Terry James | Prophecy Line Author’s note: The topic of this chapter in “Essays in Apocalypse: Some Thoughts on the End of Days,” is, I believe, a profound signal of the nearness of the rapture of the Church. The Building Economic Boom is a development of very recent times that, I’m convinced, points to Christ’s catastrophic intervention into human history. I am persuaded that this is the time the Lord predicted 2,000 years ago. He was, I believe, speaking of the generation alive right at this moment. Things I’ve written about here are happening right now, as we live out our seconds, minutes, hours and days of life. Dr. David Reagan of Christ in Prophecy TV and Lamb and Lion Ministry wrote in our previous book “Deceivers” the following:
I had always been taught that we could know nothing about the timing of the Lord’s return — that His return would be completely unexpected, like a sneak attack. When our members would attend a Bible prophecy conference and come back talking excitedly about the “signs of the times,” they would always be put down with sarcastic derision. “There are no signs!” they would be told in no uncertain words. “The Bible says that the return of Jesus will be a total surprise to everyone. So, forget about the so-called signs and just focus on living for the Lord.”~~ Dr. David Reagan, Deceivers, Chapter Two: Signs Outshine Satan’s Seduction Again, I am convinced that the signal addressed in the following chapter I’ve excerpted from “Essays in Apocalypse” is one of those signs Dr. Reagan is referring to in writing about signs of Christ’s return. I believe it is near the top of the most important signals of our time, second only to the nation Israel being back in the land and being at the center of global controversy. My thanks to my publisher, New Leaf Publishing Group, for allowing me to present this chapter for your edification. The matters involved in this particular chapter are prodigiously important, in my view –as are the many other end times things analyzed in this book. ~~ Terry James
A Satanic ConspiracyI am convinced that Satan does not want anyone to know anything about the timing of the Lord’s return, and I think that is the reason for all the confusion. He doesn’t know the timing, but he knows the signs the Bible gives us to watch for, and he is determined to get people’s eyes off those signs so that the Church will be filled with ignorance and apathy about the timing of the Second Coming. Ignorance and apathy both contribute to a lack of preparedness and hope. How can you get excited about an event that you know nothing about? How can you have a strong hope when the Lord’s return seems so distant and irrelevant to your life? A sense of the Lord’s imminent return motivates holiness and evangelism. Satan hates both. There is no doubt that Satan has been very successful in convincing Christians, including pastors, that there is nothing we can know about the timing of the Lord’s return. That’s where I was for 30 years before I began studying God’s Prophetic Word.
Another DiscoverySo, you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that although the Bible says we cannot know the time of the Lord’s return (Matthew 25:13), the Scriptures make it equally clear that we can know the season of His return. Consider, for example, this passage from 1 Thessalonians 5:2–6: You yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.… But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.1 This passage asserts that Jesus is coming like “a thief in the night.” But then it proceeds to make clear that this will be true only for the pagan world and not for believers. His return should be no surprise to those who know Him and His Word, for they have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to give them understanding of the nature of the times. Furthermore, the Scriptures give us signs to watch for — signs that will signal that Jesus is ready to return. The writer of the Hebrews letter referred to these signs when he proclaimed that believers should encourage one another when they see the day of judgment drawing near (Hebrews 10:24–27). Jesus also referred to the end-time signs in His Olivet Discourse, given during the last week of His life (Matthew 24 and Luke 21). Speaking of a whole series of signs that He had given to His disciples, He said, “When you see all these things, recognize that He [the Son of Man, that is, Jesus] is near, right at the door” (Matthew 24:33).
The Building Economic BoomThere is coming, I’m convinced, an economic boom perhaps unlike any other in history. Yes. –An economic boom, not a financial bust, —the opposite of which you have been led to believe. What I will propose here will, I hope, challenge things you’ve been induced to think about the immediate, Biblically prophetic future. My neck, proverbially-speaking, is stuck out there, I guess. My proposal is on firm grounds, however, so I’m not shy about sticking my neck out in presenting these — my thoughts on what I believe to be most immediately relevant in terms of Bible prophecy about to be fulfilled. My confidence comes from the fact that the God of Heaven –the Lord Jesus Christ– gave the prophecy upon which my proposal is constructed. These matters I will present have not just recently emerged to the top of my thinking. Much of it I covered in what I wrote in 2010 and 2011 through a series of essays for our Nearing Midnight column on raptureready.com. The series was entitled Scanning a Fearful Future. Some of those articles were excerpted for my book Rapture Ready…Or Not: 15 Reasons Why This Is the Generation That Will Be Left Behind. Since the time of the publication of those essays there has so much taken place that I sense we must once again address the prophecy Jesus gave while sitting with His disciples that day upon the Mount of Olives. It is vital, in my view, that we do so. A good deal of these things are chronicled, in detailed analysis, through the essays that follow. In these, I dissect much of the day by day, week by week and month by month issues and events in the news that I believe have relevance, prophetically-speaking.
Prepare for Economic collapseThere has been for the past number of years the constant urging by those supposedly in the know for people to make preparation for imminent collapse of the nation’s and world’s economies. “Preppers,” as they are called, have set in supplies for the great financial catastrophe that hovers like the Sword of Damocles. Planet Earth is moving into the worst fiscal disaster perhaps of all of history, these believe. Certainly, it will be the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s –so the warning goes. As I wrote in the series of articles, I received at the time –and still do– emails that express fear that the collapse will come at any moment. I will say, though, that since so much time has now elapsed from the time the warnings began to first cause panic, the incoming emails have become fewer with each passing day. The little boy that cried wolf syndrome applies, I suppose. Now, let me say that by all common sensibility –all logic, the world’s and America’s economies should have already come crashing down. The fiscal laws are presently in a state of surreal suspension. This isn’t my opinion. The dynamics of how economics work at such stratospheric levels are far above me. But some of the great thinkers in such matters say even they are dumbfounded at how things can hold together as they are doing at present. So, I’m not poking fun at the preppers. They, in most cases, are certainly wise, it seems to me, to make some preparation for any emergency that might arise due to economic problems. All pointers indicate that the dam holding back world financial collapse should have long ago burst. The astonishing fact, however, is that the horrendous collapse hasn’t happened. The U.S. stock market gurus show no fear as they trade at all time highs. Governments tax and spend at rates unseen in the annals of history. Of course, the answer from the standpoint of supposed reality is that their wizardry through electronic manipulations can continue to perpetuate the status quo indefinitely. The perception is that all is well. Everything is secure while they juggle the economic balls within the building bubble of trillions of dollars in debt. There certainly appears to be no panic, despite underlying stresses that should tell the “experts” that they are like Wile E. Coyote in one of those Road Runner cartoons. They and their financial dealings are suspended in mid-air over a precipitous chasm. There appears nothing keeping them from plummeting into oblivion. Despite the historical fact that every situation in the past that had the troubling, economic indicators of warning that are prevalent today has brought calamity, the juggling continues. And the bubble grows. Everything should, by accident if not by purposeful action, have by this time brought a monumental financial collapse. Running along a parallel course with the strange suspension in mid-air of an economic implosion is the matter of the rumors of war. Notice I say, “rumors of war,” not “war”. The Middle East is a powder keg. Asia is rife with situations that could explode into conflict. From Syria and the genocidal actions of dictator Bashar al-Assad to Iran and its Israel and America-hating Ayatollahs to the North Korean despot Kim Jong Un who threatens South Korea and the United States with nuclear weapons, the world should have erupted in major war by now. But it hasn’t. In looking at things through the lens of Bible prophecy, it is incumbent to ask: What’s up? What do these suspensions of cataclysmic results mean? Man, himself, is incapable of preventing things from deteriorating and disintegrating into all out economic turmoil and into all out war. Mankind’s record in maintaining tranquility in these areas is abysmal as the history books show. Tremendous tensions exist that threaten world financial collapse and portend war at any moment –war of potentially catastrophic scope and scale. Yet there seems an unseen force that keeps Wile E. Coyote suspended in mid-air above that chasm. There is only one Force that can suspend the physical laws, whether fiscal or other in nature. Jesus Christ is His holy name. He is God the Son. He walked on the waters, instantly calmed the raging sea, and defied all laws of nature by performing countless miracles.
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Col 1: 16-17)Diplomats, scientists, presidents, potentates and others in authority in the humanistic sense might believe they, collectively or individually, are holding things together. But, it is the creator of all things, God the Son, who is in actuality doing so. It is Jesus Christ who is preventing the world systems from dissolving and sending all of humanity into the abyss of eternity. It is God, the Holy Spirit (Third Person of the Godhead,) who is holding back absolute evil, according to 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. He will do so until He removes in His present Office of Restrainer. The time for the consummation of history is not yet. Jesus told his disciples as much when He sat upon the Mount of Olives and they asked Him about these things. They asked the Lord when would be the time of His coming back to earth and when would be the end of the age (world system).
“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. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matt 24: 4-6)God, Himself, in the flesh as He faced His execution through crucifixion on the Roman cross as the supreme sacrifice for the sins of mankind, made it plain for them and for our present generation. God alone will determine when the end will come. Man will not destroy the planet or himself through nuclear war or any other way. God’s prophetic plan will run its course undeterred.
God’s next direct InterventionSo, perhaps we can begin to answer the questions. Why has the world’s and America’s economic systems not come crashing down already? Why has not major war erupted in these tremendously tense times when nuclear weapons threaten man’s very existence? Why is all of this –like Wile E. Coyote in the cartoons– still suspended in mid-air above that deadly chasm? I am convinced that the answer to these gravity-defying matters involve the extreme nearness of God’s next direct intervention into the affairs of mankind. Jesus, I believe, again gave the answer to why these exigencies have developed and why they remain in seemingly impossible to maintain suspended status. He did so while prophesying before his little group of disciples on the Mount of Olives. He explained in considerable detail exactly world conditions at the time of His next being “revealed” on Planet Earth. That is, the Lord told of His coming back following His Ascension into Heaven. The disciples, of course, had no idea at that time that Jesus would die on the cruel, Roman cross. –That He would come back following His death, burial and resurrection. –Thus, even though He had told them He would have to die and be raised to life in the eternal sense. Jesus’ prophecy, giving these details, is absolutely key to why world-wide economic collapse hasn’t happened. The truth contained within this prophecy is the reason major war that would again devastate the world has not broken out. All of this revolves around the fact, I believe, that His next direct intervention into the affairs of rebellious mankind is right on the verge of taking place. But, what about all of the other things Jesus prophesied in His Olivet discourse? The seven years of tribulation, with twenty-one specific judgments that will decimate the earth –doesn’t all of that horrendous wrath have to unfold before His second coming? This is where the pre-tribulation view of Christ’s two-phase return to earth makes understandable the things I propose as cocooned within my title of this chapter. The Building Economic Boom. The fact is that Christ, in His Olivet Discourse, is the same Lord who gave the Apostle John the details of judgment and wrath as John wrote the Revelation. John gave the glorious description of Christ’s return to put an end to the war of Armageddon. Read Revelation 19:11-12. The carnage of the seven years leading up to that final war of the age will be so damaging that Jesus said all flesh on earth would die if He didn’t intervene to put an end to that final battle. But Jesus, as He sat with His disciples atop the Mount of Olives that day gave another, completely different prophetic description about how world conditions will be when He next intervenes into human history. The time He speaks of leading to his being “revealed” in this case indicates no world-wide devastation prior to His return. There is no mention of the four riders of the apocalypse –of huge, celestial bodies slamming into the sea, killing all life therein –no mention of earthquakes that flatten entire cities –of one-hundred pound hailstones that crush everything they strike. He says quite the opposite, in fact. Let us look at this Olivet Discourse prophecy concerning earthly conditions immediately preceding Christ’s return. It is a prophecy that indeed describes conditions much different than those foretold by John leading up to the Second Advent as recorded in Revelation 19: 11-12. Jesus, rather than giving a fearful description of great tribulation, says the following about His next intervention into human history:
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”(Matt 24: 36-42)Compare Jesus’ description here about his next intervention into the affairs of mankind with the description given by John the Revelator in writing about the time leading up to Christs return at Armageddon:
“And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” (Rev 16: 17-21)God’s Word, the Bible, is absolute truth. It doesn’t contradict itself. So, how to conflate these two entirely different descriptions of the times leading up to Christ’s second coming is the task before us. Jesus prophesies in His Olivet Discourse foretelling that things will be relatively business as usual when He next intervenes. Exactly like in Noah’s day and Lot’s day when those men were taken to safety –with business going on pretty much as normal– He –Jesus– will at that future time be “revealed.” That is, He will make Himself known in that He will intervene into this world of rebellious people. Judgment, like in Noah’s day and Lot’s day, Jesus foretold, will begin to fall at that very moment. Jesus, in His resurrected form, gave John the prophecy to put into the book we call the Revelation. So, the Lord of Heaven –God, Himself– gave both prophecies for us to consider. He tells us through John in the Revelation that at the time He intervenes by coming back with the armies of Heaven (Rev 19: 11-12) there will be almost unimaginable judgment being inflicted upon earth dwellers. Jesus, through John, foretells in other places in this great book of prophecy that men will hide themselves in the clefts of rocks and even beg the rocks to fall on them in fear of facing God’s wrath. There will be no flesh on earth that will survive that time, Jesus had John prophesy, if He doesn’t return when He does at Armageddon. These two distinctly different descriptions by the Lord himself can’t be adequately explained except through the pre-tribulation rapture position, in my view. Jesus is saying His Second Coming consists of two, separate phases. The first phase will be the rapture of all believers at an unknown time while it’s business as usual –in a fraction of a second –the twinkling of an eye. The second phase will take place at least 7 years later at Christ’s Second Advent, when God’s judgment and wrath have all but decimated the planet. Jesus Christ will return above the planet in the clouds in the first phase, where He will receive all believers of the Church Age (Age of Grace) –living and dead– and then take them back to the Father’s house (John 14: 1-3). He will return all the way to the planet’s surface at least 7 years later, at which time He will put an end to the war of Armageddon. He will continue toward Jerusalem, where He will set up His millennial kingdom. I believe a primary reason we can be certain that the rapture will be pre-tribulational is that Jesus tells us further in the Book of Luke account about the days of Noah and of Lot.
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” (Lk 17: 26-30)In this account, Jesus says that Noah and Lot were taken out first and judgment began that very day. It will be exactly like that, he said, when He –Jesus– is revealed (makes His presence known through his intervention.) Just as Noah and Lot were removed, so will believers be removed. Then (following that removal) judgment will begin. The believer will not have to endure any part of the tribulation –God’s judgment upon the wicked (read 1 Thessalonians 5: 9; Revelation 3: 10). The rapture is a pre-tribulation event.