Jacob’s Trouble Isn’t Just Jacob’s Problem – Abandoning the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory to be a Faithful Witness
By Dalton Lifsey – “There are scores of Christian authors, speakers, pastors, and bloggers who are boldly calling the Church to stand with Israel as the crisis in the Middle East continues to escalate before the future ‘time of Jacob’s trouble’ (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1-7; Mt. 24:15-22). I’m extremely grateful for that. I hope this company of believers continues to grow and mature.
But to the degree that I am encouraged I am also burdened. Let me explain.
A large contingent–if not the majority–of those leaders who are anticipating a future hour of suffering for the Jewish people don’t believe the Church will be here when the final hour of tribulation unfolds. They expect that every believer will be caught up in a secret rapture to witness Israel’s age-ending affliction from the balcony of heaven.
John Hagee, Joel Rosenberg, Grant Jeffrey, J. Dwight Pentecost, Chuck Missler, Tim LaHaye, Randall Price, Kay Arthur, Thomas Ice, John MacArthur, Chuck Smith, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Hal Lindsey, David Jeremiah; the list goes on and on. The majority of the most prominent pro-Israel leaders in the Body of Christ (most of whom are sincere, godly men and women) couple their teaching on standing with Israel with their teaching on an imminent secret rapture. Thus much of the Church is prepared to stand with Israel up until the commencement of their final baptism of suffering – when it will mean the most.
Joel Rosenberg–a best-selling author, prominent spokesman for Israel, and diligent student of the Word–is hosting and webcasting an event called ‘The Gathering Storm’ on October 22. The aim of the event is to articulate what is happening in the Middle East and what will continue to unfold before the Lord returns. He believes that we are approaching a time of great tribulation and upheaval in the Middle East and is therefore calling the Church to radically, wholeheartedly, and sacrificially engage with the Lord during these awesome days for the sake of Israel…..until the rapture. Then they are on their own. Without a prophetic witness. Without the testimony of the Church. Without the presence of Gospel ministry (supposedly apart from 144,000 born again Jews).” Read more.
By Mathias Hariyadi – “Jakarta (AsiaNews) – A group of extremists from the Islamic Defender Front (FPI) have shut down a Protestant church in Jatinangor, in Bandung sub district, last Friday, the Muslim day of prayer. As in previous occasions in which Christian places of worship were seized and religious activities interrupted, the fundamentalists were aided and abetted by the local administration.
Recently, rumours spread according to which the Protestant church was a haven for a ‘community of newly baptised’. Extremists also accuse Rev Bernard Maukar, head of the Christian community, of engaging in proselytising in a predominantly Muslim area.
Arief Saefolah, village chief in Mekargalih (where the church is located), said he had the right to close down the place of worship as ‘illegal’ because it was within his jurisdiction. ‘This area is under my authority,’ he told the Christian community. ‘Please, get out as soon as possible.’
Tensions had been rising until last Friday’s showdown. Saefolah and other local security officials (Satpol PP), plus 30 FPI members, seized all Christian properties, including chairs, musical instruments, tables and cars.” Read more.
Over 50 Christian churches shut down in Indonesia since 2010 – “Jakarta (Agenzia Fides) – In 2010, 47 churches were shut down in Indonesia and in the first 4 months of 2011 9 Christian places of worship have been shut down or demolished: this is what ‘Jakarta Christian Communication Forum’ (FKKJ) reports to Fides, these churches are considered ‘illegal’ or ‘unauthorized’, and this is why the civil authorities, in Java and other provinces of Indonesia, imposed the closure and suspension of all activities of worship. In a note sent to Fides, the Forum of Christians in Jakarta, which includes leaders of all denominations, asks itself ‘why is this only applied to the Christian churches and not other places of worship’, noting a discriminatory practice, which implies a subtle pressure on the believers in Christ. Local authorities sometimes fail to give an answer to this question. The official reasons for the closure of churches speak of ‘houses used as places of worship, without a license’ or without the minimum number of 60 faithful. But it is, in most cases, the measures taken following protests from Muslim radical groups…” Read more.
By Luiza Oleszczuk – “A Christian teen was reportedly raped in Pakistan by three Muslim men while she was working, it emerged Tuesday and her case, according to an international advocacy group, is part of a troubling trend in which Muslim men use sexual assault as a weapon against Christian girls.
The International Christian Concern (ICC), an advocacy group, reported the event on their website Tuesday, after an investigation. Regional Manager for South Asia, Jonathan Racho, told The Christian Post that one of the organization’s reporters talked to the young woman in person.
The incident took place on Sept. 16, ICC has established. The 18-year-old girl, whose name was not revealed for security reasons, was working alone on a Muslim farm in the Village of Muphat Pura, in Kasur district. At 5 p.m. local time, three relatives of her Muslim employer came to her and allegedly raped her.
Later, they warned her not to report the rape to anyone or else they would kill her and her brother, who also works on the farm, the teen told ICC.
‘I am very sad about what happened to me,’ she reportedly said.
She explained that if she reports this case, it will be difficult for her and her family to live in the area.” Read more.
Christine M. Flowers: The very real persecution of Christians in the Arab world – “… while Christians are free (and in some cases pressured) to convert to Islam, Muslims are barred from converting to Christianity. In a notorious case now in the headlines, Yusuf Naderkhani, a Christian pastor, has been sentenced to death in Iran for refusing to renounce his faith, to which he’d converted as a teen. And Gabriel Said Reynolds recently wrote in Commonweal that an Egyptian Christian who petitioned the government to allow his daughters to receive a Christian education was forced into hiding after receiving death threats when his request was made public. So Christians in the Middle East can be forgiven if they don’t embrace the Arab Spring with as much fervor as their Muslim brothers and sisters because – to put it bluntly – the devil they know is at least more predictable than the devil they don’t – which is, without a doubt, Islamic fundamentalism.” Read more.
“NEW YORK — Protests against Wall Street entered their 18th day Tuesday as demonstrators across the country show their anger over the wobbly economy and what they see as corporate greed by marching on Federal Reserve banks and camping out in parks from Los Angeles to Portland, Maine.
Demonstrations are expected to continue throughout the week as more groups hold organizational meetings and air their concerns on websites and through streaming video.
In Manhattan on Monday, hundreds of protesters dressed as corporate zombies in white face paint lurched past the New York Stock Exchange clutching fistfuls of fake money. In Chicago, demonstrators pounded drums in the city’s financial district. Others pitched tents or waved protest signs at passing cars in Boston, St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., and Los Angeles.
A slice of America’s discontented, from college students worried about their job prospects to middle-age workers who have been recently laid off, were galvanized after the arrests of 700 protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge over the weekend.
Some protesters likened themselves to the tea party movement — but with a liberal bent — or to the Arab Spring demonstrators who brought down their rulers in the Middle East.
‘We feel the power in Washington has actually been compromised by Wall Street,’ said Jason Counts, a computer systems analyst and one of about three dozen protesters in St. Louis. ‘We want a voice, and our voice has slowly been degraded over time.’
The Occupy Wall Street protests started on Sept. 17 with a few dozen demonstrators who tried to pitch tents in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Since then, hundreds have set up camp in a park nearby and have become increasingly organized, lining up medical aid and legal help and printing their own newspaper, the Occupied Wall Street Journal.
About 100 demonstrators were arrested on Sept. 24 and some were pepper-sprayed. On Saturday police arrested 700 on charges of disorderly conduct and blocking a public street as they tried to march over the Brooklyn Bridge.” Read more.
Islamic Militants Calling Themselves ‘The Unknown Soldiers of The Hidden Imam’ Threaten to Hunt Down and Execute Christians Who Flee Iran
Sura 8:12b, “… terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.”
By Herbert Pinnock, The Christian Post – “Islamic militants with suspected ties to Iranian security forces have been terrorizing evangelical Christians with threats to ‘repent’ or die, it was reported Sunday.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide has reported that 11 Iranian Christians who fled Iran in the wake of a government campaign against Christianity have received threats via email to ‘repent’ or face extrajudicial execution, from a group identifying itself as the ‘The Unknown Soldiers of The Hidden Imam.’
The threatening emails that were sent to each individual on Sept. 14 aspired to extend the arm of Iranian Islamic militancy beyond the borders of Iran by implying that, although the recipients have left Iran, they have not escaped the ‘acute eyes of the unknown soldiers.’
The emails conclude by offering the 11 Christians ‘the opportunity to repent and ask forgiveness from the presence of the Hidden Imam,’ defined as the 12th Imam, the Messiah-figure in Shia theology, and the Great Allah. Otherwise, each individual would be killed according to the Fatwa given by Mehdi the Hidden Imam.
According to CSW, the Rev. Samuel Yeghnazar of Elam Ministries, who has been closely involved in the house church movement in Iran, has indicated that he and his network of churches are taking the threat very seriously.
This threat is similar to the coercion of Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian Christian pastor who was tried and found guilty of apostasy in September of 2010 due to the charge that he abandoned his Islamic religion and converted to Christianity.” Read more.
Syria: If Nato Attacks We’ll Fire Missiles at Tel Aviv, Hezbollah Will Launch Missile Attack on Israel, Iran Will Attack US Warships in Persian Gulf
During a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmad Davutoglu Assad allegedly threatened: ‘If a crazy measure is taken against Damascus, I will need not more than 6 hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv.’
According to the report, Assad also reiterated that Damascus will call on Hezbollah to launch such an intensive rocket and missile attack on Israel.
‘All these events will happen in three hours, and in the following three hours, Iran will attack the US warships in the Persian Gulf and the US and European interests will be targeted simultaneously,” Assad said, according to FARS.
Assad’s comments came as Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he would set out his country’s plans for sanctions against Syria after he visits a Syrian refugee camp near the border in the coming days.
The move heralds a further deterioration in previously friendly relations between Ankara and Damascus since the start of Assad’s crackdown on protesters.” Read more.
“Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that while the West may presume that Israel and its surrounding nations would be under threat from a nuclear-armed Iran, it is Israel that possesses nuclear weapons.
In a Time magazine article published on Tuesday, Erdogan dismissed claims that the agreement to install NATO radar in Turkey was a response to the nuclear threat posed by Iran.
He said that the ‘radar system is executed under the framework of NATO obligations,’ and that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not concerned with the issue.
Erdogan continued to insist that UN sanctions on Israel would help solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, saying ‘had these sanctions been imposed, the Palestine-Israel conflict would have been resolved a long time ago.’” Read more.
To be honest I have tried to push it off multiple times, but it just kept haunting me. The fire in my bones will not let me leave it be.
In this article the author talks about moral decay, the economy, and even makes the statement that ‘Total and worldwide financial disaster is inevitable.’
‘Nature – The world can’t take much more of this punishment.’
‘War – The hate cannot be held back any longer.’
‘Immorality – The restraining force on immorality has all but fled, mostly leaving us to our own self-destructive tendencies.’
You know what? I agree with this, but what I cannot agree with is what is to come.
His solution, ‘The Hopeful Escape’ and I guess it is with his lack luster do nothing attitude that caused the fires to burn in my bones.
Here is what the author said..
“Despite the soon break of the gathering storm, and despite the hopelessness about the future that it brings, believers in Christ can know that it is not our future. Our future plays out in the polar opposite. Instead of living in a world gone mad, we foresee a new home in Heaven. Instead of persecution by a crushing tyrant, we face a loving and benevolent King. Instead of living under wrath, we see living under love. And, where there is only hopelessness left on earth, there is hope, peace and joy awaiting us (Rev. 21-22).
The change on our horizon is bright, for the King of Kings is coming to take those who are saved up to live in Heaven with Him forever and ever.”
What is troubling is that more and more ministries are taking on an attitude of ‘Why should I worry about the evil in the world, I am going to be raptured away.’
Folks, you all know that I stand on an imminent return, but it seems that so many who profess a Doctrine of Immanency have pushed it to the side and turned the rapture into a form of escapism instead of something that goads us into action.
We as students of bible prophecy KNOW what we are to expect. We KNOW that there will be hard times ahead, we KNOW that persecution takes place, we KNOW that tyrants abound and many have and will pay the ultimate price in standing for Christ.
I mean are we to expect a wonderful happy world one day and the next when the rapture takes place all of a sudden things are really bad?” Read more.
Indonesia: Tourists, Fishermen Told to Stay Clear of ‘Child of Krakatoa’ as Tremors Soar From 200 a Day to 7,200
The volcano in the Sunda Strait, 80 miles (130 kilometers) west of the capital, Jakarta, was created by the same tectonic forces that led to the 1883 Krakatoa eruption that killed tens of thousands of people.
Its ‘child,’ growing five yards (meters) a year, is now 1,320 feet (400 meters) tall and popular among hikers.
Gede Suantika of the Center for Volcanology says the mountain’s alert level was raised to the second-highest level last week after the number of volcanic tremors soared from 200 a day to 7,200.
Suantika said Tuesday that he worries a powerful burst could shoot incandescent rocks down its slopes and far into the ocean.” Read more.
“Half a million sheep have already died in Argentine Patagonia as a result of the eruption of the Chilean volcano Puyehe, which has covered most fields in the province of Chubut with a film made of a mix of mineral ash.
The sheep die unable to find food and when they can the volcanic ash mix turns into a toxic grind for the animal.
‘We estimate over half a million sheep have been lost because of the ashes which continue to be spewed by the volcano’ said Ernesto Siguero president of the Chubut Rural Society.
Ashes also weigh on the sheep’s wool making it harder to move around with the extra burden and ‘once they sit it’s hard for them to stand up’. Likewise the continued ash in the air harms livestock’s sight.
But people living in the area are also suffering the consequences of the ashes in their daily lives. The constant ash blocks chimneys, gets into the water pipes, covers with dust light bulbs and when it’s windy, drivers guide themselves by the culverts because of the almost zero visibility.
In some areas the volcanic ash has accumulated almost a metre high making it even difficult for the 4 by 4 to vehicles to move around.” Read more.