Ethnic Wars

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…  – Matthew 24:6-7b (Jesus)

When Jesus predicted the early stages of the End Times, He taught that there would be “wars and rumors of wars.” He was probably referring to the state of the world in our days. There have always been wars, but in the last century they have been worse than ever. World Wars I and II, the development of nuclear warfare, and the rise of modern terrorism have made the world a dangerous place. According to GlobalSecurity.org’s website, ”The World at War,” there are about 40 wars being fought at any given time.

A new report from the Institute for Economics and Peace reveals that “Only 11
countries in the WORLD are not involved in conflict.”
The study says that the world is getting progressively less peaceful since 2007.

Jesus said “nation will rise against nation.” The Greek word for nation is ethnos, and it is derived from etho, meaning “forming a custom, culture.” So Jesus’ prophecy was not just about one country versus another, but about “ethnic” groups fighting each other. It includes racial conflict and religious wars. Today’s headlines are loaded with bad news about these ethnic wars. Russia is invading Ukraine. Israel and the Palestinians are bombing each other. The worst Islamic jihadist group yet, the “Islamic State” (also called ISIS and ISIL) is butchering people of other religions and political viewpoints. And even in America, where the Civil War guaranteed emancipation of slaves, and where the Civil Rights movement and legislation of the ‘60’s prevailed, there is racial rioting on the streets of Ferguson, MO.

We can’t know just when Jesus will return again, and He warned us not to set dates. But this period of ethnic wars should be a wake-up call for anyone who doesn’t believe that prophecy is being fulfilled in our times.

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Review of Survive the Coming Storm – Ebola Crisis

gano-ebolaRay Gano’s new e-book, Survive the Coming Storm – Ebola Crisis, Is a timely wake-up call about the imminent danger of a global pandemic that has already crippled parts of West Africa and has been labeled an “International public health emergency” by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Gano is the publisher of Prophezine, the respected Bible prophecy site that has provided credible information about Bible prophecy for nearly two decades. He and his family have studied and practiced emergency preparation techniques and provide supplies for such events as a means of supporting the ministry of his website.

Jesus warned that one of the dreadful aspects of the End Times will be plagues:

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows. – Matthew 24:7-8

Gano is careful to say that the Ebola scare might not reach the catastrophic level of past plagues. He is hopeful that it can be stopped before it reaches its dreadful potential, but at present there is no cure, and approximately 50% of those who contract the virus die. It could easily reach the point that hospitals will be overrun with dying patients and people will have to deal with their own family’s crisis without professional help.

That is why he gives detailed instructions about how to set up a quarantined patients’ room and a “clean room” in one’s own home and how to provide basic aid, such as keeping the sick hydrated as they fight the virus. Extensive preparations will be necessary to keep others in the family from being exposed to the fast-spreading disease.

The book helps us realize that least we can do is understand this threat and know what can be done now to save the lives of our own families if Ebola explodes into a full-blown plague.

Visit Prophecy Central’s “Plagues” section

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like the End Times

2014-0808 blogI’m sure you have noticed how dramatic the world news is these days. It looks just like the predictions Jesus made about the “beginning of sorrows” [literally “birth-pains”] in His message about the future.

 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for allthese things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. – Matthew 24:6-8

In Luke 21:12-13 He also mentioned that there would be a terrible persecution, and in the following verses, pertaining to the Great Tribulation, He predicted armies surrounding Jerusalem, signs in the sun, moon and stars, and people fainting because of terror.

I have studied and taught Bible prophecy for 50 years now. When I first began, I was surprised at the fact that on any given week I could find articles in the newspaper that related to these “signs of the times.” Every once in a while things would really get interesting – when Israel was at war with neighbors, or immorality was spreading, and movements toward a one-world government was gaining momentum. But, honestly, during all of that time, the over-all world situation never looked as bad as it does now.

Israel has been at war with the Hamas terrorists for weeks. Hamas has sacrificed hundreds of innocent Palestinian citizens as “human shields.”

A gigantic movement is taking place in the Syria-Iraq area with the spread of another aggressive terrorist movement (ISIL or ISIS) that has declared a new Islamic caliphate (empire), and is slaughtering all opposition, virtually eliminating Christians and other religions (including Muslims who disagree with them). President Obama has reluctantly agreed that the U.S. must lend support there to prevent wholesale genocide.

Russia has adopted the old Soviet/ Cold-War attitude and is threatening to invade Ukraine.

Iran is on the verge of producing nuclear weapons while negotiations between them and world powers is failing, and they have made it clear that they will oppose the “great Satan—the U.S., and want to wipe Israel off the map.

Earthquakes and volcanoes are extremely active.

The World Health Organization has just declared an international emergency because of the rapid spread of the dreaded Ebola virus in Africa, which is now spreading to other areas.

The world economy is still floundering.

The list goes on.  When you visit Prophecy Central you can explore more than a hundred sub-topics, most of which have some current event summaries that relate to the End Times.

In spite of all of these disturbing trends, we who know Christ personally should not be afraid or dismayed. But we should be making the best use of our time and share the Gospel with everyone who will listen.

 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.- 2 Peter 3:11-12a

 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. – Luke 21:28

Posted in Earthquakes, Economy, Eschatology, Evangelism, Fearful Events, Islam, Israel, Middle East War, New World Order, Persecution, Plagues, Wars | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thank You!

revhead-sThanks to all who have purchased our book, The Church in Prophecy and History: Revelation Commentary Chapters 1 – 3!  Now I would sincerely appreciate it if some of you could post reviews on Amazon.  Reviews are a necessity for a book to be successful.  Here is the first review. It is from Martha Franklin Driggers, a wonderful lady whom I have never met, but have come to know through Facebook. Her review is a great encouragement to me and will help prospective readers decide to try the book.

 5-star review: GREAT Book!, June 19, 2014

Ron Graff’s latest book is amazing! His ability to reference scripture and interpret Revelations is straight forward and understandable. I have read all the books this author has written, and this latest book is captivating. Every night I read it I learn more and more about the end times and the Apostle John’s vision of what’s to come. If you love prophecy this is the book for you! I HIGHLY recommend it! – Martha Driggers

The Church in Prophecy and History is a verse-by-verse commentary of the first three chapters of The Revelation, but it is also a short course on church history.  It is all about Jesus’ messages to the seven churches of Asia. Since The Revelation is prophecy, these messages describe the seven fascinating phases the church has experienced during the past 2000 years.

If you have not yet ordered the book, but would like more information about it, check out the product page. You will find links there to a preview of the book and to see the detailed table of contents. There are also links to Amazon.com. Amazon sells the paperback version at an 18% discount and the Kindle version for only $5.99 ($1.99 if you also purchase the paperback version).

Once again, I truly appreciate your partnership in this project!

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Encouragement about the Future of the Church

 

churchinprophecyNew Book Explains the Decline of the Church in the 21st Century and Gives Encouragement about the Future 

Los Angeles, June 7, 2014

“The Church in Prophecy and History” is a detailed commentary on the Book of Revelation, Chapters 1 through 3. It illuminates Jesus’s own predictions about the future of His church, and explains how the major events of church history fulfilled His prophecies.

The book traces the amazing progress and the failures of the church during its two thousand year history, and emphasizes the promise of ultimate victory for the institution itself and for the faithful “overcomers” of each of the seven periods of church history.

It focuses on the current state of Christianity—how it arrived at its present weakened condition just before the beginning of the end times, and why it still has a victorious future. It issues a call to return to the simple and powerful message of the Bible and envisions a fresh effort to reach those in the younger generations who have not experienced the life-changing power of the Gospel.

The author is Ron Graff, publisher of the “Prophecy Central” website, which has been a favorite Bible study destination since its inception 17 years ago. A Google search for “Bible prophecy” consistently lists the site on the first page of its results.

Graff was a pastor until he retired in 2011 after the privilege of 50 years in that role. He now devotes his time to publishing the Prophecy Central website, organizing Bible conferences, writing and speaking. He is available for interviews about the book’s message of warning and hope for the modern church.

Earlier books by Graff include “Connecting the Dots: A Handbook of Bible Prophecy” (with Lambert Dolphin), and  “2012: The Year the World Didn’t End.”

”The Church in Prophecy and History” is available in bookstores and at Amazon.com and other online booksellers. For more information visit the book’s product page at http://www.Bible-prophecy.com/revelation/v1

Posted in Apostasy, Church, Church History, Eschatology, Evangelism, Missions, Persecution, Rapture, Religions, Revelation, Revival | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My New Book: The Church in Prophecy and History

churchinprophecyDear Friends:

Please join me in celebrating the release of my new book The Church in Prophecy and History. It is actually a commentary on the first three chapters of Revelation. As you may know we have been writing this book a few pages at a time for the past year and a half, and have posted it in the “Rejoicing in Revelation” section on Prophecy Central. Visits by more than 30,000 readers have encouraged us to keep this project going.

I have a passion for the church that Jesus established. When I was only 14 years old I felt the call to the ministry.  After 50 years as a pastor I have seen the incredible attacks of our culture against the church, and have celebrated its valiant effort to hold back the tide of immorality.

This book will help you understand our Lord’s plans for His church. He foretold the major developments of each of seven periods of Church History. The book shows the numerous advances during the past 2000 years that have helped fulfill the Great Commission, and the unfortunate mistakes that were made along the way. It will give you insight about where the church is today, and why we can expect another great revival in our generation.

The book is available in paperback or Kindle formats. Please take a look at these links for more information:

Product Page: The Church in Prophecy and History

Facebook Page

Amazon Paperback

Amazon Kindle

 

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Four Living Creatures

Tetramorph. Fresco, Meteora.

Tetramorph. Fresco, Meteora. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Check out today’s addition to our “Rejoicing in Revelation” commentary. It is a glimpse behind the curtain into God’s Throne Room in heaven.

Four amazing creatures–identified as cherubim in Ezekiel’s prophecy—support the throne of God and take it wherever He goes in His universe!

We compare the amazing descriptions in Revelation 4 with a similar vision in Ezekiel, and learn many things about God’s divine attributes of omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, and eternity.  We see that He is the “pantokrator”—the ruler over all!

We are assured of God’s goodness.  These powerful creatures proclaim,

 “Holy, holy, holy

Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!”

God is righteous in all that He does. This is of the greatest importance in this passage, because the scene will soon shift from the peace and beauty of the heavenly throne room to the awful reality of the Tribulation taking place on earth.

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The Roman Empire and the First Official Pope

holy_orders_pubdom-s

Today, on the occasion of the canonization of two popes, I am posting an excerpt from our “Rejoicing in Revelation” commentary.

 

Theodosius I (379-395), the last Emperor over both the eastern and western halves Of the Roman Empire abolished pagan worship, and established Catholic Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire.

A few decades later, in AD 445 Emperor Valentinian III issued a decree establishing the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. This decree was first applied to Leo I, so he became the first “pope” (“papa”) of the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics consider all the Bishops of Rome to have been popes, but this decree marked the beginning of the papacy as we now know it.

At this point I need to explain that I am not “anti-Catholic.” Catholic means “universal,” and up to this historical juncture there had just been one main “trunk” for the family tree of Christianity. It was just “the Church.” From that point of view, all of our denominations had our origins in this same universal church.

However, starting with Constantine, there were lots of corruptions of the belief and practices in the Church. These eventually led to a series of “branches” from the main trunk. We will have to take notice of these corruptions since many of them began during this period of history.

We are also not anti-Catholic because of our personal experience with Catholic people. In my first pastorate in East Los Angeles, most of the people I met in the community were Catholics. I was eager to share the Gospel with them, and they were surprisingly open to listening! We used the “Four Spiritual Laws” in those days, and because we were quoting God’s Word, there was almost always a willingness to hear and trust the Bible. Many of them had never heard the simple Gospel message, but they were open to it. They might not have known what was in the Bible, but they had a reverence for it. Over the years I have become close friends with numerous Catholics, including some priests, who are dedicated followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. In our church home in Alta Loma the highest percentage of converts from other faiths has come from the Catholic Church.

It is right, however, to oppose teaching that can be shown to be unbiblical, whether it is in the Catholic Church or any other denomination. From that point of view there are many serious problems in Catholic history, theology, and current directions. Historically, the longer a denomination has been in existence, the more it has drifted away from simple faith in the Word of God. The same can be said about most Christian colleges and seminaries.

Vatican declares Popes John Paul II and John XXIII saints

Rejoicing in Revelation

The Roman Empire and the First Official Pope

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Do the Blood Moons Really Mean Anything?

blood moonThe great interest in the rare phenomenon of a series of blood-red moons raises a couple of important questions that need to be answered.

Does the Bible teach that events in the heavens may have spiritual meaning?

The first chapter of the Bible declares that the lights in the sky will serve as “signs and seasons” (Genesis 1:14), and Revelation, the last book gives several prophecies of changes in the sun and the moon, and falling stars (asteroids) during the Tribulation (Revelation 6:12-17; 8:10-12). In between these books there are many other examples of the spiritual importance of the heavenly bodies.

The Hebrews had their own ancient understanding of the meaning of the constellations (Job 9:9; 38:31-33). This concept has been called “The Gospel in the Stars” describing the spiritual battle between good and evil, and the promised coming of a heroic virgin-born Savior who would destroy the power of the dragon.

One of the prophecies about Messiah was that He would be “a star out of Jacob” (Numbers 24:17). In the days of the Babylonian Empire, Daniel was the only one who could interpret the Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The king rewarded Daniel by making him the head of his wise men, the Magi. Hundreds of years later, descendants of those Magi recognized an unusual series of events in the sky that they interpreted to be a fulfillment of the passage in Numbers, so they went to Israel and were directed to the place where the infant Jesus was (Matthew 2:1-2, 9-10).

Another prophet, Joel, wrote:

The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.-
Joel 2:31

Jesus, teaching about the future, corroborated this prophecy:

 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. – Matthew 24:29-30 (See also Luke 21:11, 25-28)

The same prediction was mentioned by Peter (Acts 2:20). It was also described in John’s vision (Revelation 6:12-14).

However, these passages are clearly referring to a yet-future time at the end of the dreadful Tribulation Period, just before the Glorious return of Christ to the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:11-16).

If the current series of blood moons are not a fulfillment of that still-future day just before the Lord returns to reign, what significance do they have? John Hagee in his book, Four Blood Moons: Something Is about to Change, correctly demonstrated that there is an uncanny connection between the past occurrences of this phenomenon and major developments in the history of the Chosen People when their enemies were dedicated to their destruction. They especially point to the time-frame of 1493-1494, when Jews were being exterminated and driven out of Spain. But at the same time Columbus discovered America (1492), which would become a haven for Jewish people. They also note that this tetrad of blood-moons occurred in 1949-1950, just after Israel had become a nation (1948), and were attacked by their neighbors from all sides. The tetrad also occurred in 1967-1968, when Israel had to fight the “Six-Day War” and gained much additional property from its enemies.

This current tetrad of blood moons also comes at a time when Israel’s very existence is being threatened by Iran’s nuclear program. Iranian leaders have repeatedly expressed the desire to annihilate Israel. This particular series has an additional aspect that makes it even more significant. These eclipses all occur during the celebration of the Jewish festivals of Passover and Tabernacles. Hagee says all of this means something big is about to happen, but he wisely does not claim to know what that development will be.

 

Do we have to choose between spreading the Gospel or teaching prophecy?

In recent years it has become increasingly popular for pastors and Bible teachers to minimize the importance of prophecy. A CNN article about the Blood Moons quoted a professor at a Bible College, saying, “But instead of looking to the heavens for signs of the future, Christians should focus on the hope and promise of the gospel message and seek to reflect Christ in word and deed.”

Have they forgotten that during the major revivals of our generation, such as the Jesus People movement, the Gospel spread like wildfire, and the leaders of the movement were excited about Bible prophecy? The proper teaching of prophecy does not stifle hope, but it does stimulate evangelism.

The alternative, being chosen by too many spiritual leaders today, is to ignore prophecy, which represents more than a fourth of the Bible! The solution is not a question of “either/or” but of “both/and.”  Let us proclaim both the Gospel and Prophecy.

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Bible Treasures for Our Grandchildren

treasureAt the current rate we have more than thirty thousand visitors to Prophecy Central each week. It is a tremendous privilege to provide Bible truth to so many fellow-pastors, Bible teachers, serious followers our Lord Jesus, and others who may just be searching for knowledge.

It energizes me to rise early and update the information about the unchanging Gospel to an ever-changing world.

However, there are eight very special people who don’t visit my site very often. They are our grandchildren, and I understand that most of them are not ready to dive into the depths of eschatology. Our children are well grounded in God’s Word, and our great-grandchildren are still very young. But how can I share the wonderful riches of the Bible with our rapidly maturing grandchildren while we still have time?

I believe that the Lord has shown me that, starting today, I should text each of them one verse or short passage each day, and accumulate those Bible Treasures in a special section of Prophecy Central that they can visit from time to time when they want to review the timeless instruction and promises from the Book of Books.

I don’t think they would mind if you visit their section from time to time. It is:

 

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