Apple Pay and the Mark of the Beast

iphone6Maybe it is just a coincidence that Apple’s first computer, the Apple I was priced at $666. And maybe it was just a coincidence that their logo was an apple with a bite taken out of it. Knowing what we do about the company’s founders, it was probably just a little touch of mischief, based on the ideas already circulating in the ‘60’s that computers would someday make it possible for the Antichrist to become an economic dictator of the world.

Now, nearly 40 years later, Apple has done it again with the introduction of Apple Pay on its new iPhone 6. Offering a leap forward in convenience and security, an iPhone user can pay for purchases with the touch of a button, and be protected against identity theft by placing his or her fingerprint on the screen of the phone. Applications on other smart phones can make similar transactions, but without quite the simplicity, and security.

I have never thought that Apple Computer was evil. It changed the world with revolutionary new technologies, and technology is never intrinsically good or bad. It always has the potential to be either a blessing or a curse, depending on its use. In fact I admired Apple, and was even involved in creating some of its early software.

In recent years I have spoken often on the subject, “Technology and the Mark of the Beast.” It has been fascinating to watch our wildest projections become reality so that computers are unbelievably powerful, and, thanks to the Internet, amazingly connected to each other. Our smartphones are proof of this.

Forty years ago we could barely dream how this prophecy would be fulfilled:

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,  and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. – Revelation 13:16-18

These days it doesn’t require much imagination to believe that a future world dictator could control the ability of any individual to buy or sell.

Posted in Antichrist, Economy, Eschatology, Mark of the Beast, Personal Computers, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Rapid-Search makes Prophecy Central Your Research Hub

research

Pastors, Bible teachers, and researchers are discovering that the improved search feature on Prophecy Central is their best source for trusted information about Bible prophecy. This powerful search engine is powered by Google, and now has enhanced performance from CloudFlare.

It is located front-and-center on Prophecy Central’s home page. When you are looking for a particular news story, prophecy keyword, teachers’ name, Scripture reference, or other information, just type it in the box and press “search.” You will be surprised at the results – tabulated from 18 years of archived summaries of news stories, hundreds of articles, commentaries, and special features from the thousands of pages of information on the site.

Try it for yourself!

For other suggestions about using Prophecy Central, visit:

How To Get The Most Out Of Prophecy Central.”

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Signs of Revival

doveMy wife Barbara and I watched the Dove Awards for Christian music last night. We enjoyed it more than ever, and toward the end of the event, it occurred to us that the whole evening was more like a beautiful worship service than a display of human achievement. It was truly a night of glorious praise and worship of our Great God and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Before announcing the award for “Best Artist of the Year”– Amy Grant confirmed our feelings by saying this:

I heard a lot of artists whose music was new to me, and I feel a kind of energy in the music of the Church that I have not felt in all the years of making music.

It comes as no surprise that in Bible times, when wars were to be fought, the musicians were sent out in front. It’s a powerful place to be. [2 Chronicles 20:20-23]

The winner was Hillsong United for the album that includes the incredible worship song, “Oceans.”

Near the end of the event they announced the “Best Praise and Worship Album of the Year.” It went to Kari Jobe, a vibrant young worship leader who is known for encouraging huge audiences to praise the Lord and experience His presence.

We were especially pleased with this worshipful event, and are hopeful that it is a harbinger of a great End Times Revival. With this in mind, I am including the conclusion of our latest book, The Church in Prophecy and History: Revelation Commentary Chapters 1-3.

Final Thoughts about an End Time Revival

If you have read this far, you probably have the same earnest longing that I do for a great revival in our days. Is such a desire realistic? Yes, because God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9).  In the book of Jonah we learn that even in such an evil place as Nineveh, the capital of Israel’s enemy, the Assyrians, God wanted those who had never heard the truth to have the opportunity to believe and be saved. The prophet Jonah did not want the Assyrians to have that privilege, so he fled from God. After he had been caught, and then released from the great fish, the Lord sent him to Nineveh, and he did warn the people there to repent and turn to God. To his amazement, a great revival broke out, and huge numbers believed in the Lord. Nineveh was still eventually destroyed for its evil history, but at least those who would believe in God were given the opportunity to believe.

Earlier, in Noah’s time, God not only told him to build an ark, but also to preach righteousness to the people. In their case, the Bible says, their thoughts were “only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).  None of them repented and believed except for Noah’s own family.

Our generation is complex. There are places like parts of Central and South America, Korea, and parts of Africa where there are revivals going on now with amazing numbers of believers winning others to Christ. In China the underground church has grown exponentially and is spiritually strong in spite of persecution. Europe and North America, the bastions of the truth during the Missionary Age, have slowly grown apathetic. It is worse in Europe, where many of the churches have become taverns or mosques, but it seems that the United States is following in their footsteps.

How does God see our present world? We can be sure He still loves all of His creatures. Through His Son He has already provided salvation for all who will receive it.

Like the Laodicean Church, there is still an opportunity for lukewarm Christians to be revived. But will we?  Our young people desperately need to know the truth about Jesus, and a great many of them do not understand the Gospel.

We cannot schedule a revival, nor do anything great to make it happen. But we can repent of our worldliness and pray:

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  – 2 Chronicles 7:14

Critics might point out the fact that this verse was given in Solomon’s days to the Chosen People. But can anyone doubt that God would treat His adopted children in the Church (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5) the same way? Writing to the Corinthians, Paul made it clear that the things that happened to Israel are examples to us (1 Corinthians 10:6-11).

To put it another way, if we care about the souls of people—including our own relatives and friends, how can we not earnestly desire for them to come to know the Lord? How could we not pray for the right circumstances in their lives to point them to Christ? Why would we not pray for another mighty revival for their sake?

In conclusion, here are some of the promising developments of this present time that could lead to a world-wide revival, or to many smaller renewals. In future years, if we are still here, we will look back and notice whether or not they produced the desired result. If not, we will compose a new list and publish an updated commentary.

Missionary activity – (See the extensive notes about the Missionary accomplishments of the Church in Chapter 3, verse 8). Even though missionary work has declined, there are tens of thousands of highly-trained, incredibly-devoted missionaries still taking the Gospel to the masses using all the methods that have been produced in the past, and utilizing advanced technology to finish the task of providing Scriptures to people everywhere. Most of the best results in our generation are the work of indigenous leaders in nearly every country of the world.  Who knows when something very powerful might begin in some inconspicuous place that would lead to a wild-fire of revival and evangelism!

Heroes of the Faith – People love heroes, especially in sports and entertainment. There are many dedicated, courageous Christians in government, the media, education, science, and other fields. Some of them might have the platform to influence great numbers of young people for Christ. Time will tell.

Prayer movements – There are many prayer movements today. Some of them are led by young people. This is especially significant since bright young people and young adults have been leaders in past revivals, and it is primarily for their sake that we desire to experience such a renewal. Historically, major revivals have often come from college youth movements.

Christian music – Just as most the great hymns of yesteryear were the product of revival movements, so inspiring new music, performed by exceptional young artists, are making an incredible impact on people today.

Our book, The Church in Prophecy and History: Revelation Commentary Chapters 1-3 is available from Amazon.com.

Christian movies and videos – The Jesus Film Project (mentioned in Chapter 3, verse 8), which has been seen by more than 6 billion viewers, is still being shown to approximately 3.8 million people per year in more than a thousand languages.

 Actually some of the highest-grossing movies on the big screen have been Bible epics or faith-based stories. In 2004 Mel Gibson shocked the movie industry by making the blockbuster “The Passion of the Christ.” It became the highest grossing R-rated film in the United States. (It was rated R because of the violence Our Lord suffered.) The most popular 2013 TV series was “The Bible,” with more than a million viewers.  Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the producers of that series have now released the biblically-accurate and moving “Son of God.” And they are planning on a follow-up series in 2015 on NBC called “A.D.: After the Bible.”  An independent film, “God’s Not Dead,” had surprising success at the box office and delivered a powerful Gospel message for young people and young adults. Several other Bible or faith-based movies are in process, and the trend is seen as a surprise movement from Hollywood.

Television and Radio keep improving with new applications and technological advancements. TBN, CBN, Sky Angel, Daystar and other TV satellite networks reach most of the planet with Christian programming.

Trans World Radio (TWR) is the largest media ministry, and it is still expanding. They project that by 2015 they will be able to deliver Christian content to nearly 60 percent of the people in the world in their own language.

Salem Broadcasting is another extensive provider of Christian content, but there are hundreds of smaller networks and Christian stations that also feed the mind and spirit of Christians. Some of these programs are Christian talk radio. These informative broadcasts help inform Christians of important events that could lead to revival, and mobilize the Christian community for action when necessary.

As mentioned above, The Internet has become the preferred source of information for many people. Web based videos now rival television’s viewing audience. An almost unfathomable number of videos are now available via YouTube and other providers using smart phone service and the Internet. Some of these “go viral” and can suddenly and unexpectedly be seen by millions of viewers. Many of these spontaneous successes have been Christian stories or messages.

Books– Solomon said “Of making many books there is no end” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). Printed books are less popular at the moment, but Amazon.com had started a new free book publishing service to stimulate the production of new literature. This upsurge will not just appear on paper, but will be electronically transmitted instantly and inexpensively to computers and smart phones all over the world.

A new thing–something we have not yet considered–might be the most likely form that the Lord, the ultimate creative genius of the Universe, will use to launch an end time revival. The Bible story is a continuous progression of new things from God’s own hand. The Creation, the Flood, the call of Abraham, the birth of Isaac when Abraham was 100, Joseph’s rise to power in Egypt, the burning bush, the Exodus, manna in the wilderness, supernatural conquests, the prophets dreams and visions, the star that led the Magi, the human birth of the Son of God, Jesus miracles, the apostle’s miraculous ability to speak in other languages on the Day of Pentecost, and so many other innovations demonstrate the endless variety of God’s dealing with mankind.

The whole chapter of Isaiah 43 reminds believers of God’s creativity.  Here are just two verses from that chapter:

“Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
– Isaiah 43:18-19

What will the Lord do in our times to bring about a revival? Will we be part of it? Please join me in asking the Lord to allow us to be involved in whatever He is going to do!

Posted in Evangelism, Prayer, Revelation, Revival, The Church in Prophecy and History, The Church in Prophecy and History: Revelation Commentary Chapters 1-3 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Stones Cry Out: Don’t Ignore the Rapture!

left-behind-nic-cage_edited-1As Jesus entered Jerusalem on what we call “Palm Sunday,” His many followers acknowledged Him as the promised King. They cried out, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38) The entrenched theologians of his day didn’t believe Jesus could be the prophesied Messiah. In fact they had given up hope that the prophecies were even true. They asked Jesus to set His disciples straight.  Jesus had already criticized the Pharisees and their forefathers for not believing the prophets, and of even putting them to death (Matthew 23:29-36).

So Jesus said to the Pharisees, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”- Luke 19:14

Today, while Jesus’ predictions about the future (Matthew 24:4-8) are coming to pass right before our eyes, and the majority of evangelical believers wonder if the promised return of Jesus to take His believers away (known as the “Rapture of the Church”) might be near, many churches are neglecting this subject.

Peter warned that this would happen:

Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. – 2 Peter 3:3-4

This is fascinating. While many churches have stopped looking for the “blessed hope” of the Rapture, Hollywood has adopted the message. Two major movies: one already out, and the other “coming soon” to the big screen are powerful reminders of this biblical teaching.

“The Remaining,” a Sony release presents the Rapture as a sudden event followed immediately by the various judgments of the 7-year Tribulation period (Revelation chapters 6-9). It is described on its website as,

“an action-packed supernatural thriller that addresses questions of life, love and belief against an apocalyptic backdrop. A group of close friends gather for a wedding, but the celebration is shattered by a series of cataclysmic events and enemies foretold by biblical end-times prophecies.”

On October 3, a remake of “Left Behind,” starring Nicholas Cage, will dramatize the theme of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkin’s record-setting novel series once again.  The movie’s website describes the story:

“The most important event in the history of mankind is happening right now. In the blink of an eye, the biblical Rapture strikes the world. Millions of people disappear without a trace. All that remains are their clothes and belongings, and in an instant, terror and chaos spread around the world. The vanishings cause unmanned vehicles to crash and burn. Planes fall from the sky. Emergency forces everywhere are devastated. Gridlock, riots and looting overrun the cities. There is no one to help or provide answers. In a moment, the entire planet is plunged into darkness.”

So, if your local church hasn’t mentioned this vital aspect of Christian belief lately, you might want to make a trip to the theater to hear the message.

Posted in Apologetics, Eschatology, Evangelism, Rapture, Revelation, Revival, Youth | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 , , , , , , , | 1 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!

Posted in Church, Church History, Revelation, The Church in Prophecy and History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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

 

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