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Nearing Midnight

Restraint, Derision, and Sudden Destruction

One element about prophecy yet future that has, for me, been somewhat puzzling in a certain context is the phrase sudden destruction. The warning comes from the following:

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thes 5:3).

As I say, my perplexity has stemmed from the context. This is a follow-up scripture from the Apostle Paul’s further revelation about the mystery of the Rapture.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thes 4:16-18).

For me, the disconnect came from my long-thought belief that there would be, following the disappearance of millions of believers, a collapse –a meltdown— of human interaction on a global scale. Chaos would immediately follow this staggering event, but it would, I believed, be a more or less controlled chaos. I.e., the cry for peace and safety would, I considered, be likened to a growing worldwide emotional breakdown and financial, societal, and cultural collapse that would cause people to beg for somebody to fix it all.

Antichrist would be willing and able to step up, and the panicked people would readily accept the back-to-normal promises he offered, thus giving him growing control over the nations.

But why, then, the term sudden destruction? The descriptive phrase smacks of instantaneous devastation, not of slow or even rapid collapse into chaos and dystopian existence for the world of left-behind people.

The realization strikes that peace and safety is a condition that seems to connote something far deeper than circumstance merely of freedom from chaos and disorder from financial catastrophe and breakdown of law and order. The cry for peace and safety indicates, I now am convicted, a desperate desire for the preservation of life itself, not just a call for restoration to something akin to normalcy.

I have long held, as anyone who has followed my commentaries knows, that Jesus Himself foretold the exact circumstances in which this generation now finds us. His days of Noah, days of Lot prophecy found in the Matthew chapter 24 Olivet Discourse and again in Luke 17:26-28 foretelling, says that it will be business as usual right up until the moment believers are taken to be with Him in the Clouds of Glory. It will be just like it was in the time of Lot in Sodom. The very day Lot was taken by the angels out of the wicked city, the town and its sister town of Gomorrah were totally, and I mean totally, destroyed. As a matter of fact, those doing the excavation of the area today are just beginning to uncover just how total was the destruction in that Judgment.

My perplexity was always that Jesus indicated it will be just like that when believers are taken to Heaven. Destruction of the sort Sodom experienced, Jesus foretold, will fall that very day. How, then, could there be this slow collapse into societal and cultural dystopia that could take weeks, or months, or longer? Sodom and Gomorrah were instantly destroyed in a deluge of fire and brimstone – devastation that must have been not unlike nuclear devastation that such weaponry can inflict today.

All we must do to see the potential for nuclear conflict is to take account of any hourly news cycle. One such report leaves little doubt that potential for Sodom-like destruction can be easily dealt by the hand of mankind, without even the need for Wrath directly from Heaven.

More and more European officials and NATO countries are on board with allowing Ukraine to use Western-supplied weapons to strike deep inside Russian territory. Among the latest to speak openly about this are NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell, and the government of Sweden, which is the NATO alliance’s newest member state.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday issued one of his more dire warnings yet, putting Europe on notice by commenting on their possessing small land areas and dense populations. The veiled threat is very ominous, especially in light of the fact that Russia just wrapped up tactical nuclear drills near Ukraine…

[Source: Putin Threatens West’s ‘Dense Populations’ In ‘Small Land Masses’ In Response To NATO Escalation, ZeroHedge, May 29, 2024]

With nuclear weaponry in the hands of leaders more and more threatening to use them, it is more than a wonder that the nuclear Genie hasn’t escaped the bottle. It is indeed amazing that a nuclear weapon hasn’t been accidentally discharged. There are accounts of massive hydrogen bombs that have come within a hair’s breadth of exploding accidentally.

The fact is, I have no doubt whatsoever that it is the Staying Hand of Almighty God Who has prevented such disaster. He continues to restrain nuclear and all other sorts of satanic evil from being unleashed. God Himself has, as promised in Psalms chapter 2, had the diabolists of this Judgment-bound world in derision – intervening to disrupt the devil’s plans to bring on yet another world war.

But God’s patience is not without limits. There is coming a time when, like with Lot’s case, He will call believers from the planet’s surface and into the Loving Arms of Jesus.

You want to go to Christ when He shouts, “Come up here!” You will be forever safe in God’s Family, saved from the sudden destruction taking place on Earth. Here is how to make sure you go in the Rapture, which will happen at any moment:

“That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and will believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).

–Terry James


How Much Longer Can It Be?

I have seen this picture several times on social media. I’m not sure if it’s real, photoshopped, or an image created by AI. The meme depicts a monkey walking toward a sleeping lion with a large stick in his hands. The clear implication is that once the primate hits the sleeping beast, it will not end well for him.

This meme keeps coming to mind as I reflect on current events. Just like the monkey, the globalists are provoking dangerous beasts knowing that their actions will not end well for a great many people. What’s different is that they will initially prosper from the anarchy they cause.

The question on my mind is this: How much longer can it be before the Lion of Judah responds in His wrath, wipes out the realm of the antichrist, and inaugurates His righteous rule upon the earth?

I agree with Dr. David Reagan, who recently wrote that we are “living on borrowed time.” We do not know how much longer we must wait until the Lord appears and God’s wrath in the form of “sudden destruction” descends upon the world (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3), but what we see tells us it must be soon.

World War III

The picture of a monkey about to attack a sleeping lion came back to my mind when I recently came across a news item from Newsmax. Below is the first paragraph of the story:

After gaining approval from the Biden administration, Ukraine reportedly used U.S. High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to hit targets in the Russian city of Belgorod, 20 miles north of the Russia-Ukraine border in southern Russia.

I dare not predict when, but I know this is not going to end well for America. Joe Biden, a true globalist, is doing all he can to provoke Russia into a full-scale war. Perhaps soon, the bear will respond to his constant provocation.

The war in Ukraine is already a proxy conflict between NATO and Russia. Before I read the news of Biden’s approval for an attack on Russia with U.S. missiles, I was amazed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had not yet attacked NATO interests outside of the current battlefield. Now I realize it must be the Lord’s restraining hand that’s preventing the start of WWIII.

The world is even now on the brink of the opening of the second seal and the release of the “pale horse,” which will bring war and conflict to the earth (Revelation 6:3-4). Perhaps soon, the constant threats from Russia to use nuclear weapons against NATO members will become a reality and lead to the massive death toll indicated in Revelation 6:8.

Economic Devastation

The third rider of the Apocalypse reveals a coming time of economic devastation upon the earth (Revelation 6:5-6). How much longer can it be before we see the dire conditions predicted in these verses? Painful inflation, layoffs, and business closings are already wreaking havoc throughout the U.S., but we have yet to experience the conditions described in Revelation 6.

In America, we see a deliberate attempt to destroy the economy and bring financial ruin to all but the elite. The government is printing massive amounts of money as by some estimates, we are adding one trillion dollars to our debt burden every one hundred days. The open borders have allowed millions to enter our country in just the last few years, which is adding to the nation’s debt level, economic woes, and housing crisis that’s leaving multitudes homeless on our streets.

Despite the financial turmoil that increases by the day, we remain earthbound, and the black horse remains in its stall. We hear it kicking, but we will be with Jesus in Heaven before this rider and horse bring widespread suffering to the world.

Planned Food Shortages

When goods such as food experience record soaring prices, such as will occur during the Tribulation, it signifies a shortage (the scarcity of a product combined with demand always drives up its price). Do we see the globalists provoking this outcome? Absolutely, we do.

The draconian restrictions that they seek to impose on farming in the name of saving the planet will most assuredly result in the deaths of a great many people due to starvation and lead to dire food shortages in the future. The cost of meeting one’s daily need for nourishment will soar to unimaginable heights.

If Not for the Lord

These are just a few examples of where it seems that the Tribulation period should already have begun, but for the Lord’s hand holding back the appearance of the antichrist and the full implementation of his deadly agenda.

How much longer can it be before He takes us up to glory and takes away the restraining work of the Holy Spirit?

I seriously doubt that Putin’s patience accounts for delaying the start of WWIII. It could begin at any moment, but for the Lord’s power holding back the forces of evil and allowing more time for people to come to saving faith in Him.

For several years, I’ve been amazed that the U.S. economy has not completely collapsed into oblivion. I can’t predict when this will occur, but I know it must be soon.

For the past eighteen months, we have read warnings about imminent food shortages. However, for most people in the U.S., this has not yet materialized. Were the experts wrong? Or is it again the Lord somehow foiling the plans of the elite until the time is right?

We would be terribly amiss not to see these things as evidence that the Rapture might happen in the near future. How much longer can the world leaders actively provoke events that strongly resemble the conditions described in Revelation 6:1-8? What they don’t know is that at the same time, they will unleash the fury of the Lion of Judah.

Since we see much evidence of the Lord restraining judgments that cannot happen until after the Rapture, how much longer can it be until He brings us home to glory?

-Jonathan Brentner

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