. One critic describes it: “Emotional punch, rich suspense and dazzling effects make for all-round magic in the latest twist in Harry Potter’s tale.”
It is one thing to say that everyone is united in their belief that the cross of Jesus Christ is the primary focus of their faith, but it is something else to define what this means. Even Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses would agree with that, and certainly Roman Catholics would, but in fact, their teaching about the cross will send those who believe it to hell. – TBC
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