Dec 5, 2014 Before the Day of the Lord by Gary Stearman, comments by Nando
As the New Year is starting with the fast pace of life we are entering the few months before the seven year Apocalypse. What does this statement mean, and why is it important. Another valid question for the prophecy buff is how can we know that we are in the final months before the Day of the Lord or Apocalypse.
If any of the facts that we are going to mention are relevant we must know that these are the times prophetically. To be sure about it can mean whether you will be caught by surprise by it much in the same way that those who lived in the Pacific Indonesia were surprised when the earthquake of magnitude 9+ struck in 2004 and it generated a Tsunami wave that killed more than 200,000 people.
The earthquake was unpredictable as to the time but predictable in that the area it happened was seismically active. The same can be said of a major hurricane like the one that struck the Philippines in 2013. They had a little more warning, but because they lacked the preparations that needed to be in place to survive they were devastated when these calamities came.
Prudent people living in those areas of the world prepare their infrastructure to deal with these forces of nature and build strong structures to withstand them. The same principles and logic can be applied to avert the coming disasters that will come in the Apocalypse. If you read the book of Revelation from chapter 6 to the end you will see that disasters like the ones at the beginning of this post are to be magnified by the thousands and throw in nuclear wars, demons and the most evil of humans in the pot and stir well to understand what is coming and how important it is to know if we are close.
As a structural engineer living and practicing in Miami, Florida I had been designing bridges and buildings to withstand strong winds of hurricane force and the building code at that time required structures to withstand 120 MPH. I had just finished designing and constructing the house I live in now. One year after in 1992 hurricane Andrew was forming in the Atlantic and about two days prior to its hitting Miami I started preparing my house and my family for the onslaught that I knew was coming.
My final preparations were done with many of my family who came to my house to shelter for the storm. The last preparation that was needed was to seek the protection of Jesus in prayer. I opened my Bible and it opened in Psalm 104:
1Praise the Lord, my soul.
Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
2The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
3and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
flames of fire his servants.
Andrew hit in Homestead with winds in excess of 165 MPH a category 5 that I estimated personally to have reached close to 200 MPH at certain parts. My house was under attack that night the wind that we felt was frightening making a sound to terrify the most brave. I was in peace Jesus had told me He was ridding the clouds and I did not fear for me or my family. I had acted judiciously my house was not build in sand the walls were concrete block and reinforced with concrete beams and columns. The windows and doors were securely anchored to the walls as well as the roof. But most of all my strength was anchored in Jesus and He was protecting my house.
Next day when the storm left I witnessed the devastation around the whole area and it was beyond description. My house had been spared completely with only some roof ridge barrel tiles missing that we replaced about a year after.
Well back to the original story again, are we close to the Apocalypse and what are the things that tells us we are? I will answer with some facts and an analogy.
If we are driving in a road and we approach a major bridge we do not stop and think is it safe to pass? No this never enters your mind because you can see that it is standing and in your mind you know and trust that those who designed and built it had the knowledge and experience required for the task. The same when you buy a house or a building. It never enters your mind to question its reality and function.
Well as I have been designing and working in structures since I got my degree from the University I can safely assume that the buildings and bridges that I did will work as intended which they have.
If you have not read the Bible or studied the prophecies of the Bible it is very difficult if not impossible for you to discern the times we are in except in a very general sense as every person is born with a sense for the dangerous.
If you are not totally disconnected to the things that are happening every day your senses should be warning you of the many things that are warning you of coming danger.
Now to the gist of Bible prophecy. We are in the months preceding the start of the Day of the Lord because Israel is a Nation that came to be in May 14, 1948, there has passed close to 6,000 years since the creation of Adam and Eve by God and a thousand other prophetic scriptures that are coming to pass in these times.
Again as I or somebody that has spent more than 36 years studying Bible prophecy sees the things happening in the world our eyes are colored with the knowledge of prophetic writings, thus we have what is called prophetic knowledge and experience. We tie things and events together to reach conclusions that are pertinent and valid.
The article by Mr. Gary Stearman points out a very significant fact about the Day of the Lord and the characters that play its most important role in it. They do not come to these positions or places from one day to the other. They evolve and their rise to power is done with time on fertile ground for growth.
Now the questions are if we are at the very few months prior to the Apocalypse who will you say is the Antichrist, what nation is he in power with? Who is the false prophet and what religion is he from and what is his position in this religion?
Before the Day of the Lord
Scripture spends a considerable amount of time describing the events that will unfold immediately prior to the Day of the Lord – perhaps three to four years before the Tribulation. Is it possible that we are living in this period now? If not, how distant might it be? And what conditions may prevail during this volatile phase?
Two or three decades ago, those students of Bible prophecy dedicated to the pretribulational prophetic model were quite reluctant to say that we could identify present events as fulfilled prophecy. They readily agreed that we were near the end of the Church Age, but were reluctant to admit that we could identify unfolding events as connected with any particular time.
They were willing to concede that the prophetic stage had been set: Israel was back in the Land; global financial power was being concentrated in the hands of a few oligarchs; social restraints were collapsing; superweapons were falling into the hands of power-crazed rebels, dedicated to the annihilation of Israel and the United States. But they wouldn’t say that prophecy, in plain terms, was being presently fulfilled.
Today, that has all changed. While some are still reluctant, many leading prophecy teachers are quick to say that Bible prophecy is unfolding before our eyes. Israel, the Middle East and the global economy are shaping up in precisely the way the ancient prophets and apostles said they would. Naturally, our tendency is to urge things along so that the promised return of the Lord will come sooner. But watching requires restraint and self-discipline.
In this era of increasing discussion (and not a little argument) about the timing of the rapture, we are faced with the challenge of placing certain events in some sort of chronological order. Some apparently think that events will fall into place virtually overnight.
In Christian dialogue, there is a tendency to overlook the logistics that are naturally involved in the orderly development of events. Time is required for socioeconomic, military and political realities to come to fulfillment.
As we look ahead, we can see a number of prophesied events that haven’t come together yet. For example, the prophesied Mideast wars haven’t happened yet. Damascus still stands. Earthquakes rumble here and there, but they haven’t yet become a worldwide phenomenon that catches the attention of the nations. The prophesied famine and pestilence are far from universal.
On the other hand, things are happening fast! We watch the world of genetics and the horrifying advances in human/animal hybridization. We observe increasing demonic visibility in the form of the modern “UFO/alien” mythology, coupled with a growing social consciousness that the fallen ones who once plagued the Earth are making themselves observable once again. Technology can now interconnect microchips with the human brain. Artificial intelligence is coming online. “Supersoldiers,” if not already in service, are perhaps within a year or two of being utilized in field exercises. Robotics are quickly approaching the level of human facility. Universal surveillance and global control of society are now conceivable realities. The Antichrist system is becoming visible as security agencies around the world multiply exponentially.
But even given the current state of affairs, there seems to be some time left before all these events coalesce into the massive formation of a world empire. The “beast” cannot rise to power in an instant.
Events require a certain passage of time. Take, for example, the rise to power of a political figure. After he is selected, he must raise money, either as cash or promised contributions. Agreements must be reached and contracts signed. All these activities must fit into a predictable flow of events. Notices go out, phone calls are made, rallies and speeches are scheduled. More money is raised as television, newspaper and radio time is purchased. More time passes until election day, which comes and goes. The candidate has won. Finally, as he is sworn in, he settles into the daily business of political office. Two or three years have passed.
The same general process is incumbent upon the rising to power of a dictatorship. He must gain initial recognition – perhaps as an elected figure – and then take power by any means possible. In the process, he must convince the general population that he is worthy of their trust. Finally, in a sweeping revolution, he exerts his will.
One day in the not-too-distant future, a rider on a white horse will go forth in a similar way. His efforts will be directed toward establishing a dictatorship, and they will require a certain amount of time. The following well-known verses seem to depict just such a process, as the office of this candidate is focused upon gathering power through conquest:
“1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” (Rev. 6:1,2).
This narrative is generally said to depict the rise of the Antichrist, a process that will naturally consume a fairly long period of time and a significant transfer of power (“conquering, and to conquer”). The prophet Daniel once had a vision of this time- consuming process:
“7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things” (Dan. 7:7,8).
The “coming up” of the little horn seems to require some time for achievement, and the overthrow of three others. Again, time is required … the time before the Tribulation. And his power is supernatural.
A Supernatural Overview
There is general agreement among Christians that we are either very close or actually within the brief time leading to the seven-year Tribulation … The Day of the Lord. Many expositors are in agreement that the single event that marks the beginning of this period of judgment is the signing of a covenant, mentioned in Daniel 9:27:
“27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
The Antichrist will, through “strong delusion,” as Paul terms it in Second Thessalonians 2:11, rise to power in a cloud of metaphysical strength that will seem authentic to those who watch him. He will operate counter to the message of Christ, and substitute himself in place of Christ.
But before he can do this, the delusion must be developed in the minds of those who will blindly submit to his rule.
Pay particular notice to the word, “delusion.” It tells us that those who believe in the Antichrist will wrongly interpret what they see in him. They will think it comes from God. Daniel 9:27 speaks of “abominations,” which we envision as dark conjuring and occultism, empowered by the emissaries of Satan. But those who view him as messianic will see his powers as blessings.
Many have written about the esoteric societies of initiates who brought Hitler to power. Their exotic names … “Society of the Golden Dawn,” and “Thule Society,” masked truly evil, Satanic movements that appealed to ancient avatars for their power.
These spiritual manifestations will be the power behind Antichrist’s throne. For a long time, Bible scholars have linked occurrences of dark powers to latter-day prophecy. One of the best-known is the late Dave Hunt. Thirty years ago, in his book, Peace, Prosperity and the Coming Holocaust, he examined the New Age Movement in prophecy.
He wrote, “With impeccable scientific credentials and one of the world’s top ufologists, Jacques Vallee has concluded after 20 years of investigation that UFOs may be psychologically programming us for some ultimate deception that is too horrible even to imagine as yet.” [p. 112]
He wrote these words in 1983, before the UFO phenomenon had emerged to the point that is now common. In his book, he made it obvious that he believed the Antichrist would rise in a wave of demonic demonstration that the world would interpret as alien powers from outer space. He was an early leader in the realization that the ancient fallen ones were rising again, and would prepare a global vision – almost a hallucination – of heaven on Earth. This is without a doubt, the ultimate delusion, and it’s happening now.
In Daniel 11:38, 39, which gives details of the Antichrist’s rule, we find exactly this idea expressed with absolute clarity:
“38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. 39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain” (Dan. 11:38,39).
For more than a century, Satanic initiates have conjoined their plans in the anticipation that a god of forces will bring a world leader to power. Just as Dave Hunt believed three decades ago, we are convinced that we are living in the latter stages of Antichrist’s unveiling. The ufonauts are not extraterrestrial beings; they are interdimensional beings … exactly as they are described in the Bible. We have almost arrived at what he called a “… deception that is too horrible even to imagine as yet.”
From the Roswell incident in 1947 to the present day, we have accrued sixty-six years of the progressive unveiling of dark heavenly forces, as described by Paul in Ephesians 6:12 when he wrote of them: “12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
As this is written, it has become “normal” to record two thousand UFO sightings per month in the United States alone! Paul is describing the nature of the enemy that has resisted the body of Christ throughout the Church age. Paul also characterizes the church as the restraining force that inhibits the rise of Satanic world power until the close of the age at the rapture. At that time, the restraining force of the Holy Spirit will be removed from the Earth. Then, the dark forces will be free to elevate the Antichrist to power.
It is safe to say then, that we are now living within a very short time of seeing a rapid succession of supernatural events. This, of course, suggests that the rapture is near. In no way can we predict the date of the rapture, but bizarre events, coupled with social and environmental instabilities will indicate that our watchfulness should rise to its maximum level.
What will the period before the Tribulation look like? Among other things, it will acquire increasingly powerful overtones of the supernatural … the bizarre and the highly technical will merge into the arrival of deceptive marvels. They will bring forth the Antichrist:
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (II Thess. 2:9).
The prophet Zephaniah wrote to a latter- day audience about the Day of the Lord. He warns Israel that the day is “near.” In other words, his prophecy is aimed at precisely the period we are targeting: possibly the three or four years prior to the Day of the Lord.
He addresses latter-day Israel, which of course, assumes that Israel must be in a regathered state of existence, exactly as we see it today. His warning focuses upon the pretribulational period of time under discussion:
“14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. 15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Zeph. 1:14,15).
Here, Zephaniah joins other Old Testament prophets who issue similar warnings to those in Israel who have eyes to see and ears to hear. He warns them to get ready for the coming Tribulation:
“1 Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; 2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’s anger come upon you. 3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’s anger” (Zeph. 2:1-3).
The New Testament View
Remarkably, the Apostle Paul, writing in First Thessalonians, echoes Zephaniah’s words. He begins with a strange statement that seems out of place or even inappropriate. But once understood, it is one of the most encouraging verses in the Bible:
“1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 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. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (I Thess. 5:1-5).
Paul opens with a statement about the very time period now being discussed … the last few years before the Tribulation. He says that he doesn’t need to tell us about the approach to that period. Why? No doubt, Paul believes that the Old Testament prophets and the statements of Jesus give us all the information we need. And indeed, they do!
We know that the Day of the Lord will come under the cover of a grand delusion. We are now conscious of that great deception … that the Antichrist will rise to power with the help of alien gods.
Paul then notes that there will be the mistaken idea that all is well … right up until the opening moments of the Tribulation. Paul’s clear assertion is that those in Christ will not be blind to the approach of that horrific day. He urges us to watch and comfort one another with the thought that we’ll be taken home before its opening.
In fact, his clear belief is that the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit acts to hold back the dark forces of Satan until the very moment of its lifting up from this dimension into the presence of the Lord.
Today, some criticize the preoccupation with the narrative of the ancient Nephilim who came in the days of Noah, and will return at the time of the Tribulation. The plain fact is that it happened then, and it’s happening again.
How Can We Tell?
In many different ways, Scripture tells us that we are enlightened by the indwelling Holy Spirit, and that we will not be ignorant of the times. Specifically, we will be sensitized to the near approach of the Tribulation. For the past forty to fifty years, many Christian pastors, teachers and writers have stated that the Lord’s return for His church is near.
They have watched the burgeoning growth of alien spiritual power and presence. They have noted the socio-economic instabilities and the myriad complexities of the Middle East. Earthquakes and super-storms are happening with greater frequency.
And as Mark Biltz has pointed out, we’re within a few months of witnessing the confluence of a fourfold series of lunar eclipses on Jewish feast days. Furthermore, they appear before and after a total Solar eclipse. Since the eclipsed Moon takes on a reddish hue when eclipsed, they are called “Blood Moons.” Such astronomical rarities have always been an indicator of some significant event in the history of Israel.
The prophet Joel writes that this is the phenomenon that will warn of the proximity of the Tribulation:
“31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call” (Joel 2:31,32).
All the visual elements are in place. The dark principalities of the heavens are become more visible. Paul said it first: He said we don’t have a need for him to write to us when these things are coming. Now we know why. We have a special spiritual sensitivity that floods our consciousness. We’ll know that we’re there. The increasing coalescence of sinister power was prophesied long ago. With increasing intensity, this is what the next few years will look like. We will know the times and season