And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. Hitherto is the end of the matter. Daniel 7:24-28
Lets take a short look at this passage of scripture. First the passage gives a partial description of the antichrist in my opinion. There is much speculation about this individual and what he will do out there but lets look at what he will not be able to do. It says that he will wear out the saints (you and me) not overpower them. The dragon that gives him his power knows that THE power is given to the saints (Acts 1:8 and many other places) and his only chance is to convince them to not use it for whatever reason or to misuse it in some way.
The devil knows that he CANNOT overpower us, just like he could not overpower Adam and Eve, not because of us but because of God. The only way the devil could get to Adam and Eve or you is to get you to agree with it. He uses deceit and temptation because he cannot overpower us without being severely punished.
One of these temptations in these last days is to wear you out. To make you so busy that you will not see or be too tired to do anything about it while he steals a generation. Have any of you noticed that in the last 40 years we have gone from a society where one man could work 40 hours a week and support a family of 5 in their own house with two cars and a vacation every year, to a society where more often than not both parents work and can barely make ends meet?
This has happened before, in Germany almost 70 years ago a generation was mislead to follow a madman and look at the havoc they caused. In China they had a "cultural revolution" in which untold millions were killed. This is the way he does things on a broad scale, first make the parents so busy (the method and reasons don't really matter, the results are all that matters) then teach their children to be their destroyers. No most of your children probably won't be the instruments of your destruction, their friends or those in another state or country will and visa versa.
Jesus said in Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. In this passage Jesus puts being overcharged with the cares of this life in the same category as being a drunkard. Almost nobody i know would even associate with a drunkard but most of them are so caught up in the things of this world that they cannot or will not pay attention to what is happening around us at a steady but slow rate. The proverbial frog in the pot comes to mind but i'm here to tell you i am not an amphibian and that water is getting hot!
Jesus also said in the next two verses 35 and 36 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Now if you have never been out to the woods let me tell you that a snare only works if you don't see it and walk right into it. It is a very limited way to catch dinner or whatever else, and the only way to make it work is to find out how your prey acts and put the snare in it's path. It's up to the prey to either walk right into the trap or do something different. If the prey does anything different they don't get caught. Right now those who are paying attention can see this trap being set up, and being paid for by the same people who will be the victims of it.
The bad news is that sooner or later there will be enough people in the snare for the devil to spring it.
Personally i believe in a rapture that happens near the end of the great tribulation, i know there are many who believe that we will be long gone when this trap is sprung but i don't want to debate that here. Another day perhaps we will visit that subject but right now i would like to talk about the snare. Most of us are aware of the 13th chapter of Revelations for those who may not be i will add a few verses and a brief explanation of my understanding of it.
Revelation 13: 16 and 17 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Most people who study this stuff (myself included) believe this will be something in the future that will replace money. There have been theories about how it will work out since i can remember. When the bar codes became popular, people thought it would be tattooed on people. So far they were wrong but the bar codes were a step toward the mark. Now days there is a company that is producing a devise called "digital angel" that can track someone wherever they go and at the same time report their heart rate and other information about them. Initially it was reported as a chip that could be inserted under the skin and never needed batteries. After the backlash that was caused by their announcement they retreated to a wrist watch type devise. Do i think this is the mark? No but it could be, the thing preventing it from becoming that is the lack of public support.
With that in mind i want to say a word to my brothers and sisters out there who believe that the rapture will occur before all this stuff happens. I hope you are right, i don't think you are but if you are, look me up in heaven and i will be happy to acknowledge you were correct. However in case you are, i do not want to stand before my savior and try to explain the following. How that i knew the scriptures, and saw this trap being set up, and helped finance it because it was so convenient. After all if we are taken out before the really hard times hit, which if you are a believer and live in Afghanistan, or Sudan, or China, or North Korea, i could go on but in many places the hard times are now and the tribulation could hardly be worse, All those people left behind will be caught in a snare that you largely paid for. There are alternatives and they are not nearly as convenient nor safe in the short term but if you are wrong, you will be the victims of that snare as well and will have no one to blame but yourselves.
Some of you are saying about now that it is going to happen anyway and nobody can prevent it. I agree but when the time came to destroy Jerusalem it was delayed because a king read the book and repented before God. At this point i would like to add these verses and you can make what you will of it. Revelations 10: 5-7 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. In this verse time could be translated delay no longer. My prayer is that whenever the rapture happens we will be found preserving life in all that we do and not financing the system that satan will use to enslave the people of the world.
Ok, now for some good news! Here are some scriptures to think about.
Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Daniel 7:18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
Daniel 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
Daniel 11: 32-35 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Maybe you are reading this and you are worried about these things. When i was a kid we went to see the movie "The Late Great Planet Earth" which if you've never seen it or read the book by Hal Lindsay is all about these matters. After that movie i would look up at the moon and wonder if that night would be the night it turned red as blood, Revelation 6:12. Something in me knew that this stuff was real and that i wasn't ready for it. It wouldn't be too long before i had an opportunity to change my forwarding address by accepting Jesus into my heart and took advantage of it.
If you have never done this, why not do it today, as a prophesy teacher i listen to on the radio says today may be the day for your own personal rapture. You may be in an accident or suddenly have a heart attack or any number of other things and find yourself before a holy God. Are you ready? Give your heart to Jesus, invite Him in and allow Him to rearrange the furniture. You will never regret it no matter how tough it gets.
A lot of people will give you a "model prayer" to repeat but i am of the persuasion that God wants to hear it in your own words. The formula though is the same. First you acknowledge that you are unable to save yourself. Next you change directions, which doesn't mean you become perfect in an instant, but set you heart and mind to improve your actions as He leads, this is called repentance. Then you believe, or acknowledge your belief, that Jesus died for your sins and is willing and able to save those who believe.
While i believe God knows your heart and that there have been many people saved who never had an opportunity to tell someone about it, telling somebody about it is very important. If you really mean it, sometimes it's almost impossible to NOT tell someone about it, but of course there are always exceptions. I would suggest that someone who lived in Saudi Arabia for example could grow some before they told many people about it because that could be their last act before they met Jesus in person.
Well i pray that any of you who followed my advise in the chapter above will satisfy your new insatiable thirst for the word by READING a bible often and if you have any questions send me an e-mail and i'll answer the best i can. For all of you that believe and are "found written in the book" don't be too caught up in the things of this world. Remember what Jesus said in Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Until next week the Lord bless and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace. And don't let the devil wear you out!